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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Auction Watch: The sweet smell of socks-cess?


You might not think that a pair of stirrup socks would be worth one’s time at auction … but this dynamic duo proved that notion wrong last fall when they appeared on the auction block via Heritage Auctions.

What makes them so special? They were worn by New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig.

While the use of the items is not known – the color scheme is not of the New York Yankees or with the other items that Heritage sold that were once in The Iron Horse’s possession – they still got the attention of 13 bidders … and sold for $8,962.50. — Chris Olds

Look for more items just like this every month in the new-look Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Auction Watch department.


Monday Morning Collector: Conference Championships

By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager

Every Monday morning throughout the regular season, we selected our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week with a run down on why collectors should take notice. For the postseason we’ll select three standout players for each round. Here are our picks for the conference championship round of the 2011 NFL Playoffs. Read More »

A Look at Joe Paterno’s limited card legacy

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

As many continue to mourn and contemplate the loss of legendary Joe Paterno, the collecting world offers its cardboard tribute.

As many hobbyists may have already discovered, JoePa’s legacy on trading cards is a mere speck in comparison to his legacy at Penn State and beyond. Paterno — who died on Sunday at the age of 85 — had undoubtedly been blemished by the unspeakable abuse scandal. However, his 18-card hobby presence was too limited to see a significant dip in value.
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Ripping Retail: 2011 Press Pass Legends

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Join Chris Olds as he rips into a pack of 2011 Press Pass Legends racing in this latest installment of Ripping Retail.

What did he find inside? Watch and find out …

Panini, Topps create cards for NFLPA Collegiate Bowl participants

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Some of the top college football players competed in the NFLPA Bowl on Saturday night. While the players are working toward the NFL Draft and received national exposure, they also received a memento to take home with them.

The players got their first licensed trading card.

Panini America and Topps spent the week at the Rose Bowl in California working with almost 100 athletes to get cards organized, snap pictures and making sure cards get signed as well.

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Panini readies Contenders for Feb. 22 release

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America released the basic box breakdown information and additional preview images for its forthcoming 2011 Playoff Contenders baseball card set on Friday, the second of its MLBPA-approved products and the first to have a deeper MLB player presence inside.

Now scheduled to arrive on Feb. 22, Contenders will include six autographs per 24-pack box with two of those featuring 0n-card sigs. It also will include the first Panini signatures of spokesman Josh Hamilton and NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.

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Box Busters: 2011-12 ITG Enforcers

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As pr0mised in our preview from earlier this afternoon, we leave you this weekend with a new episode of Box Busters featuring In The Game’s newly-released Enforcers product. Watch as Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck and Andrew Tolentino tear into two pack/boxes.

Box Busters: 2011-12 Black Diamond

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Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck and Andrew Tolentino tear into a box of 2011-12 Black Diamond hockey cards. How many diamonds did they dig? Watch and find out.

Box Busters Preview: 2011-12 ITG Enforcers

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Fresh from a two-box break of In The Game’s newly-released Enforcers line, I’m naturally in the mood to pull up a few great hockey fights on YouTube. But before it gets gory,  and while the forthcoming Box Busters video finishes processing, here’s a quick look at what we just pulled from the somewhat controversial set:

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Beckett Basketball Poll: Blake Griffin or Derrick Rose … who you got?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

In the next issue of Beckett Basketball, we’re going to ask a simple question that might not be so simple for collectors to answer.

We want to know what you think right here with a couple of online polls.

The main question … who do you collect, reigning league MVP Derrick Rose or reigning Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin?

Griffin or Rose: Who you got?

View Results

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Take the poll and let us know why you voted the way you did in the comments below …

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

First Look: 2012 Topps Tier One baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled the basic product information and preview images for the sophomore release of Tier One on Thursday, a second installment of the high-end brand that will arrive in June.

Each pack will include three hits — one Crowd Pleaser autograph or one of three other options — a multi-signed autograph card, an autographed Relic or a cut signature. In addition, every pack will include one On The Rise autograph and a Relic numbered to 399 or fewer copies when it hits hobby shops on June 18.

Every fourth pack will include all of that and a bonus Relic, while every 12-pack case will include a Top Tier autograph.

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Topps answers eTopps cancellation questions

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

When Topps announced it was canceling its eTopps program last week, the brief statement left more questions than answers for collectors.

And judging by the reaction from collectors, it was a disappointing end — even if the value of most cards dwindled over the years.

Knowing that collectors still had many questions, Topps released a Q&A on its website Thursday in hopes to shed some light as to why the program was canceled and some of its future digital plans.

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Memory Lane Inc. begins massive break of key vintage baseball sets


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The breaking of a massive collection of high-grade vintage baseball cards has begun through Memory Lane Inc. with more than 4,000 key cards from baseball’s golden years available to collectors.

Believed to be one of the biggest offerings ever made at one time, the Tustin, Calif.-based company will be handling sales of everything from tobacco cards of the early 1900s to high-grade rarities from the 1950s and 1960s. All of the cards have been graded by PSA and were amassed as sets through years of collecting from one serious fan of the game. (The first portion of the haul can be viewed by clicking here.)

The second-year Mickey Mantle Bowman card above, for example, carries a $16,500, pricetag and is just one of 11 cards to be slabbed a PSA 9 — only two cards have ever graded higher.

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Mr. Hockey is back In The Game

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Howe about that?

Adding allure to its upcoming Heroes & Prospects release, In The Game revealed that a certain Gordie Howe will be making a long-awaited return to the company’s 2012 product lineup.

“It has been several years since Mr. Howe was prominently featured as part of In The Game’s products and we are incredibly pleased to be working with him once again,” explained ITG President Dr. Brian Price. “Our working relationship goes back even farther than that and collectors will be pleased to have an opportunity to get more cards of one of hockey’s greatest icons.” Read More »

Japanese star Yu Darvish signs with Rangers (updated)

Jan. 18 Update: Darvish has signed a six-year $60-million deal, according to ESPN.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One of Japan’s most successful professional pitchers just might be on his way to Major League Baseball as the Texas Rangers have won the bidding rights for Yu Darvish of the NPB’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and now have 30 days to sign him to a big-league deal.

In the past five seasons, the 6-foot-5 right-hander has compiled a 76-28 record with a 1.72 ERA and 1,083 strikeouts in 1,024-plus innings of work. The Rangers bid? A record $51.7 million — for the right to try and sign him.

His 2005 BBM Japanese Rookie Cards have been consistent sellers of late, but his hottest cards should already be recognizable to American collectors as he appears on nearly 80 cards made by Topps for the World Baseball Classic in its 2009 products.

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Danica Patrick’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie Card arrives in 2012 Total Memorabilia

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Danica Patrick has been popular ever since she came on to the professional racing scene. This year, her brand takes another jump when she will race full-time on the NASCAR Nationwide Series and also a limited scheduled in the Sprint Cup Series, the highest form of racing in the United States.

Like most years, Patrick’s racing cards will be in Press Pass’ products, but this year is a little special.

Her fans will want to take a look at 2012 Total Memorabilia because it’s going to offer her first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie Card.

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Is Rob Lowe right? Is Peyton Manning retiring?

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By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Rob Lowe. Sports reporter? No. Maybe? We fear change.

In what could just be an abstract prank linked to free-flowing information and today’s SOPA/PIPA protests, actor Rob Lowe sent sports fans buzzing with series of tweets this afternoon. He first tweeted, “Hearing my fave #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow.”

The guy who played Benjamin Kane in “Wayne’s World” followed up by saying “let’s hope my info is wrong,” and publicly turned to Rich Eisen of the NFL Network to corroborate his story: “My people are saying Manning will retire today. What do you hear?”

Could this celebrity tweet create a sudden demand and spike values for Manning’s football cards?
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Topps Magic to hit gridiron one more time with online-exclusive rookie release (updated)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

As teased in the pages of Beckett Football on sale now, Topps Magic will return to the NFL one more time this season with an online-exclusive rookies-focused release coming later this month.

On Wednesday, Topps revealed that the base set will consist of 110 cards, while each 11-card pack will include one bonus autograph card for $19.99 and can only be found at ShopTopps.com, the company’s webstore, beginning on Jan. 25.

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NFL Playoffs: And then there were four

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Some things played out as expected this past weekend. Some things didn’t — my own prediction about the Saints’ victory march included. But after all, it’s the friggin’ playoffs. That’s just the way it goes.

Now that Tim Tebow, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are officially out of the hunt, it’s time to take a look at the remaining teams and pick a few new hobby front men. Representing both conferences, suspected robot Tom Brady and family dynasty member Eli Manning are obvious choices, but who are the other standouts still standing?

Who’s the next cardboard icon from the narrowing postseason picture? Read More »

Your Turn (BSCM Art Issue): Who are your favorite art sets or artists?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

This year’s installment of The Art Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly is nearly upon us and we want to know who you like.

You know, as in artists.

Odds are you have a favorite player — that’s easy — but do any past art-focused card sets stand out to you? Do you have a favorite sketch card artist? How about any paintings or other pieces in the sports world?

Tell us all about them in the comments below. We’ll run a selection of the best answers in the upcoming issue.

We’ll have several interesting stories about artists with sports ties included in the issue — and a few surprises in store similar to last year’s cover art by the famed Dick Perez. (Find the back issue here.) But first things first … we want to know who you like.

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

Little League card is a big deal for one Mom

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For some collectors, a find like this Yearbook card from 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition might be something they skip right over as they tear through pack after pack in search of autographs.

But for one mom, though, it’s something quite special.

“We will love that card forever,” said Mariana Bichette from her home in Orlando, Fla. “That is precious to a parent, are you kidding?  His dad will agree with me.  That Little League World Series year is going to be hard to beat.”

You might recognize the name, but probably not the face of the 12-year-old shown on the Panini America baseball card. He’s all grown up now and last summer Dante Bichette Jr. was the 51st overall selection in the MLB draft and hand-picked by the New York Yankees. Oh, and if you didn’t recognize the name, the now-18-year-old is the son of former Colorado Rockies slugger Dante Bichette — one of the famed Blake Street Bombers and a guy who led the National League with 40 homers back in 1995.

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First look: 2011-12 NBA Hoops

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

It’s been a long wait for this one, but Panini America has finally released the first official glimpses at the return of a hobby staple to the hardwood this year in 2011-12 NBA Hoops.

Teased last February, Hoops is primed for a return as one of the five 2011-12 products in Panini’s reduced stable of offerings following the NBA lockout.

Set to arrive on March 14, Hoops marks the return of a brand that helped usher in a new era of basketball cards back in 1989 — a set that included color photography on both the card fronts and backs and the arrivals of Hall of Famers such as David Robinson to cardboard. This time, “The Admiral” is back as there will be 1989-90 Hoops buybacks — all signed by the players — as part of the offerings in a product that will have a $1-per-pack retail version and a $2-per-pack hobby version set to deliver two autographs per box.

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First look: 2012 Upper Deck SP Authentic Golf

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

After a lengthy absence from the golf scene, Upper Deck is coming back with a new set this year.

SP Authentic is scheduled for a June release with cards from the top male and female golfers of the world.

Collectors could expect to find autographs and material cards as well as a plethora of Rookie Cards as well as one of the coolest dual autograph cards in a while.

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(Tuesday) Morning Collector: Divisional Picks

By Dan Hitt | Sports Data Publishing Manager

Every Monday morning throughout the football season, we selected our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week with a run down on why collectors should take notice. For the postseason we’ll select three standout players for each round. Here are our picks for the divisional round of the 2011 NFL Playoffs.

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First look: 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter (updated)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Mark your calendars, collectors — you know now precisely when you can get your Ginter on.

Topps released the basic set information and a full selection of preview images for the seventh installment of its most popular baseball card lines on Friday as it teased 2012 Allen & Ginter.

The tobacco card-styled set arrives on July 11 with eccentric autograph inclusions and always-anticipated mini cards that have been a prime drawing card in the product since its Topps revival in 2006.

Each 24-pack box will include three hits — a mix of autographs, Relics cuts, buybacks and Rip Cards. Oh and among this year’s notable signers? Arnold Palmer, Roger Federer, Bob Knight and Ken Griffey Jr. — but there are plenty more where that came from. (Keep reading.)

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