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Monthly Archives: June 2011

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

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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.

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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

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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 »

Original Dick Perez painting of Derek Jeter from BSCM’s Art Issue hits auction block

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

If you saw the recent Art Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, then you saw the original painting by the famed Dick Perez on its cover showcasing New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

Now, with Jeter on the cusp of joining the 3,000-hit club, the one-of-a-kind piece of artwork can be yours.

The original 24×18 oil on canvas is being sold at auction by Beckett Select Auctions, giving one Yankees fan or baseball afficionado the chance to own a piece of Perez and a piece of unique Beckett history as well.

The auction opened with an opening bid of $1,222.22 and will close on June 19.

Perez’s work has been showcased on countless baseball cards from the past, including the famed Diamond Kings cards of the 1980s. Inside the June 2011 issue of BSCM, we discussed sports art and got his take on his craft. It was a follow-up to an interview in our 1980s Issue the month before where we looked back specifically at the Diamond Kings cards. The Art Issue can be found at your local card shop now.

For more information on Beckett Select Auctions, go to www.beckett.com/select.

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.

Panini Production Gallery: 2010-11 Dominion Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Prodding the card company’s Twitter followers, Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler delivered this morning on a promise to show off the most requested brand preview at the crosstown production facility.

While the visit will inevitably result in more  sneak peeks from coming lines like Zenith Hockey, Totally Certified Basketball and Donruss Elite Football, tweet majority ruled here — resulting in a gallery of soon-to-be-pulled 2010-11 Dominion Hockey cards.

As Panini’s Al Muir explained in a previous preview, “Dominion isn’t a product for the masses. This is for the high-end hobbyists, the whales.”

Below are a few nuggets of nutritional information for the $350 whale food.

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First Look: 2011 Press Pass FanFare NASCAR cards

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Press Pass has unveiled its latest high-end NASCAR release and it’s really not all-that high-end at all at just $20 a pack.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company announced its plans for 2011 Press Pass FanFare, a one-hit-per-pack product that will arrive on Aug. 24 in the place of the company’s high-end Five Star line. (Five Star will be back — it’s just not going to be an annual product, according to a company official.)

There will be a 100-card base set comprised of drivers, owners and past greats and FanFare will include debut autographs for more than a drivers on the Nationwide and NASCAR Truck Series. Every pack will include a memorabilia card or autograph inside with each hobby box including eight packs.

The autograph lineup will include four levels per driver with dual autographs numbered to 25 or less, while the memorabilia offerings are “the most expansive” lineup Press Pass has ever produced. The memorabilia cards will include single swatches (199 or fewer copies) and duals (50 or fewer).

See more images from the set after the jump.

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COLLECTOR Box Busters: 2008 Topps Sterling Baseball Babe Ruth Box

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds was at Nick’s Sports Cards on Wednesday night where he witnessed a pretty impressive pull from a collector (who didn’t want to be shown) opening 2008 Topps Triple Threads baseball.

What did he find? Watch and find out …

So I noticed something fun on Bryce Harper’s 2011 Bowman card …

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Firmly in the Just For Fun category …

Some baseball cards just get looked at more than others — the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. card, the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken, the 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco. There are countless cards that people examine to know every little detail.

That’s what we do if we’re collectors.

For some like the Griffey, it’s the hair, the gold chains, the little things. For the Ripken, well, you know … For the Canseco, it’s a combination of how to tell if it’s real while marveling at that moustache — if you can call it that.

But I noticed a little something on the 2011 Bowman Bryce Harper card that every one seems to be treasuring — or at least selling — these days.

I’ll let you guys guess what it might be — I’m not telling. It’s simple, trivial, and it adds a little “huh” to the card to me.

However, the answer WILL be found on the back cover of the next issue of Beckett Baseball coming soon.

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.

Your Turn (Beckett Baseball issue No. 66): Are Topps’ new Double Sparkle variations a bit too much?

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

You may have seen the Your Turn page in nearly every issue of Beckett Baseball where we showcase stuff that is all about you. You can see your comments on hobby topics and get chances to win cool stuff in contests all on one page.

The newly released 2011 Topps Series 2 baseball set apparently includes some rare “double sparkle” variations, which can be collected and are good for an autographed bat. Good idea on the bat front — and they certainly add value to the return for bulk breakers — but gimmick cards are something that absolutely drives some collectors crazy. And not in a good way. We want to know what you think.

Here are the Your Turn questions for issue No. 66:

1. Is this too much of a good thing?

2. Is there one thing — perhaps gimmicks? — you would eliminate from the hobby? (BASEBALL ONLY)

Please include your name and location with your comment below — we will only run items with that information. A selection of your answers will appear in the next issue along with our next batch of contests and giveaways found only in the 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.

Box Busters: 2010-11 ITG Decades: The 1980s hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 ITG Decades: The 1980s boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Press Pass Stealth NASCAR

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Join Beckett Media’s Andrew Tolentino and Tim Trout as they rip into a box of 2011 Press Pass Stealth in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2011 Threads Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Panini America unveiled today a few details about its forthcoming cloth-laden line 2011 Threads.

The late-summer brand, slated for an Aug. 17 shelving date, should arrive with the usual fan favorites and some new twists.

Each box promises four autograph or memorabilia cards (one autograph guaranteed), 24 Rookie Cards and an additional 13 inserts or parallels. New Rookie Class Gold autographed letters should fall favorably among the brand’s familiar offerings Rookie Class autographed letters and Pro Gridiron Kings cards.

“The Rookie Class Gold autos are a unique twist on an established concept and will be among the most sought after singles in 2011 Threads; the Pro Gridiron Kings, with their proud lineage dating back to the early 2000s, tend to speak for themselves,” said Panini America NFL Brand Manager Carlos Torrez.

More details and eye candy after the jump.
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Hall-of-Famers get noticed in Panini’s National Treasures Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In its second year as a basketball brand, Panini America‘s National Treasures is bringing back plenty of what made the product popular, including some new additions to add to the appeal.

Part of what made this product last year were Blake Griffin’s Rookie Cards. His cards sparked great conversation about the hobby and had many talking about his signed cards that sold for high-dollar amounts.

Although, Griffin isn’t a rookie in this high-end product, Panini expects the popularlity of this set to continue when the National Treasures hits the card market on its scheduled Aug. 3 release.

See a full gallery after the jump:

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