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Monthly Archives: November 2009

First look: 2010 Press Pass Trackside Autographs and Four Wide memorabilia cards

Press Pass has unveiled its Track Edition Autographs and the new format of its Four Wide memorabilia cards that will be found in its first 2010 NASCAR set, Press Pass 2010 and in Press Pass Eclipse.

The autograph cards, which are sequentially numbered to 10, use at-track photography and the checklist includes the top drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.

The new Four Wide cards program has evolved to include four designs for each version, keying on the main oversized swatch. The coming year also will include a 1/1 oversized race-used shoe version for the first time. The versions are  firesuit (limited to 25), sheet metal (limited to 15),  tire (limited to 10) and shoe (1/1).

Fifteen drivers are included in the Four Wide set with two cards for Earnhardt Jr. — one for each of his two main sponsors.

See several images after the jump.

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Now on the auction block: An authentic Yankee Stadium media room telephone

Just in case you know one of those New York Yankees fan who has everything, there’s a new item on the auction block that just might be right for them as the holiday season is upon us.

Available right now from Steiner Auctions (and ending Dec. 7) is an MLB-authenticated Yankees Media Room telephone.

That’s right, a media telephone — not one of those snazzy make-a-call-to-the-bullpen types used by an un-average Joe (Torre or Girardi), but one of those phones used by more than a few Joe Schmoes. It was used by, you know, those [insert adjective here] reporters, through the years.

(Oh, and if that’s not enough for you, Steiner’s throwing in a 16×20 autographed World Series photo of Nick Swisher.)

We’re not sure how many telephones were authenticated by MLB — but something tells us that someone, somewhere might be able tell us — and we’re not really sure just how many phones were in the media room, anyway. (Dallas is a ways away from The Bronx.)

But we can pretty much expect that when it comes to authenticated sports memorabilia there isn’t much out there quite like this.

Oh, and the current bid? User dbre7 is in for $1.

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.

Busted! 2009-10 Donruss Elite Basketball

We were lucky enough on Tuesday to receive two early boxes of 2009-10 Donruss Elite Basketball, due out everywhere beginning Nov. 25. We’ll open one box on Wednesday for an episode of Box Busters; as for the other one, well, we just couldn’t wait.

What we found in 20 rapidly ravaged packs is an-all-too-familiar base design that somehow takes on a different feel thanks to the relative newness of NBA photography (as opposed to the “same-old” football images).

We also found a veritable cornucopia of insert variety – 21 total inserts or parallels (including two prime-piece memorabilia cards, one autograph and two cards numbered to just 24), one autographed RC and two numbered legends. In all, 13 of our cards were sequentially numbered, including seven to 100 or less and four numbered to 50 or less.

See a full 27-card gallery after the jump.

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Card gallery: 2009-10 Rookies & Stars basketball cards

The 2009-10 Rookies & Stars basketball set from Panini America arrives on Wednesday with four autograph or memorabilia cards per hobby box — and one of this writer’s favorite card designs of the year in the Dress for Success inserts (above).

Few trading card sets have carried a more organic (non-geometric) design as interesting and different than this one — one that will incite as many oohs as it might ughs because it’s just that different than other stuff out there. (That’s the sign of an interesting card set to me.)

Don’t get the (what looks like) underwater dye swirls confused with paint splatter designs used in the past. This one’s different — and perhaps more interesting.

What else can be found in Rookies & Stars? See a sampling after the jump.

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First Look: 2010 Upper Deck Draft Edition Football

Here’s how we know the NFL’s 2010 Draft Class is going to be one of the most talent rich in recent memory: Upper Deck officials on Tuesday began soliciting orders for 2010 Draft Edition Football, the company’s first football product of next season slated to be live roughly five months from now.

With names like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford gracing Rookie Cards next season, perhaps it’s never too early to begin creating demand.

2010 Upper Deck Draft Edition will feature 150 base cards and four 25-card subsets (Todd McShay Scouting Report, Draft Edition Magazine, Alumni Association and Conference Clashes).

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The five finalists for The Face of 2010 SPx Baseball are …

If you hadn’t heard about Beckett Media‘s promotion with Upper Deck to find The Face of 2010 SPx Baseball, then that’s too bad.

It’s too late for you to enter.

However, here are the five finalists in the contest, one of which will appear in the company’s upcoming advertisement for the baseball set and win free cards.

The winner, The Face of SPx Baseball, will be announced Thursday on Upper Deck’s Facebook page.

Who are the finalists? Read their submissions after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2009 Press Pass Fusion

Box Busters Bryan Hornbeck, Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler get jiggy with three boxes of the multisport marvel known as 2009 Press Pass Fusion. What will they pull? What can you win? Watch and find out.

Press Pass goes green with 2010 Wheels Element set

This might be a hobby first.

In an industry full of mylar wrappers and plenty of cardboard, going green is near impossible, but Press Pass is doing the next-best thing.

They’re going green with their 2010 Wheels Element NASCAR set.

Scheduled to arrive in January, Element will consist of a 100-card base set and a full array of inserts printed on recycled card stock with a retro look and feel.

(Yes, Topps printed on dark stock for years — but in this case Press Pass is focusing on it and partially building the set’s concept around it.)

The Green flag, which signifies “go” to the racers? They will be used in a Green-White-Checkers insert that has pieces of race-used flags all on a single card.

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Another look: 2010 Topps baseball cards


Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard all about 2010 Topps Baseball, here’s the latest from the company as released on Monday.

There’s not much new here in the product breakdown, but, hey, it’s a light news day when it comes to baseball cards as we await the remainder of the 2009 card schedule and move ever so closer to 2010.

See the full release after the jump.

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Topps Unveils WWE Slam Attax TCG

WWESlamAttaxTopps officials have publicly acknowledged the importance of the company’s Attax trading card games in the ongoing effort to re-engage kids into trading cards and collecting.

The company, which recently launched its NHL Puck Attax game, started soliciting orders Friday for the WWE version of the game, Slam Attax Evolution.

The TCG, which, according to Topps, has been responsible for more than $4.5 million in net European sales, includes 130 base game cards representing WWE’s three main brands (Raw, Smackdown and ECW), and its top tag teams, legends, match types and Pay Per Views. In addition, there are insert sets devoted to Champions (16 cards), Finishing Moves (19 cards), Title Foil (11 cards) and Props (10).

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Blowoutcards' Thomas Fish steps up for Operation Gratitude



Blowoutcards.com owner Thomas Fish is working with Operation Gratitude to help expand its program announced on Wednesday in conjunction with Upper Deck that will get packs of trading cards into the hands of U.S. military members serving overseas.

Thanks to Fish’s interest — and interest from collectors who are his customers — there already are more than 10,000 additional packs of cards secured for the program, which can now include trading cards from all companies. Blowout also will be a corporate sponsor for the program.

The Million Pack March for the Troops began on Wednesday, Veterans Day, with Upper Deck donating 100,000 packs of trading cards to start toward the goal of one million packs for soldiers by Veterans Day 2010.

Upper Deck will host donation drives at card shows, including the 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, and work with UD Diamond Dealers and hobby shops to establish donation drop-offs.


While Blowout’s plans have not yet been fully unveiled, people who are interested in donating any sealed packs of Upper Deck cards can send them to the following address:

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard

Attn. Upper Deck’s Million Pack Drive to Support the Troops

17330 Victory Boulevard

Van Nuys, CA 91406




Box Busters Gallery: 2009 Press Pass Fusion



Dan Hitt, Bryan Hornbeck and Tracy Hackler on Thursday morning had the opportunity to bust three early boxes of 2009 Press Pass Fusion, the company’s first foray into the multisport arena.

The good news is that Beckett’s Box Busters cameras were rolling for the bust, and the video will be posted later today.

The product carries a $9.99 pack SRP (eight packs per box) and delivers one autograph and another autograph or memorabilia card per box.

Fusion provides high entertainment value with a combined breadth of subjects, sports and photography rarely seen in the sports card arena. The product’s predominantly college theme allows for a unique feel. And it doesn’t hurt that every autograph in the set is on-card.

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Beckett Exquisite Winner Busts His Box


Mild-mannered Michigan native and IT professional Carl Seabold was beside himself when we notified him that he’d won one of the 2008-09 Exquisite Collection boxes from our widely embraced Box Busters contest.

So you can imagine Seabold’s excitement when his prize box actually arrived last week and he took the opportunity to record his own Box Busters episode for all to see.

Thanks for sharing, Carl. By the way, is that an extremely limited Kobe Bryant/Paul Pierce dual auto you’ve got there?

– Tracy Hackler

Box Busters: 2009 SP Signature Edition Football


Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler, two guys who know a thing or two about commons, open four boxes of 2009 SP Signature Edition Football. What did they find? Well, that’s a good question . . .


Box Busters: 2009-10 Rookies & Stars Basketball


Beckett Box Busters Keith Hower and Tracy Hackler double-team 24 packs of 2009-10 Rookies & Stars Basketball. Find out what they pulled — and what you can win — by watching their pack-ripping antics.


First Look: 2010 Topps UFC Uncaged


Topps‘ UFC product development team earlier this week released several preview images from the company’s 2010 UFC Uncaged product, due out in late February.

Among them is the first certified autographed card of UFC superstar Tito Ortiz.

Each 24-pack hobby box will contain three Relics and two autograph cards per box, which means Topps’ third licensed UFC release will deliver more hits per box than either of the previous two products.  (Each case will contain 10 boxes and each pack has six base cards, one insert and one parallel.)

Company officials also announced that Uncaged will incorporate actual hardware from the Octagon, including pieces of the cage. All Relics will have parallels — Golds (1/1), Silvers (numbered to 8) and Bronze (numbered to 88), while there also will be Chrome Triple Threat Relics, which include a piece of mat, gear and cage pieces.

Oh, and also among the highlights? A Chrome Dual Autograph Relic card of  Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir — just one of the five cards on that set’s checklist.

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2009 Press Pass Fusion: Box Busting Begins Thursday Morning


You’re looking at the first three boxes of Press Pass‘ new multisport endeavor known as Fusion. Hot off the presses Wednesday evening, they’ll be fodder for the Beckett Box Busters crew Thursday morning.

The product includes two hits per eight-pack box (including one autograph and an additional autograph or memorabilia card) and a legend-steeped autograph checklist that includes the likes of John Elway, John Wooden, Bob Gibson, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, Larry Bird, and more.

Stay tuned.

– Tracy Hackler

Upper Deck aims to make two Canadian hobby shops "Hockey Card Heaven"


Upper Deck unveiled its latest promotional sports program on Wednesday  — “Hockey Card Heaven” – which will tab two Canadian hobby shops as divine destinations.

The shops with the most creative promotions, those that increase sales and those that market new hockey cards in the best ways will be in the running for prizes. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges.

The grand-prize winners will earn an in-store visit and autograph session with an NHL player — one being Toronto rookie goaltender Jonas Gustavsson while the second will be revealed later this month. The contest begins Nov. 15, and runs through Feb. 28 with the winners announced on March 8, 2010.

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Upper Deck launches Million Pack March for U.S. military


Upper Deck has joined forces with Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that sends 100,000-plus “care packages” annually to U.S. service members, to launch a campaign to get trading cards — a little piece of home — into the hands of military troops serving overseas.

The Million Pack March for the Troops began on Wednesday, Veterans Day, with Upper Deck donating 100,000 packs of trading cards to start toward the goal of one million packs for soldiers by Veterans Day 2010.

Upper Deck will host donation drives at card shows, including the 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, and work with UD Diamond Dealers and hobby shops to establish donation drop-offs.
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Box Busters: 2009 Sweet Spot baseball cards


Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2009 Sweet Spot baseball cards from Upper Deck.

What will they find inside this sweet, but not spotty, episode of Box Busters?

Click here to watch the video and see …