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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Topps set to produce Ted Kennedy eTopps baseball card

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Topps announced on Monday that the late Ted Kennedy will have an eTopps card as part of the company’s Allen & Ginter Moments set found on the online trading card platform.

A maximum of 999 cards will be made featuring the former Massachusetts Senator who died last week. He is shown throwing out the first pitch at a past Boston Red Sox game, wearing a Sox warmup jacket on the card.

The cards will be allocated after Sept. 7. Collectors who receive one of the cards styled after the 1880s tobacco cards of the same name (printed on holographic stock, though) in their eTopps account will be charged $7.50.

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.

Tedy Bruschi: Not one of the easiest autographs to find

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Tedy Bruschi retired from the NFL on Monday at age 36 after 13 seasons with the New England Patriots — a career known for three Super Bowl championships, his recovery from a stroke in 2005 and one other thing that’s very, very important to football card collectors.

His lack of certified autograph cards.

Bruschi appeared on more than 550 different football cards made during his career — 556 to be exact — but a mere 36 of them included an autograph. That’s a relatively scarce amount for a player of his notable stature on such a prominent team.

Panini America Acquisitions Manager Joe White, who oversaw Donruss’ deal with Bruschi, discussed the linebacker’s autographing habits.

“I believe [to date] we are the only company to produce a live Bruschi
certified autograph trading card. I’m constantly searching to see if any
others go live, but all I’ve seen is ours,” White said. “We did a deal with him in 2006, but his first autograph card was one we did for the Unsung Heroes banquet. We produced a limited edition set of all the winners and each player signed a handful of cards, which we included in a later set.”

“Our deal in 2006 was a big hit with collectors as he appeared in
Absolute and Limited.”

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TNA Superstar Matt Morgan is One Massive Collector

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Question: What does a chiseled, massive, mountain of a man who stands 7-feet tall, weighs 305 pounds and can kick your head off collect?

Answer: Anything he wants.

Luckily for the “cool” image of our industry, Total Nonstop Action wrestling superstar Matt Morgan collects sports trading cards. Old ones. New ones. Baseball ones. Wrestling ones. You name it.

In an exclusive interview Monday to promote the release of TRISTAR’s new 2009 TNA Impact set, Morgan unabashedly revealed that he’s been a collector since 1982 (when he was 6) and that he counts his 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle among his most cherished cards.

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Gallery: Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition autographs & Relics

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The latest installment of ToppsAmerican Hertiage non-sports line, Heroes Edition, has arrived and it’s packing unusual Relics and autographs as expected.

There are Relics (pieces of items) from historic figures and events, cut autographs of names you might recognize, autographs from people you might not recognize (along with others you will) and an extensive lineup of Relic cards featuring pieces of NASA memorabilia. (See more on the set here, here and here.)

Sure, the hardened sports collector might not see the value here beyond dollar signs, but don’t underestimate the buying power of non-sports fans. (Sure, not every card will be a home run — to use a familiar term — but some will be.)

But there are some interesting sports inclusions as well…

The most interesting cards aren’t always the most expensive ones, but some of the American Heritage Heroes Edition cards are certainly rich in their stories.

Here’s a small sampling of what’s out there after the jump …

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First look: 2009 Ultimate Collection Football cards

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Upper Deck released basic product information and preview images for its 2009 Ultimate Collection Football set on Monday.

It’s scheduled to arrive in December with one autograph or memorabilia card per four-card box. Each case will include a 1997 Legends Autograph and one autographed memorabilia card.

The base set consists of 100 standard cards, 50 Ultimate Legends, 50 Ultimate Rookies and 20 Ultimate Rookie Signatures cards.

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Julio Borbon & Jhoulys Chacin are Topps' latest Red Hot Rookies

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Topps announced its eighth and ninth Red Hot Rookies for 2009, and they are the Texas Rangers’ Julio Borbon (No. 8) and the Colorado Rockies’ Jhoulys Chacin (No.9).

RHR8Topps will announce the final Red Hot Rookies later this season. The redemption cards can be found one per Topps Series 2 hobby box and can be redeemed at www.topps.com/redemption.

The previous rookies in the program were:

1.      Fernando Martinez, Mets
2.      Gordon Beckham, White Sox (10 percent of cards autographed)
3.      Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
4.      Tommy Hanson, Braves
5.      Nolan Reimold, Orioles
6.      Neftali Feliz, Rangers
7.     Mat Latos, Padres

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 2009 Topps UFC Images Unveiled

Roy Nelson

Topps officials recently unveiled a handful of new images from the forthcoming 2009 Topps UFC, the once-delayed, heavily anticipated heavyweight of a product now slated to ship in late September.

Those collectors waiting patiently — as well as those of us who’ve turned into white-knuckled nail-biters in an impatient fit — will be happy to know that the images released this week are the just-secured autographs from the cast of the Spike TV reality show “The Ultimate Fighter 10,” which premieres Sept. 16

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Randy Couture: The UFC's Undisputed Collecting Champion

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Ultimate Fighting Championship icon Randy Couture enters Saturday night’s UFC 102 main event against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as one of the most influential mixed martial artists in the world.

Couture made his Octagon debut at UFC 13 in 1997 and has built a career record of 16-9 by headlining some of the most important fights in MMA history. His grittily inspiring performances in most of them made him a superstar and helped the UFC gain mainstream acceptance.

It’s only natural, then, that the UFC Hall of Famer and former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion commands similar status in the trading card arena, where he ranks as an unparalleled trailblazer, a ground-and-pound granddaddy.

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Topps Tribute baseball cards return for 2009

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Topps announced on Friday that its past high-end Tribute baseball line will return in 2009 after a five-year break.

Every pack will include an autograph or Relic card in addition to three base cards and a parallel card when it arrives in November. Every six-pack box will include three autographed Relic cards and three Relics numbered to 99 or fewer copies. Each box also will include six parallel cards numbered to 199 or less. Cases will include eight boxes split into two mini cartons of four apiece.

The base set consists of 100 cards — 83 retired legends of the game, 14 veterans and just three rookies. The set will include Refractor parallels — Reds (1/1s), Golds (/50), Black (/99) and Blue (/199). It also will include Framed Printing Plates.

See more images and get more information after the jump.

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First-Look Gallery: 2009 Upper Deck Football

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I just spent quality time with an early box of 2009 Upper Deck Football – that’s 16 20-card fat packs for those counting at home – and all I’ll say is this: If that doesn’t get you fired up for the rapidly approaching NFL season, you need to check your pulse.

Due out everywhere Sept. 1, the product is punctuated by the brilliant, full-bleed photography and accommodating design that are the cornerstones of most base-brand Upper Deck releases.

(Find a sweet first-look gallery after the jump.)

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Move over Rocky, Blowout Cards' Thomas Fish is taking over

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In case you missed it recently, Blowout CardsThomas Fish recently gave Rocky Balboa a run for his money …

Thinking about autographs …

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It seems everyone has an autograph that they’d want — one swirl of ink that they’d cherish more than the next.

And that got us thinking … of the current big-name athletes in each major sport — and a few others — who would be most in-demand?

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Preview gallery: 2009 Sweet Spot Baseball sweet spot signatures

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Upper Deck released a few more images of cards to be found in its forthcoming 2009 Sweet Spot Baseball set on Friday.

The product is scheduled to arrive in November. Read more about the product here and here.

See more card images after the jump…

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Perfect Michael Jordan Rookie Card sells for $82,000

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By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Graded Card Investor Editor

A BGS 10 Pristine copy of Michael Jordan‘s 1986-87 Fleer Rookie Card sold on eBay for $82,000 on Thursday evening just weeks before His Airness is enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

jordanRCbackThe 10-day auction closed at 5:58 p.m. Pacific after 87 bids. The sale was made by CJ’s Sports Cards & Memorabilia in San Diego, Calif., however the transaction has not yet been confirmed by Beckett Media.

While 4,567 copies of the card have been graded, this perfect specimen is one of only two cards to receive the mark from Beckett Grading Services.

This card, which was the first Jordan RC to receive the perfect Pristine grade, was reportedly sold for $150,000 in 2006. However, that sale never was confirmed.

The card’s subgrades included 10s for its centering, edges and corners and a 9.5 for its surface condition. The only other BGS 10 has 10s across the board with the exception of a 9.5 subgrade for its edges.

The first BGS 9.5 copy of the Jordan RC — there have been 116 to reach that mark since — went for $77,600 in a June 2003 deal.

The Jordan RC is the second high-profile BGS 10 of a 1980s icon to sell for big bucks this year as a Joe Montana 1981 Topps RC sold for $65,880 in April. That card carried the third-highest pricetag of any football card sale ever documented by Beckett Media.

AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE, CHECK OUT THESE STORIES …

tnalove

Card gallery:
A look at the new 2009 TRISTAR TNA iMPACT set

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Big-time Auction: Heritage set to auction million-dollar collection

MJjerseyMore MJ:
What’s it like to own Jordan’s rookie jersey? He’ll tell you …

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.

Preview gallery: 2009 TNA iMPACT! wrestling cards

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We’ll have the Box Busters video up here soon, but until then here’s a selection of the base cards to be found in the newest Total Nonstop Action Wrestling cards — 2009 TNA iMPACT! — from TRISTAR.

There are several new faces to be found in the set as TNA has added new talent like Bobby Lashley, Taz, Tara and more.

Oh, and did we mention there are cards of Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson and TV star Danny Bonaduce?

Check ‘em all out after the jump.

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Topps takes to the ice with NHL Puck Attax cards

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Topps is taking to the ice with an officially licensed NHL product – Puck Attax – a card-gaming set.

Each starter pack box contains 12 Puck Attax game cards and two Black Foil game cards as well as one Gold Foil game card and one Platinum Foil game card.

The success of the Match Attax card game in Europe spawned the product, which will arrive in early November just after the start of the 2009-10 NHL season.

“We are extremely excited to bring the Puck Attax game to NHL fans,” said Warren Friss, VP, Topps Sports and Entertainment in a news release. “Hockey fans are some of the most passionate and devoted fans in the world and we believe this new product will capture the excitement and imagination of kids.”

Topps developed the Attax game in 2007 with its English Premier League set, which now the world’s most popular card game.  In April 2009, Topps unveiled Topps Attax for baseball, where players battle head-to-head with one another, selecting pitchers and batters to “match up,” the same way that players do in MLB games.

Each Puck Attax game card will be in the shape of a hockey puck, featuring player image, player name, team logo, position and player ratings. Every NHL team will be represented and special foil game cards featuring hockey’s brightest stars will be included.  The product will include a starter box, which includes game cards and play-mat, as well as booster packs.

See more images after the jump.

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Is this the first Twitter-related trading card?

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We’ve busted the first boxes of the new TRISTAR TNA iMPACT! wrestling cards and discovered what has to be the first card featuring a new cultural phenomenon.

Twitter.

You know, the text-messaging system that lets people update others on their lives in real time, all the time.

TNA wrestler Mick Foley and announcer Jeremy Borash have a bond of sorts — Twitter. Borash likes to update the masses via his Twitter account and Foley, well, he’s known for having a sock puppet, barbed-wire baseball bats and for missing an ear. (Among other things. Foley is The Man — Editor.)

Card No. 99 in the new set is above, featuring the Tweet and Tweak Connection artwork from a recent TNA promo involving the two.

We’re betting it could be of interest on some certain site …

AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE, CHECK OUT THESE STORIES …

tnalove

Card gallery:
A look at the new 2009 TRISTAR TNA iMPACT

mantle

Big-time Auction: Heritage set to auction million-dollar collection

hunterpromo.jpgFor SI fans:
Collecting Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model autographs isn’t tough on 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 colds@beckett.com.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson is Topps' final Finest Rookie Redemption — and it's autographed

hanson

Topps announced its 10th and final Finest Rookie Redemption of the year on Thursday, and it’s Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson.

And this one, boys and girls, comes autographed.

Hanson is 9-2 with a 3.12 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 86 innings.

Each master box of Finest includes one redemption card, which can be found as Refractors (numbered to 199) and Gold Refractors (numbered to 50).

It’s worth noting that Hanson appeared as card No. 2 in the set as well — an unusual move.

The previously announced cards are:

No. 1 — Indians OF Matt LaPorta

No. 2 — Braves P Tommy Hanson

No. 3 — A’s P Andrew Bailey

No. 4 — Rangers OF Julio Borbon

No. 5 — Cardinals OF Colby Rasmus

No. 6 — Padres OF Kyle Blanks

No. 7 — Rangers P Neftali Feliz

No. 8 — Orioles OF Nolan Reimold

No. 9 — Tigers P Rick Porcello

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.

In the Game Improves Autograph Odds on 1972: The Year in Hockey

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Crediting better-than-expected participation from so many legendary hockey signers, In the Game officials on Wednesday afternoon announced that they have improved the odds of pulling an on-card autograph from 1972: The Year in Hockey, the company’s newest product due out early next month.

Originally slated to fall one every eight packs, autographs now will fall one in six packs. In addition, In the Game is adding a new dimension of collectibility to the product with 72 blank-back variations for each of the set’s 200 base cards.

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First Look Gallery: 2009 Donruss Elite Basketball

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Panini America officials on Wednesday released preliminary information on what promises to be one of the company’s most popular basketball products of the season: 2009 Donruss Elite.

The brand’s distinguished history in baseball and football combined with what appears to be solid product content for the maiden NBA release should see anxious hoops collectors embrace Elite when it goes live in late November.

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