Monthly Archives: June 2012

First Look: 2012-13 Panini Threads basketball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America premiered its third NBA product for 2012-13 on Wednesday, and it’s one that will include a little hardwood when it arrives in October.

It’s Threads, and it will arrive on Oct. 3 packing 100 Rookie Cards printed on wood stock — each with on-card signatures, too.

Each 24-pack box will include an assortment of cards from the 150-card base set and an array of inserts. But most importantly it will include three autographs and one memorabilia card. (Need a checklist or an OPG for a past Panini Threads release? Click here.)

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First Look: 2012-13 Score Hockey

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

It’s official. Panini‘s best bang-for-your-buck hockey brand will hit the streets in early August.

This time around 2012-13 Score Hockey will arrive before the new season, chock full of rookies who skated after the 2012 NHL All Star Game. Here’s the deal on one of the better hobby deals on the market …

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Panini previews 2012 NHL Draft Swag

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Once again making its presence known at the NHL Draft, Panini America will appear in Pittsburgh later this week with a Penguin-themed plethora.

Yesterday the company revealed a seven-card Pittsburgh Penguins team set and two more commemorative cards that will be available as a part of the on-site wrapper redemption program.

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Biggest Stars Wars trading card set … Ever?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Star Wars fans get ready.

Topps is putting together a comprehensive trading card set featuring events from the full saga – all six episodes down to 350 base cards.

Star Wars Galactic Files.

The names says it all. A list of characters, factions, vehicles, creatures from all six films, The Clone Wars and the expanded universe, which includes comics, novels and more.

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Are you a SuperCollector? We want your info!



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We’re going to dedicate an entire issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly to SuperCollectors soon — and we want to see your collections.

We’ll pick the most interesting and most outrageous submissions for that issue of the magazine just like the 15 we showcased last summer, but first we need to hear about your stash. Some will make the special issue, while others will appear in the magazines leading up to that issue. (We run SuperCollectors every month.)

As a bonus, all collectors who submit information between now and July 15 will be entered in a drawing for a Mike Trout autographed baseball as well as a hefty six-autograph card seen here. Follow the instructions and submit your stats and story today. We’re showing you all of last year’s submissions so you can see who — and what — made the cut.

We hope you can top them.  You don’t have to have the most-expensive collection on the block but it needs to be unique — downright crazy — in some way that it stands out.

Here are your instructions …

Send in an email to the following information:

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Five Questions … Roger Clemens: The B-12 needle and the damage done?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Roger Clemens was found not guilty on all counts on Monday in his perjury trial, meaning he won’t face any more time in a courtroom as has been the norm for the last several weeks.

But, right or wrong, the questions in the court of public opinion — questions of whether he might have cheated baseball and himself — remain.

Being suspicious about amazing achievements we have seen on the baseball field in the last 20 years should be nothing new as we’ve seen angry denials before and we’ve seen tear-filled confessions, too. It’s been predictably the same in the past, but this time it’s different. His needles were apparently B-12 vitamin shots. His trainer of a decade apparently was dirty but Clemens was not. His performance defied his age as he became quite possibly the greatest pitcher in the history of the game.

Believe it or not.

There’s no denying the outcome on the field — it happened — and there’s no denying that it came against players who have admittedly cheated. But does this change anything for Clemens? It’s an interesting question — and the comments in various online outlets show that Clemens is probably going to be a bit of a polarizing figure for some time despite the outcome. (Need a Clemens checklist or OPG? Click here.)

I know how I feel on the issue — and I have my opinions on the Clemens case — but we’re interested in what you think about it and what it might mean to Clemens’ cardboard. Take a moment to answer our five questions after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2012 Marvel Beginnings II

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Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Bryan Hornbeck and Andrew Tolentino tear into two boxes of 2012 Marvel Beginnings II by Upper Deck. Watch to see two grown men nerd out over the Marvel Universe. Oh, and the cards are awesome, too.

First Look: 2012 Topps Strata Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor | Commentary

I’m not going to lie. These are some of the sweetest football cards (mocks of football cards, at least) I’ve seen in a while.

Making Monday a little more manic, Topps debuted its 2012 Strata football line, boldly noting its promise “to deliver the most cutting-edge technology collectors have ever seen.” But before everybody gets their panties in a wad, neither video screens nor other gadget gimmicks are involved here. Just old-fashioned cardboard with some dramatic die-cut twists and printing surface surprises.

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The NSCC: Who’s signing in Baltimore this year?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We’re presently prepping The Show Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, which will include all the pertinent details about this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention set for Aug. 1-5  in Baltimore, Md.

There will be more than 80 former sports stars will be on hand at this year’s NSCC to sign for fans during the week. Here’s the rundown of who and when and their starting autograph fees for a basic item. (All times are p.m. unless noted with *)

On Friday, the NSCC and TRISTAR, the organizer of the autograph pavilion at the show, announced that New York Yankees relief pitcher and MLB career saves leader Mariano Rivera has been added to the lineup.

See all the signers — and see their starting fees — after the jump.

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Giants’ Matt Cain throws perfect game


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

San Francisco starter Matt Cain blanked Houston for just the 22nd perfect game in MLB history — and second this season — as his Giants rolled to a 10-0 victory over the visiting Astros Wednesday night.

The other perfecto was thrown by Philip Humber on April 21.

Cain struck out a career-high 14 batters in the game, which was just the 14th no-no in Giants history. (Need a Cain checklist or OPG? Click here.)

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Topps unveils NSCC promo card plans

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

You can see Bryce Harper at the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention.

On Topps baseball cards, that is.

On Wednesday, the company unveiled its plans for the NSCC, which is set for Aug. 1-5 in Baltimore and they will include a pair of wrapper redemption programs featuring an entire card set for one program and a mix of NFL and MLB rookies in the other. (Need a Harper checklist or OPG? Click here.)

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First look: 2012 Topps WWE

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is back in the wresting ring again.

After a long wait, the lone licensee of World Wrestling Entertainment cards released the first glimpses at its newest set showcasing the squared-circle in 2012 Topps WWE, a $2-per-pack product that will arrive on Sept. 26.

Each 24-pack hobby box will include  two hits — one shirt Relic and either an autograph or a Relic specifically from this year’s WrestleMania event which was headlined by The Rock vs. John Cena.

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ESPN’s “Mint Condition” looks at NBA Finals, cards

This week’s ESPN “Mint Condition” has arrived and this week they’re exploring the NBA Finals and the latest products from Panini America. Check out the video …  after the jump.

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Will you take the $10 Card Shop Challenge?



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s time for another version of the $10 Card Shop Challenge Are you ready? The deadline is Friday, June 15 …

Here is the back story — and the instructions are after the jump.

An after-work card shop visit long ago prompted a challenge to one of my Twitter followers, so I sent another message to the masses curious few who enjoy hearing not much from me 140 characters a time on my Twitter feed. I issued a collecting challenge. It’s time to do it again.

A few replied seeking details, but this time I’m taking it a step further as I want to see what many of you can come up with by hitting your local card shop. (If you don’t have an LCS, hit a retail store.) Call it the $10 Card Shop Challenge.

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Panini confirms short-print autos in 2011-12 Hoops

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

If you’ve had a tough time finding certain autographs from 2011-12 Hoops, there might be a reason.

Many of the signed cards are very short-printed.

Panini America confirmed on Tuesday that 131 of the cards in the 174-card set are shorter than the others and that 48 of those are limited to 25 — or fewer — copies. In all, the group carries a value of more than $6,800, according to the database. (Need an OPG or checklist? Click here.)

Interestingly, Oklahoma City Thunder star James Harden has just one copy of his autograph made, meaning just one person might be able to complete a set.

See the full list after the jump.

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Box Busters Retro: 2008 Topps Heroes Series 1

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2008 Heroes Series 1 from Topps in this retro non-sports edition of Box Busters. 

What will he find inside … besides a 1/1 sketch card? Watch and find out …

(Need a checklist or an OPG for one of the past Heroes sets from Topps? Click here.)

Kings claim The Cup: New royalty by the numbers

By Andrew Tolentino | Beckett Hockey Editor

For the first time in franchise history, the Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champions.

As the Staples Center in Los Angeles continues to echo from Monday’s history-maker, the hobby tips its hat to the newly crowned Kings. Under the leadership of head coach and hockey great Darryl Sutter, the Kings dominated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game 6. A major victory for a major media market team — a potentially powerful popularity booster for the sport itself.

Using the OPG, let’s take a look at where the latest Cup kissers stand in the hobby right this second. Expect some spikes in the weeks to come.

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How did your dad pass the trading card torch?

By Andrew Tolentino | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Unlike many collectors I’ve heard from, my dad and I never had that “passing the torch” moment with a single sports card — or any sports cards for that matter. In fact, short of a microscope, a rock cleaning kit and an army-issued shovel (which may or may not be street legal), he never really gave me any of his personal relics at all.

Do I resent him for that? Absolutely not. How could I?

As much as I’d like to talk about some *Pulp Fiction-esque moment when a Christopher Walken-like figure handed over my father’s cardboard bequest, I just can’t. Even though he never dusted off some old shoebox and handed me some dog-eared heirloom, my dad still helped me find my way as a young collector. (*Explicit language)

With Father’s Day coming up, I’d like to invite collectors to share their dad-related hobby memories, with or without the Hallmark moment. I’ll kick things off with a few of my own. Read More »

Thunder cards heat up in march to NBA Finals

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the NBA Finals for the first time in history. While this young group of stars is making a name for itself on sports highlight tapes and articles, many of the players are no strangers to card collectors.

On the Thunder’s roster, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant immediately jump out. Two of the best players in the league and they’re getting a chance to show it on a national stage against the Miami Heat.

But other guys are helping OKC on this exciting run. Here’s a look at some of the Thunder players and their cards:

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Box Busters: 2012 Topps Series 2

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2012 Topps Series 2 cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Press Pass releases National show card plans

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Press Pass has unveiled its plans for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore in early August and it’s one that will include a bit of mystery.

Mystery packs … and mystery locations for finding them (at least for now).

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Panini bringing rarely done relics to NBA cards



By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

When it comes to game-used memorabilia, not much is more iconic for a basketball player than his shoes.

Unlike other sports, where there’s more equipment that can be used and customized to show a player’s unique touches, basketball fans ultimately only have jerseys, shorts, warm-ups, basketballs and shoes as their game-used choices. That also translates into a few options when it comes to game-used cards.

Panini America is aiming to change that.

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Box Busters: 2012 Bowman Signatures football

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a pair of 2012 Bowman Signatures boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

ESPN’s “Mint Condition” talks MLB Draft

The latest edition of ESPN’s “Mint Condition” highlights five players from the MLB Draft who already have cardboard.

Upcoming Topps Tier One will let you hobnob with elites via massive bat knob set


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again — nothing is perhaps more perfectly symbolic of a home run hitter than a game-used baseball bat.

And, unlike cards, jerseys and other pieces of memorabilia, the more beaten and worn out a bat is, the more impressive it is — as long as it remains complete.

For card collectors and game-used cards, bats are not always as impressive. It’s not always a love-love relationship. But Topps is intending to change that with its upcoming Tier One release arriving later this month. While bats can yield hundreds, if not thousands, of anonymous-looking wood chips to be placed into cards, the most-special pieces of chopped up gamers are the nameplates — the spot on the barrel where the player’s name is burned into the bat — and the bat knob where a player’s perhaps most-personalized touches can be seen via numbers, initials or sayings.

In Tier One, there will be a 100-card set of 1/1 knob cards for collectors to chase, including some of the biggest names in the history of the game. It’s not an accident, said Topps Vice President Mark Sapir.

“The goal was to add special content, over-deliver value on this release,” Sapir said Tuesday night. “To create buzz and excitement in hobby, provide a special chase.”

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Topps adds left-handed Yu Darvish, more Bryce Harper autos to Series 2

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

You’re not imagining things if you know what you are looking at.

When 2012 Topps Series 2 arrives on Wednesday, it will include a short-printed variation card of Yu Darvish pitching left-handed. It’s one of more than 20 short-printed cards (26 at last unofficial count) to be found in the set.

Why left-handed? Apparently Darvish likes to warm up as a lefty from time to time — a quirk that Topps opted to capture on cardboard (card No. 660) as the Japanese star has received plenty of attention in his rookie season. (Need a Darvish checklist or OPG? Click here.)

Read More » By the Numbers: 2012 Topps Archives

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The auctions have ended, the numbers have been crunched. The ranges have been tabulated and the OPG has been posted.

The 2012 Topps Archives baseball card set has arrived on with the favorites, autographs and memories in tow. Let’s take a look inside the numbers crunched by Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst Brian Fleischer  — and see even more — after the jump.

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First look: 2012-13 Prestige basketball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America offered the first glimpses at 2012-13 Prestige on Tuesday, the second release of the post-lockout era and the second release that will include a double-dose of NBA rookies.

The product will include 100 Rookie Cards — members of last year’s NBA Draft class as well as this year’s — when it arrives in August.

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Ripping Retail: 2012 Topps Series 2 baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into four jumbo packs of 2012 Topps Series 2 cards in this latest edition of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Exclusive: A brother’s blessing — Junior Seau’s brother discusses ongoing art tribute

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

While Junior Seau became a star on the gridiron and entertained countless fans, he also was known for his charitable efforts that helped kids go to college and perhaps inspired a new generation of superstars both on and off the football field.

But for all that success, that prowess, as a larger-than-life figure, Seau also is serving to inspire someone else who was quite close to him — particularly now in the wake of his untimely death last month at age 43.

In the past, Junior Seau inspired and encouraged his big brother, Savai’i, to pursue his dreams of being an artist — and an ongoing project they started months ago that was meant to culminate with Junior’s likely induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a few years has taken on a somber turn.

In an exclusive interview with Beckett Media Contributing Editor Susan Lulgjuraj, Savai’i Seau discussed The Junior Seau Print Collection, his brother’s wishes for his work and more. Here’s an excerpt of the story that will be found in the August issues of both Beckett Football and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines arriving in hobby shops and bookstores soon.

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Topps spices up Series 2 baseball release

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is adding a bit more luster to the 2012 Topps Series 2 baseball set that arrives on Wednesday as it teased a pair of inclusions on the cusp of its release.

In all, there four additional players’ autographs added to its Golden Giveaway lineup — this time, the cards will be in packs, though — and we have our first looks at some of the solid gold cards that some collectors will start to find in packs soon.

First, the company teased some of the 24k-gold cards to be found as redemptions (above) — Series 1 cards were encapsulated by Beckett Grading Services as these cards can be quite fragile.

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Next Topps UFC product will include fight-used cards somebody sank their teeth into

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The next UFC release from Topps will be one you can sink your teeth into.

No wait …

The upcoming UFC release from Topps will include one insert set that will have some collectors champing at the bit for a certain few cards.

Err … When 2012 Topps Finest UFC arrives in July, it will include cards that will include complete fight-used mouthpieces embedded into the cards.

“Its just an ongoing effort by our company to be innovative, to push the bounds, to do our best to give our collectors great content and to connect them with their favorite fighters,” said Topps VP Mark Sapir. “We are all about bringing the game, the fight, etc., to our collectors and this is just another special way we plan to do this.”

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Johan Santana throws first no-hitter in Mets history — and already has a no-no baseball card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

After more than 8,000 MLB games, the New York Mets finally have a no-hitter in the record book.

And that infamous drought is gone thanks to Johan Santana, who blanked the visiting Cardinals Friday night at Citi Field for an 8-0 victory.

While Santana made history — and appears on 5,376 baseball cards valued at more than $42,700 according to the database and OPG — the historic no-hitter will not generate the first Mets no-hitter baseball card in existence.

You see, that’s already been done before — and it features … Johan Santana.

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First look: 2012 Topps Prime

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

As usual, early fall will be a prime time for football fans. But wait, there’s a Topps product twist.

The company announced today that its star-centric brand, 2012 Topps Prime will hit hobby shops on Oct. 1 — fully loaded with a roster of Relics, autographs and rarity variations. Here’s the skinny …

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Topps readies Series 2 wrapper redemption

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With 2012 Topps Series 2 arriving next Wednesday, many a baseball collector might be ready to unwrap some of the fun that might be found inside the latest installment of the hobby’s most-bought brand.

And now all those wrappers are now good for something, too.

Topps announced on Friday that it will have a wrapper redemption program for the set — one which will have 10,000 hobby packs and 10,000 retail packs. It’s the first time that Topps has extended a redemption program to include retail.

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