Monthly Archives: December 2010

It's official: Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax signs with Topps

By Chris Olds | Editor

Legendary left-hander Sandy Koufax has signed an autograph deal with Topps and will appear on cards in it 2011 products, the company announced Wednesday.

Koufax will first appear in 2011 Topps and then in 2011 Topps Heritage, which is set to arrive in mid-March, followed by autograph and memorabilia cards in 2011 Topps Tribute.

The Hall of Famer, who won 165 games with the Dodgers from 1955-1966, hasn’t appeared on a substantial number of signed cards since signing an autograph deal with Donruss/Playoff, now Panini America, in the late 1990s. His last certified autographs were released in relatively small quantities in 2007 from Upper Deck.

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Rippin' Retail: 2010 Topps The Best of Chrome Value Box

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he opens a 2010 Topps The Best of Chrome Value Pack in this latest Rippin’ Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out.

Favre football for sale immediately after streak ends

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Brett Favre’s consecutive games started streak ended on Monday night when the long-time veteran and future Hall of Famer was inactive for the first time in 297 games.

Favre has been a starting quarterback in the league since 1992, longer than some Minnesota Vikings fans have been alive.
Favre didn’t waste any time in promoting the streak.

There is an official signed football with “297 starts 1992-2010” already being sold on for $499.99.

Football’s Ironman hasn’t signed any of the footballs yet. This is only for a pre-sale and the item should be available in 30 days, according to the site.

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Beckett Baseball No. 59 contest teaser

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds gives you a sneak peek at an item you have a chance to own if you pick up an upcoming issue.

Check it out.

Topps Continues to Tease Five Star Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

It’s like the experience of eating at a five-star restaurant, really.

Encouraging collectors to savor each and every single morsel of the upcoming high-end product, Topps released a few more photos of 2010 Five Star today. In a previous post, we showed off a few Favre autographs from Topps’ answer to other fine products in the industry’s exquisite treasure chest, but these hors d’oeuvres are coming in courses.

Under normal circumstances, this kind of delay between appetizer and entree would drastically reduce the server’s tip. However, the Five Star line (with a five-star price nearing $500) clearly takes some preparation. Before the manufacturer brings out the main course in February, this cardboard nosh will have to do for now. Read More »

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.

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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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