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Monthly Archives: May 2011

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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 »

Dale Earnhardt Jr., other NASCAR drivers add U.S. military inscriptions to upcoming Press Pass set

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Saying that Dale Earnhardt Jr. signed for a Press Pass NASCAR product isn’t really a headline these days — but in the past it might have been.

Saying that Junior signed a little something extra with his signatures? Now that’s a keeper — and the keepers will be found in 2011 Press Pass Stealth, which will include a salute to the military when it arrives on June 1.

The No. 88 Chevy driver added inscriptions “God bless our soldiers” as well as “Semper Fi” to some of his signatures in the product as well as a simple “Thank you” that will be found in packs along with other drivers who signed messages for members of the military (or their families) who might find their cards.

The product — “for those who serve and collect” — will also include commemorative insert cards for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and U.S. Coast Guard as part of the product, which will feature a military-inspired design.

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Beckett Baseball’s Going retro: We have questions … do you have the answers?

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

With the arrival of Gypsy Queen – a new retro-styled line from Topps – we’re going to take a look at retro-styled baseball card sets in our next issue of Beckett Baseball.

And we want to hear what you think about retro sets.

If you’re so inclined, take a few minutes to answer the questions below in a comment … and include your name and location so we can mention that if your comments are selected to appear in the magazine.

1. What, in your mind, makes a good retro set?

2. Have these sets been overdone … or do you want companies to keep on doing them?

3. What retro-style sets stand out as winners to you — and why? (Example: 2001 Heritage, 2006 Allen & Ginter, etc.)

4. What retro-style sets were losers to you? Why?

5. What retro-style sets would you want to see made in the future?

Leave your answers in a comment below.

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 Newton and Ingram ink in 2011 brands

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Considering the pomp and circumstance of first rounders Cam Newton and Mark Ingram, their signatures certainly should be cornerstones in 2011 football products.

In an act of clarification though, Topps confirmed today that both stars will have autographs — on-card and otherwise — in upcoming 2011 NFL releases.

While the announcement isn’t quite earth-shattering, it serves to squash some early speculations that doubted Newton and Ingram’s ink inclusions in the company’s forthcoming brands. Read More »

Twins’ Francisco Liriano hurls first no-hitter of 2011

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano no-hit the White Sox Tuesday night in Chicago for the first gem of the season.

Liriano walked six and struck out two in the game, a 1-0 victory. The 6-foot-2 left-hander appears on 1,838 different cards in the Beckett.com database with a total value of $17,262.46 for those not too scarce to price. His average card value is just $9.39.

Overall, Liriano appears on just four Rookie Cards from 2002 when he appeared as a San Francisco Giant. (He was infamously traded along with Boof Bonser and Joe Nathan for A.J. Pierzynski and cash in November 2003.)

Liriano’s most-expensive RC is his 2002 Bowman’s Best card, which is autographed.

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Upper Deck elaborates at the Toronto Spring Expo

By Jon Waldman | Guest Writer

Upper Deck’s
fan forums at the Toronto sports card and memorabilia Expos have become known for two things – great insider, first-to-know information about upcoming products and some great rewards for loyal collectors who come and openly share their thoughts and opinions about UD’s product line.

This was the case again at this past weekend’s Spring Expo, where UD held the town hall-style meet and greet.

Company officials, led by Grant Sandground, openly addressed collector queries ranging from the controversial mystery autographs to patch forgeries that pop up on eBay after unsavory collectors alter the swatches in the popular RCs. (On the latter, Sandground invites consumers to connect with him and advise him about known fake patches and eBay sellers who are known to sell these altered pieces.)

The afternoon session began with a preview of the company’s two remaining 2010-11 series – Ultimate Collection and The Cup.

Ultimate Collection — releasing in late May — will feature autographed Rookie Cards, including six limited to 99.

The Cup, meanwhile, is chock full of new features — the most in-demand of which will likely be a first for the company.

Since his 2005 debut in Upper Deck products, Sidney Crosby has never had a dual autograph card, thanks to an injunction from his representation. That will change in The Cup, as Crosby will be paired with Mario Lemieux in a Dual Scripted Swatches insert, featuring autographed patches of the two Penguins captains. Read More »