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Monthly Archives: May 2010

We're Curious: Question of the Day (May 10)

What’s your pick for the best baseball product of the last decade?

If you could only buy one pack of cards a day from 2000 to today — and could only collect those cards — what would it be and why?

First look: 2010 TRISTAR Pursuit Series 2 baseball cards

TRISTAR unveiled the basic product and preview information on Monday for its forthcoming second series set of In Pursuit of the Majors baseball cards, a boxed set product limited to just 1,440 sets (60 cases).

Pursuit will include a 75-card base set (Nos. 84-158) and six autographed cards limited to 80 or fewer copies in every box.

Also among the 15 “hits” guaranteed in every set are four parallels limited to 50 (or fewer), three short-printed cards and two 2010 Obak preview cards.

The player inclusions in this one should draw some attention as there will be autographed cards from several impact rookies this season — Starlin Castro and Jason Heyward among them — as well as autographed cards from top prospects like Carlos Santana, Desmond Jennings and Donavan Tate.

Is it too soon for a Castro-Ryne Sandberg dual auto? We hope not, because it’s in there… look for that and more when it arrives on May 19.

See more images after the jump.

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Dallas Braden's perfect game caps historic week in baseball

What a week it was in baseball…

Dallas Braden, a 27-year-old lefty for the Oakland A’s best known for jawing with Alex Rodriguez over his sacred territory, threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Braden holds a 17-23 career record in four seasons with a 4.62 ERA, but on Sunday he became just the 19th player in MLB history to achieve perfection with his 4-0 victory. It was the first perfect game for Oakland since Jim “Catfish” Hunter did it in 1968.

Braden appears on just 142 different baseball cards with 45 of those autographed and only eight of those are Rookie Cards. His most valuable card is just $15 — a trio of 2007 Exquisite Collection autographs share that distinction.

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First Look: 2010 Classics Football

It boggles the mind just a bit to realize that Classics Football turns 10 years old this summer.

It seems like just yesterday that the product was first unveiled packing a somewhat-revolutionary, history-spanning checklist that incorporated the hottest rookies, the top current stars and the greatest players of all time all in one product. Today, that something old/something new recipe is standard issue in the trading card game.

The 10th edition of Classics is slated to hit stores in late July with four memorabilia or autograph hits (at least one autograph guaranteed), four Rookie Cards (numbered to 999 or less), two Legends (numbered to 999) and six additional insert or parallel cards per box.

The Classic Cuts cut-autograph insert set is numbered to 100 or less and has a checklist that includes Sid Luckman, Walter Payton, Paul “Bear” Bryant and George Halas. There’s also an autograph insert honoring the newest class of Hall of Fame inductees, including dual-signed versions from Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice.

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JaMarcus Russell's Better Days

The precipitous plummet of JaMarcus Russell in Oakland places him prominently in the conversation of biggest busts in NFL history. Clearly, he’s had better days than the one he experienced Thursday, when the Raiders cut the first player taken in the 2007 NFL Draft.

We’ll chose to remember the May 2007 version of Russell (pictured here), the Beckett-clutching behemoth with unlimited potential who was BMOC at the 2007 NFL Players Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. How hot was he at the time? Worthy of gracing the cover of that month’s Beckett Football.

Those were the days . . .

— Tracy Hackler

Guest Commentary: Why We Collect Hockey Cards

By Russ Cohen

The other night, I got to witness Boston Bruins forward Blake Wheeler reach a career milestone, his first playoff goal, and in that moment I saw every hockey fan and every hockey collector.

He talked about the excitement of the game and the fact that he hadn’t scored in quite some time and then he was asked the million dollar question. Do you have the puck?

“No,” he said, and then there was a long pause. “Maybe? I don’t know. To be honest I don’t know where the puck is. I doubt it. There’s bigger things than individual accomplishments.”

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Rojo Johnson's baseball cards can't come soon enough …

We’ve had no word from Topps on whether Minor League Baseball’s newest phenom, Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson, will be included in the second series of 2010 Topps Pro Debut baseball cards, but after making his debut in historic fashion Thursday night, he should appear on a baseball card as soon as possible.

That’s where ProCards comes in. (We think… maybe … )

Taking the mound in the sixth inning for the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, Rojo tried to bean the first batter he faced, got himself ejected from the game and then threw his glove before spraying beer at a Nashville Sounds player.

Then, of course, they fought in the outfield.

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Box Busters: 2010 Bowman baseball cards

Somebody is busy tweeting...

One of the most highly anticipated Bowman baseball releases in some time is upon us all next week as 2010 Bowman arrives on May 12 packing one Chrome autograph per box and one pretty strong checklist.

However, Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer got their hands on a pair of boxes well before the street date for this highly anticipated episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out by clicking here.

It won’t be a Stephen Strasburg autograph. We guarantee it. (The odds on those things? Whew…)

First look: 2010 Topps Chrome baseball (updated)

Topps released the basic product information and preview images for its forthcoming 2010 Topps Chrome set on Thursday — a product highlighted by some additional inclusions not usually seen in Chrome.

Set to arrive in late September, it will include two autographs per hobby box as well as inserts styled after the Chicle and T206 sets. The base set will consist of 220 cards (170 veterans and 50 rookies).

Also among the highlights? Autographed cards from the 2010 USA Baseball collegiate team, which will be a hobby exclusive found just one per case.

Also new will be Heritage Chrome cards, which updates the Chrome parallels from Topps Heritage Baseball, as well as Chicle Chrome and T206 Chrome.

There will be Printing Plates, SuperFractors and the typical Refractor lineup: Red, Gold, Blue and standard for each of the inserts and the base set.

We’ll have more on this soon. See a gallery of preview images after the jump.

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First Impressions: 2010 Prestige Football

Imagine my surprise this afternoon when the mail arrived and in it — about a week earlier than expected — were two boxes of 2010 Prestige Football. For a diehard football fan eaten up right now with NFL Draft fever and a bad case of Tebow mania, it was kind of like Christmas in May.

(Unfortunately, there wasn’t a Tebow to be found in the one box we opened. My football fix, however, was fixed — at least for now.)

We opened one box this afternoon for the express purpose of providing our pigskin-starved visitors with an early look at the first 2010 NFL product.  As for the second 24-pack box, we have a special Box Busters episode planned for that one, so stay tuned.

After the jump you’ll be treated to a wealthy dose of images from the product. Right now, I’ll share just a few quick thoughts on what I think is a rather pleasing start to a history-in-the-making 2010 product season.

* Prestige packs a robust amount of content in every box with 24 Rookie Cards (one per pack) and 24 inserts/parallels (one per pack). The variety of design between the base 200-card set, the 100-card Rookie subset, the inserts and the parallels serves as visual Vivarin, breaking up any monotony that might surface between the first pack and the 24th.

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Box Busters preview: 2010 Bowman baseball

We’re still sorting out everything we found in a box of 2010 Bowman for our latest Box Busters video. You’ll find a teaser gallery of cards in advance of that video right here.

The gallery is after the jump as is a full rundown of the odds.

(Note: The Jason Heyward autograph was not pulled in our boxes — it’s merely a scan of a final card posted here earlier so readers can get a glimpse. What autos will we find? Wait and find out …)

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Coming up today on Box Busters …

We’re busting the first boxes of 2010 Bowman here soon for Box Busters … are you ready?

Ed Wang Makes History, Panini Makes Historic Rookie Card

It’s natural that all the hype and collectibles dollars for 2010 football cards are being directed at the high-profile, early-round  skill-position players such as Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, C.J. Spiller and Dez Bryant. But there’s a bona fide history maker hiding in the later rounds. And he’s an offensive lineman, for goodness sakes.

Ed Wang, the tackle out of Virginia Tech selected in the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills, became the first player of full Chinese descent drafted into the NFL — and next week’s release of 2010 Prestige will include his pioneering first Rookie Card.

Wang’s story is quite a compelling one. At 16, Wang — whose mother and father were members of the 1984 Chinese Olympic team — became the youngest player ever to commit to Virginia Tech. As a Hokie, the 6-5, 314-pound behemoth became known, affectionately, as “Godzilla.”

Wang is expected to improve a Bills offensive line in desperate need of assistance and help provide running lanes for his new teammate, Spiller.

2010 Prestige Football releases May 12.

Press Pass revs up its NASCAR Hall of Fame card offerings

With the NASCAR Hall of Fame set to open next Tuesday, Press Pass continues to ready cards for its 100-card release celebrating the history of the sport.

The sport’s milestones won’t only be noted in the new museum in Charlotte, N.C., but they’ll also be seen also in packs of racing cards throughout the year. The insert card set, which is broken down into four groups of cards — History of NASCAR, Milestone Moments, Glory Road and Class of 2010 — will include the members of the inaugural class as well.

NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and NASCAR CEO Bill France Jr. will appear on cards along with seven-time champions Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. as well as legendary driver and owner Junior Johnson. They all will be inducted on May 23.

Read more and see more cards from the set after the jump.

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Paging Alex Gordon! Stephen Strasburg not in Topps 206 set … yet

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball Editor | COMMENTARY

Highly touted Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg may be on the fast-track to taking the mound in the big leagues soon (and a Beckett Baseball cover appearance, too, but that’s a story for a different time), but that doesn’t mean he’ll appear on a Topps Rookie Card with the always popular RC logo any time sooner than he’s supposed to.

You see, the card above was shown on the sales materials for the forthcoming 2010 Topps 206 set for release in late August, but the preview materials arrived last month showing the not-eligible-for-an-RC phenom.

I didn’t even notice him staring back at me until I received the printed version of the sellsheet in the mail Monday — and apparently a few others didn’t notice until yesterday, either, as Topps issued the following statement early Tuesday morning:

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Panini Giving One Fan the Chance to Go 'One-on-One' with Kobe

Panini America officials today launched the “Play Kobe One-On-One” promotion with four-time NBA champion and exclusive spokesman Kobe Bryant. From May 1 through June 17, basketball fans can log on to www.PaniniAdrenalyn.com to compete against other fans , the leading scorer at the end of the promotion will get a chance to meet Kobe and play him “One-On-One” in a game of Adrenalyn, the new interactive trading card game from Panini.

Click here to watch the newest television spot promoting the contest.

The promotion coincides with the recent launch of the Panini Adrenalyn Xtreme game mode that features new enhancements to gameplay following player feedback during the beta phase of the game.  The new enhancements offer more strategic gameplay along with more shot opportunities, resulting in higher NBA scores.  Matchup results are based on a player’s chance of scoring, eliminating the ability for players to load their decks to guarantee they win a matchup.  Instead, higher ratings increase a player’s chance that they will score.

“I’m looking forward and excited to play a fan one-on-one in a game of Adrenalyn,” said Bryant, who scored 31 points Sunday in the Lakers’ 104-99 win over Utah in Game 1 of a Western Conference Semifinal. “I’ve been practicing, so I’ll be ready.”

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Longtime Dave & Adam's Buyer Joins Baseball Card Exchange

Reed Kasaoka, longtime unopened product acquisition specialist for Dave and Adam’s Card World, has joined Baseball Card Exchange as that company’s Director of Acquisitions.

“Reed has a great track record of traveling just about anywhere to buy a significant collection,” said Steve Hart, owner of Baseball Card Exchange.  “His addition to the company will allow us to have an even stronger presence in the unopened product market.”

Kasaoka, a Hawaiian native, is a 20-year industry veteran who opened his first store in 1997. He’s spent the last six years with Dave and Adam’s purchasing unopened product and managing the company’s vintage card category.

“I’m excited for this opportunity to join Steve and his company,” Kasaoka said. “We’ve done business together for several years, and I’ve always been impressed with his professionalism and honesty.  I look forward to living up to his impeccable reputation in the industry.”

Kasaoka’s goal? Continuing his mission of hitting all 50 states and all the Canadian provinces in pursuit of trading cards.

“There are still great collections waiting to be discovered,” he says.

While the addition of Kasaoka is expected to allow Hart to concentrate on other business-related duties and spend more time with his family, Hart says he’ll continue to be actively buying. “I’ll still be available to purchase quality vintage unopened product, but with Reed on board, we’ll be able to reach twice as many clients.”

Topps reveals National Chicle short-prints

Topps unveiled the short-print list for its 2010 National Chicle baseball card set on Monday — a list that should be less climactic than other vintage-style sets’ SPs since they’re all found in three subsets.

The SPs are in the Retired Stars Revisited, Vintage Veterans and Rookie Renditions sets — they can be seen after the jump.

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