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Monthly Archives: June 2012

R.A. Dickey’s auto supply is low & demand is high

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

One of the most-interesting stories in baseball this year might be the emergence of New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, a guy who has the best record in MLB and some of the hottest cards around.

And he’s perhaps languishing in your commons boxes.

Dickey has an 11-1 record with a 2.00 ERA with 103 strikeouts in 99 innings, and he’s got just two Rookie Cards and a total of just three certified autographs despite making his cardboard debut way back in 1997.

Now, the guy with a 52-51 career record and a 4.09 ERA just might end up starting the All-Star Game.

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Topps unveils five-card National VIP set

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s National Sports Collectors Convention is little more than a month away and the latest teaser of show-exclusive cards has arrived.

It’s from Topps and it’s the company’s VIP set, an offering of cards modeled in the famed 1952 design but with a twist.

It’s showing some legendary names in earlier uniforms than most of us remember seeing before on cardboard — Mickey Mantle with the Class C Joplin Miners for example.

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Preview Gallery: 2012 Press Pass Redline

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Some might say that NASCAR’s colorful firesuits and sheet metal means it easy to provide impressive memorabilia cards, but Press Pass‘ latest effort just might blow the engines of the most-hardened collectors.

And that’s exactly what the intent is with 2012 Press Pass Red Line as there are two autographs and two memorabilia cards in every single box of the high-end product that arrives on July 5.

As previously reported here, these tins will include at least one autographed memorabilia card, and we’ve got an extensive preview gallery of cards that will be found in the product that you can see here … after the jump.

(Need a checklist or OPG for a 2012 Press Pass racing brand? Click here.)

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After nine years, King James has his crown


By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

He’s been the chosen one since well before Day 1 in the NBA, and he’s been anointed for greatness ever since.

After nine years and 713 games, The Chosen One finally has his ring.

In other words, LeBron James … NBA champion.

The questions now, though, are … is he worth it? Is he worth even more now? They’re valid questions as countless dollars — likely millions — have been spent on his sports cards and memorabilia (signed and unsigned) and he’s now considered to be closer to complete with a ring. (Expectations will likely dictate more is necessary out of the Miami Heat guard, of course.)

So, again, is he worth it? What’s next for his basketball cards? Well, part of that is in the eye of the beholder — but the basketball card-buying masses apparently say “yes” as long as their pockets are deep in some instances.


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Topps teases mini baseball card line

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ latest creation might make you feel like it’s 1975 again … if you’re old enough to remember it.

For those who aren’t? Well, it might be something old that’s something new.

What is it? Well, according to a teaser banner on ShopTopps.com, it appears that the company is planning a line of mini baseball cards.

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Box Busters Retro: 2006 Smallville Season 5

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips a box of 2006 Smallville Season 5 cards from Inkworks in this retro edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

(Need a checklist or OPG for this product? Click here.)

Fringe trading cards arrive this week

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Fringe is one of the more popular shows on television. But there is a difference in fans when it comes to it and many other shows on TV.

There’s no watching Fringe just a little bit or catching an episode if you happen to be going through the channels.

It’s all or nothing with Fringe, which creates some great fans.

Cryptozoic captured the best of the show’s first two seasons on cards for a product that arrived this week.

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Upper Deck fast-tracks Signature Edition baseball

Update (June 21): This product is now scheduled for a July 3 release and will arrive with licensing/approval from the Major League Baseball Players Association, according to an announcement from the company.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The next Upper Deck baseball set is coming soon — as in next week.

This year’s SP Signature Edition will arrive on May 1 with what the company is touting as “the best lineup of living baseball players ever offered in one product.”

Each box will carry a suggested retail price of $255 with three three-card packs and a total of nine autographed cards inside. There will be two single-signed cards and one card with multiple sigs per pack. In some cases, the company said, there will be as many as eight signatures per card.

Of course, without a league license or players association deals for baseball, the cards are likely to be without photos or logos — and no card images have been released in advance of this fast-tracked product, which will include six boxes per case. (Want a checklist or OPG for past Signature Edition sets? Click here.)

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Collector Box Busters: 2012 Topps Tier One

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he ventures to Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas to watch a Box Busters of a collector tearing into 2012 Topps Tier One on its day of release.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out … and stay tuned for a hobby box break of Topps Archives after that.

First look: 2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects


Update (June 20): Topps announced on Wednesday that the product will not be released to retail channels, making it a hobby-only product.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The MLB Draft is complete, now we can have draft picks cards.

Topps unveiled the basic information and preview images for 2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects on Friday, the latest installment of the annual staple that will have some of the first cards of the 2012 MLB Draft class inside when it arrives on Nov. 28.

New this year will be dual autographs pairing Top 10 picks from this year’s draft with notable top picks from the past, while there will be cards featuring the All-Star Futures Game members as well as Aflac and Under Armour All-American signatures, too.

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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 beckettsupercollector@gmail.com 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 Beckett.com 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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