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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Video Box Busters: 2009-10 Panini Basketball

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In one of the most wheels-off Video Box Busters of all time, a dressed-up Beckett cast promises to haunt you with a truly grisly performance.

Viewer beware.

First look: 2009 TRISTAR Prospects Plus Draft Picks Baseball Cards

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TRISTAR unveiled its latest 2009 baseball card set — Prospects Plus Draft Picks – on Friday, an unlicensed product that promises 11 hits per box and 26 hits per box in each Hot Box.

Only 30 Hot Boxes cases will be made over the entire production run and a total of just 100 standard cases will be made.

Included in each 20-pack hobby box will be four autographs, two parallels, two Crystal Ballers inserts, two short-prints and one Obak Update card (the top 2009 picks are showcased on the tobacco-style design). The Hot Boxes will contain just 10 packs, each with an autograph inside and additional inserts.

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Upper Deck announces second Jordan Brand All-American Classic Redemption card

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Upper Deck revealed on Thursday the second player in its  Michael Jordan Brand All-American Classic jersey mystery redemption program found in 2009-10 Draft Edition, and it’s B.J. Mullens.

The first redemption from the set, which features players who participated in the 2008 event — a showcase for the world’s best young basketball talent — is of Jrue Holiday (see that card, which also was unveiled on Thursday after being previously announced, after the jump).

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Video Box Busters: 2009 Topps Finest

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Join the Beckett Football team for a quick dive through an early box of 2009 Topps Finest. Stay tuned until the end to find out how you can win the best pull in the box.

Gem Mint George Mikan Up for Grabs

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A virtually perfect copy of basketball’s Honus Wagner, the 1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan Rookie Card, promises to earn headlines and heavy bidding when it hits the Memory Lane auction block in December.

The card, the only one in existence graded a Gem Mint PSA 10, carries a for-serious-inquiries-only minimum bid of $50,000 and is the marquee item in Memory Lane’s Dec. 12 event.

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New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira signs exclusive autograph deal with Steiner Sports

teixSteiner Sports announced on Thursday that it has signed New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira to an exclusive collectibles and autograph deal.

The move, announced by Steiner founder and CEO Brandon Steiner, has the slugger joining the likes of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Yankees manager Joe Girardi in Steiner’s exclusive roster.

“Steiner Sports is extremely excited to add New York’s All-Star first baseman as part of our exclusive roster,” Steiner said in a release.  “We look forward to working with Mark, an all-star both on and off the field, on many of our upcoming projects.”

Teixeira’s first memorabilia line will include autograhed baseballs, photos, jerseys, bats, hats and batting helmets.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Product preview: 2009 Topps Unique football cards

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Topps released the basic product information and preview images for its forthcoming Unique football card set on Thursday, a lower-priced and hobby-exclusive product that will include some high-end hits when it arrives in late-December.

Each hobby box will include one autograph and one jumbo Relic (numbered to 40 or less) or a Patch Relic (numbered to 99 or less) as well as a numbered Relic that could have as many as three pieces.

The base set consists of 200 cards — 50 rookies and 150 veterans — and will be parallel-intensive with four versions of every card. There will be Unique, Reserve, Select and Premier cards.

The inserts include Unique Unis, Unparallelled Performances and Alone at the Top — all with parallels as well — while 192 players will appear on patch or jumbo Relic cards in the set.

For the autograph collectors, there’s Gamebreaker Autographs, Dynamic Dual Autographs, Triple Threat Autographs, Gamebreaker Autograph Relics, Dynamic Dual Autograph Relics, Triple Threat Autographs Relics and Jumbo  Autograph Relics.

And among the high-end cards? NFL Autograph Crest, Reebok Logo Autograph and Size Tag Autographs.

See a full selection of images from the product after the jump.

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Looks like Gina Carano's ESPN Body Issue cover is a hit

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If you’re not a fan of MMA, you’ve probably been beaten down a bit by how hot the Topps UFC cards have been in the hobby.

But there’s another sign that mixed martial arts are hot – Gina Carano‘s cover appearance on ESPN The Magazine‘s Body Issue.

Copies of the issue — which has several covers — featuring Carano have been a big hit online with sales as high as $57 for a single issue.

The 10 most-expensive sales of the issue on eBay are $57 (twice), $56, $55, $51 (twice), $46 (twice), $43 and $40.

And it appears that the demand for the issue hasn’t let up as current online auctions are pushing into top 10 territory and Buy It Now prices are right in range.

As for the other covers, here are the top prices paid so far:

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Must-See TV: The Legendary Collection of Marshall Fogel

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For those who haven’t seen CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell‘s captivating story on Denver attorney Marshall Fogel‘s breathtaking memorabilia collection, it’s absolutely must-see stuff. Don’t walk to watch it. Run. Now!

— Tracy Hackler

Box Busters Preview: 2009 Topps Finest Football

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The Beckett football team busted a two-mini-pack box of 2009 Topps Finest this afternoon. The Box Busters episode will be online Thursday morning. Until then here’s a sneak peek gallery that does not include the 1/1 we pulled.

Tune in tomorrow to see that . . .

— Tracy Hackler

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Yankees or Phillies, Topps has the World Series covered

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Topps revealed its plans for a 2009 World Series commemorative baseball card set on Wednesday for either the New York Yankees or the Philadelphia Phillies as the Series begins tonight.

The set will consist of 27 cards — players coaches and highlights for the winning team — and will cost $9.99.

Want to see what the Yankees set will look like? It’s after the jump.

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Topps includes triple autograph gem in Triple Threads

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Just in case all of those crazy book Relics in 2009 Triple Threads weren’t enough for you, Topps announced on Wednesday that it has included a triple cut signature card of Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Tris Speaker in the product.

What’s The Rip Master’s favorite word again?

“Wow.”

First look: 2009-10 Upper Deck Ice hockey cards

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Upper Deck released basic information and preview images for its 2009-10 Ice hockey set on Wednesday in advance of its Feb. 24, 2010, arrival.

Each 20-pack hobby box will include four Rookie Cards, one autographed card and two jersey cards. The base set consists of 100 cards.

Also among the inserts are Ice Premieres acetate cards, Glacial Graphs, Signature Swatches, Rinkside Signings, Frozen Fabrics and Fresh Threads cards.

Additional info is after the jump.

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Of cardboard collation anomalies …

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From the Desk of Olds …

Picked up one of those half-price Blaster boxes of 2008 Stadium Club Baseball during a Tuesday-night Target stop and had quite an unusual run — one perhaps unseen before during my 20-plus years of collecting.

Sure, we’ve heard the stories about mispackaged cards — packs full of autographs, or packs carrying extra cards or (gasp!) packs that were short.

But this one was something new, something unusual. Perhaps it’s not earthshattering, but definitely something that I don’t recall seeing before.

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Hulk Hogan's return to pro wrestling with TNA might not mean much to collectors … yet

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Hulk Hogan announced that he will return to major professional wrestling with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on Tuesday — a move might not mean much to collectors just yet  — as certain things are not a given — but it obviously does mean a lot for the landscape of sports entertainment.

The 56-year-old isn’t in the kind of shape where physically he’ll be as overwhelming as he was in the past when it comes to in-ring work (if that’s a key piece of his deal). But with wrestling that doesn’t always matter — it’s about persona, his ability to talk and be “Hulk Hogan.”

And that may not resonate with fans like used to after his family’s drama of late — but it’s certainly one thing that he can undoubtedly do well, brother.

Hogan means plenty to TNA in terms of drawing power and adding another piece to the puzzle — a household name at the highest of levels in pro wrestling — when competing with World Wrestling Entertainment. There are fans who haven’t seen him wrestle — but would like to — and there are fans who would like to obviously meet/see him.

You know, they’re called Hulkamaniacs — you may know one… or two … or …

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Sneak Peek: Newest Beckett Football, Beckett Basketball Covers

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The newest editions of Beckett Football and Beckett Basketball will be hitting subscriber mailboxes and dealer shelves next week. Here are sneak peeks of both covers to tide you over until then.

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With either outcome, the World Series should help the hobby

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By CHRIS OLDS| Beckett Baseball Editor

Unlike previous seasons, this year’s World Series might have the makings of a true fall classic on the field as well as in hobby shops.

howardThere are several reasons, but most notably you have the fact that one team has the look of a dynasty in the making — the Philadelphia Phillies — appearing in its second straight Series vs. “The Evil Empire” in the New York Yankees, the 26-time world champions who bought their way into yet another postseason.

To be fair, both teams have their fair share of free agent acquisitions or key players gained in trades. And, sure, both teams spend money, too — the Phillies at $113 million this year and the Yankees at $201 million. And, sure, they do have to play the games after writing the checks — but it’s tough for anyone to discount with a straight face the buying power that totaled $420 million spent this off-season for CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett.

It’s this great matchup of big bats, strong arms and good cardboard that should generate interest in the markets that run parallel to the action on the field.

Hobby-wise several of the key stars for Philadelphia appear as Phillies on their Rookie Cards because they are home-grown talents  — and that’s a plus when it comes to success in the card shop. There’s the name and team recognition when beginning collectors (and others) want to land the RCs of their Series MVP and he’s wearing the same uniform on his card as he was on your television screen.

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2009 Topps WWE Sketch Cards — the rarest sketches ever?

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By CHRIS OLDS

Collectors looking to land one of the first Sketch Cards hand drawn by World Wrestling Entertainment superstars from the newly released 2009 Topps WWE set haven’t seen a single one pop up on the auction block.

Why?

Because there are only 31 Sketch Cards to be found in the entire product.

Again, just 31. Period.

Let that sink in …

Four WWE stars opted to put pen to paper — err, cardboard — for the project. The most accomplished in-ring performer, Jerry “The King” Lawler, also is the most accomplished artist of the bunch. He drew just seven cards for inclusion in hobby packs, including the portrait of Undertaker above.

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2009-10 Panini Basketball: Preview and Card Gallery

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The succinctly named 2009-10 Panini Basketball, the company’s first retail-only hoops product, shipped to retailers today boasting a bevy of box-level hits intended to make a splash with new and younger collectors at the mass-market level.

At first glance, base-brand Panini looks to provide a fun-for-all-ages recipe with an old-school configuration (12 cards per pack, 36 packs per box) at a palatable $1.99 pack price.

With glow-in-the-dark stickers, decals and a massive 400-card base set, this product is clearly not intended for hardcore high-end enthusiasts, and that’s OK. One of Panini’s key initiatives is to grow the basketball category in this country, especially among the younger demographic. Products like these start that ball rolling.

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New Topps WWE set's autograph checklist is full of firsts

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It’s been a long wait for professional wrestling fans, but those ripping into packs of 2009 Topps WWE should find plenty of firsts in the product’s autograph checklists.

It’s been a year-long break before a follow-up to WWE Heritage IV, but the firsts make it worth the wait.

As in the first dual autograph cards found in any WWE release.

As in the first match-used autograph cards found in any WWE release from Topps.

As in the first certified autographs of several younger WWE stars — and even a few legends.

And the first autographs of a few wrestlers in quite some time.

Get the full rundown — and the checklists after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2009 SP Threads Football

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Wanna know what Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler pulled out of a box of 2009 SP Threads Football? Click here to watch and find out.

Product preview: 2010 Upper Deck baseball cards

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Upper Deck released basic preview information for its 2010 Baseball set on Monday — but not card images — as collectors anticipate the unveiling of its first baseball line to be published without MLB team names and logos.

The basics for the product, scheduled to arrive on Feb. 3:

— It’s a 600-card base set consisting of veterans and rookies.

— There will be two memorabilia cards as well as one autograph card per 16-pack hobby box.

Exquisite Collection base cards will fall one per 12-box case.

— Also included will be Joe DiMaggio cut signature cards as well as 20th Anniversary Heroes art cards commemorating the first certified autograph, the 1990 Reggie Jackson Heroes card.

— There will be 20th Anniversary signed buyback cards from the 1990 Upper Deck set.

— There will be two Season Biography cards per pack — cards that will show highlights of every day from the 2009 season.

Get more information after the jump …
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Box Busters: 2009 Bowman Chrome football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they open a box of the forthcoming 2009 Bowman Chome football cards from Topps.

What will they find in the box during this episode of Box Busters?

Click here to find out …

Mark McGwire's return to baseball could ignite interest

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Update: McGwire admitted using steroids for a substantial part of his career in an interview with The Associated Press on Jan. 11, 2010.  My opinions here (item written Oct. 16 when it was apparent he was returning to MLB as a coach) largely remain the same, though I definitely do not think this will improve his status in the eyes of Hall of Fame voters as much as it might members of the public.

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball Editor

Mark McGwire is set to return to Major League Baseball as the new hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals today, a move that could ignite interest in his long-suffering sports cards and memorabilia.

The news comes as a surprise to many as the former single-season home run king has distanced himself from the game in his eight years since retiring and remaining remarkably silent in a cloud of performance-enhancement drug suspicions.

And if McGwire thinks the spotlight of 1998’s home run chase was tough, the first thing on everyone’s mind will be eight words that were his crutch before Congress in 2005:

“I’m not here to talk about the past.”

LaRussa will return as the Cardinals manager next year, bringing along the guy who once owned the hobby and the hearts of a nation — a man whose autographs are about the only thing that remain pricey in the wake of the last decade. (Why? He simply doesn’t sign many.) McGwire’s 1985 Topps Rookie Card is a deflated shell of its past self, selling for $30 or less while once commanding hundreds of dollars. Same goes for most of his other 4,647 baseball cards.

But first things first. McGwire will have to talk about the past.

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Enter The Dragon: Lyoto Machida's Collectible Clout

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Brock Lesnar. Randy Couture. Chuck Liddell. Anderson Silva. Georges St-Pierre. BJ Penn. Forrest Griffin. Tito Ortiz. Yep, you’d need at least a second hand to count the number of UFC fighters more recognizable than current light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

But you wouldn’t need even one finger to count those who are more dominant.

Machida, nicknamed “The Dragon,” is a karate prodigy from Brazil who enters tonight’s UFC 104 main event against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – his first title defense since winning the belt with a second-round destruction of Rashad Evans in May – with a perfect 15-0 record.

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