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Monthly Archives: April 2012

2012 National Treasures Double Take

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Let’s be honest. 2012 National Treasures isn’t an every-man brand.

But the premium price point shouldn’t prevent every collector from seeing what’s inside. Before unveiling the world’s longest trading card, Panini America delivered the first two-box preview of its highest of high-end football brands. Enjoy.

Panini unveils … and unveils longest card in history

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In what seems like the card that never ends, Panini America unveiled on Monday morning a 36-player foldout booklet – the longest trading card in history, according to the company.

End to end, the card is more than 8-feet long.

The card has 36 player panels each with a signed and personalized patch.

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Topps creates baseball-centric iPhone, iPad apps

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The Topps Company continues its journey into the digital world. This time, looking for ways to reach the average baseball fan, not just collectors. Topps introduced two new apps in the iTunes store bearing the company’s name.

Topps Bunt and Topps Pennant were added to the digital marketplace early last week, but the news of the apps swirled with collectors on Monday morning with a New York Times article talking to Topps’ Michael Eisner about the direction of the company and the card industry.

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Printing plate booklets arrive in Panini Playbook

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Panini’s 2011 Playbook Football offered a surprise for collectors.

The high-end product has just four cards per box, but every card is either an autograph, material card or a mixture of both. But the cards that sneaked through photo galleries and preview images could very well be an industry first – printing plate booklets.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1988-89 Fleer

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds as he hosts Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) for a retro pack break of 1988-89 Fleer in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Need a checklist or OPG for 1988-89 Fleer? Click here.

Topps goes to low-end of bats for high-end addition


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is upping the ante in its forthcoming Tier One baseball release by taking one memorabilia set in the product a bit high-end.

And it’s doing that by going to the low-end of 100 game-used baseball bats.

The company announced on Thursday that it is adding 100 1/1 game-used bat knob cards to the second-year product, an inclusion that has not been done as extensively since 2009 when it launched Topps Unique.

Today, there are just 629 total bat knob cards in the Beckett.com database (click here for a complete checklist and to get an OPG) many of them 1/1 cards and some of them showing some of the unique ways that players mark their game-used equipment.

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First Look: 2012 Bowman (update w/final AU list)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps released on Tuesday the basic product information and preview images for its flagship prospecting product for 2012, Bowman.

Scheduled to arrive on May 9, Bowman will include one Chrome autograph per 24-pack hobby box with a few new introductions to the line, too.

New for 2012 will be Bowman Black autographs, autographed Rookie Originals — signed buybacks of players who never had Bowman autographed prospect cards in the past — Aflac All-American autographs and a wrapper redemption program, too.

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Panini includes Joe Jackson bat barrel in Prime Cuts

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

One single card teased on Thursday by Panini America shows that there’s nothing casual about the return edition of Prime Cuts, which is packing out as we speak for an arrival soon.

This Joe Jackson Barrel Up insert is as serious as it gets.

It’s the first of its kind as the Jackson barrel would not be allowed with an MLB Properties license as Jackson is on baseball’s Ineligible List for his role in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Because of that, Jackson has far fewer cards in the Beckett.com database than others of similar lore. (Want a full checklist or a Joe Jackson OPG? Click here.)

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Opening Day is here, collectors … now you can get 10 percent off a 12-month Baseball OPG

Opening Day is here! Get 10 percent off of a 12-month baseball OPG. The promo code is:  OPENINGDAY2012 Code expires at 11:59 p.m. on April 8

Albert Pujols is Topps’ final Prime 9 redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The highest-profile free agent last season has a new home in Los Angeles this year — and he just might have a new home in your collection, too.

Topps has announced its final HTA Prime 9 card of the year, and it’s Albert Pujols (get a complete Pujols checklist and OPG here) who is the newest player to be part of its hobby shop redemption card program.

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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 Beckett.com 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 Beckett.com 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 Beckett.com 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 Beckett.com 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 Beckett.com 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 Beckett.com. 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 colds@beckett.com. 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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