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Monthly Archives: July 2009

MLB auctions All-Star Game memorabilia


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


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


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


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?


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


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


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 …


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?


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…


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


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


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


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.”

Read More »

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


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…


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


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.


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


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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Hobby Q&A: Allen & Ginter codebreaker Jason Wong


Collectors who find card No. 338 in this year’s Allen & Ginter baseball card set from Topps may not recognize the person on the card but they should know all about what he did to get on the card.

Jason Wong is the 2008 Allen & Ginter codebreaker — the guy who deciphered the hidden message on several cards from last year’s set and followed the instructions.

This Friday, when the 2009 set is released, he’ll add another achievement to his collecting resume — appearing on an official Topps baseball card.

We recently asked him a few questions — and here’s what he had to say …

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He Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea


I know it’s not sports, so this post likely will seem like blasphemy – or at least borderline outrageous – to the most hardened sports card collectors. But I don’t care. I like SpongeBob, doggone it. And so do my kids.

And since Topps officials this afternoon released information on Series 2 of the company’s 10th anniversary SpongeBob SquarePants card set, I felt compelled to share the glee with you. Partly because Series 2 promises to be a lot of fun and partly because, as the product’s sales material proudly states, SpongeBob is a “multi-media superstar with cross-generational appeal.”

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Preview gallery: 2009 Score football


Here’s a look at some of what you’ll find in 2009 Score football from Panini America when it arrives in shops next week.

See more on the product here and a full gallery after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2009 Topps Magic Football


Join Beckett Football‘s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they bust the first boxes of Topps Magic football, which is a throwback to the 1950s set of the same name.

This set is loaded with stars in their college uniforms — and a even Jackie Robinson football card.

What will they find? Click here to find out.

National VIP card package keeps on growing with Upper Deck & Sportkings packages


The VIP package for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland just got a little heavier as two more promo card packages were announced this past weekend.

Upper Deck is producing a 10-card set featuring athletes from all of the major sports for the show that begins on July 29, while Sportkings has announced a seven-card VIP set (one card per VIP) and a wrapper redemption program at the show.

A visual rundown of Upper Deck’s set and a recap of Sportkings and more after the jump …

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