Monthly Archives: November 2010

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:

Read More »

Video: Ovechkin rips two high-end Upper Deck packs

YouTube Preview Image

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.

Read More »

Up for Discussion: Kobe and "Call of Duty"

YouTube Preview Image

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.

"D" is for "Rookie!" The 2010 Donruss Rated Rookie Boxed Set

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Carefully avoiding a Gap-esque logo change fiasco, the folks over at Panini America are keepin’ it real by using the iconic Donruss “D” in a few future releases. Soon to reappear in 2010-11 Donruss Hockey and 2010-11 Donruss Basketball, the beloved letter will also land on the recently trumpeted 2010 Donruss Football Rated Rookie Boxed Set.

Comprised of 100 Rated Rookies (Tim Tebow, Dez Bryant, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, to name a few), each box completes the set and offers an autograph, to boot. At $19.99, it’s an affordable, enjoyable set to collect. However, with a January release date, the latest box with the Donruss “D” will have to do as a belated stocking stuffer, or a bargain-priced personal indulgence.

While enjoying the following preview provided by Panini, you might notice that the  “D” is a lowercase version of the crucial consonant, which is an upside-down, mirrored version of a “P.” Just sayin’.

Rippin' Retail: 2010 World's Greatest Card Chase Baseball

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a repack box of 2010 World’s Greatest Card Chase baseball in this latest Rippin’ Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Vic(k)tory for the Hobby?

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

After last night’s stunning six-touchdown performance in the face of a $78 million Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick is becoming a serious comeback case. Reaffirming fortitude on the field, he might be on the verge of rebuilding his hobby following.

If Martha Stewart can do it, then Vick could very well bury his time behind bars with a wealth of air-cleansing appearances. Then again, comparing Michael Vick to Martha Stewart is like…well, comparing Michael Vick to Martha Stewart. Arguably the more grievous offender, No. 7 isn’t likely to be seen baking apple pies on daytime television, but record-breaking NFL play can be a decent substitute for positive public relations.

As one would assume, Vick’s card values tanked in 2007 due to criminal charges, prosecution and prison sentence. Numerous collectors and fans turned the quarterback’s memorabilia into canine kennel lining and chew toys. In a matter of months, the former Falcon’s total card value (Beckett Hi Price) fell from $109,847.46 to $75,335.30, ultimately bottoming out early this October at $70,557.10. Then, fall football happened. Read More »

Card gallery: 2010 Topps Update You Sketched It! cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

You might not have noticed them buried deep in the sea of odds on wrappers of 2010 Topps Update baseball cards, but the set includes the first collector-created Sketch Cards ever released into a pack.

A limited number of those blank sketch cards found in packs of 2010 Topps Series 2 have been returned with added ink, pencil or other media and are framed as 1/1s and found in packs. (We’ll not bother telling you the odds in Update. It’s a bit depressing.)

Topps recently teased a few of the cards that are found in Update packs.

See a gallery of the images after the jump.

Read More »

Rippin' Retail: Basketball value box

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a repackage box of random basketball card packs as found at a retail store in this Rippin’ Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Buster Posey: NL Rookie of the Year & BSCM cover star

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America selected San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey as the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year on Monday.

On Wednesday, he’ll begin arriving in sports card shops around the country on the cover of the December issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

We’re just sayin’ …

Bryce Harper's first game-used jersey as pro hits auction block

By Chris Olds | Editor

Plenty has been written about 18-year-old baseball prospect Bryce Harper and plenty has been sold featuring Harper, too.

But until now he’s never had any officially licensed MLB trading cards or game-used MLB memorabilia for the deep-pocketed investors to latch on to.

What’s new? No, it’s not a Bowman baseball card bearing the Washington Nationals logo beside his name — we’ll get that in 2011 — but we’ve got the next-closest thing.

Harper’s first jersey worn in a game as a professional — a Nationals home jersey from his Arizona Fall League debut on Oct. 20 — has hit the auction block at MLB.com and already is commanding attention.

The jersey sits at just $2,535 after 36 bids, a relative bargain so far — though the auction does not close until next Sunday, Nov. 21.

Read More »

In The Game teases collectors with photos from its first baseball product

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In August, In The Game announced it was putting together its first baseball card set.

It’s been a while since we heard from them, but that’s because the company has been hard at work. Initially, the set was to be released this month, but was delayed until January as they put together the final touches.

In The Game is putting out a new product for a new year.

The company released teaser photos recently for 2011 Heroes and Prospects Baseball Hits. Series 1 is planned to be out in January with Series 2 scheduled to be released in March.

See more photos after the jump.

Read More »

Southern California family completes 1,170 monster Michael Jordan set

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Josh Rosen has always loved Michael Jordan – even though he never saw him play.

Jordan has that effect on people even long after he retired from the Chicago Bulls in 1998, the year before Josh was born. Jordan came back and played for the Washington Wizards from 2001-03, but he was never the player he was while in Chicago.

That doesn’t matter to basketball fans. We all remember Jordan shooting over defenders, scoring whenever he wanted and celebrating with a cigar in his mouth.

That’s No. 23. That’s what Josh knows about — arguably the greatest basketball player ever.

Josh is a huge basketball fan and began heavily collecting Jordan’s cards five years ago when he was 7 years old. His mother, Karen, picked up different Jordan pieces for him here and there, but the two decided to go after the ultimate Jordan collection almost two years ago.

They chased the 2008-09 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Legacy Collection, which chronicles every game Jordan played with the Chicago Bulls including the postseason.

The Rosens began their card hunt almost two years ago and finally completed the set last week. Josh found the last card he needed after he made a post on Upper Deck’s Facebook wall.

Read More »

One Pack of Retail

YouTube Preview Image

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

While running weekend errands, I made my way to the slightly hidden, yet decently inclusive trading card section at a major retail store. It wasn’t exactly on my list of necessities, but a single $2.99 pack of 2010 Panini Threads Football made its way across the scanner and into my home. It’s not a box or even a blaster, but this is the kind of impulse buy that could create or revive collectors.

Thanks to modern technology, my one-shot retail rip is available right here.

Panini Gallery: 2010-11 Rookies & Stars Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj|Contributing Editor

Panini America is getting geared up for its releases next week. In the basketball realm, 2010-11 Rookies & Stars is set to hit shelves on Wednesday.

Panini decided to whet collectors’ appetites today when it released this extensive gallery.

A 24-pack box of 2010-11 Panini Rookies & Stars comes with five cards in a pack. Collectors can expect one patch auto and three autos or memorabilia cards (numbered to 499 or less) per box. In addition, collectors should find two parallels and 12 inserts.

See the pictures after the jump.

Read More »

Retro Rippin' — 1994 Signature Rookies Draft Picks Baseball

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into the first of two cheap 1994 Signature Rookies Draft Picks baseball cards, which have an autograph in every pack.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out … Box 1 is above while Box 2 — if you can handle it — is after the jump.

Read More »

Father and son win trip to 2011 NHL Winter Classic from Upper Deck

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In just 24 hours after Upper Deck announced the “Collect the Set & Win” hockey contest, the company already found a winner.

That didn’t take long at all.

As soon as Jim and AJ Ramsay heard about the promotion, they set out to win the top prize of a trip to the 2011 NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh.

The father and son duo were set up at the 2010 Fall Expo in Toronto, Canada when a customer told them about the contest. All they had to do was complete the 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1 20th Anniversary 250-card insert set, which was released Wednesday.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2010 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out…

Will you take the $10 Card Shop Challenge?

By Chris Olds | Editor

An after-work card shop visit a few months ago prompted a challenge to one of my Twitter followers, and that’s something I revisited before my visit to Nick’s Sports Cards on Thursday evening.

I sent another message to the masses curious few who enjoy hearing not much from me 140 characters a time on my Twitter feed. I issued a collecting challenge.

A few replied seeking details, but this time I’m taking it a step further as I want to see what many of you can come up with by hitting your local card shop. (If you don’t have an LCS, hit a retail store.)

Call it the $10 Card Shop Challenge.

Should you choose to accept this mission, you will add something new to your collection — and maybe something more as I’m going to cough something up for the entry that you guys find to be the most interesting or impressive entry of the bunch.

The Mission: Spend $10 or less on something you like but try to land something that will impress the masses. It could be anything cards — but no memorabilia or wax (unless you’re a retail-only person). Are you a vintage fan? A prospector? A non-sport collector? A buyer in bulk? Was it just a good deal you couldn’t refuse?

It’s all game — as long as it only cost you $10 (or less).

Read More »

A speechless box break

YouTube Preview Image

Technical difficulties derailed the Box Busters video for 2010 Bowman Chrome from appearing here on Thursday evening but that didn’t stop Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds from ripping his own hobby box he landed at Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas.

The last time he busted a box from there, he pulled a Stephen Strasburg autograph. This time, the action left him speechless. Or something.

What will he find? Watch and find out … we’ll have the Box Busters video here on Friday morning.

We swear.

Cardboard and Beyond: Who are you Honoring on Veterans Day?

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Instead of heading straight home after work today, I plan on taking a northbound trek to pay Veterans Day respects to my grandfather. Thanks to a spirit that can’t quit, all-around toughness and an equally gritty grandmother who vehemently monitors his medication and diet, my grandfather, aka “Chief,” is a living wealth of World War Two stories and tales from a different time.

Even with a name like Horace Narvel, he’ll probably never appear on a sports card, but I’m fine with that.

While he never hit a pitch from Bob Feller, my grandfather fought the same fight as the Baseball Hall-of-Famer. Feller, who is recognized as the first MLB player to volunteer for the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor, served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater. Sailing aboard different ships, they never saw combat together; but, in war, they became veterans forever. Joining the likes of their shipmates and future military personnel, Fellers and my grandfather joined a lineage of honor, unaffected by celebrity status or athletic stardom.

Putting professional sports prowess aside for dedicated acts of patriotism, players like Feller, Ted Williams, Rocky Bleier and Pat Tillman stand on the same heroic grounds as their fellow veterans. Equalized by the honor of service, every man and woman in uniform, professional athlete or not, has earned a place in our collective memory.

This is why my grandfather takes a monthly trip to the airport to greet the troops as they return home. This is why his walker dawns two miniature American flags. This is why flags are flying at half-staff today. This is why we remember the retired, the fallen and the fighting today.

As it pertains to collecting, Veterans Day presents a special opportunity to discuss veterans of war and professional play. Although cardboard could never truly tribute the patriotism of our military heroes, there are plenty of players who served in the armed forces. Drawing parallels between the pitcher and my grandfather, Fellers holds a special place in my heart.

Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a Hall-of-Famer, who are you honoring today?

Upper Deck to Reward 20th Anniversary Set Builders

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

While fine China is the traditional 20th anniversary gift, Upper Deck is celebrating its 20-year-long tenure with NHL trading cards by sending one lucky collector (and a guest of his / her choosing) to the 2011 NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day.  The first person to complete the 20th Anniversary variation set found in 2010-11 NHL Upper Deck Series One will win a trip for two to watch modern marvels of the ice collide as Ovechkin and the Capitals take on Crosby and the Penguins. With such a priceless payoff, this feat , is of course, easier said than done.

Pulling the throwback (1990-91) designed variation cards at six per box, the grand prize winner will tear with a certain tenacity to collect all 250 cards. For a few who persevere through pack after pack, but fail to be the first, Upper Deck is still offering some stellar rewards. The second and third collectors to build the celebratory set will each win a 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase helmet with multiple signatures. The fourth fervent fan will win a Taylor Hall-signed UDA Reebok stick; and the fifth ambitious builder will walk away with a  NHLPA puck autographed by Tyler Seguin. With these prizes, Upper Deck’s “Collect the Set & Win” promotion is worth wading through a sea of wrappers. Read More »

Godzilla ain't got nothing on this auction — at least in my mind

By Chris Olds | Editor

Sometimes the hidden gems are right in front of your face.

As a long-time obsessive (ok, just obsessive) collector of baseball movie memorabilia — you know, the actual items used in the production of films, aka props  — there’s not always a lot that can grab my attention. Sometimes, items pop up in bursts, sometimes it’s months before something interesting arrives and must be considered for buying.

In fact, it’s been awhile.

While perusing the latest Hunt Auctions catalog, though, a somewhat obscured image of a baseball bat caught my eye — not because it was too different from any of the other rarities and gems found on the block but because I actually — accidentally — read the blurb attached to the photo. (Catalogs of this type often get a Hugh Hefner-inspired kind of treatment with the treasures find inside … they simply just don’t get “read” by many.)

It’s a Jack Elliot model Louisville Slugger signed by someone else — and it’s part of the collection of personal memorabilia from former big-leaguer Vada Pinson, who died in 1995.

You probably won’t know Elliot from Elliott Maddox (Remember him? No? Exactly.) but to some baseball fans the name just might ring a bell.

Read More »

Auction Watch: Signed game-issued 2010 All-Star jerseys hit block for charity

By Chris Olds | Editor

You might be accustomed to seeing the Major League Baseball All-Star Game workout jerseys in small pieces in packs of Topps baseball cards, but if you pay attention to the auction block and have the funds then you just might see one in your collection.

A second complete set of the 2010 Workout Day/Home Run Derby jerseys — each signed by the player it was issued to — is available on the auction block through Hunt Auctions and all 80 jerseys will be sold on Saturday during the company’s Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Auction in Louisville, Ky.

The proceeds from the sale benefit the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps pay expenses of former players who have fallen on hard times.

Read More »

Teaser gallery: 2011 Topps Pro Debut Series 1 minor league baseball cards (with poll)

Topps unveiled a selection of preview images for its second year of manufacturing Minor League Baseball cards on Tuesday — 2011 Topps Pro Debut.

Pro Debut will have a few more touches next year — a new addition being dual autographs — but we’ll wait for the full preview information to come later this week.

Until then, feast on the photos and tell us whether you like what you see … after the jump.

Read More »

Buster Posey's memorable rookie season leads to surge in card prices & added interest in his autographs

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Buster Posey has had a memorable rookie year.

In his first full season behind the plate, the San Francisco Giants catcher was part of a world championship team. Come Monday, Posey could be named the National League Rookie of the Year.

Posey became one of the hottest sought-after baseball players the moment he was called up –  and prospectors jumped on his bandwagon long before he received he received full-time status as the Giants catcher. His baseball cards — and his autographs are in high demand, so much so he appears on the next cover of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

Posey has 286 trading cards, including 116 autographs. According to Beckett.com, Posey’s prices have steadily climbed and took significant jumps when he was called up in late May, in late July when his talent was apparent, and again at the start of November when the rookie hit clean-up for the World Series champs.

His 2010 Upper Deck Rookie Card books at $25 and consistently sells for $20 and up on eBay.

Read More »

Collecting Coach Garrett

 

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

With only 33 Jason Garrett cards in the Beckett database, the recently appointed Cowboys interim head coach has never held the matches for a hobby fire. Even with his new title, he isn’t carrying collecting kerosene. His limited modicum of memorabilia, however, is something to keep an eye on as he is tested in his new role.

After conducting a quick “Jason Garrett” search on eBay, I didn’t quite break the internet, but I did spot a slight (still statistically negligible) influx of collectibles bearing his name over the past couple of days. After Sunday’s Packer pummeling, these listings could have come from nostalgic Cowboys fans remembering Garrett’s heroic performance against Green Bay in 1994. On the other hand, speculative sellers might be trying to cash in on the latest league spotlight. One eBayer in particular even draws attention to Garrett as the “new Cowboys coach” in an auction for a 1999 Official Cowboys Bluebook. Read More »

Steiner Sports offers unique items in company's first catalogue auction

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Imagine sitting in a seat from the original Yankee Stadium while watching a baseball game in the comforts of your own home.

You can think about everything that seat witnessed as it was part of a history that spans back into the 1920s.

No, not one of those hard blue seats that makes you numb after sitting for two hours.

You could own a huge fielding replica glove couch that sits six to eight people. The couch is 86 inches high and 115 inches across.

Hope you have room for this thing.

Just for good measure, you will also get a Yogi Berra signed game-model glove.

This is one of the lots up for bidding in Steiner Sports Collectibles first catalog auction, which ends November 17 and 18. The items can be viewed at SteinerSports.com.

See more photos  from various auctions after the jump.

Read More »

Rippin' Retail: 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball blasters vs. value packs

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he busts into a 2010 Bowman Chrome Blaster Box and two Value Packs of the same in this latest Rippin’ Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …