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Monthly Archives: February 2011

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

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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.

Read More »

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.

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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 »

Boston’s Ray Allen breaks 3-point record

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Ray Allen is the new 3-point king in the NBA.

The Boston Celtics guard hit his record-breaking 3-pointer with 1 minute, 48 seconds left in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Allen broke Reggie Miller’s record of 2,560 made treys.

Allen’s first 3-pointer came on Nov., 1, 1996.

Thursday’s crowd went wild when he hit the tying shot, his first 3 of the night, and collectively “awwww”ed when he missed the record-breaking shot on his next first attempt.

Allen has been in the league a very long time, showing the type of longevity many other shooting guards have not. That means there is also a long list of basketball cards for Allen.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 Topps baseball cards

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2011 Topps baseball cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out here: 2011 Topps Baseball (We’ll have embedded video here soon … still some kinks to be worked out.)

***CONTEST NOW CLOSED***

How can you win a hobby box of 2011 Topps?

After you watch the video, answer these three questions below in a comment right here (below) on Beckett.com.

1. What’s your name?

2. What’s your favorite team?

3. Who was featured on the last card found in this box break?

One person will be randomly selected from all entries received with correct answers — as long as they include an email address — by Friday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. Central time.

Want to enter more than once? Go for it …

(Comments will be held for moderation so you can’t just copy someone else’s answers. They will be unlocked after the deadline passes.)

Box Busters: 2010-11 SPx & Hockey Card Day Teaser

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out right here: 2010-11 SPx Hockey

And be sure to watch the video to find out how you can win a helmet signed by several top 2010-11 NHL rookies courtesy of Upper Deck as Saturday is Hockey Card Day in Canada.

Box Busters: 2011 Topps UFC Knockout

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2011 Topps UFC Knockout cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out … by viewing the video here: 2011 Topps UFC Knockout

(We’ll get the kinks worked out to have embedded videos here soon… until then click the YouTube link.)

Watch a Bear Bryant Houndstooth become a card

By Chris Olds | Editor

Not long ago during an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at Panini America, I spotted something nestled among some desks and file cabinets in a crowded room that, as a University of Alabama alum, might has well have been the Holy Grail.

There it sat, in a modest two-tier glass display case surrounded by paperwork, trash cans (and maybe a little dust) as part of the everyday decor while workers shuffled about around it during their daily routines. It didn’t have a nameplate, description or any other way it could be visibly identified but it didn’t need one.

It was a fedora.

Since Panini is based in Arlington, Texas — literally in Texas-sized shadows of the new Cowboys Stadium on East Randol Mill Road — there was a slight chance that it could have belonged to a certain other coaching legend. But as the crimson flowing through me pumped a little faster, I knew that its colors — it was black and white Houndstooth check — probably meant a little something else.

I calmly asked one of the employees, an acquisitions manager who was nearby examining newly received autograph cards for smudges, if I saw what I thought I thought I saw. Meanwhile, in my head I was frantically doing a Harry Caray impression — only without the bovine substitute.

Indeed, it was a hat originally owned by legendary Crimson Tide coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Read More »

Now that’s a cool 2011 Topps sketch card

By Chris Olds | Editor

The arrival of a new season of Topps baseball cards can mean many things to many people but it also means the arrival of new Sketch Cards.

Those miniature works of art — original drawings or even paintings done on card-size stock and inserted into packs — can be fascinating to examine. Recently, the meticulously painted works of Paul Lempa appeared on cards found inside mylar, catching my eye, but a pair of sketch cards from 2011 Topps really got my attention this year.

They’re minty-fresh — and mint condition — cards from Birmingham, Ala.-based artist Chris Henderson.

Only they don’t look minty-fresh at all. (Don’t worry. Like Jessica Rabbit, they’re not bad … they’re just drawn that way.)

Read More »

Upper Deck offers Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan autographs in World of Sports box-top contest

By Chris Olds | Editor

Upper Deck‘s new World of Sport set offers some of the biggest names in several sports, but the two autographs up for grabs in a contest tied to the product are perhaps as big as it gets.

Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company announced Tuesday a contest that will get five dual-signed Woods-Jordan cards into the hands of lucky collectors who send a box lid to the company along with pertinent information.

Get a look at the card — and get the details on how to enter — after the jump.

Read More »

College coaches share spotlight in new set

By Chris Olds | Editor

In the college ranks, there’s typically one man who stands above the rest.

The head coach.

While countless coaching legends have appeared on cards through the years, it’s in Collegiate Licensing Company-approved and draft pick products where the legends are often found. The likes of Bobby Knight, John Wooden, Bobby Bowden, Tom Osborne and many more have made their way into packs.

But there are still more to be found — and that’s where the latest effort from Upper Deck comes in.

Read More »

Upper Deck Pack Attacks Invade New England

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Upper Deck and Sports Images have teamed up to bring an expansive Pack Attack event to the New England area this month.

Beginning with pre-qualifying Upper Deck Pack Attacks at eight different hobby shops in the area (listed below), the promotion will culminate with the winners from each location competing in one final event on March 3, 2011 at the Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning game. There, winners will receive premium prizes like player-signed mini sticks, Tyler Seguin-autographed gloves and a Rookie Showcase helmet featuring penmanship from this season’s top newcomers. Read More »

Topps Releases Super Bowl XLV Champions Packers Set

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Moments ago, via Twitter Topps announced its product nod to the Lombardi-lugging Green Bay Packers.

Celebrating the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV victory on cardboard, a limited 27-card set is available for sale on Shoptopps.com. Cheeseheads far and wide can expect the commemorative blister pack to ship on the week of Feb. 28.