Monthly Archives: November 2012

First look: 2012-13 Elite basketball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

After a year on the basketball card bench because of the NBA lockout, the foilboard is back.

The Elite foilboard, that is.

Panini America unveiled on Monday the first images and basic product information for 2012-13 Elite, which will arrive in February.

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Week 10: Monday Morning Collector

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

By the 10th week of the NFL season, many teams have separated themselves in their respective divisions. Most divisions have a clear leader.

Some individuals are beginning to emerge as well.

Here are this week’s awards for Monday Morning Collector.

Veteran of the Week
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: For the second week in a row, Peterson got the nod. The running back is on pace to have a career year.

On Sunday, he ran for 171 yards and touchdown on 27 carries in a 34-24 win over the Detroit Lions. Peterson is leading the league this year in rushing yards with 1,128, averaging 112.8 yards a game. Peterson is on pace to break 1,800 yards, which hasn’t been done in three years and never by Peterson.

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GALLERY: Scenes from the 2012 Fall Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

There was plenty to see at the 2012 Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo this weekend, and plenty people may have missed.

Here’s a photo gallery from the the Fall Expo showcasing cards, memorabilia and some of the strange things going on at the show.

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Hockey is not dead at the Toronto Fall Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

MISSISSAGUA – Hockey isn’t dead – at least not in Canada.

Hockey collectors and dealer turned up at the 2012 Sports Card & Memorabilia Expo. They found plenty of people talking about Canadians favorite sport, even if the NHL is in a lockout.

Each morning of the Fall Expo started with a line of people waiting for the doors open. Some had an idea of where they wanted to go and zoomed for those tables when the doors unlocked. Other just wanted to get their early so they didn’t miss anything.

“It’s fun to be here because it lets me enjoy hockey a little bit,” Ralph Slindburg of Kitchener, Ontario said. “We have hockey here with the other leagues, but something is still missing with the NHL not going on.”

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Early analysis: 2012 Topps Five Star checklist

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The final checklist for the first Topps high-end baseball card release, 2012 Five Star, has arrived just days before the $500 per-pack product does.

Interestingly, there are 80 cards listed for the product’s base set — no base set previously was announced or even previewed — and the final details on the per-pack inclusions have not been disclosed other than there will be five autographs or Relics per pack. (Update: One base card per is likely.) There also appear to be parallels for some sets, which aren’t noted on the released checklist. (Click here for a Five Star checklist and OPG.)

But what we do know is that each box was slated to include two autographs (one active player, one retired player), one autographed Relic, one autographed booklet or extra autograph and a jumbo Relic, bat nameplate or bat knob card inside.

(Click here for our preview story with a full gallery and poll questions.)

Get a look at some of the final checklist’s inclusions for the base set and all autograph sets … after the jump.

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Mike Trout’s anti-climactic Rookie of the Year win will reaffirm his cardboard surge this summer


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout winning the American League Rookie of the Year award on Monday as voted on and announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America will be as anti-climactic as it gets.

It could have been announced months ago.

Baseball card collectors called this one throughout the season as demand for Trout’s items intensified well before he finished the season as the first rookie in the 30-30 Club, led the majors in stolen bases (49) and runs (129) and finished in the top six in batting average (.326), on-base percentage (.399) and slugging percentage (.564). How good is all of that? It should be obvious, but he’s also the only player in MLB history to hit for better than .320 with 30 or more homers and 45 or more steals in a single season.

The first and only. And he did it as a 21-year-old.

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FALL EXPO: Panini wrapper redemption pack rip

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Beckett Hockey Editor Susan Lulgjuraj is on location at the 2012 Toronto Fall Expo. She rips open five packs of Panini America promo wrapper redemption packs.

Check out the video to see what she pulled.

Panini’s Cooperstown includes first baseball cards of first woman elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

If one wants to see the depth of the inclusions in the new 2012 Cooperstown baseball card set from Panini America, one doesn’t need to land a Vin Scully autograph or an Alexander Cartwright card.

One needs to find one of the two cards of Effa Manley, the first and only woman elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The product, which arrived this week, includes the first two baseball cards of the social pioneer other than her Hall of Fame plaque postcards that have been issued since 2006, the year of her election.

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Box Busters: 2012 Topps Heritage High Numbers

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he opens a set of 2012 Topps Heritage High Numbers cards — an online-only release — in this latest edition of Box Busters.

Do you want to see all 100 base cards? Which autograph will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Your Turn (BSCM Auction Issue): What auction block steals or stories do you have?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

As the holidays rapidly approach and the buying seasons intensify, more than a few people buying for collectors will turn to all the available venues to land a gift that they might not be able to find anywhere else.

That just might include buying off the auction block — whether its eBay or some other online option or a high-end buy from an auction house, there can be unusual and story-worthy things found.

And that’s where you come in. As part of the Beckett Sports Card Monthly Auction Issue this year, we’re curious to hear about your epic finds or your unbelievable steals via the auction circuit where you outbid everyone else for something you absolutely had to have.

Do you have any auction steals or stories you can share with collectors? Do you have any treasures you found almost by accident? (It could be eBay, auction house, league auction,whatever … any sport or non-sports.)

Tell us about them in a comment below along with your name and location and we’ll share some of the best ones in the upcoming issue.

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

Major dealers already readying for Black Friday

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It’s one part competition, one part promotion, one part entertainment.

It’s Black Friday.

The biggest shopping day of the year in the hobby — and the rest of the retail world, too — is roughly two weeks away and several online dealers are already working to prepare for the event that aims to entice collectors with promos and prices that aim to draw their dollars and, ideally, in turn bolster their collections.

One of those dealers is Blowout CardsThomas Fish, who has perhaps made the day a bit of an art form on his Virginia-based company’s various platforms the last few years.

“Black Friday and the promotions that surround this event afford us the opportunity to give back to our customers,” Fish said. “It’s a day where we know there will be tremendous number of eyeballs on our website and our forum. Customers want to see some crazy prices, they want to be entertained and they want to feel rewarded for spending that valuable time on our website.

“We plan to deliver on all fronts.”

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How can this Michael Jordan & Larry Bird auto be yours? Find out in January’s Beckett Basketball

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Psst … bookmark this page, you’ll need it soon.

With Beckett Basketball moving back to a monthly publishing schedule in 2013 (up from eight issues in recent years), we figured we’d start off the new year with a bang.

How? By giving away this 2011-12 Exquisite Collection Endorsements Dual Michael Jordan/Larry Bird autograph — a card that has a pretty steep asking price in a current auction for one of the other 19 copies out there.

As we prepare the January 2013 issue of Beckett Basketball, it is there where we will include the instructions on how to potentially get your hands on this card. It will tell you what to say in a comment when you come right back here after reading the instructions in the magazine. (No purchase necessary, of course … you just have to find it, read it and correctly follow the instructions given.)

From there, we’ll pick a winner at random from all complete entries received here on April 8, 2013. (Yep, we’re going to run this contest until it’s tourney time — the date is the NCAA tourney title game.)

Look for the January issue of Beckett Basketball at hobby shops and selected retail stores next month.

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

Contest time: How confident are you?

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Preview Gallery: Bryce Harper’s 2012 Topps Five Star autograph inscriptions

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bryce Harper‘s autograph is one that’s been obsessed about quite a bit in the last few years, but next week it gets even crazier with the arrival of the high-end Topps Five Star brand.


Bryce Harper inscriptions. The NL Rookie of the Year finalist not only signed a selection of cards for the $500-per-pack product but he also added some extra notations that will be pulled by collectors.

Here’s an early peek at the cards … after the jump.

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Box Busters Preview: 2012 Panini Cooperstown

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2012 Cooperstown baseball cards from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside besides an extra autograph? Watch and find out …

Silver Sluggers: A collecting niche to consider

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Since the MLB season is over, that means one thing is about ready to pick up — one that traditionally used to spark a little more interest from collectors.

Awards season.

While the awards themselves haven’t changed — they’re still important — the days of a baseball card price spike because of some added bling just aren’t as plentiful as the past as there are many more commodified collecting options for us. But that doesn’t mean awards aren’t niches that someone can consider collecting via cards, autographs, memorabilia or whatever other interesting option presents itself.

Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, MVP — those are the ones that tend to get the most noticed. Maybe Gold Gloves, too. But the one I always liked seeing on cardboard? The Silver Slugger Award. It’s one of the cooler prizes in the game — a silver bat affixed to a wooden plate/backing — and since 1980 it’s been awarded to the top-producing players at each position in each league as voted on by coaches and managers.

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A look at Alfred Morris’ first Topps autograph

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Pretty sure the title of the post says it all.

Washington Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris had only appeared in Panini America and Upper Deck in 2012, but Morris’ first Topps cards will come out in Blue Wave Refractor redemption packs, Topps announced earlier this week.

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First look: 2012 Panini Playbook Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini’s Playbook is back for a sophomore campaign.

The high-end football product arrives in March with four cards – all hits – per box.

The highlight for many will be the Rookie Booklets. These cards feature a prime jersey piece, jumbo jersey swatch and an on-card autograph for players such as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. The cards will be numbered to 149 or less.

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First look: 2012-13 Contenders basketball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

A season has passed, the patches are gone and Contenders is back.

Panini America has unveiled the first looks at 2012-13 Contenders and it’s back to the more traditional approach for the brand — no embedded patches and autographs like the release of two seasons ago — while also perhaps testing the waters with an organic design a la recent Rookies & Stars releases that utilizes a fluid approach rather than a geometric one.

Arriving in January, it will include 20 packs per hobby box and four autographs per as well. The company announced that three of those sigs will be from the double rookie class that has been utilized heavily in all of its products this year.

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Beckett By the Numbers: 2012-13 Panini Threads

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 2012-13 Panini Threads 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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Ripping Retail: 2012 Topps Chrome football cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into some 2012 Topps Chrome football packs in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Gallery: Presidential cards through history

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It’s Election Day. That means Facebook and Twitter have been inundated with voting talk.

The presidential election won’t be decided for hours – maybe not until tomorrow – so in the meantime, look at these cards of president and nominees from over the years.

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Nelkins find buyer for Sanders/Payton card, update baby plans

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Todd and Ula Nelkin were sad the night their well-known eBay auction ended without a sale.

The 1999 Donruss Elite Passing the Torch dual-signed autograph card with Barry Sanders and Walter Payton finished at $11,100, but the card did not meet the reserve price.

“We were disappointed,” Todd, 45, said. “I can’t believe there wasn’t a fury at the end. It just fizzled.”

But there is good news after all for the couple who intended to sell the card to pay for a procedure that would help them have a child.

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Leaf continues football line with signed jerseys

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Signed player memorabilia isn’t common in hobby boxes. We’re talking full pieces of equipment or collectibles, not a signed jersey swatch.

Leaf has a line products geared toward getting collectors autographs in different ways.

Autographed mini-helmets are already on the market (it came out last spring) while 2012 Leaf Autographed Jersey Edition is set to come out next week.

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Beckett’s plans for the 2012 Fall Expo

Beckett Media is getting ready for the 2012 Sportscard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto this weekend.

The company will offer a wide variety of items and services for collectors such as grading, price guides and contests.

Here’s a breakdown at what collectors will be able to find at the Beckett booth.

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Topps adds bonus to Chrome redemptions; Alfred Morris autos coming

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Topps Chrome Football officially releases Friday and the company is promoting the use of on-card autographs.

But based on availability and timeliness, it didn’t happen for all players.

Instead collectors will get redemptions for certain players, and to take the sting out Topps is adding a bonus to those who redeem for the autograph cards.

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First look: 2012 Totally Certified Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America is bringing its video cards back. The HRX Video Trading Cards will appear in 2012 Totally Certified Football, due out in late-February.

The video cards will feature new players such as Trent Richardson and footage. There will also be autographed versions of the cards, numbered to 10 with a 14K parallel, a 1-of-1

The HRX (Highlight Reel Xperience) Video Trading Cards made their debut in 2010-11 Totally Certified Basketball. The video card also appeared in 2011 Totally Certified Football with Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram and Andy Dalton.

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Panini offers redemption trade-up at Fall Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America will hold its Redemption Trade-Up Program during the 2012 Fall Expo this weekend.

Collectors who are holding multiple outstanding redemptions four months or older can redeem them for a card or cards of higher value.

Panini will assign values of $50, $100, $150 and $200 to cards and place them in grab bags. Based on the redemption a collector holds, they will get to choose a card from one of the grab bags.

“For example, a collector holding four outstanding redemption cards with a combined Beckett value of $100 will have the chance to swap those four cards for one $100 card via a carefully constructed grab-bag system,” Panini wrote on its blog.

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ITG adds contests and autograph guests to Fall Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In The Game knows the despair hockey fans are feeling during the lockout. The company is trying to ease the pain by bringing contests, prizes and autograph guests to its booth at the 2012 Fall Expo this weekend.

One of the contests involved getting into ITG’s safe that contains a game-worn jersey from each Darryl Sittler and Patrick Roy. If you get into the safe, one of those jerseys is yours.

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Week 9: Monday Morning Collector

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

This week’s Monday Morning Collector was the toughest of the season. It was a fun weekend in terms of games and matchups, but then winners had to be picked.

The rookies were the biggest headache. Go with Doug Martin or Andrew Luck?

In the end, I decided to let you choose. Vote which rookie had the best week.

Who was the Week 9 Rookie of the Week?

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Now on to the awards:

Veteran of the Week
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: There was speculation to the start the year Peterson wouldn’t be dynamic because of knee problems. After three straight games – and fourth this year – of more than 100 rushing yards, worries have seemingly wiped away.

Peterson had 182 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries (that’s an average of 10.7 yards a touch) in a 30-20 loss to Seattle.

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James Harden: From sixth man to main man


By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary

From sixth man to main man in seven days.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder traded reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden a week ago today, more than a few pundits figured that this would be his chance to become a leading man in the NBA.

It didn’t take long. After two games in a Houston Rockets uniform, he’s already there.

In the second game of his Rockets career Friday night, the shooting guard scored a career-high 45 points. In the season-opener on Wednesday, he scored 37 while dishing out a team-high 12 assists — more than fellow Houston newcomer and point guard Jeremy Lin, who did a little card-selling of his own last season.

This kind of showing, of course, has resulted in some brisk selling of his cards, autographs and memorabilia.

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A toy-aisle trip down Memory Lane for me … and maybe a money-maker for you?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

A few years before the 1980s phenomenon called baseball cards caught me and never let go, I used to casually dabble in a lot of things like most kids before age 10 … toys.

You know, the stuff we actually opened and played with like G.I. Joe, GoBots, Transformers, M.A.S.K., Star Wars, He-Man … you name it, I latched onto it if only for a bit of time until The Next Big Thing arrived. (Without drama of release dates, of course.)

There was one toy, though, that seemed to me to be weird at the time, and I only latched on — lightly — because of amusingly trivial ties to another pop culture phenomenon of the time, pro wrestling.

The toys? M.U.S.C.L.E. (that stands for Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere). Why? A few of these four-for-a-dollar little plastic figures oddly looked like wrestlers I recognized. No. 126 above? Sure looks a lot like Hulk Hogan to me.

So imagine my amusement when, during a post-work toy store run Thursday, I saw a new, similarly odd kind of new toy … one that looked like it had an Andre The Giant peeking out of the package found among the newest generations of G.I. Joe, Transformers, Star Wars and WWE toys.

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Beckett grader Andy Broome self-publishes book

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When Beckett Grading ServicesAndy Broome isn’t busy examining vintage cardboard for defects as part of his day job, he can often be found drawing.

Now, though, he may be found drawing cartoons and signing autographs on the title page of Collecting The Collector, a new book he recently published.

The $11.95 collection of anecdotes and drawings includes an introduction by Antiques Roadshow‘s Simeon Lipman and can be found on via the book’s website.

“I’ve dabbled in my share of collections,” Broome wrote. “I’ve collected coins, stamps, trading cards of all types, art, watches, fountain pens, gemstones, debt, comic books, comic and cartoon art, ex-wives, toys, action figures, vintage cigarette packs, more debt, all things baseball, books, autographs, children, clocks, PEZ dispensers, cameras, books, whiskey, guns and even more debt.

“I feel like I can poke a little fun at fellow collectors. and their quirks because I have been there, I’m one of you.”

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Dynamics CEO talks Upper Deck reward system

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Jeff Mullen grew up a sports fan and collector.

He knows first-hand what it’s like to get the rush from opening a pack of cards.

When the CEO of Dynamics Inc., put together the reward system for the innovative Dynamics ePlate Visa credit card, one of the highlights would be for those who loved cards.

“Right now for me to collect, I would have to go down to the sports card store,” Mullen said. “It’s becoming rare to find a physical sports card shop. As a result the joy of pack ripping is becoming less and less frequent.”

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Week 8: Monday Morning Collector abbreviated

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Editor’s note: Monday Morning Collector didn’t go out this week as I dealt with the storm and its aftermath in New York. However, I wanted to ensure collectors still had a chance to see what went on this weekend. Here’s an abbreviated version of MMC.

The one player everyone is talking about after Week 8 is Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin.

The rookie ran for 135 yards and a touchdown in a 36-17 win over Minnesota last Thursday. That would have been impressive enough on its own. However, Martin added 79 receiving yards and another touchdown on just three receptions.

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Upper Deck previews 2012-13 NHL Black Diamond

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

There are still previews for hockey products even though the NHL is still in a lockout. However, how long companies continue to do so remains the question.

At least Upper Deck is giving hockey fans some hope with its latest preview of 2012-13 Black Diamond.

In December, Upper Deck has tentatively scheduled to release a 250-base-card set with 24 five-card packs per box along with a bonus pack.

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