Monthly Archives: February 2011

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 »

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.

Preview Gallery: 2010 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

The Packers have been crowned kings of the league and Super Bowl XLV is over and done with.

While the confetti at Cowboys Stadium marked the end of another season, collectors can certainly fill that football void with the ever-expanding hobby offering. Officially scheduled to release next Wednesday, Panini’s 2010 Playoff Contenders is a near-future means of savoring the gridiron beyond the big game.

Featuring on-card signatures from 35 of this rookie standouts, the set’s Rookie Ticket Autographs are hot commodities even after the contending has closed for the year. Below is just a glimpse — albeit a gawk-worthy one — at what’s to come next week: Read More »

Blake Griffin 1/1 could be yours … for $32,000

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

We’ve looked at Blake Griffin’s cards before on the blog. We asked which of his rookie cards would you like to own.

But if you could own any of his cards – rookie card logo rules withheld – would this card be it?

Griffin’s 2009-2010 National Treasures Logoman auto 1/1 is on eBay with a staggering buy it now price. Anyone who is interested in the card would only need to fork over $32,032.32

The seller is not accepting any low-ball offers either. He states directly in his auction that anything submitted under $15,000 will automatically declined. Twenty offers have already been submitted, but he hasn’t taken any yet.

In the last year, we’ve seen some cards go far tremendous prices – mostly in the baseball world such as Stephen Strasburg’s 2010 Bowman Chrome Superfractor.

But if this card were to go to auction, what do you think would be the final price?

Read More »

One Retail Pack (Dallas Ice Apocalypse / Snow-mageddon Version)

With temperatures finally reaching the 30s and some direct sun, the winter storm that tried to stop Super Bowl XLV is finally melting. Remedying a case of cabin fever yesterday, I managed to drive over to a nearby retail establishment to pick up some necessities (and a pack of 2010 Topps Prime Football, of course).

Last night, I opted for some take-out Chinese food and saved the pack for this morning’s video.

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Sights and Sounds at the NFL Experience

By Andrew Tolentino |  Assistant Editor

As mentioned in the previous post, I countered a case of cabin fever by heading over to the Super Bowl XLV NFL Experience in downtown Dallas. Below is a video, featuring some of the sights and sounds from my stroll around the event.

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Photo Gallery: Inside the NFL Experience

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Braving the second evening of a three-day North Texas ice apocalypse, I put on my warmest clothes and ventured to the Dallas Convention Center for the Super Bowl XLV NFL Experience.

Despite the freezing temperatures, I  arrived without incident and with childlike glee when I saw the epic Super Bowl XLV letters standing in the iced-over convention center lawn. As visitors – some locals, some tourists, some brandishing terrible towels, some sporting cheese heads – poured inside the building, I couldn’t help but momentarily absorb the spectacle from afar.

However, I have seen the movie “Alive,” and I know what prolonged exposure can do to a man.

After making my way inside the traveling NFL theme park and eating a protein bar (just to make sure),  I confirmed the glorious magnitude foreshadowed by that dramatic entrance. I was greeted with the hustle and bustle of show-goers, a light show and an enormous Drew Brees cut-out hanging from the ceiling. At the epicenter of the experience, the Topps and Panini-sponsored Memorabilia Show lured me in immediately. Bringing their best host-city wares and cream-of-the-crop football collectibles, dealers set up shop, hoping to make hobbyists out of every attendee. Offering reasonably-priced merchandise and promotions to a crowd of awestruck football fanatics, most of these merchants didn’t have to do much convincing.  Read More »

First look: 2011 Bowman Platinum baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

You might not have fully digested your first helping of Bowman Platinum, but the next helping is already here.

Topps released preview images and basic product information for 2011 Bowman Platinum on Thursday, a product that will arrive in late-June — just months after the product made its baseball debut.

There will be two prospect autographs as well as one autographed Relic in every 20-pack hobby box. Each 12-box case will include one multi-autograph card and redemptions for on-card autographs from the latest crop of USA Baseball players.

The product will mark a high-end (Chrome) arrival of Bryce Harper autographs as the 18-year-old No. 1 overall pick is slated to have a Chrome Refractor Prospect autograph in the product as well as appear on the triple-autograph card (top) also signed by Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman.

Read More »

Topps ups stakes with 2011 Pro Debut MiLB cards

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps‘ second year of producing officially licensed minor-league baseball cards will start off with a little something extra — four hits in every box of 2011 Pro Debut.

Set to arrive in late May, Pro Debut will consist of 330 cards — apparently just one series this year — but will pack two autographs and two game-used Relics in every 24-pack box along with eight parallels and 18 insert cards. (Last year’s two-series release included two autographs and one memorabilia card in every hobby-only box.)

New this year are Side-by-side Dual Autographs which pair two players together, while the rest of the lineup is pretty similar. There are Gold (/25), Red (1/1) and Blue (/199) parallels, while there are also printing plates to be found. The insert sets include Single-A All-Stars, Double-A All-Stars and Triple-A All-Stars.

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Box Busters Preview Gallery: 2011 Topps Baseball

By Chris Olds | Editor

Today’s the day that many had marked on their calendars — well, after Topps pushed up the release date — as it marked the arrival of the annual baseball card-collecting staple.

You know, the annual Topps Baseball set.

While our Box Busters review boxes are somewhere in an iced-over UPS truck likely stuck in a snow drift and the Beckett Media offices are closed for a second consecutive day, a little lot of snow ice wasn’t going to stop your idiot intrepid editor from journeying through the tundra to a Target store.

After a blaster box, jumbo pack and way-too-many loose packs to mention, here’s a selection of cards from this year’s set … after the jump.

Also be sure to take our poll — on whether you think 2011 Topps is a winner or a loser.

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Will your eyes see the twinkle in 2011 Topps Baseball? (Updated)

By Chris Olds | Editor

The first boxes of 2011 Topps Baseball have been ripped and the first reports of oddball findings are coming in, too.

The most notable previously unannounced finds are cards that have the twinkle or sparkle of a diamond digitally placed into the photograph of the card.

Read More »

PSA/DNA to authenticate Super Bowl game balls

By Chris Olds | Editor

Each and every game ball used in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday will be tagged with invisible ink to authenticate it as being used in game-play, announced PSA/DNA on Tuesday.

Roughly 120 balls will he used during the big game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they won’t be the only items authenticated — the pylons and the coin for the coin toss also will be marked.

“The DNA ink has an astronomical 1-in-33 trillion chance of being accurately reproduced by counterfeiters,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA/DNA. “Many of the game-used Super Bowl footballs are sold by the NFL through charity auctions. The PSA/DNA certification combats potential counterfeiting and helps assure future owners that each ball is genuine.”

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based company uses a synthetic DNA strand that can be seen only with a specific laser. This will be the 13th year that the company has authenticated Super Bowl balls, which also will include a letter of authenticity. For added protection, the letters will have codes that can be verified at PSADNA.com.

ITG auctions uncut sheets for charity

The first of three In The Game uncut sheet auctions is under way.

A trio of eBay auctions of sheets from ITG: Heroes & Prospects “Hits” Series 1 will benefit charity.

The first auction — a sheet of autographed prospect cards from the set — benefits Special Olympics and is at $635 with a week remaining.

NBA's Starting Five promotion starts today

By Chris Olds | Editor

The NBA‘s long-running Starting Five promotion — one that gets exclusive stuff into the hands of collectors just for visiting hobby shops and buying cards — starts today.

In its fourth season, the program is once again led by NBA exclusive card licensee Panini America, which has produced the special cards for the program. There will be 10 exclusive cards to be collected at participating shops. (Find that list here.)

Read More »

New Beckett.com data migration under way

Dear Beckett User,

As many of you know, we have had our dose of Murphy’s Law in the last week.  We suffered a severe network outage at our old host provider.  That was fun.  In addition, Dallas is under a few inches of ice, sleet and snow, which has our office closed.

We expected to launch the new site this last weekend – as it stands we are doing so now.  Yep, currently we are importing your data and the massive database (have been since Monday) into our new hosting location.

Due to the extremely slow nature of the data migration, it is hard to say exactly when it will be complete.  Likely by 48 to 72 hours.

So the time is here.  Once the data migration is complete, the main components of the new site will be live.  This will be followed shortly by an update to both our Grading and Marketplace sites.

Thanks,

Brian

Brian D. Gulledge
President
Beckett Media LLC