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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Upper Deck unveils Priority Signings for the 2010 Fall Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Want to get your hands on one of these exclusive Wayne Gretzky autograph cards?

The only way to get one and other Upper Deck Priority Signings is at the wrapper redemption program at the 2010 NHL Fall Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Toronto, Canada from Nov. 12-14.

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Would you want to own a New York Yankees office chair?

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s probably not quite ergonomically sound and it’s probably not going to be expensed– at least not by me — but there’s a new office chair that just might be a hit among many executives in the sports world and in more than a few dens around the world.

Well, at least if the owners are fond of New York Yankees pinstripes.

Steiner Sports has unveiled a new offering among its game-used Yankee Stadium memorabilia lineup — and it’s something that just might get some attention around the office for being one part memorabilia and one part daily life accessory.

It’s the Yankee Stadium office chair.

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Guest commentary: Bob Feller's 70 years of cardboard still amaze

By Stan Carlberg | Guest contributor

The recent health scare for baseball legend Bob Feller got me thinking about how much “Rapid Robert” has meant to the collecting masses, the hobby as a whole.

But before we delve into his hobby achievements, we need to go back to where his legendary career first began. Three years before Ted Williams was “The Kid,” the 17-year-old Feller took the baseball world by storm in 1936 with his blazing 100-plus mph fastball. Still attending high school in Van Meter, Iowa, Feller was Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden and Jim Palmer rolled into one. During his standout rookie season, he matched his age in strikeouts when he fanned 17 batters in one game. Two years later, he topped his own mark by whiffing 18 Detroit Tigers on Oct. 2, 1938.

Despite missing pretty much four prime seasons to World War II, Feller’s fabled baseball resume includes:

– The only Opening Day no-hitter (1940)

– Three career no-hitters (12 one-hitters)

– 266 victories, 2,500+ career strikeouts

– Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962

The only thing rivaling Feller’s diamond achievements and service to his country is his active run in the memorabilia industry. For more than 70 years, Feller has been baseball’s most prolific signer and is the only active player to appear in classic Goudey and Topps sets, spanning from the 1930s to the 1950s.

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First superagent's personal archive hits auction block

By Amar Shah | Guest contributor

All it took was a case of beer and The Babe was his.

Before David Falk, Drew Rosenhaus and “Jerry Maguire,” there was Christy Walsh, the first super athlete agent. In 1921, Walsh, a sports cartoonist and trained lawyer, took on a new gig syndicating ghostwritten articles written by celebrities to newspapers around the country.  His most famous client at that point had been Eddie Rickenbacker, a World War I flying ace turned race car driver.  But Walsh had a bigger target in mind.

In 1920, Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs in his first season as a New York Yankee.  Walsh found his man.  However, Ruth proved elusive, avoiding the overzealous Walsh whenever he stalked him on the streets of New York City.

Walsh even managed to get himself kicked out of the Ansonia Hotel where Ruth was living.  But according to Tom Stanton, author of  “Ty and the Babe,” in the winter of 1921, Walsh was waiting for Ruth when he overheard a grocer next door to the hotel taking a beer order from Ruth’s room.

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First look: 2010 Playoff Contenders football cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America offered a sneak peek at one of its annual staples on Monday in the form of 2010 Playoff Contenders.

Set to arrive in January, it will include four autographs in every 24-pack box along with nearly 20 additional rookies and inserts.

New this year in the ticket-styled staple are cards made of 14 karat solid gold — literally, a golden ticket.

We’ll have more on this product closer to its release, so stay tuned.

Until then, you can check out the selection of preview images after the jump.

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First autographed Pamela Anderson baseball card a hot seller

By Chris Olds | Editor

The first Pamela Anderson autographed card from 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition has proven to be one hot card.

How hot?

The first copy to sell on eBay ended on Sunday at $302 after 13 bids.

“I think it’s quite impressive. It speaks to her own popularity and the uniqueness of the card,” said Panini America Marketing Manager Tracy Hackler. “She appeals to collectors and non-collectors alike. Obviously, the argument against celebrities in sports products doesn’t extend to Pam Anderson.”

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Upper Deck releases Young Guns, photos NHL rookie video

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Upper Deck wants you to know about the NHL’s best rookies.

Upper Deck released photos for 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1‘s Young Guns Rookie Cards, which will feature top young stars and will fall on average of six per box.

The company also released its second NHL rookie-themed video “Never Throw a Teammate under the Bus” with Edmonton Oiler rookies Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi.

See a gallery of Young Guns images, as well as get a checklist, after the jump.

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Pro Football Hall of Fame card set adds new immortals

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has added another layer to its Bronze Bust Collector Cards – but only for a short while.

For a limited time, the 2010 class of Russ Grimm, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, Rickey Jackson, John Randle, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith are included in this exclusive card release, which is limited to 150 autographed sets. The Bronze Bust Collector Card series represents the most exclusive card collection ever offered by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

More than 135 cards are signed by the likes of Don Shula, Gale Sayers, Lawrence Taylor, John Elway and Joe Montana.

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Bryce Harper autographs — Aflac & USA buyback — join two 2010 Bowman products

By Chris Olds  | Editor

Less than a day after it announced the signing of the No. 1 draft pick, Topps unveiled its plans for Bryce Harper autograph cards in a pair of 2010 Bowman-branded products.

However, neither one will feature the much-anticipated teen’s first officially licensed MLB card, saving him for 2011 Bowman – where he will be featured on both standard and autographed cards.

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First Look: 2010-11 Limited Hockey

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America‘s on-ice offerings just keep on coming in its rookie season in the NHL and the latest installment is a high-end veteran that many collectors should be familiar with.

Set to arrive on Dec. 15, 2010-11 Limited will include seven cards in each $100 pack — one autograph, one memorabilia card, one additional autograph or memorabilia card as well as two base cards, one legends and one more card after that.

Some of the NHL’s newest rookies will be included in the product — including top pick Taylor Hall — while the set will include stars from the present and the past like Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux.

Panini also promises some first-time signers will be found in Limited, while there will be cut autographs of players like Harry Oliver and Eddie Shore as well.

See more after the jump — and see more from Panini here soon.

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First look: 2011 Topps Heritage baseball cards (updated)

Topps has teased the first glimpse at the 2011 version of one of its most popular baseball card sets, Topps Heritage, and to no one’s surprise it carries the classic design of the 1962 Topps set.

The famed wood borders will return — last used in an original Topps design in 1987 — in 2011 with Heritage, a product that will pack 24 packs in every hobby box, each with  one autograph or Relic card inside when it arrives in mid-March.

The base set will consist of 500 cards — 425 players along with World Series highlight cards, combos cards, League Leaders cards, Sporting News All-Stars, team cards, Rookie Parade cards and In-Action cards — all like they were in 1962. There will be 75 short-printed cards to be found, while the Chrome parallels and Topps Stamps also will return.

Oh, and if you remember the original set that means The Bambino himself, Babe Ruth, also will be involved in 2011.

New for 2011 are ’62 Mint cards, which will include money from 1962 embedded into the cards. There will be penny cards noting a player’s birthday, nickel cards noting their MLB debuts, dime cards noting personal trivia, quarter cards that focus on highlights and silver dollar cards for players who were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The autograph and Relic lineup appears to be the same as in recent years — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? — with Flashback Stadium Relics and Clubhouse Collection Relics leading the way. The autographs are all signed on-card in several forms. They include Real One, which are players whose last appearance came in 1962 Topps, Flashbacks, Cut Signature and new 60th Anniversary autographs where players note Topps’ diamond anniversary of making MLB cards.

See more … after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Panini Plates & Patches football cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

There have been quite a few football brands launched for 2010 and Panini America has a new one, too, in 2010 Panini Plates & Patches.

Scheduled to arrive in mid-December, each $150 box will include one autographed prime memorabilia Rookie Card, two autographs and either one memorabilia card or a fourth autograph. Also found in each box will be two base cards, one parallel and one insert.

And, based on the product’s name, it should be obvious what the product is built around when it comes to the selling points.

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Topps signs Bryce Harper to exclusive autograph & memorabilia deal

By Chris Olds | Editor

The long-awaited, but expected, news that Topps has signed No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Harper to an exclusive deal is now here.

The company confirmed on Wednesday morning that it signed a multi-year exclusive deal for autographed cards, game-used memorabilia cards and the use of Harper’s image on packaging and advertising.

“Growing up a huge baseball fan, it will be surreal to see myself on a Topps card with a Nationals jersey on,” Harper said.  “I’m excited to team up with Topps and take one of the first steps to realizing my Major League dreams.”

The teenager was the top pick of the Washington Nationals after playing a season of junior college baseball and leaving high school two years early. His USA Baseball SuperFractor card from 2010 Bowman (above) recently sold for $12,500. That trails only that of future teammate Stephen Strasburg, who Topps signed as an exclusive last fall,  in the top sales record book for an unsigned SuperFractor.

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First look: 2010-11 Donruss Basketball

By Chris Olds | Editor

Donruss is taking to the hardwood.

Panini America announced Tuesday its plans for the first Donruss basketball set in collecting history, a set complete with some design nods to the baseball cards from the 1980s but with the touches of modern-day Panini products.

And that means, you know, Rated Rookie cards of John Wall, Evan Turner and many others.

Set to arrive on Dec.  22, 2010-11 Donruss Basketball will include three autograph or memorabilia cards per box along with at least 20 die-cut parallel cards per box. The base set will consist of 295 cards and also will have a complete parallel set as well.

See more from the set after the jump.

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Miracle on Ice gold medal set to hit auction block

By Chris Olds | Editor

If you believe in miracles, then you know what this item is potentially worth.

The first Olympic gold medal to ever hit the auction block awarded to a member of the 1980 United States “Miracle on Ice”  hockey team will be up for sale beginning next month through Heritage Auctions.

The medal, which originally belonged to center Mark Wells, is expected to fetch six figures. Wells sold the medal earlier this year to a private collector who has opted to sell through the Dallas-based auction house during an auction on Nov. 5.

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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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