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Monthly Archives: February 2013

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 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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