Monthly Archives: April 2012

Box Busters: Random 2012 Topps baseball products at the hobby shop

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Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds visited Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday to see what was being ripped (to go with some footage from awhile back).

What will be found inside the packs? Watch and find out …

Upper Deck lands golfer Ernie Els

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Ernie Els is one of the world’s top professional golfers, but for years and years of golf sets, no card company has been able to land “The Big Easy” to an autograph deal.

Until now.

Upper Deck announced Els is going to have trading cards, including his first licensed autographs in its upcoming 2012 SP Authentic Golf in July.

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Press Pass heats things up with Ignite

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The 2012 racing season really kick off with Press Pass Ignite Racing. It’s the first product of the year to feature all new photography from the current racing season.

Danica Patrick will be in her new duds – and appear on NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie Cards – and Travis Pastrana is making his appearance in Press Pass for the first time in about 10 years.

Beckett previewed the set earlier this year with a quick hit of what collectors can expect. Now there are more pictures and a preliminary checklist to get gear heads ready for when the products hits May 2.

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Upper Deck with another installment of Exquisite Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

One of Upper Deck’s most well-known high-end products is coming back for another edition in football.

Exquisite is back for the 2011 season featuring five autographs in every box with new four new autograph subsets.

Like all of Upper Deck’s recent football products, all the players in the set are featured in their college uniforms, but those players include some today’s brightest prospects. The autograph checklist also includes 26 Heisman Trophy winners.

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Panini America signs Andrew Luck to autograph and packaging deal


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If you’re looking for NFL cards of the likely No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, you’re in luck.

Because Andrew Luck will be in Panini America packs sometime soon.

The Texas-based company announced Tuesday that it has signed the former Stanford star and likely No. 1 pick of the Indianapolis Colts to an autograph and card deal on Tuesday afternoon.

He’ll make his NFL card debut in 2012 Prestige, which arrives in June. (Click here for a checklist and get an OPG.)

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Some Circa Rave inserts seem to be all the rage

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

It takes a lot these days to satisfy some collectors, but sometimes some card sales just flat-out surprise.

Rave and Super Rave inserts from the family of Skybox brands in the late 1990s are doing just that.

The 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave Dan Wilson card seen here? Sold for $202.48 recently on eBay. Asking price for a David Ortiz from the same set? A mere $449.99 on eBay right now — same for a Manny Ramirez.

While each of these cards is limited to just 25 copies, there are no autographs or game-used memorabilia swatches to be found. Yet they — and others — are commanding cold, hard cash. Why? Perhaps many of them are tucked away in collections — or others are still in wax not yet found. (In need of a complete Circa Rave checklist or OPG? Click here.)

And when they do surface? It’s apparent that somebody — be it player collectors or set collectors — is wanting them and they know how much longer the odds are now, some 15 years later, of finding another.

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WWE legend Chief Jay Strongbow dies at 83

 By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

WWE Hall of Famer Chief Jay Strongbow, a colorful and decorated performer during his nearly 50-year-career in professional wrestling died on Tuesday. He was 83.

Strongbow, real name Joe Scarpa, retired in 1994 but still appeared in WWE card sets in recent years. In all, he appears on 32 cards in the database (click for a full checklist or OPG) with just two certified autographs, both from Topps.

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A BSCM Online Issue preview: 10 ways can help you collect

Our next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly takes a look at some of what collectors can find online, whether it’s what’s available here on or a directory of major destinations on the Web.

One feature in the magazine is below, a full taste of what’s inside the issue. It’s our 10 ways that can help your collection.

By Andrew Tolentino | Editor

Under normal circumstances, we try not to toot our own horn.

But considering this issue is all about the hobby in the Internet age and the fact that we’re constantly working to make a better place, please allow us to indulge and explain a little.

Imagine a place where all the prices, articles, and more (much, much more) from the magazine you’re holding are living in perfect harmony. Imagine a place where your fellow collecting aficionados — hardcore, casual, and recently rejuvenated — are hanging out, sharing information, discussing trends, trading, (and at times commiserating) all at once. Imagine diving into the hobby’s past, present and future.

Hold that thought, take out any extraneous fantasy unicorns or talking animals, and you should have a decent idea of what we’ve already built and what we’re striving for on The following 10 nuggets should explain what you’re missing out on if you haven’t already signed up for a free account. But if you have your computer handy, feel free to toss this magazine aside and dive right in.

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Just for fun: What might Yu Darvish’s 2012 Bowman Chrome SuperFractor sell for?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When Topps tweeted a photo of new Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish holding a pair of freshly signed cards on Monday, it signaled that the next big thing in baseball cards is about to arrive with a message sent via the Japanese star’s left hand.

It’s his autographed 2012 Bowman Chrome SuperFractor — a card that should record a serious payday for one collector after it’s collated into packs and then potentially found starting on May 9.

A pair of unsigned SuperFractors in recent years have commanded big cash in baseball — the Stephen Strasburg in 2010 for $21,403 and the Bryce Harper from the 2010 USA set for $12,500 — but neither had an autograph.

This one does. Meanwhile, Darvish’s autograph redemption cards from 2012 Topps Tribute have consistently been pulling in $1,300 to $2,500 on eBay in recent weeks with current asking prices pushing $3,000 — and there are  25 copies of that one available.

We just want to know … how much do you think it will sell for? (Take our poll and tell us what you think in the comments below.)

How much for the Yu Darvish Superfractor?

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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 Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Philly Non-Sports Card Show set for April 21-22

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Non-sports cards are having a major show of their own this month with new products, Bench Warmer models and bigwigs from the card companies.

The Philly Non-Sports Card Show will be held April 21 and 22 at Merchants Square Mall in Allentown, Penn.

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First look: 2011-12 Gold Standard basketball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America‘s Gold Standard was a memorable rookie and it’s going to be back for a sophomore season.

While full details are not yet available for the sophomore release of the high-end brand, the basics on the sterling product are. When 2011-12 Gold Standard arrives on June 20, it will include one 2011-12 Draft Class Redemption Autograph in every box, three additional sigs and two memorabilia cards to go with a selection of base cards in every $200 (or so) pack.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1989 Upper Deck

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange ( for a retro pack break of 1989 Upper Deck in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Next week’s rip: A pair of 1988-89 Fleer basketball wax packs