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Monthly Archives: November 2010

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 …

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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:

Read More »

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 …