Monthly Archives: July 2009

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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First look: 2009-10 Upper Deck Artifacts hockey cards


Upper Deck has released the basic product information and preview images for its 2009-10 Artifacts hockey set.

There will be two Rookie Cards, three memorabilia cards and one autograph card in each 10-pack box.

Also to be found are Rookie Redemption cards, while one of the memorabilia cards will feature two or more players.

The set will arrive in early November, but until then here’s a sampling of what can be found …

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The best Allen & Ginter collection?

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This year’s Allen & Ginter set arrives later this week with some of the surprises and unusual cards that collectors have come to expect from Topps‘ popular baseball set inspired by the 1880s tobacco cards of the same name.

Check out this video of one supercollector’s 2006 A&G stash …

Steve McNair, 1973-2009


Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was found shot to death on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn. He was 36.

The Alcorn State star played 13 seasons in the NFL, 11 with the Tennessee Titans and his final two with the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for 174 TDs and more than 31,000 yards during his career, winning 2003 NFL MVP honors from The Associated Press and appearing in three Pro Bowls.

McNair signed just 126 different certified autographed cards during his career, some during his rookie year of 1995, but most of them for Donruss/Playoff products from 1999 forward. He’s definitely not a plentiful autograph.

His most valuable autograph card comes in the 2004 SPx Winning Materials Autographs set, a $250 card (No. MM) that has his signature alongside Peyton Manning‘s.

McNair appeared on 4,108 different football cards total during his career, with 32 of those being Rookie Cards from 1995. His most valuable RCs are his 1995 Bowman’s Best #R3 and his 2002 Titanium #171 card, which also features Albert Haynesworth and is limited to 500 copies.

They’re worth $15 apiece.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: 2009-10 Prestige Basketball


Basketball collectors from around the globe have been on pins and needles since the landscape-altering announcements earlier this year that Italian collectibles giant Panini had a) secured an exclusive license from the NBA and b) subsequently acquired Donruss.

Obviously, such massive hobby headlines signaled the dawning of a new era for the NBA trading card category. Yet, all most collectors really wanted to know was what on earth the new cards would look like.

The wait is over.

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Coming Soon: Football Cards . . . of Eighth Graders


Never one to duck potential controversy, Razor President Brian Gray is at it again.

Gray recently began taking orders for a U.S. Army All-American Bowl football product that includes autographs from the top 2008 high school seniors (including highly touted Tennessee signee Bryce Brown) and base cards of three kids in junior high – the progeny of NFL notables Ray Lewis, Ed McCaffrey and Ty Detmer.

Producing cards of high school football players is by no means a new concept; there have been Big 33 sets devoted to prep stars in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio for years. It’s the thin-line introduction of the younger players – incoming ninth grader Ray A. Lewis III, and future eighth graders Christian McCaffrey and Koy Detmer – that might ruffle some feathers.

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Box Busters: 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards


The Beckett Media crew — Chris Olds, Brian Fleischer, Tracy Hackler and Doug Kale — has opened the first boxes of 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards and you get to see it all happen as it was recorded live before a studio audience.

What will the find in the fourth installment of the popular tobacco card-style brand? Some unusual cards, as always …

Check it out here.

Preview gallery: 2009 UD Black football


Upper Deck has unveiled its plans to bring UD Black to the football field with two cards per pack and two packs per box in October.

There will be two autographs per box and one autograph or autographed American flag patch card in every pack. All autographs are signed on-card.

The standard set will consist of 90 cards and a selection of Rookie Lustrous autograph cards, while the inserts will include Film Slide PETG Autographs, Biography Signatures, Dual Manufactured College Pennants as well as cut signature cards, which can be found one per case.

See a collection of images after the jump…

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Upper Deck receives new MLB card license

UDlogoUpper Deck announced on Thursday that it has been granted a new trading card license from the Major League Baseball Players Association.

An MLBPA spokesman said as of Thursday afternoon that there are not any other licensing agreements to yet announce.

“We are thrilled to renew our commitment to the baseball card market and look forward to working closely with the Players Association to further grow the category,” said Upper Deck CEO Richard McWilliam in a news release. “Upper Deck has an unsurpassed record of delivering the most innovative, premium and authentic baseball trading cards, and we are poised to continue that tradition into the next decade.”

Said MLBPA’s Evan Kaplan:

“Our goal is to provide collectors with great baseball card products, while continuing to grow the market with an infusion of new consumers. We’re confident Upper Deck can help us realize those goals.”

The first release of the new license term will be Upper Deck Series One Baseball, currently scheduled to launch on Feb. 6, 2010.

“Needless to say, we are extremely eager and very excited to put our 2010 baseball trading card product and marketing plans into motion,” said Jason Masherah, Director of Sports Brands for The Upper Deck Company. “Baseball fans and card collectors have a lot to look forward to!”

First look: 2009 Upper Deck Prominent Cuts

09 Prominent Cuts box

Upper Deck has announced a new multi-sport (and non-sport) product set for release in October, Prominent Cuts.

Each pack will include a cut signature, an autograph or a celebrity memorabilia card of top entertainers, athletes and historical figures. Autographs will be found two per box, cut signatures will be one per box and memorabilia cards will be two per box.

In addition, there will be autographs from MMA stars.

The standard set consists of 90 cards, while the autograph inserts will include MMA Signatures. The memorabilia cards focus on Hollywood History. Cut signatures will be found as Prominent Cuts singles as well as duals and quads.

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

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards are here …

greatestginterThe 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball set has arrived and we’ll be presenting a very special episode of Box Busters here on Thursday.

But, until then, behold perhaps the greatest Allen & Ginter card of all time.

The card of The Invisible Man.

No trickery, no sleight of hand. No Photoshop needed here. That’s the actual card from the Creatures of Legend Myth and Terror insert set.

We’ve got our hands on some Ginter a week early — it arrives in hobby shops on July 8. See additional cards after the jump…

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