Monthly Archives: August 2012

Box Busters: 2012 Finest baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2012 Finest baseball card boxes from Topps in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Biggio, Clemens bring family experience to Classic event and Topps signings

By Theo Chen | Contributing Writer

SAN DIEGO | The Perfect Game All-American Classic was similar to previous years when it was held this past weekend, but it had three interesting distinctions.

Only two were noticeable by the collectors and fans who attended the game. First, the roster was expanded from 46 last year to 48 players this year — the largest ever. Second, this year’s invitees included for the first time, sons of potential future Hall of Famers — and not just one but two of them. Cavan Biggio and Kacey Clemens, offspring of Craig and Roger, are friends who grew up playing youth baseball in the Houston area and spending time around major league clubhouses with their famous fathers.

Of course, Cavan and Kacey are not the first sons of former major leaguers to play in the All-American Classic, just the most prominent by far. Previous second generation players include Jack Armstrong Jr. (2007), Cameron Bedrosian (son of Steve, 2009), Connor Narron  (son of Jery, 2009), Shawon Dunston Jr. (2010) and Lance McCullers Jr. (2011).

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Andrew Luck’s debut brings hope, expensive cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor | Commentary

The Indianapolis Star’s sports front page said it all.

The headline: “It’s only preseason but …”

The top pick of the 2012 NFL Draft made his debut on Sunday, and in rather impressive fashion. Andrew Luck threw a 63-yard touchdown on his first pass.

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Rory McIlroy cards aren’t in plentiful supply

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With Rory McIlroy winning the PGA Championship this weekend, some collectors might have rushed to see what kind of cards they can get of the young golfer.

Perhaps an autograph that have sneaked into a product. Or even an event-worn shirt. At the very least, just a card listing his accomplishments – which are piling up quickly.

No. There’s none of that. In fact, there’s just one licensed card and a handful of others.

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Panini VIP event offers experience beyond show

 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

We’re about a week removed from the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore and since then a couple of things have resonated with me about the hobby and its premiere event.

It’s still pretty strong — but it could still be stronger.

Not stronger in practical ways like more dealers, more space, more education and more discussions. That’s easy, and it’s stuff that could be done — by NSCC organizers or others attending the event (some companies did). But it could also be stronger as in potentially bringing in more of corporate America, more star power in different ways and making it feel more like The Event of All Events — something that can raise the profile of the hobby beyond just those in it, a way to ensure that those who used to collect can realize that it’s all still around and that the cardboard is better than it was in the past, too.

Panini America‘s VIP party on Aug. 4 showed how a bit of that might be possible as the company put on a show beyond the card show.

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FIRST LOOK: 2012 Topps Heritage WWE

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

After a four-year rest, the Topps Heritage WWE line is back for another run at the world championship.

And while past years used past baseball designs as the form for the newest retro-styled WWE cards, this year’s edition will do something that hadn’t been done in the four previous standalone releases.

It will utilize the heritage of Topps‘ first wrestling release, the 1985 WWF set, which featured the likes of Hulk Hogan, the Iron Sheik and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka on the cusp of wrestling’s emergence onto the national psyche. This time, some of those stars return — along with the oldschool design.

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Lord Stanley cut autograph coming to ITG’s Superlative Hockey 3

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Punching in “Lord Stanley” in the Beckett database reveals just 41 cards with his name on it.

By the end of the year, there should at least one more. In The Game will release Superlative Hockey 3 in November in time for the Fall Expo with a cut autograph of Lord Stanley of Preston.

It will be the 10th cut auto to hit the market since 2001-02 SP Game Used.

However, the cut autograph is just one of the highlights in Superlative Hockey 3, which has been two years in the making.

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FIRST LOOK: 2012-13 Upper Deck Hockey Series 1

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Hockey fans are gearing up for another installment of Young Guns.

Upper Deck Series 1 hits the shelves in November with one of the most popular series for Rookie Cards in the sport.

Young Guns will fall at an average rate of six cards per 24-pack hobby box. Each eight-card pack will have two to three inserts. Some other items collectors can get include parallels, jersey cards and canvas cards.

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FIRST LOOK: Upper Deck’s Alabama Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Roll Tide!

Upper Deck is readying a new school-centered football product for The University of Alabama.

The long checklist will include some of the all-time greats for Alabama such as Bart Starr, Joe Namath and, of course, Bear Bryant.

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Starling Marte is Topps’ first 2012 Finest rookie

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps announced its first Finest rookie redemption of the year on Friday, and it’s a Pittsburgh Pirate who has made quite an impression since his first big-league at-bat.

It’s Starling Marte.

Collectors who found redemption No. 1 out of the five in 2012 Finest, which arrived in hobby shops on Wednesday, will receive a signed card of Marte, who is hitting .281 with four home runs since his debut. He homered on the first pitch of his first at-bat in MLB on July 26.

Marte already appears on 141 different cards valued at more than $1,300. (Need a Marte checklist or OPG? Click here.)

The company will reveal the remaining four rookies during the next month.

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.

Manning, Griffin make debuts for respective teams

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Thursday night was an interesting one for football fans. Two quarterbacks made their respective debuts.

Peyton Manning came out for the Denver Broncos and Robert Griffin III had a brief, but spirited showing for the Washington Redskins.

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Can $115 turn into $10K? Calvin Shuler & the Bowman Platinum Bryce Harper Superfractor

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds caught up with collector Calvin Shuler, who found the Bryce Harper Superfractor in a pack of 2012 Bowman Platinum at Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas, Texas.

What was his reaction? What are his plans for the card? Watch and find out …

Update: The card was graded a 9 by Beckett Grading Services and will be sold soon via Beckett Select Auctions, the consignment arm of Beckett Media.

Your Take: What will the Superfractor sell for?

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Box Busters Preview 2012 Finest + vintage bonus

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2012 Finest and some vintage cards, too, in this Box Busters Preview video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Pittsburgh card shop pulls Topps Football Golden Kickoff Ticket

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Chuck Weldon never wins anything. He isn’t taking credit for this one either since his son opened the package from Topps.

The owners of Sports Card Junction in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh pulled a special giveaway card out for 2012 Topps Football.

A “Golden Kickoff Ticket Winner” card to be precise.

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Box Busters: 2012 Panini Triple Play

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2012 Panini Triple Play baseball cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

AT THE NATIONAL: Ripping 1989 Upper Deck

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and contributing writer Ben Aguirre as they rip a box of 1989 Upper Deck baseball cards behind the scenes at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 TRISTAR TNA TENacious

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a pair of 2012 TRISTAR TNA TENacious wrestling boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: The Walking Dead Season 2

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Fans of the The Walking Dead – comic or television series – can keep adding to their collection. The Walking Dead Season 2 trading cards are set to come out in the fall.

Cryptozoic is bringing back many of the elements that made the first installment of the cards popular with autograph and costume cards. In addition, The Walking Dead will feature sketch cards of many of the popular characters.

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Box Busters: 2012 Topps Mini baseball cards

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

What will they find inside the first pack and more?? Watch and find out …

Bryce Harper Superfractor lands in my backyard

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Sometimes you have to wonder where The Big One might land.

They’re in every product it seems, and they seemingly always end up on eBay for the world to see.

But in the case of the 2012 Bowman Platinum Bryce Harper Superfractor?

Well, it ended up in a pack in a box in my present hometown card shop, Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas, Texas. It just might have been in a box that could have been mine little over a week ago — I bought one and you can see the results by clicking here.

This explains my call from the shop this morning that I hadn’t yet been able to answer, and I had planned to get there today before a dead car battery … guys, I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon. (And I’ll see if I can get more details then, too. I do know that it’s headed to Beckett Grading Services, though.)

Wow. That is all.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

BOX BUSTERS: 2012 Onyx Platinum Prospects

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

A photo guide to 2012 Topps Football SPs

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The latest issue of Topps Football comes with many quirks and nuances. There are plenty of inserts – some more rare than others.

There are also many short-printed photo variations in Topps’ base set – more than 50 actually.

Here’s a checklist provided by Topps of the base card variations, with photos to help. The photos pictured are the short-printed variations. Some names are left blank because we haven’t found photos for these cards yet, but will update as we find more.

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Your Turn (HK 242): Who do you think is a future hockey legend?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In an upcoming issue of Beckett Hockey, we’re looking at legends of the game.

All the notables will be there with Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr.

However, there are few things we want to know from you – the collector.

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Do you have Olympic fever? Check out what everything is worth right here …

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

The world’s showcase event, The Olympics, are nearing their close on Sunday but there’s little doubt that one shade can be used to describe the meteoric movement on some of the key autographs from this year’s Topps Olympic card set.

Golden.

We’ve seen it already with the autographs of emerging stars such as American swimmer Missy Franklin — the world’s spotlight and those watching can make what had been an affordable autograph one that’s suddenly not — and with the 2012 Topps U.S. Olympic Team set the only place to find autographs of many Olympic stars? Well, it means those cards can fluctuate wildly.

At the link below, you can download a price guide for the entirety of the product, a sampling of what you’ll find for everything here on Beckett.com for everything that’s there every single day if you have an Online Price Guide.

Click here to download a free comprehensive 2012 Topps U.S. Olympic price guide.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Your Turn (BSCM 331): Show your school colors … who do you collect?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

In an upcoming issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re going to explore the world of college collecting.

While we haven’t yet ironed out all of the items we’ll have inside The College Issue — there are lots of options — one thing we know we do want is to hear from you. We want to know a few things about how your school ties tie into what you collect and how you collect.

I finished my college days at the University of Alabama — a school that has produced many Hall of Famers on the gridrion (both college and pro), produced quite a few MLB and NBA stars, and even some stars in the literary and media world. My collection is all over the map from my days down there — and it’s a collection with plenty of variety beyond just the football greats. (I’ll have plenty to potentially write about in that issue.)

But that’s for later. We want to know about your college collecting habits.

Give us your name and location and answer the following questions … we’ll run a selection of the most-interesting answers in the issue.

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Upper Deck offers wrapper redemption program for O-Pee-Chee hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Hockey card season is here, and Upper Deck’s first product is 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee, which comes out in just a week.

Canadian collectors get a special surprise for grabbing the newest product, which happens to have a 600-card base set. Upper Deck is having a wrapper redemption program for OPC.

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UD, Sanders catch up at NSCC to sign

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

There are drawbacks when it comes to getting autographs on card, but collectors far and wide would rather have signed cards than autograph stickers.

With 2011 Exquisite Football coming out in a few days, Upper Deck still waited on one of the best running backs in history to fulfill his deal.

How was going UD going to get Barry Sanders to finally sign its cards? Well, as coincidence would have it, UD and Sanders were in Baltimore last weekend for the National Sports Collectors Convention. Upper Deck just happened to have the Exquisite cards with it.

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Golden tickets pop up in 2012 Topps Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Ever picture yourself on a football card? Perhaps doing a little dance or imitating the Heisman Trophy pose?

Topps is bringing that opportunity to collectors with a special promotion inside 2012 Topps.

Topps has inserted 10 Golden Draft Tickets, which read “Congratulations! You have been drafted by The Topps Football Team.”

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Panini hires hobby sales veteran D.J. Kazmierczak

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America‘s management team added another hobby veteran on Tuesday.

The Texas-based company announce that it has hired long-time industry executive D.J. Kazmierczak to become its new Vice President of Sales, overseeing its U.S. market.

Kazmierczak previously worked as Press Pass‘ Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for four years and was its director of retail sales for three years before that. He also previously worked for Fleer starting back in 1994.

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Prime Hockey shows off its patches

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America had a unique way of showing off cards from one of its newest products. The company strategically placed patches together from 2011-12 Prime Hockey to make them look like one big patch.

But they aren’t. It’s anywhere from six to 16 cards put together.

For those out there who are completists, try to control the urge.

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AT THE NATIONAL: A chat with Jim Rice

By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Some baseball stars authenticate, catalog, store and sell their memorabilia when their playing careers are over.
Hall of Famer Jim Rice isn’t one of those players.

“I don’t have anything in my house that tells you I played the game of baseball,” Rice told Beckett at the National Sports Collectors Convention. “I don’t have any hats or balls. The only thing you might find around my house are some golf clubs.”

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Ripping Retail: 2012 Topps Football

This season’s Topps Football flagship has showed up in retail a couple of days early. Check out this video of Beckett Football editor Susan Lulgjuraj opening several retail items.

Topps hits the street on Wednesday.

What did you get at The NSCC? I got Reggie …

 By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The National Sports Collectors Convention is the place you visit to pick up memories, add to your collections that you have built over a lifetime and, in a way, shape your own personal view of the sports world.

With my final hour of my final day at the show winding down, it was now-or-never time for finding a certain memorable item to add to my collection since I had purchased just a couple small items — nothing necessary, nothing remotely memorable — while working. Before this year’s event, I had told myself that I should find one item — a better piece — that I could remember the show by, so that was what was in my mind as I made my way out of the Beckett bullpen with one of our writers and we headed down one aisle.

What I got in that last hour was something I never in my life could have expected — something I could have never want-listed or dreamt about. It wasn’t a Rookie Card or an autograph, it wasn’t an unusual piece of memorabilia I couldn’t find anywhere else.

What I got was Reggie Jackson.

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AT THE NATIONAL: Ripping a 1963 Topps pack

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds caught up with New York-based dealer Jeffrey Finnigan as he ripped a pack of 1963 Topps at the Topps booth during this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

AT THE NATIONAL: Hall of Famer Earl Weaver affirms $3 thrift-store find with a glance

By Ben Aguirre Jr. | Contributing Writer | Commentary

BALTIMORE – The proof is in the details.

From the day that I found a game-used 1977 Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver jersey in a San Francisco Bay Area thrift store, there has always been one tell-all sign that what I had located was truly a garment worn by the Hall of Fame manager himself.

The giveaway?

“Does it have the pocket for my cigarettes?” Weaver said Saturday at the National Sports Collectors Convention as he handled the jersey, placing his right middle and index fingers over the area where the chain-smoking skipper kept his pack. “Oh … yeah.”

Weaver is an elder statesman of the game and life, physically showing his 81 years of age. (He’ll be 82 on Aug. 12.)  He wore a black wrist guard on his right hand and winced when I shook his left hand with my own. But his mind is there, and so is the classic spark that made him the poster boy of bad boy managers who enjoyed verbal sparring with umpires.

“Ow, you’re gonna hurt my hand, dammit,” he said as I thought I shook his hand gently. “I’ve got arthritis you know.”

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