Monthly Archives: November 2010

McFarlane's Multi-Jointed NFL Offering and More

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

While disassembling the action figure interpretation of “Waterworld” I set up in my second bathroom, it occurred to me that we neglected to note a couple of McFarlane’s (relatively) new football releases.

Making their six-inch sculptural debuts, Miles Austin, Rashard Mendenhall, Michael Crabtree, Tim Tebow and Ryan Grant appear in epic form in McFarlane’s NFL Football Series 23. The September release also spawned (pun definitely intended) a new Donovan McNabb action figure,  featuring his new wardrobe. Packed with new heat for the chase,  Series 23 carries an affordable retail price at $11.99 per figure. Read More »

Baseball legend Sparky Anderson dies at 76

By Chris Olds | Editor

George “Sparky” Anderson, the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues, has died at age 76, leaving behind a rich legacy in Major League Baseball as well as an interesting legacy on cardboard.

Anderson managed The Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds dynasty to two World Series titles  (1975-76) before later winning a title with the Detroit Tigers in 1984. He won 2,194 games in 26 seasons as a manager, which landed him in Cooperstown in 2000. He still ranks sixth on the all-time career victories list in MLB.

His managerial career was a stark contrast to his playing career — a single season with the Philadelphia Phillies in which he batted a forgettable .218 — and one that perhaps showcased the temperament that prompted his famous nickname, one of the most unique in the sports world.

On cardboard, Anderson’s Rookie Card comes in the 1959 Topps set (No. 338), a card that typically sells for $60 or less.

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King James bringing the Heat

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

One of the biggest story lines coming into this NBA season was Lebron James in Miami after spending seven years with the team that drafted him.

In five games while wearing No. 6, James is averaging 20.4 points, 7.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds a game.

With a new team, collectors might have concerns on where they could get memorabilia that doesn’t say Cleveland Cavaliers, James’ former team.

Upper Deck Authenticated quickly took care of that.

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Baseball certainly not missing in Arlington

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America may not be an official licensee of Major League Baseball when it comes to trading cards, but a small selection of behind-the-scenes autographs the company released on Wednesday certainly shows that the national pastime is certainly on some minds deep in the heart of Texas.

Given the names shown and the types of autographed items signed, some of the signatures are undoubtedly for its upcoming 2010 Century Collection set, one that will combine postage stamps with an autograph placed into a baseball card in a cut fashion. The baseball season may finally be over at the ol’ ballpark in Arlington, but there’s still plenty going on right down the road at Panini HQ.

While that sheet of Johnny Bench sticker autographs is an absolute work of art, you can see what we mean about the other autographs in a small selection of photos after the jump.

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John Wall vs. Evan Turner: NBA rookies square off

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The top two draft picks from this year’s NBA Draft faced off last night. Washington’s John Wall against Philadelphia’s Evan Turner.

While the score was close, 116-115 in favor of Washington, so far Wall is winning the battle of the rookies on the court and on cardboard.

Wall had 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals, and played almost the entire game. Turner had nine points and six rebounds in almost 26 minutes off the bench.

While Wall is off to a quicker start than his rookies counterparts, Panini signed both players to an exclusive this summer because of a talent that is likely to sustain on the court. Plus, their draw on basketball cards doesn’t hurt.

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Dez's Dirty Laundry

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to air your dirty laundry in public. Especially when the stinky stuff was worn by an NFL athlete.

With the sharp stench of the gridiron still lingering, Dez Bryant’s first Cowboys jersey arrived at the Panini America offices on Monday. Hopefully, hobby brand manager Tracy Hackler wore gloves and clothespinned his nose as he provided the inside scoop on Dez’s dirty laundry.

The yet-to-be-febreezed football jersey arrived with game used battle scares, galore. From an authenticity standpoint though, it’s a pungently pristine piece of memorabilia, ripe for the picking. Hackler notes, “You can enjoy it now in its entirety…and in a few months on some highly collectible Panini America football card.” Read More »

Champion surfer Andy Irons dies at 32 (updated)

Update: The first two copies of his autograph card sold on eBay following the news sold for $165.50 and $350.

By Chris Olds | Editor

World champion surfer Andy Irons, who appeared in the inaugural set of Allen & Ginter baseball cards made by Topps in 2006 has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 32.

Irons, a three-time champ from 2002-04, had 20 Association of Surfing Professionals titles and four triple crowns to his resume. Most card collectors will remember him from the Allen & Ginter set, which showcased athletes from all sports alongside baseball players a la the 1800s trading cards of the same name.

Irons appeared on 11 cards in the 2006 Ginter set, and he personally signed 200 cards for inclusion in packs for collectors to find. That card typically sells for $25 or less.

His earliest card appearance in the Beckett.com database is a 2004 Sports Illustrated for Kids card.

To hear Irons’ talk surfing, watch the video below.

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Hobby stories: Topps CEO talks to New York Times; Johnny Cash items for auction; Eli Manning auto painted over

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Ryan O’Hara, the CEO of Topps, got his start in the trading card world when he was in the sixth grade. His father, Mike, offered him a junior partnership in a new company to sell cards. O’Hara’s talk about that beginning and moving to New York City with The New York Times. … LINK

Want a piece of Johnny Cash? More than 1,000 items once owned by the star will go to auction on Nov. 19. Some of the items include a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar — signed by Cash and inscribed with the first four lines of “I Walk the Line” and the blue denim jumpsuit depicted in Jim Marshall’s legendary photo of Cash flashing his middle finger. … LINK

Here’s one Eli Manning autograph that won’t ever make it to the public. After the New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys 33-31 last year in the first game at the new stadium, the Giants QB signed a wall with the message “9-20-09 First win in the new stadium.”

The autograph has since been painted over despite Manning maintaining it’s a tradition around the league and he didn’t mean any disrespect. … LINK

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

Obama, McCain Spotted Together on Midterm Election Day

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

So, they’re not sharing a cup of coffee, and they’re certainly not sharing a ticket; but today (and for the next five days, actually) Obama and McCain are eBay’s odd couple. Featured as a pair for the first time, Obama, McCain and their respective signatures are bound by a cardboard spine in this 1/1 Topps Tribute Rivalries Revisited Cuts gem from 2010. Read More »

South Bay Baseball Cards staying strong with Super Boxes

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Imagine opening the perfect box with high-end autographs of some of the best players in baseball history. Imagine getting your money’s worth out a single box.

Every. Single. Time.

Scott Allen, the vice president of South Bay Baseball Cards, thought he could create the ultimate box for their customers. The Super Box features prizes that include jerseys, bats, balls and high-end cards from those such as Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Elvis Presley and many other stars.

“We believed we could build as good as or a better box of cards than was out on the market,” Allen said. “This has become a big ‘thank you’ to our customers. The same customers buy in each time, as well as new customers, referrals, friends of friends and more.”

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The Giants are World Series champs: Who's tops on cards?

By Chris Olds | Editor

The San Francisco Giants have downed the Texas Rangers for the franchise’s first World Series title since 1954, when the team was in New York and center field was patrolled by one Willie Mays.

The pitching staff is one of baseball’s best, led by two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, but is one comprised of largely unappreciated players when it comes to their baseball cards. The team’s bats, at least on cardboard, are undoubtedly paced by rookie catcher Buster Posey.

We want to know, though … who do you think the big winner will be when it comes to San Francisco Giants baseball cards now that they are world champs?

Take our poll …

[polldaddy poll="4021596"]

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Moss Cut, Now What?

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

As the saying goes, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” As of today, football card collectors inquire with uncertainty, “Okay, so does a rolling Moss gather less stones?”

Minutes after receiving the word on Randy Moss’ waiver, the Beckett office filled with a fluttering swarm of question marks buzzing around the reason for the cut and his subsequent hobby value. Why did Childress and the Vikings chop Moss? What does the abrupt axing do to the wide receiver’s pricing? Unfortunately, our flyswatters aren’t up to speed and we simply don’t have the answers…yet.

Since there are no major character meltdowns (none that we know of, at least) looming over Moss’ split with the Vikings, his cards aren’t quite being expedited to the pricing plight. To some degree, any “second coming” memorabilia pending release becomes exclusive and theoretically more valuable. Historically however, problematic players in his current position haven’t fared especially well.

Only time and selling trends will offer the empirical truth here. While the question is up in the air though, we’re interested to hear what you have to say about the predicament. Whether you think Moss’ cards will plummet or put up a fight, or if you just want to tell us what you plan on doing with his cards, we’re here to hear you out.

Topps wants collectors to help pick 60 greatest baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Which Topps baseball card is the greatest?

That’s the question of the day. As part of its upcoming diamond anniversary product — 2011 Topps Baseball — the longest-running manufacturer of baseball cards is producing a set of anniversary reprints. That set will include a reprint from every year, each helping tell the story behind that year’s set and more.

As part of the look back, Topps is asking collectors to help select the 60 greatest baseball cards ever made by the company. It has narrowed its list to 100 with fans helping pick the winners online at http://vote.topps.com. The top 60 will be inserted as buybacks in 2011 Topps.

The top 100 is a list full of vintage rookies, Mickey Mantles galore and many of the other memorable cards from the past — even a Jose Canseco sighting and a couple of Pete Roses (cards that are not likely to be reprinted as he’s still firmly on baseball’s ineligible list).

Fans can pick their top 10 cards at a time — and vote daily. The top 60 will be unveiled daily, starting on Dec. 18.

You can see all 100 candidates — and see my initial top 10 vote — after the jump.

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Happy Birthday, Jenny McCarthy

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

For one day only, we get an internet browsing history reprieve for Jenny McCarthy clicks.

As any celebrity-oriented website will likely note today, the model, actress, mother and author turns 38 today. What they might fail to mention though, is the fact that there are 118 Jenny McCarthy cards in the Beckett.com database, with values ranging from $2 to $250. Her most valuable card includes a denim swatch and an autograph from the adult model turned activist. The 2005-06 Topps Gold rookie card featured here is serial numbered to 99 and carries a high value of $15. Read More »