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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Card Gallery: In The Game Superlative Hockey II

In The Game‘s Superlative Volume II arrives in just 15 days and the ultra high-end product will be rarer than ever but packed with plenty in each of the 2,500 books.

Each will contain one game-used jersey card, one autograph or Auto Plus card, one Superlative Prospect autograph or Auto Plus card, one Superlative Patch, one Auto jersey or Auto Plus card, one Famous Fabrics card and one added insert.

The product will include cards of hockey’s greatest legends as well as today’s stars and prospects.

To view the preliminary checklist, click here.

See the gallery of preview images after the jump.

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Jackie Robinson's story is found on countless baseball cards

Every card has a story.

I’ve written it countless times and it’s still true. Today is an historic anniversary in the history of Major League Baseball and the 2010 Topps Heritage card above (No. 403).

Rather than recap Jackie Robinson‘s place in baseball history, I’ll let this rather affordable ($1 or less) piece of cardboard tell the tale.

Read the card back after the jump.

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UFC fan finds dream card and wins free trip to Las Vegas

UFC fan Alfonso Rodriguez of Melrose Park, Ill., was the first collector to find a triple-autograph card featuring Dana White, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz in UFC Main Event, Topps announced on Wednesday.

Rodriguez and a guest will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to be White’s guest at the UFC Training Center where they will tour the gym, meet coaches and contestants from “The Ultimate Fighter Season 12″ and then sit cageside during one of the TUF preliminary matches.

Topps created 10 of these cards, which were randomly inserted into packs.  Nine other lucky fans who find the card will receive a pair of UFC gloves signed by the trio.  Fans finding the card should e-mail
 UFCprize@topps.com to claim their prize.

To learn more about this card, click here.


Box Busters: 2010 Upper Deck Greats of the Game Basketball

Beckett Basketball‘s ever-grating tandem of Keith Hower and Tracy Hackler explore the fruits of two boxes of 2009-10 Upper Deck Greats of the Game Basketball.

What did they pull? Watch and find out.

Card Gallery: SP Authentic NCAA Football?

Passionate football card collector Sergio Dubois (beckett user ID Sensei322) brought to our attention last night his fascinating discovery of several gorgeous card images conceivably hailing from an as-yet-unreleased college-football-focused SP Authentic product.

The images provide a generation-spanning visual feast of 2010 rookies and legendary NFL Hall of Famers all decked out in their Saturday best. The result is a stunning display of eye candy steeped in SP Authentic’s aesthetically pleasing design principles.

No word from Upper Deck officials on when — or even if — this product will be released.

Find additional information on these images after the gallery and stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional details.

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First look: The New York Yankees World Series rings

The New York Yankees received their World Series rings during a pre-game ceremony just a bit ago and here’s the first look at the rings via Major League Baseball.

Yankees' World Series championship commemorated on new print

On the day that the New York Yankees receive their World Series rings, artist Opie Otterstad has unveiled his latest piece, which will be displayed publicly at Pop International Galleries, in the SoHo district of New York City on Saturday.

The 24×36 prints showcase a montage of Yankees images celebrating the team’s record 27th championship. They are limited to 209 hand-signed and numbered copies, which cost is $1,650.

For the past seven years, baseball fans have looked to Otterstad for his panoramic paintings capturing World Series victories — this being the first for the Bronx Bombers in that time.

Showing alongside Otterstad at Pop International will be renowned artist Stephen Holland, who will debut three Yankees portraits — Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez.

“The Yankees and their iconic players as painted by Opie and Holland are just as much a part of ‘popular culture art’ as Warhol’s Monroe,” said Pop International co-owner Rick Rounick.

For a closer look at the piece, click on the image above.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Panini Vows Sweeping Changes to Distribution Procedures

Panini America officials headlined Monday’s first full day of the Sports Collectibles Industry Summit in Las Vegas by announcing sweeping, comprehensive changes to the company’s distribution network.

“These are things we’ve wanted to do for 10 years,” Panini VP Mike Anderson told a room that included more than 100 hobby shop owners. “We are no longer turning a blind eye to the problem that has been killing margins for hobby stores.”

Anderson and Panini hobby sales director Rodney Alsup outlined their plans – slated to launch in the fall – that strives to address one of retailers’ most pressing concerns: Online sellers’ negative impact on brick-and-mortar profit margins and key buyer relationships.

Among Panini’s pledges to an enthusiastic retailer audience at the Summit:

* Re-authorizing all brick-and-mortar hobby shops. Only authorized stores – and potentially, a handful of authorized show retailers – will be able to purchase and sell Panini product directly.

* A dramatically reduced wholesale distribution network.  Anderson noted that, currently, as many as 50 entities operate as quasi-wholesalers, through online services such as DealernetB2B, eBay, individual websites or through a sub-distribution sales force. Going forward, Panini will appoint and promote a select number of authorized distributors – perhaps as few as four nationally, Alsup said.

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Hobby Roundtable: Examining Upper Deck's NFL news & card licensing changes throughout the industry

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Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Dan Hitt, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer discuss the changes in the hobby in the wake of Upper Deck’s NFL news late last week in this three-part Hobby Roundtable.

Part 1 is above, while the remaining parts can be found after the jump.

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BGS & James Spence Authentication join Wizard Comic Con Tour

Beckett Grading Services, the industry leader in providing collectors with the finest, most thorough, consistent and accurate grading efforts available, and James Spence Authentication, the foremost autograph authentication company in the world, will be joining the remaining eight-city 2010 Wizard Comic Con Tour with Anaheim, Calif., as the first stop.

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Industry Trade Summit Kicks Off in Las Vegas

The sports collectibles industry’s first Industry Summit kicked off Sunday night in Las Vegas with more than 200 attendees from the manufacturer, dealer, distributor and league sectors taking part in an opening reception at the Orleans Hotel.

“I thought it was a wonderful start,” said TRISTAR’s Janyce Mabra. “Everyone seemed really positive, enthusiastic and happy to be together, talking about ways to improve the business.”

Summit host Kevin Isaacson noted that more than 40 hobby store owners were attending their first-ever industry trade event.

“It was great to see the new faces, as well as many old friends,’’ Isaacson said. “And the opening retailer meeting generated dozens of positive ideas that we can employ across the business.”

Some of the highlights from Sunday’s dealer-focused retailer meetings included:

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Atlanta's Jason Heyward is first 2010 Topps Finest Rookie Redemption

Topps announced on Monday afternoon that Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward is the first 2010 Finest Rookie Redemption card — and 10 percent of the cards will be autographed.

Cardholders will know whether they will receive a signed card at the time they redeem it.

If previously redeemed, the account should note whether an autograph will be awarded soon.

Through six games, Heyward is batting .292 with three home runs and eight RBI.

Each Finest Master Box includes one Rookie Redemption, which also can be found as Blue (#’d to 199) and Gold Refractors (#’d to 50).

And for fans eager to pick up more new Heyward cards Topps teased its forthcoming 2010 eTopps card of the red-hot Braves rookie as well.

See it after the jump.

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REVIEW: 2010 TRISTAR Pursuit baseball cards

We’ve gotten our hands on a set of 2010 TRISTAR Pursuit baseball cards and cracked the box to see what’s inside. Here’s a look …


What We Pulled
Cards per set:
75 (plus checklist)
Cards per box: 90 (plus checklist)
Base set completion: 75 of 75 (100 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Short-prints: 2
(1) — Chris Carter & Grant Desme
Variation short-print (1) — Jason Heyward

Inserts: 2
Obak Preview (2) — John Montgomery Ward, Walt Whitman (limited to 425)

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Topps unveils lineup for its 2010 Baseball factory sets

Although the Major League Baseball season has barely started and Series 2 isn’t here just yet, Topps on Friday unveiled its plans for its 2010 Topps Baseball factory sets.

There will be four versions of the set released — a hobby set, a New York Yankees set, a Boston Red Sox set and a Philadelphia Phillies set.

There will be a five-card pack of serial-numbered red parallel cards in the hobby sets, while there will be a five-card bonus pack in each of the team-themed sets. The players on those cards will include:

Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Mariano Rivera
Mark Teixeira
Curtis Granderson

Dustin Pedroia
Jacoby Ellsbury
Victor Martinez
John Lackey
Daisuke Matsuzaka

Roy Halladay
Ryan Howard
Chase Utley
Jimmy Rollins
Jayson Werth

The sets will arrive in mid-July.

See the box designs for all four sets after the jump.

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Exclusive gallery — TNA: The New Era Obak insert cards

While TRISTAR‘s upcoming TNA Wrestling set doesn’t arrive in hobby shops until the end of the month, we’ve got a sneak peek at all 10 of the retro-styled Obak insert cards that will be found in TNA: The New Era.

The 10 Obak cards will be limited to just 600 copies per card when the product arrives on April 28.

They’re designed after the 1800s tobacco baseball cards of the same name.

The checklist includes Hulk Hogan, The Beautiful People, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, AJ Styles, Sting and more.

See all of the cards after the jump …

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Panini America signs partnership deal with Los Angeles Lakers

Panini America has unveiled a multi-year partnership with the Los Angeles Lakers.

As part of the deal, the Lakers will host a Panini Adrenalyn Night on April 11.  Adrenalyn is Panini’s new NBA-themed interactive trading card game.  As part of the festivities, the Lakers will distribute more than 20,000 packs of Adrenalyn cards and game boards to fans in attendance at the Staples Center.

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Upper Deck Commemorates Tiger's Return with New Memorabilia

As one of the only companies that stood by Tiger Woods during the scandal-laden treachery of his last four months, Upper Deck was understandably thrilled by his ballyhooed return to competitive golf at this week’s Masters.

Woods’ fired a like-he-never-left 4-under 68 in Thursday’s opening round that left him just two strokes off the lead — and likely added a good share of names to the waiting list for a handful of new Upper Deck Authenticated Woods items.

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Upper Deck loses NFL card license (updated)

Thursday afternoon Update: The NFL declined to comment on its decision.

Upper Deck announced Wednesday evening that it will no longer be licensed to produce NFL trading cards, ending weeks of speculation about what the beleaguered manufacturer’s status for the future might be.

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It's all about the shoes — Tim Duncan's NBA All-Star Game shoes

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Ever wonder how your shoes compare to those of an NBA player? One collector here at Beckett Media decided to show off his newest pair of kicks — and we thought you’d get a kick out of seeing them.

The shoes belonged to San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan, who was issued the kicks during the NBA All-Star Game earlier this year in Dallas.

Preview video: 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards

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There’s not too much new here, but just enough to make Topps’ latest video — a preview of the always-popular Allen & Ginter baseball set — worthwhile.

Check it out to see what 2010 will include …