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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Big Bang Theory autographs coming soon

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Despite being nerdy and not in touch with our reality, the characters on Big Bang Theory are some of the most lovable out there.

Now, fans of the show will be able to relive some of the best moments by collecting Big Bang Theory Trading Cards.

Cryptozoic Entertainment has been working on this set for quite a while, but the company is ready to release the product on Feb. 14 – perhaps a nice Valentine’s Day gift for the big fans out there.

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Brandon Roy’s career is latest to end abruptly

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

When a player retires, card collectors check out their stash to see what they own of the guy calling it quits.

Usually, collectors can prepare for that day as a player gets older and skills begin to diminish. But sometimes a player has to call it quits in what looked to be the prime of their career.

It seems Portland TrailblazersBrandon Roy is in that situation now.

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Baylor sends potential Robert Griffin III collectibles to Heisman Trophy voters

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Colleges and universities have interesting ways of promoting their athletes. Usually, they put out press releases on feel-good stories or how their players helped a charity.

I’ve seen billboards touting football players looking for attention for a Heisman candidate.

This method was new to me.

At the start of the college football season, I got a letter at work. While the return address said Baylor University, the envelope felt familiar in my hands. I could immediately tell there was a top loader inside the white envelope – I was OK with the plain-white-envelope treatment since I didn’t order a card from eBay.

Baylor sent me a trading card of Robert Griffin III. This was just the first of five the school would send me – and I’m assuming other Heisman voters got them throughout the year, too. Read More »

Product preview: 2011-12 Crown Royale Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

When a card design is successful, it’s difficult to replicate that idea without getting stale.

But sometimes a design is so well-received, all it takes is just a minor tweak to make them stand out again to collectors. In Panini America’s 2011-12 Crown Royale Hockey – due out Jan. 18 – the Rookie Silhouettes Rookies Cards seem to be another fan favorite based on early reactions. Read More »

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: Topps prepares 2012 Gold Rush wrapper redemption program

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Next year’s Topps baseball card set will be all about gold, and the company unveiled another aspect of its flagship product line’s hued focus exclusively to Beckett Media on Wednesday.

It’s the 2012 Topps Gold Rush.

While there will  be actual gold found in dem der packs, there also will be Gold Rush cards next year as part of a wrapper redemption program done in conjunction with the MLBPA. It goes along with the online Golden Giveaway, which requires code cards found inside packs and, of course, can found along with cards that contain real gold.

“These images do not do the card justice,” said Topps Director of Sports Brands Clay Luraschi. “These will be full-coverage gold-foil stamped.”

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Panini America halts production to add first Albert Pujols Los Angeles baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America will have the first Los Angeles baseball cards of Albert Pujols — who signed a 10-year, $254-million deal with the Angels on Thursday morning — on the market as it stopped the presses to make the changes to Pujols’ cards which will be found in a product arriving later this month and one arriving in January.

The first card will appear in 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, which arrives at the end of the month. It’s the first release under Panini’s new deal with the MLB Players Association, meaning he can’t be shown in a uniform using MLB logos. (So it’s merely a text change and, yes, a slightly darker shade of red to match the Los Angeles colors.)

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The world is officially crazy about Cam Newton

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor | Commentary


As the eBay bidding closed at $7,956 for a one-of-one autographed Superfractor, one thing became very clear to me. The world has officially gone bonkers for Cam Newton.

From time to time in the hobby, we’ve seen current baseball and hockey players commanding ridiculous cash. And of course, there are a handful of vintage auctions that end in lottery-like numbers. But as far as modern football cards go, the sale of this particular Superfractor is freaking insane. Read More »

Albert Pujols signs with Los Angeles Angels

Want to see Pujols in every MLB uniform? Click here.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Several media outlets are reporting this morning that Albert Pujols – the most-coveted free agent this year and the best hitter in baseball — has signed a 10-year, $250-million-plus contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Does this hurt his baseball card potential? Perhaps not as much as other destinations, but we’ll see once the dust settles. First, though, take our polls … then leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Albert Pujols is a Los Angeles Angel

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On cardboard: Pujols to L.A.

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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 Preview: 2011 Gold Standard

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Beckett Football‘s Andrew Tolentino took a break from holiday decorating only to find a box of 2011 Panini Gold Standard Football underneath the company Christmas tree. Watch to find what presents were waiting inside the gold brick on the day of its release.

Panini America hires new VP of Operations

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America has hired a new Vice President of Operations, the company announced Wednesday, and it’s an individual with substantial industry experience.

The post went to long-time Upper Deck VP of creative services Martin Welling, who was with the company for 18 years. According to the company, Welling will oversee product development, production and creative departments at Panini while reporting to CEO Mark Warsop.

“Martin joins the Panini America team boasting a wealth of experience within our industry,” Warsop said. “Without question, he will be a valuable member of our team.”

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Box Busters: 2011 Topps Triple Threads football

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2011 Topps Triple Threads boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Box Busters: 2011 Topps UFC Moment of Truth

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Join Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2011 Topps UFC Moment of Truth boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Retro Box Busters: 2006-07 USA Baseball box set

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds as he rips into a 2006-07 USA Baseball box set in this latest retro ripping edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

UD hockey roundup: Four new products coming

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Hockey collectors looking for news have come to the right place. Upper Deck has released a slew of information on upcoming 2011-12 products.

Four to be exact: SP Authentic, Upper Deck Series 2, SPx and Black Diamond.

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Updated: Massive stash of 2001 Donruss Elite Pujols RCs hits auction block via Heritage

Dec. 5 Update: The lot did not meet its reserve and is presently for sale with a buy-it-now price of … $119,500.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

How many Albert Pujols Rookie Cards do you own?

Need a few more … about 315 more?

Now’s your chance as a massive stash of 2001 Donruss Elite Pujols RCs have hit the block via Heritage Auctions. The lot of 315 cards is pretty outrageous … considering just 1,000 serial-numbered copies of the card were produced — 900 standard cards and 100 autographed Turn of the Century versions.

“This opportunity to control such a significant percentage of one of the most important trading cards of the 21st century is unprecedented in the collecting hobby,” said Chris Ivy, Heritage’s Director of Sports Auctions. “We can only imagine what the value of this collection will be once Albert has rewritten the record books at the close of his career.”

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Ever been interested in working in the hobby?

Here’s a question we get often … and here’s the answer for those who have wondered of late.

Q: I love the hobby and always wanted to work for Beckett. Do you have any job openings?

A: While we don’t necessarily have any immediate openings, we’re always looking for experienced hobbyists to contribute to our publications and to our pricing efforts. If you think you have a great story idea, are a freelance writer with a unique collecting experience, or would just like to tell us about your best pack pull, simply email us at readersrock@beckett.com.

If you’re interested in our pricing efforts and have the knowledge to contribute analysis and market insight on a part-time or even full-time basis, please email us, complete with your resume, at careers@beckett.com.

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 13

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. Drew Brees, Demaryius Thomas and T.J. Yates round our selections for NFL Week 13. Here’s why… Read More »

Guest column: Santo is right for Cooperstown

By Stan Carlberg | Guest Commentary

Ron Santo‘s “Golden Era” ticket into the National Baseball Hall of Fame had been a long time coming for one of the greatest ambassadors the game has ever known.

This morning’s announcement is sure to satisfy a legion of Cubs fans who followed the late Santo’s playing and broadcasting career.

Sure, Santo may not have compiled the greatest career stats as compared to his new comrades in Cooperstown, but his character, boyish enthusiasm and overall contributions to the game that go well beyond his playing days make him more than worthy of being a permanent resident alongside his Chicago contemporaries Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ferguson Jenkins.

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Topps makes good on Aflac numbering miscue

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps announced Monday a free authentication and grading program for some new baseball autographed cards that were released recently without a key way to assure that they are real and not unsigned cards that have had fake autographs added to them.

The cards are the seven Aflac autographs found in 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects which were released without serial-numbering to differentiate them from the unsigned cards that were given to the pubic during the prep all-star event.

The players are Archie Bradley, Dylan Bundy, Larry Greene, Travis Harrison, Francisco Lindor, Robert Stephenson and Blake Swihart.

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Moneyball coming to DVD in early January

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Opening Day might be a few months away, but there’s another chance to examine more baseball soon as Moneyball arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on Jan. 10, according to Sony Home Pictures Entertainment which announced the news on Friday.

The Brad Pitt film based on the story of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane and chronicling the team’s magical 2002 season is the No. 3 highest-grossing baseball film, trailing only A League of Their Own and The Rookie.

The DVD arrives two weeks before this year’s Oscar nominations are announced.

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Beckett bids farewell to Tim Trout

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After 12 years of service, Beckett Hockey Price Guide analyst and Racing editor Tim Trout has decided to leave the building, but not the hobby.

Today will be Trout’s last day with the company as he prepares to take on his new role with Panini America. Instead of hunting down checklists and tracking sales on the secondary market, he’ll be on the other side helping to develop products for hockey and other sports.

His talent and time will truly be missed at the Beckett office, but we are genuinely excited to see what he makes of his hobby experience on the manufacturing side.

When a piece of cardboard satisfies …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

For years, I had a personal rule that I never spent more than $15 on a single baseball card — period.

Then, of course, came memorabilia cards and certified autographs … and that changed some things.

In the past, I never had a problem spending money on wax as that’s how much of my collection was built — well, that and trading. But that also meant that much of my collection reflected more current years — you know, the ones this thirtysomething can actually remember.

Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of cards from a broader era of collecting — the Topps years — mostly stuff obtained via trades and smaller lot buys. But pre-war cards? I might own a dozen — mostly because of buybacks found in packs of Topps 205 and Allen & Ginter and other small-dollar purchases. Pre-war cards were just never an affordable priority.

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First look: UD 2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Basketball fans should get ready for a blast from the past from Upper Deck.

The company is bringing back Fleer Retro Basketball for a new season, featuring many stars in college uniforms on card designs from more than a decade ago.

The base set will consist of 50 regular cards and 33 rookie sensations, including many of the rookies fans have patiently waited to watch during the lockout such as Jimmer Fredette.

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Preview Gallery: 2011 Elite Extra Edition autos

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The arrival of the first Panini America baseball card set under its new deal with the MLB Players Association is just weeks away.

Today, we have for you a few exclusive preview images of autographed prospect cards to be found in 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition once the boxes start arriving 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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Memory Lane Inc. set to auction six-figure Plank

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A PSA 5 Eddie Plank T206 card is among the treasures up for sale in Memory Lane Inc.’s Winter Classics Auction which opens on Saturday.

A lower-grade copy of the card — one of the rarest cards from one of the most widely collected sets of the early 1900s — sold for more than $90,000 in a sale by the Tustin, Calif.-based auction house earlier this year, meaning this one should fetch six-figures easily.

The card is one of many key pre-war releases found in the event.

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