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Monthly Archives: July 2010

First look: 2010 Bowman Platinum baseball cards

Topps released the basic product information and preview images for its newest prospect-laden line, Bowman Platinum, on Friday, a product that carries some high-end possible hits at a lesser price point.

Set to arrive in mid-November, the new line will include two on-card autographed Refractors and one autographed patch card per 24-pack box. Each pack will include three Platinum cards and two Chrome prospect cards.

The Platinum Chrome autographs will all be signed on-card and the checklist includes 48 minor league stars, all with SuperFractors and Printing Plates as well as Red, Blue and Green Refractor parallels. (The most plentiful cards are numbered to 199, while Reds are limited to 10.)

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Box Busters: 2010 Press Pass Showcase racing cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Tracy Hackler as they rip into a box of 2010 Press Pass Showcase racing cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside the highest of high-end racing sets?

Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2009-10 National Treasures basketball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Keith Hower as they rip into a pair of 2009-10 National Treasures boxes from Panini America in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside each $400 box?

Watch and find out …

First Look: 2010 Topps Unrivaled Football

Topps officials on Thursday afternoon released preliminary information and images on 2010 Topps Unrivaled Football, a brand new product due out in mid November delivering two rookie autographs and one patch autograph per box.

The rookie autographs are variations of the 50 base RCs and include Platinum hobby-only 1/1s, Red parallels numbered to 10 and Black parallels numbered to 99. Unrivaled also features the hobby-exclusive Six Sigs Rookies book cards and Quad Rookies four-signature book cards (both #’d to 10).

Unrivaled’s autograph patch card roster consists of a base 60-card Patch Relics insert (40 rookies, 20 veterans) paralleled again by Platinum, Red and Black versions. There are also Jumbo Patches (#’d to 15), Dual Jumbo Relics (#’d to 15) and Dual Jumbo Patches (#’d to 10) enticements.

The 150-card set (including 50 RCs numbered to 999) is joined by seven different base parallels, including the veteran-only Unrivaled parallel (one in six packs), and Platinum and Printing Plate hobby-only 1/1s. The base relic offering includes Unrivaled Triple Relics (one legend, one superstar veteran, one rookie), Rookies, Veterans and Greats versions.

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Mandatory, Massive Gallery: 2010 Press Pass Showcase Racing

The day that racing collectors have been anxiously anticipating for the better part of a year arrived today with the release of 2010 Press Pass Showcase Racing, the heavily anticipated followup to last year’s history-making debut of the most expensive racing product in trading card history.

Showcase’s 2009 premiere was one the most talked-about sports card releases of the year and it lived up to its billing with a stunning ensemble of some of the greatest racing cards ever made. Judging by the massive gallery that follows, it would appear that 2010 Showcase is every bit as alluring.

Showcase’s $225 boxes include three five-card packs, each including one autograph or memorabilia card. The 51-card base set is bolstered by four unique autograph programs, three unique memorabilia programs and five sequentially numbered parallel levels.

For those of you partaking in the Showcase thrill ride in the coming days, enjoy. For those of you who just want to window shop or kick the tires first, feast your eyes on this . . .

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Ever wonder how many 1/1 cards have been made?

I personally love it when a 1/1 is found in a Beckett Box Busters box and “outrage” erupts from a seemingly always agitated few.

Why?

Because the 1/1 is nowhere close to being what it used to be.

Ever wonder how many 1/1s have been made?

Well, I looked up last year’s total — just for baseball.

It will surprise you. Find out how many were made after the jump …

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Incoming! New Arrivals for 2009-10 National Treasures Basketball

Panini America‘s first foray into ultra-high-end basketball card production becomes official one week from today with the release of 2009-10 Playoff National Treasures, a $400-for-eight-cards proposition that guarantees its fair share of thrills among its eight cards per pack.

When the stakes are as high as they are with a hand-packed, super-premium product like this one, card manufacturers will wait until the last possible second to complete pack out in order to squeeze every last card into production.

That, of course, means lots of jaw-dropping jewels featuring lots of superstar players have been creating lots of excitement inside Panini America headquarters in recent days. Jaw-dropping jewels such as . . .

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Stephen Strasburg 1/1 Red autograph card sells for $17,000

The premiere Stephen Strasburg card from 2010 Bowman — his 1/1 Red autograph — sold for $17,000 (not including any additional fees) after 10 bids Wednesday evening in an auction that ran for a good portion of this month with Huggins and Scott.

The Silver Spring, Md.-based company’s auction of the card opened at $9,000 after it was found by a collector in Florida who initially opted for an eBay auction that ended with plenty of bad bids.

The card jumped from $12,000 to $17,000 on its final day, prompting overtime in the auction. It had been set to end at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time but ended at 11:30 p.m. Eastern as interested bidders were allowed extra time if they remained interested if a bid was placed late.

The card came up short of the highest price paid for a Strasburg card from 2010 Bowman, though this card’s status as a 1/1 autograph clearly trumps the other card.

The Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman has been sold twice since it was discovered — on eBay for $16,403 and to Razor Entertainment’s Brian Gray for $21,403.

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.

Upper Deck unveils signed LeBron Heat memorabilia


Upper Deck released the first glimpses of its new LeBron James autographed Miami Heat memorabilia on Wednesday, a small assortment of items marking The King’s decision to take his talents to South Beach.

The initial assortment from Upper Deck Authenticated includes the autographed photo seen above, limited to 100 pieces, an NBA basketball branded with the Heat logo and, of course, the autographed jersey.

Prices for the items was not announced, but the company pointed interested fans toward UpperDeckStore.com for details to come soon.

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.

Box Busters: 2010 Topps Tribute baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of the high-end 2010 Topps Tribute baseball card set in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside these boxes?

Watch and find out … and you can find out how to win the sweetest cards from these boxes in future issues of Beckett Baseball.

Collect Call: Talking with a serious Michael Jordan collector

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler as he talks to Lou Costabile, a serious collector of rare Michael Jordan basketball cards in this edition of Collect Call.

Box Busters: 2010 Classics football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2010 Classics football cards from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find? Watch and find out.

Famous Fabrics Second Edition Impresses — Without a License

What In The Game patriarch Dr. Brian Price lacks in big-time league licensing, he more than makes up for by continuing to push the creative envelope when it comes to high-end multisport, multi-generational products.

For the latest case in point, look no further than Famous Fabrics Second Edition, a simply majestic memorabilia-card marvel from Price’s Creative Cardboard Concepts label due to drop next week at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore.

Devoid of player photography and the always-welcomed stamp of approval that player and league licensing affords, the product manages to sparkle anyway thanks to the historic nature of its content and the innovative high points of its development.

The checklist alone is arguably the most comprehensive ever assembled in terms of sports and eras touched. No less than 20 sports or disciplines are represented (the big four plus mixed martial arts, golf, boxing, soccer, horse racing, poker, professional wrestling, auto racing, bicycling, gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, swimming, ice skating, coaching, announcing and even dare-deviling). The fact that Price and his people even managed to acquire memorabilia for such a far-reaching roster is a commendable feat in and of itself.

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First Look: 2010-11 Score Hockey

Panini America officials on Tuesday released preliminary product information and images for 2010-11 Score Hockey, the company’s highly anticipated fun-and-affordable-for-all-ages product that will release in mid October.

The product — initially expected to be Panini’s premiere release under its new hockey license — will follow Certified into the market but will pack a bevy of its own distinctive bells and whistles, not the least of which are a$.99 pack price and a massive 550-card base set that includes 50 rookies.

In a nod to Score Hockey’s landmark first release in 1990-91, this new-generation version includes a little of the old (36 packs per box and throwback inserts such as The Franchise and Snow-Globe Die-Cuts) with a lot of the new (autograph cards seeded one per case, including on-card BuyBacks from the original 1990-91 set).

Each box will deliver 18 Rookie Cards, 36 Glossy inserts, 12 additional insert cards and one Rookie Redemption card that collectors can exchange for an early card of a hot 2010-11 rookie.

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Chris Bosh's First Heat Autograph to Arrive at The National

Last week, Beckett Media’s Chris Olds was the first to report that the first Miami Heat trading cards of new teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh would be part of Panini America‘s wrapper redemption program at next month’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore.

Today, Beckett Media confirmed that Bosh’s first Miami Heat certified autograph trading card will be part of that wrapper redemption, too.

First Look: 2010 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football

Panini America officials on Monday offered the first glimpses of 2010 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football, the $40, hit-per-pack product launching in early October that annually delivers the most coveted Rookie Cards of the early NFL season.

Rookie Premiere Materials RCs, Absolute Memorabilia’s instantly recognizable calling cards, return in full force; from the looks of the early sales material, so do some absolutely breathtaking oversized patch pieces.

Every autograph card in the set is numbered to 299 or less and every memorabilia card in the product is numbered to 100 or less. Each four-pack, box of Playoff Absolute Memorabilia should deliver one rookie or veteran autograph card, one Rookie NFL Die Cut Material autograph card, two memorabilia cards, two Rookie Cards numbered to 299 or less and two additional insert or parallel cards and eight base cards.

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First Strasburg National Topps Heritage card sells for $869 in charity fund-raiser

Update: The card sold for $869.

The first copy of the 2010 Topps Heritage National Sports Collectors Convention card of Washington Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg has hit the auction block benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes foundation.

The card, No. 1/999, is available on eBay right now.

The other 998 copies of the card will be available during limited times at the Topps booth during the NSCC, which starts next week in Baltimore, Md. There is a limit of one card per person per day if they open packs of cards at the company’s booth during the show.

The winner also will receive a VIP Pass to the National, which includes 12 free VIP celebrity star autographs, all promotional cards given to VIPs as well as entrance into the private VIP Party among other benefits.

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.

Matt Garza throws first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history


Matt Garza‘s no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers Monday night in St. Petersburg was the first in Tampa Bay Rays history — and the fifth this season, The Year of the Pitcher.

Garza was one of nine pitchers we spotlighted recently in Beckett Baseball No. 53. At that time, Garza’s 420 baseball cards carried a total value of $2,023.75 — an average of $9.64 per card for all of those that are not too rare to establish a reliable price range.

Garza, one of many former Minnesota Twins pitching prospects, carried a 10-5 record and a 4.36 ERA into Monday night’s game. His Rookie Cards from 2005 include Bowman Sterling, Bowman Chrome Draft, Topps Chrome Update and Topps Update among others.

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First Impressions: 2010 Classics Football

I managed to get my grubby paws on an early box of 2010 Classics Football earlier today. Stay tuned tomorrow for another riveting episode of Box Busters. Until then, here are some random observations — and an interest-piquing preview gallery — from one box.

* While Classics’ overall base design likely won’t overwhelm you, the looks of Membership, Team Colors and Flashback Fabrics probably will. The attention to detail on Membership will make you think your card has a crease on it.

* Flashback Fabrics, the insert provides a nice, tidy opportunity to incorporate dated game-worn inventory without looking way out of place. The Terrell Owens we pulled included a rather juicy patch from one of TO’s old Eagles jerseys; seems like forever ago that Owens was flying high in Philly.

* Many of the cards in this set seem particularly susceptible to chipping. Handle with care.

* All four RCs and both Significant Signatures autographed parallels feature photography of the respective rookies in their NFL uniforms. That’s a good thing.

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PSA 8.5 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sells for $130K

Aug. 16 Update: The pack sold for $21,404, while the PSA 8.5 Mickey Mantle card sold for $130,000

“Let’s play two” is an understatement of how exciting this one is.

Ernie Banks‘ memorable phrase comes to mind when two of the biggest PSA-graded gems from 1952 Topps hit the bloclk– even though Mr. Cub wasn’t around to be found in those packs.

Up for grabs as part of Memory Lane‘s Summer Treasures auction, found now at MemoryLaneInc.com, are a PSA 8.5 Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card and a PSA 8 wax pack from the famed set. Only 10 Mantles have graded higher from PSA.

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