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Posted on March 22, 2010 – 10:19 am | Author: chrisolds
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Cue up “Sprach Zarathustra” (aka “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair‘s theme music) because that’s the greatest professional wrestling card ever made.
Without question — at least in this writer’s mind.
The Hulk Hogan-Flair-Sting-Kevin Nash autograph card above is among some of the highlights that will be found in TRISTAR‘s forthcoming TNA: The New Era professional wrestling card set.
Hogan is the biggest household name in the modern era. Flair is considered by purists to be the greatest wrestler ever. Sting is one of the most charismatic performers ever, while Nash is perhaps among some of the best big men in wrestling history.
And they’re all found on one card.
The product, which will arrive next month, reflects a new time in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as the company has changed its face to compete with World Wrestling Entertainment in several ways.
Flair, who has appeared on only one other pack-released certified autograph — a Donruss Americana non-sport autograph released last year — will have his first autographed wrestling cards found in these packs, while new faces to TNA like Hogan, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam also will have prominent places in the forthcoming set.
TNA: The New Era will arrive on April 28.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.
See more images from the set after the jump …
Read More »
Posted on March 19, 2010 – 4:25 pm | Author: chrisolds
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By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Media
With the world’s biggest stage for sports entertainment — WrestleMania XXVI — just nine days away, the staff of WWE Magazine opted for something special with its latest issue, a project that shows just how big the “grandest stage of them all” really is.
It’s not quite an irresistible force or an immovable object a la WrestleMania III with Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant, but it’s pretty darn close — and it’s something that fans and collectors should enjoy.
What is it?
There are 26 different covers for the April issue, which will be on newsstands by March 23, just days before WrestleMania takes over Glendale, Ariz., on March 28.
Subscribers will get copies with “Mr. WrestleMania,” Shawn Michaels, on the cover, a fitting selection since his career will be on the line at the event. If Michaels loses his re-match against Undertaker, who has never lost in 17 career bouts at ‘Mania, then he will retire, ending his 25-year career.
We caught up with WWE Magazine Assistant Editor Jeff Ashworth via Twitter and lined up some behind-the-scenes information about how this project came about.
Read all about who appears on the covers, see a full gallery of images and get the dirt-sheet defeating inside scoop on the project after the jump.
Posted on March 18, 2010 – 11:47 am | Author: chrisolds
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The long-delayed Upper Deck Prominent Cuts product which is now arriving in hobby shops has nearly all of its autographs certified by PSA/DNA.
More than 7,500 signatures will be found in the release, which includes signatures from athletes in several sports as well as historic figures, and there will be a Prominent Cuts category created in the popular PSA/DNA Autograph Set Registry.
“The signatures in this extensive autograph collection series include some of the greatest entertainers, athletes and historical figures of the 20th century, and each was certified genuine by PSA/DNA,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA/DNA. “The Upper Deck Prominent Cuts is an exciting product that will give collectors an easy opportunity to own an assortment of great signatures, all with the assurance of PSA/DNA authentication.”
Posted on March 17, 2010 – 8:52 pm | Author: chrisolds
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Upper Deck‘s popular Champ’s hockey set has arrived with its eclectic mix of past and present hockey and sports stars, historical figures, landmarks and much more that help bring the old-school tobacco card aesthetic to the ice.
Champ’s packs four autographs or memorabilia cards per 20-pack hobby box with names like Michael Jordan, Dan Marino, LeBron James and Tiger Woods alongside guys like Sidney Crosby.
Among the inserts are “Wonders of the World,” which focuses on famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall of China, “Natural History,” which focuses on endangered species and extinct creatures.
Of course, also included are “Museum Pieces,” which include fossils, teeth and tools from prehistoric times embedded into the cards.
See more from the set after the jump.
Posted on March 17, 2010 – 4:53 pm | Author: chrisolds
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Here’s a little something that should get the card collectors abuzz … a little something we’ll throw out there from time to time called The Hobby Rumor Mill.
Are all of the items legit? Maybe not, but even the ones we think are true haven’t yet been confirmed or officially unveiled. In some cases, the companies ain’t talking, either.
Until then, chew on these …
Posted on March 17, 2010 – 4:03 pm | Author: chrisolds
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The die-cut crowd will be proud.
Panini America is set to revive a memorable line of trading cards, Crown Royale, as one of its basketball products later this summer.
Crown Royale was a staple of Pacific‘s card lineups for football, baseball and hockey — a sport which has its official licensing announcement coming any day now — and now fans of the hardcourt can enjoy the diecut look with 2010 Crown Royale Basketball, which will arrive in late-June.
The $25-per pack product will include seven cards per pack four packs per box and 12 boxes in each case when it arrives on June 23.
Among the highlights will be Rookie Autographs (limited to 449 on-card autographs per player) as well as Majestic Signatures autographs and a 10-card LeBron James “King On His Court” insert set that will highlight notable moments in his career with material and prime material versions of those cards.
See more images after the jump.
Posted on March 17, 2010 – 1:42 pm | Author: hackler
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The Professional Bull Riders came through Dallas in late February for the massive Dickies Iron Cowboy Invitational at Cowboys Stadium. We know what you’re thinking: Why didn’t you take the opportunity of their proximity to ask some of the riders about the new Press Pass 8 Seconds PBR trading cards? You’re in luck. We did.
And in this history-making, on-location edition of Box Busters, not only do we talk to PBR superstars J.B. Mauney and Brian Canter, we also end up in the kitchen of 2004 PBR World Champion Mike Lee. How? Watch and find out.
Special thanks to Brad Herbert for his award-worthy cinematography.
Posted on March 17, 2010 – 1:00 pm | Author: chrisolds
Baseball | 2007 Topps, Ron Washington, Texas Rangers | Comments (8)
By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary
Ron Washington‘s career and his image within Major League Baseball changed forever on Wednesday as he apologized for using cocaine one time while manager of the Texas Rangers last season.
He’s the first MLB manager known to fail a drug test, something he’ll now always be known for, despite a career beginning its fifth decade as a player, coach and manager this season.
Why was the revelation made public?
Because Washington has completed completed MLB’s drug rehab program and passed all subsequent drug tests. Remarkably, Washington admitted his mistake even before his drug test, which he was randomly selected for by MLB, took place. He offered his resignation right then and there last summer — which the Rangers didn’t take him up on — and he admitted his wrongdoings in a public manner multiple times on Wednesday.
There was no finger-pointing denial followed by a subsequent failed test. There was no sudden lack of speaking ability. There was no Ari Fleischer-coached tear-enhanced, rhetoric-laced sit-down with Bob Costas.
Instead, the 57-year-old manager — a career baseball guy who made his big-league debut as a Los Angeles Dodger nearly 33 years ago — doffed his cap and addressed his family, the media, his bosses, the fans and all of baseball. He wasn’t hiding behind prepared phrases, he wasn’t hiding behind a pair of designer sunglasses like some star slugger.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself personally, and I recognize that this episode was an attempt to dodge personal anxieties and personal issues I needed to confront,” he said. “That was the wrong way to do it. It was self-serving, and believe me, not worth it. I know you will ask, and so here’s the answer: this was the one and only time I used this drug.
“I made a huge mistake, and it almost caused me to lose everything I have worked for all of my life.”
Posted on March 17, 2010 – 11:22 am | Author: hackler
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First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us at Beckett Media. Here’s hoping the day is everything you want it to be.
Oh, and know this: No matter how many times you get pinched today because you forgot to wear green, your day can’t possibly be any dorkier than the one Beckett Senior Market Analysts Tim Trout and Brian Fleischer are enduring.
For the record, Trout had his Celtic FC jersey first; in his defense, Fleischer sent a preemptive text last night to claim Wednesday wearing rights. Trout didn’t care, we get priceless images like this one. Everybody wins.
Should someone tell them that the jerseys they’re wearing to celebrate this ballyhooed Irish holiday actually honor a soccer team from Scotland? Nah . . .
– Tracy Hackler
Posted on March 16, 2010 – 3:10 pm | Author: chrisolds
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Upper Deck‘s “Million Pack March for the Troops” program, which aims to get packs of trading cards into the hands of U.S. service members, has had more than 100,000 packs donated to the cause with the goal of one million by Veterans Day.
It has launched a new website for the program, millionpackmarch.com.
The company is working with “Operation Gratitude,” a non-profit organization that sends care packages to service members around the world. Upper Deck will hold donation drives at the National Sports Collectors Convention in August, as well as other shows, and work with its network of Diamond Dealers and hobby shops to establish drop-off points. A list of current sites can be found here.
“It’s an honor for us to partner with a dignified organization like Operation Gratitude,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck’s Manager of Sports Marketing. “The brave U.S. military men and women serving overseas certainly deserve a well-needed distraction and we’ve heard from them that opening up a pack of trading cards can make them feel a little bit closer to home.”
Collectors can also send packs 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