Monthly Archives: July 2009

At the National: Video Palooza


Beckett Media editors are hard at work capturing the sights, sounds and scenes of the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention on video. Just so you don’t miss any of the excitement, we’ve provided all the footage here:

Collector Cashes in on Error

Dave and Adam’s Lands Hobby Rarity

Walking the Show Floor

What’s It Like to Own a Michael Jordan Rookie Jersey?

Now That Is Celtic Pride

He Really Wants MMA Star Rich Franklin’s Autograph

Q&A with Sketch Card Artist Brian Kong

On the Floor and More

He’s a True Heisman Collector

Showcasing Press Pass’ Latest Products

What’s New with Upper Deck

Q&A with “The Professor”

Talking Basketball Cards with NBA Rookie Tyler Hansbrough

UFC’s Rich Franklin Talk’s Memorabilia & More

Now That’s Some Pricey Wax

Tyler Hansbrough Reads Beckett, Too

A New Take on Baseball Storage

AT THE NATIONAL: Q&A with The Professor

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Panini had AND1’s The Professor, Grayson Boucher, on hand to sign autographs for basketball fans at the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s not only a player, but he’s a collector. Check it out …

AT THE NATIONAL: What's new with Upper Deck?

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Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler talks shop with Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin at the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and shows off some of the company’s upcoming products. Check it out …

AT THE NATIONAL: Showcasing Press Pass' latest products

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Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler caught up with Press Pass to see how its latest products are being received at The National. Check it out.

BECKETT AT THE NATIONAL: He's a true Heisman collector

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Beckett Media caught up with a pretty serious Heisman Trophy autograph collector. Check it out …

BECKETT AT THE NATIONAL: On the floor and more

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler as he tours the area around the Beckett Media booth as well as behind the scenes.

BECKETT AT THE NATIONAL: Q&A with sketch card artist Brian Kong

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Sketch card artist Brian Kong, whose work is featured in this year’s Allen & Ginter baseball set, talked about his experiences with Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler. Check it out…

BECKETT AT THE NATIONAL: He really wants MMA star Rich Franklin's autograph

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MMA star Rich Franklin was set to sign autographs at the Blowout Cards booth at this year’s National in Cleveland… and one dedicated collector started the line three hours early. Find out his story in this video interview with Beckett’s Tracy Hackler.

AT THE NATIONAL: Now THAT is Celtic Pride

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler at the National in Cleveland as he discusses an impressive Boston Celtics collection with a collector/dealer from Las Vegas.

What's it like to own a Michael Jordan rookie jersey?

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One serious collector, Wayne Pathman of Miami Beach, talked about buying a Michael Jordan rookie-season jersey at the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland with Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler. Ironically, it’s the same jersey pictured on the cover of Beckett’s new Jordan tribute issue. Check it out…

AT THE NATIONAL: Walking the show floor

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Can’t make it to Cleveland, Ohio, for the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention? We give you a peek at what it’s like from a quick walk of the show…

AT THE NATIONAL: Dave & Adam's lands hobby rarity

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Dave & Adam’s Card World owns the only vending case of 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee Premiere hockey cards in existence and it’s on display — and for sale — at this year’s National in Cleveland, Ohio. Get the scoop on this one-of-a-kind item here.

AT THE NATIONAL: Collector cashes in on error

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One collector of football Hall of Famer autographs stopped by the Beckett booth with a one-of-a-kind cut autograph — a 1/1 with the wrong autograph. What’s the deal with his card? Watch the video and see…

Sneak Peek: Upper Deck's Special National Set


During the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention that begins in earnest Thursday in Cleveland, Upper Deck will conduct a wrapper redemption program that will deliver a special 24-card set over the course of the four-day show.

Collectors who open five packs of 2009 Upper Deck product (pack SRP of $1.99 or more) at the UD booth can redeem those packs for one of four unique six-card sets while supplies last.

The sets will be distributed as follows:

Thursday: Derek Jeter, Grady Sizemore, Evgeni Malkin, Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, Derrick Rose
Friday: Ken Griffey Jr., LeBron James, Peyton Manning, Bob Feller, Alexander Ovechkin, Larry Fitzgerald
Saturday: Cliff Lee, Gordie Howe, Adrian Peterson, LeBron James, Brady Quinn, Paul Pierce
Sunday: Kerry Wood, Sidney Crosby, Joe DiMaggio, Michael Jordan, Mo Williams, Matt Ryan

“We’re extremely excited to once again have a major presence at the National Sports Collectors Convention,” said Kerri Kauffman, Upper Deck’s director of Marketing. “We anticipate there will be thousands upon thousands of LeBron fans, so we’re prepared to satisfy their collecting pursuits.”

Stay tuned to for reports from the National show floor beginning Thursday.

Preview Gallery: 2009 Rookies & Stars football cards


Panini America released additional card images from its forthcoming Rookies & Stars football card set, which will arrive on Aug. 5.

Check ‘em out …

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McFarlane Toys plans NBA video game tie-in & 12-inch football figures


McFarlane Toys has announced a pair of upcoming projects that focus on the big and small of two professional sports leagues.

This fall, McFarlane will work with video game-maker 2K Sports to offer a 3-inch Kobe Bryant figure only available with the NBA 2K10 Anniversary Edition video game that arrives in early October.

The special edition will cost $100 and is available for the PlayStation 3 or the XBox. It includes a 2K Sports’ NBA 2K10 game locker, the figure,  a 16×36 Bryant poster and a NBA 2K 10th anniversary DVD.

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EXCLUSIVE: Ultimate Topps UFC Gallery


The September 2009 issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, on sale everywhere beginning the week of August 10, includes a cover-story examination of the massive impact made by the Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts on the world of mainstream sports cards.

Topps UFC Round 1, released last February, is largely considered the most successful sports card launch of 2009 with boxes currently selling in excess of $350, more than four times original SRP. The product made the biggest splash to date in a sports card industry that has been experimenting with MMA insert cards since 2006.

In addition to including UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar on the cover, the September issue of BSCM includes information on Topps UFC 2009, the highly anticipated follow-up product due out in August, Beckett’s first MMA Hot List and information on the first certified autograph cards of Lesnar and street-fighting legend Kimbo Slice.

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Honus Wagner card sells for $925,000 and will be displayed at National

Wagner for show

Memory Lane Inc. recently announced its record-setting sale of what is considered the most iconic baseball card in the hobby, the T206 Honus Wagner.

The professionally authenticated card graded a 40 (very good) by Sportscard Guaranty sold for $925,000.  It is the highest price paid for a Wagner in this condition and the third-highest recorded price ever paid.  The top two are also Wagners; a near-mint version that sold for $2.8 million in 2007 and an excellent condition copy that brought $1.62 million at auction last year.

Memory Lane brokered the sale between two east coast collectors.  The owner had kept it in his personal collection for about 10 years.

“The sales price is just another indicator that the demand for Wagner cards is still much greater than the supply,” said Memory Lane Inc.’s J.P. Cohen in a news release.  “When one does come up for sale, there are usually collectors standing two or three deep waiting to buy it.”

Memory Lane is giving collectors a chance to see the card in person at the National Sports Collectors Convention beginning on Wednesday.

First Look: Brock Lesnar's First Autographed Card


Topps officials on Monday pulled back the curtain on Brock Lesnar’s first certified autograph card, an image that originally appeared in the Topps UFC 2009 advertisement in the debut issue of UFC Magazine.

The card will be inserted into the August release of Topps UFC 2009, the highly anticipated follow up to Topps’ history-making first UFC product released last February.

— Tracy Hackler

Collect Call: Guitar Hero Marcus Henderson


In this week’s installment of Collect Call, we spend 10 splendid minutes with Marcus Henderson, a hard-rocking Guitar Hero and hardcore collector with his own Allen & Ginter relic auto and tons of passion.

Eavesdrop on the conversation here.

Tim Tebow: Cover Model


While the collecting world impatiently awaits Tim Tebow’s first licensed trading cards (which promise to be the most highly coveted of all 2010 NFL Rookie Cards when they begin arriving next spring), diehard hobbyists are left with precious few options when it comes to gathering the Gators’ front man who, as Florida head coach Urban Meyer has said, is one of the most visible college athletes of all-time.

He also happens to be one of the most inspirational. And if you’re looking for the closest thing to a traditional, reputable Tebow collectible available today, Sports Illustrated has you covered. Literally.

The venerable sports magazine has long been a target of sports collectors seeking keepsakes of their favorite players that are suitable for both signing and framing. Do a quick eBay search for “Tim Tebow Autograph” and what you’ll find is that most of what he’s signed has “Sports Illustrated” written all over it.

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Beckett Media Gears Up for the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention

Once again, Beckett Media is ramping up for the biggest collecting event of the year. As part of its National Sports Collectors Convention plans, Beckett is the presenting sponsor of the Exclusive Beckett Media VIP Welcome Reception taking place on Wednesday, July 29 from 2:30 – 4:30 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.  The reception will include all of the Beckett/National staples, like Beckett Grading Services and Beckett Publications. Also featured this year is a sneak preview of this fall’s launch of Ignite, Beckett’s new multi-channel inventory management tool.  


A new, fun addition to the Beckett team this year for the VIP Reception will be Celebrity Sports Artist, Kevin-John, who brings his own unique style and sports artistry to the National.  Attendees will be able to enter a contest to be eligible to win an original LeBron James portrait created LIVE on location!  More information on Kevin-John’s work can be found here.   


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First look: 2009-10 Upper Deck hockey cards


Upper Deck released basic product information and preview images for its 2009-10 NHL set on Thursday — always a popular product for its Young Guns Rookie Cards that can be found six per box this year.

The set arrives in November with two UD Game Jersey cards, two All-World Team cards and six Superstar insert cards per 24-pack box.

Each 12-box case will include one Big Playmakers oversized-swatch jersey card one Clearly Canadian or Clear Cut Trios card (both printed on acetate), one Signature Sensations card and as many as seven more inserts.

Short-printed cards will be found just two-to-three times per case as well.

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Mark Buehrle's perfect game will generate interest, but not dollars


Chicago White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle dominated the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, throwing just the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history — and the first since Randy Johnson in 2004.

Buehrle, who previously threw a no-hitter in 2007, has appeared on 1,740 baseball cards in his career and has just five Rookie Cards — the most valuable being his 2000 Black Diamond Rookie Edition jersey card (No. 131) valued at $15.

His most-traded RC is likely to be his 2000 Bowman Draft card (above, No. 69) and its Chrome counterpart. Neither card sells for more than $10.

He has signed only 161 different certified autograph cards in his career, while also appearing on just 265 memorabilia cards.

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

First look: 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights baseball cards


Topps announced product information and released preview images for its 2009 Updates & Highlights baseball set on Thursday.

The product is scheduled to arrive in October with 180 traded players and 55 rookies on the checklist as well as Sketch Cards and All-Star Game Relics.

Also returning will be Legends of the Game as well as Turkey Red, Career Bests and World Baseball Classic inserts (with as many as three jersey swatches on some Relics) along with a new addition — Stadium Stamp Cards.

Each hobby box will include one autograph or Relic as well as a Rookie Chrome Refractor box-topper. Each HTA jumbo box  will include two Relics and one autograph.

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Press Pass Announces ‘Hobby Stimulus’ for Legends Football


Press Pass officials on Thursday morning provided details of the company’s “Hobby Stimulus” program within 2009 Legends Football, a product that released yesterday packing a little more than previously expected.

“With the economy being slow to turn around, and collectors looking to get the most value for their money, we decided to deliver an additional bonus autograph in every full 18-count box this year,” says Nick Matijevich, Press Pass’ Director of Product Development.

So, instead of the five autographs per box promised on the 2009 Press Legends’ packaging, the product will deliver six.

Matijevich also confirmed that every box will include at least one autograph from a group that includes Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford, Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno, Percy Harvin, Chris “Beanie” Wells, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, Josh Freeman, Donald Brown, or Darrius Heyward-Bey.

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Preview Gallery: 2009 Upper Deck Prominent Cuts


Upper Deck has released additional images and product information for its upcoming Prominent Cuts set that includes cut autograph cards from athletes in several sports as well as celebrity memorabilia cards.

(See the previous product announcement here.)

Now scheduled for release in November, Prominent Cuts will include one Prominent Cut Signature per five-pack box as well as two Cage Fighter (MMA) Signatures and two Hollywood History memorabilia cards.

The standard set will consist of 60 cards — 22 politicians (including President Barack Obama), 12 celebrities and 26 Sports Icons — a list that includes Kobe Bryant, Randy Couture, Michael Jordan, Laird Hamilton and Kristi Yamaguchi among others.

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

Topps Unveils 2009 Magic Short Prints List


Topps on Wednesday morning released the short print list for 2009 Topps Magic Football.

The subjects and their quantities for the short printed autographs are as follows:
Kenny Irons
Reggie Wayne
Miami (FL)
Chad Johnson
Oregon State
Willie Parker
North Carolina
Ray Lewis
Miami (FL)
Willis McGahee
Miami (FL)
Larry Johnson
Penn State

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Barack Obama's All-Star first pitch lands on baseball card


President Barack Obama‘s first pitch before the MLB All-Star Game earlier this month is highlighted on an eTopps card that’s available to collectors this week.

A maximum of 999 cards will be made as part of the initial public offering at The cards carry a price of $5. Once allocated, collectors can sell them on eBay as part of their eTopps account or request that the card be sent to them. The card is on sale until July 27.

Obamaetopps2Obama’s only other previous eTopps card, which shows him throwing out a pitch before a Chicago White Sox game, was released as part of the presidential candidates set last year.

That card, according to the eTopps statistics, is valued at $85.36.

Like this week’s offering, only 999 copies of that card were produced.

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

Preview gallery: More Panini America National autographs


Panini America released additional images of autographed cards that will be found only in wrapper redemption packs at the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention next week in Cleveland, Ohio.

Among the selection are autographed rookie cards from this year’s NFL class as well as past RCs like Peyton Manning, above. Also among the grouping is the third certified autographed card of professional wrestling legend “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

Check ‘em out …

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2009 Topps Mayo Football First Images Released!


Topps officials on Tuesday morning released preliminary details of 2009 Topps Mayo Football, the follow-up to one of last year’s most successful new products due to go live in early November. 

In addition to an attractive new white-bordered design that provides a stark contrast to last year’s black-bordered scheme, 2009 Topps Mayo features the introduction of Topps’ popular Rip cards (one per case) and 115 new Mini inserts (including World’s Fair Attractions, U.S. Governors and Celebrated Citizens).

The product includes a 330-card base set (180 veterans, 10 Legends, 60 Rookies, 25 Public Figures and 55 short prints) and 18 cut signature subjects. Each box of 2009 Topps Mayo Football will deliver one framed mini relic, one framed mini autograph and one box loader. 

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Baltimore Orioles OF Nolan Reimold is Topps' fifth Red Hot Rookie card


Topps revealed its fifth player in the 2009 Red Hot Rookie redemption set on Tuesday, and it’s Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold.

Reimold is hitting.265 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 55 games this season.

The remainder of the 10-card Red Hot Rookies set will be announced throughout the season. Each Series 2 hobby box includes one of the redemption cards.

The first Red Hot Rookie of the year was New York Mets outfielder Fernando Martinez. No. 2 was Chicago White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham – with 10 percent of the cards coming autographed. The third card was Pittsburgh Pirates  outfielder Andrew McCutchen, while the fourth rookie was Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson.

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

First Look: 2009 TRISTAR Obak minor league baseball cards


TRISTAR is turning back the clock with its latest minor league baseball set, Obak, which brings the tobacco card aesthetic to the masses with a limited-edition set that’s loaded with interesting cards for collectors to discover.

The base set consists of 114 cards — and there will be only 3,600 hobby boxes made — a lower number than TRISTAR’s already limited 2009 PROjections sets.

The autographs, which will be found two per20-pack box, will feature current minor leaguers as well as retired stars who made an impact down on the farm. All of the autographs in the set are numbered to 200 or fewer copies.

There will be three short-printed cards in each box, which are, according to the company, 77 percent more scare than standard cards.

The set consists of eight subsets as follows:

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Upper Deck America's Team Autographs Strike Chord with Collectors


Anyone who thinks the Dallas Cowboys have lost some of their cultish collector following in the 12 years since the team’s last playoff victory should know this: Someone recently paid almost $60 for a 2009 Upper Deck Icons America’s Team autograph of Seventies Cowboy Scott Laidlaw.

Laidlaw, it should be noted, spent just five seasons with Dallas and never rushed for more than 425 yards or scored more than four touchdowns in any one of them.

Someone else paid a similar amount for D.D. Lewis . . . and John NilandEddie LeBaron sold for $71. Larry Cole traded hands for $41.

Now as always, there’s nothing quite like the star decal on a helmet to turn semistars into superstars.

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Warning: Tracy Hackler calls collect

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Beckett Media publisher Tracy Hackler likes calling collect — calling those who influence how we collect, that is.

See what Topps’ Clay Luraschi says in the first episode of Collect Call.

Watch the video here.