Monthly Archives: December 2010

Topps touts piles of draft picks in forthcoming Bowman set

While we’ve already brought to you a first look at the 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects checklists, Topps offered up its own take on the product that arrives this week.

What did it tout?

The fact that there are 23 of the top 32 draft picks on the autograph checklist, which includes pick Nos. 2-5.

No. 1 pick, Bryce Harper, though — a Topps exclusive — will only have a limited Aflac buyback autograph and will make his MLB debut in 2011 Bowman-branded lines.

See its rundown in full after the jump.

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Upper Deck announces Artifacts Rookie Exchange cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Upper Deck is getting around to releasing the checklists for its rookie exchange programs for various products.

The latest checklist to be released comes from 2010-11 NHL Artifacts with 42 different cards.

All the big names are included. No one seems to be left out.

Are there are any players that didn’t make the checklist that you would like to see?

See the complete checklist after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010 Gridiron Gear

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010 Gridiron Gear in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Topps Prime Football

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Join Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into boxes of 2010 Topps Prime in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Press Pass

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Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2011 Press Pass NASCAR cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Naismith's Basketball Rules sell for $4 Million at auction

Image Courtesy of Sotheby's


By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Toto, meet James Naismith.

The Associated Press revealed today that University of Kansas alumnus David G. Booth purchased James Naismith’s 13 original basketball rules for a whopping $4 million.

With his last namesake already appearing on KU’s Booth Family Hall of Athletics, the apparently very wealthy Jayhawk will leave another legacy in Lawrence. Hoping to bring the historical document to his alma mater, Booth and his wife bought the 119-year-old hoops origins from an auction whose proceeds will benefit the humanitarian Naismith foundation.

In an October AP interview, Naismith’s grandson and foundation founder, Ian Naismith revealed, “It’s what Dr. Naismith wanted.”

Stained and tattered by time, Dr. Naismith’s original document is bigger than Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant combined. Without the 13 rules listed below, these league legends might just be … tall. Read More »

First Look: 2011 Topps Tribute baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps released the basic product information and preview images for 2011 Topps Tribute Baseball on Friday, which means the high-end (and at times controversial) product returns for a third consecutive year.

The hobby-only product includes three autograph or autographed Relic cards and three multiple-piece Relic cards in every box with a hit remaining in every pack. Each of those cards will be limited to 99 or fewer copies. Also to be found one per pack are parallel cards, which will be limited to fewer than 399 copies.

Topps promises an expanded array of retired players in the product when it arrives in early April, a lineup that includes Tribute To the Stars cards that pair icons from the past with stars of today on dual- and triple-signed cards.

Also new is a Tribute Rookies Book Card, which will pair as many as 10 players’ autographs and memorabilia pieces in a multiple-page booklet card.

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Card Gallery: 2010 Topps Prime

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Each keystroke is a painful one after busting a box of well-protected 2010 Topps Prime. As the upcoming Box Busters video should reveal, I had to channel some MacGyver-esque ingenuity to break the thick plastic seal.

Packaged in 10 six-card mini boxes per box, the rookie-centric football product appears pricier than it actually is. With good use of digital retouching, even the  full-bleed base cards offer a little extra for the collector. Selling for a little under $100-a-box,  Topps Prime delivers a decent bang for the buck, depending on who you pull. Read More »

2010-11 Certified Hockey Freshman Fabric Signature redemptions announced

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Holding on to any of those 2010-11 Certified Hockey Freshman Fabric Signatures redemptions?

Panini America released the names of the players you will be able to grab.

The cards haven’t been created yet as Panini wanted to ensure they get the best names together for the redemptions. However, they are working hard at getting the appropriate  signatures.

See the checklist after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects checklist

By Chris Olds | Editor

We apologize for the somewhat grainy picture quality, but we did some networking and got our hands on something that many a prospector has been clamoring for … the packed out retail checklists for 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects.

(We’re hoping that the dedicated collector won’t mind some pixels … click for a closer look at the images.)

Due out Dec. 15, Bowman Draft had a substantial TBD presence on each of its checklists, which are now revealed in full.

After the jump …

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The search for "Shoeless" Joe Jackson starts next week

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Next week, the search for “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s cut autograph begins with the release of 2010 Leaf Sports Icons Cut Signatures.

Each box will have one pack with three cards, two cut autographs and a Jackson insert.

Only 340 master cases will be made and each case will be numbered. Some of the names in the set include Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Kennesaw Mountain Landis, Roger Maris, Jackie Robinson and Ty Cobb.

The limited set is going to offer one of four collectors the chance to win a Jackson cut autograph.

Three of the Jackson Four Leaf Clover cards will be inserted into the product, while the fourth will be given to a the collector who presents the most-completed set of 2010 Leaf Sports Icons Update. One of these collectors will win a Jackson cut signature at the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention.

Check out pictures from the Jackson insert set after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Andrew Tolentino and Tim Trout as they rip into a box of the brand new 2010-11 Donruss Hockey cards from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Upper Deck releases 2009-10 NHL Be-A-Player rookie card exchange checklist

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Hockey rules are slightly different when it comes to Rookie Cards, although they’re still simple.

Once you skate, you get a card.

This hampers companies slightly, but there are ways to work around it. Upper Deck created a rookie card exchange program with 2009-10 Be-A-Player, which allowed it to release the product, but also add value by having leverage to create cards for players who have to skate.

Upper Deck released the final checklist from the 60-card rookie exchange subset. It’s a solid checklist, which includes players such as Edmonton’s Taylor Hall and Boston’s Tylor Seguin.

All cards are numbered to /99. Upper Deck stated it has just started to create the cards and will take about three months to complete. They expect to be finished around February.

See the checklist after the jump.

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Card Gallery: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier today, we busted a box of 2010-11 Donruss Hockey, just hoping for that Justin Bieber pull or a Pamela Anderson Fans of the Game card.

As it turned out, we drew one of each.

Designed with relative simplicity, the Panini America line comes across as a clean set with sharp action photography. Understandably, Anderson’s appearance is a bit more posed, looking like a still from some cinematic dream sequence. Equally dreamy are the Les Gardiens inserts, which feature goalies on round-edged translucent cards. We pulled Tuukka Rask, pictured in his Boston Bruins uniform above the Finnish word “Maalivahdit” (which means goalkeepers, according to Google translate).

Although our only autograph was a Rated Rookies redemption, we found enough fun in the box to enjoy the break. With a decent array of strong inserts, a dedicated rookie focus and well-chosen celebrity tie-ins, the $4-a-pack product has the right bells and whistles to attract non-hockey collectors. On the whole, our box break revealed a good looking set with familiar, yet compelling components.

Before our 2010-11 Donruss Hockey Box Busters video debuts, here are a few cards to snack on.

Stoudemire cards at all-time low while his game is at its best

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

After last night’s New York Knicks game, the home fans chanted “MVP” for Amar’e Stoudemire. While it’s definitely premature just 22 games into the season, over the last couple of weeks, Stoudemire has been the player New York hoped to get when it signed him this offseason.

The Knicks are 11-1 over their last 12 games and Stoudemire is averaging 29.8 points a game in that span. Over the last six, he’s bumped that up 34.1 points a game.

But Stoudemire was relatively forgotten about this offseason. He was a restricted free agent and signed on the first day teams were allowed to make an announcement. There was no flashy news conference or ESPN special with the entire industry hanging on his words. Stoudemire was overshadowed with Lebron James as he took his talents to South Beach.

Even as the season started, media followed everything happening in Miami through its current 14-8 record.

Now it’s Stoudemire’s time to shine and to get his card prices out of the gutter.

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ITG Leaks a Little More About 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

We mentioned the prospect of the 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects previous post, but we recently received a closer look at specs for the the hockey product.

In the Game revealed that each box will contain 18 nine-card packs, featuring a 150-card base set. Comprised of Canadian and American Hockey League greats, the base cards are also backed up by beefy subsets like Heroes, International Prospects, AHL Grads, AHL Rookies, AHL Prospects, CHL Prospects and CHL rookies.

Falling one in eight packs on average, game-used memorabilia and authentic autograph cards should come two per box. With over 125 autograph cards from CHL, AHL, International and established hockey names, the late January release promises a diversity of signatures. Non-memorabilia inserts like Calder Cup Champions, 100 Years of Card Collecting and Class of 2011 redemption cards land appear one in every six packs. Read More »

Tampa Bay Bucs rookie Gerald McCoy rips into some Panini America football cards

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What happens when a Denver Broncos fan and a Tampa Bay Bucs rookie collide?

Boxes of football cards get opened, of course.

Join Panini America’s Tracy Hackler as he rips into a couple of NFL boxes with former Oklahoma Sooners standout Gerald McCoy … watch for the rookie’s reaction of finding a former teammate in a pack.

Classic stuff.

Oh, and should we mention that they pulled a 1/1 autograph?

Who was it? Watch and find out …


Topps teases Five Star football with Favre photos

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

As the end of the year nears, the makers of the two biggest football products are splashing around images, looking to entice collectors.

We’ve already seen some of what Panini has to offer with 2010 National Treasures.

This time, Topps puts the focus on its big venture.

Topps is slowly releasing photos from Topps Five Star, which will run upwards of $500 a box. A hobby box consists of one pack of five cards with four on-card autographs and one jumbo Relic card.

Many collectors drool when they see those three words: on-card autographs.

Topps plans on releasing more photos in the upcoming days, but the first go-around with the product features Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. See them after the jump.

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How much would you pay for Josh Hamilton's MLB-authenticated ginger ale bottle?

By Chris Olds | Editor

Generally speaking, the value of an autograph often rests with what type of item was signed — the more appealing the item, the more money one would expect to pay.

In this case, maybe not.

Among the items on the auction block as part of Major League Baseball’s “2010: The Year in Review Auction” is an MLB-authenticated autographed ginger ale bottle.

It’s signed by American League MVP Josh Hamilton.

It’s just the latest in unusual memorabilia to have an MLB authentication sticker on it as everything from dirt to on-deck circles have been examined, described stickered and sold.

While it’s actually been customary for MLB to note empty champagne bottles from World Series celebrations, Hamilton’s case is different. This is perhaps one of the more unique items out there for a Texas Rangers fan who holds Hamilton’s life story and his struggles with sobriety close to them.

What’s the story? After the Rangers won Game 6 of the ALCS, knocking off the Yankees, they celebrated in a fashion that included their star slugger’s lifestyle concerns, eschewing the typical champagne showers for one that included ginger ale.

The rest, as they say, is MLB-authenticated history.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2010-11 Upper Deck Black Diamond

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Topps Unrivaled Football

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010 Topps Unrivaled football cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Triple Threads Football

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2010 Topps Triple Threads football card boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010 Topps Sterling

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2010 Topps Sterling baseball cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


Panini America gives collectors unprecedented behind-the-scenes access

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Panini America has started taking collectors behind the scenes through the process of how its trading cards are born into existence and, while there’s more to come, this video released on Monday morning shows you just some of what goes into your packs of cards.

Check it out. There will be more … plenty more … to come.

Justin Bieber can't play hockey, so he did the next best thing to get on a card

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Justin Bieber dreamed of being a hockey player with his own trading card when he grew up.

While the pop sensation didn’t fulfill his first dream, the Canadian singer is living out his second at 16 years old.

Panini America released the official Justin Bieber trading card set – just in time for Christmas for his millions of fans worldwide. The collection features 150 unique trading cards with 30 stickers. Inserts in the set include 12 Spellbound cards, nine puzzle pieces that form a poster, 18 Download cards and 10 XXOO cards.

The Bieber set will also have 500 autograph cards randomly inserted. Even if you aren’t a Bieber fan (and quite possibly are not if you are part of our typical audience here), these autographs could sell for a decent amount of money on eBay. Maybe enough to get a baseball or football card you’ve been eying as a self-Christmas present.

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Former Dallas Cowboys QB, Monday Night Football Commentator Don Meredith Dies

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

The Associated Press and other sources reported that “Dandy” Don Meredith died of a brain hemorrhage on Sunday evening in Santa Fe, N.M.

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and beloved Monday Night Football color commentator lapsed into a coma last night, before leaving his legacy to loyal fans, friends and family.

Although Meredith never won the big game for Dallas, his leadership and charismatic presence garnered a breadth of admiration on and off the field. Bringing small-town humility and charm to the big stage, the professionally successful Meredith ultimately retired  and became a color commentator on Monday Night Football in 1970. With an amicable approach, Meredith brought a balance of entertainment and insider analysis to the viewing audience.

Described as “warm and funny” by his wife, the often overlooked Cowboys quarterback offered his likeness on 149 cards (in the Beckett database), including his 1961 Fleer Rookie Card. His most recent cardboard appearance came in 2010 Certified (memorabilia only). Meredith also was known for having a tough-to-get signature. Read More »

Preview Gallery: 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear RG Gems autographs

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America released a handful of preview images to tease what’s coming in 2010 Gridiron Gear, which arrives this week with some hidden surprises.

What kinds of surprises?

Well, for starters there are the Rookie Gridiron Gems cards that have an autograph on a jersey swatch that is concealed inside the card. Collectors can pull out its inner panel to see the entire signature.

You’ll see more of the cards after the jump, and you see the rest of the cards from the set online starting with a batch right here and you’ll have the chance to win one of these cards from a top running back in the class in the next issue of Beckett Football. (That’ll be in hobby shops and chain stores around the country by next month … )

Until then, you can see five cards — before and after autograph reveals — after the jump.

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Ron Santo news means there's a somber addition in 2010 Century Collection

By Chris Olds | Editor

The news of Ron Santo’s death on Friday at age 70 might have struck a chord with a few Chicago Cubs fans, but it also struck a chord here in Texas, too, as he’s slated to have new autographs in a forthcoming trading card set from Panini America that will hit shops later this month.

Santo will have 25 copies of a signed game-used bat card to be found in 2010 Panini Century Collection, an even more somber card as it appears to show him in a high school yearbook photo, decades before his failing health got as much attention — or more — as his broadcast and playing careers.

Century Collection is a multi-sport and non-sport product laden with memorabilia swatches, autographs and postage stamps of some of the world’s biggest names. It will include five cards in every pack — at $200 a pack — with two autographs, two memorabilia cards and one additional autograph or memorabilia card when it arrives on Dec. 22.

When a product includes the likes of John Wayne, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin in the mix alongside sports stars like Joe Jackson, Jim Thorpe, Bear Bryant and Babe Ruth, a guy like Santo may not get noticed — even if a card is a short-print.

Friday’s news just might change that, though, and it’s a somber reminder of something that’s all part of collecting.

As well as life.

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

Panini confirms Score Hot Rookies short-prints

By Chris Olds | Editor

If you have come up short in your quest to complete the 2010-11 Score Hot Rookies Signatures set, there might be a reason besides bad luck.

Panini America confirmed on Friday that seven players who signed autographs for the insert set are substantially shorter-printed than others.

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Chicago loses a beloved Cubbie — Ron Santo dies at 70

By Chris Olds | Editor

He’s not in Cooperstown and he’s not a member of the hallowed 500 Home Run Club or a broadcaster known for thick-rimmed glasses, but he was a legend in and around Wrigley Field.

Ron Santo, one of the more popular players in Chicago Cubs history, has died from bladder cancer. He was 70.

Santo hit.277 with 2,254 hits, 342 home runs and 1,331 RBI during his 15-year playing career spent in Chicago (he played his last season with the White Sox). He was a nine-time All-Star and was a five-time Gold Glove winner. After his playing days, he worked as a broadcaster for the team. His No. 10 was retired by the Cubs in 2003, and some consider him to be the best player (pre steroids-era questions) to not be enshrined in Cooperstown based on his performance on the field.

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To Spite a Homecoming King

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Tonight’s the night.

Nearly every news source seems to have mentioned LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland in the context of anticipated booing, “traitor” signs and the like. Even NPR’s Morning Edition aired a story about the drama-filled breakup, including soundbites from the unconditionally supportive LeBron James Grandmothers Fanclub.

Despite grandmotherly love, more rabid basketball fans, commentators and Cavs loyalists have created King James, the villain. Tonight, James brings his heat-hot date to Cleveland, making for an awkward homecoming. Considering the tension in tonight’s meeting, viewers can expect (and enjoy) drama on the court, in the stands and beyond. Whether the spectacle is contrived or not, overblown or actually substantial, it sure is entertaining.

Leading up to, during, and even after the game, there will be boos. In a sea of anti-James sentiment, Sprite will be spilled and spite will fill the air. If so compelled by the melodrama, card collectors are equipped with the perfect effigies to defile.

Below are four forms of cardboard defacement that could contribute to the Quicken Loans arena cleanup task tonight. Read More »

TRISTAR goes extreme with latest TNA Wrestling card set

By Chris Olds | Editor

The legendary names are in there, but this time it’s a trading card set with some edge.

A razor’s edge to some degree — you know, what some wrestlers use to be busted open — as TRISTAR‘s latest TNA Wrestling set is called TNA Xtreme and it arrives late this month with a heavy dose of the extreme-style wrestlers the company has utilized lately.

Oh, and it will apparently include the remnants of some scissors’ edges, too, as there will be Lovely Locks Hair Cards that will be signed by one of four TNA Knockouts — the company’s female competitors — and include a strand of their actual hair embedded into the card.

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