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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Steiner Sports unveils deal with Amar’e Stoudemire and first Madison Square Garden memorabilia offerings

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

Steiner Sports unveiled its latest partnership with a high-profile athlete on Thursday when it announced that New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire will be working with the company.

Stoudemire’s autographs, game-used items and more — including his goggles and armbands — will be available to collectors as part of the deal, which will partially benefit Stoudemire’s foundation.

“I chose to partner with Steiner Sports because they are the best in the business,” Stoudemire said in a release.  “I am looking forward to working with Brandon [Steiner] and his team to create premiere products for fans.”

Also on Thursday, Steiner announced that the first Madison Square Garden items are available with seats from the famed venue for sale. The arena is presently being renovated.

The seats are $899.99 for a pair and $549.99 for a single seat. They can be found at www.PieceofTheGarden.com.

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

Remembering Cartoonist Bill Gallo in his own medium

Illustration and text by Andy Broome | Beckett Media Contributor

Bill Gallo, long time sports cartoonist for the New York Daily News passed away yesterday at the age of 88.

Gallo inked many sports icons over his long career and gave fans characters such as Basement BerthaYuchie and “General Von Steingrabber,” a stab at Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
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First (in-depth) Look: 2010-11 Dominion Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

As promised in the previous glimpse of 2010-11 Dominion, Panini America just supplemented its product tease with more information and eye candy.

Falling from the same family tree as the revered National Treasures brand, Dominion is a high-end line with an eight-card box break and a $350 suggested retail price. It’s definitely not stickered for the feint of heart, but it’s filled with the hits that fuel the highbrow hobby.

Panini’s NHL Brand Manager Al Muir explained, “Dominion isn’t a product for the masses. This is for the high-end hobbyists, the whales. Even they’ll have to fight among themselves for it with these quantities. Should make for a dynamic secondary market for Dominion.”

Aside from being a collectible container, each box should yield six autograph or memorabilia cards (three autographs guaranteed, one a hard-signed Rookie Card) and presumably two base cards.

Other Dominion delights include:
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Short Punch Cards pack hits inside greeting cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

If you’re shopping for a collector, you know it can be a challenge finding what you want in the card aisle of a retail store or in the various parts of a local card shop.

But Short Punch Cards just might make pleasing that collector of yours happy — or at least offer a pack-like busting fix as a smaller gift while perhaps offering up a greeting along with some cold, hard cash or a gift card.

What are they? Greeting cards with an autograph or memorabilia card inside. You simply pull a tab to reveal a trading card that is enclosed inside the card.

“We are the only company who has sought a patent for the process of inserting a certified autographed or game-used memorabilia card into the greeting card,” said Michael LaFrance, owner of Ashburnham, Mass.-based Behaveya Cards, which produces Short Punch. “Many people just don’t know how the trading card industry evolved over the years.”

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Question of the day: Would you want to meet your favorite player?

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

In many hobby conversations through the years, I’ve heard more than one collector say something that sounds wrong but also really sounds right depending on how you look at it.

“I wouldn’t want to meet my favorite player.”

We’ve probably all heard the stories about an autograph experience gone wrong — i.e. no ink was signed — and the sour grapes that come with that. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the experience of meeting that childhood icon — dare we say hero — and finding out that the player isn’t as invested in what fans think as much as the fans are invested in him.

It’s happened countless times to countless fans — so much so some collectors just don’t want to go there with certain players, knowing full well that their images of fanaticism and devotion would be squashed for whatever reason.

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Panini America sues The Art of the Game alleging trademark infringement, autograph counterfeiting

Update: The case was settled out of court in August. Terms were not disclosed.

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

Panini America sued a Los Angeles-based company on Monday in a U.S. District Court alleging that its sales of unauthenticated and counterfeited Kobe Bryant autographed merchandise are in violation of its exclusive contract with the NBA superstar.

In its 66-page filing obtained by Beckett Media, Panini claims that The Art of the Game has sold items online and in kiosks at the Staples Center — the home of the Lakers — that are “in violation of [Bryant's] rights of publicity and are accompanied by certificates that fail to properly warrant the authenticity of signatures” under California law.

As part of its four-year deal with Bryant signed in 2009, Panini has exclusive rights to use his “name, nicknames, voice, likeness, photograph, picture, biography, statistics, image, caricature, game-used equipment and signature … in connection with the manufacture, packaging, advertisement, promotion, distribution, sale and general endorsement” of stickers, trading cards and sports memorabilia.

As part of that exclusive, Bryant will not offer his services to any other company and, according to the legal filing, “Kobe has not provided any such services to Art of the Game.”

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Box Busters: 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball

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

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Topps Attax baseball

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2010-11 Pinnacle Hockey

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

What will they find? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Leaf U.S. Army All-American Bowl

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Join Beckett Football’s Andrew Tolentino and Dan Hitt as they host Leaf’s Scott Jordan and bust a pair of 2011 U.S. Army All-American boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Blake Griffin’s Rookie of Year award adds to allure

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In one of the least-surprising postseason award votes, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin won this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year. It almost seemed as though he was a lock for the award after his first game in the league.

From that point, Griffin only got better and filled up highlight reels with electrifying dunks just about every night. He became the first unanimous Rookie of the Year in 21 years.

Will adding a piece of hardware change anything with Griffin?

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Weekly highlights (May 2 – May 6)

Beckett.com FAQs of the week

Card galleries

Hobby opinions

Box Busters videos

First pricing

This week in superheroes, wrestlers and Charlie Sheen, of course

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Box Busters preview gallery: 2011 Leaf Ultimate Draft Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Get a load of the girth here.

After busting two boxes of soon-to-release 2011 Leaf Ultimate Draft Football, I’m beginning to wonder if Alan Thicke is getting a cut.

Squeezed inside jumbo-sized toploaders, falling four per box, the cards in this product are behemoths — in one way or another. Slated to arrive next week, the early-season line showcases mostly offensive rookie standouts in autographed, thick-stock form. As Leaf’s own Scott Jordan informed us in the previously-posted Box Busters episode, the manufacturer designed this brand to yield nothing-but-hits box breaks. Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 Leaf Ultimate Draft football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they host Leaf’s Scott Jordan as they rip into a pair of 2011 Leaf Ultimate Draft boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out …

Original Batman “The Dark Knight Returns” page fetches nearly half-million dollars

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

A single page of original art from a 1980s Batman comic book sold for nearly a record half-million dollars Thursday night during a Heritage Auctions sale.

A splash page from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns No. 3, by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson sold for $448,125 after 15 bids. It’s believed to easily be the highest price ever paid for a piece of original American comic book art.

Other interior pages from the series have sold via Heritage as well. An interior page from issue No. 4 sold for $41,825 on Thursday as did a $13,145 page from issue No. 3, while an inside page from issue No. 3 sold for $38,837.50 in February.

The series, which was published in 1986, is considered to be one of the landmark issues of the decade, a release that “changed the course of comics” according to Rolling Stone and was dubbed one of the 10 best graphic novels ever written by TIME magazine.

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.

Collectors pick subject of Panini set, but there is still more work

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

If you haven’t given Panini your opinion, what are you waiting for?

The basketball card producer is looking for collectors to tell them what they want to see in an insert set that will appear in 2011-12 Panini NBA Hoops.

The 20-card set is being entirely selected by collectors through voting on Panini’s blog. Everything from team set, name and subject will be decided by the fans.

Your votes have been counted and the subject of the set will be – single-game records.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 SP Authentic basketball cards

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Join Beckett Basketball’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 SP Authentic basketball boxes from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters preview gallery: 2010-11 SP Authentic

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

This year’s SP Authentic basketball set from Upper Deck has a slightly different feel than most releases in the past — that makes sense when college logos replace NBA logos as part of its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company — but the essence of what is always a popular line remains.

And it’s chock-full of fun stuff like the card above — found one in every other box — along with autographs and more. In advance of our Box Busters episode, which will arrive later this evening, here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s inside … after the jump.

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Organize FAQ’s for Beckett.com users

Today, Beckett Media announced some changes it will make for some users on Beckett.com. Here are the basics and answers to some frequently asked questions about the adjustments made to its service.

1)    How much is a subscription to Organize if I don’t have an Online Price Guide?
A subscription to Organize is $19.95 per year. That’s just $1.66 per month for access to the world’s most complete checklist database and collecting tool.

2)    When will you begin charging for Organize?
May 10 is our target date to complete several Organize updates and feature enhancements. We will begin charging for Organize once those features are complete, but no sooner than May 11.

3)    How much is a subscription to Organize if I already subscribe to an Online Price Guide?
If you subscribe to a player, sport or Total Access Online Price Guide, there is no additional charge for Organize.

4)    How can I get Organize for FREE?
Subscribe to a player, sport or Total Access Online Price Guide and you will receive free access to Organize.

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Box Busters: 2011 Upper Deck MLS Soccer cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Dave Sliepka, Andrew Tolentino and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2011 Upper Deck Soccer boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Press Pass Legends football cards

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they welcome Press Pass’ Nick Matijevich for a three-box round of Box Busters for the company’s latest product, 2011 Legends.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out …

Pro wrestling legend Mick Foley auctions off his card collection, notable memorabilia for RAIN

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Mick Foley‘s professional wrestling career is one that can be summed up in one word — violent.

But these days, outside the ring, Foley is anything but that. In fact, you could use the word charitable to sum up his latest efforts to raise money for victims of sexual abuse.

That’s meant auctioning off his childhood baseball and basketball card collections — his personal treasures just like everyone else who bought plenty of 1972, 1974 and 1976 Topps — but now it’s getting serious as the mementos of a career are on the auction block with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting RAINN.

Now, significant items from his wrestling career — one so infamous he’ll end up in multiple Halls of Fame — are on the block. The shredded white dress shirt seen above? It was what Foley, as Mankind, wore in one of the most-brutal matches in WWE history, a Hell in the Cell match against Undertaker.

Sure, the result of the 1998 match … it was fixed. But there was nothing fake about the bumps Foley took. Here’s a highlight reel of two moments — then read more after the jump.

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Remember, everybody … Thursday is Sheen-co de Mayo!

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

You might have missed it a few weeks ago in a sea of Charlie Sheen autograph news.

You see, tonight will be Sheen-Co De Mayo at the ballpark — at least in Lake Elsinore, Calif. — and the bobblehead doll seen here will enter the memorabilia market as a limited number of baseball fans will own one after the game. [Editor's note: I want!]

What else is planned for the big ballpark “holiday”? Click here to find out …

Card shop adds another dimension to its promotions

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Southbay Cards is back with one of its special promotions. The brick-and-mortar shop in Lomita, Calif., has looked for new ways to keep sports fans and collectors coming through their door.

Their Super Boxes have been a success for baseball. Now, Southbay Cards is trying it out with baseball and football boxes.

In each 2011 Playoff Super Box, there will be 10-11 autograph and memorabilia cards per box with players such Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and other NBA and NFL stars.

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Box Busters Preview Gallery: 2011 Press Pass Legends

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Today, we had the pleasure of busting three boxes of 2011 Press Pass Legends  Football with company frontman Nick Matijevich.

The Box Busters video should appear here shortly, but we managed to snag some scans for pre-show purposes. While the forthcoming talkie will tell more, the gallery below — featuring a sampling of hits, inserts and base cards from a single box — should give collectors a good idea of what to expect in Legends. Read More »