Monthly Archives: September 2011

Steve Delabar’s first cards came long before debut

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Steve Delabar. If you don’t know the name, don’t worry — you’re not alone.

But if you’re still watching the Seattle Mariners this time of year, you probably know him as a rookie pitcher who made his big-league debut last week. Again, if you’re not familiar there’s no reason to panic — he merely pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the last-place Mariners against the Kansas City Royals in that first game and picked up his first big-league win three days later with another scoreless inning. This time, it was against the New York Yankees.

But what makes Delabar interesting?

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First look: 2011 Topps Five Star Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Topps Five Star Football is back. Returning to defend its title, the reigning football product of the year is scheduled to make its sophomore debut in mid February, 2012.

Ultra-premium 2011 Topps Five Star Football headlines the manufacturer’s greatest of gridiron offerings with four on-card autographs and one jumbo jersey or patch card per pack. Of course, this information merely scratches the surface for high-end hobbyists and cardboard whale hunters.

More details and a first-glance opinion poll after the jump.

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The Force is strong with this odd MLB-approved piece

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror over a Blu-Ray DVD edit,” I thought to myself. “I fear something remarkable has happened for sports fans, though.”

Those were my thoughts when I finally got my hands on a remarkably odd piece of new officially licensed Major League Baseball memorabilia on Saturday while all the other Star Wars geeks around the globe were busy watching their new DVDs.

What is it? It was proof that The Beard is even cool in Carbonite.

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Weekly Highlights (Sept. 12 – Sept. 15)

This week in Panini producing baseball cards

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First looks and sneak peeks of the week

Box Busters: 2010-11 Dominion Hockey Cards

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Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino rip into a box/pack of 2010-11 Dominion Hockey. What will they find inside Panini’s highest-of-high-end 2010-11 hockey product? Watch and find out.

Be sure to check out the image gallery after the jump.

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Beckett Baseball Bonus: Videos from the Panini & MLBPA news conference

Thanks for reading the December issue of Beckett Baseball and coming here for multimedia relating to the issue’s cover story and main package. This is a compilation of the videos from editor Chris Olds during the Panini news conference announcing its deal with the MLBPA.

See the videos after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2011 Topps Platinum Football Cards

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Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino rip into two boxes of 2011 Topps Platinum Football. What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

As with the previous Box Busters video, we apologize for the poor quality of card close-ups in this episode. Take a better look at the gallery after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2011 Finest Football Cards

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Beckett Media’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino rip into two boxes of 2011 Topps Finest Football. What will they find inside? Watch to find out.

We apologize for the poor quality of card close-ups in this edition of Box Busters. Please see the gallery after the jump for better images.

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Josh Hamilton has come full circle on cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

ARLINGTON, Texas | Texas Rangers outfielder and reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton is the new face of Panini America‘s baseball card line after a deal between the Texas-based collectibles company and the Major League Baseball Players Association was unveiled on Thursday.

And that meant he got paid to talk about baseball cards with the assembled media — you don’t get that all too often — but he also talked about a little more, something that should really bring home the place that baseball cards just might have for many.

Hamilton — who arrived at the Arlington Sheraton alone and noticeably early for the early afternoon affair, asking Panini’s crew “Am I in the right place?” in a rather low-key fashion — started with the formalities, of course, once things got going.

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Panini reaches its goal faster than expected

Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton signs his first Panini America card while CEO Mark Warsop watches after the formal announcement was made on Thursday in Arlington, Texas. (Panini photo)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

ARLINGTON, Texas | Panini America‘s goal when it first entered the United States’ sports collectibles market in 2009 was to have a presence in all four major sports.

It has that as of Thursday with its multi-year deal with the Major League Baseball Players Association unveiled at a news conference with representatives from the MLBPA and reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton on hand as the new face of the company’s products.

It’s been a whirlwind affair for Panini America CEO Mark Warsop.

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BREAKING: Panini lands MLBPA baseball card license

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

ARLINGTON, Texas | If you wanted more baseball cards, you’re getting them — and you’re getting them soon.

Panini America and the Major League Baseball Players Association have signed a multi-year deal giving the Texas-based division of the world’s largest collectibles company the right to make MLBPA-approved baseball cards beginning this year.

The company just made a formal announcement of the deal Thursday afternoon in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers, with reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton on hand to discuss his role with the company as a spokesman along with MLBPA Director of Licensing and Business Development Evan Kaplan and Panini America CEO Mark Warsop.

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Panini joins forces with Pepsi for NFL Rookie of the Week promotion

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

No cheeseburger. Panini, Panini, Panini, Pepsi.

In an ideal world, John Belushi would still be around to re-create his classic SNL sketch for the purpose of promoting Panini America‘s partnership with the other cola maker. Yesterday, the Texas-based card company unveiled its role  in a cooperative effort to promote Pepsi’s NFL Rookie of the Week program.

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First look: 2011 Panini Plates & Patches Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Playing up the holiday-stocking-stuffer potential for its mid-December release, Panini America gifted the hobby with a 2011 Plates & Patches preview today.

Complete with new hard-signed, prime-memorabilia Rookie Cards and Signal Callers inserts, 2011-tweaked Plates & Patches hits shelves on Dec. 14 — which leaves plenty of time for Santa to get  his act together.

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First look: 2011 Topps Precision Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Now with football season in full swing, Topps is set to add yet another hobby-exclusive brand to its 2011 lineup.

Yesterday, the manufacturer released details about 2011 Topps Precision — a one-autograph (or autograph Relic)-per-pack product scheduled for a late-January drop date. Featuring fatness, each pack also contains three 72-point stock base cards and the chance to snag various ink versions of all-on-card rookie signatures.

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Willie Mays to sign autographs for Topps

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Legendary Hall of Famer Willie Mays will sign autographs for Topps products next year.

This marks the first time since 2004 that the Say Hey Kid will sign for Topps, according to Beckett’s database.

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Topps gets in on the Nicktoons MLB Action

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Nicktoons MLB video game from 2K Sports arrives in stores today with a little something extra that just might create a collecting challenge for a few.

Each specially marked copy of the game comes with a pack of Topps baseball cards.

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Press Pass releases short print info for 2011 FanFare


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Racing fans just got an update from one of their most recently released sets as Press Pass announced the short prints from 2011 Press Pass FanFare.

This product is one of the higher-end products when it comes to racing, though it’s making its debut here. Each pack runs $19.99 with five cards per, but there is at least one autograph or race-used memorbilia card in every pack.

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Topps adds final four signers to autograph checklist in 2011 Bowman Draft

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects set to release in two months, Topps has finalized the autograph prospect list.

The four final players added to the list Monday included three of the top 10 picks from the 2011 MLB First-Year Draft.

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Hobby related or not, how do you remember 9/11?

By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor | Commentary

Today is Sept. 12, 2011 — 10 years and one day after the tragic series of events that shocked and changed the world as we know it.

Due to a major outage on Beckett.com that occurred over the weekend, we were unable to commemorate the heroes, victims and families on the actual 10-year anniversary date. That being said, the memories from the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 are real and not bound by a specific calendar day.

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Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 1

By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager

Well, it’s finally here — the start of the NFL season, the best time of the year.

And with the new season comes our take on the weekend’s top on-field performances from the perspective of a collector. So every Monday morning throughout the season, we’ll pick a rookie, veteran and breakout player of the week. Here are our selections for NFL week one.

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Panini provides the first 2010-11 Dominion video break

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By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

While visiting the manufacturer’s crosstown printing facility, Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler and Karvin Cheung sat down to sample the sealed goods from 2010-11 Dominion.  The two company officials tore into three boxes of Panini’s highest-high-end hockey product to  reveal  a close look at the formidable formula that goes live on Sept. 14.

Real-life Nike MAGs auction takes us ‘Back to the Future’ for a cause: Which company will buy a pair?

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By Andrew Tolentino | BSCM Editor

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 24 hours, you’ve probably caught wind of a certain self-lacing shoe making worldwide headlines.

On Wednesday at a Nike-hosted media event in Los Angeles, the company corroborated buzz caused by rumors and a certain YouTube video that featured Marty McFly‘s vault-like closet filled with the futuristic kicks. Complete with glowing LED panels and an electroluminescent brand name on the straps, the 2011 Nike MAGs are doppelgangers in design and (basically) in function. But in fact, the future is here for a greater cause.

Supporting The Michael J. Fox Foundation (whose figurehead appeared last night on “Late Show with David Letterman”), Nike will be auctioning off 1,500 pairs of its real-life MAG model in a 10-day eBay auction.

Between Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m. CST and Sept. 18, the company will list 150 pairs per day on eBay’s fashion vault. With the help of a $50 million match grant, all net proceeds will be doubled and directly donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

As the video above explains, this is an epic experiment that has already garnered the star power of Kevin Durant, Bill Hader, and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown himself. Just as the auction went live, the campaign became centered around Back4thefuture.com, where Nike directed readers to learn more about the shoes, the scope of the project and even donate to the cause.

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There he goes: Green Bay’s Randall Cobb becomes first rookie to make noise this season

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

If you weren’t watching the Green Bay Packers too closely tonight, you may have missed Randall Cobb’s 108-yard NFL record-tying kick return for a touchdown.

Thankfully, the Packers second-round draft pick out of Kentucky has enough cards out already so you won’t miss those with just a glimpse.

We’re talking 389 cards in just 2011 so far, according to Beckett’s database.

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One for the Flutie SuperCollectors out there …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

A new NFL season is officially upon us and that means some of us collectors are checking out team websites to see what kinds of game-used and autographed memorabilia may be available to the masses from a pretty trustable source.

I made it through four team shops before I found this gem that will cost you a whopping $10 (plus shipping) straight from the New England Patriots.

As you can see, it’s definitely not a Tom Brady or Danny Woodhead autograph but there’s some NFL history here, despite it being an autograph of a rookie member of the Patriots cheerleading squad.

Her name is Alexa Flutie — and you just might recognize her name if you’re a football fan.

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A patriotic piece of Packers memorabilia straight from Lambeau Field

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

As we march toward the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a new NFL season here this evening with the Packers-Saints game, one new piece of one-of-a-kind memorabilia up for grabs each and every week has a bit more appeal now than it might in different days.

It’s an American flag flown over the south end of Lambeau Field at every Green Bay Packers home game this season.

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First look: 2011-12 Pinnacle Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Busy primping its pinnacle 2010-11 product (Dominion), Panini America managed to deliver details about its actual Pinnacle brand.

The manufacturer previewed 2011-12 Pinnacle, noting that “the longstanding staple will pack several new enhancements when it release[s] to the hobby.” In addition to the staples that make the staple, the forthcoming release will also include an Ice Breakers Rookie Card aesthetic with a Nufex twist, six-piece memorabilia cards dubbed “Starting 6 Threads” and rare-how-rare?-one-per-case-rare Pinnacle Black hits.

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Box Busters: 2011 ITG Canadiana

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2011 ITG Canadiana cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

(Note: The autographs are on stickers, not on-card.)

Winner or loser Poll: 2011 Topps Chrome Sepias

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

When I heard about these cards, I liked the idea.

When I saw these cards — particularly the autographed ones — I liked them even more.

And I bet they’ll look even better in-person.

What are they? The new Sepia Refractors in 2011 Topps Chrome — a new creation for this year that just might have some potential staying power.

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Ripping Retail: 2011 Topps Chrome Baseball Value Pack

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a 2011 Topps Chrome baseball value pack in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Giveaway brings back lost art … trading simply

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

From the Just for Fun file …

Collecting confession time: I’ve been spending way too much time doing something lately that I really haven’t done this heavily — and this haphazardly — since about 1992.

What have I been doing? Trading baseball cards.

But I haven’t been trading the old-fashioned way, either — and I haven’t had to organize or handle a single card. (That’s waaayyy too much work — and waaayyy too time-consuming.) I’ve been trading by parking it at my desk after work and making trade offer after trade offer for cards the old-fashioned way — without worrying about a card’s worth, without worrying about condition, without haggling with a single person, really — on the Topps Diamond Giveaway site.

All it takes there is a code, a pick and click — no post office trips, stamps, envelopes or anything else.

And it’s addicting.

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Topps clarifies Chrome USA Baseball redemption mistake

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Collectors ripping into boxes of 2011 Topps Chrome baseball cards arriving today may find a redemption card for a set of USA Baseball cards.

That ain’t happening, according to Topps, as the company announced Wednesday that there was a mistake with the redemptions and previously announced sales materials.

Instead, the redemptions are good for a single pack of USA cards containing as many as six members of the 22-player squad.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 The Cup

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2010-11 The Cup hockey cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps celebrates Stephen Strasburg’s return with additions to 2011 Bowman Sterling

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps knows how big of a deal its exclusive player Stephen Strasburg was for baseball — and the hobby as a whole last year — before his injury.

Simply put, he sold a lot of baseball cards.

Now that he’s back from a career-threatening arm injury and ready to make his first start in more than a year for the Washington Nationals tonight (weather-permitting), Topps is hoping for one more thing from their exclusive signer — that he’ll cap his sophomore season with four strong starts and …  sell a lot of baseball cards.

Where might that be? In the forthcoming 2011 Bowman Sterling.

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Stephen Strasburg returns Tuesday … you ready?

Update: The day is here … any predictions? Leave yours in a comment …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

He’s baaaaaack.

Exactly 368 days after it was revealed that he would need season-ending and career-threatening Tommy John elbow-ligament replacement surgery, Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg‘s MLB return was confirmed Tuesday evening.

He’ll be back on the mound next Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers as long as his final minor-league rehab start this Thursday goes all as planned.

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Weekly Highlights (Aug. 29 – Sept. 2)

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This week in ‘Pulling with Everyday People’


First looks and sneak peeks of the week


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Box Busters


Questions and contests of the week

  • Win a copy  of Nicktoons MLB video game
  • Your turn: What one baseball card is the worst ever?

R.I.P. Wade Belak

  • 80 Total cards
  • 8 Memorabilia cards
  • 3 Rookie Cards
  • 5 Autograph cards

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