Monthly Archives: July 2009

Walter Cronkite appeared on trading cards, too

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Walter Cronkite, the influential journalist who delivered the news on CBS television for two decades, died on Friday. He was 92.

For millions of Americans, he was the voice of their history highlight reels as he brought the Apollo moon landing, President John F. Kennedy‘s assassination in Dallas and coverage of the Vietnam War into living rooms around the country on the “CBS Evening News.”

Many will remember him as one who signed off his newscasts with “and that’s the way it is” and many more will remember him for his countless moments on the screen, whichever one applies most finely to their lives.

cronkite2For collectors, Cronkite will be remembered on just a handful of trading cards like the 2008 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Mystery Cuts autograph card above, a one-of-a-kind card that has a signature from a signed CBS promotional photo embedded into the cardboard.

In fact all but one of Cronkite’s cards are made up of this fashion. He also had cut signatures in the 2005 Topps Power Brokers Cut Signatures set, the 2007 Playoff National Treasures Historical Cuts set and this year’s Upper Deck Spectrum Celebrity Cut Signatures set. Each of these cards are one-of-a-kind, name-your-price pieces of memorabilia.

His lone non-autographed card cataloged in the Beckett Media database comes in the 1977-79 Sportscaster Series 103 set, which shows him doing one of his favorite things beyond a studio. That card is valued at $20.

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 colds@beckett.com.

Barack Obama Cut Autograph Added to Sportkings Series C

BOcut

Less than two weeks before the product hits, Sportkings officials announced late Friday afternoon that they have added a Barack Obama cut autograph to Sportkings Series C’s First Pitch Cut insert that honors American presidents who have thrown out ceremonial first pitches.

Obama’s highly publicized heave to Albert Pujols in Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game provided Sportkings with the photograph it needed to add the country’s 44th president to an already-loaded insert set. Obama joins an absolutely history-drenched First Pitch Cuts checklist that also includes Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding, Woodrow Wilson, George H. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and the originator of the first pitch, William Taft.

First Pitch is one of five cut signature sets in Series C (the others are PaperCuts, Vintage PaperCuts, Eight Men Out and Owners’ Box). Sportkings Series C releases July 29 at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.

— Tracy Hackler

Preview gallery: 2009 Panini National autographs

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Panini America released the following images of autograph cards that will be found only in wrapper redemption packs at this year’s National in Cleveland.

Check ‘em out after the jump.

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St. Louis Cardinals OF Colby Rasmus is fifth Topps Finest Rookie Redemption

09FBB_RASMUS

Topps announced the fifth player in its 2009 Finest Rookie Redemption set on Friday and it’s St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus.

In 82 games this season, Rasmus is hitting .278 with 11 home runs and 34 RBI.

Topps will announce the rest of the 10 rookies throughout the remainder of the season. Each master box of Finest includes one Rookie Redemption, which can also be found in Refractor (#’d to 199) and Gold Refractor (#’d to 50) versions.

The previous rookies:

  1. Matt LaPorta, outfield, Cleveland Indians
  2. Tommy Hanson, pitcher, Atlanta Braves
  3. Andrew Bailey, pitcher, Oakland A’s
  4. Julio Borbon, outfield, Texas Rangers

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 colds@beckett.com.

Upper Deck offers Pioneers cut card for collector who grabs all Legendary Cuts

Legendary Pioneers Front

Upper Deck announced on Friday that it will award a single quad cut autograph card of Abner Doubleday, Dr. James Naismith, Knute Rockne and Frederick Stanley, a.k.a. “Lord Stanley” to the first collector who completes this year’s Legendary Cuts Cut Signature set.

No more than five of each cut card in the set was produced, so winning the card featuring autographs of the four sports pioneers will be a challenge. If no collector finishes the set by Dec. 15, the card will be awarded to the fan who comes closest.

“We know collectors who used to attempt putting this set together, but they were put off by the fact that so many of the extremely limited cards would end up in personal collections and usually never see the light of day again,” said Grant Sandground, Upper Deck’s baseball brand manager. “To entice collectors to try to put this set together, we came up with a very special promotion.”

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First look: TRISTAR's Obak National preview cards

ObakObama.jpg

TRISTAR released preview images and basic information on Thursday for its set of Obak preview cards that will be produced for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, later this month.

Obak is a standalone baseball product based on early 1900s tobacco cards of the same name. The set, which will feature current and past players, will arrive in hobby shops in August.

The preview set will consist of eight cards — five baseball players as well as TNA Wrestling stars Kurt Angle and The Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky) and President Barack Obama.

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Neil Armstrong has eluded collectors for years

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With the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon upon us this coming Monday, there might be more than a few collectors interested in picking up something related to the flight that starred Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and “Buzz” Aldrin.

Now there have already been countless movies, documentaries and tributes about the Apollo missions, but there also will undoubtedly be some added interest as people read about one of the most historic events in world history on its anniversary. Several newspapers and magazines already have produced items relating to the anniversary and there’s sure to be more.

But when it comes to mass-produced collectibles — and in particular the autographs of Armstrong — there’s not a lot to choose from,  despite there being a healthy interest in NASA memorabilia and astronaut autographs.

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Topps reveals 2009 Allen & Ginter SPs

Big Foot Relic

Topps announced the short-printed autographs, Relics and inserts list in its 2009 Allen & Ginter baseball set on Thursday.

There are some surprises — in particular some gimmick Relic cards like the Bigfoot hair card above — as well as some short-printed baseball autographs to be found.

See them all after the jump.

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USA Today: Jason Giambi buys his old Yankees locker

yankees

USA Today’s Game On has an interesting story on how well the Steiner Sports sale of Yankee Stadium memorabilia has been going — well enough to the tune of eight-figures (i.e. more than $10,000,000) so far.

And some of the deep-pocketed collectors are the Yankees themselves — as well as former Yankees. Jason Giambi, now with the Oakland A’s, purchased his old locker for $50,000.

Read more about the Yankees (and others) who are collecting here.

Upper Deck to Produce Special Michael Jackson Cards

09_UDx_MLB_MJ3[1]

You knew it was just a matter of time: Michael Jackson has new trading cards . . . from the Super Bowl . . . in a baseball set.

Upper Deck officials announced on Wednesday evening that the company’s 2009 UDx Baseball release, due out in early August, will include four limited-edition Icons illustrated cards honoring the late King of Pop’s rousing, record-breaking Super Bowl XXVII halftime performance watched by more than 133 million people worldwide.

“Michael Jackson was a unique entertainer whose performances routinely exceeded expectations as he continually tested the boundaries with his music and dance,” said Jason Masherah, Upper Deck’s director of Sports Brands. “After witnessing the outpouring of love at his memorial, we knew the public would appreciate this commemorative collection to celebrate his larger-than-life persona. Both sport and music fans alike will no doubt reminisce about the memorable halftime performance.”

For the record, the Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills on that late-January evening in 1993, 52-17. Luckily for the more than 92,000 people in attendance, they had arguably the greatest halftime performance of all time to keep their interest. 

— Tracy Hackler

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson is Topps' fourth Red Hot Rookie

hanson

Topps announced its fourth 2009 Red Hot Rookie Redemption on Wednesday and it’s Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson.

Hanson is 4-0 in seven starts with a 2.85 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 41 innings for the Braves 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.

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 colds@beckett.com.

Photo of the day

POTD

Sports Illustrated‘s David Bergman snapped this photo behind the scenes at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday in St. Louis. President Barack Obama signed more than a dozen baseballs while meeting the AL and NL All-Stars, but this batch was for the umpires, according to Bergman.

Press Pass adds to its promotions at the National

Press Pass has announced its popular box redemption programs for football and NASCAR collectors at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland later this month.

Collectors who purchase a hobby box of 2009 Press Pass Eclipse, Premium, or Stealth NASCAR trading cards from a dealer at the show can bring the box to the Press Pass booth and open the box with a Press Pass representative to discuss the product.  Afterward, the collector will receive a pack that will contain one autograph or dual memorabilia card from a variety of drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Mark Martin.

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Brock Lesnar Gets Revenge, Collectors Get No Certified Autos

LesnarDebut

UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar defended his title against Frank Mir in the main event of the ballyhooed UFC 100 pay per view Saturday, doing so with revenge on his mind and zero certified autographs on his checklist.

The former World Wrestling Entertainment phenomenon, who also tried his hand at the National Football League before entering mixed martial arts, avenged the only loss of his five-fight MMA career in brutal fashion with a second-round TKO.

Lesnar, arguably the most decorated crossover athlete in trading card history, has appeared on 54 licensed trading cards across three major organizations – the WWE, the NFL and now the UFC. Yet his first certified autograph, a card that most certainly would rank as a product-making coup driving sales and upward price guide values, remains the bane of many a product developer’s existence.

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Panini Larry Bird Card Highlights National Promo

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Panini America is combining the best of all its worlds – football, basketball and Americana – to produce a wrapper redemption set for the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention that includes, among other goodies, the company’s first card of NBA legend Larry Bird.

Collectors who bring five unopened packs of 2009 Panini hobby product (or a full box of 2009 Panini retail product) to the Panini America booth during the show (July 29-August 2 in Cleveland) will receive a three-card pack, the potential contents of which are varied to say the least:

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MLB auctions All-Star Game memorabilia

MLBbase

MLB Auctions announced on Thursday that several lots of game-used memorabilia from past All-Star Games and other events surrounding the Midsummer Classic are on the auction block.

ballUp for grabs are bases from the All-Star Game, the Futures Game and the Home Run Derby as well as a selection of game-used baseballs from those events as well as the annual celebrity softball game. Items from as far back as 2004 can be had in the auctions.

For example, the second base (9th-15th inning) from the 2008 All Star Game seen above sits at $331 after six bids.

Game-used baseballs start at $75 with each of those available authenticated to the event or to a specific player in the Home Run Derby.

To see all of the All-Star Game auctions, 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 colds@beckett.com.

More 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter

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Collectors are quite interested in what’s to be found in this year’s Allen & Ginter baseball card set from Topps.

Here’s what was found at the Topps TV Rip Party.

Check it out…

Beckett Media tag teams with WWE Magazine

WWEmag2

The latest special issue of WWE Magazine focuses on all things trivia about World Wrestling Entertainment and its form of professional wrestling.

Beckett Media’s Chris Olds penned nearly two pages of wrestling card and memorabilia trivia for the special issue, which arrives on newsstands this week as “The Hobby’s Most Reliable and Relied-upon Source” reaches out to the WWE Universe.

We’re not going to ruin the surprise of what’s inside the magazine, but here’s a look at seven items that just weren’t tough enough to make the cut for the issue …

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Michael Jackson: A Thriller in vinyl

thrillernormal

Michael Jackson‘s untimely passing at age 50 in late June left many fans looking for a piece of MJ memorabilia, whether it be a CD, a poster or something else.

Toy manufacturer Yamato USA had three vinyl figures in the works at the time of Jackson’s death as part of its Canyon Crest Collection — two 7-inch Thriller figures, one dancing and one as a zombie, and a Bad toy.

Vinyl toys have been very popular over the last few years, but The King of Pop was known for being a star on the other vinyl for decades. The Thriller figures were set for release in the U.S. around the time of his death and retailed for $65 apiece, while the Bad figure had not yet been released and was set to arrive in July and was still pre-ordering for $72 on yamatotoysusa.com not long after his death. (All are obviously sold out at this point.)

A variant figure of the normal MJ — but with cat eyes like the scene at the end of the video — sold for as much as $120 in online auctions in the days immediately following his death. The standard Thriller zombie figure has sold for as much as $110, but most can be found for around the SRP.

For those who remember Thriller in its time — perhaps as a child like this writer — the figures might be one of the cooler pieces of memorabilia out there.

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 colds@beckett.com.

Topps announces its plans for All-Star FanFest

TASFF3

Topps unveiled its plans for this year’s All-Star FanFest on Thursday with the company planning to give away sample cards, hold contest and games for youngsters as well as some exclusive cards.

FanFest begins on Friday in St. Louis in conjunction with the All-Star Game.

Topps’ wrapper redemption program will consist of the following:
Those opening three packs of 2009 Topps/Bowman branded baseball cards (except Topps Attax) at the Topps booth will receive an exclusive FanFest Topps card featuring a hometown favorite.  The players are: Albert Pujols, Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel, Yadier Molina and Khalil Greene.

Those who open a full box of 2009 Topps/Bowman branded baseball cards (except Topps Attax) at the booth will receive a limited edition All-Star Patch Card of either Ichiro or Ryan Howard.

Also available at the booth is a 2009 Topps factory set with custom All-Star packaging that includes five bonus Cardinals cards. With each purchase of a set,  collectors will receive an exclusive Pujols All-Star patch card.

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 colds@beckett.com.

Want a piece of Michael Phelps' Speedos?

AGphelps

Sure, the mania surrounding Michael Phelps has gone a bit up in smoke since his record-setting performance in the last Olympics, but a little off-the-field (err, out-of-pool?) controversy probably won’t stop fans and collectors from chasing the latest in MP Memorabilia.

His 2009 Allen & Ginter Speedo Relic card from Topps.

Sure, that’s not actually a swatch of his controversial Speedo suit embedded into the card. It’s actually a Speedo swimcap, but who’s counting when there are so Olympic gold medals involved?

The card is one of only a few that will have part of the Speedo logo on it — the rest will have just a plain white swatch. With nearly a week remaining in the auction, the bidding sits at just $27.99 after six bids.

Phelps fans and other collectors will recall the crazy money being paid for his only certified autographs after his successes in Beijing. (We’ll have to wait and see if there’s as much interest these days, but these cards should be a bit easier to land than previous Phelps releases.)

phelpsAUPhelps appears as one of the World’s Champions in the popular baseball card set in its fourth year that hit hobby shops this week. The cards are designed after the 1880s tobacco cards of the same name and include a strong selection of baseball players as well as champions from other sports, who have signed autographs and had used clothing cut up for Relic cards.

Phelps also has signed several different cards for inclusion in packs, but none of them have arrived on the auction block just yet. Only an N43 Autographed Box-topper redemption card  — with a Buy It Now price of $3,500 — and a second mini card autograph redemption has a $2,000 pricetag have shown up on eBay.

We’ll detail more on Phelps’ autographed cards in the set — a pretty creative project in and of itself — soon.

First, though, we’ll let the idea of a Speedos card sink in.

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 colds@beckett.com.

New Cuts Added to 1972: The Year in Hockey

bhp

In the Game President Brian H. Price poses a rather interesting question in his company’s most recent email newsletter: Where were you in 1972?

Price also answers that question with a one-sentence reply and a telling, and highly entertaining, card image. (For the record, Price had just graduated with a degree in dentistry from the University of Toronto in 1972. As for me, I was probably watching “Sesame Street” in a poopy diaper; thankfully, there’s not a card image of that).

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More details on eTopps Ultimate Fighting Championship MMA cards

UFCpromo2

This in from Topps Thursday morning …

As the sport of Mixed Martial Arts grows in popularity, eTopps is proud to partner with the premier organization in the industry to offer Ultimate Fighting Championship eTopps cards! eTopps is the exclusive online trading card of UFC, and will begin offering special limited-edition cards in brilliant eTopps technology featuring the most dominant fighters in the UFC, commemorating their performance in some of UFC’s biggest events.  These cards will be the most beautiful, most premium UFC cards available anywhere!

The First Offering Begins at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 13, following UFC 100!

The first eTopps Ultimate Fighting Championship cards will be available for purchase at 4 p.m. (Eastern) via online offering . These first cards of the collection will feature fighters who competed in the historic UFC 100, they will be available for one week, and will be sequentially numbered to limited quantities.

The eTopps UFC collection will return on Monday, Aug. 10, following UFC 101 and once again capture dominant fighters from this event!  Ongoing we will continue to offer special eTopps UFC cards paying tribute to the Octagon’s most dominant fighters, legendary names, current champions and breakout performers!

Even more Allen & Ginter autographs …

kyle

We couldn’t wait until later in the week to talk up some more unusual Allen & Ginter autographs.

There are some real interesting inclusions in this year’s set — besides the eight different Michael Phelps cards to be found.

Like this Isis Kyle autograph — she’s a professional bodybuilding champion. (Read more here.)

Or how about something really different — a horizontal A&G autograph of Dick Fosbury, a high-jumper who is known for the Fosbury Flop?

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See more images — just a small sampling of the unusual autographs to be found of champions in several other sports — after the jump.

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2009 Topps Allen & Ginter holds a few surprise autographs…

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Most of the unusual autographs in 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter probably get a “Who?” in response to them.

But there are some interesting inclusions besides Billy The Marlin.

(That’s right, the mascot for the Florida Marlins has a certified autograph card.)

But armed with a checklist — and just a little bit o’ Google — collectors will discover that there are all kinds of interesting cards to be found.

We’ll explore some of them later this week.

After we reel in a Marlin.

Do you have a favorite oddball autograph so far — or are you not interested in these types of cards? Let us know what you think.

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 colds@beckett.com.

PSA unveils its plans for The National

T206 Mathewson portrait PSA8

Professional Sports Authenticator and PSA/DNA Authentication Services will have a multi-million dollar exhibit of T206 Hall of Famer cards on display and offer a free commemorative poster of the T206 set available to collectors during the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

The company’s display at the show, set to run from July 29–Aug. 2, also will include  other sports collectibles as well as an array of Beatles memorabilia and displays of other non-sports memorabilia.

“This year is the 100th anniversary of the 1909 introduction of the famous T206 tobacco cards. We’ll be displaying dozens of the Hall of Fame players from this classic set.  It is the finest known collection of its kind,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA and PSA/DNA, in a news release. “This will be one of the finest and most diverse displays we’ve ever been privileged to showcase at a National convention.”

The collection of 1909 – 1911 T206 White Border HOF Players contains all four Ty Cobb varieties as well as the three Christy Matthewson and Cy Young varieties.  It is virtually complete with the Honus Wagner and Eddie Plank rarities as the only players missing from the historic group.

PSA will offer on-site grading at the convention, and buyers of the Super VIP admission package can receive from PSA a free grade for any card worth less than $1,200.

For more information on ticketing, click here.

Upper Deck announces All-Star FanFest plans

Pujols Card - FF1

Upper Deck has announced its plans for the MLB All-Star Fanfest, which begins Friday in St. Louis.

The company will be giving away free posters featuring Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols during each day of the show as well as a wrapper redemption program. Fans who purchase three packs of any 2009 Upper Deck baseball products with a suggested retail price of $1.99 or more per pack at the show and open them at the booth will receive one of five FanFest-exclusive packs.

Musial Card FF-10Friday packs include:
Pujols, Ken Griffey Jr., Bruce Sutter and Tim Lincecum

Saturday’s packs include:
Stan Musial, Derek Jeter, Rick Ankiel and Enos Slaughter

Sunday packs will include:
Ozzie Smith, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dustin Pedroia
and Colby Rasmus

Monday packs will include:
Bob Gibson, Joe DiMaggio, Zach Greinke
and Ryan Braun

Tuesday packs will include:
Lou Brock, Ichiro, Red Schoendienst
and Josh Hamilton

Cardinals Painting 1

Some lucky collectors will find in their packs a “Cardinals painting” bonus card, which is numbered to 500 copies. The Ron Stark work shows Smith, Gibson, Brock, Pujols and Musial together and the original art will be on display at Upper Deck’s booth and will be auctioned on Tuesday during the live Hunt Auctions event.

In addition to those cards, Upper Deck will have computer stations for UpperDeckU.com will be set up where kids can explore its virtual world and receive sticker sheets, temporary tattoos, VIP “inside access” badges and promo packs. Upper Deck also will have a personalized trading card station where fans can get their very own Upper Deck MLB FanFest card made.

Exclusive Gallery: Kobe Bryant Exquisite Inscriptions

0809 Exq Auto Kobe - kb24 dot com

Upper Deck officials spent quality time with company spokesman and 2009 NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant Monday night for an autograph signing session sure to have collectors rejoicing when 2008-09 Exquisite hits later this month.

Since words really can’t do justice to these gems, we figured we’d let the images speak for themselves.

Update: Upper Deck asked Beckett readers to submit their best ideas for inscriptions. There were 15 (plus alternates) submitted to Upper Deck, however Bryant only opted to sign a few of them. Upper Deck was provided e-mail addresses of the contributors with those that made the cut, so UD should be contacting them soon if their idea was used.

See the images after the jump.

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Texas Rangers OF Julio Borbon is Topps' 4th Finest Rookie

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Topps announced the fourth player in its 2009 Finest Rookie Redemption set on Tuesday and it’s Texas Rangers outfielder Julio Borbon.

Borbon made his big-league debut on June 29 and is hitting .200 (1-for-5) after three games. The former Tennessee Vols star has one RBI and scored one run — both coming against the Angels on July 1.

Topps will announce the rest of the 10 rookies throughout the remainder of the season. Each master box of Finest includes one Rookie Redemption, which can also be found in Refractor (#’d to 199) and Gold Refractor (#’d to 50) versions.

The previous rookies:

  1. Matt LaPorta, outfield, Cleveland Indians
  2. Tommy Hanson, pitcher, Atlanta Braves
  3. Andrew Bailey, pitcher, Oakland A’s

Ultimate Fighting Championship MMA cards coming to eTopps

etoppsUFC

Visitors to Topps‘ online stock market-style card site, eTopps, may have noticed this subtle image on display on the site recently.

That’s right, one of the hottest sports card properties of the last year — Ultimate Fighting Championship MMA cards — are coming to eTopps.

Topps’ initial offering of UFC cards, Round 1, has been a very strong seller — 16-pack  hobby boxes are selling for more than $400 —  and the second series (Round 2) is on its way soon, scheduled for arrival on Aug. 10.

eTopps cards? Well, they should be a hit as well when they go on sale beginning Monday.

An official announcement on the eTopps program is forthcoming later today.

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 colds@beckett.com.

Beckett Honors Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan with Special Magazines

jordanjacksoncovers

Two of the most beloved MJs the world has ever known, Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan, headline the newest tribute magazines from Beckett Media.

Both captivating works – Michael Jackson: The Man. The Music. The Memorabilia. and Michael Jordan Hall of Fame Tribute – feature 80 pages of brilliant photography and compelling content devoted to the unparalleled icons, their accomplishments and their collectibles.

“Although produced under vastly different circumstances, these magazines were constructed to honor both men, to celebrate their incomparable legacies and to give fans vivid, full-color keepsakes of their favorite memories,” says Beckett Media Publisher Tracy Hackler. “In that sense, these magazines are likely to be as collectible as the men gracing their covers.”

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Bryce Harper one of two covers for Beckett Baseball No. 45

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bryce Harper is just 16 years old, but he’s appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and he’s headed to college this fall in hopes of expediting his path to the major leagues next spring when it’s expected he’ll be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

But first things first.

Next up is an appearance on the cover of Beckett Baseball No. 45  as we explore what drives him — and a bit of the circus that comes on cardboard when you’re dubbed the “LeBron James of baseball” — in a five-page feature by Beckett‘s Jon Gold.

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Digging around in my inbox…

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Ever wonder what kind of stuff shows up in a Beckett editor’s email? (Well, besides the typical SPAM and “What’s it worth?” email.)

Now you can know. Here’s a sampling of what was found in Tuesday’s email …

The $17,500 video game (above)

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Did you know? … Allen & Ginter Team Orange

A&G

Collectors who opened packs of last year’s Allen & Ginter baseball set from Topps may have found a Team Orange card featuring one of seven players from the turn of the century.

The cards were found one in every 144 packs — and are worth about $10 apiece or so today — and were a key to Jason Wong‘s codebreaking success.

But we’ve got an exclusive scoop on these cards, something that is sure to blow your mind. It turns out that Team Orange’s legends weren’t baseball players at all, rather Topps employees.

Gasp!

A Topps official speaking on condition of anonymity — err, fear of being outed as the wearer of an unusual paste-on mustache — confirmed on Tuesday the true identities of Team Orange …

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First Look: 2009 Topps Finest Football

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Topps officials on Monday evening released preliminary solicitation information for 2009 Topps Finest Football, a product due on store shelves in mid September.

Each master box of the product (two six-pack mini boxes) will deliver two rookie-autographed Letter or Patch cards, two of what Topps is calling Pigskin Rookie Refractor cards and 10 parallel cards. Every Rookie Card and rookie autograph card in the product is numbered.

For a sneak peek of several product images, keep reading.

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