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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Massive Gallery: 2010 Donruss Elite Football Autographs

2010 Donruss Elite Football went live yesterday with the product’s first on-card autographs since 2001. Elite’s NFL Shield and Team Logo rookie-based insert includes limited signed versions that the company acquired during last month’s NFL Players Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles.

Consider the following gallery further proof of manufacturers’ ongoing quest to deliver collectors more on-card autographs.

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THREE OF A KIND: A Coach & A Catcher

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds brings to you a quick story about three pieces of memorabilia he keeps in his office in yet another “Three of a Kind” video.

Not sure what “Three of a Kind” is? Click here to see the first one posted yesterday.

First look: 2010 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

Topps released the basic set information and preview images for 2010 Bowman Chrome baseball cards on Wednesday, a set that will include a Chrome autograph of Washington Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg.

And, yes, it will include an autographed SuperFractor.

It will arrive in mid-October packing one autograph per 18-pack hobby box. (Each pack will include two prospect cards and two veterans.) The autograph checklist will consist of 24 prospects who did not appear in 2010 Bowman.

The standard set inclusions will be 110 Chrome prospect cards — with the typical Refractor, Blue, Gold, Orange, Red and Supers — while there also will be 20 members of the USA Baseball 18U team  with signed cards. Those will be found one in five boxes (roughly two per case) as a bonus autograph, while there also will be 10 dual-signed USA autograph cards as well.

The Topps 100 Prospects set will return in Chrome with Super, Gold, and standard Refractors. Refractor quantities vary from set to set, though Reds are numbered to five, Orange to 25, Gold to 50 in most sets. Odds were not announced, but there will be approximately four USA Baseball cards per box, three Topps 100 cards per box and seven total Refractor cards per box.

The 220-card Chrome set will consist of 180 veterans and 40 rookies all with the rainbow of Refractors. Among the rookies in the set are Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward, Drew Storen, Ike Davis, Drew Stubbs, Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin.

Read more and see images after the jump.

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Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana is the first 2010 Topps Red Hot Rookie

Topps announced the first 2010 Red Hot Rookie redemption subject of the season on Wednesday, and it’s Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana.

Santana was called up by the Tribe late last week and he’s hitting .214 with a homer and three RBI in his first four games.

Topps will announce the remainder of the Red Hot Rookies, which are found one per hobby box in 2010 Topps Series 2 baseball cards, throughout the season.

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.

Coming Tomorrow: 2009-10 SP Authentic Hockey

One of most anticipated hockey products of the season, 2009-10 SP Authentic, skates into hobby shops tomorrow packing three autographs in every 24-pack box.

SPA’s Sign of the Times calling cards return with myriad possibilities including single-signed versions, Duals, Trios (#’s to 25), Quads (#’d to 10) and the rarer-still Fives, Sixes, Sevens and Eights.  The product’s Future Watch rookie autographs are numbered to 999; Prestigious Pairings dual-signed cards are numbered to just 100.

“We’re very proud of this year’s SP Authentic release,” says Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s hockey brand manager. “We had a terrific 2009-10 campaign and a rookie class that rivaled some of the greatest to ever enter the NHL. The autographed inserts [in this product] will keep collectors cracking packs for months.”

Here’s a sneak peek at 2009-10 SP Authentic Hockey on the eve of its release . . . Read More »

THREE OF A KIND: Random memorabilia in the office

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds brings to you a quick story about three random pieces of memorabilia he keeps in his office — probably because he doesn’t know where else to put them.

What are they? Watch and find out in this first “Three of a Kind” video …

Goodwin Entomology Cards bugging out on secondary market

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The long-awaited Goodwin Champions Entomology Cards have finally arrived and they’ve got collectors buzzing now that they’ve finally seen those creepy crawlies inside cardboard.

Sales of the critter cards have been brisk with most of the cards topping $100 and even a couple of $200 sales.

The cards were the winner of the Best Gimmick Set award in Beckett Baseball‘s Best of 2009 Awards.

Check out the video above featuring Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground, who helped bring the set to life.

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.

EXCLUSIVE — Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor buyer: “A card like this is just what the industry needs”

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball

Plenty has been written about the Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman that sold for $16,403 recently, and plenty has been said about the hobby in the wake of the behemoth of a popular baseball card product that created it.

And all of that was well before Strasburg’s dominating MLB debut.

We’ve heard from Leo Kim, the finder of the Strasburg, the lucky person who beat the one in 1,210,000 odds of finding the card. And, on Tuesday, Beckett Media learned a bit about the buyer of the card, Robert J. Power, a 37-year-old accountant from Michigan who purchased the card last month.

“A card like this is just what the industry needs,” said Power, who talked about his collecting past, his reasoning for buying the card — and even his wife’s reaction to making a pretty substantial purchase — in this exclusive Q&A with Beckett.

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Florida Marlins OF Mike Stanton is Topps’ 5th Finest Rookie Redemption

Topps revealed its fifth 2010 Finest Rookie Redemption card on Tuesday, and it’s Florida Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton.

Last week, Topps announced that No. 4 was Red 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.

Stanton was promoted to the Marlins last week, making his MLB debut on Tuesday. He’s hitting .368 (7-for-19) with four runs, four RBI and two stolen bases. He’s homerless in the majors after hitting 21 this season for Double-A Jacksonville.

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.

Revisiting Billy Ripken & other memorable errors in next Beckett Baseball

We were all set to feature a montage of the most memorable error cards of the last 30 years or so on the cover of the next issue of Beckett Baseball (No. 54) coming your way soon.

Revisiting Billy Ripken, the unraveling mystery of the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas and more are nestled  inside its pages.

But this guy named Stephen Strasburg arrived in the major leagues and forced his way into our lineup on a few pages — and the cover of the magazine after his 14-strikeout, no-walk performance in his major league debut.

As part of those adjustments, we sacrificed some stuff there so you can have it here — one small part of that equation being a chat with a collector who is dedicated to discovering the story behind the famed Ripken error card (one of its many corrections seen here).

His name is Donovan Ryan and he lives in Bakersfield, Calif., and he’s the brains behind billripken.com, a repository for everything Ripken.

Beckett acknowledges five versions of the card — the error, a whiteout version (rarest), white scribble, black scribble and the black box. However with the cards printed at more than one location there are very minor differences between some of the fixes. Ryan notes some of those “other” versions on his site, which we will also show to you in the magazine. (Realistically, since most collectors don’t know there are differences, there’s no substantial established value for the variations of, say, the black scribble … yet.)

We posed to Ryan a few questions — one being what would he ask readers out there who might know more about the card. Perhaps one of those long-lost behind the scenes workers at Fleer finally would want to talk just like Ripken did awhile back and give the world the real story behind the card?

Or maybe what’s out there is all that’s known …

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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.