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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Weekly Highlights (July 11 – July 15)

Newsworthy card of the week

MEGA-HUGE, IMPORTANT thing to know of the week

Box Busters and other videos

Possibly groundbreaking news of the week

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

This week in National Sports Collectors Convention news

This week in Commander-in-Chief Ink

Auction action

This week in Derek Jeter hitting 3,000

Charles Woodson autographs to appear in Panini America NFL products

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Charles Woodson has been kind of shy when it comes to football cards. The Green Bay Packer hasn’t signed many autograph cards since his 1998 rookie season.

But all that is about to change with the new wave of football cards coming out for 2011. Panini America has signed the 1997 Heisman Trophy Award winner to an autograph deal.

“I’m still in a little bit of shock,” said Joe White, Panini’s football acquisitions specialist in a release. “Woodson has been on my hit list seemingly for forever and I’d resigned myself to the fact that we’d never get him in our sets. But I went after him again this year like I always do, because I know what the presence of his autographs in our sets would mean to the countless Woodson collectors out there. They’re going to mean the world.”

Read More »

In the Game reveals redemptions, VIP cards for NSCC

By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

Joining the growing list of manufacturers unveiling plans for the 32nd annual National Sports Collectors Convention, In The Game just announced its on-location allure. Making its presence known at the traveling hobby Mecca, ITG will arrive at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center ready with VIP perks and other redemption programs.

ITG VIP program
Nestled among a stockpile of goodies inside VIP bags, specially-marked ITG cards can be exchanged for the company’s 10-card set. Ranging from hockey, baseball and Canadiana subjects, the VIPs for VIPs are:

  • Mario Lemieux
  • Patrick Roy
  • Steve Yzerman
  • Mark Messier
  • Tim Thomas
  • Steven Stamkos
  • Mike Trout
  • Manny Machado
  • William Shatner
  • Pamela Anderson Read More »

Steiner Sports signs David Price to DJ3K auto deal

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For every yin, there’s a yang. For every hero there’s a villain.

And for Derek Jeter and the DJ3K moment, there’s David Price.

Steiner Sports announced on Thursday that the Tampa Bay Rays starter who gave up career hit No. 3,000 to the New York Yankees shortstop has signed a deal with the company to autograph items related to the home run he served up to Jeter last Saturday.

Price will be signing photos with an added inscription for the play — “I Gave Up DJ’s 3K, 7-9-11″ — which are already available on SteinerSports.com. A 16×20 photo of Jeter rounding the bases with Price in the background will cost $169.99, while an 8×10 will run $149.99. A photo signed by both Price and Jeter will run $899.99 for the 16×20.

Price also will be signing DJ3K logo baseballs with the inscription for $159.99, while a dual-signed ball will cost $799.99.

Notable duos linked with memorable home runs or hits are widely collected — Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner, or Ralph Branca and Bobby Thomson for example — in baseball so it’s not a stretch to see memorabilia pairing these two.

For now it will be the only place that the duo will be found as Steiner has an exclusive deal with Jeter for autographs.

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

There are plenty of firsts when it comes to presidential autographs …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

First, there were cut autographs of former U.S. Presidents, but now in 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter there’s another first.

Well, sort of. Here’s what Topps had to say Wednesday about its 200 George W. Bush autographs in Ginter:

“Our 2011 Allen & Ginter product will continue Topps’ historic tradition of chronicling heroes both on and off the playing field,” said Topps VP, Mark Sapir.  “We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s set will include limited edition autographs of our country’s 43rd President, George W. Bush – marking the first time ever that a living President has made their autographs available in a trading card product.”

The first time ever that a living president has signed for a card product.

Well, maybe a baseball product, but a few collectors (and others) were quick to point out that two other presidents had signed for card companies in the past — George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

Bush — and his wife, Barbara — both signed for Donruss2008 Americana II (above). Meanwhile, Ford signed for a University of Michigan football set, Michigan TK Legacy, which was released in the 2000s (below).

First card signed for Topps? Yep, and that’s what our story said (but not the quote).

First card signed by a living president for a card company’s product? Nope.

The unfortunate part of the wave of national mainstream media attention that will undoubtedly help sell some cards?

Most outlets took their word for it.

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

Box Busters warm-up: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards in a warm-up for our official Box Busters video to come on A&G sometime soon.

What will he find inside the box he purchased at Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas? Watch and find out …

First two Allen & Ginter Manny Pacquiao autograph sales pack serious punch

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

More than a few collectors might be seeking Manny Pacquiao‘s first certified autograph out of packs of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter.

But based on the first completed sale price for the card on eBay — and a second sale for even more — it’s apparent that more than a few collectors just might not be able to afford one.

Read More »

George W. Bush becomes first President to sign for Topps; Yankees fan to get his own card

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Former President George W. Bush has done something no other president has done before.

Bush became the first living president to sign for Topps when 200 autographs were included in 2011 Allen & Ginter, released this week.

Presidents’ autographs have been in baseball cards as cut autographs, but this is the first time a former president has actually signed a card for the company, according to Topps.

Ten short-print red autograph versions are also available, some even have an inscription of “#43″ or “USA.”

Read More »

Panini Gold Standard Basketball shines through

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In February, Panini America released its first look at 2010-11 Gold Standard Basketball. It has been five months since we had another opportunity to view the set. With it being just a week away, collectors want to see more.

This product has been put together with careful details, which started with the packaging. When you walk into a card shop, this product might be the first thing that you notice as the hobby box is actually in the shape and model of a gold brick.

Don’t blind your eyes looking directly into it.

We’ve seen what some of the hits will look like, but now it’s time to see what you will be able to find in the rest of the 12-card hobby box, which has a retail value of around $180.

One box will include three autographs, two memorabilia cards, four golds (which are commons) and three other inserts.

Also, for you Willy Wonka fans out there, there are five instant-win gold tickets. All are good for unique prizes including a one-on-one meeting with Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant.

See a full gallery after the jump. …

Read More »

Box Busters: 2010-11 Totally Certified basketball

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Join Beckett Basketball’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 Totally Certified boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What’d they find? Watch and find out …

**Contest Closed ** Box Busters: 2010-11 Zenith Hockey cards + contest

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they tear into a pair of 2010-11 Zenith hockey boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Will they dare to tear? Watch and find out …

Box Busters Preview Gallery: 2010-11 Zenith Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Later this afternoon, we’ll be posting a Box Busters episode featuring Panini’s brand revival 2010-11 Zenith Hockey. But before we move on to the moving picture show, we wanted to share the highlights from Box No. 1 of the break.

Packed in a rare lift-top box was — as promised — a contemporary reincarnation of an old line, complete with those troublesome, over-sized Dare to Tear cards. If you count the mystery rip, below is a 17-card sneak peek at what we pulled. Read More »

Tampa Bay Rays’ Ginter Relics are plaid for a reason

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

If you’ve seen some of the Relics being found by collectors in 2011 Allen & Ginter from Topps, you might have been surprised.

By what?

Plaid swatches. Plaid on manager Joe Maddon. Plaid on first baseman Carlos Pena. Plaid on outfielder B.J. Upton.

These Relics come from the Rays’ BRaysers from late last season, which the team wore on road trips as a way of showing their team unity. The team also wore caps with plaid bills last season and apparently the gimmick caught on elsewhere as the team played well after instituting the formal-wear.

While many of Topps’ past gimmick cards have been New York-centric, it’s good to see a nod to some of the unusual nuances found elsewhere in baseball and to see colorful Relic cards with ties to the game instead of plain white swatches.

Who knows? Maybe all those fans who wanted plaid last fall will want to start collecting baseball cards, too.

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

Panini: We’re making Elite Extra Edition this year

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

As the rumors continue to swirl regarding baseball licensing news — whether a card company will be awarded some type of license by the MLB Players Association — Panini America announced a little something on Tuesday night during the Midsummer Classic.

“Many collectors have asked us about Donruss EEE Baseball in 2011,” read a tweet from the company. “Well . . . yes, we are doing it!”

What that means to collectors — how that will be accomplished since any MLB/minor league logos would protected for Topps products as part of those exclusive deals and any college logos would be protected by Upper Deck‘s exclusive with the Collegiate Licensing Company — remains to be seen … at least under the current licensing deals.

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

Fitness king Jack LaLanne makes his trading card debut in 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Allen & Ginter has included plenty of “world’s champions” alongside baseball players since its arrival in 2006 and this year’s edition from Topps is no different.

But it includes a different kind of champion, a champion for a cause who was a fitness guru decades before it became big business.

The champion? Jack LaLanne, who died at age 96 in January.

Read More »

Bryce Harper’s Futures Game items heat up auction

Bryce Harper’s game-used batting helmet from this year’s Futures Game is among the hottest items on the auction block at MLB.com. (Getty Images)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bryce Harper didn’t have a good say Sunday but that doesn’t really matter.

The batting helmet and cap used by the 18-year-old Washington Nationals outfield prospect during his 0-for-4 day at the Futures Game as part of the MLB All-Star Game festivities have hit the auction block and they’re in demand.

How much interest is there?

He’s the most-expensive player among the items up for grabs so far in the entire selection of MLB Auctions items for the All-Star Game.

Read More »

Panini previews VIP pulls for The National

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Adding to the long list of attractions at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention, Panini America premiered its presence in the VIP package today.

Inside pre-stuffed bags, VIP attendees will find a four-card Panini base set headlined by company spokesmen Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and John Wall. Collectors will also find a coupon that can be exchanged at
the manufacturer’s corporate booth for two additional “mystery cards.” Read More »

U.S. Women’s National Team kicks it into high gear

By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Senior Market Analyst

Pressure Makes Us. Nike Soccer’s tag line for the United States Women’s National Team was on display on Sunday morning when the U.S. Women took the field in their Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against mighty Brazil.

Down a man (or woman) and down 2-1, in the final minutes of extra time, Abby Wambach headed a pinpoint cross from Megan Rapinoe into the back of the net. The goal – and ensuing celebration – brought back memories of Landon Donovan’s miraculous goal against Algeria in last year’s World Cup. Goalkeeper Hope Solo came up huge in the subsequent penalty shootout, stopping Daiane’s shot, while the U.S. Women coolly put each of their five penalty kicks in the back of the net, setting up a semifinal match between the United States and France.

The U.S. women don’t appear on many trading cards, but thanks to some foresight by Donruss in 2008 and Upper Deck’s push to add cards from the Women’s Professional Soccer to its MLS products, they’ve got more than you might think. Buyer beware. There are several sellers on eBay selling unlicensed “custom” or “homemade” cards. While they may be nice collectibles, they’re not something that we would ever catalog or price in our database.

Abby Wambach – Sunday’s hero has appeared on 29 different cards, with her first being in the 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids release. She’s got seven certified autographs, with her 2004 Leather and Lumber Fans of the Game Autographs ($50) and 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Autographs ($40) being the hottest on the secondary market. She’s got seven different memorabilia cards with her 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Memorabilia ($15) and 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Materials ($15) cards fast becoming collector favorites.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2011 Goodwin Champions

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2011 Goodwin Champions boxes from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Retail Rundown: 2011-12 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

With the 2010-11 NHL season now behind us and the final high-end hockey releases afoot, card companies are looking forward with forward-looking lines.

Upper Deck unveiled today a detailed report on what’s to come for retailers stocking its 2011-12 Series One Hockey line. Come November, collectors out running errands (or those doing so as an excuse to buy cards) can look find the manufacturer’s basic brand in 32-card fat packs, 8-card foil packs and 10 (plus two bonus)-pack blasters on retail shelves.

Beyond the 200-card base set, Upper Deck’s signature retail release has a few formulas worth studying this summer. Read More »

COMMENTARY: Panini HRX video card redemptions command cash

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor | Commentary

Earlier this year, there was plenty of talk with the future of trading cards set to be coming from both Panini America and Upper Deck in the form of the video trading card.

Whether the camps will cop to it or not, there were plenty of jabs offered up at the competition. One fight was over “firsties” — who was first with the cards. For the record (as I reported before), Upper Deck was the first to tease that something was coming, but Panini stole its thunder days later when it was the first to publicly announce its intentions for a video card. Meanwhile, though, Upper Deck was the first to deliver the actual cards in boxes of 2011 Upper Deck Football as the boxes included Evolution.

The second fight was over the concept and the quality — a war of words that took place via the companies’ blogs as they jabbed over something that many collectors might not have been so gung-ho over — something that they just might not really care about — while trying to sell collectors on their cards and their inherent superiority. Again, the companies might dispute that approach now as merely salesmanship or educational efforts but what was said was said. (Hey, there were lots of shots — Upper Deck even took a shot at me for my reporting of what they said.)

However, it can’t be disputed.

And now, with the arrival of Panini HRX video cards, there’s no disputing which one has won thus far in the eyes of collectors — at least with those who have paid attention with their pocketbooks. And the irony? Panini’s cards have still yet to physically arrive out of packs of 2010-11 Totally Certified. All of the sales have been for redemption cards.

But, again, the collectors — you — have spoken with your pocketbooks.

Read More »

Steiner Sports launches DJ3K memorabilia line after Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

Derek Jeter finally has his 3,000th hit, so now comes the exciting part for New York Yankees fans who collect the captain.

That’s right, the commemorative merchandise.

And that’s where Steiner Sports comes in as the New York-based company has an exclusive deal with the Yankees shortstop for autographed memorabilia and has readied a line of DJ3K memorabilia including several autographed items and game-used dirt displays from the game. The items will feature photos from the actual hit once they arrive.

Among them is a “commemorative dirt bat” which will include dirt adhered to the bat inside a Yankees logo.  Other items include replica scorecards and ticket collages as well as a selection of signed photos.

Thanks to a sneak peek from Steiner, you can see them all — and see the prices — after the jump.

Read More »

Derek Jeter hits 3,000 … and we rank his Rookie Cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Derek Jeter made history with his 3,000th career hit on Saturday, a home run to left field off of Tampa Bay’s David Price in the third inning at Yankee Stadium in New York that was welcomed with a standing ovation from the hometown crowd and the spotlight of the entire baseball world.

We knew it was coming — but it didn’t come as fast as many had hoped — but it was a hit that placed him in elite company as he became the only member of the New York Yankees to reach that Hall-of-Fame-assuring plateau and just the 28th player in MLB history to reach the mark.

We all know that the label of “The Greatest Yankee” might not be so easily applied here — and that’s certainly not one that would apply on cardboard, either. There are too many big names among the past pinstripes — Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle. But that got us thinking … how would we rank Jeter’s eight Rookie Cards?

You can see where we ranked them all in the current issue of Beckett Baseball – but you can get a teaser of what we said after the jump.

We have more about each card in the issue, which features the Yankees shortstop on the cover noting his new achievement.

Read More »

Card gallery: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

While this year’s Allen & Ginter baseball card set from Topps isn’t set to hit until Wednesday, that hasn’t stopped the cards from already appearing on eBay as of Saturday morning.

While no “big” cards have yet been found (the only top autograph card is a redemption), here’s a selection of cards that will give you a better idea of what’s in store …

We’ll have more on this one when it arrives.

See images after the jump.

Read More »

Weekly Highlights (July 4 – July 8)

News-related trading card of the week

MEGA-HUGE, IMPORTANT thing to know of the week

This week in lawsuits and other prickly things

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

Box Busters

Auction Action