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Monthly Archives: November 2010

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.

"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

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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.

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Rippin' Retail: Basketball value box

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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.

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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.

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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.

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One Pack of Retail

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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.

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Retro Rippin' — 1994 Signature Rookies Draft Picks Baseball

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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.

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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.

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Box Busters: 2010 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

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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).

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