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Monthly Archives: November 2010

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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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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