Monthly Archives: January 2013

HIT PARADER: Non-traditional hits can bring variety to collections — and dollars to pockets

By Chris Olds | Editor

Admit it, you’ve been here before — you rip into a pack, see a thick card and that rush of excitement is thwarted by a plain white swatch of a guy you’ve seen a dozen times before.

It doesn’t always have to be that way.

As you’ll see in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly — The Hits Issue — what is a hit can vary from person to person and they can vary even more from product to product. If you dabble in some of the hobby’s multi-sport creations or in the non-sport realm, you can find even more variety in hits.

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Panini creates Super Bowl promo cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Football fans and collectors going to New Orleans for this year’s Super Bowl will get a chance to get exclusive promo cards of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

Panini America is producing is 26-card set filled with Super Bowl XLVII’s top stars such as Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis, with eight cards dedicated to the hometown team New Orleans Saints.

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A look at the Baltimore Ravens on cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The Baltimore Ravens tasted Super Bowl glory in 2000 – the only year the franchise in its current form won the big game.

The Ravens haven’t been around very long, they moved from Cleveland in 1995. However, Baltimore is enjoying its success with a core group of young stars and leadership of its tantalizing veterans.

Here’s a look at Baltimore Ravens on cards as they head to the Super Bowl.

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First look: 2013 Topps Stars Wars Jedi Legacy

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Star Wars fans looking to own a piece of the iconic story might get the chance.

For the first time, Topps is offering real Stars Wars relics in the upcoming 2013 Star Wars Jedi Legacy. The relics include Chewbacca hair, Ewok fur and Jabba the Hut’s barge sail.

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Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o to appear in SA-GE products

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

SA-GE Collectibles announced a couple of high profile signings.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and USC quarterback Matt Barkley will both appear in 2013 SA-GE Hit.

The company announced the signings on Monday, capturing well-known college athletes for its next set.

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A look at San Francisco 49ers on cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The matchup for the Super Bowl was decided on Sunday – the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers.

Heading to the Super Bowl can do a lot for a player’s card value. Rookie and second –year players see the most gain, but even veterans that tend to get lost in the mix can grab attention if only for a few hours.

The San Francisco 49ers last won the Super Bowl in 1994, following a decade of dominance where San Francisco won four Super Bowls in the 1980s.

So who got them here this time?

Let’s look at top 49ers on cardboard (We’ll get to the Ravens later today):

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NJ collector pulls Abraham Lincoln cut autograph

By Dan Good | Contributing Writer

White Plains, N.Y. – Stanley Fishburne wasn’t ready to leave.

The Trenton, N.J. resident and his girlfriend spent a recent afternoon hanging out with longtime friend Seymour Bernzweig, who owns A&S Sports in Westbury, N.Y. Fishburne opened a box of 2013 Press Pass Platinum Cuts Inscription Edition, with each box featuring one cut signature card.

Fishburne’s box included a signature of Basketball Hall of Famer Cliff Hagan – a nice card for a hoops fan, but not the kind of pull to elicit hobby buzz.

Fishburne left the store. He returned five minutes later.

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Panini previews Super Bowl cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Are you ready for the Super Bowl?

Looks as though Panini America is getting in gear. The company previewed a couple of Super Bowl cards on its Facebook page with Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Ray Rice and Joe Flacco.

The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will meet in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3.

How can you get these cards?

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St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial dies at 92

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Major League Baseball lost one of its greatest hitters Saturday as St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan “The Man” Musial died after prolonged illnesses. He was 92.

A three-time NL MVP, seven-time batting champion and 24-time All-Star, Musial recorded an NL record 3,630 hits at the time of his retirement and batted .331 in 22 big-league seasons, all with the Cardinals. He never led the NL in home runs, but hit 475 for his career, which still ranks in the top 30. He was a member of three World Series champion teams and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, his first year on the ballot.

“Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best players in the history of baseball,” said Cardinals Chairman William DeWitt Jr. “We have lost the most-beloved member of the Cardinals family.”

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Box Busters: 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used NHL

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Beckett Hockey Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2012-13 SP Game Used. Check out the video to see what she pulled.

First look: 2012-13 Panini Marquee

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America has yet another new basketball brand up its sleeve in this, the post-lockout full card year of 2012-13.

It’s Marquee, and it will include marquee-worthy printing tricks when it arrives later this year.

The tricks? They start with Panini’s “Swirlorama” and also includes laser-cut cards and holographic film board. In all, there will be five rookie subsets in the main set each with different printing technologies used.

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First look: 2013 Bowman Platinum baseball cards (with preliminary checklist)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman Platinum is back — and Topps is promising that it’s “going platinum crazy” with this year’s release.

Set to arrive on July 31 packing two autographed prospect Refractors and one autographed Refractor Relic in each 20-pack hobby box, the prospect line will include new features arising from deals with Baseball America and the Arizona Fall League.

The base set will consist of 100 MLB veterans and rookies, while the prospect set will include 100 potential stars. The base set will include Gold, Blue Sapphire and Ruby parallels with Rubies falling one per box, Blues two per box and Golds four per.

Meanwhile, the prospects will get a Chrome treatment.

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NHL teams move away from paper tickets

By Jon Waldman | Contributing Writer

Hockey fans and collectors in Winnipeg awoke earlier this week to some startling mail – their beloved souvenir tickets were a thing of the past.

Instead of issuing season ticket holders the traditional, colorful ducats, they received pass cards, similar to those you would get from Tim Hortons or McDonald’s, that identified the section, row and seat number of the ticket holder.

The changeover, in part, is being done to enhance the digital capabilities for the Jets. As President and CEO Jim Ludlow told local media, there will be special loyalty reward programs for season ticket holders that will be operated through these passes.

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2012 Limited Phenom rookies grabbing attention

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The end of the regular season in football doesn’t mean an end to collecting. There are still plenty of football products on the collecting calendar.

Panini Limited arrived this week, featuring a memorabilia insert collectors anticipated. Gameday memorabilia cards features the date on the card that the equipment was apparently used.

A few of these cards have emerged and as you can at the bottom of the cards, there is a date with a specific game. These cards are the type of things collectors want to see more often in product with jersey and memorabilia cards. Besides being able to pinpoint a game, collectors want to feel confident in the item’s authenticity.

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ITG turned down NHLPA license this summer

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In The Game’s Dr. Brian Price weighed his options.

Last summer, he was presented with a proposal – the opportunity to receive an NHL Players Association license for one year, producing two releases. Create NHLPA-licensed cards, and utilize rookies and stars in a potential locked out season? Or continue ITG’s strategy?

Price turned down the proposal.

“Sometimes the deals you don’t make are your best deals,” Price said.

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Curt Schilling’s bloody sock will be auctioned

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The ultimate Boston red sock is hitting the auction block.

The bloody sock worn by Curt Schilling in Game 2 of the 2004 World Series will be sold on Feb. 23, through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.

An iconic piece of memorabilia in dismissing “The Curse of the Bambino,” it is expected to sell for six-figures, according to Heritage. The former Boston Red Sox star is selling the sock through the auction company.

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Will Beckett Baseball make it to the MLB Fan Cave? Oh, and … show us your Fan Caves!

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Update: Kimmes has made the first cut of 52. Vote for him here.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

If you haven’t heard of the MLB Fan Cave, well, you must not have watched any baseball in the last few years, not checked out anything on and probably don’t know what a Tweet is.

It’s OK … we’re here for you.

The Fan Cave is a Real World experience for a handful of fans who will watch every MLB game of the season and experience several other “events” in the Cave while promoting Major League Baseball. Through Jan. 25, MLB is taking applications for this year’s version and I have to say that I have a leading candidate. His name? Kevin Kimmes, and he keeps excellent reading material in his personal Fan Cave. (Just watch his video above to see for yourself.)

“I think that I’ll bring creativity and a love of the game that isn’t always found in the larger markets,” said Kimmes, who, as you’ll see in his video, is clearly a Milwaukee Brewers fan.

As part of our SuperCollectors Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly this summer, we’re seeking to showcase some of the best collectors’ Fan Caves out there. We want to see how you display and live with your collections. Simply put, we want to see your own personal Fan Caves.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … the hits


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If there’s one thing that’s on the minds of collectors besides “What’s new?” and “What’s it worth?” it’s the old standby of the last 15 or so years.

“How many hits?”

While the use of autographs and memorabilia cards in products have revolutionized the hobby, what we call hits seems to meander in meaning from person to person. To some, it’s just those autos and mem cards. To others, it might include cards of other types. The hits have included everything from some star shortstop’s autograph to a piece of Superman’s cape — and seemingly everything else, too.

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re going to focus on “The Hits” — whatever they might be — and here is the latest batch of questions — some serious, some fun — that we’re curious about on the subject. Check them out … after the jump.

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NHLPA decision could have devastating impact on Canadian dealers


By Susan Lulgjuraj  | Beckett Hockey Editor

No new rookies.

That’s the simplest way of putting it. The NHL Players Association released a statement on Wednesday stating the only rookies eligible for 2012-13 products would be those who debuted after last year’s All-Star Game through the end of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.

That means players such as Nail Yakupov – should he play for Edmonton in a lockout-shortened season – won’t get an official NHL Rookie Card until 2013-14 products.

There will essentially be a double crop of rookies, creating a situation much like the 2005-06 season. However, in that case, the previous season was canceled.

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Ripping Retail: 2012 Topps Chrome baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into some 2012 Topps Chome rack packs (they were on sale) in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

NHLPA restricts 2012-13 rookie class on cards

Statement from the NHLPA’s Adam Larry:

“Over the past few months, the NHLPA has been assessing the impact that a lockout shortened season would have on our trading card business, as well as how to specifically the rookie card class of 2012-13. After discussions both internally and externally, including with many stakeholders within the trading card industry, we have decided to restrict the rookie class for the 2012-13 product to those players who debuted between the 2012 All-Star Game and the conclusion of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals. This means that all rookies who debut during the 2012-13 season will have their rookie cards appear in 2013-14 products.

The NHLPA encourages collectors to check Panini’s and Upper Deck’s official blogs for more details on their respective upcoming 2012-13 releases. We look forward to continuing our relationship with both Panini and Upper Deck to bring the best hockey players in the world to life through the dynamic and expanding trading card market.”

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Free Price Wednesday: Shane Vereen Rookie Cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

A number of football players shined this weekend. Plenty of guys received attention for making plays or remembered for their legacy.

One of the best performances came from New England’s Shane Vereen. The second-year wide receiver caught five passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 41 rushing yards and another touchdown.

Vereen’s game was the epitome of breakout performance.

He barely played last season, and this year didn’t see significant playing time until Week 7, and only played in eight regular season games. Despite his lack of time on the field, Vereen has a hefty assortment of cards.

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First look: 2013 Topps baseball cards (with FINAL checklist)

Update:  Topps has released the final Series 1 checklist. See it at the end of the story.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled the first look at the 2013 edition of its flagship baseball card set on Friday, and it’s one that just might excite collectors of the longest-running MLB brand.

And it just might excite fans of “the chase,” too.

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Beckett speaks to ESPN’s Mint Condition about the lockout’s impact on hockey cards

Beckett Hockey Editor Susan Lulgjuraj speaks with ESPN’s Michele Steele on the impact the NHL lockout had on hockey cards.

Leaf previews 2013 Best of Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Leaf is coming out with a new product in its “Best of” series with a new sport for the trading card company.

Best of Hockey is scheduled for a March release.

The product will feature graded Rookie Cards, autographs and prime memorabilia cards. It will also have unique sketch cards.

However, Leaf is throwing in something new to Best of Hockey. Collectors can pull redemptions for hobby boxes or packs. These boxes and packs span a number of years, including vintage packs from the 1979-80 season a boxes from the 2005-06 season, featuring one of the best NHL rookie classes.

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Actor Paul Sorvino agrees to sign for Rittenhouse

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Paul Sorvino is probably best known for his role in Goodfellas, but his brief stint in Star Trek will land him an autograph in an upcoming Rittenhouse product.

Sorvino played Dr. Nikolai Rozhenko in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1994 – good enough to get him into the next Star Trek: TNG product, Rittenhouse announced on Tuesday.

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Box Busters: 2012-13 Timeless Treasures

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Topps UFC Bloodlines

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Bryan Hornbeck and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2012 Topps UFC Bloodlines in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Canadian card shops hurt by NHL lockout

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

NHL fans voiced their displeasure throughout the lockout, wondering loudly when the league would come back.

Hockey collectors’ focuses changed to older cards, and some stopped collecting altogether. In the end, it hurt card shops, which rely on new products and tantalizing rookies to move product. It was even worse in Canada where hockey is the national sport.

Sports Card Alley in Nanaimo, British Columbia was one of the shops hit hard by the lockout. The shop saw a drop in sales of more than 50 percent in the month of December 2012 compared to 2011.

With no NHL, customers didn’t think much of buying new cards.

“No customers yet,” said Wild Bill of Sports Card Alley. “They will be waiting for the hockey companies to put rookies in the box that’s worth something.”

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2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used hockey is live

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The release of hockey cards may be slow this year, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Collectors should begin readying for a  season and can do that with Upper Deck’s 2012-13 SP Game Used, which released today.

The product features five packs with a hit in each pack. There is at least one autograph in every box.

For a reminder, here is Beckett’s preview for SP Game Used.

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