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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Friday is Canada Day and Canadiana is on its way

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Friday is Canada Day up north, and In The Game‘s latest release will celebrate the country that will be doing some celebrating.

In The Game Canadiana will include a 100-card base set comprised of notable Canadians while the insert lineups will include autographs and memorabilia cards from notable athletes from all sports as well as celebrities from the country.

Among the signers? Pamela Anderson, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Michael J. Fox, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Manon Rheaume, William Shatner, Trish Stratus, Donald Sutherland, Larry Walker, Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon and many more.

It’s an eclectic mix and some will be first-time signers — Fox, for example, has never had a certified autograph card. (Or at least if one exists it’s not in the Beckett.com database.)

Originally scheduled for release on Friday, the set has been delayed until later in the month as one key signer did not return autographs in time, according to ITG. Each pack will include an autograph, a memorabilia card and an additional insert to make up for the delay.

See more images from the product after the jump. (Click on the images for a closer look.)

Read More »

Preview gallery: Panini Americana Prime Time Stars

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor | Commentary

The latest Americana release from Panini America is roughly three weeks away but us fans of the non-sport staple of the last few years can’t help but wonder about what’s about to arrive.

It looks like there will be a slightly lower suggested retail price for the hobby version of the product — just $25 a pack, which will include either an autograph or memorabilia card inside — and one insert set this year has a new look to it and a few names you might not be used to seeing in Americana.

Michael J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, Selma Blair, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Hayden Panettiere and more will be found inside packs of Americana — presumably as autographs, too — but only in the Prime Time Stars insert set that we know of so far.

A few of those inside will be first-time signers, too.

See more cards from the set after the jump.

Read More »

In The Game readies second helping of baseball line

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

In the Game made its debut in the baseball market back in February with 2011 Heroes & Prospects Baseball Hits and now it’s ready for a second helping.

This time, it’s 2011 Heroes & Prospects Baseball Series 2 Low Numbers, and it will arrive on Aug. 3 — the opening day of the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

Just like Series 1, there will be five cards per pack — all “hits” that are autographs, memorabilia cards or cut signatures.

Read More »

Are YOU a Supercollector? We want YOU in Beckett Sports Card Monthly …

 

Update: CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED STEPS ON HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SUBMISSION

*** NOTE *** We run Supercollector entries every month in our magazines. Send yours today!

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

We’re going to dedicate an upcoming issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly to showcasing SuperCollectors — and we want to see your collections.

We’ll pick the most interesting and most outrageous collections for the magazine, but first we need to hear about your stash.

You don’t have to have the most-expensive collection on the block but it needs to be unique — downright crazy — in some way that it stands out.

Here are your instructions …

Send in an email to BeckettSuperCollector@gmail.com the following information:

1. Name, age, your email address, your location (city, state) and who/what you collect.

2. Statistics about your collection (total cards, number of 1/1s, number of autographs, number of game-used cards or items, etc.)

3. Tell us why you should be picked. Sell us on what makes your collection the best — and how/why it started.

4. Send us LINKS to images that we can examine or use with your item. (Bad images won’t help your case … and 900 MB attachments won’t either!)

5. Be patient. We have a group of baseball entries from awhile back to go through as well. We WILL be in touch if you are selected or we need more information.

6. Act fast … we want YOUR info NOW!

Above is a sample of a SuperCollector who recently appeared in the magazine. See what information he presented if you’re struggling. (Click for a closer look if you need it.)

Box Busters: 2011 Dallas Mavericks NBA Champs set

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Beckett Basketball Editor Chris Olds recruits Dallas Mavericks fan and Art Director Eric Knagg to break open a set of the 2011 Panini Mavericks NBA Champs cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? How will the Mavs fan react?

Watch and find out …

Decade of Documentation: MLB Authentication program hits milestone

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

It started a decade ago when an eventual Hall of Famer spotted his autograph at a team store in a stadium.

Only problem? The autograph wasn’t real.

From that initially embarrassing moment came an authentication program that has documented more than three million pieces in the last 10 years, assuring that your collecting dollars go to something that’s real – autographed or game-used, not forged or pulled off the store shelf.

Beckett Baseball recently caught up with Michael Posner, the MLB Authentication Program Manager, for a trip down Memory Lane and to revisit some of the basics of the program for newcomers to the hobby.

So, who was the Hall of Famer?

Read More »

**CONTEST CLOSED** Box Busters: 2011 Panini Michael Jackson cards + contest

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Join Beckett Media’s Andrew Tolentino and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2011 Panini Michael Jackson cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What did they find? Watch and find out … and see what you can win.

Readers Write: Six autographs instead of one

Every once in a while, a letter in the ol’ mailbag stands out … this is one of those letters.

Chris,

I visited the Tristar Card Show in Houston on Saturday where I purchased a hobby box of 2011 Bowman from one of my favorite dealers.  I returned home and sat down to open it hoping I could get much closer to completing the set.  Like everyone else, I dreamed of a magical moment of pulling a Bryce Harper Auto.  Well, that didn’t happen.  What did happen was very strange and amazing!  I pulled not one or two autos, but six autos! I am not kidding.  I pulled six autograph cards!  I pulled the following:

Blake Forsythe  #BCP81 Blue Refractor Auto 145/150
Greg Halman Base set RC #198 Auto
Lars Anderson Base set #192 Refractor Auto 314/500
Sean Coyle #BCP100 Refractor Auto 015/500
Dee Gordon #BCP80 Blue Refractor Auto 075/150
Wagner Mateo #BCP88 Auto

Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Did Topps just mess up making me the beneficiary of their mistake? Or was this intentional?  It seems very strange to me.  What do you think?

— Randall, Humble, Texas

———————–

A box like this is a gift, but it’s definitely not intentional. The typical Bowman box should deliver one autograph. You got half of a case. Does this mean that five other boxes were shorted? Let’s hope not. Sometimes, at the end of a packaging run, it’s not unheard of for packs to get packed out regardless of odds. However, it doesn’t happen often. — Chris Olds

Do you have a question? Send it to readersrock@beckett.com.

USA Baseball isn’t messing around with its Nine Innings of Summer promotion — game-used items up for grabs

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

Perhaps it’s just a personal bias toward the Red, White and Blue uniforms worn by some of the best baseball players in the country long before they become pros, but the Nine Innings of Summer promotion currently under way from the USA Baseball organization is one that should get plenty of notice.

It sure got mine.

Why?

They’re giving away actual game-used memorabilia worn by some of USA Baseball’s biggest names from the recent past — guys who are presently in the big leagues or on their way and are very, very well known among collecting circles.

How? Via Twitter. For example, Monday’s challenge to win a Clayton Kershaw game-used cap was to be the 22nd person to re-tweet the message about the contest.

That’s it … to own a game-used cap.

And the contests will happen daily for the next 86 business days — with prizes including a pair of Bryce Harper‘s game-used pants (above) as well as countless autographed and game-used batting gloves, bats, jerseys and more from many young names in the game. The promotion ends on Oct. 25, the final day of this year’s Pan Am Games.

How did this all come about?

“We have collected game-used, authenticated and autographed memorabilia from alums from all of our National Team programs over the years for use not only in trading cards, but also for auctions, donation items and other uses,” said Jake Fehling, USA Baseball’s director of media and public relations. “As we look ahead to our future events, specifically the 2013 World Baseball Classic, we want to make sure we are reaching as many of our fans as possible through social networking channels.”

See a full list of prizes and read more after the jump.

Read More »

Box Busters & Contest: 2011 Donruss Elite Football

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***CONTEST CLOSED***

Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2011 Donruss Elite football boxes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? What BIG card can you win by commenting on the looming NFL lockout?

Watch and find out …

Box Busters Preview Gallery: 2011 Donruss Elite Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Now available at trading card retailers everywhere, 2011 Donruss Elite is reminding football fans that the 2011 NFL season really may or may not be on the horizon.

In either case, we ripped open two boxes of Panini America‘s ramp-up product and found a hotbed of early Rookie Cards, inserts and base subjects. With photography from the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere and in-game art from checklist veterans,  this release is a holofoil-heavy preview of what’s to come on cardboard, if nothing else.

Beyond the break is a 17-card sneak peek of the forthcoming Box Busters video, but you might want to take a good look at one of these hits, in particular.

Hint: The Copernicus of cardboard predicts that two lucky collectors will be chosen to receive this card or another prowling around in the soon-to-post video break.

Read More »

Beckett Media hosts James Spence for authentication & grading open house on Saturday

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

If you’ve always wondered whether that treasured autograph you own is for real, here’s your chance to get a professional opinion on it.

Dallas-area collectors can have their autographed items authenticated and/or slabbed by James Spence Authentication this Saturday (July 2) at the Beckett Media headquarters.

The open house event also will allow collectors to drop off cards for grading by Beckett Grading Services beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 3 p.m.

BGS will be providing full grading, raw or graded card review as well as take submissions to be returned at a later date.

Fees vary by service, item and turnaround time, but autographs that are merely authenticated can be received in-slab the same day.

Address:
Beckett Media
4635 McEwen Rd
Dallas, TX 75244

For more information, call BGS at 972-448-9188 or JSA at 888-457-7362.

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.

Weekly Highlights (June 20 – June 24)

This week in important reminders, deadlines and announcements

Mega-important announcement of the week

Box Busters

This week in Chris Olds’ mailbox

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

Auction Action

NHL and NBA Draft delights

First look: 2011 TRISTAR TNA Signature Impact wrestling

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

For those who follow pro wrestling, they have likely noticed a new look for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as the company has in a way re-branded itself.

That new look and vibe in its marketing campaign — all to enhance the “wrestling” aspect of the programming — is seen on the forthcoming TRISTAR release, TNA Signature Impact.

Signature Impact will be the rarest TRISTAR wrestling product ever released as there will be a mere 90 24-box cases made with each 20-pack hobby box packing three autograph cards, one memorabilia card, two parallels and one short-printed card of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair or Sting.

The newest chase here, though? A 1/1 cut autograph of the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who briefly wrestled for TNA in 2004.

Read More »

Panini signs Kyrie Irving to exclusive deal

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

On Thursday night, Kyrie Irving became a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. On Friday morning, he became a member of the Panini America team.

The No. 1 overall draft pick out of Duke signed an exclusive contract Friday to sign autographs for the NBA’s only official trading card licensee as well as sign memorabilia for the Panini Authentic line and appear on packaging and promotion for the company’s products. He joins Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, John Wall and Derrick Williams — the No. 2 pick in the draft — as exclusive spokesmen for the company.

“It’s a great feeling. I am proud and excited to join the Panini team,” said Irving, who averaged 17.5 points a game during his injury-shortened season with the Blue Devils. “This is another great class that I’ve been drafted into … I’m honored to be added to that roster.”

He’ll make his NBA card debut in 2011-12 Prestige.

“In just 11 games at Duke, Kyrie displayed the kind of uncanny playmaking and leadership abilities that basketball collectors and NBA fans covet,” said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. “Certainly he caught our attention inside Panini America headquarters. We’re tremendously excited to add him to our unparalleled roster of NBA talent. He’ll fit in nicely here.”

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.

First Look: 2011 Absolute Memorabilia Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Earlier this week, Panini America unveiled a seven-card preview of 2011 Absolute Memorabilia Football. Drawing positive comments and praise in the Knight’s Lance post, the manufacturer seems to be building generally joyous suspense for its September release.

Speaking to the most praiseworthy components of the brand, Panini’s Ben Ecklar noted, “It’s no secret that last year’s Absolute Jumbo Patch insert was one of the most stunningly good-looking game-worn memorabilia sets of all time. Well, it returns in all its glory in 2011, but with added levels of collectability and cool with the Jumbo NFL Shield version.” NFL Shields and NFL Shield Signatures are limited to five or less.

Other touted treasures in 2011 Absolute Memorabilia include:

  • Brand Logos and Brand Signatures (limited to five or less)
  • War Room inserts
  • Star Gazing inserts
  • Tools of the Trade inserts
  • Rookie Jersey Collection (retail exclusive)
  • On-card autographs from the likes of Cam Newton, Mark Ingram and more big names

Prepare for product odds  and a picture show after the break.
Read More »

Chris Olds’ Collecting Mailday — June 23

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Just what does Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds collect? A bit of everything … here’s a box of a few months’ of purchases off of Checkoutmycards.com ….

What’d he buy? Watch and find out …

Share your mailday successes in the comments field below!

Box Busters: 2011 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2011 Topps Series 2 in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Topps Rising Rookies football cards

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Join Beckett Football’s Andrew Tolentino and Dan Hitt as they rip into a box of 2011 Topps Rising Rookies in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? What card could end up in your collection?

Watch and find out.

Panini America signs NBA prospect Derrick Williams to exclusive deal

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Panini America didn’t wait to see where Derrick Williams would be drafted in Thursday’s 2011 NBA Draft. It feels University of Arizona star will be taken with one of the first two picks.

So, it already signed him to an exclusive agreement.

What does that mean for collectors?

The only place to find Williams’ autograph or memorabilia cards will be in Panini products, which became the exclusive NBA trading card partner at the start of 2009-2010 season.

Read More »

Upper Deck’s next stop for collectors – this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Upper Deck is making its way around the hockey world, popping up at a number of NHL events.

UD’s latest getaway is to St. Paul, Minn., for the 49th NHL Entry Draft this weekend. Upper Deck will have a booth set up at Xcel Energy Center on June 24 and 25 with an autograph guest.

Minnesota Wild’s Brent Burns will there from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday only. The Wild defenseman will only be signing an oversized 5×7 Upper Deck trading card at the booth. No other items are allowed.

But Upper Deck has more planned for the weekend even if fans can’t make it out for Burns’ signing. Collectors can pick up an exclusive six-card set in a wrapper redemption.

Read More »

Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor Raffle site is live

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

The hard part is over with — and now you can have a chance to own one of the most talked-about baseball cards ever made while helping raise money for a charity and some Little League and softball organizations.

The card? The $21,403 Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman.

The benefactors of collector Devin Grant‘s generosity? The Bryan Stow Fund — the San Francisco Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death by two men after a Dodgers game on Opening Day — two California Little League organizations and two softball leagues near where Grant lives.

The website? That’s www.strasburgsuperfractorraffle.org.

The raffle tickets are $10 with a third of the proceeds going to the Stow fund and 30 percent going to the Half Moon Bay Little League, 30 percent to the West Sacramento Little League and five percent each to the Half Moon Bay Softball League and the West Sacramento Softball League.

Grant, who found the card in a pack of Razor Rookie Retro at Peninsula Sports Cards in Belmont, Calif., recently decided that he’d rather have the card do some good than sit in his collection.

“It took about two days to know that this was something bigger than me,” Grant told Beckett Baseball before the site’s launch. “I mean the act of pulling the card was phenomenal, but a card like this has some firepower and I felt that it could be used in a more powerful way.”

The card has, indeed, been a powerful force in the hobby initially selling for $16,403 before the Washington Nationals pitcher made his debut last summer and then re-selling for $21,403. It was sold the second time after its owner, Robert J. Power, received several negative and harassing messages after the publicity about his buying the card. The card was purchased by Leaf’s Brian Gray, who placed it into packs of his repackaged product that launched last year — but the card had never been found until now.

Now, though, the card, which has generated plenty of publicity — and money — on its own, can help generate more and benefit kids and a baseball fan who was the victim of a senseless crime.

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.

The National: Plans are starting to come together

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

With apologies to George Peppard — or is it Liam Neeson? — the famed A-Team line just seemed apropos for the nuggets of news coming in regarding plans for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, which runs from Aug. 3-7.

While The Show Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly is still in production, an A-List autograph guest was announced by TRISTAR on Tuesday — one that prompted an immediate re-write of the five autographs to get rundown of guests at the show.

The new signer? Mike Tyson.

His autographs will start at $119 — Hangover not included.

In other news for the show …

Read More »

UD partners with Marvel for Captain America card set

By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

While the summer blockbuster isn’t scheduled to premiere until July 22, Captain America: The First Avenger — on cardboard — arrived this week at comic book stores and other superhero-conscious retailers.

Propelled by a partnership with Marvel Entertainment LLC. — one that most recently brought us both THOR and Marvel Beginnings sets — Upper Deck revealed the bells and whistles in its latest debut. “Just like we did with our THOR movie trading card set from earlier this year, this effort will include memorabilia directly from the costumes featured in the movie, and autographs from some of the actors in the movie,” explained Upper Deck’s vice president of marketing, Jason Masherah.

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According to the manufacturer, the base set will be comprised of 86 “movie plot” cards, 12 character cards and one “movie poster header” card. Also included are autographed inserts from actors Kenneth Choi (as “Jim Morita), Stanley Tucci (as “Dr. Erskine”), Toby Jones (as “Arnim Zola) and Neal McDonough (as “Dum Dum Dugan”).

Headlined by the film’s main characters, memorabilia inclusions arguably offer more premium appeal. Collectors can expect to pull costume pieces from both “Steve Rogers” and “Captain America,” “Peggy Carter,”  “The Red Skull” and other key players at a rate of one in 48 packs. Read More »

New USA Baseball event gets prospects more exposure

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By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

It’s no secret that prospectors pay close attention to showcase events where they can get a glimpse at how future superstars will perform.

Now, USA Baseball has yet another date for them to mark on the calendar — July 1-2 for the Prospect Classic.

The Classic, which will air on the MLB Network, will consist of a two-game series between the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and the 18U National Team at a pair of North Carolina sites.

Some of the biggest names in the game today played for USA Baseball before heading to college or the pros with Topps (the present USA card licensee) and Upper Deck (the former licensee) producing the only cards of many players sometimes years before their actual MLB arrivals.

For more on the event, watch the video above.

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.