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Monthly Archives: August 2011

First look: 2011 Topps American Pie

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Pie is back.

After nearly a decade since its last go, Topps has revived its American Pie line of cards as it unveiled the first glimpses at the non-sports set that will celebrate pop culture and personalities when it arrives on Dec. 14.

While the set was largely a baseball release with history and pop culture inside it in the past, this time American Pie is largely everything but sports — a 200-card base set of historic moments, places and people who helped defined the times. Each 24-pack hobby box will include three autograph or Relic cards as well as a buyback past Topps card.

There will be a parallel card or an insert in every pack with the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Fads and Fashions and Hirsute History (yep, notable hairstyles) among the insert sets.

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Auction to watch: Quad-Cut Camelot

By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

If you’re looking to kill some time between now and Aug. 21, Beckett Select just launched a particularly epic auction worth keeping an eye on.

Featuring four cut signatures from the Kennedy dynasty, the SP Legendary Camelot quad is currently open to a starting bid of $9,999.99. While this piece is a budget breaker for most, the historical significance of the four-card foldable has the potential to draw somebody with that kind of spending power.

Whether you’re just window shopping or looking to land John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Ted Kennedy in autograph form,  this one is a sight to behold before and after  it reaches five figures. Read More »

Behold 2011 Bowman Sterling Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

With a staple (2011 Topps) and its brand new brand Inception now hitting shelves, Topps football products are in full swing. Today’s announcement regarding the 2011 release of beloved Bowman Sterling adds even more steam to the season.

Set to release in mid December, 2011 Bowman Sterling Football features a five-card pack with two Rookie Cards, one autograph and two Relics. Six-pack boxes translate into 12 Rookie Cards, four autographs, two autograph Relics, 12 Relics and one dual Relic box topper. Case chasers can expect to find one dual autograph Relic in the eight-box load.

No stranger to shimmering cardboard, the set’s signature nuance comes in the form of  Pulsar Refractors.  Showcasing NFL stars on a refractive background of pulsating pixels, these cards are like snapshots from some futuristic nightlub — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (take a closer look after the jump). Read More »

Voices from the show: The Complete Video Series

By Andrew Tolentino | Editor

In case you missed any of the ‘Voices from the show’ coverage from the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention, we’ve assembled the entire series in one post here on Beckett.com. Feel free to park it just below the break to watch interviews from dealers, manufacturers, auction houses and other attendees from the show.

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A story about Beckett from a past National …

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Collector Nancy Skaggs stopped by the Beckett booth to tell a story about what she did to take up time while waiting on family members at the National several years ago and how she’ll always remember Beckett because of it. Check it out …

At The National: Ripping Panini wrapper redemption packs & more …

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Beckett Media’s Chris Olds caught up with another collector, Chris Gilmore, to rip a couple of boxes of Panini America products and get his hands on what were arguably the hottest wrapper redemption packs at the show. (You can say that based on what we found in just under 20 packs.)

What will they find inside their boxes of Century Collection and Totally Certified?

What will they land in their redemption packs? Watch and find out …

Voices from the show (Extended): Dennis Swain

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All the way from Anchorage, Alaska, dealer Dennis Swain explains why the eight-hour plane ride to Chicago was well his worth the time and trouble.

Box Busters: Ringside Boxing Round 2

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a pair of Ringside Boxing Round 2 boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011-12 Victory hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2011-12 Victory hockey cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail Retro: 1981 Fleer baseball cards

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds continues his throwback pack-breaking madness as he rips five wax packs of 1981 Fleer baseball — the first Fleer release from the decade where baseball cards truly exploded onto the national consciousness — that were bought on the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Will he eat the 20-year-old gum?

Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail Retro: 1987 Fleer baseball cello packs

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds rips three cello packs of 1987 Fleer baseball — a classic release from the decade — bought on the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Voices from the show (Extended): Marcus Hall

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Collector and Second City conservatory student Marcus Hall stops by The National to discuss the show and open a box of Topps Triple Threads Football for the camera.

At the National: An Absolute SuperCollector

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds caught up with one Absolutely dedicated SuperCollector, Eric Kendrick, who came to the National Sports Collectors Convention on a mission …

What was he looking for? Can you help him finish a challenge?

Watch and find out …

First look: 2011-12 Panini Certified Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The 2011-12 season will be here sooner than most collectors realize. It feels like we only just crowned the Boston Bruins the kings of the NHL, but it’s time to start preparing for the next season of cards.

Panini America has released the first details for 2011-12 Certified Hockey and one of the highlights for collectors is that the product won’t include any Rookie Card TBDs. What you see is what you’re going to get in Certified.

While there is no set release date set yet for Certified, Panini is bringing back many of pieces that made some of their first hockey products a hit. These items include Private Signings autographs with players such as Alex Ovechkin, Don Cherry, Ryan Miller and Felix Potvin. Fabrics of the Game die-cit cards, which will be a different design than last years, and Hot Boxes that will fall one in every eight-count inner case.

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Voices from the show (Extended): Carlos Torrez

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Panini America football brand  manager Carlos Torrez talks about the company’s presence at The National and explains how the NFL lockout has impacted the hobby.

Voices from the show (Extended): Michael Hattley

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Michael Hattley of Touchdown Treasures explains his passion for odd and unusual sports memorabilia — and offers his opinion on why The National should spread its wings to other cities throughout the country.

Second Moneyball teaser poster arrives … this time with more Hollywood

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

As we ramp up our research for the sports movies issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly arriving next month, I found it fitting there was a new discovery on the auction block this morning.

It’s the second teaser one-sheet poster for Moneyball, the Brad Pitt movie based on the book of the same name that is set to arrive in theaters on Sept. 23 (not long after our issue hits newsstands).  While the first teaser poster set a serious tone (and already sits in the living room of this Oakland A’s fan, which reminds me … I still need to find a frame), this one’s a bit more Hollywood as it showcases the movie’s leading man.

While it’s not a final poster — note there’s no release date noted — it’s not uncommon for this to happen. However, multiple posters are often reserved for larger releases, according to Wayne Woodward of MovieGoods.com, a Morrisville, N.C.-based movie memorabilia megadealer.

“Generally speaking, we see posters start to become available anywhere from two to six months before a movie comes out,” Woodward said. “Early ‘teaser’ posters are called advance posters and they’re the first to arrive on the scene (advance posters usually don’t have the credits information in smaller print at the poster bottom).

“The bigger a movie is, the more poster design variations are done and the earlier they come out,” he said. “For example, Harry Potter films are big business so posters for each film start coming out months in advance and with many different designs. A smaller film such as Hall Pass for example will only have one or two poster styles produced.”

We’ll have more on Moneyball closer to its release — and more on plenty of sports movies — but for now we want to know what you have to say about sports movies and their memorabilia … see the questions below.

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.


We’ll be focusing an upcoming issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly on sports movies and the various types of memorabilia found for some of them as well as the ways you can collect the reel-life stars that you see either in the theater or on DVD.

We want to know …

1. What are your favorite sports movies?

2. Do you have any favorite movie items made in the past?

3. What movie props would be dream items for you to own?

4. What might you want to read about for sports movies?

5. What movie tie-ins would you want trading card companies to try?

Leave us a comment or send me an email (address above) …the best responses and stories will be collected and published in the issue.

Game-used With a Cause: The 8D Network

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There’s a new player in the game-used universe as the 8D Network launched earlier this year and made its unveiling official with a presence at the National Sports Collectors Convention last week in Chicago.

Its mission? To help athletes help their own personal causes through the sales of sports memorabilia — game-used and traditional merchandise — while offering fans a common place to find either causes or athletes who are aiming to help others all in one location. The group builds websites, markets them, helps foster the communities and aims to enhance an athlete’s image by getting him or her more involved with their cause and within that community.

The organization, which is an offshoot of the Game-Used Universe company, has several items coming up for auction this fall, including items from San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval and Andres Torres, while other athletes are close to coming on board. Items already set to be available this fall are game-used gloves and jerseys from Sandovall, a Josh Hamilton game-used and signed bat, Chris Chambliss‘ 1976 ALCS home run New York Yankees jersey and Vida Blue‘s 1971 MVP and Cy Young Awards.

We caught up with 8D Auction Director Ed Manguiat on the floor of The National to hear more about the organization — see the video interview above.

We’ll have more in a future issue of Beckett Baseball and/or Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

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 Inception Football

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Beckett Media’s Andrew Tolentino opens a box of 2011 Topps Inception Football — a pack within a box within a wrapper, maybe within a dream.

Random sightings from The National …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

One of the best things about the National Sports Collectors Convention are the surprises that one can find by merely walking the floor.

And it’s got little to do with the items for sale, but rather the people and the items that aren’t up for grabs.

For example, this year’s National marked the first time I actually met Dr. Jim Beckett, the founder of Beckett Media. While he’s no longer involved with the publishing company, he’s still involved with the hobby and charitable endeavors and was soaking up the sights at this year’s show.

Here, he’s caught chatting with Panini America‘s Mike Payne and Carlos Torrez.

See a sampling of a few more sightings after the jump …

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Collector Box Busters: National Treasures at NSCC

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Beckett Media’s Chris Olds caught up with one father-son duo as they ripped a case of National Treasures football cards … here are the fireworks from their final pack.

What was the biggie? Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail Retro: A 1980 Topps cello pack

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds ripped a cello pack of 1980 Topps baseball cards on the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago for yet another Ripping Retail Retro video.

What did he find inside? Did he land a Rickey Henderson?

Watch and find out …

Ripping Retail Retro: Some 1970s Topps basketball

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Beckett Basketball’s Chris Olds ripped a pack of 1970s Topps basketball cards on the floor at the National Sports Collectors Convention just so you could find out what was inside.

What was in it? Watch and find out …

Leaf’s Joe Jackson cut autograph finds a home

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A one-of-a kind “Shoeless” Joe Jackson card was given away by Leaf at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

You’ve read the story … now see it happen.

My moment with “The Man” says it all about Ric Flair

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

If you know your professional wrestling, then the name Ric Flair means plenty.

But if you don’t, you should — and it’s got much more to do with life beyond what happens in the ring or on TV.

He’s regarded as the best wrestler, the best talker and, well, the best bleeder in the world — and that’s just for starters.

There were several guests appearing for photo opportunities and signing autographs at the National Sports Collectors Convention this past week in suburban Chicago, allowing fans of many sports to meet their heroes, get some ink and create a moment that will likely carry with them for some time.

While I was busy working the floor talking to dealers and card company reps (and doing what collectors do, too) for much more to come — and Mr. Tolentino was working finding voices from the show — many a moment occurred. For every autograph signed — just like every dealer’s table — there’s a potential story or two.

However, this fleeting story is mine — mere seconds among the hustle and bustle of a show that had thousands of collectors and fans inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. And, of course, this moment involved “The Nature Boy.”

For those of you who don’t know the essence of Flair, the gimmick, watch the video above from decades ago. Soak up the subtleties of not being so subtle, driving people into arenas where he could put on a show. The clip is one of countless perfect promos that defined his character, his gimmick, while getting the job done. Flair was the world heavyweight champion 16 times back when holding the NWA belt meant you traveled the world competing against every territory’s (every wrestling company’s) best, allowing all the smaller markets, international markets, promoters and fans a glimpse at greatness no matter where they were.

Flair is a relic from the past of professional wrestling — the days before the WWE ruled the land, forever altering its landscape. Then, of course, one should know that Flair has lived his gimmick for decades — and he’s still going for TNA at age 62.

Beyond all that, though, there’s another reason he’s so highly regarded among the wrestling ranks — and my moment showed a mere touch of that as well. It showed how in-person — when not living the high life at the wrestling crew’s hotel bar — he’s as anti-Flair as can be. Meanwhile, there’s nothing he hasn’t accomplished in his profession, and that’s a rare combination — success and humility — something, again, quite anti-Flair.

And that’s why people love him.

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