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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Box Busters: 2010 Upper Deck baseball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they bust a box of 2010 Upper Deck baseball cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

Is it a Hot Box? You watch and decide…

For the latest developments in the MLBP vs. Upper Deck case since this video was filmed, click here.

The NFL's Biggest Surprises . . . Continued

In the March 2010 issue of Beckett Football that’s on newsstands and in hobby shops now, we profile seven of the 2009 NFL season’s biggest surprise players. That is, players who enjoyed breakout performances on the field and in the hobby in 2009 that forced collectors to stand up and take notice.

You know, players like Miles Austin, Austin Collie, Sidney Rice and Jamaal Charles to name four. Well, the truth of the matter is that we didn’t have enough room in the March issue to include all of the biggest breakout players, so decided to share four more with you online.

Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers
The Surprise:
Ten receivers were drafted before Wallace, but only four had more yards in their rookie season. He led all rookies in yards per catch with 19.4. His six touchdowns were tied for second most among rookies. He made great catches all season and should become Pittsburgh’s No. 2 receiver when Hines Ward retires.
Surprise Cards: Wallace has 33 Rookie Cards as of Feb. 15, and the best ones are topping out at $50-$60. With the Steelers missing the playoffs, it’s unlikely that Wallace RCs will pick up a lot of steam, but top choices are 2009 Limited #206 ($50) and the new 2009 Playoff Contenders #124 that sells for about $30-$60.

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Sights and Sounds from the 2010 NBA All-Star Jam Session

Equipped with a wandering eye and a nifty, Dallas Mavericks-branded Flip Mino Camcorder, Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Keith Hower spent the better part of three days documenting quality time at 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend in downtown Dallas.

Hower captured, among other things, Kobe Bryant signing the world’s largest basketball card, a see-it-to-believe-it half-court shot from Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings, fellow hot rookie Hasheem Thabeet playing a game of Panini Adrenalyn XL with one lucky kid and a former Beckett Basketball guest editor sharing the experience with his mom.

All in all, it was a record-breaking weekend in Dallas . . . and one collectors of all sports can appreciate after the jump

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World's largest basketball card is ready for pack out …

Nobody’s Kobe Bryant collection is big enough for this.

It turns out that there is one collection large enough for the world’s largest autographed and game-used basketball card, which was unveiled on Saturday at the NBA Jam Session.

The Panini America creation is headed to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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: 2009-10 USA Baseball box set

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they open two sets of 2009-10 USA Baseball cards.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out … and one sweet card they find can be yours in a future issue of Beckett Baseball.

Triple H at Toy Fair? That just screams "caption me" …

Every once in awhile, we run across photos that just grab our attention but really don’t have any substantial hobby ties for our core of sports cards and memorabilia. But they still beg for a place.

That’s what happened when I spotted the above photo of Triple H (Paul Levesque) showing off his action figure Friday in advance of the American International Toy Fair that starts Sunday in New York.

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Panini America sets Guinness world record with Kobe Bryant basketball card at NBA Jam Session

Nobody’s Kobe Bryant collection is big enough for this.

Panini America set a Guinness World Record on Saturday for the largest autographed game-used jersey card when it was unveiled in Arlington, Texas, at the NBA Jam Session.

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A Brief Beckett Discussion . . . and Snow

An impromptu trading card discussion between Beckett’s Brett Robertson, Keith Hower, Tim Trout and Brian Fleischer turns into a closer look at a rare Dallas snowfall.

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Major League Baseball Properties vs. Upper Deck heads to court on April 19

Major League Baseball Properties‘ lawsuit against Upper Deck regarding alleged misuse of MLB trademarks in three recently released baseball card sets will hit the courtroom not long after Opening Day, according to a statement issued Thursday evening to Beckett Media.

The statement from Matt Bourne, MLB’s Vice President of Business Public Relations is as follows:

“We are pleased that the Judge has expedited this case with the combined preliminary injunction hearing and trial beginning on April 19.  This signals that the Judge has taken our concerns about Upper Deck’s distribution of unauthorized cards very seriously.

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Press Pass Reveals Joe Montana Autograph Error

Press Pass officials recently announced that a production error on Joe Montana’s run of Semester Signature Onyx autograph cards from 2009 Press Pass Fusion led to the creation of four cards bearing identical “2/5” serial numbering.

The snafu, compliments of a malfunctioning thermotype machine, presented quite a dilemma for Press Pass officials, considering the magnitude of the player and the value of his certified autographs. Nick Matijevich, the company’s Director of Product Development, admits that he and his coworkers brainstormed many different solutions, including attempting to remove or cover up the duplicate numbering in an effort to re-number them correctly.

Ultimately, though, company officials determined that the risk of damaging four key cards   was too great with that scenario. So, instead, they decided to do nothing in hopes that the benefit of full disclosure will mean more to collectors.

“We are fulfilling all redemptions from the cards we have available in order to provide each collector with the card that they were promised,” Matijevich said. “While we understand that this situation is not ideal, we want to assure collectors that there are only five of these cards in circulation despite the repeat numbering.

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Exclusive Interview: What Does Kobe Collect?

Here’s how you know the folks at Panini America are doing something right: They managed to give Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant goose bumps.

It’s not easy to give Kobe Bryant goose bumps.

After all, Bryant is arguably the greatest basketball player in the game today with four NBA championship rings, more than 25,000 career points, 12 All-Star Game appearances and two league scoring titles. Oh, and he’s also been named the MVP of the regular season and the NBA Finals.

So, what exactly did Panini do to get Kobe so excited? They put his face on a bus. A really, really big bus.

“It’s unbelievable, man,” Bryant said. “To me, it’s a little weird seeing my face on a bus. You don’t wake up every morning and see your face on the side of a bus. It’s pretty cool.”

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Contest Update: 2009 Card Investment NFL Season Preview

You may recall that in September on Beckett.com (and on The Beckett Blog and in Beckett Football), we solicited submissions for a special 2009 NFL Season Preview card-investment contest. Essentially, we asked Beckett visitors how they would invest an imaginary $1,000 in at least five football cards for the 2009 season.

We selected 10 lucky respondents at random and announced that the one whose collection appreciates the most in value from the start of the season to the end of the Super Bowl would be crowned the winner and would receive a pigskin potpourri prize pack that includes an array of 2009 football products.

Well, the contest is almost over. In fact, after we incorporate one more pricing cycle to capture any post-Super Bowl value fluctuations, we will list the final results in their entirety, including all 10 collectors’ complete card choices and monthly value changes.

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Upper Deck Honors Saints with Boxed Set

Upper Deck is honoring the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints with a 51-card commemorative boxed set that includes 40 player cards, five Season Highlight cards, four Postseason Memorable Moments cards, one Super Bowl MVP card and one oversized 3 x 5 celebration card.

The sets — which incorporate postseason photography on some cards — are slated to arrive in early March.

Click here to order or for more information.

Say it ain't so… not all retail packs are made alike, Part III

Recently, you might have read items here on The Beckett Blog where we examined how some recent Topps retail packs and Blaster Boxes may not deliver the kinds of blasts collectors might expect.

Well, it’s didn’t really get any better for 2010 — and I’m not sure how many collectors even noticed as they made their purchases — but it’s a move that’s certainly going to curb my buying habits of the retail boxes.

What is it? The 2010 Topps Baseball Blaster Boxes don’t include any kind of autographs or game-used memorabilia cards.


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Topps appoints Ryan O’Hara new CEO

Topps announced Tuesday that it appointed Ryan O’Hara as president and chief executive officer beginning March 1.

O’Hara, the president of TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com, led the company’s business and growth strategy, overseeing all functional areas from programming to distribution to advertising sales. The TV Guide Network became one of the most widely distributed cable networks reaching over 80 million households, and TVGuide.com has grown to 20 million monthly unique visitors on his watch.

Broadcasting & Cable magazine has called O’Hara “the consummate media executive,” pointing out that he has had “experience abroad, leadership roles in both programming and distribution, and a demonstrated devotion to both traditional and new media.”

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Upper Deck aims to make collectors do a double take with baseball card promotion

Collectors who thoroughly examine their baseball cards now have a reason to look a little closer at their 2010 Upper Deck baseball cards.

Upper Deck unveiled on Tuesday a variation card promotion contest that will award prizes to collectors who can spot all 25 variations in 2010 Upper Deck and collect all of the cards.

“This should be a lot of fun for collectors as they seek out the variation cards,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s Baseball brand manager. “We’ll be announcing more and more players every month up until July, so collectors really need to be on top of things to keep track.”

The base set variation cards will have “between two and four subtle tweaks to the image shown on the commonly seeded version of the card,” according to the company, which announced that Jorge Posada (card No. 347) and Chase Utley (No. 376) are the first two. Posada has three variations, while Utley has four.

The variants are found one in every 96 hobby packs (and one in 960 at retail), while some will be much tougher to find than others.

The first five collectors to complete the set and send it in to Upper Deck will win autographed memorabilia.

Topps announces National Chicle Football short-prints

This just in from Topps on Monday …

Topps is confirming that there are 25 short-printed base cards seeded one in every six packs in the recently-released all-painted 2009 Topps National Chicle Football.  The short-prints are as follows:

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Box Busters: 2009 Topps Sterling baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2009 Topps Sterling Baseball boxes in this episode of Box Busters.

What will they find in these high-end boxes? Watch and find out.

A sneak peek inside Beckett Media's New Orleans Saints Super Bowl champions commemorative issue

Now that the New Orleans Saints have won their first Super Bowl, Beckett Media will be working throughout the night to bring to you an 80-page full-color commemorative issue that highlights their run to a championship — a magazine that will arrive on newsstands later this week. (It also will be available by clicking here soon.)

Inside, fans will find more than a dozen pages devoted to Sunday night’s game — while each contest during the rest of the season gets full-spread display treatment. We’ll also examine the team’s most notable players and their football cards.

We have a behind-the-scenes video look at the proofs of the magazine as it’s still coming together and a quick sampling — excerpts from the magazine’s Meet The Stars section — after the jump.

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Inside the Steiner Sports warehouse with MLB & New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher

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Ever wondered what treasures are hidden inside the multi-million-dollar inventory of a major sports memorabilia dealer like Steiner Sports?

MLB recently went inside Steiner and caught up with New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher as he signed for Steiner. Check out the video above — tt’s not new, but it’s still cool.