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Monthly Archives: June 2010

First look: 2010 Topps Chrome football cards

Topps released the basic preview images and product information for its 2010 Chrome football set on Monday, a rookie-laden product that will arrive in mid-October.

Loaded with a Rookie Card in every pack and an autograph in every 24-pack hobby box, Chrome will consist of 275 cards in the base set with 110 of them being veterans and 110 of them being rookies.

The familiar parallels return — SuperFractor, Gold, Black and standard Refractors — while rounding out the set there will be Rookie Autograph Patch cards as well as Rookie Autographs.

Also among the inserts are Bowman Chrome Autograph Refractors and standard Bowman Chrome Rookies.

Among the biggest highlights? A triple autograph of Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen.

The Bowman Chrome rookies checklist will include just 30 players only found in Topps Chrome. There will be Refractors and autographed Refractors of these cards.

Among the other inserts are Topps Reprints, Gridiron Lineage, Reprints Refractor autographs and Rookie Red Zone autographs.

See more images after the jump.

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Tim Tebow Knows baseball?

Tim Tebow hits 12 home runs on 15 pitches during a batting practice session?

One old 1990 Score  Bo Jackson baseball card immediately came to mind.

You know you thought it, too.

I just wonder if Nike thought the same thing …

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.


Stephen Strasburg makes eTopps appearance

We know of a few reasons that this one won’t last long — two MLB victories and 22 strikeouts being just a couple.

Topps announced on Monday that Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is one of two eTopps IPOs this week.

A maximum of 1,999 Strasburg cards will be made with an IPO price of $8 per card.

Not everyone who puts in a claim for a card will receive one as the online, stock market-style program will undoubtedly have allocations for such a popular player’s card.

And you can bet, given eTopps’ popularity in the short-term market and Strasburg’s present status as baseball’s latest phenom, that the card will be a hot one.

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.

Were you a winner on Free Stuff Friday?

Another Free Stuff Friday – has come and gone, but it was a small but strong offering for the baseball collectors who paid attention to the Washington Nationals this week.

Were  you one of the winners?

Find out after the jump …

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Panini America Announces Tim Tebow Autograph Card Winner

As further testament to just how scorching-hot Tim Tebow is with football collectors right now, we present example No. 3,987:  The special on-location 2010 Prestige Box Busters episode.

At the end of the video, which features special guest and Panini America CEO Mark Warsop and was shot on location at Panini America headquarters, Warsop offered viewers the chance to win a Tebow 2010 Prestige NFL Draft Autographed Patch NFL Shield card.

All viewers had to do was chime in on what they thought of 2010 Prestige Football and what they thought of Tebow’s prospects as an NFL quarterback. Well, one month, almost 3,000 views and more than 90 contest entries later, Panini America officials have finally selected a winner: Beckett.com member delfergeMD.

According to Panini’s Scott Prusha, company officials were both entertained and inspired by the creative passion exhibited in delfergeMD’s response (the third entry received in the contest, for those who are curious).

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Topps unveils Avatar trading card set

How do you say certified autograph in Na’vi?

Topps unveiled on Monday its plans for an Avatar 3D trading card set that will arrive in September to coincide with the release of the extended version of the movie on Blu-Ray.

The set will consist of 48 widevision-sized cards — three per pack — with plans for certified autographs from select cast members as well as sketch cards, pending the approval of Twentieth Century Fox.

The James Cameron film grossed more than $749 million in the United States and $2.7 billion world-wide.

See more of the cards after the jump.

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Guest Commentary: Kane & Toews will be forever linked in hockey, hobby

By Russ Cohen

They are sometimes linemates but always teammates and now the two young men had a chance to hoist Lord Stanley in Philadelphia.

Then they basked in a parade in Chicago and if you thought you’ve seen a lot of combination cards of Patrick Kane and captain Jonathan Toews then think again – – expect a plethora of them in the coming sets by Upper Deck and hockey newcomer Panini.

Recently UD Artifacts had a nice combo card of this dynamic duo on a patch card numbered to just 15. Before the Cup, that card probably would have sold for $100 to $150 but now a card like this has an asking price of $200.

Is it worth it?

I think so especially if you are a fan of either the players or the teams.

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Stephen Strasburg baseball cards — the hottest thing in the hobby

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There’s no question that Stephen Strasburg is the hottest thing in baseball — and baseball cards — right now.

And as we head into the weekend with Strasburg’s second big-league start scheduled for Sunday, we’ve whipped up some statistics about Strasburg’s baseball cards.

Check it out …

FREE STUFF FRIDAY (6-11) — A red hot and not-even-out-yet edition

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday – and it’s a small but strong offering for the baseball collectors who paid attention to the Washington Nationals this week.

How can you win? Click on the links below and follow the directions…

No. 1 — A Bryce Harper 2010 USA Baseball card

No. 2 — A Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman baseball card

No. 3 — A 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter box (courtesy of GlobalSportsCards.com)

Box Busters: 2010 Donruss Elite Football (and A Closer Look)

Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Tracy Hackler have their way with an early box of 2010 Donruss Elite Football. What did they pull? Watch and find out.

Oh, and just in case you wanted even more analysis of Donruss Elite, here are five minutes of your life you’ll never get back.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake is Topps’ fourth Finest Rookie Redemption

Topps revealed its fourth 2010 Finest Rookie Redemption card on Thursday, and it’s Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake.

Topps’ previous announcements include Cubs rookie Starlin Castro for rookie No. 3, while info on rookie No. 2 can be found here and rookie No. 1 can be found here.

Leake, a former Arizona State star, has a 5-0 record with a 2.22 ERA this season. He has 50 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched.

Through the rest of the season, Topps will announce the remainder of the players in the 10-card set.  Each Finest Master Box includes one Rookie Redemption, which also can be found as Blue Refractors (199 copies) and Gold Refractors (limited to 50).

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.

Colorado Collector Completes Rare Patrick Kane Trifecta

Editor’s Note: In honor or Patrick Kane’s Stanley Cup-winning goal Wednesday night in overtime of Game 6, we have this little gem . . .

When Ryan Curi came into my store, Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo., to crack some 2009-10 SP Game Used Hockey right after it hit, he pulled some huge rookies, some sweet patches and, to top it off, a Patrick Kane Marks of a Nation Black Gold Parallel signed letter “U” card #’d 1/3.

We quickly figured out that it was an autographed 1/1 card and that there was also an “S” and an “A” card out there somewhere. With the Olympics fresh on Ryan’s mind, he took it upon himself to go for the collecting gold medal and complete the trifecta.

Ryan went on the hunt and two weeks later found the “A” on eBay and snagged it before it go away. Continuing his incredible lucky streak, the “S” came on a few weeks later and while the starting price was $750, he was able to with the seller to finish his 1/1 USA Kane set for about the price of two sealed boxes.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had customers tell me that they would like to complete a letter set like this and it takes the rare enthusiast to complete a collecting hat trick like Ryan did.

– Mike Fruitman, Mike’s Stadium Sportscards, Aurora, Colo.

Editor’s Note: Mike, thanks, as always, for sharing. Congratulations, Ryan. Congratulations, Patrick. Congratulations, Blackhawks.

n Ryan Curi came into my store, Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, CO, to crack some 09/10 SP Game Used hockey right after it hit, he pulled some huge rookies, some sweet patches and to top it off, a Patrick Kane Marks Of A Nation Black Gold Parallel signed letter “U” card 1/3.

We quickly figured out that it was an autographed 1/1 card and that there was also an “S” and an “A” card out there somewhere.  With the Olympics fresh on his mind, he took it upon himself to go for the collecting gold medal and complete the trifecta.

Ryan went on the hunt and two weeks later found the “A” on eBay and snagged it before it got away.  Continuing his incredible luck streak, the “S” came on a few weeks later and while the starting price was $750.00, he was able to work with the seller to finish his 1/1 USA Kane set for about the price of two sealed boxes.

I can not tell you how many times I have had customers tell me that they would like to complete a letter set like this and it takes the rare enthusiast to complete a collecting hat trick like Ryan did.

Mike Fruitman

Mike’s Stadium Sportscards

4022 South Parker Road

Aurora, CO. 80014

(303) 699-9808

Details are Sketchy for 2010 Topps Football . . . But You Could Win

Equip an NFL superstar rookie with nothing more than a pen, a 2 1/2-by-by-3 1/2-inch blank cardboard canvas and his own imagination and the results can be amazing, amusing and absolutely revealing.

Indeed, just when you think you’ve seen it all in the envelope-pushing arena of sports trading cards, Topps brings its brilliantly simple, genuinely refreshing athletes-as-Sketch-Card-artists concept to 2010 Topps Football following a successful debut in 2009 Topps WWE earlier this year.

At last month’s NFL Players Rookie Premiere, Topps officials asked each of the 35 players in attendance to draw, doodle or jot down whatever they wanted (provided it was in good taste) on an authentic Topps sketch card; 26 of the players ended up taking Topps up on its unique request. As a result, the pad-clad Picassos hand-crafted some of the most memorable Sketch Cards to date.

(Actually, 27 players obliged but one artist’s proof was not necessarily appropriate for packout.)

“They liked the idea and some of them really got into it,” says Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Director of Product Development. “There were no parameters.  We let them draw whatever they wanted.”

That included, among other things, a version of Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, some entertaining self portraits, some captivating play calls and some simple scribbles that ended up being dead giveaways.

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Beckett Baseball: How artistic are you?

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds gives you the basics on a contest in the latest issue of the magazine — one that will test the artistic skill of baseball collectors.

Watch the video to find out more.

Game-used Stephen Strasburg memorabilia hits MLB.com auction block

Update: The ball sold for more than $20,000.

Less than a day after his dazzling major league debut, game-used memorabilia from Stephen Strasburg‘s 14-strikeout night as well as items from his pro debut in the minor leagues in April have hit the auction block at MLB.com.

Leading the way so far is a signed and inscribed  “MLB Debut 14 K’s 1st MLB win” game-used baseball. The ball, which was used against Garrett Jones in the second inning Tuesday night, has attracted 11 bids and is at $1,210 with a week or so remaining in the auction.

Other items on the block include first base from the fourth to sixth innings — $630 after three bids — and several items from his debut on April 11. Among those items are a signed lineup card, a game-used rosin bag, a game-used ball,  first base and even an MLB-certified authentic cleat cleaner, which is up to $80. (You know you need one of those…)

A pair of non game-used autographed items also are on the block — a signed baseball that’s up to $215 after 13 bids, and a signed jersey, which is at $610 — for now.

See more images from the auctions after the jump.

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Timberwolves star to sign at California card shop

Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love will be signing autographs for free at a California card shop this Saturday.

The former UCLA Bruin will sign at Extra Inning  Sports Cards (13470 Washington Blvd.) in Culver City, Calif., beginning at 1 p.m.

Love averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds a game this season for the 15-67 Timberwolves.

Stephen Strasburg proves his worth in MLB debut

There’s been plenty written about the outrageousness of the baseball card values for Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

But he showed precisely what he was made of Tuesday night — enough to make one wonder what a 2010 Bowman SuperFractor might go for now.

Strasburg set a Nationals team record with 14 strikeouts in a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on a homer by Delwyn Young, while giving up just four hits and walking none. Strasburg also tied a team record with seven consecutive strikeouts.

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First Look: 2010 Topps Finest Football

It seems like forever ago, but there was a time late last year when it appeared that Topps was out of the football card business and, as a result, the company temporarily suspended its football operations. Of course, then it was announced  in late April that Topps was in fact not out of the football card business.

In the five weeks since, company officials have certainly made up for lost time by pulling the curtain back on their first three 2010 NFL products — highlighted by today’s preview of 2010 Topps Finest Football — all set to release within a three-week span from late August to late September.

Due out in late September, Finest (five cards per pack, six packs per mini box, two mini boxes per master box) packs football’s first Atomic Refractors (25 players, each with three variations) and will deliver one Rookie Autograph Patch card, one Autographed Dual Relic card, two Die-Cut Refractor rookies and two Finest Moments inserts.

The Rookie Patch Autograph cards honor the 35 players who attended the recent 2010 NFL Players Rookie Premiere and include five Refractor parallel versions numbered from 99 all the way down to 1. Dual and Triple Autograph Relic versions are numbered to 10.

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Old Beckett Baseball cover aids in solving Pete Rose mystery

Have you heard the one where an old issue of Beckett Baseball Card Monthly (Issue No. 11 from September 1985) helps solve a mystery about corked bats reportedly used by Pete Rose?

We hadn’t — until now.

Check out the story by clicking here.

Topps launches Stephen Strasburg autographed memorabilia line

Just hours before Stephen Strasburg takes the hill for the Washington Nationals in his big-league debut, Topps has launched its line of autographed memorabilia featuring the budding young star and former No. 1 overall draft pick.

Previously announced as part of his exclusive deal signed with Topps last fall, the line launched Tuesday currently includes three options:

An autographed baseball, $275

An autographed mini batting helmet, $250

An autographed MLB cap, $275

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.

See more images after the jump. Click here to visit the Topps Store.

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USA Baseball records strong showing on first day of draft

USA Baseball cards.

The dedicated prospectors who are fans of baseball — moreso than just Chrome and dollar signs — know their value, their place in the collecting game.

But on Monday evening the USA Baseball devotees like me who have an affinity for a player’s first baseball card — period – had something to point back at others who eschew the red, white and blue classics as being more minor-league material when it comes to cardboard.

Eight of the top 10 picks in the 2010 MLB Draft were USA Baseball alumni. After that, there were seven more USA Baseball alums taken as first-round or first-round supplemental picks.

And for the ninth year out of the last 10, the No. 1 pick has donned the red, white and blue with many having a baseball card well before making the bigs.

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Some New York newspaper — and baseball card-related — trivia

The Yankees’ Mark Teixeira is struggling this season so the New York Daily News ran with this sports cover today.

Here are two pieces of random trivia:

1. Topps liked it — so much so they sent it out.

2. I once worked for one of the Daily News’ rivals’ chains  (The New York Times) and had interest from another (The New York Post) but my path took me elsewhere (see below).

Man, just think where I’d be if I could only hit .211 …

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.

2010 Topps Rookie Premiere Autographs: Part 1 of an Exclusive Gallery

Has it really been 11 years since Topps first introduced the modern masterpiece known as the Rookie Premiere Autograph? It seems like just yesterday that the company first pulled the curtain back on something so revolutionary that we dubbed it the “Immaculate Collection” way back in May of 2000.

More than a decade later, Topps’ annual manufacturing marvel — photographs are taken and the cards are printed and signed all in less than three days — is still wowing collectors while annually providing one of the principal chase elements in base-brand Topps Football.

Late last month at the 2010 NFL Players Rookie Premiere, Topps officials maximized their day in the sun with the likes of Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Jimmy Clausen, C.J. Spiller, Jahvid Best, Ryan Mathews, Dez Bryant and 27 other young stars to procure the penmanship necessary to produce the 2010 Rookie Premiere Autographs insert.

Not yet included on these preview images is the foil sequential numbering that will grace the cards for the first time (singles will be numbered to 90, duals will be numbered to 25).

This year’s installment, slated to release in late August with 35 single-signed cards and five duals, is shaping up to be one of the most coveted in years. As a means of piquing the interest of football collectors everywhere, Topps officials released to Beckett Media late Monday a most impressive 40-card image gallery.

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How can you win a box of 2010 Bowman baseball cards?

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How can you win a box of 2010 Bowman baseball cards? Watch and find out …

Were you a winner on Free Stuff Friday?

Another Free Stuff Friday has come and gone so we have another batch of winners to announce.

Were you one of them?

Find out after the jump …

If you weren’t, check back with us again at the end of the week for more cool stuff …

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