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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Topps details its Bryce Harper Rookie Card plans

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bryce Harper arrived in the major leagues on Saturday — now it’s time for his Rookie Cards.

Topps didn’t wait long into the 19-year-old’s big-league career to tease his first RC — arriving in 2012 Topps Series 2 on June 6 — but waited until today to offer any additional details about that card and future offerings it might have featuring the player who is the most highly touted prospect — and most-expensive on cardboard — prospect in MLB history.

“People at Topps are excited,” said Topps Vice President Mark Sapir. “We are most excited for collectors. He is a special talent and we will do our best to celebrate his MLB debut and Rookie Cards.

“We will do our best to quickly get Harper in product,” Sapir said. “We want collectors to have a chance to pull his card as quickly as frequently as possible.  Due to timing, we are somewhat limited in all we can do. [Our] first few products will be a bit short due to printing windows, but there will be a few planned redemptions. In total, I think our plan is awesome and will truly unlock Harper to the collectors!”

First things, first … Harper will have autographed cards appearing in all forthcoming Topps products this year. (Need a Harper checklist or OPG? Click here.)

Specific details for the rest of the products will include:

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Your Take: Derrick Rose’s cardboard future (w/POLL)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Derrick Rose is done for the year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, prematurely ending the reigning NBA MVP’s chances of being Like Mike anytime soon.

That also means that he’s done for the rest of the year, out for the Summer Olympics and probably for another nine months.

“Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great person, but it’s not a death sentence,” Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPNChicago.com. “It’s not a death sentence for him, it’s not a death sentence for our team. He’s going to come back. He’ll come back better than ever. It’s just the way it is and we’ve got to deal with.”

The coach is perhaps optimistic, but perhaps not. The real question for collectors is how the injury might affect Rose’s basketball cards moving forward. (Need a Derrick Rose checklist or OPG? Click here.)

In short, one must wonder … is the injury a death sentence for his pricey cardboard?

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Bryce Harper Rookie Card set for 2012 Topps Series 2

Update: For additional info on this card and others from Topps, click here.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Before he had his second big-league at bat, the plans for Bryce Harper‘s Rookie Card were announced.

Topps confirmed on Saturday night that Harper’s Rookie Card will appear in 2012 Topps Series 2, which arrives on June 6. (Need a Harper checklist or OPG? Click here.) We’ll have more details on this as it becomes available.

Since his arrival on cardboard in 2009, Harper has appeared on 248 different cards with a total value topping $28,600 for those not too rare to price. However, none are cataloged as Rookie Cards.

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Panini brings batting helmets back in cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Along with bats, the batting helmet might be the most used and abused — yet still appealing — piece of game-used memorabilia available to collectors.

They get thrown, scuffed, caked with pine tar, cracked … you name it, they show it.

But when it comes to game-used memorabilia cards, there just aren’t that many helmet cards to go around — not many at all — but Panini America is about to change that with its forthcoming (delayed) 2011 Limited baseball set, which arrives next week packing three autographs or memorabilia cards in every seven-card box. (Need a checklist from a past Limited set or an OPG? Click here.)

One of the memorabilia card options to be found in packs of Limited are Hard Hats, a return of the name introduced with the first batting helmet brand made by the former Donruss/Playoff company back in 2003. However, the first game-used batting helmet card was made by Fleer back in 2000 — and Topps had a selection of helmet cards in an early 2000s Bowman release.

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Nationals to promote Bryce Harper on Saturday

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The most highly touted prospect in baseball card history, Bryce Harper, will be promoted to the majors and will make his big-league debut on Saturday in left field when the Washington Nationals visit the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team announced Friday.

Harper, 19, was hitting .250 with one home run and three RBI in 20 games for Triple-A Syracuse before the call. He’ll face former NL All-Star Chad Billingsley, who will take the hill for the NL West-leading Dodgers. Pitching for the Nationals? Another highly touted former No. 1 overall pick and cardboard wunderkind, Stephen Strasburg.

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Darvish’s dominance against Yanks speaks volumes

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

He’s been a star overseas, he’s a millionaire many times over and, heck, he’s even already been on the cover of Beckett Baseball before playing an official MLB game.

But Yu Darvish‘s gem on Tuesday night — 10 strikeouts in eight-plus scoreless innings for a 2-0 win over the New York Yankees — meant one thing.

He’s truly arrived.

The same can be seen on his cardboard, though he’s not exactly been cheap as all of his certified autographs that are presently available are of the needle-in-a-haystack variety and limited to just 25 copies. In other words, they weren’t cheap to start with. But now?

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Panini readies top NFL Draft picks’ cards for Prestige

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The names have been called, the jerseys have been made and there’s one thing left to do for Panini America as the NFL Draft continues.

Make the football cards.

Up first on the Texas-based company’s schedule is 2012 Prestige, which arrives in June with No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III, No. 3 pick Trent Richardson and more. (Need an Andrew Luck checklist or OPG? Click here.)

But before the cards can be printed, they must be mocked up. The company unveiled a selection of cards on Thursday night as the Draft carried on.

See the first four … after the jump.

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First Look: RG3’s 2012 Topps Rookie Card

 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III just seconds ago.

Now, you can see his first Topps football card right here.

Card No. 340 in the 2012 Topps set will feature Luck — one of 110 NFL rookies who will be found in packs of the hobby staple when it arrives on Aug. 8.

Each 36-pack hobby box will include one autograph or Relic card inside as well as a selection of inserts and cards from the 440-card base set.

(Need a checklist of all existing Robert Griffin III cards or an OPG? Click here.)

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.

First Look: Andrew Luck’s 2012 Topps Rookie Card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck just seconds ago.

Now, you can see his first Topps football card right here.

Card No. 140 in the 2012 Topps football set will feature Luck — one of 110 NFL rookies who will be found in packs of the hobby staple when it arrives on Aug. 8.

Each 36-pack hobby box will include one autograph or Relic card inside as well as a selection of inserts and cards from the 440-card base set.

(Need a checklist of all current Andrew Luck cards or an OPG? Click here.)

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.

No blues for this Dodger — Matt Kemp is on fire

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Matt Kemp‘s torrid start is one that simply can’t be missed right now and that’s easy to justify simply by looking at the stat sheet — and sales of his baseball cards.

He leads the majors in batting average at .449. He leads the majors in home runs with 10. He leads the majors in RBI with 23.

But that’s not all. He’s also powering his way into a rather prominent place in the hobby as the unquestioned franchise player for the first-place Dodgers — something that’s easier said than done. After all, a breakout season last year that saw him come up one homer short of the 40-40 Club and finish second in the NL MVP race really didn’t get noticed all that much when it came to his cardboard.

“Kemp is on fire right now, not only on the field, but in hobby as well,” said Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst Brian Fleischer, who tracks sales of cards daily for Beckett Media. “His 2005 Bowman Chrome AU RC has doubled in value over the past couple weeks, and its parallels have tripled in some cases. While that is far and away his key RC, his 2005 Topps Chrome Update card has tripled in value from $10 to $30, while most of his other Rookie Cards have doubled in value.” (Need a Matt Kemp checklist or OPG? Click here.)

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Upper Deck includes QB redemption in 2012 Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

With Upper Deck releasing its flagship football set before the NFL Draft, collectors might be worried about not getting cards of the hottest draft picks.

But the company has found a way to fix that problem by including “Trade Upper Deck” cards in 2012 Upper Deck Football.

The cards come in two versions: gold and silver.

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Topps revisits old cards through books

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Topps is taking collectors on a tour through its history with a series of books dedicated to trading cards.

The latest book visits the 100 greatest cards in New York Yankees history. Yankee Greats by author Bob Woods features baseball cards from players such as Joe DiMaggio to Derek Jeter. Woods includes only Topps cards in this book.

“From The Topps Company’s first baseball card set, the quirky “Red and Blue” cards, to their latest series, millions of fans have been able to celebrate the game and players through the familiar photos-on-cardboard format,” a press release from the publisher said.

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Wacky Packages back for another series

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Wacky Packages are back for another series.

The set originated in the 1967 and was brought back to life by Topps in 2003. Since then, Topps has put together new series of Wacky Packages (including erasers) and even brought back to life some of the old series with Wacky Packages Flashbacks.

Series 9 will come out in late July parodying many popular products, including video games and apps.

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New Garbage Pail Kids series inspired by cards of old

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

ALLENTOWN, Pa. | Topps is returning this year with a new series of Garbage Pail Kids.

The last original series came out in 2007, according to Topps Editor Colin Walton. Since then, Topps has produced Garbage Pail Kids Flashbacks, reliving some of the old cards we loved as children.

The new set is going to be fun and inspired by the cards of old.

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Newton shines in newly priced National Treasures

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Hold your horses, Andrew Luck. Apparently Cam Newton isn’t done dominating football cards just  yet.

According to Beckett Football’s Senior Market Analyst Dan Hitt, Newton’s recently priced 2011 National Treasures Rookie Card just set a new benchmark in the hobby.
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Tommy Bahama plans party for shirt unveiling

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Who says a collectible can’t be worn?

Major League Baseball and Tommy Bahama have teamed up to produce “Collector’s Edition” shirts for six teams this year with the first arriving this week.

The first team is the American League champion Texas Rangers, and they will be sold at an unveiling party Thursday in Dallas at the Galleria beginning at 5 p.m.

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Panini Prepares for NFL Draft with Prestige Preview

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Panini America previously offered a subtle sneak peek at 2012 Prestige Football by showing off  the first Tebow-Jets and Manning-Broncos cards. The manufacturer continued to pipe the hype today with more details regarding its June 20 release.

Arming the hobby with the first official Rookie Cards from this year’s newcomers, 2012 Prestige will be the platform for Panini’s real(ish)-time reveal during this Thursday’s 2012 NFL Draft. Read More »

Box Busters: 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Penmanship Preview: 2012 Press Pass FanFare Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

If you saw last week’s Box Busters episode featuring 2012 Press Pass FanFare Football (and an Andrew Luck autograph), you pretty much get the drift. Five cards with a lot of promise.

Aesthetically speaking, the cards are an upgraded version of basic Press Pass — marked by thicker stock, shimmering foil surfaces, and numbered variations. It’s a potent, autograph-only break with decent odds of pulling at least one from this year’s exceptional rookie crop.

Our video offers a two-box glance and a chance to win some Lucky ink, but the following 33 images should offer an even better look at the inscriptions and other details awaiting collectors as the hobby version releases on April 25. Read More »

Twin Galaxies produces video game trading cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

ALLENTOWN, Pa. | Twin Galaxies has been the record keepers of video game history for the last 30 years.

But what good is knowing high scores, world champions and iconic arcade games without a way of sharing that knowledge. The company that holds the video game record books has come out with a trading card set commemorating the history of video games.

“The video game industry is huge,” said Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day at the Philly Non-Sports Card Show on April 21. “It’s bigger than music and sports. But there has never been a set of trading cards to honor the champions.”

Until now.

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NFL, NFLPA renew card license with Panini

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America will continue to be on the gridiron.

Well, its cards that is.

The NFL and NFLPA announced on Monday that they have renewed their card deals with the Texas-based card-maker for as many as 18 sets a year.

“We’re pleased to continue our relationship with the NFL and the NFLPA,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “The NFL and NFLPA are two of our most important licensors, and these new agreements will enable us to continue producing sought after products for NFL fans for years to come.”

The first product of the year will be 2012 Prestige, which arrives in June. (Need a complete checklist for a past Prestige set or an OPG? Click here.)

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TRISTAR will open retail store in Las Vegas

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

TRISTAR is hoping a new venture in Vegas is a jackpot.

The long-running show-promotion and autographed memorabilia company announced on Sunday that it will be opening a new retail store in Las Vegas on May 1 — the TRISTAR Sports Memorabilia Store. It will be located at the Planet Hollywood Resort and will be the largest memorabilia shop on the Strip, according to the company.

“When TRISTAR does something, we do it big and first class,” said Jeffrey Rosenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of TRISTAR, in a prepared statement. “It will be like walking into a sports Hall of Fame, but instead of just looking, you can take pieces of the experience home with you.”

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Rittenhouse shows off NCIS sigs at Non-Sports Show

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

ALLENTOWN, Pa. | NCIS is one of the country’s most popular television shows. The military crime fighters are coming to trading cards this June.

Rittenhouse Archives is producing a card set that will capture the first 72 episodes in NCIS’s history.

At the Philly Non-Sports Card Show, Rittenhouse displayed many of the autographs that will be found in the product, which includes many fan favorites.

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Philip Humber’s gem creates perfect opportunity

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Chicago White Sox pitcher Phillip Humber — a right-hander from Texas with an 11-10 career record and not a single complete game entering Saturday’s contest at Safeco Field — threw nine perfect innings against the Seattle Mariners for just the 21st gem in MLB history.

In all, Humber appears on just 539 cards in the Beckett.com database with 219 of those featuring a certified autograph and a total value of more than $3,250. (Need a complete Humber checklist or OPG? Click here.) He appears on 33 Rookie Cards beginning in 2005 when he was a member of the New York Mets, many an affordable option.

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First Look: 2012 Press Pass Redline racing

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Press Pass will unveil its newest line this June with 2012 Press Pass Redline, a high-end racing product.

Redline will feature four hits for every tin with some of the most popular drivers. The tins are pre-selling for around $130.

Each two-pack tin will include two autographs and two memorabilia cards, and at least one of the autos will be an auto/memorabilia combo card.

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