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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Preview Gallery: 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition

AHrogers

We’ve gotten our hands on some 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition cards a bit early so we could soak up the Americana and historic cards that are found only in this type of trading card set.

Mr. Rogers now has a Topps trading card. Erin Brockovich now has a card. Robert Jarvik now has a card. Barack Obama now has a bunch more trading cards.

And several of New York City’s Finest — police officers and more who responded to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 — now have cards.

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Box Busters: 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes Edition

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Join Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck, Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds as they open a brand-spanking-new box of 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition in this episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside this historically rich product loaded with unusual Relic cards?

Click here to watch the video.

http://beta.beckett.com/item/7071555/?tab=Articles&p=777768#ViewArticle

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Topps unveils new Star Wars card set

starwars

The Force is strong with this one, too.

Topps released basic preliminary product breakdowns and preview images for its latest Star Wars card set for release in late October.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Widevision will document the first season of the cartoon series in the over-sized card format previously used for past Star Wars releases.

The set will include scenes from all of the Season 1 episodes with each 24-pack hobby box containing one Sketch Card as well as a chance at Sketch Cards by the show’s animators (odds still to be determined) as well as autographed from cast members (also TBD).

Among the insert sets are: gold-foil parallels (limited to one copy per card), silver parallels, Season 2 sneak previews (1:12 packs), Flix Pix Motion Cards (1:8), Animation Clear Cels (printed on plastic, 1:4), and foil cards (1:3).

For a closer look, click on the images below.

And the Derek Jeter 1993 Upper Deck Autographed buyback Rookie Card goes to …

jeterbuyback002

In recent issues of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we asked readers to tell us who is the greatest New York Yankee of the Upper Deck era. The winner gets the 1993 Upper Deck Autographed Buyback Rookie Card seen above.

The deadline has passed and we’ve examined all of the entries from around the country, who made solid cases for Jeter, Mariano Rivera and even others like George Steinbrenner as the most important Yankee since 1989.

The answer is debatable, but the best effort and case for the player got the card.

And the winner is …

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Box Busters: 2009-10 Topps basketball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Keith Hower, Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds as they bust open a brand-spanking new HTA jumbo box of 2009-10 Topps Basketball cards in this episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside a box of this product that’s absolutely loaded with patches, Logoman, Laundry Tag, Chrome and other cool cards?

Watch and see…

Click here to view the video.

Race-used lugnut cards return in Press Pass Main Event

lugnuts

Press Pass announced on Tuesday that race-used lugnut cards will return to its NASCAR products with a future product.

The unusual memorabilia cards will be found in Press Pass Main Event as part of the Stop & Go Swatches set.

Each 20-pack hobby box of the poker-themed NASCAR set will include one autograph and two memorabilia cards as well as autographs from professional poker stars.

The product is set for a Sept. 30 release.

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.

Brett Favre's first Panini Vikings card also in Target packs

FAVRE

Panini America announceed on Tuesday that its first Brett Favre football card of  the future Hall of Famer in Minnesota Vikings uniform also will also be inserted into 2009 Donruss Threads Target blaster boxes and retail packs.

“My hat is off to our production staff.  Based on their hard work and quick turn around, we were able to include the limited edition Favre card into Target blasters too,” said Panini America’s Scott Prusha. “Even with the additional product configurations, our initial announced print run of 4,444 cards will remain the same.”

The retail version of Donruss Threads begins shipping on Aug. 26.

Hey, Bull Durham fans… TRISTAR Obak has something for you

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The forthcoming TRISTAR Obak baseball set includes some serious surprises and some fascinating baseball-related inclusions.

But this one might be one of the cooler ones of the bunch.

You see, Steve Dalkowski was at one time regarded as the hardest-throwing pitcher ever, some saying he threw 110 miles an hour — at least that’s what the back of his newest baseball card says.

Whether that’s true or just baseball legend intensified by years of dust, he played in an era before radar guns so it doesn’t matter. What’s cool about this card?

Dalkowski is considered to be the player who was a key inspiration for Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh from Bull Durham.

You know, the guy with a quadraphonic Blaupunkt.

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Orioles' Nolan Reimold and Rangers' Neftali Feliz are latest Topps Finest Rookie Redemptions

finestRCs

Topps announced the seventh and eighth Finest Rookie Redeption cards on Tuesday morning and they are Texas Rangers pitcher Neftali Feliz (No. 7) and Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold (No. 8).

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

There are two rookies remaining to be announced later this season.

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.

TRISTAR's upcoming Obak Minor League Baseball card set just might be a game-changer itself

078fWhile many baseball card companies have added pop culture personalities and icons as well as historical figures to sets in recent years in an effort to draw more mainstream fans (or non-collectors) into trading cards, they haven’t achieved anything close to what TRISTAR‘s upcoming Obak set delivers.

And it’s so simple. They’ve been there all along.

You see, Obak, which is a modern-day nod to the tobacco cards of the same name from a century ago, arrives next Monday and it includes a 25-card set of “Game Changers.” They’re people who influenced the game we see today in stadiums around the country — and really the globe, though they are showcased on the smaller stage of a Minor League Baseball set.

It’s a set that includes promising prospects of today, some of the game’s greatest Hall of Famers in their farm-team threads, past MiLB Player of the Year winners, a crop of Minor League Baseball’s legends that you’ve likely never heard of but have rich and storied careers.

But the Game Changers especially caught my eye.

Who are they?

Some are pioneers you’ve never heard of. Others are ones who have influenced the very habits you have if you’re reading about baseball cards today.

Check out just a few of them in our exclusive early sneak peek at the checklist:

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Panini Makes First Favre Vikings Card a Walmart Exclusive

FAVRETHREADS

Panini America officials had the rare opportunity to stop the presses over the weekend, doing so on the retail version of 2009 Donruss Threads in an effort to include what promises to be Brett Favre‘s first Minnesota Vikings card.

The card, also the first to incorporate game photography from Favre’s Vikings debut last Friday in a preseason game against Kansas City, will be inserted exclusively into Walmart blister packs of Donruss Threads, due out this week. 

“Panini America dispatched a photographer to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome with the sole intention of creating this historical card,” said Panini America Marketing Manager Scott Prusha. “We wanted Favre’s first official Vikings trading card to be an in-game action shot of him wearing the purple No. 4.

“We were able to send a photographer to the game Friday night, print cards Saturday and have them ready for product insertion first thing Monday morning.”

— Tracy Hackler

Examining Bart Giamatti's baseball cards

giamatti

It was 20 years ago today that Pete Rose accepted his ban from baseball, handed down by Commissioner Bart Giamatti.

“The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is a sad end of a sorry episode,” Giamatti said that day. “One of the game’s greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. There is absolutely no deal for reinstatement.”

Giamatti died just eight days later, which led to a memorial card produced in a handful of 1990 sets — Donruss (No. 716) as seen here and in Topps (No. 396), its O-Pee-Chee counterpart, the 1990 Score Rookie Dream Team set and in the 1990 T/ M Umpires release.

None of the cards are particularly valuable as anything more than a history lesson into one of baseball’s more unfortunate tales. (The Tiffany version of his Topps card, which is limited to roughly 15,000 copies — pretty rare for its time — is worth $4.)

Should Pete Rose be reinstated? Not in this writer’s mind.

He spent years lying to everyone, denying that he bet on the game as manager of the Cincinnati Reds — only to finally admit it when attempting to make a buck by selling a book.

Not sure what’s worse here — the lying or the gambling. And gambling — in any of sport — is one of the largest sins possible for an athlete or manager.

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 mistake on Will Venable Blue Refractors

venable

This in Monday morning from Topps …

WILL VENABLE’S UNSIGNED CARDS
Topps announces that because of a mistake during the manufacturing process, Will Venable’s UNISGNED Blue Refractor Autograph cards (#’d to 199) were inadvertently inserted into packs of 2009 Topps Chrome Baseball.  Topps is urging collectors to send their UNSIGNED Venable cards to the following address no later than Monday, Nov. 30.  Topps will return the cards once they are signed by Venable and re-certified for authenticity.

Topps Company
ATTN: Consumer Relations
1 Whitehall St.
New York, NY 10004

MISSING CARD NUMBERS
Topps confirms that Tommy Hanson, Mark Melancon and Will Venable’s  2009 Topps Chrome Autographed  Rookie Cards do not feature card numbers.

Box Busters: 2008-09 Exquisite Collection basketball cards

exquisite

Join Beckett Media’s Keith Hower, Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds as they each open a $600 box of 2008-09 Exquisite Collection Basketball cards from Upper Deck.

What will they find? Watch the video here.

And be sure to watching to see how you can win a box …

Heritage set to auction million-dollar vintage collection

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An impressive collection of rare and high-grade key vintage baseball cards is set to hit the auction block through Heritage Auctions in September, led by a PSA 8 Ty Cobb 1911 D304 Brunners card estimated at $200,000.

The Freedom Collection as a whole is estimated to fetch more than $1.2 million for just 40 cards of Hall of Fame players and will be sold during the Dallas-based company’s Signature Sports Auction that launches on Sept. 10 and ends on Oct. 1. The seller has wished to remain anonymous.

“It absolutely ranks among the finest private collections of high-end cards in the world,” said Heritage’s Chris Ivy in a release. “Only the most iconic names in baseball history are represented, and each of the 40 cards rate among the highest graded available … It’s rare to have a single six-figure card in an entire auction, and there are several examples in this small but special collection.”

It includes “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays among the highlights. See a sampling of the cards after the jump.

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San Diego Padres OF Kyle Blanks is Topps' sixth Finest Rookie Redemption

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Topps announced the sixth player in its 2009 Finest Rookie Redemption set on Friday and it’s San Diego Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks.

In 49 games this season, he is hitting .248 with nine home runs and 20 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
  5. Colby Rasmus, outfield, St. Louis Cardinals

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.

First look: 2009 Topps T206 Baseball 100th Anniversary Edition

T206BoxHobby

Topps released images and basic product information on Friday for its upcoming baseball card set that pays tribute to the T206 memorable tobacco cards of the early 1900s. While you’ll find much more on the product — and additional images — in the latest issue of Beckett Baseball, here’s the lowdown …

The 2009 T206 Baseball 100th Anniversary Edition arrives in November with eight cards per pack ($5 suggested retail price), 20 packs per box and 10 boxes per hobby case. Each hobby box will include one autograph card and one Relic.

The set will consist of 300 cards — veterans, retired players and rookies — as well as 50 short-printed variations, which will be found one in every four packs.

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First look: 2009-10 Panini Rookies & Stars Basketball

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Panini America released basic preview images and product information on Friday for its 2009-10 Rookies & Stars Basketball set, which carries over the modern design found in its football counterpart.

The set, scheduled for release on Nov. 18, will deliver two autograph cards and two memorabilia cards in each 24-pack hobby box.

The base set consists of 100 cards and there will be 115 gold cards as well.

Here’s a look at some of what can be found in packs…

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Upper Deck's first Brett Favre Vikings football card

09 UD Favre

Upper Deck released a preview image on Friday of what Brett Favre’s first Minnesota Vikings card will look like.

The card will be numbered as a base card in 2009 Upper Deck Football, but will be found in packs of 2009 NFL SPx as a short-printed card.

The set is scheduled for release on Sept. 15.

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.

TRISTAR brings tobacco card aesthetic to minors with Obak set coming soon

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TRISTAR‘s foray into the genre of tobacco card styled baseball card sets begins later this month as its Obak set is now scheduled for an Aug. 31 release.

The set will include a rich list of players from the past and the present in Minor League Baseball as well as a few other surprises. The product also will include variations and various card back styles as was the norm with old tobacco cards.

For past previews of the set, click here and here. For a few more preview images, click below.

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Topps offers factory sets with custom card toppers

customset

Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that work.

And that’s the hope with three new products available at the Topps Online Store as Topps is allowing buyers to get their own 2009 Baseball factory set with a special box-topper — a custom card of their choice — along with an optional customized message.

The sets can be ordered with just a custom card, a custom card with a message or just a custom message (no photo). The sets do cost a little more — $74.95 — but the surprise of such a novelty just might amuse everyone from a younger collector to even the most jaded long-time card geek. (If they aren’t amused by their own baseball card, what would work?)

My first factory set — 1987 Topps — came in a white box with red and blue lettering and no photos. But it did carry an inscription written by my grandmother, who also dated the box. It’s not quite the custom card package, but it’s still tucked away in the ol’ collection somewhere.

I have a feeling that this concept will result in more than a few sets tucked away in collections around the country, too.

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.

Brett Favre's Finest: His First Vikings Card

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Topps this afternoon revealed a card from the forthcoming 2009 Topps Finest Football, due out Sept. 15, sure to have a certain sect of purple people eating it up: Brett Favre’s first Minnesota Vikings card.

It’s a card destined to be one of the most sought after football cards of the early season.

“New York Jets fans last year latched onto anything with Favre pictured as a Jet,” said Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt. “In fact, the earliest Favre Jets cards last season where some of the hottest of the entire year. Likewise, his first Vikings cards this year are certain to be hot sellers.”

Stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional details on Favre’s new Vikings cards.

— Tracy Hackler

First Look: 2009 Topps Heritage High Number Edition

HeritageHighNumberClubhouseCollectionAutorelicBruce[1]

Topps officials on Thursday afternoon released preliminary images and product details on 2009 Topps Heritage High Number Edition, an update to the basic 2009 Topps Heritage set that includes 220 new cards numbered 501-720, including 75 rookies. In addition, Topps has confirmed that every autograph in the product will be signed on-card and every pack of the product will include . . . you guessed it . . . gum.

Each pack will deliver six Topps Heritage cards and two Updates & Highlights cards and every box will include one autographed or Relic card. The product is set to release in mid October.

 To see the sneak peek images, continue reading.

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NHL Rookies will be center of attention at Upper Deck NHL Rookie Debut

Fourteen of the top prospects in the National Hockey League will gather in Mississauga, Ontario, next Wednesday (Aug. 26) for the Upper Deck NHL Rookie Debut.

Upper Deck will use the event to get up-close with many of the league’s top young prospects in their official NHL team uniforms for the first time for photographs — and for event-used memorabilia — to be used in upcoming card and memorabilia products. It is being produced by Upper Deck in partnership with the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League.

Those scheduled to attend the shoot are John Tavares (NYIS), Victor Hedman (TB), Matt Duchene (COL), Cody Hodgson (VAN), Colin Wilson (NSH), Tyler Bozak (TOR), Jared Cowen (OTT), P.K. Subban (MTL), Jonas Gustavsson (TOR), Bobby Sanguinetti (NYR), Logan Couture (SJS), Mikael Backlund (CGY), Eric Tangradi (PIT) and James Van Riemsdyk (PHI).

Preview Gallery: 2009 Topps Unique baseball cards

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Topps released preview images for a forthcoming 2009 product on Thursday called Unique, which appears to be loaded with high-end memorabilia and autograph cards despite being what promises to a lower- to mid-range product price-wise.

Additional information about the product will be forthcoming, but for now you can feast on these images courtesy of Topps.

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