Monthly Archives: March 2012

Exclusive Preview Gallery: 2011 Prime Cuts

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s first high-end baseball card line under its MLBPA license has been delayed a bit — now scheduled for an April 11 release — but the newest batch of preview images for 2011 Prime Cuts released on Friday (an exclusive gallery right here on Beckett.com as well as more images here) show that it just might be worth the wait.

And these aren’t even the big cards.

Here’s a selection of prime patch and autographed cards from the product, which will arrive with a high-end pricetag — about $250 per five-card pack — with each card either an autograph or memorabilia card. Let us know what you think with our poll after the jump and be sure to leave a comment.

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Panini America set to revive Triple Play brand

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s baaacccck.

Panini America will be reviving a short-lived, kid-focused card line of the early 1990s this summer when it brings back Triple Play as a low-end brand that just might be chock-full of fun.

While details are still forthcoming from the company, Triple Play is scheduled for a July 23 release with seven-card packs carrying a suggested retail price of just 99 cents with 24 packs per box and 20 boxes per case.

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First look: 2012 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Sports Edition

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The best of the best. The greatest athletes of generations are making their way into an Upper Deck set featuring men and women at the top of their games.

Upper Deck was very select in picking the athletes to appear in 2012 All-Time Great Sports Edition. Just 20 superstars made the cut.

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Retail Reveal: 2012 Bowman Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Beckett Football Editor

Topps‘ recently trumpeted 2012 Bowman Signatures brand left many football collectors asking one simple, reasonable question. Where the heck is basic Bowman?

Today, the manufacturer clarified, noting that the beloved brand will land around  the same time — in retail form.

This year’s Bowman is scheduled to hit shelves on May 21 with eight to 24 packs per box, depending on what the retailer carries. Blaster boxes will contain eight packs, each offering five veteran base cards and three base Rookie Cards, while 24-pack boxes have the same pack formula and might make for better odds on pulling the most coveted cards in the product.

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Box Busters: 2011 Totally Certified

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2011 Totally Certified boxes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Topps Opening Day

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2012 Topps Opening Day baseball cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Topps UFC Knockout

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2012 Topps UFC Knockout cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2011 Prime Signatures

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2011 Prime Signatures football packs from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Frank Robinson is Topps’ eighth Prime 9 star

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

He’s the first and only player to win the MVP award in both leagues. He’s the only man who can say he was a social pioneer among MLB managers.

He’s also the only Prime 9 player for Week 8.

Topps has announced its latest HTA Prime 9 card of the year, and it’s Frank Robinson who is the newest player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

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Box Busters: 2012 SAGE HIT High Series

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2012 SAGE HIT High Series cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Topps Heritage

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2012 Topps Heritage baseball cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Topps Tribute

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2012 Topps Tribute cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

McFarlane readies high-end Derek Jeter statue

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

McFarlane Toys is going uptown with a limited edition statue of one Bronx Bomber.

Each limited edition statue of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will be signed by Todd McFarlane himself when they are available for pre-order to the public beginning on April 7.

The 12-inch resin statue is the first sports figure of that type made by McFarlane, though the program started in November. It will have a pair of plaques on its base (see full image after the jump) with Jeter’s achievements during his past 17 years in pinstripes noted with the figure trimmed with a facade fitting only for a Yankee.

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Box Busters: 2011-12 ITG Captain-C hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey’s Andrew Tolentino and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a pair of 2011-12 ITG Captain-C boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Upper Deck Avengers Assemble

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Join Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2012 Upper Deck Avengers Assemble cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2011-12 ITG Between the Pipes

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In The Game is having a party where all hockey collectors are invited.

The company is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Between the Pipes, a product featuring the best goalies in the history of the game.

“This collection has always featured many of the best goaltenders around and it has evolved over time,” ITG said in a release. “It was a landmark for hobbyists as it was the first stand-alone product that was devoted to protectors of the crease and had a great mix of autographs and game-used memorabilia as well.”

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Game-used baseball bat collectors might have something new to look for

Courtesy of Phillies Network

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Sports fans are often all about the details in their card sets and their collections.

But if you’re a game-used memorabilia collector, then you know that the details are even more important — sometimes the difference between something being real and fake.

Now, though, with a new type of bat being used by some MLB players during spring training this year, there’s something new for game-used collectors to look for. It’s the Baden Axe — a  model with a simple difference as its knob is skewed and tapered. That allows for less friction with the player’s hand during swings and doesn’t force a player to pay attention to which way the label is facing when he bats.

While that may not mean much to most of us, it might mean a lot more to players. And it certainly might mean something on the game-used memorabilia front.

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First look: 2012 Topps Platinum Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Come September, Paul Wall could very well be busting packs of Topps football cards to renovate that world-famous grill of his. (Is Paul Wall still relevant?)

Topps Platinum football hits the streets on Sept. 3 — chock-full of hard-signed autographs, rare Refractors and plenty of shiny things to satisfy even the  most discerning of rap artists. Read More »

NFL PLAYERS renews licensing deal with Topps

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps will continue to perform on the gridiron after signing a long-term card licensing agreement with NFL PLAYERS announced on Wednesday.

The deal with the licensing and marketing arm of the NFLPA will continue Topps’ card legacy that spans nearly 60 years.

“We are excited to continue our deep, long standing partnership with the NFLPA,” said Ryan O’Hara, CEO of The Topps Company, in a prepared statement.  “For more than 50 years, these two iconic brands have continued to be at the forefront of innovation with the goal of providing the best products to our growing consumer base.”

Topps soon will announce Bowman football as its first product of the season, Bowman, which it teased with updated Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow cards last week.

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Topps adds Yu Darvish, Richard Petty and others to 2012 Allen & Ginter autograph lineup

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s edition of Allen & Ginter is still a few months away but that hasn’t stopped Topps from adding even more to its lineup.

And it’s the lineup that matters most to most collectors, the autograph lineup.

The company announced on Wednesday that it will be adding two MLB newcomers and two other sports legends to the popular retro-styled card line. Added to the lineup are new Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish, new Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, NASCAR legend Richard Petty and former Olympic wrestler Rulon Gardner.

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Bert Sugar’s influence seen far away from just boxing … try baseball card collecting

 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Boxing fans probably know Bert Sugar as an eccentrically dressed icon, a Hall of Fame writer, a historian, a character.

But the man who died at age 75 on Sunday was far from just that, particularly when it came to cardboard, though even he appeared on a few cards himself through the years. (His 2008 Topps Co-Signers Solo Sigs card, his only certified auto, is above, complete with his name misspelled — something I’m sure he loved.)

In fact, he’s pretty important in helping shape part of what became the pop culture phenomenon of baseball card collecting beginning in the 1970s. But don’t take my word for it … watch this touching piece from noted media personality and life-long collector Keith Olbermann from his show on Monday.

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.

Keith Olbermann’s hobby award speech notes card shops as lifeblood and future of hobby

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Noted media personality and collector Keith Olbermann received the “Friend of the Card Stores” award last week during a Topps dealer seminar in Las Vegas.

His speech offered some words of encouragement to hobby shop owners — and the perspective of a life-long collector — remarks in stark contrast to the CBS News feature earlier this week that the hobby, baseball cards in particular, were part of a dying industry.

While the CBS story has created quite a bit of chatter among collectors (click here to view the segment and read comments), here’s hoping that Olbermann’s comments can generate just as much discussion.

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.

Upper Deck signs Mike Tyson to autograph and memorabilia deal

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Mike Tyson is getting in the ring with Upper Deck.

The California-based card company has signed the famous boxer to an autograph and memorabilia deal. Tyson will appear in upcoming trading card releases, making his debut in 2012 Goodwin Champions.

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Rare Wagner and Plank T206 hit auction block on Tuesday

 

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Another famous Honus Wagner cards is hitting the auction block on Tuesday.

The card – along with several others from the T-206 set – is being sold by a Houston businessman, who didn’t want to be identified, the St. Louis Dispatch reports.

A St. Louis collectibles dealer is handling the auction and he expects the card to bring in more than $1 million. However, it’s not the only card in the exhibit. The card is being auctioned off with a huge collection of T206 cards in individual lots.

“I believe it will bring between $1.2 million and $1.5 million,” Bill Goodwin, who runs Goodwin & Co., told the newspaper.

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Cryptozoic to release Smallville Seasons 7-10 trading cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Smallville has been off the air for more than a year, but 10 glorious seasons of the show has created a passionate, dedicated fan base.

Cryptozoic is releasing the missing sets for those fans. Seasons 7-10 are coming out this spring after Inkworks released the individual sets. Let’s take a quick look at what the Smallville Seasons 7-10 set is going to bring.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1981 Topps football racks

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Join Beckett Football‘s Andrew Tolentino as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) for a retro pack break of 1981 Topps rack packs in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Next week’s rip: A 1989 Upper Deck low series baseball box.

Your take: CBS News segment examines ‘dying’ baseball card industry (take our polls)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

CBS News examined what it calls a dying baseball card industry during a four-minute, 49-second feature on Sunday.

It included interviews with an author, a show promotor, a dealer-collector and vintage dealer “Mr. Mint” Alan Rosen.

We want to know what you think after you watch it with our questions after the jump. Please leave a comment if you’d like to say more.

Update: Panini America did not take the story lightly.

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Topps signs Yoenis Cespedes to autograph deal

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is hoping its latest autograph acquisition leads to some moneyball for collectors.

The company announced on Friday that it has signed Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to an autograph deal, meaning the promising Cuban star will appear in products beginning with 2012 Bowman.

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NFL players’ groups sue Upper Deck for $1.5M in unpaid licensing, autograph fees

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The NFL Players Association and NFL Players Inc. have filed a lawsuit against Upper Deck this week in the New York Supreme Court seeking nearly $1.5 million in unpaid royalties and autograph fees for more than 220 NFL players.

The lawsuit, which is for “serial breaches of contracts,” asserts that Upper Deck has not disputed its owed monies, and offered to negotiate a payment plan “claiming that Upper Deck’s financial situation was preventing timely payments of the amounts due.” Furthermore, the filing also states that “it became apparent during the course of the discussions that Upper Deck did not intend to honor its contractual obligations. Considering Upper Deck’s recent history of flouting its legal obligations to its licensors, including … admitted counterfeiting [Konami Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit] … and millions of dollars in outstanding payments to other licensors, Plaintiffs gave up hope that Upper Deck would honor its contractual commitments.”

In total, the company owes players more than $1.25 million for autographs alone, with the rest ($368,354.49)  being for licensing and service agreements. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo tops the list with $180,000 owed, while new New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow is owed $84,000 and St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is owed $71,960. The NFLPA also is seeking to find out whether the company had players sign additional autographs outside of the NFLPA’s agreements — which also could amount to additional financial damages. This comes on the heels of the company’s lawsuit with Major League Baseball for unpaid settlement agreement money in its trademark lawsuit, while the company also has a few other lawsuits presently in the courts system.

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Ernie Banks is Topps’ seventh Prime 9 redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

You can play two, but the redemption won’t get you two.

Topps has announced its seventh HTA Prime 9 card of the year, and it’s Ernie Banks who is the newest player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

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Manning, Tebow will don new unis in 2012 Bowman

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The card companies didn’t take long to get Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow into their respective new uniforms.

Topps released card images that will appear in 2012 Bowman, which will arrive in May.

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Travis Pastrana to appear in Press Pass Ignite

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Travis Pastrana is working with Press Pass again. The extreme sports athlete is making his way into the mainstream by competing in several Nationwide and K&N races this year.

Press Pass announced the partnership on Thursday on its Facebook page, showing pictures of Pastrana with his famous thumbs up pose.

Pastrana will have autographs and memorabilia cards first appear in Press Pass Ignite, which is scheduled to come out in May. Take a look at more information from Ignite here.

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Panini readies Tim Tebow’s first Jets card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Sure, it took Tim Tebow two tries to attempt a trade from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets, but Panini America was on it the first time around.

With a look at his first Jets football card and its first NFL card set of 2012 — Prestige.

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Topps will bring Five Star to baseball

 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is taking its baseball line truly high-end with one offering to come this year.

How far? MLB will be getting the Five Star treatment.

The high-end line, which debuted in the NFL in 2010 with a $400 suggested retail price per box, included four on-card autographs and one jumbo Relic in every box in its debut football season. Details for the baseball line were not yet disclosed.

While some company officials had previously discounted the idea of such an approach in baseball — there’s no Rookie Premiere to obtain autographs in larger quantities without tremendous cost — the company said it is going forward with plans for the line on Tuesday afternoon.

More info to come soon. Take our poll below and tell us what you think in the comments.

Your Take: 2012 Topps Five Star Baseball

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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.

So, what are the 2012 Topps Heritage variations?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Hope you didn’t jettison some of those 2012 Topps Heritage commons just yet — as there are some tough-to-pull variations to be found inside those packs.

As previously reported here, there are 10 cards in the set that have intentional error-and-correction variations — some as a nod to the 1963 set. While Topps has not yet confirmed these cards, here is our list confirmed with the help of a few dealers around the country.

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