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Monthly Archives: July 2009

First look: TRISTAR's Obak National preview cards

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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 …

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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.