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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Bustin' Blasters: 2010 Allen & Ginter baseball cards

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds rips into some 2010 Allen & Ginter boxes in search of the elusive white whale … err, the Stephen Strasburg mini.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out.

Part 1 is above… Part 2 is after the jump.

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First look: 2010-11 Panini Prestige basketball cards

Panini America revealed its first basketball set for 2010-11 — its sophomore season as the NBA’s lone trading card licensee — and it’s Prestige leading the way.

Set to arrive on Sept. 29, Prestige will include a rookie in every pack and each 24-pack hobby box will include one autograph, one NBA Auto Draft Class card (limited to 499 or less) and two memorabilia cards.

Oh, and perhaps Panini’s biggest selling point? There are more than 20,000 on-card autographs to be found in this product.

Eight-card packs will carry a $4 suggested retail price.

The set will mark the first cards of No. 1 overall pick John Wall as well as autographs from Panini-exclusives Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson. It also will include the first Knicks autographs of Amar’e Stoudemire as well as debut autographs of Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer in their new uniforms.

Among the autograph checklist are Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Shaquille O’Neal, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Tyreke Evans, Rajon Rondo, Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, Elgin Baylor and Alonzo Mourning.

See more images from the set after the jump.

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Topps will release Heritage Stephen Strasburg card at National Sports Collectors Convention

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg will be at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention next month in Baltimore, Md.

On cardboard, that is.

Topps revealed on Wednesday that collectors who open 10 packs of 2010 Topps or Bowman packs (except Attax, Opening Day and 99-cent cello packs) at the company’s booth during the show will receive a Strasburg 2010 Topps Heritage card (No. NCC1).

The card will be limited to just 999 copies and will be available in limited quantities at certain times during the show, which runs from Aug. 4-8.

Collectors will be limited to one card per person per day.

Panini America releases additional details for 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition

Panini America released additional information on its forthcoming 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball set on Tuesday, the most notable nugget being that the product will include Elite Legacy buyback autographs from the last decade of releases.

Scheduled to arrive on Sept. 29, Elite will include six autographs in each 20-pack box with five-card packs carrying  a suggested retail price of $5 a pack. In addition, each box will include one Elite Series insert and one School Colors insert card.

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LeBron James' first Miami Heat card arrives at The National Sports Collectors Convention

The Heat is on — LeBron James’ back and now cardboard, too.

Panini America, the only officially licensed manufacturer of NBA trading cards has unveiled the first card of James in his new uniform, a card that will only be found at the National Sports Collectors Convention next month in Baltimore, Md.

Collectors who open five packs of current Panini NBA or NFL cards at the company’s booth during the show will receive a pack of cards specially made for the event that runs Aug. 4-8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

James is one of 50 athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL and college baseball ranks who will appear in the company’s National set. There will be rarer Green and Blue parallels (rarer versions numbered to 50 and 25 respectively) of the card to be found as well.

Also to be found in the set? Chris Bosh’s first Heat card, too.

Historically, a high-profile player’s first few cards showing him with his new team command serious attention. For example, Michael Jordan‘s first standard-issue (not limited) Washington Wizards cards routinely sold for $25 apiece around the time of his arrival in Washington, said Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Keith Hower.

“It will probably be the most popular card on the market,” Hower said of the first James Heat card. “And most likely the most expensive base card of the year.”

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 America unveils plans for this year's National Sports Collectors Convention

Panini America announced its plans for next month’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore on Monday evening with the highlight being a 50-card multi-sport set featuring NFL, NBA, NHL and college stars.

Collectors who open five packs of current NFL or NBA product at the company’s booth will receive a pack of cards from the set, which will include LeBron James (in new uni?), Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Tyreke Evans (and others) from the NBA.

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Collegiate Licensing Company official clarifies contract details

A Collegiate Licensing Company official has clarified the details of the company’s deal with Upper Deck in the wake of Panini America‘s announcement of a CLC-approved baseball card set arriving in September.

Panini unveiled plans for its 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition set on Friday, which seemed to fly against the previously announced CLC exclusive signed with Upper Deck last year.

Despite the deal, the Panini set is fully authorized by the CLC.


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TRISTAR's Obak returns at The National

Obak is back once again.

TRISTAR‘s tobacco card-styled Obak baseball set, which arrived last year about a century after its namesake, will return for 2010 with a debut at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, Md. , early next month.

This year’s Obak set marks the 100th anniversary of the originals and each and every card will be printed on old-style recycled cardboard to give the throwback cards an even more distinct look and feel.

Each 20-pack hobby box will include four autographs (numbered to 125 or less), two parallels, one T212 mini parallel card, three short-prints and one T4 Cabinet Card. Each 24-box case will include one Hot Box that will have 10 autographs and a mix of 25 other “hit-type” cards.

See more — with a gallery of images — after the jump.

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TRISTAR will launch latest TNA Wrestling set — TNA Icons — with appearances at National Sports Collectors Convention

TRISTAR unveiled its latest TNA Wrestling card set — TNA Icons — on Saturday and it will launch the latest product with appearances from several wrestlers at the National Sports Collectors Convention early next month in Baltimore, Md.

Among TRISTAR’s guests will be Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich.

Each of the TNA stars will appear on Saturday, Aug. 7, and will meet and greet fans at the event while also working autograph sessions.

TRISTAR has a Championship Package available for fans, which includes one of 400 limited edition TNA Icons boxes. Also included in the $129 package are two autographs on any items from all six wrestlers, four photo opportunities with the stars, and a show special TNA grab bag that will include show-exclusive cards. The limited edition boxes will include a National-exclusive autograph card of one of the guests — or Hulk Hogan.

Single autograph tickets for each of the TNA stars are also available.

See more images and learn more about the product after the jump.

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Topps readies 2010 Topps Sterling baseball cards — with Stephen Strasburg autographed Relics

Topps Sterling baseball returns for yet another season, arriving in early November with one autographed Relic or Relic limited to 10 or fewer copies along with a second Relic numbered to 25 in each and every box.

The company released the basic preview information — product checklist, images and breakdown — on Saturday.

Last year, the product introduced theme boxes, rather than player-focused assortments, and this year Topps has two new themes to be found among the various mixes — one for the first Hall of Fame Class, one for “The Five Ring Club” and one for “Rookie Phenoms.”

That last one includes a teaser … “you know who” … in the sales materials.

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Guest commentary: Sports Art For Less Than $100,000

by Russ Cohen

There is an eBay auction that caught my eye specifically because it had some “vintage” New York Rangers included in it. This 1968 Leroy Neiman oil painted masterpiece is valued at around $200,000 but the 89-year-old painter will let it go for $89,000.

The players involved are pretty special. That “No. 1” for the Rangers was Eddie Giacomin and his number has been hanging from the rafters from Madison Square Garden since 1989. It was the second number retired by the franchise. I love the way he’s playing so deep in the net (without a mask), very few goalies do that these days.

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Panini to make CLC-approved Elite Extra Edition baseball set

Panini announced on Friday that it will return to the baseball card market with 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, a fully licensed release approved by the Collegiate Licensing Company.

The set will include 200 players, 100 of those autographed, with each hobby box including six autographs when it arrives in September.

Each 20-box case will include four Hot Boxes, which will include 10 autographs.

We’ll have more on this product when it becomes available.

Upper Deck had signed an exclusive with the CLC earlier this year, but it appears that deal has been modified with the announcement of this product.

Bustin' Wax: WWE Heritage III Chrome (2008)

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a hobby box of 2008 WWE Heritage III Chrome wrestling cards from Topps in yet another throwback box break.

What will he find? Watch Part 1 and find out above.

Find Part 2 after the jump…

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Bustin' wax: 2009 Topps American Heritage

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a blaster box of 2009 Topps American Heritage — a throwback box break just for fun.

What will he find inside this history-laden Blaster Box? Watch and find out.

First Look: 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football

Topps officials on Thursday unveiled preliminary images and product information on 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football, the company’s perennial super-premium pigskin homage slated for release in early November.

New to the brand this year are Laundry Tag Book Cards, NFL Shield Relics and Jersey Sleeve Jumbo Team Patch Book cards. Every Relic card in the set includes at least three pieces of memorabilia and there are no less than 25 different 1/1 insert versions.

The product will include two six-card mini boxes per display box, with each mini delivering one Triple Relic numbered to 99 or less, two base parallels numbered to 525 or less and three base cards numbered to 1,350 or less. Every display box will include one Autographed Triple Relic.

Every 18-display-box case will yield a 1/1 Autographed Triple Relic and a Triple Autographed Triple Relic numbered to 36 or less.

There are 10 Autographed Triple Relic inserts in all, including:

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Hobby-minded journalist John Leptich dies at 60

By Mike Sakal

John Leptich, a former contributor of stories for Beckett Media during its early years who was a longtime Chicago and Arizona journalist that covered a story about the great debacle of the 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan Rookie card when an Illinois card shop clerk mistakenly sold it to a 12-year-old boy for $12 instead of $1,200 what it was worth then, has died.

Leptich, 60, of Glendale, Arizona, whose stories in the Chicago Tribune in 1992 also were instrumental in persuading the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., to put Willie Mays’ glove on permanent display that he wore when he made “The Catch” in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, lost his long and hard-fought battle with bone marrow cancer on July 6 with his family by his side at Banner Thunderbird Hospital in Glendale, Ariz.

Leptich, an avid Chicago Cubs and sports fan with a penchant for pizza and chasing autographs of professional athletes for decades, worked for the East Valley and Scottsdale Tribune in Arizona from 1997 to late 2008, when he joined Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (formerly Phelps Dodge) in Phoenix as an internal communications specialist.

A native of Chicago who frequented Wrigley Field where he met his wife-to-be in 1975, Leptich had relocated to Arizona in 1995 after working 16 years for the Chicago Tribune as a sports writer and sports copy editor. While there in 1984, he co-authored a book, This Date in St. Louis Cardinals History.

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George Steinbrenner's Signature of Approval

I’ve been blessed with the tremendous opportunity to work on countless cool projects in my more than 11 years with Beckett Media. To this day, though, arguably the most enjoyable was Beckett Elite, a magazine I helped launch from scratch back in 2006.

(Coincidentally, perhaps, Beckett Elite also ranks as one of the shortest-lived titles we’ve ever produced).

But it was a super-premium thrill ride while it lasted, which turned out to be just 10 issues. Beckett Elite was an award-winning critical success that gained acclaim for its rich content, elegant presentation and unmatched coverage of the high-end sports and Americana memorabilia auction industry.

The magazine was recognized in November of 2006 by Min Magazine and Dr. Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni as one of the 15 Hottest Magazine Launches of 2006. In March of 2007 it was recognized again, this time with the inaugural Nichee Award for Best Design at the premiere Niche Magazine Conference.

While those accolades remain tremendous sources of pride around these parts, they pale in comparison to the recognition Beckett Elite received in May of 2006 from someone far more influential, prestigious, awe-inspiring and, well, legendary.

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Florida Marlins OF Mike Stanton is Topps' Fourth Red Hot Rookie

Topps unveiled the fourth of its 2010 Red Hot Rookies on Thursday morning and this one’s Florida Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton.

Stanton is hitting .231with five homers and 20 RBI in 28 games this season.

The Red Hot Rookie redemptions are found one per hobby box of 2010 Topps Series 2 baseball cards. The remainder of the 10-card set will be announced throughout the remainder of the season. Previous RHRs include Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch (No. 3), Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata (No. 2) and Indians catcher Carlos Santana (No. 1).

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.

And you wonder why players don't like signing: Example No. 3,772,695

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This YouTube video from All-Star FanFest is making the rounds where a pushy adult insults Hall of Famer Gary Carter for not signing a pair of photos for kids. (He was instead signing All-Star FanFest autograph sheets and cards.)

While a player has the right to sign (or not sign) whatever he wants, the spectacle was made and the adult should look like a fool of much larger proportion than what he tried to make out Carter to be.

Obviously “the fans” in the video never saw Carter play — they weren’t old enough to be alive back in 1992, his last season.

The sad thing? The photos were signed for “the fans” after the stunt, anyway.

And $50 says they’re on eBay right now.

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.

If you've got a big head, New Era just might have a surprise for you, too

I sit in a pretty good seat in the ol’ hobby these days, but it’s one that also includes a flame-filled one-liner or two sent my way from time to time.

I’ve been told a few things — and called a few others — on occasion.

And I’ve been told I have a big head.

Don’t I know that.

I know that every time I see the latest cool cap from New Era, the official manufacturer of on-field MLB caps.

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