Monthly Archives: June 2009

In Case You Missed It: Sweet Jordan Dunks


Continuing the can’t-lose trend of maximizing its exclusive relationship with basketball’s greatest player in his Hall of Fame year, Upper Deck recently unveiled the specifics of a 51-card 2009 Michael Jordan Legacy Box Set, due out in August.

Of course, you probably already knew that.

What you may not have been aware of is the poster-quality nature of the 51st card in every box, one of 10 different oversized (3 1/2 by 5 inches) “C-cards” that profile some of MJ’s most legendary dunks.

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MMA stars Chuck Liddell & Ken Shamrock to appear in 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball card set


The forthcoming 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball set from Upper Deck will include MMA stars Chuck Liddell and Ken Shamrock as the company released preview images of the two fighters’ upcoming cards on Friday.

goodwinshamrockOther baseball and multi-sport sets that have included MMA stars in recent years include Topps Allen & Ginter, Donruss Americana set — home of Ring Kings autograph and memorabilia cards — and Sportkings.

Topps launched its first UFC set earlier this year, while Upper Deck had planned to produce a standalone MMA set last fall but canceled the project.

Goodwin Champions arrives in September. Read more about it on the links 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

Exclusive Video: The First Box of 2009 Donruss Elite Football


We’re not going to tell you what we had to do to get it, but we’ve managed to procure a box of 2009 Donruss Elite Football almost a full week before its official release date.

Join Beckett’s own pigskin-loving freaks Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler for the world premiere box bust of 2009 Donruss Elite Football.

It’s fun, informative and you might just win an Elite autograph card.

Preview gallery: 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball cards


Upper Deck has released more images of card in its forthcoming Goodwin Champions baseball set, which will arrive in September.

Find more on Goodwin here, here, and here.

Check out more from the set after the jump. (Click for a closer look.)

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Kill Bill star David Carradine dead at 72


David Carradine, the star of Kill Bill as well as the the 1970s television series Kung Fu, was found dead Thursday in a Thailand hotel — an apparent suicide according to one published report.

The 72-year-old actor’s collectibles resume includes autographed cards in the 2000 Charmed Season 1 set as well as the 2004 Alias Season 3 set, both from Inkworks. The Charmed card sells for approximately $30.

Donruss Americana, which arrived in hobby shops on Wednesday, includes Carradine’s largest assortment of trading cards, including the one above (numbered to 100) that we pulled from a review box last week.

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Legendary Cuts arrives with some twists


This year’s version of SP Legendary Cuts has arrived in hobby shops and there’s a couple of new twists with the cuts, according to Upper Deck.

First, each individual cut will be numbered to at least five copies — helping satiate those who are interested in trying to collect an entire set without any 1/1s making it a virtual impossibility.

This year’s set also includes some interesting dual and quad cut combo cards, which include a mix of tough signatures and cards like a Connie Mack-John McGraw managers card and a Harry Frazee-Jacob Rupert owners card among the highlights.

Here’s the dual and quad checklist:

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Upper Deck announces 2009 Update baseball card set


Upper Deck has announced its plans for its 2009 Update baseball set  — and there will be only one place to find all cards of the latest rookies and traded stars in their new uniforms.

Where? In Upper Deck Combo Fat Packs.

Arriving in October,the 36-card packs will include Upper Deck Update cards, Generation NOW cards, gold parallels for each as well as 20th Anniversary Retrospective cards. Combo blaster boxes will include 36 cards — four packs and a bonus pack.

There will be 18 packs per box and six boxes per case for the Combo Fat Packs.

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

"This space for rent" on NFL practice jerseys can't hurt them as memorabilia


CNBC’s Darren Rovell is reporting that a couple of NFL teams are close to securing sponsorship deals on their practice jerseys — selling a space for an advertisement.

You can read all about it here.

Whether you like the idea or not — or fear something that looks like a NASCAR uniform or a Phoenix WNBA jersey (we’re not sure what the team name is anymore, really) — one thing is certain.

It can’t hurt the value of practice jerseys as memorabilia because the nameless and often patchless threads really aren’t appealing at all.

For example, Jim Yackel, a long-time dealer of game-worn sports memorabilia, has several Denver Broncos practice jerseys among his inventory, all between $100 and $450. The $100 jersey is an unused 1997 Steve Atwater practice jersey, while the high-end example is a 1997 jersey for Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman.

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Topps adds Jackie Robinson to upcoming Magic football set


Topps announced on Wednesday that it would be added sports pioneer Jackie Robinson to its forthcoming Magic football set that arrives later this month with stylings remniscent of its 1951 set of the same name. (See previous story here.)

Before he broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson was a star multi-sport athlete at UCLA where he lettered in football, baseball, basketball and track. The Magic set focuses on college football so the baseball Hall of Famer appears in his Bruins football uniform on the card to be found in packs beginning on June 18.

Robinson was a letterman in the four sports — a school first — and he later played semi-pro football for the Honolulu Bears and the Los Angeles Bulldogs.

Each hobby box of Magic includes three autographed cards from a checklist that features more than 250 players. The suggested retail price is $4 per pack.

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

In the minors: Maybe you've heard of me?



Another of the charms of collecting Minor League Baseball cards are finding cards of players you perhaps once loved, once hated or once thought were going to be a much bigger deal than they were in the hobby.

Sometimes you’ll find relatives of those players. Or perhaps you’ll find cards from aborted comebacks made by players like Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, who pitched in the minors from 1994-97 before coming back yet again — at age 45 — to pitch for the Brockton Rox in 2005. (He went 4-5 with a 3.83 ERA in 17 games, even throwing a complete game.)

Sometimes you’ll find familiar faces on rehab assignments or in managerial stints. We take a look at some of these unusual cards in this edition of In The Minors …

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2009 Topps Football: The Boxed Set



This just in: One of the most universally understood and embraced football card staples in the world — the in-one-fell-swoop-my-2009-collecting-year-is-done Topps boxed set — will ship in September.

And the crowd rejoiced! After all, is there a football product in existence that appeals as much to non-collecting fans as it does hardcore hobbyists?  

The 2009 version features 440 cards (including 110 Rookie Cards and five subsets) not to mention five boxed-set-exclusive cards highlighting rookies Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno and Chris Wells.

Party Like It's 1972


Mum on the product since March, hockey manufacturer In The Game released the first images and additional details this morning on a unique product that has more than just a little grooviness to it.

ITG’s 1972 — The Year in Hockey offers what looks to be a splendidly nostalgic stroll down memory lane and is sure to have hockey diehards fondly recalling upstart NHL rival WHA and the pivotal “Summit Series” between Canada and the USSR.

1972 — The Year in Hockey features a 200-card base set and includes players from the NHL, the WHA and the Summit Series. What’s more, the product boasts a hard-signed autograph checklist of more than 150 players seeded at a ratio of one in seven packs (or two to three autographs per box). The product also includes no less than eight game-worn memorabilia inserts.

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High schooler Bryce Harper on next Sports Illustrated cover



The next Next Big Thing for baseball has arrived in the mainstream a bit earlier than normal with an appearance on the cover of the June 8 issue of Sports Illustrated.

While Stephen Strasburg has the hobby ablaze after starring at San Diego State and should be drafted No. 1 overall by the Washington Nationals in the MLB Draft later this week, he’s not on the cover.

It’s Bryce Harper — a 16-year-old sophomore catcher for Las Vegas High School — who hit .626 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs this season. And as you can see, the expectations are lofty — he’s tabbed “the most exciting prodigy since LeBron.”

While prodigies seem to come and go — Freddy Adu and Michelle Wie come to mind (along with LeBron) — they don’t often appear on SI‘s cover, making this an instant early piece of memorabilia.

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Preview Gallery: 2009 Goodwin Champions buybacks

LRGC Buyback - Cap Anson

Upper Deck released the following images of original Goodwin tobacco cards on Tuesday — cards that will be found in packs of 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball cards when they arrive this September. (What else can be found in Goodwin? Click here and here.)

Will you be lucky enough to find one? Only if you rip into packs (or fork over the cash to land one in an auction).

Check ‘em out after the jump …

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You don't come across these every day …


It seems that there are trading cards for literally everything these days — though probably not as prevalent as they were in the boom years for the hobby in the 1980s and early 1990s. The influx of people interested in cards — any cards — led to some unusual collectibles.

BBMmagHere’s one example of an unusual card, except that it’s brand new. It’s a card of the Japan Professional Bowling Association’s Aki Nawa, a card included in the pages of Sports Card Magazine — a Japanese magazine on, well, sports cards. (It’s probably a good read, but you can’t take my word for it. I can’t read Japanese.)

Issue No. 75, which features Hiroshima Toyo Carp pitcher Kenta Maeda on the cover, includes not just one, but five promotional cards inside made by the BBM card company.

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Upper Deck's Rookie Premiere touchdown dance competition goes mainstream

YouTube Preview Image

If you haven’t seen some of the footage of Upper Deck‘s touchdown dance competition between rookies at the recent NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere, then there’s a chance you haven’t been poking around enough online or watching SportsCenter.

Highlights from the competition were on ESPN last week and tonight there will be highlights from the event shown on the Best Damn Sports Show Period.

Until then, you can get a taste of the action — and see some highlights — right 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

Record Breaker: Pristine Montana RC Sells for $65K!

1981 Montana BGS 10


Almost a year after it first surfaced last July at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, the only BGS 10 Joe Montana Rookie Card in existence recently sold at auction for the staggering sum of $65,880, according to Modern Marvels Auctions president Dave Amerman.

The Pristine-conditioned 1981 Topps #216 headlined Modern Marvels’ premiere online auction that began in January and officially ended April 25. Given the sheer largess of the winning bid, however, the transaction for the key card wasn’t finalized until just recently.

According to Beckett Media Senior Market Analyst Dan Hitt, the figure is easily the most ever paid for a professionally graded, modern-era football card. In addition, it’s the third highest sale of a single football card ever recorded by Beckett Media, surpassed only by two different sales of an SGC 96 Mint copy of Bronko Nagurski’s 1935 National Chicle card, for $240,000 and $80,000, respectively.

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What's a first career HR ball really worth?


You’ve probably recently read about the fan who caught the first home run ball hit by Florida Marlins rookie Chris Coghlan who, according to some, held the ball “for ransom” wanting memorabilia in return.

These types of trades are pretty common — when a ball isn’t headed to the auction block — but the ransom claim? Well, that’s different.

But have you heard the fan’s side of the story? Read his lengthy recap of the situation here.

The fan asked for a signed ball and a bat from the rookie and a Hanley Ramirez game bat.

One would think that, to a player, that ball would mean plenty — if he wanted it at all — and consider that, according to Louisville Slugger (which makes plenty of bats each year) baseball players will typically use about 100 bats during a season.

Bats aren’t exactly the rarest piece of memorabilia out there.

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In the minors: Baseball cards going to the dogs?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Last time we went in the minors, we examined the world of mascot cards — you know, those furry freaks that keep things lively at ballparks around the world regardless of playing level.

While there are still many more unusual minor league baseball cards to be found and discussed, there are five other mascot cards we’ve tracked down that stand out from the rest of the pack.

They feature other stars of the diamond — dogs. Retrievers who help out with the simple parts of the game like feeding baseballs to the umpires and collecting bats. You may have heard a thing or two about dogs in baseball in the past, but today we’re focusing on hard-working types like Dinger The Home Run Dog of the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Pelicans, Chase That Golden Thunder of the Trenton (N.J.) Thunder and Miss Babe Ruth of the Greensboro (N.C.) Grasshoppers.

We know there are probably other hard-working friends of the ballfield, but these three have their own baseball cards — and even some other memorabilia, too.

Let’s take a look.

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Preview gallery: 2009 Donruss Americana


We taped our Box Busters episode days ago (find it here), but 2009 Donruss Americana doesn’t arrive in hobby shops until Wednesday.

While this year’s set has a slightly smaller checklist, it has some new features (and new names) that should give collectors a few more things to add to their want lists.

(And we’ll say it again … the packaging is cool, too.)

Check out this preview gallery courtesy of Panini America. (Click on the images for a closer look.)

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Sneak peek: 2009 Donruss Elite football


This year’s Donruss Elite football set arrives in hobby shops next week (June 11) packing at least one autograph and two memorabilia cards in each and every hobby box.

Here’s a sneak peek — directly from Panini — at some of the cards you can find …

Here’s the rundown of what the product will include:

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Topps confirms Series 2 legends variations


Topps released the following list of legends variations cards that can be found in 2009 Topps Series 2 baseball on Monday morning:

340     Wade Boggs               Boston Red Sox
350     Ryne Sandberg           Chicago Cubs
353     Cal Ripken Jr.             Baltimore Orioles
355     Jim Palmer                   Baltimore Orioles
400     Frank Robinson           Baltimore Orioles
415     Bob Gibson                 St. Louis Cardinals
475     Mike Schmidt             Philadelphia Phillies
476     Juan Marichal             San Francisco Giants
490     Nolan Ryan                 Texas Rangers
495     Brooks Robinson        Baltimore Orioles
515     Reggie Jackson           New York Yankees
520     Tony Gwynn               San Diego Padres
595     Robin Yount               Milwaukee Brewers
600     Greg Maddux             Atlanta Braves
610     Paul Molitor                Milwaukee Brewers
650     Steve Carlton             Philadelphia Phillies
660     Carl Yastrzemski         Boston Red Sox

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