Monthly Archives: October 2010

Steiner Sports teams up with Madison Square Garden

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

One of the leaders in sports collectibles is teaming up with the World’s Most Famous Arena. Madison Square Garden and Steiner Sports Collectibles announced a memorabilia partnership what will feature items from the New York Knicks, Rangers, Liberty and MSG.

“We are extremely excited to be working with the most famous arena on the planet, and with Scott O’Neil and his management team,” said Steiner chairman Brandon Steiner. “Artifacts featuring the memories of yesterday and future historic moments will be embraced by fans of the Garden and the teams.”

Steiner Sports already has deals with a number of New York-based athletes such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Eli Manning. It adds MSG to its already extensive group of partnerships, which include New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Dallas Cowboys, Syracuse, Notre Dame and the University of Alabama.

View a gallery after the jump.

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ITG President Dr. Brian Price answers a few questions on 10th edition of Ultimate Memorabilia

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In the Game is coming out with a very special release next month — the 10th anniversary of ITG Ultimate Memorabilia, a cornerstone of its hockey line.

The line will consist of 1,500 five-pack boxes and each pack will include a base card, memorabilia card and an autograph.

Some of the preview images released so far have caused hockey collectors’ heads to turn. The patch cards have been particularly exceptional, but that’s not all the product has to offer. View galleries here and here.

The base design is inspired by the original hockey set, 1910-11 C56, and is celebrating 100 years of hockey trading cards.

In The Game president Dr. Brian Price took time to answer a few questions about this exciting line.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Certified Hockey

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Tim “Big Time” Trout as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Certified hockey from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? What day is it again? Watch and find out …

First look: 2010 Topps USA Baseball boxed set

By Chris Olds | Editor

Collectors wanting to know more about Topps‘ foray into USA Baseball territory got a glimpse of what is in store for this year’s Red, White & Blue boxed set.

But — because of amateur athlete eligibility rules — collectors didn’t get much besides the box to look at.

(Athletes’ images cannot be used in conjunction with promotion of the fund-raising product.)

But what we do know is that each set will include 65 base cards of this year’s USA Baseball squads along with five autographed cards, two autographed Relic cards and three Relic cards per box. There also will be printing plates, according to pre-sell materials.

The base set’s player checklist is confirmed, while the entire autograph and Relic checklists are still listed as TBD.

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Box Busters Preview Gallery: 2010-11 Certified Hockey Platinum Hot Box (updated with video preview)

By Chris Olds | Editor

We busted a box of the not-even-out-yet 2010-11 Certified Hockey from Panini America off the air his morning in preparation for a Box Busters taping this afternoon and what did we find?

A Platinum Hot Box that included every base card in either Mirror or Platinum form — Platinum Reds numbered to 999, Mirror Reds to 250, Platinum Blues to 250, Mirror Golds to 25 and Platinum Golds to 25 — along with two autographs, two memorabilia cards and three more additional serial-numbered inserts.

See more after the jump, including a video showing some of the cards.

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Preview Gallery II: More from ITG's Ultimate Memorabilia 10th Edition hockey set

By Chris Olds | Editor

We’ll have more from In The Game about the latest installment of its high-end Ultimate Memorabilia hockey set soon, but until then feast on a few more preview images of the cards that can be found once it arrives.

For more on this set from last week, click here.

See more images after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Topps Five Star Football (with poll)

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps released the basic product info and preview information for a new high-end football card line that will arrive in late February, a brand that it is apparently quite confident in.

How confident is it in 2010 Topps Five Star Football?

“Meet the 2010 Product of the Year … ” reads the first line of its preview materials.

Each tin of Five Star includes four autographed cards — all signed directly on the card — and one jumbo Relic, with the product promising a “superior checklist,” cards printed on 154-point stock and all cards numbered to 150 or less.

Based on the solicitation cost, collectors can expect to pay at least $400 per tin for the hobby-exclusive product.

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First look: 2011 Topps Opening Day baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps has teased the release of its 2011 Opening Day set with a selection of images that shows us where the annual retail staple is going this year when it arrives on March 7 — ironically well before Opening Day.

The base set for this 99-cent-per-pack product will consist of 220 cards with a smattering of insert sets that include Presidential First Pitches, Mascots, Opening Day autographs Superstar Celebrations and more that includes glow in the dark Under The Lights cards, too.

Each box will include 36 packs with 20 boxes per case and seven cards per pack.

Among the players on the preliminary autograph checklist are: Casey McGehee, Howie Kendrick, Philip Humber, Taylor Buchholz, Jose Mijares, Jonathan Van Every, Jose Morales, Dustin Moseley, Justin Germano and Chris Carter.

While we’ll get more details soon, you can see all of the images after the jump.

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'Once Brothers' brings back memories of a favorite player

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

On Wednesday night, ESPN premiered its newest 30 for 30 documentary “Once Brothers,” which is a story of NBA stars Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac. They grew up together, sharing a dream of playing professional basketball, but were torn apart by political issues from the fall of the Soviet Union.

Petrovic was from Croatia and Divac from Serbia, but before the breakup, they were both just Yugoslavian.

Petrovic was one of my favorite players growing up. I watched him on the New Jersey Nets, but it was more than just seeing a hometown hero. Petrovic was from the same area of the world as my parents and I have always felt a bond to people from the Balkan region.

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Ryan Mathews busts boxes of Upper Deck football cards

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He’s no Tracy Hackler — whew — but San Diego Chargers rookie running back Ryan Mathews recently ripped a box of 2010 Sweet Spot football cards while visiting with Upper Deck.

What will he find inside?Will he find himself?

Watch and find out …

Behind the scenes with Tracy Hackler at Panini America (again)

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Beckett Media alum Tracy Hackler went poking around the building — again — during his fourth day of work at Panini America … if you can call it work.

Here’s what he found.

The football fans of the bunch will undoubtedly be jealous.

Ten NHL rookies to watch in 2010

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing editor

The NHL kicked off its season last week. There have already been a handful of hockey products to hit the market, but there are still many sets for collectors to put their hands on.

As I went through hockey rosters, I’ve put together a list of 10 rookies to look for 2010. Most of these players do not have official Rookie Cards yet, but can be found in prospects sets such as 2009-10 In the Game.

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Yes, that's Magic Johnson's autograph on Jordan Swagerty's baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Mistakes happen.

That’s the easiest way to sum up the unusual error card found in boxes of 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball, which arrived recently with a few unusual autograph cards of former Arizona State standout and St. Louis Cardinals prospect Jordan Swagerty.

The error?

All of the autographs on his cards are of a guy named Earvin Johnson. You know, the Hall of Fame basketball player otherwise  known as “Magic.”

Panini America officials were aware of the mistake not long after collectors began ripping into packs of the prospecting product. The company is reportedly discussing plans to replace the error cards, which might be plentiful, with rarer corrected versions — but has not yet announced its plan.

Update: Panini will replace the incorrect Swagerty autographed standard card with a correct version and collectors who send in the correct card an exclusive Elite Extra Edition card of top-prospect Manny Machado.

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Preview gallery: ITG Ultimate Memorabilia 10th Edition Hockey

By Chris Olds | Editor

In The Game‘s always-anticipated Ultimate Memorabilia hockey card set will arrive in little less than a month with some of the biggest names in NHL history — and some of the most unique memorabilia cards ever made — in tow.

The entire press run for Ultimate will consist of just 1,500 five-pack boxes with each pack including a base card, a memorabilia card and an autograph.

What else will be in store? Click here and here to read more.

You can see an extensive gallery of images after the jump.

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Preview Gallery: 2010-11 Certified Hockey rookie autographs

Panini America‘s NHL debut is coming soon in 2010-11 Certified Hockey and the company already has a surprise in store.

Well, six actually.

Six rookies who have already made their NHL debuts will be in the set — No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Brayden Schenn, Jeff Skinner, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi — and will appear on their first Rookie Cards with the product’s arrival next week.

“There was a lot of anxiety among the collecting community when we announced that we were moving the Certified release date,” said Al Muir, Panini America’s Hockey Brand Manager. “But it was a calculated decision we felt was worth the risk. Not only did the benefit of extra time allow us to get additional top-flight autograph content into the product, it afforded us the opportunity to produce the first Rookie Cards of the NHL’s next wave of superstars.”

Certified will include four autograph or memorabilia cards per 10-pack box (including at least one autograph) and also pack autographs of legends such as Bobby Hull, Darryl Sittler, Bernie Parent, Mario Lemieux, Ray Bourque and Jim Craig.

See more images after the jump.

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Bobby Cox reaches end of line with few baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Bobby Cox has managed his final game as his Atlanta Braves lost to the San Francisco Giants on Monday evening, capping a career that was short as a player but 29 seasons long as a successful manager.

Cox broke into managing in the bigs in 1978 — with the Braves — and recorded a 2,149-1,709 record in the regular season, winning five pennants and a World Series title with the Braves.

And despite all those years in baseball — a career that included four Manager of the Year awards (including one with the Blue Jays in 1984 and four with the Braves) — he appears on a total of just 240 baseball cards.

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First look: 2010-11 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Upper Deck recently released information on its latest upcoming NHL product, and 2010-11 O-Pee-Chee Hockey is set to arrive in mid-December with a feel and a product that should appeal to oldschool fans as well as set collectors.

With a price-point of under $50 a box, the 600-card O-Pee-Chee checklist will feature retro parallels of all base cards, which are one per pack.

But there are also variations of the variations. The retro cards have rainbow foil and black rainbow foil parallels. There is also one In-Action laminated card per box.

The set doesn’t include just today’s stars of Sidney Crosby or Patrick Kane. Long-time greats and fan favorites such as Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman are also included.

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Behind the scenes with Tracy Hackler at Panini America

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Beckett Media alum Tracy Hackler went poking around the building during his first day of work at Panini America … if you can call it work.

Here’s what he found.

The basketball fans of the bunch will undoubtedly be jealous.

Preview Gallery: 2010 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football cards

You’ve probably seen our Box Busters video, but you haven’t seen anything close to it all from Panini America‘s Absolute Memorabilia football, which arrives later this week.

Inside each $40 pack is an autograph or memorabilia card, and here’s a sampling of what’s in store well beyond the pair of boxes we ripped on camera.

See more from Absolute after the jump.

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Upcoming Score hockey set includes buybacks from seemingly bygone era

By Chris Olds | Editor

The first of the new Score hockey sets produced by Panini America will arrive in little over a week with something that just might make you remember the hockey cards from another day.

No, it’s not some uber-vintage inclusion or card set styled after something from several decades ago.

Instead, they are 20th anniversary buyback autographs — as in 1990-91 Score, the arrival of the line to the NHL. As in the rookie year of Eric Lindros, Martin Brodeur and even guys like Rob Blake and Keith Primeau.

Those memorable reddish-orange white and purple-bordered cards will once again be coming out of packs like they did out of those odd plastic wrappers years ago — a year when Score and Upper Deck both entered the hockey card arena, bringing along with them countless collectors (myself included) who had dabbled in others sports but maybe didn’t follow the game all that closely.

Even though they’re not items from many a decades’ past, they are still reflective of how much trading cards have changed since that time. Just think about it, the certified autograph barely existed then — and the game-used memorabilia card was still several years from reality.

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Curtain Call: Tracy Hackler's Beckett farewell

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Tracy Hackler first arrived at Beckett Media in 1995 before heading to Donruss a few years ago and coming back to Beckett in 2004. Now, he’s headed to Panini America.

Another long-time Beckett Media employee, Dave Sliepka, caught up with Hackler on Friday for a quick two-part interview.

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Box Busters: 2010 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler & Dan Hitt as they rip into a pair of not-even-out-yet 2010 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football card boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps offers bounty program for 2010 Topps Chrome baseball

Did you buy any 2010 Topps Chrome? If you, you might have some hidden treasure and not even know it yet.

How? It’s offering a reward for those who find certain cards.

Each week, Topps will announce the bounty prize cards on its blog. The first collector to email a photo of him or her with the card(s) to wins a prize.

Get the details — and see this week’s cards — after the jump.

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Hobby stories: Game-used jersey authentication an issue

Here’s a look at two stories with hobby-related ties in the mainstream media recently …

Chicago Sun-Times: Shoeless Joe Jackson Hall of Fame jersey a fake

Yahoo! Sports: Sports marketer Mike Ornstein awaits sentencing on fraud charges

Olds’ Take: It’s unfortunate in the Jackson case that one of the greatest sports memorabilia collections, the Barry Halper collection, had an example of a bad item show up in Cooperstown. Even expert collectors with plenty of industry ties like the late Halper will make mistakes when buying items. (It’s no Black Betsy, but it reminds me of that one Nick Swisher game-used bat I bought … I bet you have something in your collection you’re not 110 percent certain on. Then again, our collections probably aren’t destined for Cooperstown.)

As for the Ornstein case, it’s one that is wide in scope for the NFL — but primarily for the ticket scalping scandal. The game-used jersey aspect isn’t good, either. Yet, at the same time, it probably shouldn’t be unexpected as there are a lot of modern-day game-used jerseys out there that show little to no use at all to distinguish it from another game-issue jersey. Game-issue could, in theory, be quite plentiful. The card companies have to do their homework — and they do — while buying from trusted/approved sources. Unfortunately, if a player agent isn’t a trusted source … who is? Nobody is closer to an athlete.

In an era where rookie photo shoot jerseys are used en masse on memorabilia cards — even the high-end products — this shouldn’t sting as badly as it might.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Box Busters: 2009-10 The Cup hockey

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Tim Trout as they rip into a pair of 2009-10 The Cup hockey boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside these high-end boxes?

Watch and find out …

First look: 2010 Topps Tribute football cards

One of Topps‘ flashiest high-end sets from the early 2000s returned in baseball little over a year ago and now it’s back once again.

On the gridiron.

Topps revealed the basic breakdown and preview images for 2010 Topps Tribute Football on Thursday evening, a one-hit-per-pack product that will arrive packing plenty of flash and it arrives on Jan. 31, 2011.

Each six-pack box will include four autographed Relics or autograph cards and three multi-piece Relic cards in this hobby-only product.

The base set will consist of 100 cards — 48 rookies, 40 veterans and 12 legends of the game — with all the parallels collectors should be familiar with from the baseball release. There are Reds, Golds, Greens, Blacks and Blues as well as printing plates to be found.

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Reminder when flipping through a binder: Enjoy ‘em while you can

I recently dusted off one of my old football card binders to find my ridiculously inexpensive, ridiculously unorganized stash of cards of one Hall of Fame caliber player.

I once thought was going to possibly sit atop the all-time the NFL’s career rushing touchdown list – well at least possibly rub shoulders with the guys listed right below Emmitt Smith (164) – but it turns out that just didn’t happen.

My player is among just eight who scored 100 career touchdowns on the ground during a career that lasted all of just eight seasons. He played in a Super Bowl, but his career was essentially over after that one appearance in the big game.

His name? Shaun Alexander.

The former Seattle Seahawks and Alabama Crimson Tide star put up a successful and potentially overlooked career, one that ended for all intents and purposes in 2006 at age 29. Sure, he lasted another season and a few games more even after that, but he wasn’t the same. He vanished from the radar when I wasn’t even paying attention.

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T206 Honus Wagner hits eBay

You just don’t see this one on eBay every day.

A PSA 1 copy of the famed holy grail of baseball cards, the T206 Honus Wagner, has shown up on eBay.

Asking price? $345,000, Buy It Now.

I know I came up just a little short in my Paypal account, but somebody, somewhere just might be looking to land one of the most-hallowed cards in hobby history.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Phillies' Roy Halladay fires second postseason no-hitter in MLB history

If you had any doubts about 2010 being The Year of the Pitcher, Roy Halladay should have erased them Wednesday evening in Philadelphia.

The Phillies’ ace no-hit the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS — just one walk shy of throwing his second perfect game of the season — and threw just the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history, winning 4-0.

Not bad for his first postseason start in a Phillies uniform, eh?

And now that you might want some of his cardboard, did you know Halladay appears on a total of 3,325 baseball cards — 288 of them autographed and 642 game-used memorabilia cards?

The best of his five Rookie Cards is his 1997 Bowman Chrome card (right) valued at $25, while his first certified autograph card, which is found in the 1995 Signature Rookies Tetrad set, sells for $40.

Psst… You can also find Halladay on the cover of the latest issue of Beckett Baseball, No. 57, in hobby shops and on newsstands now.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Randy Moss' return to Vikings simply can't hurt hobby

By Chris Olds | Editor | COMMENTARY

Some will call it a blockbuster trade, but when it comes to football cards Randy Moss‘ return to the Minnesota Vikings — where he’ll be catching passes from future Hall of Famer Brett Favre – it’s much more than that.

It’s a home run for the hobby.

Sorry for the mixed metaphor there, but there are few plays that could equate for this one. A touchdown? It’s much more than that. A game-winner? Bigger. A Super Bowl winner? Perhaps, and that’s apparently the only thing in mind in Minneapolis, so … we’ll go with that.

For all of a third-round pick, the Vikings get the return of a guy who had owned the hobby not too long ago, giving their soon-to-be 41-year-old quarterback — an unquestioned hobby giant — a birthday present about four days early.

A player’s return to where he was once great often comes as a swansong, but it’s clear that Moss still has something left in the tank — and the team’s other receivers should help make the Vikings’ passing attack as dangerous as its been in some time. Success on the field should be expected — and with that should come attention for cardboard.

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Card Gallery: 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition autographed inserts

This year’s Donruss Elite Extra Edition baseball card set is slated to arrive in shops around the country very, very soon and here are a few more images of cards that will be found in packs.

Some of these cards made by Panini America carry a very distinct vintage feel with sepia-toned photos, unlike most of the full-color foilboard-loaded product, though these cards also are printed on the fingerprint-unfriendly stock.

See more after the jump.

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First Look: ITG Ultimate Memorabilia 10th Edition

In The Game officials on Tuesday pulled the curtain back on the 10th anniversary edition of ITG Ultimate Memorabilia, one of the company’s cornerstone hockey products due out in early November.

See more images after the jump

New for this year is a base design inspired by the original hockey card set, the legendary 1910-11 C56 offering that is celebrating 100 years of hockey cards. Collectors can expect a 100-card base set dotted heavily by variations. ITG also is randomly inserting redemption cards good for original C56 cards.

In addition to an autograph lineup that includes Lumbergraphs and a 10th anniversary Paper Cuts insert, Ultimate Memorabilia will attempt to live up to its name by featuring a bevy of game-worn memorabilia inserts like Ultimate Retrospective, Ultimate Decades and Ultimate When There Were Six.

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Press Pass' Black Box Rocks

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For those about to collect, we salute you . . .

Topps confirms UFC Nickname variations

Did you notice something different on some of your 2010 Topps UFC base cards? You might have if you busted plenty of boxes.

You weren’t seeing things if you did as Topps confirmed on Tuesday that several cards in the base set have nickname variations, which are limited to just 250 copies. The variations have the fighter’s nickname stamped in foil on the card front instead of the fighter’s name.

See the list after the jump.

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Will you beat the odds in 2010 Topps Chrome?

This year’s Topps Chrome baseball set is on its way and one thing looks pretty certain — there are some tougher odds for some Refractors this year.

What will that mean market-wise for singles and wax?

We’ll have to wait and see, but here are the odds for hobby packs:

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