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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Recovering Brock Lesnar Returns Press Pass Fusion Autos

Collectors holding 2009 Press Pass Fusion redemption cards for Brock Lesnar autographs can take comfort – and, perhaps, a great deal of surprise – in knowing that the current UFC heavyweight champion already returned all of his signatures, just a week after the product went live.

Even more remarkably, the cards arrived at Press Pass headquarters less than two weeks after Lesnar underwent surgery for a bacterial infection in his intestinal tract. Lesnar continues to recover from a highly publicized illness initially thought to be potentially career-ending.

“We were recently informed by Lesnar’s representation that he had returned home from the hospital to continue recuperating, and that the cards would be signed shortly,” said Nick Matijevich, Press Pass Director of Product Development. “Obviously, in light of the health scare he had, we let them know that this was a secondary concern for us at the moment, and that our main interest was that Lesnar make a full and speedy recovery.

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Eli Manning & the Exploding Paint Pen

It would appear that the New York Giants’ probability of winning the NFC East for the second straight season isn’t the only thing blowing up in Eli Manning’s hands these days. Apparently, one of the gold paint pens he used to sign some of his new 2009 UD Black cards wasn’t exactly operating at full efficiency, either.

Judging from this card, pulled during a recent taping of Box Busters, it would appear that things got a little messy in Gotham for the Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the Giants, who’ve dropped five of their last six games. The result is an ink-blot-test-feeling conversation piece that also inadvertently covers up the card’s serial number.

We reached out to Chris Carlin at Upper Deck to see if the company is aware of similar instances with the big-ticket Black product.

“In speaking with our football team and Quality Assurance group, they believe this would have been an isolated incident,” Carlin said. “Cards are reviewed when returned back to us from the athletes, but if someone was going through these too quickly or holding them in a way that could have blocked this damage, it could have been missed.

“While these pens give a great-looking signature, the do fail sometimes. We make sure we review the cards before they go out, and we produce some overstock to use for replacements. We would be able to replace this card.”

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Topps official: Minor League deal will not affect Bowman lines

With Toppsannouncement earlier today that it will be the exclusive licensee of cards for Minor League Baseball beginning in 2010, there’s a common question brewing among many prospectors.

What does this mean for Bowman? Could Topps entering the MiLB card market impact the prospect-packed Bowman lines?

Nope, according to Topps’ Clay Luraschi.

“Business as usual with Bowman,” Luraschi told Beckett Media on Monday afternoon.

Luraschi did offer more details for Topps’ inaugural release, 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 1, which will arrive in March.

Luraschi confirmed that the MiLB products from Topps will include autograph and memorabilia cards (something a Minor League release quite possibly could have gone without) and that a second series for Topps Pro Debut will arrive sometime in the summer.

The MiLB deal, which operates under a blanket agreement, allows Topps to make cards of any player — so those looking for the first fully licensed cards of No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg just might find him there.

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.

Topps Lands Minor League Baseball card Exclusive

Topps officials on Monday confirmed that the company has secured an exclusive multi-year deal with Minor League Baseball.

The agreement, which takes effect beginning Jan. 1, 2010, grants Topps the exclusive rights to produce nationally distributed trading cards of draft picks and prospects within Minor League Baseball, and will give Topps the rights to names and logos of the 160 affiliated Minor League clubs and current Minor League players in uniform on baseball cards and stickers.

The deal also means Topps is the only company that can use Minor League Baseball’s Pro Debut logo. (Grandstand, Multi-Ad and Choice will continue to produce team sets for regional/team distribution, according to one MLB executive, as this deal does not affect those companies.)

The company’s first officially licensed Minor League product will be 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 1, set to release in March.

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The Blind Side’s box office success sparks interest in Michael Oher football cards

While its $34.1 million opening weekend was lost in the shadow of a teen vampire movie, The Blind Side – a film based on the real-life struggles of a current NFL rookie — is holding on to the No. 2 spot at the box office again this week.

And that has helped spark interest in Michael Oher‘s football cards.

Oher, a first-round pick by Baltimore in this year’s draft who has started every game for the Ravens, was a star offensive lineman for the Ole Miss Rebels. Before that, he was a homeless child in Memphis, Tenn., who was taken in by a family. His story inspired a book by Moneyball author Michael Lewis as well as the film, which stars Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.

Oher appears on 153 different football cards so far this year — just 22 of those autographed and all from Upper Deck. And with the kind of national exposure his story is getting, there are a lot more than just the typical football card collectors picking up his cards.

Sales have been strong. For example, Oher’s 2009 Philadelphia National Chicle Autographs card (No. #NC100; above) typically sold in the $30 range (high-side) but has recently gone for as much as $90. His 2009 Upper Deck Icons Autographs card (No. 125) typically sold for about $20 but has gone for as much as $80.

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First Look: 2009-10 ITG Heroes & Prospects Hockey

While many folks across North America were making their way to church on Sunday morning, In the Game officials released preliminary information and images on 2009-10 Heroes & Prospects Hockey.

The product, due out in January, includes a 150-card base set honoring the best from the Canadian Hockey League and the American Hockey League with subsets devoted to the likes of CHL Prospects, AHL Prospects and AHL Grads. In addition, two 10-card sets devoted to rookies from the CHL and AHL.

Autographs from a checklist more than 100 subjects strong will be found approximately two per box, as will memorabilia cards, which have become Heroes & Prospects’ calling cards, if you will, in the last five seasons.

Stay tuned to Beckett.com for more information on 2009-10 ITG Heroes & Prospects Hockey. In the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek at some of the product’s sweet inclusions.

— Tracy Hackler

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Our final two contests are coming up …

Stick with us here on Black Friday as we have two more contests to go …

And since we want everyone to be able to have a chance to win, we’re making the questions easy and we’ll leave them open for the rest of Friday, well after the crazy sales have ended…

Next one’s up in a few minutes…

Three more Black Friday contests to go…

Stick with us here on Black Friday as we have three more contests to go… the next is coming up in roughly 10 minutes…

What’s to come? Another autographed plaque, an autographed basketball and a future baseball famer’s autograph.

Stay tuned.

Happy Thanksgiving from Beckett Media

From everyone in the Beckett Media family to everyone in yours . . . Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks for everything you do that allows us to do everything we do.



They're back! Classic Garbage Pail Kids returning in 2010

Garbage Pail Kids, the 1980s trading card parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids toys (and really much, much more in pop culture), are returning with a new set from Topps that pays tribute to many of the memorable original cards from the 1980s.

Scheduled for a mid-February release, Garbage Pail Kids Flashback is a 160-card set (two named versions of 80 drawings)  that includes some of the most memorable kids from the past classic sets along with nine “lost” Kids that never made the cut back in the mid-1980s.

See more images (you just might recognize a few of these GPKs besides Rappin’ Ron) and read more about the new set after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Topps Attax baseball cards

Topps unveiled preview images and basic product information for its 2010 Topps Attax baseball trading cards, a $1.50-a-pack product aimed at younger collectors and game-players.

Scheduled to arrive in mid-February, Attax will include 36 packs per box with each containing three Batter Cards, one Pitcher Card as well as one code card and one Silver foil card.

Starter boxes carry a suggested retail price of $4.99 and include 11 Batter Cards, four Pitcher Cards, two Code Cards, two Silver foil cards, one Gold foil
card and a Sepia foil card found only in the starter boxes.

The standard set consists of 220 cards, while the foil checklist lengths vary. The Sepia card checklist includes the likes of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Cy Young, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle and more.

See card images and more after the jump.

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Review: 2009 TRISTAR Prospects Plus baseball cards (HOT BOX)

We’ve popped a Hot Box of the new 2009 TRISTAR Prospects Plus to help get you through the holidays.

What makes it a Hot Box? Well, it says so right on the box. There are two different types of boxes and cases for this product with only 2,400 standard boxes and 720 Hot Boxes made.

What did we find in the first product on the market to include 2009 draft picks? Check it out — along with a selection of card images — after the jump.

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Blowoutcards.com Teams with UFC's Jon "Bones" Jones

Blowoutcards.com on Wednesday announced that it has inked undefeated UFC light heavyweight Jon “Bones” Jones to a two-fight deal that will include autographs from the fighter as well as the Blowoutcards.com logo on Jones’ fight shorts.

Jones, who sports the longest reach in UFC history at 84 1/2 inches, is 8-0 and will headline the Dec. 5 Ultimate Fighter Live Finale on Spike against former “Ultimate Fighter” champion Matt Hamill. Blowoutcards.com also will receive the shorts worn next Saturday by Jones, known for his vicious spinning elbows.

“[Jones] is an amazing talent,” says Thomas Fish, the president of Blowoutcards.com. “His work ethic and unorthodox style continues to impress and we are proud to be a sponsor.”

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Upper Deck rewards hockey fans with weekly promotion

Upper Deck is set to reward hockey card collectors with a new program that can only be found in hobby shops that are among the company’s Diamond Dealers.

The program, 2009-10 NHL Biography of a Season, will give unique cards to collectors who buy $5 worth of UD hockey cards at those shops each week.

There are 30 cards planned for the set with Upper Deck already unveiling a selection of the cards. Who’s in so far? Stanley Cup winner Sidney Crosby (his card proves it), Alexander Ovechkin and top rookie John Tavares, among others.

See more images after the jump.

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Topps confirms six short-printed variations in 2009 Heritage High Number

Updated later on Wednesday with SP list and card gallery at end.

While Topps has yet to release a list of variation cards in its new 2009 Topps Heritage High Number baseball card set, a few collectors already have reported finding a pair of variations that just might not make a few fans happy.

Well, at least fans of the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

So far, among the variations spotted are a Dustin Pedroia card (pricey?) sporting a Yankees logo (he’s the Sox second baseman if you didn’t know — or didn’t read above) and a card of Yankees captain Derek Jeter with a Red Sox logo.

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Topps reveals its 2009 rookie All-star team

Topps unveiled its 51st annual Major League Rookie All-Star Team — a selection of players who will have the famed cup logo adorning their 2010 baseball cards.

They are:

1B Travis Ishikawa, San Francisco (120 games, 9 HR, 39 RBI, .261)
2B Chris Getz, Chicago (A.L.) (107, 2, 31, .261)
3B Gordon Beckham, Chicago (A.L.) (103, 14, 63, .270)
SS Elvis Andrus, Texas (145, 6, 40, .267)
OF Chris Coghlan, Florida (128, 9, 47, .321)
OF Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh (108, 12, 54, .286)
OF Nolan Reimold, Baltimore (104, 15, 45, .279)
C Omir Santos, New York (N.L.) (96, 7, 40, .260)
RHP Tommy Hanson, Atlanta (127.2 IP, 11-4, 2.89, 116 K, 46 BB)
LHP J.A. Happ, Philadelphia (166 IP, 12-4, 2.93, 119 K, 56 BB)

The awards began in 1959 with Willie McCovey being the first of 16 future Hall of Famers named to the squad.

Box Busters: 2009 Topps 206 baseball cards

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they bust open a box of the brand new 2009 Topps 206 baseball cards for this extra special edition of Box Busters.

What makes it so special? Beckett Media guru Tracy Hackler fills in on the camera work.

What will they find in the box? Watch and see…

Box Busters: 2009 Topps Heritage High Number baseball cards

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they bust open a box of the brand new 2009 Topps Heritage High Number baseball cards for this extra special edition of Box Busters.

What makes it extra special? Beckett Media guru Tracy Hackler fills in on the camera work.

What will they find in the box? Watch and see…

Judy Heeter will step down as MLBPA's director of Business Affairs and Licensing

Judy Heeter announced Tuesday her intention to step down as Director of Business Affairs and Licensing of the Major League Baseball Players Association – a position she has held since 1991.

Heeter will remain in the role until the end of the year. Among her recent decisions that influenced baseball card collectors was the implementation of the Rookie Card logo program beginning in 2006.

MLBPA’s Evan Kaplan, who is the MLBPA Category Director for Trading Cards and Collectibles, declined to comment further on the move and any future ramifications for licensing or the staffing for 2010.

“For nearly 20 years, Judy was a leader in the trading card industry,” Kaplan said via email to Beckett Media. “Her presence and contributions will be missed.”

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Upper Deck signs Greg Maddux to autograph deal

Upper Deck announced on Tuesday that it has signed future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux to an autograph deal for 2010.

Maddux’s last certified autographed cards were found in Upper Deck’s 2008 Masterpieces set — his lone signed cards that year.

During his career, Maddux has signed for 621 different certified autograph cards.

“Greg Maddux hasn’t signed a trading card in nearly three years and his collecting base is still rock solid – meaning demand for his signed cards has only increased during that time period,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s baseball brand manage, in a release. “In addition to being able to offer an array of new Greg Maddux autographed cards, Upper Deck will also be producing some amazing memorabilia cards including a sought-after assortment of premium patch cards.”

Upper Deck has signed several high-profile players to autograph deals for 2010 with New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada announced on Monday to go along with fellow Yanks Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte as well as former Yankee Jose Canseco.

Card gallery: Panini America's Threads and Limited basketball inserts

Panini America released images on Tuesday for a pair of forthcoming insert sets in upcoming basketball products that might grab the attention of a collector or two.

In 2009-10 Panini Threads, which arrives on Dec. 16, collectors can find signed Home and Away cards, which are diecut cards printed on textured cardboard that look like jerseys. (And, of course, they are found in Home and Away versions.)

In 2009-10 Limited, which arrives on Jan. 6, there will be Glass Cleaners autographs, which are made to look like a backboard.

Each of these sets features autographs signed directly on the cards, not stickers, a major selling point with collectors these days.

See cards from each of these sets after the jump.

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Press Pass produces 8 Seconds promo cards

Everyday collectors who are on Press Pass‘ mailing list should have received a six-card lot of 8 Seconds promo cards of stars on the Professional Bull Riders.

The un-numbered promos, which were mailed to collectors along with sales information and some basic facts about the PBR, include Ty Murray, Guilherme Marchi, Kody Lostroh, Justin McBride, JB Mauney and bullfighter Flint Rasmussen.

The cards are printed on foilboard and have glossy backs. The base set will consist of 100 cards and each hobby box will pack three autographs and three memorabilia cards when it arrives in January.

See all of the cards after the jump.

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Preview gallery: 2009 Ultimate Collection football cards

Upper Deck‘s Ultimate Collection football set arrives in December with one autograph or memorabilia card per box, but you don’t have to wait to see more from the set.

Click here for more on the previously inclusions.

You can see several new preview images after the jump.

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William Bucci is the face of Upper Deck's 2010 SPx baseball cards

Upper Deck’s advertising campaign using real collectors to help promote the company’s SPx brand has been a hit, and the company’s combined effort with Beckett Media has found the new face for 2010 SPx Baseball.

Call him The Rookie. He’s 3-year-old William Bucci.

The ads feature real collectors with nicknames like the “Case-Breaker” and the “Hit-Man” noting what they love most about SPx. When Upper Deck sought out the face of 2010 SPx Baseball, Thomas Bucci Jr., thought it might be a little different to showcase his son.

His entry got some attention at Beckett Media, which narrowed down the entries received to the top five submissions. When Upper Deck’s staff saw “The Rookie,” they knew they had found something special.

“SPx is not really a brand for 3-year-olds,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck sports marketing manager.

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Box Busters: 2009-10 Donruss Elite Basketball

Join wanna-be elitists Keith Hower and Tracy Hackler as they help themselves to one of the first boxes of 2009-10 Donruss Elite Basketball.