Monthly Archives: September 2012

Adam Greenberg gets one more shot in the majors — and so do his baseball cards

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Update: Greenberg struck out on three pitches against 20-game winner R.A. Dickey during the sixth inning.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Seven summers ago, Adam Greenberg stepped into the batters box on a Saturday afternoon in Miami.

His life would never be the same again.

The Chicago Cubs rookie was making his major league debut in the ninth inning, pinch-hitting at the end of an 8-2 win over the Marlins, a game where many of the 22,863 fans in attendance had left.

The first and only pitch he faced in the major leagues, a 92-mph fastball from reliever Valerio de los Santos, hit him in the head. He never played in the majors again, toiling in the minors and struggling with medical issues. The last four years, he’s played independent ball, capping a decade-long odyssey that has a .263 average and 43 career homers to show for it in the minor leagues and plenty of zeroes in the MLB ledger other than one game played and one plate appearance — but not an official at-bat.

But all that changes on Tuesday night in Miami.

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Tim Tebow’s card prices take a hit

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Tim Tebow heard the chants. Thousands of fans yelled his name in Denver, calling for him to quarterback the team.

Even after leading the Broncos to the playoffs and winning a game, Denver traded Tebow to the New York Jets, relegated as a backup and stuck on special teams.

Tebow is still popular among fans. Jets fans wear his jerseys on game day and plenty of them root for him to get in games with the Jets at 2-1 and tied for the top of the AFC East this season.

But his popularity hasn’t transferred to cards as of late. He was once one of the most collectible players in the NFL with autographs selling for hundreds of dollars.

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NFL refs to get attention this weekend

By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

The biggest stars of this weekend’s NFL games aren’t the players – they’re the stripes-wearing, flag-carrying officials.

The ‘real’ referees are back, ending the league’s three-week replacement ref sideshow and bringing the officiating cause into focus, a focus that has received intermittent cardboard attention.

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Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey no-hits Pirates


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Homer painted a masterpiece against the Pirates Friday night.

While not quite perfect — the Reds had one error and he walked one — Homer Bailey did breeze through the game, winning 1-0 in Pittsburgh to up his season record to 13-10 and giving some collectors reason to examine his 2004 Rookie Cards.

He’s the 15th pitcher in Reds history to throw a no-no and it’s the first for the franchise since 1988.

Bailey appears on 544 cards valued at more than $2,600, according to (Need a checklist or OPG? Click here.) He has 259 different certified autographs and just 13 game-used memorabilia cards, while 441 of his cards, or 81 percent, are serial-numbered.

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First look: 2013 Topps UFC Knockout

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Fist-ographs made its debut in UFC Knockout last year. The autograph cards were so popular with collectors, it’s back again in 2013 UFC Knockout.

The unique hit features an ink fist print of an MMA fighter along with their signature.

Topps doesn’t stop there. There are two autographs, two autograph relics and four relic cards per eight-pack box. The Fist-ographs are box toppers.

Check out the extensive gallery below of 2013 UFC Knockout cards.

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Remembering Eleanor Engle, first woman to sign with an affiliated baseball team

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The photograph shows Eleanor Engle sitting alone on a dugout bench, with enough room for at least two people to sit beside her.

Her Harrisburg Senators teammates grouped on an adjacent bench. They couldn’t be bothered by the skirt-wearing shortstop. Soon, professional baseball would take a similar stance.

That photo – preserved on a card in 1991 Topps Archives – is reflective of what Engle endured when she became the first woman to sign a baseball contract with an affiliated team in 1952.

Engle died on Thursday at 86 years old.

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Upper Deck continues expired redemption raffle

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

No one wants to pull a redemption out of a pack of cards. Even worse is when you pull an expired one.


Upper Deck has experimented with ways to help collectors with these. It isn’t eliminating redemptions in products, that’s unrealistic for card companies that want hits with the best names in its products.

Instead, UD will continue running a raffle program it started at the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention, but for Upper Deck redemptions only. The redemption card must also be for an autographed card or signed memorabilia item.

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Panini appoints product development directors

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America announced on Friday that it has restructured its product development department.

Karvin Cheung (NHL), Ben Ecklar (NFL) and David Porter (NBA) will now be in product development director positions for their respective sports. They will report to Martin Welling, the VP of Operations.

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Topps bumps up 2012 Prime Football release

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Topps bumped up the street date for 2012 Topps Prime Football to Friday. The product was supposed to come out next week, but why wait.

Pushing up the release date creates same-day distribution for retail and hobby. For collectors who frequent big box stores, they know cards often show up a few days earlier than hobby releases.

As fans get their hands on Prime, eBay auctions have been trickling online.

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Prize Gallery: Beckett Customer Appreciation Month starts Monday with daily giveaways on


While we have teased a few images of what’s up for grabs during Customer Appreciation Month via the Beckett Media Facebook page, we haven’t shown you everything that will be up for grabs starting Monday on

From The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, to RGIII, from Blake Griffin to Ryne Sandberg — or even Shania Twain and Mary Tyler Moore — we’ll have a little bit of everything for everybody.

And that’s just the singles. There will be wax, Dynamic Duo subscriptions, BGS certificates and more up for grabs each and every day in October.

Here’s a sampling of what could be yours just by visiting the site, logging in, and clicking your mouse a single time. — Chris Olds

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Ripping Retail: A 250-card Excell baseball repack

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a 205-card retail baseball card repack from Excell Marketing in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan highlight 2012 SP Authentic Golf

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Collectors have had to wait about eight years for a new golf set from Upper Deck.

In that time, we’ve seen some great tournament runs and golfers endure rises and falls. This week marked the return of SP Authentic Golf from UD highlighting some of the most popular male and female golfers.

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Get ready … October is Beckett Customer Appreciation Month

October is a fun time with Halloween and the baseball playoffs. Football races take shape and basketball and hockey (hopefully) get their starts.

But there is another reason to enjoy October – Beckett Customer Appreciation Month.

Every day in October, Beckett will give away a prize to members of the Beckett community.

Prizes include subscriptions, autograph cards, Beckett Grading Services gift certificates and much, much more for a total of 31 prizes.

In order to win, you have to create an account at Then, starting October 1 you will visit the contest page and click a button to enter. It’s that simple.

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Rittenhouse reveals Halle Berry auto

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It took nearly 10 years, but Halle Berry has signed autograph cards for an upcoming James Bond product.

Rittenhouse Archives released a photo today of the Oscar-winning actor’s first certified autograph in a trading card product. The autograph will be in James Bond The 50th Anniversary Trading Cards Series 2.

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Beckett OPG By The Numbers: 2012-13 Prestige


By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

The auctions have ended, the numbers have been crunched. The ranges have been tabulated and the Online Price Guide has been posted.

The 2012-13 Prestige basketball card set from Panini America has arrived on with the favorites, autographs and memories in tow. Let’s take a look inside the numbers crunched by Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Rob Springs – and see even more — after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2012-13 Prestige basketball cards

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Rob Springs and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2012-13 Prestige boxes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

2012 Prominence Football released today

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The newest football product 2012 Panini Prominence is on the shelves.

One hobby box comes with just one pack of eight cards, including three hits.

Some of the big names in Prominence include the 2012 rookies, especially Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. With Wednesday being the first official day of the release, let’s take a look at some of the cards that have appeared on eBay.

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Box Busters: 2012 Topps Triple Threads

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2011-12 Exquisite Collection basketball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Exquisite Collection is returning — and it’s returning soon.

Upper Deck announced on Tuesday that its highest-end line is on its way in basketball as 2011-12 Exquisite will arrive “in the coming weeks” with five autographed in every box.

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First look: 2012-13 Panini Prizm basketball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America‘s next new basketball line will perhaps have collectors looking at NBA cards a different way.

Through a prism … or Prizm.

When it arrives on Oct. 24, 2012-13 Panini Prizm will arrive, as the company puts it, “a familiar, but dramatically improved technology that has been missing from the Basketball hobby.”

Mocked up to be printed on what appears to be chromium-like stock, Prizm will consist of a 300-card base set that includes 100 rookies. Each 20-pack box, suggested retail price $100), will include two autographs, two Prizms parallels and two inserts. There will be six cards per pack and 12 boxes per case.

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NFL rushing legends Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith are still going strong

By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

BALTIMORE – All these years later, and the reluctant superstar and the eager superstar remain grouped together.

Football legends Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith dominated defenses of the 1990s, accounting for a combined 19.1 miles of NFL rushing.

The two are the greatest living yard-gainers – known for finesse and power, records and mettle.

Their differences make them unique. Their successes make them stand together.

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Panini prepares NHL Winter Classic cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

One of the highlights of the NHL season over the last couple of years has been the Winter Classic.

NHL has paired popular teams to play in an outdoor venue for one game. This season, the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs are scheduled to play at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, 2013 – as long as the lockout is over.

Panini America has put together a 50-card set commemorating the event: NHL Winter Classic, The Big House.

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Panini adds a new chase to RG3 cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

As though there wasn’t enough reason to collect Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, Panini America just gave collectors an incentive.

Panini’s newest football product 2012 Prominence comes out this week. Inside are plenty of Rookie Cards of players who were at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere, which included Griffin. He will have five different types of autographs including Autographed Letter Nameplates and Autographed Team Logo Patches.

This is where the fun comes in.

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NFL Week 3: Monday Morning Collector

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The third week of the NFL season had some highlights and plenty of lowlights.

Every week, we’ll look at who did well and some of the cards that collectors can grab of these players. We’ll pick a Veteran of the Week, Rookie and the Week and Breakout Performance of the Week.

Got different ideas? Let us know in the comments.

Veteran of the Week
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: Flacco played in one of the most exciting games of the weekend, Flacco led his his team to a 31-30 win over the New England Patriots with two scoring drives in the fourth quarter. Add in the emotional toll of wide receiver Torrey Smith losing his brother in an accident (Smith had two touchdowns), and it was an amazing game to watch.

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Preview of multi-panel sketch cards in Upper Deck’s Marvel Premier

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The time is almost here for Upper Deck’s Marvel Premier.

A $200 a pack product with just four cards.

One of the cards in the pack is a multi-hinged sketch card. Sketch cards are popular in non-sports cards, especially among cards dedicated to comics or graphic novels.

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Getting KHL cards of NHL players

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Even though new NHL products may be limited over the coming months, there may still be new products with NHL players in it.

Several NHL athletes have gone overseas to compete in the Kontinental Hockey League, or KHL, including Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Bryzgalov.

Those players will be coming to KHL cards, starting with the first series, a spokesperson from Sereal said, the official licensee of KHL cards and stickers.

“We are honored to produce cards for players like Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Datsyuk, Malkin, Gonchar, Bryzgalov and many more,” Sereal wrote on its official Twitter page on Thursday.

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High Fives: 2012 Topps Triple Threads baseball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One of the hobby’s most-popular high-end products arrived for the seventh-straight year this week packing within it some of the hobby’s most-colorful memorabilia cards, some big names and some big ink.

It’s 2012 Topps Triple Threads.

With roughly five days of completed eBay auctions in hand, here’s a look at some high fives for the brand — some completed auctions and some that did not sell with the most-expensive cards listed first. (While there are plenty of active auctions, this first high five does not include any of them as asking prices can be a bit crazy for a product like this.)

Check ‘em out …

Five autographs that sold (completed auctions only)

1. Mike Trout-Yoenis Cespedes-Jesus Montero autographed Relic printing plate 1/1

2. Bryce Harper autographed Relic /18

3. Clayton Kershaw-Matt Kemp-Dee Gordon autographed Wood Relic 1/1 EXCH 

4. Bryce Harper autographed Relic /99

5. Duke Snider autographed Wood Relic 1/1

See more … after the jump.

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Five tips for collecting during the NHL lockout

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Every day the NHL lockout goes on, hockey fans get more antsy without a resolution.

Some hockey collectors might not want to bother with cards because they are so disappointed. But the lockout can be a good time for collecting – as long as you can deal without having much new product.

Here are five tips to collecting during a lockout to get you through the coming weeks.

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Beckett OPG By the Numbers: 2011-12 Fleer Retro

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

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

The 2011-12 Fleer Retro basketball card set from Upper Deck has arrived on with the favorites, autographs and memories in tow. Let’s take a look inside the numbers crunched by Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Rob Springs – and see even more — after the jump.

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First look: 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The gypsies will return in 2013.

Topps revealed the first glimpses at its third installment of the retro-styled Gypsy Queen baseball card line on Friday, and it’s one that showed promise of some new-inclusions compared to the sophomore effort.

Among the new higher-end inclusions? Patch Relics, button mini Relics, mini booklets and more.

Set to arrive on April 3, GQ will include two autographs, two Relics and a 10-card mini parallel box-topper box in every 24-pack hobby box. The base set will consist of 300 cards capped by 50 short-printed cards found one in every four packs. In addition, there will be variations in the base set that were not disclosed by the company.

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Beckett Grading to host James Spence tomorrow

Beckett Grading Services will host James Spence Authentication for on-site autograph authentication at Beckett Media headquarters on Saturday (Sept. 22) for collectors who are interested in professional grading or need items examined and/or slabbed.

The event is, of course, open to the public and begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. at the Beckett Media headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

It’s located at 4635 McEwen Road just off of Interstate 635.

Among the services available will be the recently added baseball encapsulation, card grading and encapsulation of JSA-approved items.

Modern-day rookies can’t touch Jackie Robinson’s influence on sports, society and world

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Not all rookies are made alike.

Some show their promise with their first tries at the highest of levels but then fade from the highlight reels just as quickly for whatever reason. Others might do the same at their first crack but produce results for a longer time, while a different few individuals might slowly build and never stop.

That’s life. Some of us win, some of us lose.

But in the beginning? Well, at that point, they are all rookies — players who need to learn the ropes despite their past successes. But that notion of promise, that notion of being special? It’s equal — no matter what the draft round or the signing bonus says — and there is always potential for a transformation and a new tale, no matter what the odds. It’s that potential that drives the hobby and the power of Rookie Cards.

In the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll explore the world of rookies — a fundamental interest of many collectors — but none of the rookies carry the power, the potential, for world-wide change more than one from more than 60 years ago. And a reminder of that came on Friday with my first glimpses at the trailer for 42, a movie examining the life of Jackie Robinson. (Trailer after the jump.) He was a rookie who helped change the world — not just his sport. That’s something that the Mike Trouts, the Bryce Harpers, the [insert any other can't-miss name here] simply cannot do no matter how many home runs they hit or flashy plays are made in the outfield.

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Juan Segura is Topps’ final Finest rookie

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps revealed its fifth and final Finest rookie of the year on Friday, and it’s Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura.

Collectors who found redemption No. 5 out of the five in 2012 Finest, which arrived in hobby shops last month, will receive a signed card of the infielder, who is hitting .266 in 33 games this season.

The fourth redemption was of Rockies rookie Josh Rutledge, while the third was of Angels star Mike Trout, the second was Cubs rookie Brett Jackson and the first card announced was Pirates rookie Starling Marte.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

New York Giants’ Brown and Barden see spike in cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

When every single game is so important in football, a breakout game can change the perception and focus of that player.

Just look at card prices of Andre Brown and Ramses Barden of the New York Giants.

If that sentence was written a week ago, most collectors would have said, “Who?” Instead, after New York’s 36-7 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, collectors are rummaging through their collections looking for cards of these back-up players.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1989 Bowman

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 1989 Bowman in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find? Watch and find out …