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Monthly Archives: October 2009

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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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.