Monthly Archives: February 2013

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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Print run for 2012 Contenders short-prints

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

One question collectors always ask after opening a box of Contenders Football is ‘Who are the short prints?’

Panini America announced an incomplete list of short prints for 2012 Contenders with print runs.

Need to know more? Well, the company did give collectors a little hint to find your own SPs – look at the backs of the cards. Base versions include the player’s draft position, college, height, weight and birthday in the box at the bottom, right of the card. The variations do not.

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Canada celebrates National Hockey Card Day

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

If the NHL lockout got you down and you stopped collecting cards, perhaps today is a good day to get back in the hobby.

It’s National Hockey Card Day in Canada (don’t worry Americans, your day is next week). In celebration, Upper Deck is giving away free packs of cards at participating hobby shops across the country.

The set consists of 16 cards from current and former members of Team Canada such as Sidney Crosby and Martin Brodeur. Fans can also head to Toys “R” Us or London Drugs to get one of five oversize cards.

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Your Turn (Beckett Basketball No. 247): Who’s the break-out star of the season?

 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

A year ago, Linsanity was taking the NBA by storm and creating cardboard calamity that hadn’t been seen in some time on the hardwood.

This year, James Harden seems to be injecting himself into the top-player spotlight as he’s dominating with a new team and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kobe and LeBron.

For the Your Turn page in Beckett Basketball, we simply want to know … who do you think is break-out star of the 2012-13 season?

Maybe it’s one of today’s rookies or a guy who’s been around but found a key spot where he can shine — and turn common cardboard into something more.

Tell us who and why and we’ll run a selection of your answers in the issue.

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.

First look: 2013 Topps Pro Debut baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Once again, it’s time to take a trip down on the farm — and this year you might find Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh.

Topps released the basic information and first preview images for its newest edition of minor-league cardboard on Friday as 2013 Topps Pro Debut will offer a look at life before the bigs for the fourth straight year.

As the exclusive licensee for in-pack cardboard for Minor League Baseball, Topps’ latest Pro Debut offerings will arrive on June 5 with two autographs, one patch card and one patch or Relic card in every hobby box.

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Box Busters: 2013 Press Pass Total Memorabilia

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Dan Hitt as they rip into a pair of 2013 Press Pass Total Memorabilia racing boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside this not-even-out-yet product? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Panini Prizm football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2012 Panini Prizm in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Panini Contenders

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into a pair of 2012 Panini Contenders boxes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

First advance one-sheet for 42 arrives

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The first piece of 42 memorabilia has arrived.

Warner Brothers released the first advance one-sheet poster for the Jackie Robinson biopic on Friday, a film that will chronicle the story of Major League Baseball’s social pioneer.

Starring Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, it’s set to arrive in theaters on April 12.

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Card show report: Garfield, N.J. (Feb. 3)

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

For a card show that runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., getting there two hours before closing is late. In Garfield, N.J., this long-time running show is for the early birds.

They grab their morning coffees, ready for a show with a couple dozen dealers and head out on Sunday morning. The show occurs every two weeks at the Boys and Girls Club of Garfield.

The best thing about the show is the assortment of items. There aren’t just cards here, but old magazines and programs, bobbleheads, old board games, and, of course, new and vintage cards.

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Topps Magic blends old with the new

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Topps Magic wasn’t available in retail shops last year. Topps made the football product an online-only release. But something about the nostalgic set resonates with collectors.

So for this year – when the 2012 rookie crop has moved product – Topps brought Magic back into the hands of collectors.

Topps Magic is a celebration of Topps’ football history on cards. While not as pronounced as baseball’s past, the first football ‘cards’ produced by Topps came in 1948.

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Box Busters: 2012-13 Limited hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Dave Sliepka and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2012-13 Limited from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Contenders football celebrates 20 years on cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Twenty years ago the first Contenders football product launched. Playoff started a product that would last decades with some of the most celebrated football rookies on cards.

Rookies from the 1993 set included Drew Bledsoe, Jerome Bettis and Mark Brunell.

Over the next couple of years, Donruss released cards of rookies on unique insert designs, looking to find something that would resonate with collectors.

Then came 1998 – the debut of Rookie Contenders Ticket, an autograph subset that became a mainstay even under Panini America.

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Jagr moves into a tie for 10th all-time scoring

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The puck found Jaromir Jagr’s stick, he flicked it toward the net and it sailed passed Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk.

The goal won it for the Dallas Stars in overtime, a much-needed win in a short season, but the goal meant more for the history of the game.

Jagr’s 668th career goal put him for tenth place with Luc Robataille on the all-time scoring list.

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Rare baseball photo sells for $92,000

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A rare 1865 photo of the Brooklyn Atlantics baseball team sold for $92,000 Wednesday night in Biddeford, Maine, after it was reportedly discovered in a photo album at a yard sale.

Auctioned by the Saco River Auction Company, the SGC-authenticated photo shows nine players and a manager for the team, which was established in 1855 as part of the National Association of Baseball Players.

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Dwyane Wade autographs return in 2012-13 Elite

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America is adding some Flash to its latest basketball sets.

After more than two years on the sidelines, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade will have his first certified autographs in some time in the forthcoming 2012-13 Panini Elite, which is set to arrive on Feb. 20. (Click here for a checklist and OPG when ready.)

Wade, a former Topps spokesman, has not had a certified autograph since one Topps product made for the its abbreviated 2009-10 season of releases, Bowman 48 (below). Not long after this release, Panini America became the NBA’s official exclusive manufacturer of cards.

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Ripping Retail: 2012 Topps Magic Football

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Beckett Football Editor Susan Lulgjuraj rips into 2012 Topps Magic Football, which releases this week. Check out what she pulled from a blaster and a rack pack.

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor of Beckett Hockey. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook.

Upper Deck announces plans for NHL rookie redemptions

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Hang on to those Upper Deck rookie redemptions.

The company will begin redeeming its NHL rookie redemptions found in 2012-13 Upper Deck Series 1 and 2012-13 Artifacts starting in July, the earliest card companies can produce cards of this season’s newest players.

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League of Their Own director Penny Marshall finally gets her own baseball card

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

She’s been on television since the 1960s, brought A League of Their Own to the big screen and has a very notable collection of sports memorabilia.

But now she has her own baseball card.

Penny Marshall makes her trading card — and certified autograph — debut in 2012 Leaf Legends of Sport, the latest multi-sport offering from Leaf Trading Cards which arrives in hobby shops on Wednesday.

Although known for her role in the long-running TV show Laverne and Shirley, Marshall was the first female director to have a film gross more than $100 million with Big (1988) and League (1992), which brought the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League into homes and into the national consciousness.

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Axl Rose to sign first certified autographs for Topps

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Welcome to the jungle.

Topps announced the headliner in its forthcoming 2013 Topps Archives Heavy Metal Autographs set on Tuesday, and it’s none other than Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.

It will be Rose’s first fully licensed trading card appearance and his first certified autograph as he has nothing listed in the Beckett.com database. The singer was an icon of the late-1980s and early 1990s as his band’s 1987 debut album, Appetite for Destruction, has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide while five other records sold more than 65 million copies total.

The 10-card  autograph set will be one of three additional insert sets to the previously announced 2013 Topps Archives release. There will be a standard version of the cards as well as one that will be limited to 25 copies and printed on metal.

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First look: 2012-13 Momentum basketball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

If you thought the hobby had gained enough momentum after a recent football card release, think again.

Momentum is coming to the hardwood.

Panini America unveiled its plans for 2012-13 Momentum basketball on Monday, a high-end release that will arrive on April 8.

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