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Monthly Archives: October 2009

An Extended Sneak Peek at 2009 Playoff National Treasures

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In the three years since bursting onto the scene in a late-season splash, Playoff National Treasures has become one of the most anticipated high-end products on the market.

The reason why is simple: It annually boasts a stunning ensemble of mesmerizing autograph and memorabilia cards honoring the greatest names in football history. And judging by a new batch of preview images for the January-releasing 2009 edition, National Treasures’ rich reputation looks to be in good hands.

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What'd they pull at the Topps Triple Threads Rip Party?

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What did they land at the Topps Triple Threads Rip Party?

Some very nice cards — including a pair of triple autos as well as cards of Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby.

Check it out.

Josh McDaniels Football Card Up 3,500% in Value

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Long before Denver Broncos rookie head coach Josh McDaniels started winning games, Rocky Mountain hearts and league-wide respect this season, the 33-year-old maverick was a cocky-looking quarterback and kicker for McKinley High School in – of all places – Canton, Ohio.

And he’s got an obscure-yet-burgeoning football card to prove it.

The card, a virtually valueless afterthought for the better part of 15 years, made a rare appearance on the secondary market earlier this month – and sold for $26, four times its current value at the time and a staggering 3,500 percent more than it was worth just nine months ago.

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Best. Hockey. Sweaters. Ever.

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The headline says it all, but it’s worth saying again.

These are the best hockey jerseys (err, sweaters, eh?) ever.

Sure, we’ve seen the pink gear for breast cancer awareness in MLB and the NFL — and we’ve seen green jerseys for St. Patrick’s Day in a few sports for decades. They’re cool and all, but the Kingston Fronteacs junior league hockey team’s promotion earlier this week?

It beats them all.

For its military salute night, the Ontario Hockey League squad (based in Kingston, Ontario) honored ice icon Don Cherry with sweaters styled after his famously loud clothing that were worn during Wednesday night’s game. They are now autographed — by Cherry — and available on the auction block with proceeds benefitting a military support program.

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Card Gallery: 2009 Limited Football & National Treasures

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Want to see even more of what can be found in packs of the new 2009 Limited football?

Check out these images from Panini America — along with some behind-the-scenes images of National Treasures, too.

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Upper Deck releases details for 2010 Exquisite Collection baseball inserts

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Upper Deck released details for its 2010 Exquisite Collection baseball cards on Thursday — a multi-product insert line that will be limited, high-end and loaded with autographs and memorabilia.

Exquisite, which will be found in every Upper Deck baseball product next year, will consist of a 100-card base set with just 75 total copies per card with a lineup that includes retired players as well as present stars.

The “Exquisite Rookie Signature” cards will feature 20 cards that are each signed on-card.

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Card Gallery: 2009 Limited Crowns autographs

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Panini America released the following images of its Crowns autographs — all signed on card — which will be found in its 2009 Limited football card set.

Check ‘em out …

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Card gallery: 2009 Topps Triple Threads

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The arrival of 2009 Topps Triple Threads has seen an influx of impressive Relic and autograph cards arrive on the auction block as the high-end product apparently remains one of the more popular releases.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the cards that collectors have landed … so far.

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Box Busters: SP Authentic Baseball

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they open boxes of SP Authentic from Upper Deck in the latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find? Watch and see by clicking here.

And, no, there aren’t 32 autographed cards per box … and Nick Swisher is not a short-print. We know.

Fathead releases New York Yankees Tradeables team set

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Fathead introduced its Tradeables line of 5×7 miniature wall graphics earlier this year and now the company is back with a smaller and more focused pinstripe-enhanced edition for the postseason.

It recently unviled as part of its Special Edition Tradeables line a 2009 New York Yankees team set that includes a dozen players — A.J. Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui, Joba Chamberlain, Johnny Damon, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano.

Why do just the Yanks? It’s simple, according to Fathead’s Megan Tarsha: “The Yankee sets were created through the non-stop request from local New York retail partners.”

The Tradeables are not numbered and carry the same design as earlier in the year — a player cutout atop a wooden background with a removable team logo. As a plus, they are Sharpie friendly for the autograph hounds seeking something a little different.

The box sets are $19.99 and can be found by clicking here.

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.

Press Pass announces NASCAR Hall of Fame program

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Press Pass revealed on Wednesday that it is planning a comprehensive 100-card set that will focus on historic NASCAR figures and events as part of a continuity program found in eight of the company’s 2010 racing products.

The first 10 cards will appear in Press Pass 2010, which is scheduled to arrive in December. Among those luminaries will be the five initial inductees into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame — Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr. and Junior Johnson.

The cards will be found in Element, Eclipse, Premium, Stealth, Press Pass Series 2, VIP and Main Event.

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.

Box Busters: 2009 Limited Football

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A surprisingly hot rookie autograph and a low-numbered autograph mem card from one of the most promising young quarterbacks in the game.

To see what else the Beckett team pulled from two boxes of 2009 Limited Football, click here.

A hobby rarity lands on eBay — a 1998 Topps Ric Flair autograph

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Update: The card sold for $1,175 after 17 bids in the auction, which ended on Sunday (Oct. 25).

A rare and impressive autographed professional wrestling card has hit the auction block and bidding is pushing $450 even though it’s got some rough corners and a few slight creases.

How rare? It’s not supposed to exist.

How impressive? Well, the 1998 Topps WCW/nWo Autograph card shows — and is reportedly signed by — the 16-time world champion “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

retailflairThe WWE Hall of Famer retired from in-ring competition following a loss at WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando, Fla., in 2008 and had never appeared on a certified autograph card until earlier this year when Panini America landed him for its Americana series. (Unsigned version of the card at right.)

Had this card been widely issued more than a decade earlier, it obviously would have been highly sought after.

This card, which is on eBay from a Tampa, Fla.-based dealer, has reached $449 and change with more than four days remaining in the auction.

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Box Busters Preview: 2009 Limited Football

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We received two hot-off-the-presses boxes of 2009 Limited Football on Tuesday afternoon and immediately took them to the Box Busters studio for filming.

Although preliminary product information from Panini America had the product delivering five cards and two hits per $100 pack, collectors will be happy to know that each pack of Limited delivers seven cards and three hits — at least based on the results of these two early rips.

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Topps amps up Sterling Baseball

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Topps announced the following upgrades to its forthcoming Sterling Baseball set on Tuesday, which did not include a price change:

— Every pack now includes an autographed Relic or Relic card numbered to 10 or less (as always) plus an additional Relic #’d to 25.  Packs will still include three sequentially numbered base cards and a Mystery Pack featuring either a cut signature or #’d parallel card.

— Every 10-pack case now guarantees a Cut Signature card.

— All packs are now themed, rather than being player-based. Themes include “Triple Crown Winners”, “Sterling Americana”, “Charter Hall of Fame Members” and so on.

Sterling is set to arrive in late December with each 10-pack case including five autographed cardsnumbered to 10 or less, five Relic Cards numbered to 10 or less, 10 Relic Cards numbered to 25, one cut signature and one 1/1.

First Look: 2009-10 Playoff Contenders Basketball

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Panini America on Tuesday morning released preliminary details on 2009-10 Playoff Contenders Basketball, an autographed-Rookie Card-rich product due out exactly three months from today.

Playoff Contenders has long been one of the most sought after and influential football card products on the market and company officials look to be using a tried and true formula to ensure the product’s success as a rookie on the hardwood.

Every 24-pack box of Contenders will deliver four autographs, one Rookie of the Year Contender and one Legendary Contender insert card. In addition, the average 12-box case will deliver one autograph from either new spokesman Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Oscar Robertson.

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First look: 2010 Topps Baseball cards

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Topps released the basic product information and preview images for its 2010 Baseball set on Tuesday, which might be a more highly anticipated release than in past years as it enters its exclusive agreement with Major League Baseball as its lone fully licensed baseball card manufacturer.

Scheduled to arrive in the last week of January, Series 1 includes  a 330-card base set and will include one autograph or Relic card in every 36-pack hobby box or one autograph and two Relics per 10-pack HTA jumbo box.

As with past standard Topps sets, there are Silk, Platinum, Black and Gold parallels. New inserts for 2010 include The Cards Your Mother Threw Out – a 58-card set — The History of the Game (landmark moments such as Babe Ruth‘s sale to the Yankees or Jackie Robinson‘s debut, etc.), Tales of the Game (the 1969 Mets, the creation of the DH, etc.), Hall of Fame buybacks, Past and Present and When They Were Young.

The Peak Performance set consists of inserts, autographs, autographed Relics, Jumbo relics and standard Relics, while the product also includes a pair of continuity inserts — MLB Exclusive Patch Cards (manufactured Logoman patch cards) and Turkey Red.

Also returning are Sketch Cards, ToppsTown, Cut Signatures and World Champions autographs and Relics — team obviously still TBD.

New among the Relic lineup are Hat Logo cards, In the Name cards, Past and Present Relics and a 1961 Mickey Mantle insert.

Also noteworthy is a new Rookie Card logo, which incorporates the MLB logo, as well as a prominently displayed logo noting Topps’ status as an exclusive licensee.

See more images after the jump.

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Topps to Produce Tito Ortiz's First Certified Autographs

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From the strange but true sports collectibles department: Tito Ortiz, one of the most popular and influential figures in the history of mixed martial arts, has just four trading cards — all from last February’s 2009 Topps UFC Round 1 product — and zero certified autographs.

But both of those totals are scheduled to change in a big way early next year when Topps releases its third stand-alone UFC product. The company on Monday tweeted a picture of the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” signing several stickers — in red ink, no less — that will adorn what are certain to be some of the most coveted cards in Topps’ brief UFC history.

Ortiz, the former light heavyweight champion whose on-again, off-again relationship with UFC president Dana White is on again, is scheduled to fight the popular Forrest Griffin at UFC 106 on Nov. 21.

No other details on Topps’ forthcoming third UFC product have been released. Stay tuned to Beckett.com for updates to this story.

— Tracy Hackler

Vernon Wells hosts sports stars for charity event

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Toronto Blue Jays star Vernon Wells is expecting a large number of sports stars at The Vernon Wells Perfect 10 Foundation‘s inaugural gala and golf tournament next month in the Dallas area.

And he wants you to be there, too.

The event, which is set for Nov. 1-2 at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas, Texas, and will raise money to support and protect homeless children in North Texas and to contribute to non-profit organizations for children.  On the event’s schedule are a silent auction as well as a live auction of sports memorabilia. Find more on the auctions by clicking here and here.

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Finally . . . The Exquisite Winners are Revealed

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After much consternation, the four winners from last month’s 2008-09 Exquisite Collection Basketball Box Busters episode have been pulled. Are you one of the lucky ones? Watch the video to find out.

Thanks to the more than 13,000 folks who watched that video and to the more than 100 folks who participated in the contest. And a special thanks to Upper Deck‘s Chris Carlin and Thomas Fish from Blowout Cards for helping deliver additional prizes to loyal Beckett visitors.

Oh, and if you didn’t win this time, don’t fret. Watch the video till the end to see how you can win a box of 2009-10 Exquisite Collection Basketball.

— Tracy Hackler

Preview Gallery: 2010 Topps baseball cards

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Topps released the following images of cards that will be found in its 2010 Baseball set on Monday in advance of the full preview package.

Returning will be Turkey Red inserts, manufactured patches, jumbo patches and cut autographs. New will be a Logoman continuity program — one of those cards is seen above.

See them all after the jump — and see more on 2010 Topps very, very soon.

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Topps GM Warren Friss ‘Very Excited' About MLB Exclusive

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In 15 years aboard the exhilarating roller coaster ride that is the sports card industry, Topps General Manager Warren Friss has experienced his share of thrills, chills and spills.

But as a Topps executive, Friss has never known a marketplace with only one fully licensed baseball card manufacturer. That will change in a big way in 2010 when, for the first time in almost 30 years, Topps returns to its roots as the exclusive baseball card provider of Major League Baseball.

 Understandably, Friss is excited about the opportunities that accompany Topps’ exclusive agreement with MLB Properties. But spend a little time with him and you discover that he’s excited about a lot more than just that.

There’s the opportunity to get kids back . . . and to clean up the retail channel . . . and Topps’ new long-term exclusive extension with the WWE . . . and the exclusive with the UFC . . . and potentially getting back into hockey . . . and buying back a million baseball cards for a unique promotion surrounding 2010 Topps Baseball and . . .

In an exclusive interview that will appear in the December issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, Friss tirelessly and passionately addresses a wide array of topics, from working with Michael Eisner to collecting the Mets.

You can check out the complete interview next month in BSCM. You can check out a sneak peek here:

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Upper Deck announces Goodwin Champions short-prints

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Upper Deck released the following short-print information on Friday for its recently released Goodwin Champions baseball card set.

The basics are …

Cards 151-190: Short Prints (1:2 hobby packs);

Cards 191-210: Super Short Prints (2:1 hobby boxes on average)

Cards 211-252: Mini High-Series Exclusives (42 of the 192 cards that create the mini card set).

And there’s more …

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Upper Deck announces three baseball short-prints

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Upper Deck announced on Friday that it has included three short-printed cards in its recently released 2009 baseball products.

They are:

SP1 – Mark Buehrle’s Perfect Game’ — 2009 Ballpark Collection

SP2 – 1st Pitch at All-Star Game between Barack Obama and Albert Pujols – in 2009 Ballpark Collection

SP3 – Derek Jeter – Yankees All-Time Hit King — in 2009 SP Authentic

First look: 2009 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection baseball cards

Upper Deck announced its plans for 2009 Ultimate Collection Baseball on Thursday, with the latest rendition of the product packing plenty when it arrives in late January.

Each four-card box will include one autograph, memorabilia, or signed memorabilia card and the checklist will include the return of  Roberto Clemente as well as greats like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.

Every 15-box case will include two Ultimate Rookie Signatures as well as one Dual, Triple, Quad, Six or Eight autograph card.

The base set consists of 55 veterans (cards numbered to 599), 45 rookies (numbered to 599) and 10 Ultimate Rookie Autographs (numbering varies).

Every case also will include three autographed memorabilia cards and six Ultimate Memorabilia cards that may include Jumbo Jerseys, Bat Barrels, patches and more.

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.