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Monthly Archives: February 2013

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 colds@beckett.com. 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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Topps selling Vault memorabilia direct to public on revamped website


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

A new season means a new look and name for The Topps Vault, which appears to be evolving.

After more than a decade of auctioning contracts, photo proofs and other card-making remnants via the Vault on eBay, the longest-running manufacturer of baseball cards is trying something new.

Topps is selling straight to the public with no eBay and no auctions — just fixed-price sales in the new Topps Shop. (The eBay account for the Vault remains active, however its previous webpage redirects to the new store.)

“As of now The Vault name is still alive,” said Brad Kinnas, Topps’ Director of Ecommerce. “For the time being, all memorabilia purchases that happen in Topps.com or ebay will be branded as such.”

However, the new site will be taking on more items and host auctions, Kinnas said.

“Our new website platform gives us the flexibility to merchandise better and experiment with different means of bringing products to our online customer — including on-site Topps.com Auctions,” he said. “In the coming months you will start seeing many new exclusive offerings from Topps.com.”

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Your Turn (BSCM Vintage Issue): What one vintage card still eludes you?

 By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Collecting can bring out the little ironies of life — like when you buy dozens of packs and come up one card short of a set or when you visit a card show or shop and can’t find a card that costs 25 cents.

With vintage collecting, it can get even tougher as there are simply cards — not the Toppses and Bowmans of the world — that you just don’t see everyday … or every month … or every year.

One of the cards that I have a trivial interest in — that I have yet to see in-person — is a card of Floyd Olds, a former minor-league pitcher who won 101 games over nine seasons but never made it past Class-AA.

Ironies? His name, of course — he’s not related, but I looked — and he’s the only Olds to play baseball and have a card. He played for the Oakland Oaks and it’s during those years where he appeared on his only two releases in the Beckett database, a 1937-38 Zeenut card and the 1938 Oakland Oaks Signal Oil Stamps card seen above.

I’d like to own them both — for trivial reasons — but they’re just not the kind of cards you see every day. I fact, I’ve never even seen a scan of the Zeenut card.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … vintage cards

 By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The daily headlines often revolve around the newest creations, the achievements of the day or those showing promise of success to come.

But for many collectors, their worlds revolve around nothing that involves foil-stamping, jersey swatches or anything remotely resembling Refractors or future superstars.

Their worlds revolve around vintage.

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll take a look back at the older days of collecting — 1980 and before — and touch upon some of the things that make those years different, unique and still immensely relevant today. Here are 20 questions that we’re curious how you’ll answer — and we’ll publish the results (along with additional comments) in the issue.

Check them out … after the jump.

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Report: Topps CEO Ryan O’Hara stepping down

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps’ President & CEO Ryan O’Hara is stepping down from his current position next month, according to reports.

O’Hara will join the company’s Board of Directors and serve as a strategic advisor, according to Sports Business Daily.

O’Hara was hired three years ago after spending time at TV Guide.

According to Variety, Topps COO Mike Brandstaedter will serve as liaison between the company and its owners. There’s no word yet on how Topps will fill the CEO post.

“I am proud to have led this wonderful company over the past three years,” O’Hara told Variety. “We have grown market share across our businesses, secured key partnerships and opened up new markets in three different continents. Our brands are as vibrant as ever, and our management team is strong.”

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Pete Rose’s exclusion in MLB products is nothing new — and it’s MLB’s call that he’s out

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Pete Rose has been banned from Major League Baseball and on its Ineligible List for more than 20 years now and that has meant one thing that should be obvious to collectors.

He hasn’t had a single, officially licensed baseball card since.

It’s nothing new, but his name being omitted from the Career Chase trivia lines in the 2013 Topps baseball set has at least one collector angry, who foolishly took Topps to task for something that’s out if its hands.

And I’ll use the word again. Foolish.

Why would I say that? Rose is on baseball’s Ineligible List — banned for life from the game for his gambling habits while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. That bans him from MLB cards, too — and that’s Major League Baseball’s call. A player who is banned will not be in an MLB-approved product — period.

Otherwise? Topps won’t be making MLB cards. Rose is perfectly welcomed elsewhere on cardboard — and he’s been a draw for companies who have gone without licensing.

“Since Pete Rose is banned from baseball,” said Matt Bourne, the MLB Vice President of Business Public Relations, on Wednesday, “he is not included in MLB-licensed products.”

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Beckett By The Numbers: 2013 Topps baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

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

The 2013 Topps baseball card set has arrived on Beckett.com with the favorites, autographs and memories in tow. Let’s take a look inside the numbers crunched by Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst Brian Fleischer – and see even more — after the jump.

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Free Price Wednesday: 2013 Topps Derek Jeter cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It’s Wednesday and around these parts at Beckett that means Free Price Wednesday!!!

OK, sometimes I get a little hyper about things, but this FPW will be fun. The newest product to get pricing in the OPG is 2013 Topps Baseball. And with pitchers and catchers reporting this week, it seems like a great time to check out the set.

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Marvel’s Guardians of Galaxy to release with comic

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Comic book fans are readying for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy when it comes out in March.

Along with the new comic comes limited edition trading cards. The cards will feature the super heroes on cards to be given out at select shops during the launch party.

Characters on the cards include Iron Man, Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Racoon and Groot.

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Box Busters: 2012 SP Game-used golf cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Bryan Hornbeck and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2012 SP Game-used golf cards from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps creates world’s largest baseball card

Courtesy of Topps

Photos courtesy of Topps

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Prince Fielder is used to the big-boy jokes, but he’s got nothing on this.

Topps unveiled the world’s largest baseball card Tuesday morning in Lakeland, Fla., a 90-by-60 foot version of Fielder’s card in the 2013 set.

The unveiling took place with Fielder on hand along with groups of youth league baseball players to help unveil the card at Peterson Park near the Tigers’ spring training home.

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Commercial stars sign for Wacky Packages

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We always seem to remember specific commercials and Topps is tapping into that nostalgia in its newest Wacky Packages product.

Wacky Packages All-New Series 10 Collector Edition comes out on March 13. Inside will be Commercial Star Autographs.

Just think back to 1980s and 1990s to some of the most popular commercials. No doubt, you probably thought of the Life cereal with Mikey loving the food. Mikey, all grown up, will be one of the autographs collectors can snag in Wacky Packages.

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First look: 2013 Press Pass FanFare Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Autograph cards of the 2013 football draft picks start showing up early this spring. Press Pass is putting out a couple of products before the April draft to get collectors started.

In April, Press Pass will release 2013 Press Pass Fanfare Football featuring one pack of five autographs.

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First look: 2013 Press Pass Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

It’s time to start going through football mock drafts and ranking your favorite college players. The early football products will be here soon enough.

Press Pass kicks off its football schedule on March 20 with 2013 Press Pass Football, featuring six five-card packs with an autograph in every pack. Press Pass signed nearly 70 potential draft picks with players such as Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Manti Te’o and Marcus Lattimore.

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First look: 2013 Topps Turkey Red baseball cards (with checklist)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Turkey Red is coming … and it arrives in a week.

As previously reported, Topps is releasing an edition of Turkey Red baseball cards this year exclusively as a ShopTopps.com item and it’s set to arrive in just one week, on Feb. 18.

Each 11-card $20 box will include one autograph and a selection of 10 cards from a 100-card base set in the familiar look of the past cards. There will be 43 signers for the product and Black parallels of autos limited to 10 as well as 1/1 Red parallels. Also to be found are printing plates. Pre-orders begin tomorrow and the product will ship next week. There is a limit of 25 boxes per household.

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