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Monthly Archives: November 2010

A speechless box break

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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 …

Topps unveils Bowman Chrome wrapper redemption; admits USA Buyback error

By Chris Olds | Editor

Let the dumpster diving (for wrappers) commence.

Topps announced on Monday a wrapper redemption program for buyers of 2010 Bowman Chrome as well as admitted that one set of high-demand buyback autograph cards slated for the product — one thatincludes Bryce Harper — didn’t make pack-out and will be part of the hobby-only redemption program.

For every 18 wrappers (hobby-only) that collectors send in, they will receive a five-card pack of black-bordered 2010 Bowman cards. The set will include all 110 prospects from 2010 Bowman will be included in the redemption as well as a 37-card USA Baseball black-bordered Chrome autograph set where all cards will be limited to just 25 copies. Those cards will feature the 2010 Collegiate National Team and the 2010 18U National Team.

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First look: Panini's 2010-11 Playoff Contenders Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Playoff Contenders Basketball is getting an upgrade. Panini America is changing the product to Playoff Contenders Patches Basketball.

The 2010-11 installment is set to be released in February.

So, what the big change and why did they add a word to the title?

Each product will still have Rookie Ticket Autographs, but each of those cards will also have a manufactured prime patch. The Rookie Ticket Autographs will be three of the four autos in the 20-pack box, one of which will be a draft lottery pick.

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JoePa on top by himself; Reaches exclusive 400-win mark

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Penn State coaching legend Joe Paterno reached 400 career wins today in dramatic fashion.

The Nittany Lions came back from a 21-point deficit to beat Northwestern 35-21 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Paterno became the first major Division I coach to hit the 400-win plateau. Two offensive lineman carried Paterno as he smiled and waved to the crowd in Happy Valley. It only took 45 years to get there.

“People ask me why I’ve stayed here so long, and you know what, look around, look around,” Paterno said to a crowd of 100,000-plus. “Now that the celebration’s over, let’s go beat Ohio State!”

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Score Hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Score Hockey in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out…

Panini America readies first Ernie Davis memorabilia card

By Chris Olds | Editor

Tucked among the behind-the-scenes images that Panini America released on Friday documenting its quality control process was a gem probably missed by many.

What is it?

The first memorabilia card of former Syracuse star and Cleveland Browns legend Ernie Davis.

Davis was the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy and appeared to be set for a fine pro career — he was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft (also a social first) in 1962 — before he was diagnosed with leukemia and died at age 23 on May 18, 1963. His only appearance on a professional field came when he was introduced to the crowd during a preseason game at Cleveland Stadium.

Davis’ story was the subject of a recent major motion picture, The Express, as well, but despite all of that, he still hasn’t yet had an extensive number of football cards — and not a single memorabilia card.

All that changes when 2010 Certified arrives in hobby shops on Nov. 17.

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Box Busters: 2010 Topps Update baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s dynamic duo of Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2010 Topps Update baseball cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Ultimate Collection Basketball

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into not one, not two …  but four packs of 2010 Ultimate Collection basketball cards from Upper Deck in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Rippin' Retail: Random retail packs

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds as he busts into a few random packs of football, basketball and wrestling cards picked up at a retail store.

What will he find inside?

Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Panini Crown Royale football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Andrew Tolentino and Dan Hitt as they rip into a pair of 2010 Panini Crown Royale football cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010-11 Panini Limited basketball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into boxes of 2010-11 Panini Limited basketball cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

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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