Monthly Archives: October 2009

Four Boxes of 2009-10 Exquisite Collection Basketball Walk Through the Door . . .

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Box Busters filming begins at 4:15 p.m. (CST). How can you win one of these boxes? Stay tuned to find out.

– Tracy Hackler

Panini Announces Another Prestige Basketball SP

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Panini America unveiled another short-printed Rookie Card from its 2009 Prestige Basketball set on Friday afternoon and it was a biggie, card No. 163 of Tyler Hansbrough.

The Indiana Pacers rookie and 2008 ACC Player of the Year averaged 20.3 ppg during his four-year college career at North Carolina and is the the Tar Heels’ all-time leading scorer.

— Tracy Hackler

Priceless piece of pro wrestling memorabilia up for grabs

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A priceless piece of professional wrestling memorabilia is up for grabs as wrestling legend “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair has reportedly failed to pay off his debts to a wresting memorabilia show promoter.

The original National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship belt is being sold by highspots.com, which is considering all serious offers over $75,000 for the belt used by Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race and others who were tabbed as the organization’s champion.

Flair claims that his debt was repaid through appearances and DVD tapings for the Charlotte, N.C.-based company.

Flair has had the belt in his possession since it was retired in favor of the “big gold belt” style that is still used in World Wrestling Entertainment today as its World Heavyweight Championship.

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.

WIN FREE AUTOGRAPHS right here on Friday

wizardworldyogi

CLICK HERE FOR CONTEST NO. 1…

The Big Apple Comic-Con is set for Oct. 16-18 in — where else — New York City and its promoters want to get free autographed photos into Beckett readers’ hands.

We’ve got six autographed 8x10s to give away — and it will happen this Friday (Oct. 9).

Who? We can’t divulge all the names now, but several are Hall of Famers.

We’ve got a linguistics legend, a doctor, an animal, a flower, a Madison Square Garden icon and even a Nature Boy.

(OK, we gave one name away… as in Ric Flair. Wooooooooo!)

How can you win? Visit The Beckett Blog on Friday as we’ll be holding contests throughout the day … one every hour beginning at 10 a.m. Central time.

What will you need to do? Examine the event’s guest list to do some research… and be ready to answer questions.

It’s that simple.

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.

Incoming! Mail Day at Press Pass Includes New Fusion Autos

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The announcement late last month that Press Pass was releasing Fusion – a brand new product incorporating athletes from a wide world of sports that includes baseball, basketball, football, NASCAR, wrestling and mixed martial arts – created quite a buzz among collectors who seemed genuinely excited about the company’s foray into the multisports arena.

Fusion is slated to go live Nov. 11, which has made mail call at Press Pass headquarters these days quite an exciting time as the product’s luminaries begin returning their autographed cards – including unique inscriptions and vaunted red ink variations – in time for packout.

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Panini America begins revealing short-prints in 2009 Prestige basketball

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Panini America began unveiling its short-printed Rookie Cards in its 2009 Prestige Basketball set on Thursday, and the first SP of the bunch is card No. 205 of Jordan Hill.

The New York Knicks rookie played his college ball at Arizona where he averaged 18.3 points a game last season.

Box Busters preview: 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights

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Fresh off the UPS truck (and probably still warm from the printers) are a pair of 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights Baseball boxes that are set to be ravaged by the Box Busters crew here shortly.

What will they find? Stay tuned.

Until then, get a glimpse of the product right here.

San Diego Padres pitcher Mat Latos is the final SPx redemption

Upper Deck has announced its final SPx Mystery Rookie Redemption of the year and it’s San Diego Padres pitcher Mat Latos.

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Latos went 4-5 with a 4.62 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 50.2 innings this season for the Padres, who finished fourth in the NL West — 20 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

These autograph redemptions can be found two per 14-box case and should be of interest to Baltimore Orioles fans with three of the seven cards featuring an O’s youngster.

Here’s the complete SPx checklist:

No. RR1 — Orioles P Koji Uehara (25 signed in Japanese)
No. RR2 — Cardinals OF Colby Rasmus (25 signed “Go Redbirds”)
No. RR3 — Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen
No. RR4 — Orioles C Matt Wieters
No. RR5 — Orioles P Chris Tillman (right)
No. RR6 — Red Sox OF Josh Reddick
No. RR7 — Padres P Mat Latos

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.

What You Missed Yesterday: Wednesday, Oct. 7

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Miss one day of Beckett Media’s unparalleled online coverage of the sports collectibles industry and you miss a lot. In fact, here’s what you missed yesterday, Wednesday, Oct. 7.

A Magazine Worth Cheering For
First Look: 2009 TRISTAR Signa Cuts Limited-Edition Baseball

First Look: 2009-10 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey
Crabtree Rep: ‘His Rookie Cards Will Skyrocket’

What Does a Player Collect? New York Yankees OF Nick Swisher Tells You
Box Busters: 2009 Donruss Certified Football
ESPN’s Body Issue — Good For Autographs?
Michael Crabtree Signs. Can His Cards Recover?
Topps’ Propaganda-Style Cards To Be Sold As Prints
Topps Adds More Aflac Autographs to Bowman Draft
What You Missed Yesterday: Tuesday, Oct. 6

— Tracy Hackler

A Magazine Worth Cheering For

CHEER!

I first discovered the greatness of cheerleaders in the fourth grade, as a tousle-headed lineman for the Arlington Optimist Cowboys in the late Seventies. They weren’t the reason I signed up to play tackle football for the first time that year, but they became the reason I always wanted to play well.

(I rarely did play well, by the way.)

I continued to appreciate their spirit-lifting, pompom-waving ways at every stop of a checkered football career, from the Hedrick Wranglers to the Marcus Marauders.

Today, I appreciate cheerleaders every chance I get (much to my wife’s chagrin). It struck me again just last Sunday – while enjoying, for the umpteenth time, the undisputed greatness of DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket – just how important cheerleaders are to professional football.

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First look: 2009 TRISTAR Signa Cuts Limited Edition Baseball

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TRISTAR unveiled on Wednesday its latest baseball product — Signa Cuts Limited Edition – which will deliver one cut autograph per pack.

The product is set to arrive in mid-November.

The cards, which are slabbed by Beckett Grading Services but not authenticated or graded, are limited to either 25, five or just one copy.

That’s it — just one limited-run cut autograph card per pack — and only 100 24-box cases will be made with every box serial-numbered.

Get a look at the checklist 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.

First look: 2009-10 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey cards

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Upper Deck released basic product information and preview images for its 2009-10 NHL Series 2 hockey card set on Wednesday.

Each 24-pack hobby box will include six Young Guns Rookie Cards, two The Champions cards, two memorabilia cards, 24 Victory Update cards, one  Victory Update Gold parallel and six Superstar inserts.

Every 12-box case will include one Fab Four Fabrics jersey card, one Acetate card, one Signature Sensations autograph card, six parallel cards and one Victory Update Black parallel.

See more cards after the jump.

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Crabtree Rep: ‘His Rookie Cards Will Skyrocket’

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Peter Miller knows a thing or two about big-time football and catching NFL stars on the way up.

The former Ohio State offensive lineman, now a principal at Jabez Marketing Group, handles all off-the-field business dealings – including trading card negotiations – for clients such as Santonio Holmes, Derrick Brooks, Fred Taylor and Roddy White.

Oh, he also has another high-profile client: Newest 49er Michael Crabtree.

Miller is keenly aware of the fact that his newest client’s trading card values on the secondary market have slipped in recent months due a prolonged holdout. But he’s also aware of the immense skill that made Crabtree a top-10 pick – and he’s confident that skill will vault Crabtree’s cards back to pre-holdout levels.

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What does a player collect? New York Yankees OF Nick Swisher tells you that (and more)

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New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher is a big Ohio State football fan and he’s also a collector.

What does he have stashed away in his personal collection?

Steiner Sports lets you know in the video from a recent signing above.

Box Busters: 2009 Donruss Certified football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they bust open a box of 2009 Donruss Certified football cards.

What will they find in the box?

Click here to watch the video and find out …

ESPN's Body Issue — great for autographs?

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ESPN The Magazine‘s “Body Issue” has been talked about for some time with its not-so-subtle approach to coverage of athletes.

We’ll make you guess what it is based on the cover above.

And now that it’s set to arrive on newsstands everywhere very, very soon (it has an Oct. 19, 2009, cover date), one more thing is apparent — whether it bombs as a concept or is widely praised and becomes an annual staple.

It should be great for autographs. (If they’ll sign them.)

Based on the clean and clear design of the six different covers, which are free of any blurbs and put the focus solely on the cover subjects — tennis star Serena Williams (above), NBA star Dwight Howard, MMA star Gina Carano, NASCAR star Carl Edwards, NFL star Adrian Peterson and triathlete Sarah Reinertsen.

As with all ESPN The Magazine covers, there already are prints available for $24.95 and up ($109.95 for a 30×36 print) on ESPN.com.

See all of the covers after the jump.

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Michael Crabtree Signs. Can His Cards Recover?

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There was a time not so long ago – like in May – when Michael Crabtree was one of the most sought after players in all of football cards, second only to Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Of course, that was when collectors still had visions of Crabtree coming to San Francisco as something of a modern-day Jerry Rice, and long before the 49ers’ first-round pick embarked on one of the longest holdouts in recent memory.

In the four months since, Crabtree has fallen from No. 2 to No. 7 on Beckett Football’s monthly Rookie Power List and his Rookie Cards have plummeted some 25 percent in value, a point not lost on CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

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Topps' propaganda-style cards to be sold as prints

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Topps hasn’t yet unleashed its 30-card propaganda-style insert sets upon the collecting masses — they don’t arrive until Topps Updates and Highlights does next week — but that hasn’t stopped them from their latest venture.

The pieces created by sports artist Chris Speakman of sportspropaganda.com will be available as limited-edition 17×21 prints at the toppsonlinestore. Each is limited to just 200 copies.

The prints, 21 of which are available right now, are $60 apiece.

See them all after the jump.

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Topps adds more Aflac autographs to Bowman Draft

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Topps announced on Wednesday that it has added four more autograph cards of Aflac High School All-Americans to its forthcoming 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball card set.

On Monday, it revealed nine players whose cards were signed at last year’s showcase event and will be included in packs after signing a pro contract and a contract with Topps. Here is the updated checklist:

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What You Missed Yesterday: Tuesday, Oct. 6

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Miss one day of Beckett Media’s unparalleled online coverage of the sports collectibles industry and you miss a lot. In fact, here’s what you missed yesterday, Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin Offers his Take on the State of the Industry
And the Exquisite Winner Is . . .
Box Busters: 2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball
Inside the Steiner Sports Vault
2009-10 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Checklist
Big Apple Comic-Con Wants You to Win Free Autographs
UFC Round 1 Redemption News: Huerta Out, Franklin In
Card Gallery: 2009 Donruss Certified Memorabilia Cards
Lenny Dykstra’s Treasures Command Top Dollar at Auction
Babe Ruth’s Bat Comes Up Short of Record at Auction
First Wave of Pink Memorabilia Hits NFL Auction Block

— Tracy Hackler

Examining MLB postseason's potential on baseball cards

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By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball Editor

Now that the American League Central champions have finally been crowned, it’s time for us to examine MLB’s postseason potential on the things that matter most to collectors.

Baseball cards.

While just one of the eight teams who begin postseason play on Wednesday will journey all the way to the level of World Series champion, there’s plenty that could shape up successfully when it comes to baseball cards.

There are sure-things. There are under-appreciated players. There are, undoubtedly, a few stars ready to emerge this postseason.

Some of them are obvious. Some we’ll just have to wait and see about.

For now, though, we’ll examine one pitcher and one hitter from each squad that collectors should be considering when it comes to their cardboard.

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First Wave of Pink Memorabilia Hits NFL Auction Block

GaffneyPink

The first wave of game-worn pink pigskin memorabilia from the NFL’s Week 4 games has hit the auction block. Judging by early bidding activity, the NFL, its players and teams are about to raise a lot of money for the American Cancer Society.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a pair of gloves worn by Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams in Denver’s thrilling 17-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys has already been bid up to $280 (22 bids) in less than 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the gloves and cleats Broncos receiver Jabar Gaffney wore in that game sit at $155 after 19 bids.

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Babe Ruth bat comes up short of record at auction

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A Babe Ruth game-used bat sold for $537,750 in Heritage‘s latest Signature Sports Memorabilia Auction, coming up just short of the record for an unsigned game-used bat.

The record is $577,610 paid for a “Shoeless” Joe Jackson gamer in 2001.

The record for a signed and game-used bat is $1.2 million — for a bat Ruth used to hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium in 1923. It was sold in 2004.

Heritage’s auction totaled more than $4 million in sales and included The Freedom Collection, a grouping of very rare high-grade baseball cards.

“Besides being one of the most important pieces of baseball memorabilia on the planet, it’s one of the most beautiful pieces you’ll ever see, too,” said Chris Ivy, Heritage’s Director of Sports. “The Ruth bat was the icing on the cake in an auction that featured examples from many of the greatest names in sports.”

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.

Lenny Dykstra's treasures command top dollar at auction

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Lenny Dykstra‘s 1986 World Series ring sold for more than $56,000 on the auction block late last week from Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

Estimated to sell for $20,000, the auction closed at $56,762.50 (including buyer’s premium) with the winner a New York-based collector. In all, Heritage sold 11 lots of Dykstra items for more than $162,000.

“The winning bids far exceeded initial estimates on several other Dykstra items,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions, in a news release. “For example, the home run ball he hit to win game three of the 1986 National League Championship Series, originally estimated at $4,000, brought an astounding $31,070.”

For more on the items, click 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.

Card gallery: 2009 Donruss Certified football memorabilia cards

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With a 2009 Donruss Certified football Box Busters on tap very, very soon, we figured we’d whet collectors appetites for more football cards from Panini America with even more preview images from Certified, which arrives next week.

From the looks of things, it appears that they will be trying some new things for showcasing the memorabilia pieces with larger more ornate die-cut windows like the one on the Bart Starr (Roll Tide!) Fabric of the Game card above.

What else is in store with Certified, which packs four autographs or memorabilia cards per 10-pack hobby box?

Find out after the jump.

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UFC Round 1 Redemption News: Huerta Out, Franklin In

FranklinAuto

Topps officials announced earlier today that the still-outstanding UFC Round 1 autograph redemption card for popular lightweight Roger “El Matador” Huerta will be replaced by a special autograph of former middleweight champion Rich Franklin.

The Round 1 redemption card for Huerta, who gained acclaim by becoming the first mixed martial artist to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, is currently valued at $50; the redemption card for the Red Ink parallel is valued at $100.

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Big Apple Comic-Con wants you to win free autographs

wizardworldyogi

>>>>CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE LATEST CONTEST NOW.<<<<

The Big Apple Comic-Con is set for Oct. 16-18 in — where else — New York City and its promoters want to get free autographed photos into Beckett readers’ hands.

We’ve got six autographed 8x10s to give away — and it will happen this Friday (Oct. 9).

Who?

We can’t divulge all the names now, but several are Hall of Famers.

We’ve got a linguistics legend, a doctor, an animal, a flower, a Madison Square Garden icon and even a Nature Boy.

(OK, we gave one name away… as in Ric Flair. Wooooooooo!)

How can you win? Visit The Beckett Blog on Friday as we’ll be holding contests throughout the day … one every hour beginning at 10 a.m. Central time.

What will you need to do? Examine the event’s guest list to do some research… and be ready to answer questions.

It’s that simple.

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.

Checklist: 2009-10 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection basketball cards

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We know that many collectors have been looking for the 2009-10 Exquisite Collection checklist from Upper Deck so here it is.

See it all after the jump.

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Exclusive Images: Inside the Steiner Sports Vault

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We recently dispatched native New Yorker and Beckett correspondent Mike Eisner (no, not that Mike Eisner) to Steiner Sports headquarters in New Rochelle, N.Y., for an exclusive look behind the scenes at a most impressive sports memorabilia operation.

Steiner’s Billy Bahnsen was a tremendously gracious host who provided Eisner and Beckett with tremendous access to some of his company’s coolest items.

We have plans to incorporate a photo feature in a future issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, but since we were either a) blown away by Eisner’s extraordinary photojournalism skills, or b) blown away by the really cool nature of the subject matter, we wanted to share a sneak preview gallery with you now.

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Box Busters: 2009-10 Upper Deck basketball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Keith Hower, Tracy Hackler and some other guy (he doesn’t have a name graphic and we just don’t know) as they open boxes of the new 2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball card set.

What will they find inside?

Click here to watch the video and find out …

And the Exquisite Winner Is . . .

ExquisiteComingSoon

About three weeks ago a giddy, shake-handed Box Busters crew cracked three of the four boxes of 2008-09 Exquisite Collection Basketball that Upper Deck was nice enough to provide.

Almost 13,000 collectors watched that episode in hopes of winning the fourth box from that case. Stay tuned to Beckett.com in the next day or two as we’ll draw one lucky winner’s name at random — on video.

But it gets better. Since this was such an overwhelmingly popular contest, we’ve worked with Thomas Fish at Blowout Cards to secure another Exquisite prize so that we can reward more viewers.

Stay tuned to Beckett.com in the coming days for all the details.

— Tracy Hackler

Upper Deck's Chris Carlin Offers His Take on the State of the Industry

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Upper Deck’s Hobby Media Manager takes exception to a recent Sports Illustrated story and files his response.

Preview gallery: 2009 Donruss Certfied football cards

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Panini America released a large lot of autographed card images for its forthcoming 2009 Donruss Certified football set, which arrives next week.

Every 10-pack hobby box will include four autograph or memorabilia cards as well as four other insert cards.

Here’s a look at some of the autograph and memorabilia options to be found.

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Box Busters: 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection Baseball

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With Beckett Baseball team members Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds out of the office, the impatient threesome of Keith Hower, Tim Trout and Tracy Hackler get a head start on two boxes of 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection.

Don’t tell anyone, just view the video here.

Raw is Roethlisberger

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On a history-making October day way back in 1992, Deion Sanders played defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons in the afternoon and outfield for the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the NLCS later that evening.

To this day, Sanders remains the only player in history to score an NFL touchdown and hit a major league home run in the same week (which he did in 1989).

But Prime Time’s two-sport supremacy is sure to be tested by the improbable double duty Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is on the verge of pulling off. Tonight, less than 24 hours after leading the Steelers to a 38-28 victory over San Diego, Big Ben will serve as guest host for World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Raw” television show on USA Network.

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