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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ever wanted a T206 Honus Wagner? It can be yours for $325,000 …

By Chris Olds | Editor

Few of us have the means to purchase a T206 Honus Wagner — there’s something about a six-figure price tag — but often those who do can’t find one.

Now, they can — and there’s no auction block necessary, either. It can be purchased — straight up — for $325,000.

The PSA Authentic specimen of the hobby’s Holy Grail — a card limited to roughly 60 copies — is up for grabs in Memory Lane Inc.‘s Own It Now event that launched on Friday.

The auction house has plenty of other treasures up for grabs — a Babe Ruth autographed baseball ($160,000), a 1911 T201 Hassan set ($90,000), a PSA 8 1948 Leaf Sid Luckman rookie ($70,000) and a PSA 8 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews ($39,500). Memory Lane will offer this type of sale four times this year — a first-come, first-served format that will also allow for offers to be made on the items in coming weeks.

For more information — and to see more of what’s up for grabs — visit Memory Lane’s site here.

Buyer Beware: Contenders Inscriptions Raising Eyebrows

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Since going live, 2010 Contenders Football has hit the secondary market with anticipated excitement and commotion. The on-card autographs from this set are among the most hotly pursued rookie signatures of the season, but some — featuring inscriptions — seem to be raising a few eyebrows as of late.

Eager to get their hands on specially-signed cards, some collectors have  recently paid premium prices for a few extra words from their favorite players.  While this isn’t an uncommon phenomenon, buyers should proceed with caution before breaking the bank on anything exceeding the cursive.

For instance, a Tim Tebow with ‘Go Broncos’ below his signature recently sold for $600 on eBay.

“I don’t question whether or not Tebow wrote the inscription but keep in mind that anyone with a blue sharpie and a little creativity can write nearly anything they want above or below a player’s signature and try to pass that off as an inscription,” said Beckett Sports Data Publishing Manager Dan Hitt Read More »

Panini America teases return of iconic NBA Hoops line

By Chris Olds | Editor

With the NBA All-Star Game this weekend in Los Angeles, the folks at Panini America – the NBA’s lone trading card licensee — are busy promoting their products at the NBA Jam Session this weekend and there’s already a nugget of news.

The late 1980s and 1990s staple — NBA Hoops – will be returning next season, news noted by four 2011-12 promo cards available at the Panini booth.

As you can see above, the cards feature three of Panini’s spokesmen — John Wall, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant — and a fourth guy you might have heard a little bit about this season, Blake Griffin. (How long until he’s part of the Panini lineup?)

The inaugural NBA Hoops set arrived in 1989-90 — a year marked by the arrival of David Robinson‘s highly sought-after Rookie Card — and ran continuously until the 1999-2000 season. Fleer revived the name for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons before it closed its doors.

We’ll have more on this as soon as it’s available.

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.

Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez purchased 1927 Yankees Legendary Lineup autograph card

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s often a story when a baseball card has an autograph of Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig attached. It’s an even bigger story when it’s a card that has the autographs of all nine starters from the 1927 New York Yankees … and it sells for $20,000.

But the even bigger story here?

Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez bought it.

You see, the fourth-year big-leaguer out of the University of Miami is a long-time fan and collector of the sport that he has made his life. And when he recently signed his first million-dollar big-league contract, it was time to splurge on something special.

“This is definitely a nice little gift I’m giving myself for my new contract,” said Perez on Friday from spring training in Goodyear, Ariz. “Some people buy cars, jewelry, houses. I wanted to buy something a little different.”

That something different was a one-of-one 2010 Topps Tribute Legendary Lineup Cuts booklet card with the signatures of Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Ruth, Gehrig, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan, Pat Collins and Waite Hoyt – all in one place. It was sold by Beckett Select Auctions the auction consignment division of Beckett Media, after it was found in a pack by a collector in Missouri.

“I have made some big purchases before,” he said. “But nothing of this magnitude.”

For an extensive interview with Perez about his new card — and his collecting habits — look for the April 2011 issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly — “The Auction Issue” — in hobby shops next month.

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.

Topps confirms 60 sparkles in Series 1 baseball set

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps confirmed on Friday morning that 60 cards in the first series of its flagship 2011 baseball set have sparkle variations.

As previously reported here, there is a sparkle — or twinkle — of a diamond digitally placed into the photograph on the short-printed cards. While Topps did not announce how scarce the cards are, they have been falling roughly one per case in hobby and also have been found in retail packs.

Get the full list of 60 after the jump.

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Grand Slam patches from In The Game Baseball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With In the Game‘s baseball product coming out next week, the company couldn’t help but tease just a few more Grand Slam pieces collectors will be able to find in 2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Baseball.

This time it was all heroes.

This massive patch cards appeal to many different types of collectors. Player collectors will likely want to get a hold of these beauties. These are the kind of patches player collectors dream about when they get to add a new piece to their collection.

Set collectors might fancy these as well when they pictures what the entire set would look in one place.

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Panini America signs Kevin Durant as spokesman

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America took a third step toward building a strong starting five of spokesmen on Thursday, adding Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant to its roster.

The former Texas Longhorn joins Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and No. 1 draft pick John Wall of the Washington Wizards as a spokesman and trading card ambassador.

He’ll be an exclusive to Panini and will apepar on the packaging for Absolute Memorabilia when it arrives in March — and based on the row of signed shoes in the background of the image seen here, he’ll be a likely candidate for signed memorabilia pieces as part of Panini America’s forthcoming autographed memorabilia line.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Panini family and join great players like Kobe Bryant and John Wall for this partnership,” Durant said. “The idea of being on a trading card with Kobe is an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to see it happen.”

Panini CEO Mark Warsop said he was excited by the signing.

“Kevin is one of those dynamic players that is fun to watch and is a player that excites collectors,” he said. “We are pleased that Kevin has now joined the Panini family, he will be a pillar of Panini’s NBA business for years to come.”

Panini is the exclusive NBA card licensee and also holds an exclusive marketing and advertising deal with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Here’s more … straight from Durant himself.

YouTube Preview Image

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.

Sanchez Golden Ticket card redeemed in north Texas

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Panini America is causing a Willy Wonka-esque stir in the hobby.

Found in the recently released 2010 Playoff Contenders product, groundbreaking Golden Ticket cards are slowly surfacing throughout the collecting universe. One such card happened to be pulled right here in North Texas — smack-dab in the backyard of both Panini America and Beckett Media.

This morning, I had the pleasure of watching the jaw-dropped face of Michael Keller from Lewisville, Texas as he redeemed  — in person — his pure-gold Mark Sanchez one-of-one.

“I was actually pretty calm, just very excited”  said Keller, describing his pull. “It’s better than you could imagine.” Read More »

First look: 2011 Panini Prestige Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Football fans have settled in to reflect on the 2010 football season – even for a short amount of time. We all had our favorite moments from the past season and collectively watched the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl.

So, what’s next?

More football, of course.

The 2011 football season starts soon enough for Panini America. Hardcore football fans are going through prospects and mock drafts, thinking about where players could possibly end up.

The card companies are waiting too, but Panini just needs a team to go with its players to complete its Rookie Cards.

2011 Panini Prestige Football is scheduled to release May 11 with some of the earliest Rookie Cards including quarterback Cam Newton.

Read More »

2010 Playoff Contenders Football reveal Rookie Ticket autograph variations

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

2010 Playoff Contenders Football is live with a few surprises for collectors. Panini has snuck in Rookie Ticket autograph variations.

There are two different cards for all 33 of the young players that were at the 2010 NFL Players Rookie Premiere.

The variations are just with the photo used on the card. In the Sam Bradford example, he is looking down field where in the other he is cocking his arm back for a throw. While there are these variants, there is still no word on whether they are short-prints.

Right now, we just know there are two of these on-card autographs to look for.

See a gallery of the variations after the jump.

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New Upper Deck Authenticated Michael Jordan items have personal touch

By Chris Olds | Editor

Collectors say they want memorabilia with a personal touch, and the latest from Upper Deck Authenticated does just that … and more … with a new Michael Jordan item.

UDA unveiled on Wednesday a line of Japanese Tegata — or inked handprints — of Jordan. Each piece has a print from Jordan’s left hand and is limited to 23 copies. The tradition is one typically used for sumo wrestlers or elite athletes, and it’s this international flavor that UDA clearly hopes will interest fans.

“This is another first for Upper Deck Authenticated and it is only fitting that we would christen this unique process with our longest-tenured exclusive athlete, Michael Jordan,” said Steve Sloan, director of Upper Deck Authenticated. “Tegata is a highly respected form of recognition for Japan’s best sumo wrestlers and so we’ve decided to create a variation of this coveted show of admiration for one of our best-selling athletes of all time.”

Each piece measures 30-by-40 inches and is signed and double-matted with a showcase of action photography from Jordan’s career around the piece.

Find images and a video showing details of the piece after the jump.

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Topps puts modern-day monster — Albert Pujols’ Chrome RC — in 2011 Tribute

By Chris Olds | Editor

The most sought-after modern day Rookie Card — the $4,000 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols — will be found in packs of 2011 Topps Tribute as a buyback, the company announced on Wednesday morning.

There will be 30 copies of three different Pujols 2001 autograph cards — the big one is limited to just 500 hand-numbered copies — to be found via an autograph redemption card.

The redemptions will not say which card they are good for until the code is input online. A collector could land a 2001 Bowman Chrome or a 2001 Topps Finest autograph or a 2011 Topps Reserve autograph. The Reserve card sells for as much as $1,500, while the Finest card sells for $450.

The company did not disclose how many of each card will be made available.

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.

Can’t afford Blake Griffin? Look for these up-and-comers

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With the way Blake Griffin’s cards have skyrocketed this season, collectors are hard-pressed to find reasonably-priced cards of his. Ya know, cards that won’t leave you eating tuna out of the can for a week.

Many young NBA players have the potential to be good. They probably won’t hit the heights of Griffin, but could become serviceable players with a little star power in the future.

Here’s a look at three guys you might want to consider:

Nick Young: The 25-year-old is finally putting together a solid season.  In his previous three years, Young has been a solid contributor, but didn’t have star power. This season, his role has changed and he’s averaging 17.6 points in 31.6 minutes for the Washington Wizards.

Young’s Rookie Cards could be acquired for fairly cheap. If he continues with this type of success, collectors might have to start shelling out a little more for his cards.

Read More »

Are you digging Topps’ Diamond code cards? I am …

By Chris Olds | Editor

The 2011 edition of Topps’ code card madness has begun as the Topps Diamond Giveaway site opened on Tuesday with countless codes for free stuff being entered en masse.

You know, we’re all in search of those minty fresh 1988 Jody Reeds and 1983 John Dennys … right?

Well, a new part of the mix this year — to go with the heavy dose of vintage-flavor cardboard — are a few diamond-themed cards. There are die-cut cards which have a little less cardboard and then there are cards with a bit more inside … an actual diamond.

Topps’ promotional online presence began with last year’s popular Million Card Giveaway, and this year’s code cards are found one in every six packs.This year, though, each card also comes with a chance to “dig” for an additional prize as well.

After a long day of the typical to-do and a trip to Walmart for highlighters (that’s code for more packs of 2011 Topps), I settled down to rip into four jumbos and see what collectors were talking about on Twitter.

My packs were fruitless for new codes, so in the aftermath of many a code being redeemed, I decided it was time for my 19 code cards — all found in retail packs this year — to be unlocked.

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Finally, The Rock has come back to the WWE

By Chris Olds | Editor

After seven years away from the world of professional wrestling, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returned to a World Wrestling Entertainment ring on Monday night in Anaheim, Calif., as he was unveiled as the guest host for WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta.

His 20-minute in-ring promo capped Raw, with his attention particularly focused on John Cena, prompting a few to believe that he might be up for more than some host duties for the April pay-per-view. That got us thinking — there might be a few collectors out there looking for the star’s trading cards and memorabilia.

The Rock presently appears on 254 cards in the Beckett.com database — just one of them a certified autograph as a wrestler. (He does appear on non-sport autographed cards for The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King and Doom.)

Johnson’s earliest trading card appearance comes as a member of the University of Miami football team. He was included in a school-produced set in 1994, and that card can sell for $50.

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New York couple wins engagement ring from Topps

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps‘ 60th Anniversary celebration Diamond Dig took place Monday morning in Grand Central station in New York City with Stanley Brode and Jessalyn Maguire taking home the $10,000 ring.

Brode was one of 10 men who dared take on the ball pit in search of a specially marked ball, while Maguire took the ring home — on her finger.

Click here for MLB.com‘s video on the Valentine’s Day’s festivities.

Super Bowl superstar Little Darth Vader needs a Topps trading card, Hasbro action figure

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

The Super Bowl has come and gone, and there’s clearly been one star (who doesn’t wear green and yellow) getting a lot of attention — and he doesn’t even have a single piece of memorabilia for the masses.

He didn’t play on the field a couple of Sundays ago, but he’s still getting plenty of playing time — 29.3 million views and counting on the official Volkswagen YouTube page.

His name?

Little Darth Vader.

Read More »

First look: 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

By Chris Olds | Editor

Johann van der Smut would be so proud.

Panini America unveiled its latest basketball card line on Monday, a product that it clearly believes will set a new standard in sports cards.

It says so right on the box.

Panini Gold Standard will arrive in May with each 12-card box packing three autographs, two memorabilia cards and a suggested retail price of $200.

Each box also will include seven insert cards numbered to 299 or fewer copies — with everything packing a certain luster to it as well.

“There’s always a certain amount of satisfaction seeing one or more of your ideas take shape and come to fruition, especially when the concept is brand new,” said Panini America NBA Brand Manager Mike Payne. “With Gold Standard, feedback — both internal and from other segments of the industry — was a key element in shaping the product and turning it into something that might have a chance at a long shelf life.”

And, clearly, you don’t need to be an alchemist here.

Read More »

ITG launches second baseball sheet charity auction

By Chris Olds | Editor

The second uncut sheet auction of autographed baseball cards from In The Game‘s forthcoming Heroes and Prospects Hits set has hit eBay.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

The sheet includes 45 autographed prospect cards from the inaugural product line, including autographs of Brandon Belt, Jameson Taillon, Yonder Alonso, Kyle Drabek and many more.

The bidding sits at a mere $81 after the first six bids with more than six days remaining until the auction’s close. The first uncut sheet auction previously sold for $635.

NHL Announcers Trumpeted in 2010-11 Crown Royale

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Recognized for their unique trumpeting abilities, a handful of legendary ice narrators will be robed in the forthcoming Crown Royale hockey kingdom.

While Panini’s 2010-11 Crown Royale Hockey will feature key characters from the NHL tale, 15 live-action story tellers are joining the regal ranks in the Voices of the Game insert set. Top announcers like Don Cherry (seen below, wearing a befitting blazer), Darren Pang and Bob Miller have each signed just 100 cards, making for some exclusive personality pulls.

The voices (and signatures) of Daryl Reaugh, Kelly Hrudey, Mike Lange, Cassie Campbell, Mike Milbury, Charlie Simmer, Joe Bowen, Pete Weber, Denis Potvin, Randy Moller and Rick Jeanneret also echo in the charismatic cardboard court. Read More »