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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Win original Diamond Kings art! Did you miss this contest in Beckett Sports Card Monthly’s Art Issue?

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

The Art Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly has perhaps been replaced on shelves already by the latest issue, but we wanted to make sure that everyone has a chance at this one.

It’s a framed piece of original art used to make the 2003 Diamond Kings card of Jim Edmonds of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The piece was donated by Panini America specifically to get into the hands of one lucky reader of the issue.

How can you win?

Find an issue and read the instructions on Page 21. (No purchase necessary.) The deadline for entering is July 1.

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.

Onyx Authenticated readies two more Preferred Players Collection baseball products

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Onyx Authenticated‘s debut release of Preferred Players Collection, a boxed memorabilia product, has been well-received — so much so it’s now getting the Ernie Banks treatment.

As in “let’s play two.”

The first PPC arrived in May with an autographed baseball in every tamper-proof box, and now the  Riverview, Fla.-based company is preparing two more PPC products — PPC Special Limited Edition and PPC Game-used Edition.

The Special Limited Edition will be, well, limited to just 100 three-box cases with each box including an autographed baseball inside and they will be available for sale only through Blowout Cards and Dave & Adam’s Card World during the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention Aug. 3-7 in Chicago.

Read More »

Weekly Highlights (June 13 – June 17)

Box Busters

Weekend Wonder of the week

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

They are the champions of the week

Auction action

This week in questionable fashion, Shaq-signed cookies & more

Just for fun

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Weekend Wonder: The Looming Lockout

It’s been a good while since we prompted the hobby audience with a Weekend Wonder to pontificate. It’s also been a good while since the NFL Lockout started baffling football fans, collectors and casual spectators.

The prompt to ponder (and actually respond to) this weekend is of course the lockout and its impact (potential or real) on the hobby.

Here are a few questions to get the ball rolling:

  1. Will the lockout affect the way you collect or how much product you buy this season?
  2. Will the lockout help or hurt the rookies in the hobby?
  3. What are your concerns about the lockout?
  4. Will you focus more on college football collectibles/cards if the lockout continues?

And … go!

First Look: 2011 Topps Gridiron Legends Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

If we can’t look forward to a season this year, we can certainly look back.

Wait, what’s this? Did we happen upon Doc’s flux capacitor?

Unfortunately not, but we did happen upon what could be the next best thing — an announcement from Topps detailing the release of its all-new 2011 Topps Gridiron Legends line.

Slated to hit shelves in mid October, Gridiron Legends will stand as a blast from the past, even if there isn’t a present by then. According to the manufacturer, the new brand “salutes the NFL’s cherished past heroes, vibrant stars and this year’s freshmen.”

The eight-card-per-pack product appears to be a nod to the greats and a commitment to the contemporaries with the company’s signature features. Collectors can expect to land four hits per  18-card box, falling in the forms of multiple-autograph cards, jumbo patches,  and combo and Stamp Relics.

Among the autograph cards 1956 Topps Reprint Autograph Cards — featuring NFL stars who appeared in the original 1956 Topps Football set — stand out as the most interesting historical hits from the product. Read More »

Stanley Cup coaches inscribe for 2010-11 Zenith

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey  Editor

Apparently, coaching a team through the rigorous NHL Playoffs isn’t a factor that interferes with the inking process.

According to Panini anecdote, a focused, yet friendly Claude Julien — head coach of the Boston Bruins — replied to a special inscription request with a brief, but effective can-do attitude. “No prob,” Julien wrote in a response to Panini’s appeal for a “2011 Stanley  Cup Finals” inscription on one of his Behind the Bench inserts in 2010-11 Zenith Hockey.

Clearly the ink dried before game seven, as the request would have otherwise read something like “2011 Stanley Cup Champions” or “Do you like apples? We just won the Stanley Cup. How do you like them apples?

Furthermore, the manufacturer also unveiled the same inscription from not-yet-vanquished Canucks coach Alan Vigneault. Eight more NHL coaches — including the likes of Lindy Ruff, Ron Wilson and Mike Babcock — offered only their names for the 10-coach autographed insert set.

See the gallery of signers after the jump. Read More »

Upper Deck commemorates Bru-win with 31-‘cahd’ set

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Long before the Boston Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night, Upper Deck had plans to pay respect to the winning fans and franchise by way of cardboard.

Now that several bearded Bruins are doing basically whatever the heck they want to do with Lord Stanley’s multifunctional trophy, the card maker has officially announced production plans for a commemorative box set.

“To commemorate Boston’s exciting win, we’ve put together this stunning 31-card collection that hockey fans, especially Bruins fans will simply go crazy for,” noted Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s hockey brand manager.

The 31-“cahd” Beantown tribute includes: Read More »

Football finds a home in Panini’s Timeless Treasures

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Continuing to assert the fact that football cards — if not football itself — will be around in 2011, Panini America announced yesterday that the greats of the gridiron will have a home in one of its most beloved brands.

The Timeless Treasures line — with origins as an insert set in 2001 Classics Football —  has made an impact in both basketball and even baseball cards, “But it’s never before been done in football,” verified Ben Ecklar, Panini America’s Director of Product Development. “So this product signifies a history-making opportunity – both for us internally in terms of being able to create from the ground up the first Timeless Treasures Football release, but also for collectors in  terms of the opportunity to collect it. And trust me, they will want to collect it.”

Hitting shelves in late September, the high-end, tin-boxed brand is designed to dazzle. Read More »

Showoff opportunity: The best of Beantown

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

As Vancouver quiets its riot, there are plenty of fans reveling — some, more romantically than others — over Boston‘s game seven victory.

To celebrate the latest team to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup, we’ll definitely be featuring the Bru-win in the next issue of Beckett Hockey. But we also wanted to give Bru crew collectors a chance to commemorate their favorite hockey team in the coming magazine.

Collectors can participate in  the print revelry by visiting this thread and posting a scan of their favorite Bruins card(s) or a picture showing the hobbyist and his/her notable Boston Bruins collectibles. Alternatively, these images can be sent to hockeymag@beckett.com for review.

We’re limited on space, so not all images will be used — but we’ll do the best we can to represent the hobby’s best of Beantown in the August issue of Beckett Hockey.

Hobby Q&A: California collector builds BGS 9.5 1986-87 Fleer set, opts to auction

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

One of the impressive basketball card collections ever amassed — a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball set all in 9.5 Gem Mint grade by Beckett Grading Services — has hit the auction block.

The set of all 132 cards was built by a 31-year-old private collector (who did not wish to be identified) based in Orange County, Calif., over a span of several years. He has opted to sell the set through Beckett Select Auctions, the sales division of Beckett Media. The bidding opens at $29,999.99 and the auction closes on Sunday.

How tough is this set to amass? There are 67 cards in the set that have population reports of 20 or fewer copies alone — and a BGS 9.5 Michael Jordan Rookie Card is a costly find, too.

What prompted the decision to sell such a lofty collecting goal? Unfortunate circumstances of real life.

Beckett Basketball caught up with the collector to talk about the set and the odyssey that was building it. Read a Q&A with him — and see many of the best cards in the set — after the jump.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 SP Legendary Cuts baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into not one, not two but four boxes of 2011 SP Legendary Cuts baseball cards from Upper Deck 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 readies Dallas Mavericks NBA champions set

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

If you haven’t heard, the Dallas Mavericks are the NBA champions.

And now comes the championship boxed set from Panini America, the exclusive trading card licensee of the NBA.

Unveiled on Wednesday, the 36-card set will include a card for every member of the team, highlight cards for all 16 playoff victories that came en route to the Larry O’Brien Trophy and cards of coach Rick Carlisle and a card noting Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki.

The set will arrive on July 14 but is available for pre-order on Panini’s website. Collectors who order there will be entered into a drawing to win an autographed Nowitzki game-used card if they are among the first 100 to pre-order.

See more images and get a full checklist … after the jump.

Read More »

One Shaq fan can own a signed pack of Oreos

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

The Amusing Retiree, Shaquille O’Neal, has been one to watch on Twitter for some time now, but one of his latest tweets just might be one that has a SuperCollector or two (Have you entered your collection?)  licking their chops.

Over what? A bag of Oreos. More specifically, an autographed bag of Triple Double Oreos along with a case of the cookies as a bonus that is up for grabs in a charity auction to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Newark.

Why? Why not?

“Even [though] I’m retired I’m still dunkin'” he tweeted Wednesday. “Get a signed [pack] of Triple Double Oreos and help.”

You may think the auction is a bit tongue in cheek — well, isn’t everything with Shaq these days? — but the cause is a good one and, well, it’s an unusual item. It’s one that the collector who has Everything Shaq simply won’t have — yet.

How much is the bidding, which ends Friday, up to?

Click the link above to find out …

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.

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.

MLB stars design their own shirts for baseball fans

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

After two months of talking, designing and meetings, fans have an opportunity to own clothing designed by some of baseball’s biggest stars.

Major League Baseball’s Players Choice Signature Series jerseys and T-shirts are back for a third year. This time, the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera are putting their ideas on these unique products.

In addition, players from the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants have designed apparel for the 2011 season, including Carl Crawford, Kevin Youklis, Cliff Lee, Carlos Ruiz, Tim Lincecum, Cody Ross and Matt Cain.

The pieces of clothing are interesting because you have players’ direct input going into the product. Because the players are putting their personalty on shirt, the designs are uniquely different between players.

Read More »

Would Justin Verlander’s second no-no of season have ignited interest in his baseball cards?

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander flirted with throwing his second no-hitter of the season Tuesday night against the Cleveland Indians, blanking his AL Central rivals before giving up a hit in the eighth and recording the win in a 4-0 victory.

His first no-no came on May 7 against the Blue Jays and it really didn’t generate much heat for his cards at all … it should have — and a second no-no should have propelled him firmly into the elite of MLB arms in many minds if not already there. It would have been his third career no-no — breaking a tie with Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay for the most by an active MLB pitcher. (It’s worth noting that Verlander is the youngest of the three, too.)

Yet the slugger-centric mentality of the hobby might have left this one once again as one for the highlight reels — and not so much for his cards. It wasn’t to be — but I’m optimistic that such dominating showings might help a few collectors latch onto players whom they might not have in the past. You know, back in the days when we were all marveling at tape-measure home runs that turned out to be, um … wind-aided? (Yeah, that’s it … )

Or, perhaps — though I’d not agree — some may feel that he’s already too valuable.

Read More »

Marshall Faulk’s autograph: It’s in the game

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor | Commentary

In an era of video games, smart phones and other full-blown digital distractions for would-be collectors, Panini America has partnered with EA SPORTS to encourage a little crossover action.

The trading card manufacturer unveiled today an attractive cardboard bonus that could fall in the hands of a naturally captive audience. While fans ultimately chose Peyton Hillis as their Madden 12 cover subject, Marshall Faulk — and his randomly inserted autograph cards — will appear in the game’s  Hall of Fame Edition.

According to Panini, Faulk will be lending his on-card penmanship to four different versions (these and more after the jump) to be packaged in the late-summer release.

“The crossover appeal between our community and football collectibles is incredibly high. Madden fans and card collectors share many similar traits,” noted Anthony Stevenson, EA SPORTS Director of Marketing. They are both highly passionate about their favorite players, teams and NFL football as a whole. They are both highly competitive. Whether it be seeking out that rare card or taking down their rival in Madden – they’ll do whatever it takes.”

The cross-promotional effort doesn’t stop with Faulk’s ink inside Madden 12 Hall of Fame Edition. The digital outreach also includes an opportunity for two gamers (one  Xbox 360 and one  Playstation 3 player) to pull a randomly inserted Golden Ticket redemption card to exchange for an 18-karat Faulk. Read More »

Topps lets you decide who makes the diamond cut

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Topps has had more than a few collectors ripping into packs this year finding Diamond Giveaway code cards that unlock vintage finds and other promotion-exclusive cards.

Now, though, collectors have a chance to help determine the checklist.

The company announced on Tuesday that the subjects of three Diamond Die Cut cards that are only found via code cards will be decided by an online vote at Topps’ Facebook page. There will be one rookie, one veteran and one retired legend added to the checklist and the voting will begin with the legends. The first round of that voting ends on Sunday.

The matchups? Don Mattingly vs. Ryne Sandberg, Frank Robinson vs. Ozzie Smith, Reggie Jackson vs. Roberto Alomar and Frank Thomas vs. Johnny Bench.

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.

Box Busters: 2011 Bowman baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Topps Pro Debut MiLB cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Dirk may have the trophy, but LeBron’s basketball cards command the cash

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor | Commentary

This year’s NBA Finals have come and gone with a pair of stars getting plenty of attention — for what they did and didn’t do in the Finals.

This season saw LeBron James with his talents on South Beach — well at least for most of the season — while the Lone Star State’s main man was a guy who has played there under the radar for years in Dirk Nowitzki.

While one of these stars now has an NBA ring, comparing these two really isn’t even fair on cardboard as Dirk’s debut cards came in a time of a bit more overproduced stuff, while LeBron helped usher in a rather Exquisite era in basketball cards in his rookie season.

We all know who came out on top, but here’s a look at how they compare … in the cards and on the court.

Dirk: 3,486
It was a bit closer than we expected but it’s really not that close if you consider that Dirk has been around a lot longer. That should show you one part of the hobby divide here. Advantage: LeBron

Read More »

Panini Sums up SPs in 2010-11 Contenders Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Slowly but surely, Panini America leaked the short prints to snag in recently released — on May 18 — 2010-11 Contenders Hockey. Today, all 10 are in.

Yesterday, the manufacturer clarified with the three remaining short-printed Rookie Ticket Autographs. Each one of these cards is numbered to 399 or less. Below are the names from the gradual reveal, and beyond the jump are the obligatory visual verifications.

Taylor Hall
Jeff Penner
Tyler Seguin
Magnus Paajarvi
P.K. Subban
Nazem Kadri
Cam Fowler
Brayden Schenn
Jeff Skinner
Jordan Eberle

Read More »

First look: 2011 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Let the countdown begin …

Topps unveiled its plans for 2011 Bowman Chrome on Friday afternoon, thus starting the clock for the arrival of Bryce Harper‘s first Bowman Chrome autographed prospect cards.

BC-Day is Oct. 19.

There will be one Chrome autograph per 18-pack hobby box with Harper among nearly 40 players on the preliminary autograph checklist.

The base prospect set will consist of 110 players, while the veterans checklist will include 220 cards — 170 veterans and 50 rookies.

Learn more and see additional images after the jump.

Read More »

Prime 9 cards might lead you to the World Series

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

For those of you who found Prime 9 cards in packs of 2011 Topps Series 2, which arrived on Wednesday, you might have been left scratching your heads.

Scratch no longer.

Topps announced the particulars of its latest baseball card promotion on Friday afternoon and unveiled that the Prime 9 cards are good for special Player of the Week Chrome Refractor cards that will only found at participating HTA hobby shops.

Oh, and each card also is good as an entry for a contest where you can win a trip to the World Series.

The redemptions are found two per hobby box — 1:18 packs in standard boxes, 1:5 in jumbos —  and are good for the player of the week as selected by the company for the week that is marked on the card.  The selections begin on July 18.

Those who redeem the cards should fill out the forms on the back to have a chance to go to the Series. Store owners will submit all redeemed cards to Topps.

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 6 – June 10)

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

We want to hear you of the week

Box Busters

Other videos

Things we noticed of the week

Auction action

Just for fun

YouTube Preview Image

First Look: 2011 Topps Chrome Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Topps has a tendency to make big football card news on Fridays.

Today, the company headlines the hobby with the announcement of 2011 Topps Chrome Football — reincarnated with design staples and a handful of new exclusives.

Hitting shelves in late October, the hobby mainstay will come in four-card packs and 24 packs per box. Case chasers can expect to break 12 boxes per case. Each hobby box should yield one autograph Rookie Card, nine inserts and nine parallels.

The one-per-box hits — rookie autographs — feature the penmanship of 45 rookies from the base set in both on-card and on-sticker form. These cards also come in Refractor parallel versions including:

  • Superfractors (1/1)
  • Red (new, numbered to five)
  • Gold (numbered to 10)
  • Black (numbered to 25)
  • Crystal Atomic (new, numbered to 50)
  • Refractor (numbered to 99)

Collectors should also keep an eye out for Rookie Autograph Patches, Dual Rookie Autographs (numbered to 25), Triple Rookie Autographs (numbered to 10) and new Autograph Rookie Variations featuring 25 rookie signatures on Rainbow Refractors. Read More »