Monthly Archives: February 2013

Gallery: 2013 Sage HIT Low Series

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The new season of football products has already started to roll out.

2013 Sage HIT Low Series hits the market this month, but Beckett got its hands on an early box.

Check out the gallery below to see some of the cards.

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McFarlane’s NFL smALL Pros debut this summer

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

McFarlane Toys is shrinking its sports line of figurines.

This summer, NFL smALL Pros Series 1 will debut with 2.5-inch high cartoonish figurines of several football stars. The figurines are meant to be fun and seem to be geared toward children. However, it includes a chase element for adults who love their collectibles.

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Walter Johnson’s game-used memorabilia presence expands in National Treasures

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

“The Big Train” was one of the first five players inducted into Cooperstown after winning 417 games over 21 seasons — an average of 19 wins a year — striking out 3,509 batters and throwing 110 shutouts, which is still an MLB record.

But there was one thing that Walter Johnson had never done until recently — appear on a game-used memorabilia card.

Before the arrival of 2012 Panini National Treasures on Wednesday, Johnson appeared on a total of just four total game-used memorabilia cards — all 1/1s — found in 2011 Prime Cuts from Panini America.

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If you could ask 42’s Chadwick Boseman one question, what would it be?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Jackie Robinson‘s story is a historically significant one both socially and in the sports world, a tale that had such sweeping implications the world as we know it today would look so much different had he not done one simple thing.

Play baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

However, even that wasn’t so simple and his story is coming to life on the big screen in April via 42, which stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Dodgers GM Branch Rickey. 

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ESPN short examines the $2.8 million Honus Wagner — and its legal baggage

An ESPN 30 For 30 segment, “Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner” explores the tale of the world’s most valuable baseball card as well as the allegations of its trimming before it was graded an 8 by PSA years ago.

The card most recently sold for $2.8 million to Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick. 

Check it out here — and let us know what you think of it all in the comments below.

Card Gallery: 2012 Panini National Treasures


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so we’re not sure how much needs to be said about the arrival of 2012 Panini National Treasures earlier today.

Why’s that? Because this small selection of images of cards pulled by collectors says plenty … after the jump.

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2012 Topps Supreme football is live

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The 2012 football card calendar is nearing its completion, but the end of the season also means a release of a couple of high-end products.

This week, 2012 Topps Supreme came out, a one-pack-a-box item for around $90. Collectors get just four cards with one hit that could be an autograph or a relic inside, along with a parallel and two base cards.

Many of the early hits include booklets and multi-autographed cards.

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First look: 2012 Panini Prizm baseball cards (with preliminary checklist)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Chrome vs. Prizm — now the battle can really begin.

Panini America confirmed on Wednesday that it’s bringing the Prizm brand to baseball this year with 2012 Prizm.

Set to arrive in April, it will include a 200-card base set that includes 50 rookies. Each will be found with standard Prizm parallels as well as Gold and Finite Black 1/1s that will only be found in hobby packs. At retail, there will be Green as well as Walmart-only Blue and Target-only Red Prizms to be found.

Each hobby box will include two autographs and three Prizms. Retail boxes will include three Green Prizms. (Click here to download a copy of the preliminary checklist.)

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Cris Carter signs deal with Steiner

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

One of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame has signed an exclusive agreement with Steiner Sports.

Cris Carter, a standout for the Minnesota Vikings, signed a collectibles deal with Steiner Sports, joining the company’s large roster of athletes. The Carter Hall of Fame line will include signed Ohio State and Vikings helmets, mini-helmets, footballs and photographs.

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First look: 2012-13 SP Authentic hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Collectors will get more than just the title cards in SP Authentic hockey this season.

When Upper Deck canceled a number of its hockey products earlier this year, the company didn’t want to do away with many of the cards it already worked on. It decided to insert the items from SPx and Upper Deck Series 2 as content in 2012-13 SP Authentic.

SPA is scheduled to come in June with three autographs in every box, on average.

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“Pistol Pete” Maravich game-used memorabilia cards to return in upcoming Panini America products

Pete Maravich has just 53 game-used memorabilia cards and none since 2009-10. Panini America announced Monday that it will be making more mem cards of the legend in its future products.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

“Pistol Pete” will be a hit once again.

Panini America will be creating its first game-used memorabilia cards for former LSU and Atlanta Hawks star Pete Maravich in NBA brands coming later this year, the company announced on Monday.

“We have obtained a Pete Maravich jersey that will be appearing in product,” said brand manager Keith Hower in a company box break video released Monday. “We’ve got to plan it out and schedule where it’s going to appear, but Pete Maravich memorabilia is coming to Panini basketball.”

Maravich, known for his eccentric style of play and floppy socks, still holds the NCAA scoring record with an average of 44.2 points a game for his entire three-year LSU career along with other marks. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987 and named to the NBA at 50 team in 1996.

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Card Gallery: 2012 Panini National Treasures baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Panini America‘s priciest baseball card set ever arrives on Wednesday with just eight cards per pack of 2012 Panini National Treasures.

Plenty has been teased in this one — you can see a selection of nearly 50 high-end hits after the jump — but there’s still a bit of mystery of how this $400-a-pack (suggested retail price) product will look with the typical box breaks.

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A-Rod ring already topping $30K on auction block

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A copy of Alex Rodriguez‘s 2009 World Series ring given as a gift by the slugger to his cousin, Yuri Sucart, is on the auction block through Goldin Auctions and already has topped $30,000 with more than a month remaining in the sale.

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Danica’s Daytona showing should sell some cards

 By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Danica Patrick wrote herself into the record books on Sunday as the best-finishing woman to compete in NASCAR’s premiere event, the Daytona 500, when she finished eighth in a race won by five-time Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson.

Of course, earlier in the day, Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap in the race and she was the first to win the pole for the event when she took it last week. The best previous finish for a woman in the race was Janet Guthrie, who finished ninth in 1978.

The 30-year-old is embarking on her first season as a full-time driver in the highest level of stock-car racing this season after a couple seasons as a part-timer. She’s already a big-time player on the card circuit, though, as she appears on more than 840 different cards and diecasts made through the years with a total value of $31,336.25 not including those pieces that are too rare to track. (Click here for a full checklist and Online Price Guide.)

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Writers once got their due on baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

One recent cardboard purchase of mine was done sight unseen without a card shop, eBay or a shred of league licensing involved.

It began with a random thought — “Does this person have a card?” — and after a search on an answer was in-hand but a set nowhere to be found. Fast forward a couple years later and curiosity grabbed at me once again prompting me to send an email asking someone what they knew, if they had, if available to buy, etc. You know, the typical transaction minutia.

What arrived in my hands last week turned out to be a surprisingly interesting card collection — the 1990 Little Sun Writers set, a small release of 24 glossy cards featuring guys you’ve likely not heard of unless you’re of a certain age or do a lot of reading and writing.

They’re cards of notable baseball writers — Major League Writers per the set’s full name.

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Rittenhouse previews Game of Thrones Season 2 trading cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Fans of the Game of Thrones are getting excited for the upcoming season. The trailer for the third season released recently picking up where last season left off.

Along with the trailer, fans also got a glimpse of the newest Game of Thrones trading cards coming out this spring. The Rittenhouse Archives set will highlight the second season with 88 base cards.

Game of Thrones Season Two Trading Cards will have more than 30 actors signing with actors such as Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Kit Harington (Jon Snow).

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Eruzione collection sells for more than $1 million

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The day finally came for Mike Eruzione. Plenty of sports fans talked about the auction of his hockey collection. It contained memorabilia from the 1980 Olympics including the Miracle on Ice game.

Eruzione’s items sold through Heritage Auctions on Saturday night.

The big seller was his Team USA jersey worn in the 1980 Olympic game in which the Americans defeated the USSR 4-3 in the medal round, dubbed the “Miracle on Ice.”

That jersey sold for $657,250, including a buyer’s premium – but it didn’t get the $1 million many had hoped.

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First Look: 2013 Finest baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s been 20 years.

Topps has an anniversary to celebrate this year and it’s doing so in 2013 Finest, the 20th anniversary edition of the line that marked the birth of the Refractor.

Set to arrive on Aug. 14, Finest will include two six-pack mini boxes per box of this with one on-card autographed Rookie Card Refractor and one autographed Jumbo Relic found inside.

Also inside? Designs from 1993 and other memorable releases from Finest’s past.

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps Turkey Red baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2013 Topps Turkey Red in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2013 Topps Triple Threads baseball cards (with preliminary checklist)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Triple Threads is back and it’s going against the grain — as in its got a whole new look.

Topps unveiled the first images and basic product information for the eighth edition of the popular high-end brand on Friday and it will return on Sept. 11 packing the same pack configuration as last season.

As in one pack per box contains three base cards, two parallel, one Triple Relic and one Unity Single Auto Jumbo Relic, while the second pack contains three base cards two parallels, a Autographed Triple Relic card and a Unity Single Jumbo Relic.

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BSCM EXTRA: Talking vintage grading with Beckett Grading Services’ Andy Broome

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If you’ve been to the National Sports Collectors Convention, you’ve seen one thing in the hobby that’s alive and well, despite what you may see in your typical hobby shop.

It’s got nothing to do with the latest new products, prospects or even a single thing Chromed.

It’s vintage.

In the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, arriving in March, we’re taking a look at the cards from 1980 and before — the vintage years — via memorable sets, players and more. As part of that one, we’ll be taking at look at the pop reports for grading of vintage cards by  Beckett Grading Services as well as PSA to explore what’s interesting,  what’s most-graded and what’s perhaps not graded as often as it should be.

One piece that didn’t make its way into the magazine, but you can see right here as a teaser, is a Hobby Q&A with BGS senior vintage grader Andy Broome, who offered his insights on a few questions specific to older cards for that division of Beckett Media.

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Remembering the Miracle on Ice through cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Miracle on Ice will go down as one of the greatest sporting events in U.S. history. Today marks the anniversary of the game where Team USA beat the USSR in the medal rounds of the 1980 Olympics.

Plenty of attention has been bestowed on the event recently with two high profile auctions for items from the 1980 Winter Olympics. Mike Eruzione’s collection is up or bid with Heritage Auctions and Mark Pavelich’s jersey up with Classic Auctions.

The history of this event has lived on in cards showing moments of celebration or reliving one man’s role in the game. Most recently, Leaf included a multi-autograph card (as a redemption in packs) of 2012 Legends of Sports, featuring many members from the men’s ice hockey team.

Here are some more cards touting the Miracle on Ice (after the jump):

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Cryptozoic announces autographs for Fringe Seasons 3&4

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Fringe may have wrapped up its series this year, but there are still ways to enjoy the television show.

Cryptozoic is bringing Fringe trading cards from seasons three and four to the market this spring.

The base set will feature 72 episodic cards from the two seasons with two different chase sets.

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First Look: 2013 TRISTAR TNA Impact Wrestling Live

 By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

TRISTAR‘s next TNA wrestling set arrives on March 27 with a few surprises, plenty of autographs and a few firsts.

Like the first dual autograph of Hulk Hogan and his daughter, Brooke.

The 2013 TNA Impact Wrestling Live product will be limited to only 100 24-box cases with every 20-pack box containing three autographs, one memorabilia card and three parallel or short-printed cards.

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Vindication Bowl jerseys up for auction

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

When Steve Young and Joe Montana faced each other, all eyes were on the football world. The once teammates were now rivals, embroiled in a controversy only sports columnists and radio show hosts could love.

The Vindication Bowl.

Young vs. Montana and a chance for all the San Francisco 49ers fans to voice their frustrations over a change many questioned.

The Chiefs won the game 24-17, and now the jerseys from the iconic quarterbacks in that game are going to auction through Goldin Auctions as part of The Joe Montana Collection. The auction runs Feb. 25 – April 5.

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First look: Panini Crusade basketball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

A war is coming.

Well, make that a crusade after Panini America revealed the first looks at its latest forthcoming brand on Wednesday — 2012-13 Panini Crusade — a retro-styled brand in the style of the popular (and pricey) insert cards from the late 1990s.

The base set will include 100 cards capped by 15 rookies. A Crusade parallel will copy the entire set in a few shades, while there will be two 25-card insert sets called Nobility and Royalty. In addition, the company said, there will be a pair of 100-card autograph sets in this $20-per-pack product. They will be Quest Autographs and Majestic Signatures.

There will be six packs per box and five cards per pack with three autographs and three memorabilia cards per box. Each box also will include six Crusades inserts and six more inserts beyond that.

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Early analysis: 2013 Topps Heritage checklist

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The arrival of of 2013 Topps Heritage is 15 days away but collectors got a sneak peek at what else is forthcoming in the product on Tuesday as Topps released a final checklist for the throwback product.

Here’s a rundown of some basics from the checklist. Want to download the checklist? Click here.

Not a ton of rookies
While Rookie Cards aren’t typically all that abundant in early season releases, Heritage includes 24 players appearing on Rookie Cards — and it’s just 12 RCs this time around as the 1964 design pairs two players together. Two cards of note? No. 201, which will feature Orioles newcomers Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy and card No. 243, which will feature Phillies rooks Darin Ruf and Tyler Cloud. Most, but not all, rookie pairings are for the same club. There are also no Rookie Cards among the short-prints (Nos. 426-500).

Tougher errors & variations …
Six cards will have variations based on errors — a league leader card (No. 4), Yu Darvish (No. 125), Rafael Betancourt (No. 325), Jonny Venters (No. 335), Chris Tillman (No. 355) and Bryce Harper (No. 440). None of these coincide with variations on those card numbers in the 1964 set.  There will be four variations on Washington Senators cards to chase as well — Ian Desmond, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Zimmerman and Harper. The Senators variations have replaced previously announced Colt .45s variations on Astros cards — a decision made by MLB during the approvals process.

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Jerry Buss’ legacy not seen on many NBA cards — but he’s got plenty elsewhere

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

After Jerry Buss‘ death Monday at age 80, the tributes came flowing in looking back at the life of the Los Angeles Lakers owner, who helped shape the franchise into what it is today.

As one New York Times writer puts it, it’s a Hollywood story that’s too Hollywood even for Hollywood (read it to see).

But for all of the unbelievable that was the life of Buss, who was born in Kemmerer, Wyo. — a little town of less than 3,000 people today — and went all the way to the Hall of Fame with a handful of NBA titles, there’s one other striking thing about him.

He never appeared on a substantial number of basketball cards — just one licensed NBA card. Meanwhile, his certified autograph cards have skyrocketed in demand.


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Box Busters: 2012 Topps Magic football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2012 Topps Magic in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


Will Danica Patrick’s cards make a historic move?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Danica Patrick wrote herself into the record books on Sunday when she became the first woman to win the pole for NASCAR’s premiere race, the Daytona 500.

The 30-year-old is embarking on her first season as a full-time driver in the highest level of stock-car racing this season after a couple seasons as a part-timer and a big-time player on the trading card circuit.

And that raises the question … could her cardboard be making a move next? Her potential wasn’t lost on Press Pass, the exclusive trading card manufacturer for NASCAR, which has included her in products — and on the packaging of boxes — since 2010 when she was merely a part-time driver.

“Danica consistently sells in the top five among current drivers,” said Press Pass VP of Brand Management Tom Farrell in the February issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly. “Dale Earnhardt Sr. likely still reigns supreme, and it’s tough to compare to The King, Richard Petty, however, her fan base is enormous and they enthusiastically chase her cards.”

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Box Busters: 2012 Topps Magic Football

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Beckett Football Editor Susan Lulgjuraj rips open a box of 2012 Topps Magic Football. Watch the video to see what she pulled.

National Hockey Card Day arrives in the U.S.

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

It’s now America’s turn to celebrate National Hockey Card Day.

The popular event from Upper Deck takes place Saturday in the United States with dozens of cards shops around the country taking part in the promotion.

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First Look: 2013 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman Chrome will include more autographs in 2013.

Topps unveiled the basic information and first glimpses at one of the most-popular brands in the hobby on Friday — and there’s more in store this year. Each hobby box will include an auto, while every third box will include two.

Set to arrive on Sept. 18, Chrome will include 18 packs per box and 12 boxes per case with just four cards per pack (two base cards, two prospect cards).

New this year will be jumbo boxes which will pack three autos in every 12-pack box.

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Basketball Hall of Fame renews deal with Panini

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America is going to the Hall of Fame again.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Panini America have extended their licensing agreement that began in 2009, according to an announcement from the company.

The length of the agreement with Panini, which is the exclusive licensee of NBA cards, was not disclosed. It will include product tie-ins as well as an “expanded presence” at events related to the Hall.

As part of the agreement, for example, Panini create cards honoring members of each new Hall of Fame class.

“Our exclusive relationship with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been extremely important to us since we entered the U.S. market in 2009, and we look forward to continuing this partnership for many more years,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop in a prepared statement. “Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame members represent the most collected basketball fraternity in the world and remain a vital part of our officially licensed NBA trading card and sticker collections.”

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.

Panini’s Rookie of the Week set to appear in Contenders retail

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America picked a rookie of the week throughout the NFL season, featuring them on cards in the virtual world.

One week, the top rookies would be showcased on the National Treasures design, the next they would be on a Score design. Panini is now bringing those cards into the physical realm.

The cards will be inserted into the retail version of 2012 Contenders, exclusively at Target. The product is expected to come out toward the end of February in retail outlets.

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