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Monthly Archives: July 2012

First look: In The Game’s History of Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In The Game’s hockey products have been around for more than a decade. Now, Dr. Brian Price is bringing together a product that highlights its past with History of Hockey.

There are just four cards in each box: a memorabilia card, a PSA/DNA certified autograph, a Rookie Card and a buyback.

ITG hasn’t released dates or pricing yet, but there are plenty of pictures and early information about History of Hockey for hockey collectors.

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First look: 2012 Panini Absolute Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Autographs and memorabilia cards seem to be abundant in 2012 Absolute Football. Panini America released a preview where just about every insert or subset has some sort of autograph or memorabilia variation.

Absolute doesn’t come out until November, but these pictures tell an early story.

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Box Busters: 2012 Bowman Platinum

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2012 Bowman Platinum boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Product Preview: 2012 Panini Momentum Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Football season for trading cards is really going to kick up in August.

Another product on the schedule is Panini Momentum, which is currently scheduled for Aug. 29, and it will include many of the top rookies.

Momentum is on the higher-end scale of Panini America products. There are 10 packs per box with three cards in each pack, which should include at least an autograph or memorabilia card. Hobby boxes have a pre-sale price of around $200 right now.

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Veteran dealer finds misprinted surprise

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Quality control ain’t what it used to be, and for one long-time dealer a surprise in that area in a recent retro purchase might pay off well.

Cicero Gamez, a dealer and collector for 20 years who is based in Delaware, found a few examples of that on some key cards from the 1980s — the 1986-87 Fleer basketball stickers — and on a few key cards.

Notably? Michael Jordan (rookie sitcker), Magic Johnson and Dominique Wilkins (also a rookie) — and each of the cards has an overprinted card back for a baseball sticker from that same year.

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Missy Franklin’s ink tops Justin Bieber’s

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Missy Franklin stands an imposing 6-foot-1 but she’s just 17 years old and a fan of Justin Bieber.

Oh, and she’s also an Olympic gold medalist, winning the 100-meter backstroke on Monday, who might be looking for another possible medal tonight during the London Games.

And that has meant added attention to her autographed cards in the 2012 Topps U.S. Olympic Team product that is the place of all places to find certified autographs of the stars of this year’s games (as long as they wear red, white and blue).

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Get your hands on Tracy Hackler at the NSCC

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

From the Tongue-Firmly-in-Cheek File …

Just in case you’ve ever wanted to get your hands on Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler, you now have your chance at the National Sports Collectors Convention.

No, he’s not auditioning opponents for inside the Octagon. No, he’s not holding arm-wrestling contests at the company booth (that we know of) — but watch out, he’ll test positive for Monster and Jack Links beef jerky so if you want to take your chances on a reversed decision …

Instead? Well …

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Hockey’s turn for Ultimate’s 1997 Legends autos

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Over the last several years, Upper Deck’s Ultimate Collection has been inserted with the 1997 Legends autograph subset. The checklist is filled with some of the great players in the respective sports.

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in basketball. Brett Favre and Dan Marino in football – just to name a few.

This year’s Ultimate Collection kicks off a three-year cycle with hockey of the 1997 Legends autographs with 30 players in each release. The product comes out next week.

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Box Busters: 2012 UFC Finest

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Join Beckett Media’s Bryan Hornbeck and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2012 UFC Finest boxes from Topps in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Press Pass Showcase racing

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Dan Hitt as they rip into a pair of 2012 Press Pass Showcase racing boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? What can you win? Watch and find out …

Panini’s NFL rookie-drawn sketches at NSCC

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

For some of the current NFL rookies, it’s probably a good thing they were athletes. Art doesn’t seem to be one of their strong suits.

However, it never hurts to have a little fun and that’s just what Panini America did with the NFL rookies at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. The card company gave the footballers a blank slate on a typical card size and told them to draw something for the fans.

Many of the players opted for images of their new teams, drawing logos of the Indianapolis Colts or the Buffalo Bills. Some players went for sayings or inspirational words.

Others were a little more creative.

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Newest Ultimate Collection arrives next week

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Even during the dead heat of this summer, there are many collectors looking forward to the days when the air cools and ice arenas become a popular hang out.

Upper Deck is getting hockey fans in the mood when its latest release comes out next week – 2011-12 Ultimate Collection.

While on the high-end scale, Ultimate is a favorite among collectors with high-caliber autographs and sharp designs. Ultimate is scheduled to arrive on Aug. 7 with pre-orders around $100 a box.

Collectors will get one pack per box with four cards including an autograph, a Rookie Card, a base card and a memorabilia card, on average.

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Titans WR O.J. Murdock dies of apparent suicide

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Death is tough to deal with on any level, whether due to an accident or old age or some other tragic event.

That sentiment emerged Monday, after news broke about the death of Tennessee Titans wide receiver O.J. Murdock. He was 25.

According to published reports, he took his own life. Murdock never played in an NFL game, missing the 2011 season because of an injury. He hadn’t reported to camp this year.

He did appear on one Rookie Card – 2011 Panini Gridiron Gear, including some parallels.

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Three last-minute tips for the National

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The National.

With just two words just about every card collector knows exactly what you’re talking about.

In two days, the National Sports Collectors Convention will kick off in Baltimore with a sneak peek. But the real fun starts on Thursday when the doors open to the public and thousands of collectors and dealers show up to the biggest card show of the year.

Of course, through all the excitement and the counting down of minutes, you might forget a few things.

So here are three last-minute tips for the NSCC. After all, we don’t want you to forget your toothbrush.

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A look at Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

When Ryan Lochte beat out the field in the 400 individual medley, which included Olympic swimming Golden Boy Michael Phelps, he became The Guy. Essentially Lochte became a household name and not a commercial break goes by without seeing him swimming to London.

Sure, Phelps is the most popular and his sponsorships with Subway probably won’t go away anytime soon. However, Lochte won the first gold of the Olympics for the Americans. While Phelps took fourth in the same race.

Collectors looking to snag a couple of Lochte’s cards are in luck. Lochte is featured in 2012 Topps U.S. Olympic Team, but his first card came in 2007.

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Q&A with Adam Beechen, DC Comics New 52 card writer

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

DC Comics The New 52 trading card line should be an exciting one for fans of the relaunched series. It comes out with fresh art, and it’s been several years since DC Comics had a dedicated set.

Beckett previewed the set earlier this week, including five exclusive preview images sent to us by Cryptozoic.

One of the unique features of the set is that it was written by DC Comics writer Adam Beechen, whose first comic for DC was Justice League Unlimited #1. Beechen previously worked with Cryptozoic’s art director David Baron on “Batman Beyond,” and recommended Beechen for the job.

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PSA launches resource for game-used collectors

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

PSA is helping bring order to the chaos of game-used baseball bat collecting with a new resource for collectors based on information collected when the company has authenticated and graded pieces from the past.

The company has created a website called PSAProBatFacts.com, which is a reference resource showing models and types of bats used by past players. In its initial debut, there are specs and images for bats from 73 members of the Hall of Fame and 34 other notable players who are often collected.

“Professional model bats are among the most desirable items in the entire sports memorabilia hobby,” said Joe Orlando, PSA President, in a prepared release. “They are tangible pieces of sports history, used by the players to create that history.”

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ESPN’s Mint Condition talks The National


ESPN’s “Mint Condition” catches up with Mike Berkus of the National Sports Collectors Convention to discuss next week’s show in Baltimore.

Panini’s NFL sticker albums coming soon

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

What do Eli Manning, Tim Tebow, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Rob Gronkowski and Calvin Johnson have in common?

They are the cover boys for Panini America’s 2012 NFL Sticker & Album Collection.

With 72 pages and 494 stickers (354 glossy, 100 holographic stickers, 40 micro-etched stickers), collectors are going to need plenty of time to chase down a complete book. Seven-sticker packs are $1 each and albums are $2.

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Mastro, Allen indicted on fraud charges

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Sports auction house executives Bill Mastro and Doug Allen were indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago on Wednesday on charges of fraud for allegations that include auction manipulation and, in the case of Mastro, altering one of the hobby’s most-famous baseball cards, the PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner that has sold for $2.8 million.

Mastro, the founder of defunct Mastro Auctions which closed in 2009, faces one count of mail fraud. Allen, who was the president of Mastro before it closed and is now president of Legendary Auctions, faces 14 counts. Another former Mastro executive now with Legendary, Mark Theotikos, faces six. According to a New York Daily News report, the maximum penalty for the charges is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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A look at Elite’s Passing the Torch checklist

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Athletes are constantly compared to each other even if they haven’t played in the same decade. Fans love to speculate how a certain player will pan out. Will he be like my sports idol? Or just wash out after one season?

But inevitably, one good player leads the way for another. Since about 1997, the Donruss Elite brand has found ways to display that transition with its “Passing the Torch” autograph inserts.

This year’s Elite by Panini America, which came out this week, is no different with 20 pairs of subjects on the checklist. These cards are hard to pull with none having more than a 25-card print run.

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Box Busters Preview: 2012 Bowman Platinum

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2012 Bowman Platinum cards in this Box Busters preview video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2012 Topps UFC Bloodlines

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

UFC is coming up on 20 years in the mixed martial arts world. In that time, hundreds of fighters have fought for the MMA company from dozens of countries. In fact, UFC airs in more than 150 countries and in 22 languages.

The company has an international appeal and not just for the fans. Fighters come from across the globe to participate in the largest MMA promotion company.

Topps is commemorating that international flavor with 2012 UFC Bloodlines, which highlights the heritage of athletes in UFC and Strikeforce.

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Panini, Football HOF extend partnership

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are going to be partnering up for a long time.

The card company announced an extension of their exclusive relationship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The two entities have had a deal in place since 2010, which allows Panini to use Hall of Fame marks and logos on its trading cards and stickers. In addition, Panini will produce autograph cards honoring each new member.

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Ichiro’s first Yankees cards coming soon

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Ichiro Suzuki‘s New York Yankees career is just two games old and that means it’s time for one thing.

His first Yankees baseball cards.

Topps, the lone licensee of MLB cards, will include him in pinstripes in at least four upcoming releases — the first being 2012 Topps Update, which arrives in October.

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