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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Box Busters: 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions hockey cards. What did they find in this happy hobby Halloween edition of Box Busters? Watch and find out.

Lack of terrifying trading cards haunts the hobby

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

The following ran as an editor’s note in Beckett Football No. 250, but it’s worth another look,  considering all the ghouls, goblins, and other strange creatures roaming the streets tonight.

I just couldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t make my annual push for the return of the seasonally sensational Monsters of the Gridiron cards.

During the early ‘90s, Coca-Cola partnered with the NFL to “monsterize” some of football’s brightest stars on cardboard. Unfortunately, the frightful fun came to an end after Classic (Scoreboard) released the gridiron ghouls in pinhead form at the 1995 NFL Experience show.

Requiring players to don elaborate skill-themed monster costumes, the process was presumably pretty pricy, to say the least. But now with Photoshop and other digital trickery at our fingertips, wouldn’t it be nice to see some company, any company revisiting this treat?  Read More »

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 8

By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Christian Ponder, Fred Davis and Ben Roethlisberger round out our selections for NFL Week 8. Here’s why… Read More »

We hope St. Louis Cardinals fans enjoy this one … Beckett’s World Series commemorative issue

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If it’s been a little quiet around here on Beckett.com/news, we have a reason … we just put another print project to bed.

In the printer’s hands now — and sure to be in yours soon — is the latest Beckett Presents title, Cardinals: 2011 World Champs. It’s a 100-page, full-color recap of the team’s World Series run that ended with a win in Game 7 on Friday night.

Inside, you’ll find a spread for every game the Cardinals played this postseason en route to their 11th championship in franchise history. You’ll also find spreads with bios and basic information for all of the team’s starters along with their regular-season stats, their baseball card values and more.

See a hint of what’s inside the magazine after the jump …

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David Freese’s autographs aren’t plentiful

David Freese's Game 6 World Series jersey. (MLB Public Relations photo)

By Chris Olds  | Beckett Baseball Editor

Cardinals third baseman David Freese‘s jersey may have been left in tatters after his game-winning home run in the bottom of the 11th Thursday night in St. Louis, but interest in his baseball cards have to be at an all-time high.

According to the Beckett.com database, Freese appears on just 148 cards with a total value of just $1,337.55 for those not too scarce to track and price. He appears on just 11 Rookie cards and has just 14 certified autographs.

Oh, and memorabilia cards? He’s got none — but his teammates might have thought they were helping out Topps or Panini by starting the shredding on his jersey during his home run celebration at home plate. The jersey, above, has been authenticated by MLB with one employee joking that “It’ll just need more than one sticker.” Meanwhile, the bat — and the jersey — are headed to Cooperstown.

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Panini teases more info on Donruss Elite Extra Edition

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s return to MLBPA-approved baseball cards got a little closer to reality on Friday as the company released the basic product information for its first product under its new deal, 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition.

Set to arrive on Dec. 21, each 20-pack box will include six autographs. Meanwhile, four Hot Boxes per 20-box case will include 10 autographs. For those not quick enough to do the math, that’s 136 autographs per case.

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A buggy surprise: Upper Deck reveals short-prints for Entomology cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

As Halloween draws near, so many things can give you creepy crawlies. How about a bunch of bugs?

Just in time for the holiday, Upper Deck revealed the Entomology short-prints from 2011 Goodwin Champions.

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Commentary: Rangers might not be lone-star team after World Series win tonight

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

It’s no secret that, on cardboard, the Texas Rangers have one player who stands out from the rest in the hobby and on the national stage — that’s Josh Hamilton.

While a win tonight in Game 6 of the World Series just might change that for the long-term — and we’ve seen signs of success with some of the team’s younger stars’ cards and memorabilia of late — there was another sign that the Rangers are still a team with more potential hobby stars than established ones when Steiner Sports offered a Texas Rangers autographed baseball to the masses on Thursday.

It wasn’t an autograph of All-Star second baseman and 30-30 Club member Ian Kinsler. It wasn’t an autograph of slick-fielding All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus. It wasn’t a ball signed by ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz because of his countless home runs. It was an autograph of team CEO and president Nolan Ryan.

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Topps adds top rookies’ 1/1s to Diamond Giveaway site

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps has added 40 new 1/1 diamond cards to its Diamond Giveaway site, according to a company announcement on Thursday.

The diamond-embedded cards will be from 2011 Topps Update and can be found using Diamond Giveaway codes found in packs of Update as well as 2011 Topps Series 1 and 2.

Among the players added? Notable rookies Dustin Ackley, Mike Trout, Eric Hosmer and Michael Pineda. See them all — after the jump.

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Nutty question: Should the rally squirrel get a 2012 Topps baseball card?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

It’s now or never for the Rally Squirrel as the St. Louis Cardinals must win Game 6 of the World Series tonight at Busch Stadium in St. Louis to stay alive and force a final game against the Texas Rangers.

We may be nuts, but we have to wonder … will the famed rodent with more than 28,300 followers on Twitter end up having a baseball card in the 2012 Topps set? We’ve imagined it above … We can think of a few collectors — and maybe some tweeters — who would squirrel these cards away faster than you can say “Rocky & Bullwinkle.” And, well, we can think of others who might not.

But this card could happen … a squirrel has had a baseball card before, and the Poley Walnuts 2007 Topps Update card is still a winner. See it — and take our Rally Squirrel poll — after the jump.

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Can’t get enough Bryce Harper? Find a value box …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For those of you who have chased Bryce Harper cards this year but have come up short in your quest to find a card of the Washington Nationals’ teenage prospect, there’s another shot out there with some pretty good odds.

As in one in three … for one particular shade of Harper.

Overall, though, he’s guaranteed in every single box.

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First Look: 2011-12 SPx Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Leaking more details about its upcoming lineup, Upper Deck recently divulged details about2011-12 SPx Hockey.

Collectors will have to wait until late January – early February to break the updated brand, but the specs and highlights should suffice for now.
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A belated apology to an Adrian Peterson card

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Beckett Football editor Andrew Tolentino recently found himself on the losing end of a friendly wager he made on the Beckett Media Facebook page, and this is his comeuppance.

Congratulations to collector (and Sooner supporter) Lee Patton who won the 2011 Texas-OU weekend “Destroy Tolentino’s Vince Young card” contest.


A&E’s Yankeeography set impresses in packaging alone

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

As Major League Baseball is on the cusp of crowning its latest World Series champion and Beckett Media‘s Holiday Gift Guide issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly is being readied for a trip to the printer, it was fitting that I received a certain piece of mail on Wednesday morning.

It was a 16-DVD Yankeeography megaset (which I won in a contest online) from A&E — a collection that highlights the 27-time World Series champs and their greatest players.

While I haven’t even gotten to the 44 hours of content on the DVDs — got some work on a World Series magazine to do before that can happen — just flipping through the 32-page book that houses the discs themselves is a lesson in Yankee lore and quite an impressive printing and packaging display.

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Box Busters: 2011 Bowman Chrome

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2011 Bowman Chrome boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out…

The road to the ‘Road to the NHL Winter Classic’ DVD

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Come December, hockey fans will be looking forward to the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, but HBO will be offering a look back at last year’s ride.

With the release of 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic — a four-part, behind-the-scenes series,  the home entertainment powerhouse is bringing the action to DVD. Headlined by trading card titans Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the detailed drama of both teams comes to a compelling climax on the outdoor rink in Pittsburgh.

This marks the first time that the Emmy-award-winning HBO Sports team has joined forces with the NHL — and the end result should be epic. The DVD hits shelves on Dec. 6, but be sure to stay tuned to Beckett.com and Beckett Hockey for a chance to win a copy.

Ron Washington’s personal redemption comes with yet another World Series appearance … maybe more

With Ron Washington‘s Texas Rangers primed to potentially win the World Series with just one more win this season, it’s interesting to think about the fact that, not long ago, his future as the team’s manager was once in question.

Take a look back at commentary piece from March 17, 2010, after the jump, and notice the way he apologized — with no excuses.

Meanwhile, now he’s on the cusp of being on top of his profession.

There’s something to be said for that — a lot — and that says plenty about Ron Washington today. — Chris Olds

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Monday Morning Collector: Week 7

By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a rundown on why collectors should take notice. Tim Tebow, DeMarco Murray and Drew Brees round out our selections for Week 7. Here’s why…

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First impressions: 2012 Topps Marquee baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps has teased what its Topps Marquee baseball set will look like next year by releasing a few mocked up card images for the second edition of the high-end line coming in 2012.

While we’re still letting this year’s version sink in, it looks like they might be a winner — but we want to know what you think. Tell us in a comment or on our poll. You also can see additional images after the jump.

Love it or hate it: 2012 Topps Marquee

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Theo Epstein’s deal is done … is The Curse of the Billy Goat next?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Theo Epstein, the man who built the Boston Red Sox into a World Series winner and killed The Curse of The Bambino, has traded one curse for another.

He’s now officially the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs.

Epstein is one of few MLB executives to have appeared on a baseball card — eight in the Beckett.com database. (He was set to sign 200 cards for Topps‘ Fan Favorites sets in 2005 and 2006 — cards still listed as redemptions in the database — but I don’t believe he signed.) Read More »

First look: 2012 Topps Opening Day baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Opening Day is 165 days away but if you can’t wait that long, you can pick up Opening Day — from Topps – on March 7.

The company unveiled the newest installment of the low-priced baseball card offering on Friday, a product that will include 220 cards in the base set, an insert card in every pack and more.

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2012 UFC Knockout going beyond the cardboard

By SUSAN LULGJURAJ | Contributing Editor

When you open 2012 UFC Knockout, don’t cringe at the redemption card.

Read the fine print.

Because there are redemptions in 2012 UFC Knockout for whole memorabilia pieces – not cards.

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Do you own Alexi Ogando’s first baseball card and not even know it?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Texas Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando probably isn’t a household name, but he was an All-Star this season and a key piece of the puzzle for the team’s return trip to the World Series.

But there’s another puzzling bit of Ogando’s story that comes via cardboard … you see although he pitched in 44 games last season for the American League champs, he hadn’t appeared on a single MLB card until some of this year’s Topps releases — meaning he was a star on the field before he even had a bonafide Rookie Card.

Now, he’s got several — all of which are competing for collectors’ attention as his team has an eye on its first World Series championship. So, which one is a winner? I’ll leave that one for the prospectors and wheelers/dealers. The card that caught my attention Wednesday night when Ogando was on the mound during Game 1 actually came from way back in 2004 when Ogando was still an outfield prospect for the Oakland A’s known as Alexis Ogano.

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Topps readies World Series commemorative card set

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Whichever team wins, Topps has it covered.

The lone fully licensed manufacturer of MLB trading cards unveiled its plans for a World Series commemorative team set on Wednesday, just hours before the first pitch of Game 1 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers.

Whether it’s the Rangers or the Cardinals emerging victorious, Topps will release a 27-card set featuring the champions. There will be 20 player cards, one manager card and two highlight cards apiece from the League Division and Championship Series as well as two World Series highlight cards.

The sets will carry a $9.99 suggested retail price and will be in stores by Nov. 23.

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: 2011 Topps Finest baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2011 Topps Finest boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …