Monthly Archives: May 2009

Topps announces Terminator Salvation autograph, Relic and Sketch Cards


Topps released the list of subjects who will have autograph and memorabilia cards in its upcoming Terminator Salvation set as well as the list of artists who have produced Sketch Cards for the upcoming release.

There will be one autograph per box guaranteed in every hobby box, as well as one Sketch Card or Relic card.

Star Christian Bale was not among the signers for the set, but two cards containing watches of clothing Bale wore during the movie as John Connor are on the Relic checklist.

See them all after the jump.

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Will Manny Ramirez's performance-enhancing substance suspension affect his cards?


According to a Los Angeles Times report, Major League Baseball will announce today that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

While the test may be tied to a medical condition (as he’s expected to say later today), the perceptions within the hobby may well be that he’s just another tainted player from an era where stars who put up legendary numbers are shrouded in clouds of controversy.

Guilty or not, more than a few fans have probably already made up their minds and associated him with known cheaters and those mired in controversy regarding their reputations and their statistics from the field.

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First look: 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection


Upper Deck released basic product information and preview images on Thursday for its 2009 Ballpark Collection set that is scheduled to arrive in late-August.

There will be three memorabilia cards or one autograph and two memorabilia cards per pack. Each pack will contain one dual memorabilia card and one quad memorabilia card, while there will be cards with as many as eight memorabilia pieces embedded into them. Each four-pack box will include two autographed cards.

New this year will be All-Time legends cards of Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams available as dual-, triple-, quad-, six-piece and eight-piece memorabilia cards.

See those and more after the jump.

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Cowboys, Conversation, Cannoli and Collecting


Doug Coleman has learned much in his more than 15 years conducting and promoting athlete signings and card shows in the far North Texas town of Denison. The best stuff, though, he’s learned more recently.

Like, for example, why Dallas Cowboys great Chuck Howley was nicknamed “Hogmeat” or what it was really like for the Cowboys during the famed 1967 Ice Bowl against the Green Bay Packers. Indeed, as Coleman and the attendees of his intimate signing events have discovered, there’s something to be said for quality time with the legends of yesterday.

“At most conventional card shows, the player doesn’t even have time to look up to acknowledge the fans’ presence as they pass through the line,” says Coleman, who owns Denison’s Box Seat Sportscards. “Here, they all get to visit. The fans want to talk to the players and, surprisingly, the players want to talk to the fans, as well. It just works.”

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Box Busters: 2009 Press Pass SE football cards


Join Beckett Football‘s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they open a box of 2009 Press Pass SE Football cards, which are scheduled for release on Thursday (May 7).

Every pack includes an autograph or game-used jersey card — roughly nine autographs per 12-pack box.

What will they find inside? Click here.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at

Matt LaPorta is 1st 2009 Topps Finest Rookie Redemption


The first player in the 2009 Topps Finest Rookie Redemption program was announced on Tuesday — and it’s Cleveland Indians rookie OF Matt LaPorta.

Topps will announce the remainder of the 10 rookies throughout the season.  Each master box of Finest includes one redemption card, which can be found as Refractors (#’d to 199) and Gold Refractors (#’d to 50).

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at

A trio of non-sports notes …


If you’re into non-sports cards, three items stood out among recent announcements …

1. Breygent Marketing’s Loaded Boxes. While many collectors seem to think that every review box we open is somehow on steroids, some boxes in the the latest Wizard of Oz set from Breygent are — and they’re marked just as seen above. These “loaded” boxes contain eight autographed cards and are randomly inserted into the print run.

For its sets, Rittenhouse Archives has produced “Archive Boxes” for many of its products through the years that often deliver the entire product’s run in a specially marked box. For example, Archive boxes of the company’s 2007 Indy Racing League set included every autographed card (Danica Patrick included), including rarer chase autographs as well as every insert and base card in the product. It’d be nice to see something similar to these hotter hot boxes appear in the sports world.

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McFarlane goes QB crazy with NFL series 20


McFarlane Toys has released the images of its 20th series of NFL SportsPicks figures and other than a pair of impact players’ debut releases — Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (above) and Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner – it’s a QB-heavy release comprised of players we’ve largely seen before.

Yes, the Fitzgerald appears to be a repaint of an event-specific limited edition Fitzy, but we’ve got a feeling more than a few collectors won’t mind when these arrive in September.

Here’s the rundown with photos (after the jump):

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Panini: Playoff Prestige will have zero redemptions


Panini America announced additional details for its 2009 Playoff Prestige football set on Tuesday, with the most notable fact being that the set will not include any redemption cards.

The first fully licensed NFL set of the year, Prestige will arrive next week with updated team information on each and every card — despite being released just a couple of weeks after the draft.

“It’s important for us to get this product out right after the draft, get it out on time, and with as many key guys as possible included,” said Panini America Marketing Manager Scott Prusha. “We have always felt getting the Rookie Cards updated with the actual draft information is added value to the collector and that attention to detail is something we feel sets this product apart.”

Each hobby box will include four game-used or autograph cards — one of those guaranteed to be an autograph. In each 12-box hobby case, eight boxes in the case will contain two autographed cards.

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Hobby Q&A: Upper Deck Blog's Toby Wachter


Upper Deck announced that it is entering the blogging world last week with the Upper Deck Blog (, so Beckett Media’s Chris Olds asked a few questions to learn more about the company’s venture.

200tobyHere’s our Q&A with Upper Deck Online Media Content Manager Toby Wachter:

Q: How did the idea for launching a blog come about — and how long did it take to materialize?

A: I’ve been a big fan of sports blogs for years now, really since I started working at Upper Deck five years ago. It’s clear that in 2009, the sports audience is going to, or Fanhouse, Yardbarker or Deadspin to get their sports news, as opposed to the old-fashioned back page of the newspaper.

With that being the trend, it made perfect sense for us to get involved in that space. Once we decided this was an avenue to explore, it really only took us about three weeks to get off the ground.

Q: What’s the mission, the aim, of Upper Deck having a blog?

A: Speaking for myself, honestly, the goal is to have fun. I really enjoy writing about sports, I enjoy taking pictures of things we have going on in the building and showing them to our readers. I enjoy doing interviews like this, and getting the word out about the blog.

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The John Cena autograph winners are …


Two more contests from the recent pages of Beckett Sports Card Monthly and Beckett Baseball wrapped up over the weekend and we’re here to announce the results of one of them — the winners of John Cena autographed photos from BSCM issue No. 289.

(We’ll announce our winner of the 1989 Upper Deck autographed Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card later in the week — and announce our next big Upper Deck contest — once the judges decide on who submitted the best essay.)

We asked readers to describe to us their favorite pieces of wrestling memorabilia and are awarding an autographed photo of Cena (provided by World Wrestling Entertainment) to each of the five fans below:

Chris Gonzalez — Waukesha, Wisc.

Sean McMann — Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Drew Lewis — Winston-Salem, N.C.

Sterling Pingree — Kingfield, Maine

Ryan Kopp — Spokane, Wash.

Each of them told us about their prized item, but perhaps the coolest tale of the bunch was McMann’s. He owns a pretty unique piece of serious wrestling memorabilia. What is it? See after the jump…

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Ric Flair autographs will be Americana retail exclusive


Panini America revealed to Beckett Media on Monday its plans for the first pack-released certified autograph card of retired professional wrestling legend “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

The 16-time world champion will appear in the 2009 Donruss Americana set as a retail-only short-print card, No. SP1, and there will be just 225 signed copies of the card randomly inserted into packs of the non-sport set.

ric-flair_back“Panini is incredibly excited to be producing the legendary Ric Flair’s first certified autographed card,” said Panini America Marketing Manager Scott Prusha. “Flair is a piece of American history and fits perfectly into the theme of Americana. We hope collectors enjoy chasing this historic trading card.”

As part of its deal with Flair, the company also obtained a red pair of match-worn trunks, which did not make the release as memorabilia cards. They will be used for a future product.

The card will be Flair’s first certified autograph as he never signed with past World Wrestling Entertainment or World Championship Wrestling card licensees Fleer or Topps during his 38-year wrestling career.

In its third year, Americana is set for release on June 3 with a more collector-friendly suggested retail price of $25 per hobby pack.

See more on the set here and here.

Earlier Monday, Beckett Media’s Flair autographed promo card contest winners were announced. You can see the winners here. Only 15 copies of that card were made.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at

Wooo! They've won Ric Flair's first autograph card


We’ve randomly selected the winners in our exclusive drawing for 15 copies of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair‘s first certified autograph card.

It’s an exclusive Donruss Americana promo card made just for this contest by the folks at Panini America. Only 15 of these cards were made for the contest, each slabbed in a custom BGS holder for display/protection that notes that the card was made just for Beckett Media.

It wasn’t easy becoming a winner of one of the Flair cards as we had literally hundreds of entries submitted via e-mail. The allure of the first — and so far only – certified autograph card of the greatest pro wrestler of all time wasn’t lost on more than a few collectors and wrestling fans as we had nearly 100 losing entries for every winner.

That’s a lot of demand, but not a lot of supply for the WWE Hall of Famer’s card. The natural question at this point — other than “Who won?” — is “What’s it worth?”  We’ll have to wait and see if any of the lucky winners opt to sell — but I wrote a bit about what I thought here.

Find the winners list after the jump. Congrats to all. Be sure to look in future issues of Beckett magazines and visit (and right here, too) to see how you can win other cool stuff in our other contests.

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Two more collectors complete Yankee Stadium Legacy set


Joshua Adams

Two more collectors completed Upper Deck‘s 6,600-card Yankee Stadium Legacy set before the April 30 deadline — Leo Wiznitzer of Panama City, Panama, and Joshua Adams of Largo, Fla.

The collectors, along with the three other dedicated fans who completed the set, will have lunch with New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter and take in a game as part of the contest.

“I had doubts I would ever finish the set,” said Wiznitzer, a 59-year-old self-employed businessman in an Upper Deck news release. “It seemed like everybody was looking for the same few cards and whenever they were listed, somebody would always get there before me. I just kept looking and looking, but they were never there.”

Ironically, Adams helped Wiznitzer win the grand prize.

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Sneak peek: 2009 Press Pass Signature Edition


Press Pass Signature Edition Football returns for 2009 with an on-card autograph or game-used jersey card in every pack atop a roster of players ready for stardom.

Each 12-pack hobby box  that contains at least nine on-card autographs and three game-used college jersey cards for top players in this year’s draft class. The set includes a 50 cards on premium stock and they are updated with their professional teams. SE is scheduled to arrive in hobby shops on May 7.

“As always, collectors will want to look for rare ‘red ink’ and ‘nickname’ signatures from their favorite rookies in packs of 2009 Press Pass Signature Edition Football,” said Nick Matijevich, Press Pass Director of Product Development.  “This is a tradition our company has become well-known for, and these rare autograph variations add another exciting chase level.”

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Press Pass announces remainder of football red ink autographs, inscriptions


Here is the second half of Press Pass’ traditional red ink and inscription cards for its 2009 football set as released on Friday.

If you missed the first half of the list, click here.

See the newest batch after the jump.

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New Sports Illustrated book examines priceless artifacts


A new book from Sports Illustrated called Slide Show: How The Picture Tells Its Story is examining the most vital pieces of memorabilia in the illustrious magazine’s 55-year history.

Their photo slides.

For a magazine that was a trailblazer for sports photography for decades, photo books are no-brainers — they’ve made several through the years — but this one analyzes the details of what every little mark on many notable slides mean. It offers stories behind the images that make up more than a few mental highlight reels out there, the images that helped shape sports history long before the senses-overloading media landscape of 24-hour cable television and the Internet.

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