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Monthly Archives: March 2012

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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Animal Kingdom cards challenge hobby trends

 

Update (April 19, 2013): Check out a Beckett Select Auction for one of these sets here.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Finding The Next Big Thing is a challenge for all of the hobby’s card manufacturers.

What is it? That’s a question that could have a few answers — but it’s an item that will help spark sales of wax boxes without breaking the bank for manufacturers. And, it’s something that’s not an autograph or piece of game-used memorabilia as the acquisition fees for those items just don’t seem to be getting smaller … and the secondary market seems to flounder on them at times, too.

But Upper Deck may have found something with its four-per-case Animal Kingdom embroidered patch cards from 2011 Goodwin Champions as the rarer cards in the set from the multi-sport product have been commanding hundreds of dollars in online auctions for some time now.

Without a single dollop of ink or jersey swatch involved.

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Memory Lane Inc. to auction PSA 2 Honus Wagner

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A PSA 2 specimen of the hobby’s most-famous baseball card is set to hit the auction block.

It’s a Honus Wagner T206 tobacco card, and it headlines Memory Lane Inc.‘s Holy Grail Auction, which launches on April 21 and ends on May 5. The opening bid is $550,000.

According to Beckett sales data, the Tustin, Calif.-based company last sold a PSA 2 for $294,337 in December 2006. Meanwhile, a PSA 8 was sold for a record $2.8 million in 2007. A PSA 2 typically sells for $500,000 or less, but with an estimated total of just 50 known to exist — many of those in worse condition — there aren’t too many alternatives for a prospective buyer when one comes to market.

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Panini America lands USA Baseball license

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America just added the red, white and blue to its baseball card portfolio.

The Texas-based company announced on Monday that it has signed an exclusive multi-year deal to be the official card manufacturer for USA Baseball beginning later this year. Topps had held the license since taking it over from Upper Deck in 2010.

“Some of the greatest players of all time made their marks with USA Baseball long before they made their marks as professional players,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “This new agreement gives us the exclusive opportunity to introduce fans and collectors to tomorrow’s stars.”

Read More »

Ripping Retail Retro: 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Andrew Tolentino as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) for a retro pack break of 1981-81 O-Pee-Chee hockey packs in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

What should they rip next week? Tell us below …

Ripping Retail Retro Week 4: What should next week's rip be?

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Peyton’s Place is … Denver?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Peyton Manning will be a Denver Bronco this season, meaning the above card will appear in 2012 Prestige football packs from Panini America.

We want to know what you think of the move on cards — for both Manning and current Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Tell us by taking the polls below and leaving a comment.

Peyton Manning as a Bronco

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Tim Tebow's hobby future looks ...

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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.