Monthly Archives: November 2010

If I had a Baseball Hall of Fame vote … 2011 Edition

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

The Baseball Writers Association of America released the 2011 Hall of Fame ballot this week, a list of eligible players that includes some likely Hall of Famers, some guys still waiting their turn and some guys who’ll get the Vince McMahon Entrance Music Award as they’ve got “No chance … ”

While we have to wait until Jan. 5 to see who was picked on 75 percent of all ballots, here’s my rundown — with an emphasis on the player’s place in cardboard.

Of this year’s new crop, I have several I’d vote for but I don’t see too many getting in. I’d vote for the likes of Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, Jeff Bagwell and Barry Larkin while marveling at those who cast their votes for the likes of Mark McGwire and first-timer Rafael Palmeiro.

See my full rundown after the jump.

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This Michael Jordan jersey auction is out of this world

By Chris Olds | Editor

You’ve probably seen a few Michael Jordan game-used jerseys through the years, but this one’s out of this world.

Forget Jordan’s Chicago Bulls threads — or his somewhat-forgettable-anyway Washington Wizards gear — this one has to be one of the rarer Jordan jerseys around. It’s a jersey that was prepped for his use in the 1996 movie, Space Jam, where His Airness co-starred with Bugs Bunny.

Think what you want about the Warner Bros. film, but it made $90.4 million at the box office after it was released in late 1996. And for all those kids out there that undoubtedly saw the movie  — and their parents, of course — the jersey might be an interesting piece of basketball, film or MJ history for them.

After all, many of those 1996 kiddos and pre-teens are likely in their 20s now — and they have spending power, right?

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The Prospect of 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Fortifying its late-January release with proven icemen like Pavel Bure and Steve Yzerman, In The Game claims that 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects “…could be the best…ever!” AHL, CHL and International contenders bolster the checklist with the prospect of stardom in this pairing of hopeful and established hockey heroes.

Doing what they do best, ITG officials bring the game to the collector with spectacular game-used memorabilia cards from the Top Prospects Game, the Subway Series and other on-the-rink action. These, along with National Pride, Net Prospects, Prospect Trios, Quad Patch, Complete Jersey inserts justify the chase. The memorabilia-focused manufacturer even sweetens the deal with autographed versions of some of its game-used inserts. Read More »

How you could spend Derek Jeter's $15 million …

By Chris Olds | Editor

We all know that Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees are millions of dollars apart in their contract negotiations, but few of us can truly comprehend what that means.

After all, just one million would keep more than a few of us occupied — even that Dr. Evil guy, who we hear is an avid reader.

But how can we show casual sports fans just how far apart the negotiations are between the 27-time World Series champs and their captain who is now a free agent?

Easy. Some other numbers — some stats we might be able to comprehend. Here’s how you might be able to spend $15 million … the amount that Jeter was reportedly offered by the Yankees but wasn’t good enough:

— A million copies of Jeter’s 1993 Topps Rookie Card. Given that it was 1993, there are surely a million copies out there … they really let the presses roll back then.

— 1,153 game-used Jeter jerseys from Steiner Sports — if he somehow has that many more games to play.

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Press Pass' Five Star isn't just about high-end racing cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Press Pass‘ foray into the ultra high-end trading card realm has some gems of racing memorabilia, but that’s not all the company is packing into its $500 and up boxes.

Some packs of Press Pass Five Star will include instant win memorabilia cards redeemable for items that even the most casual of NASCAR fans will recognize as kind of a big deal. (Apologies to Ron Burgundy.)

For example, how about a Dale Earnhardt race-used and signed helmet? It dates from the mid-1990s as it features a sticker on the back noting The Intimidator’s 1993 Winston Cup title.

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Topps' 2010 MLB Rookie All-Star Team

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Topps created its annual rookie All-Star team in 1959. Since then 17 future Hall-of-Famers have been named to the team with players such as Willie McCovey, Joe Morgan and Cal Ripken Jr.

The company released this year’s edition with catcher Buster Posey and pitcher Stephen Strasburg highlighting the list.

The award is given to one player for each field position in addition to a right-handed pitcher, a left-handed pitcher and a reliever regardless of league.

See who made the team after the jump:

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Cardboard Tribute: The Late Leslie Nielsen

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

With only six cards in the Beckett database, the late Leslie Nielsen never hit the hobby as hard as he struck the universal funny bone. Taking hyperbolic leaps in humor, the frequently absurd actor died on Sunday, leaving a legacy of comedic characters and cult classics.

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2010 National Treasures Pen Pal Autographs get an upgrade

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Panini America really took advantage of the 2010 NFL Rookies Premiere in May. With all the rookies in one spot, officials from the company got on-card autographs for some of its sets.

One of these includes the 2010 National Treasure Football Pen Pal Autographs subset.

2010 National Treasures is Panini’s final and most expensive product of the year and it looks like they aren’t holding anything back. Besides on-card autographs, which we all love, the product also features the rookies in their NFL helmet.

Last year’s set only had the guys in their college uniform.

Pen Pal Autographs offer so many different combinations of rookies, you’re bound to find your favorite grouped together. Pen Pal Autographs will come with two to eight signatures on the card.

The set it is scheduled to be released in early March with a $400 price tag.

See a gallery of Pen Pal Autographs inside.

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Three NBA rookies you might want to collect – soon

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The NBA season is in full swing and all eyes have been on rookies John Wall and Blake Griffin. These two will likely go to the wire when it comes to the Rookie of the Year vote, but the cardboard world doesn’t just revolve around these two guys when it comes to NBA rookies.

You may have been caught up in the dazzling moves of Wall or the strong-arm play of Griffin, but here are three rookies who also deserve your attention.

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Images from 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Earlier this week, Upper Deck announced it was moving forward with 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball with big news that every 12-box case will include autographs from one of a couple of pretty big names.

It’s a college- and high school-themed set under the Collegiate Licensing Company.

Each box will have two SP By the Letter Autographs or one By the Letter Autograph and an additional autograph OR a Michael Jordan North Carolina Supreme Court floor card.

Upper Deck released images of the set with some of the biggest stars, including the Jordon Supreme Court card. The Supreme Court card is a 1.5’’x2’’ piece of the floor that Jordan played on while at North Carolina.

See more photos after the jump.

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TOTALLY FAKE BASEBALL CARDS: 29 Derek Jeters you won’t see in 2011 … and one you just might

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

The biggest drama in the baseball world these days is tailor-made for the major media outlets to chew on as it revolves around the most successful franchise in all of American sports, the 27-time champion New York Yankees, and its most-heralded modern-day player and career hits leader, Derek Jeter.

There really might not be a surer thing in today’s sports card world than Jeter, the icon of all icons in the country’s biggest media market, a player who gets a lot of the attention — and a lot of the credit for his team’s success — even if his batting average drops 64 points in a season.

And that’s precisely what has happened — both in the credit over the years and his fall in performance this past year. And that’s precisely why there’s a chance he might not be a Yankee next season, when he’ll likely become just the 28th member of the hallowed 3,000-hit club.

The dreams of many a memorabilia dealer might be dashed if that milestone is reached in anything other than Yankees pinstripes. After all, for all of the Yankees’ most-historic names – Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and so on — none of them ever reached 3,000.

When, or if, Jeter hits 3,000 in Yankee Stadium? It will be one of those moments (you know, one without home runs and allegations later) that Major League Baseball has needed for some time, one of those moments that could carry some serious interest in cardboard and memorabilia.

Could all the oomph that Jeter carries among baseball fans — and particularly collectors — fade if he ends up elsewhere? Does he become Public Enemy No. 1 in New York if he were to somehow end up at shortstop for, say, the Boston Red Sox?

There are a lot of “what-ifs” with the Jeter case … one where he has an offer of $15 million a year for three years reportedly on the table from the Yanks (not good enough) and also one where he’s been told to shop his talents around MLB. After all, you can’t blame a guy for not wanting a pay cut, right?

Can you see Jeter in anything other than a Yankees uniform? It might be tough — but it’s not tough here as the curiosity got the best of me.

You can see for yourself — after the jump.

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Happy Thanksgiving from Beckett Media

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Thanks to great Beckett.com users like  sweetmfnlou22, ripkenfan72, jfrench91, P18mann and orange1fan322 (to name a few), the 2010 hand turkey tribute is filling up with cards that bring personal joy and collecting happiness. Before or after the tryptophan sets in tomorrow, we’d still love to see which four cards you are most thankful for. The Beckett.com Football thread, in particular is loaded with gratitude–which is what this hobby and this coming holiday is all about.

We, at Beckett are thankful for you, your passion and your dedication to collecting. Without you, we’d just be a handful of folks, just sitting around and talking about cards–which, as we all know–isn’t far from reality. Fueled by your fervor for the hobby though, we are thrilled to facilitate discussion, provide data and push the collecting envelope.

From the heart of the hobby, we thank you for being the heartbeat.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Box Busters: Dexter Season Three

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By Andrew Tolentino | Beckett Media

Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck and Brad Grmela tore open a box of the highly anticipated Dexter Season Three cards. Watch to see their blood-splattered pulls.

(For better video quality, change to 360P or 480P)

Jeter leaving pinstripes? A collector mulls cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Today, I woke up to texts about Derek Jeter, tweets about Derek Jeter and emails about Derek Jeter.

Everyone wants to know what is happening with the (former) New York Yankees shortstop. But they mostly want to know how I feel about the idea of Jeter running off and signing with another club.

I’m a Jeter fan and collector with more than 1,500 unique Jeter cards. I have every Rookie Card, 49 memorabilia cards and six autographs (they’re not cheap). I thought he was always going to be a Yankee.

However, there is a small possibility this may not happen.

Talks between the Yankees and Jeter have gone little public and there are plenty of pundits talking about the possibility Jeter will sign with another team.

I cringed even as I wrote that.

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Box Busters: 2010 Press Pass Five Star Racing

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

As previously mentioned, we recently received an inside look at the high-end 2010 Press Pass Five Star racing line. Beckett Media’s Tim Trout had the privilege of opening one of the elegantly encased 5-card packs. Watch to find out what Trout pulled from this hit-centric product.

(For better video quality, change to 360P or 480P)

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Card Gallery: 2010-11 Upper Deck Series One Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Before feasting with family and friends this week,  Beckett senior market analyst, Tim Trout and I opened a 24-pack box of 2010-11 Upper Deck Series One Hockey at the Box Busters dinner table. The 192-card pulling session delivered  two jersey cards and hearty helping of inserts and anniversary parallels.

Below is a whistle-wetting sample of our pre-Turkey day cardboard dinner. Read More »

Four Cards I'm Thankful For

 

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

In the interest of giving gratitude this week, I pulled four cards from my personal collection and gave them a hand turkey tribute. As a card-carrying Texas Ex, I can’t help but highlight players who have donned the burnt orange. Even though Vince Young and Cedric Benson have had their woes as pros, I am nonetheless thankful to have a few of their cards in my Longhorn shrine. If nothing else, our shared school colors are appropriately autumnal.

Below, you’ll find four cards for which I am very grateful. Since every collector has a few personal favorites, we’re interested in finding out which four cards land on your hand turkey finger feathers.

2007 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects Class of 2006 Unsigned #170 Vince Young

Although this isn’t the fanciest VY card in my personal collection, it earned a spot in the shadowbox because of its relative simplicity and nostalgic qualities. Despite the recent drama surrounding his career, I am still (and always will be) thankful for his epic national championship performance.

 

 

2006 Playoff National Treasures Helmets #9 Earl Campbell/9

Featured here in his Houston Oilers uniform, the living predecessor of many great Texas running backs motivated me to splurge on a  high-end product for the first time. This little piece of the legendary Longhorn’s helmet is a tangible connection to school pride.

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Card Gallery: 2010 Certified Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Along with the autumn leaves, 2010 Certified fell from Panini’s football tree this fall.

Yesterday, we managed rake a couple of 10-pack boxes into the Box Busters studio for a foil wrapper frolicking session. Making good and even exceeding the stated odds, the $10-a-pack product yielded two Shirt Off My Back memorabilia cards (a Charles Woodson jersey and a Darren McFadden prime patch #’d to 50), a Deacon Jones Fabric of the Game, a Deji Karim New Generation Mirror autograph and a double-swatched, sticker-autographed Mike Kafka Freshman Fabric hit. As the video reveals, we also landed a three-per-case “Platinum Hot Box,” which dealt a heavy hand of cards numbered to 999 or less.

Below is a 12-card sample from our pile of pulls. Please refrain from diving. Read More »

Upper Deck scraps 2010 Ultimate Collection Football; ups ante in 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball

By Chris Olds | Editor

Upper Deck released a pair of statements to distributors about two forthcoming products on Monday, with one product getting the red light and the other one getting a green light for some higher-end autograph additions.

First, the company has decided to scrap its plans for a 2010 Ultimate Collection Football set, which would have been a college release under its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company. The company cited the present state of the industry, which is crowded with many slow-moving, perhaps overproduced products at this time.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Andrew Tolentino and Tim Trout as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1 hockey cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Certified Football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2010 Certified boxes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 SPx Football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010 SPx Football from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out…

Auction Action: Black Rainbow Ovechkin is Fetchin'

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

For those who are familiar with the wonders of a “full on double rainbow,” this 1/1 black rainbow is bringing about similar beguilement.

In just 12 hours, this 2005-06 The Cup Black Rainbow Alexander Ovechkin 1/1 rookie card set eBay ablaze with more than 100 watchers and bids exceeding the $5,000 mark. Opening the auction at a long since gone 99 cents with no reserve price, Beckett Select Merchandise Manager Dave Sliepka explained, “This card is going crazy.”

With the current bid closing in on $8,000 ($7,700) and more than 400 watchers (800 eyes, unless pirates are involved), this Ovechkin could be fetchin’ five figures before auction’s end on Nov. 22.

The $10 Card Shop Challenge: You Decide

By Chris Olds | Editor

Little over a week ago, I issued the first $10 Card Shop Challenge. Now, it’s your turn to vote for the winner.

You might have seen the results here and here — if not, go visit those threads and then cast your vote. We’ll close the voting at 10 a.m. Central time on Monday, Nov. 29.

(Those who purchased packs NOT at retail outlets are not eligible … you have to read the rules. We let image posting slide as some had technical difficulties, though. We’ll let the voters decide if there are any tall tales here … )

What will the winner get? Something that costs more than $10 …

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Pulling with Everyday People: 2010 SPx Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

As mentioned in a previous post, Dallas Comedy House co-founder, Clay Barton dropped by Beckett headquarters to help us open a hobby box of 2010 SPX Football. Until last week, the improviser, instructor and business owner hadn’t opened a pack of cards since elementary school.

Take a look to see an admirably bearded Barton’s return to the hobby and his reaction to the modern sports card.

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Harlon Hill: One of 2010 Limited's relatively unknown legends

By Chris Olds | Editor

Collectors who rip into packs of 2010 Limited Football from Panini America beginning next week will find the likes of Ernie Davis, Tom Brady, Tim Tebow and more inside — a full spectrum of stars from the past, present and (likely) future.

Most of the names will ring a bell immediately, though some — like the autographed card of former Chicago Bears star Harlon Hill seen above — might not.

Hill, though, is a relatively familiar name for me — though his NFL career ended in 1962, well before I was born. You see, in Alabama Crimson Tide country there are a lot of names that get bandied about as football legends — more familiar names like Joe Namath, John Hannah, Ozzie Newsome — but Hill was an Alabama native who didn’t play for the Crimson Tide.

And he became a legend, too.

A player like Hill can be a matter of pride for some — like some of my former co-workers — in that football-crazed part of the country.

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First look: 2010 National Treasures Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Those sneaky card guys over at Panini America couldn’t hang on to photos of 2010 National Treasures Football any longer. They couldn’t keep the lid on the final and most expensive product in their 2010 football line.

National Treasures is consistently one of the most anticipated sets since it debuted in 2006. The high-end product features sharp photos, beautiful patches and a good mix of legend, veteran and rookie autographs.

The product isn’t due out until March 2, 2011, but Panini just couldn’t hide its preview photos any longer.

A $400-pack gets you eight cards. The preview photos show players such as Tom Brady, Johnny Unitas and Sam Bradford, all guys at the top of the game or quickly on the rise.

See the gallery — and more — after the jump.

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NHL loses former coach Pat Burns

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Former NHL coach Pat Burns died on cancer on Friday. He was 58.

Burns led the New Jersey Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup Championship and later battled cancer in 2004 and 2005. However, in 2009 doctors learned the disease had spread to his lungs.

“Just as they will remember Pat for his success as a coach, hockey fans also will remember his humor, his honesty, his humanity and his courage,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “As it mourns the loss of an outstanding contributor to the game, the National Hockey League sends heartfelt condolences to Pat’s family and friends.”

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Card Gallery: 2010 SPx Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

We’ve been chomping at the bits, just thinking about opening the box of 2010 SPx Football that landed in our mailbox this week. Joined by Dallas Comedy House co-founder Clay Barton, we tore into 18 packs and pulled 72 cards featuring NFL players in their respective college uniforms.

Next week, we’ll reveal a video of Barton revisiting the hobby in a segment called “Pulling with Everyday People.” Until then, here’s a look at some of the cards from our box:

ITG Recalls Niittymaki's Non Game-Used Jersey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Tipped off by a collector with a watchful eye, In The Game, Inc. researched and announce yesterday, that Antero Niittymaki‘s  Ultimate Memorabilia 10 Ultimate Emblem card (Slab No. 7,298/7,500) is not actually game-used. Upholding ethical and authenticity standards, ITG issued a recall on the 1/1.

The card-inserted memorabilia was mistakenly identified as a piece of  an emblem from long last namer’s 2010 Team Finland Olympic Game-Used jersey. However, after the product was packed and shipped, the hockey manufacturer learned that their NHLPA eBay acquisition was game-issued, but not game-worn.

“I don’t think this is what collectors want, it may be what they accept from other manufacturers but if given a choice, authentic game-worn memorabilia is what they want,” said ITG President, Dr. Brian H. Price. “We had no reason to doubt the legitimacy of this jersey since it was acquired from the NHLPA with their COA” Price added, “but when a collector brought this to our attention, we did further research and confirmed that Niittymaki did not play in the game as stated by the NHLPA.”

In The Game plans to make a different Niittymaki Ultimate Emblem card to replace the sweat free swatch.

Cards. Lights. Camera. Action!

 

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Thanks to the present day prevalence of personal video cameras, YouTube is packed with hobby-related clips, ranging from box breaks to glorious (and crummy) maildays. In a world full of webcams, we’d love to see even more collectors sharing their cardboard with the electronic universe.

As demonstrated by the video below, there are plenty of hobbyists, young and old, posting clips of Beckett Grading Services results. Capturing the essence of excitement of a “10” and the agony of a “5,” these short documentaries feed the hobby with information and voice. That being said, we also want to see what happens before the grade.

For your chance at viral fame (and maybe more), post a video of you talking about the card(s) you’re about to send out to Beckett Grading Services on YouTube and send the link to readersrock@beckett.com. Alternatively, you can tweet your link @tolentinotweets for review.

Whether you’re making a plea for a “Pristine 10″ or you just want to justify what you’re getting graded, film it, post it and send it and you might find yourself featured on this piece of internet real estate. Read More »

You won't find this one in packs of 2010 Topps Update

By Chris Olds | Editor

Every week, there are boxes addressed to me here at Beckett Media and sealed inside are all kinds of treasures — sealed boxes from Panini America and Topps that include our Box Busters boxes and an occasional prize or two for the collectors out there.

And even though ripping open those boxes often feels like Christmas Day (or something), they’re all items I never get to keep.

But as I checked my email today — after a couple less-frazzled days off — I found a message asking for my address so I can have a mailday of my own.

It was from Nathan Sprenkle, one of the artists who took blank You Sketch It! cards from 2010 Topps Series 2 and created what are now rare You Sketched It! insert cards in 2010 Topps Update.

Here’s what he wrote:

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Video: Ovechkin rips two high-end Upper Deck packs

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

For regular collectors, getting a tin of 2009-2010 Upper Deck’s The Cup might give you a thrilling rush to open. Each box, which contains one pack, costs about $400.

For a man making a little more than $9 million a year, that surge is a little tempered.

Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin ripped a pack of Upper Deck’s 2009-2010 The Cup (Ovechkin signed a 13-year $124 million contract extension in 2008) at a private party recently and there’s video proof.

He also ripped a $100 box of 2009-2010 Ultimate Hockey.

See the autographs and patches he gets.

Spoiler: He didn’t get any of his own cards.

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Up for Discussion: Kobe and "Call of Duty"

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By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

In case you missed it, NBA superstar and hobby highlight Kobe Bryant appears in a potentially controversial commercial for “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” Woven into a montage of everyday people in a war scene, Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel dodge explosions and fire serious military weapons at unidentified (to the audience) targets.

Celebrity endorsements are key in our pop-culture-crazed society, and, yes, this is an advertisement for a “Mature” video game. However, at the risk of opening Pandora’s box I ask the collecting community, should stars stray away from appearances that could be interpreted as promotion of violence? What would you think if your next pull featured Bryant brandishing an assault rifle, or Jordan dual-wielding Glocks?

The hobby definitely doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so we’re curious to hear the collector’s take on Kobe’s armed answer to the “Call of Duty.” Chime in with your thoughts and see what others are saying on the Beckett.com thread.

Which one of These Cards is Not Like the Other?

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Knee deep in non-sport research, Beckett analyst Bryan Hornbeck discovered a baffling eBay listing this morning. Although the $1,000,000 listing did not sell, the most puzzling part of the eBayer-described “9 Card Collection of the Greatest in Baseball” is the eighth player selection.

Granted, every fan is entitled to a few outlying picks, and this seller even does a decent job of justifying the oddball. However, l have a feeling that hobbyists will be saying “Huh?” after seeing this audacious addition to Baseball’s best of the best.

Who did this eBay seller select? Click here to see for yourself.