Monthly Archives: March 2013

42 & Famous: Chadwick Boseman talks about life-altering role, autographs & collecting

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

DALLAS | It was a Tuesday for everyone, but for Chadwick Boseman an evening screening of 42 was the third leg of a long jaunt around the country, one that began in Washington, D.C., and included a stop hours earlier at Wrigley Field.

After a VIP-only early viewing of the film telling the life’s story of Major League Baseball‘s social pioneer, Jackie Robinson, the 30-year-old unassumingly walked into Theater 5 of the Angelika Film Center wearing a red, white and blue plaid shirt and weathered blue jeans as the house lights slowly raised and the film’s credits rolled behind him.

He received a standing ovation. And then he did a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the assembled film devotees before a brief one-on-one exclusive with Beckett Media about the film and, of course, collecting.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2013 Industry Summit Panini Black Box

YouTube Preview Image

Beckett editor Susan Lulguraj was on hand at the 2013 Industry Summit where she opened a Panini America Black Box. Watch the video to see what she pulled.


Panini America signs Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg to exclusive autograph deal

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The ace of the Washington Nationals has a new home.

Panini America announced on Tuesday that it has signed Stephen Strasburg to an exclusive autograph deal.

Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed. The right-hander was previously a Topps-exclusive player beginning in 2010, when he captivated the baseball world with his dominating debut that was later derailed by injury.

Read More »

Cardboard Cameos: 25 years later, a Mariners scout learns he was in “Bull Durham”

 By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Imagine spending your career — your life — in baseball but never making The Show as a player. Then imagine making the show but not knowing it until 25 years later.

In the case of Alex Smith, the show is Bull Durham.

As part of our “Cardboard Cameos” story in the upcoming Sports Movies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ve examined several films and spotted real-world baseball cards in some scenes. As it turns out, a real-world baseball card, Smith’s 1987 Durham Bulls ProCards release, got some screen time as a bookmark used by Annie Savoy as she decided to read Walt Whitman poetry to Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh.

And Smith, now the Northeast Scouting Supervisor for the Seattle Mariners, had no idea.

“I received your message, ironically on my birthday,” said Smith, who turned 50 on Monday. “What a unique, interesting gift to find out my baseball card was used in the movie. Never knew that! My initial thoughts? Pretty cool!”

Read More »

Industry Summit: Upper Deck’s corporate address

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS Upper Deck’s Diamond Dealers were invited to the company’s corporate address at the Industry Summit on Monday.

Upper Deck gave out prizes during a contest geared around the eBay sales of popular UD cards. But more importantly, it addressed many new products dealers can expect.

However, its big announcement was that Upper Deck reacquired an MLB Players Association license (read more about that here).

Upper Deck created its Diamond Dealer program a couple of years ago for hobby shop owners. Currently, it has 1,639 certified Diamond Dealers with 1,244 in the United States and 395 in Canada – a 12 percent increase from 2012. Upper Deck takes the rules for Diamond Dealers seriously and removed 180 from its program for various reasons.

Here is information on several upcoming products:

Read More »

Industry Summit: Leaf’s corporate address

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS – Leaf’s Brian Gray didn’t hold back during his corporate address at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas on Monday.

Gray talked about the company’s mission for 2013 but also tried to empower dealers in attendance. He implored them to take charge and tell card companies about what they will and will not accept.

“You need to tell other companies you’re not happy,” Gray told the crowd about 300. “And if you don’t stick up for your customers, you don’t deserve a (patch) database, a better redemption process. … The other card companies can suck it or change.”

Gray has been vocal about his opinions in the hobby since he entered the market. He grabs attention by saying what’s on his mind and bringing special autograph guests to the Industry Summit. This year, Leaf brought in Frank Thomas.

However, that was not the point of Gray’s address.

Here are the highlights from Leaf’s session:

Read More »

MLBPA grants Upper Deck a baseball card license

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Upper Deck is back in the baseball card business with a license from the MLB Players Association.

The company announced its plans to return to the field on Monday with 2013 Fleer Retro baseball — a high-end product with a selection of remade memorable inserts from its Fleer portfolio.

This puts the company, which lost its MLB Properties license in 2010, back into the baseball fold more firmly with three products set to arrive in the coming months.

It’s unclear when Upper Deck and the MLBPA may have severed ties, but in 2010 the PA publicly advised its players to stop signing for the company, which had not made due payments. Last year, while MLB Properties was seeking unmade settlement payments stemming from its trademark infringement lawsuit, the MLBPA approved a licensing agreement for  2012 SP Signature Edition.

Now, with all of its books apparently in order, the MLBPA is allowing Upper Deck to proceed making union-approved cardboard. That allows it to use current players (non-prospects) in bulk in its products, but not with MLB-owned logos and names on the cards. (Panini America was granted the same license in September 2011.)

“We’re thrilled,” said Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin of the news. “We have been trying to delicately figure out how we wanted to re-introduce ourselves into the baseball market. Working with the MLBPA is a great way to do that.”

Read More »

Topps locks up MLB-exclusive license through 2020

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps and MLB Properties are extending their exclusive licensing agreement for baseball cards.

Their deal is extended through the year 2020, according to an announcement made by the company today.

“Since making Topps our exclusive baseball card licensee, they have continually validated that decision by bringing clarity to the marketplace and reinvigorating the hobby, especially among young people,” said Howard Smith, the MLB Senior Vice President, Licensing, in a prepared statement. “Generations of baseball fans have grown more attached to the game through collecting baseball cards, and Topps is continually coming up with new and creative ways to reach the next generation.”

Read More »

Cryptozoic to make Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS – Cryptozoic keeps grabbing hold of licenses for television shows.

The company announced four new licenses at The Industry Summit, including some of the most popular and talked about shows on television right now.

Cryptozoic announced licenses for Breaking Bad (Winter 2013), Sons of Anarchy (Winter 2013), Ender’s Game (Spring 2013) and Pacific Rim (Fall 2013)

Read More »

Beckett Graded Card Registry is live

Beckett Grading Services customers have wanted a dedicated registry for years – one that worked seamlessly and provided a great user experience.

The time is now.

The new Beckett Graded Registry is live with collectors already inputting hundreds of cards.

One of the unique aspects of the BGS registry is that it’s completely customizable.

“You get to create any collection you want,” said BGS Director of Grading Mark Anderson. “It could be Hall of Fame Rookie Cards or have a bunch of team collectors get together and build a custom registry of the 40-man roster. The thing about the customer registry is the user gets full control of what they want the registry to be.”

The registry will be able to handle any card in the Beckett database, including non-traditional sports, gaming and non-sports cards.

Read More »

A mailday video … just for fun

YouTube Preview Image

Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds breaks down a mailday of purchases made over the last few months on

Why? Just for fun. (Yes, the video is flipped … he’ll get it right next time.)

What did he buy? How many of the cards were Nick Swishers? Watch and find out …


What is The Industry Summit?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS – Nearly 500 dealers and industry heads descended on The Industry Summit in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Card companies talk about products, retailers look for new business and dealers network with each other. It’s not a place for collectors, although things happen here tend to trickle down to that level.

“Most every industry has a trade event,” show promoter Kevin Isaacon said. “In this event, people meet to find out how they could make things better than last year.”

This isn’t a card show. It’s not like the National Sports Collectors Convention.

So what exactly IS The Industry Summit?

Read More »

First Look: 2013 Elite Football

By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Panini is matching old and new with 2013 Elite Football, the company’s third announced product of the upcoming card season.

The company released details about the product on its blog Sunday. Many of the brand’s staples will be returning, such as Rookie Inscriptions and Passing the Torch autographs, which match retired legends and current icons. This year’s Elite series will also feature new insert sets such as the chain crew-inspired First & Goal and laser-cut Panini Portraits.

Read More »

Ripping Retail: 2013 Topps Opening Day & a Topps Heritage blaster Hot Box

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a blaster box of 2013 Topps Opening Day as well as a Hot Box blaster of 2013 Topps Heritage in this doubleheader edition of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: The Beckett Covers promo card set

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We’ve got you covered.

Beckett Media is launching its own brand of trading cards on Sunday with a series of four Beckett Covers promo cards that will only be given to a select few.

A total of just 540 encapsulated cards will be released, and all will be encapsulated by Beckett Grading Services for protection and presentation. Each will be limited to no more than 50 serial-numbered copies.

The cards, for this release, will feature cover images for the first issues of Beckett Baseball, Beckett Basketball, Beckett Hockey and Beckett Football — but with a twist.

Read More »

First look: 2013 Topps Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

If 2012 was the year of the rookie, perhaps Topps wants to make 2013 the year of legends.

That seems to be the idea the company is going with for 2013 Topps Football. The tagline: “Own the Game. Build Your Legacy. Become a Legend.”

Topps Football is scheduled for an August release. Regular hobby boxes will have 36 packs with 10 cards in each pack, and one hit. Jumbo boxes will come with 10 50-card packs with three hits with at least two autographs.

Topps is kicking off the 2013 season with a promotion to win prizes including a trip to the 2014 NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere. Collectors have to complete the 110-card “Build Your Legacy” parallel set to win. These cards are numbered to 99 each.

Read More »

Pack rip: 2013 Topps Silver Slate Wrapper Redemption

YouTube Preview Image

Beckett Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens 2013 Topps Silver Slate wrapper redemption packs … but not all the cards are silver. Watch the video to see what she pulled.

Beckett 20 Questions on … sports movie items

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With a new blockbuster sports movie coming next month in 42, the latest Sports Movies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly is set to arrive as well with our latest look at collecting things from a slightly different perspective or with a slightly different approach.

You know, one that lets you explore stuff that’s already out there once again — or perhaps dig a little deeper on the auction block where one might not normally look.

Sometimes, it’s a real-world story that shows up on the big screen like in the case of Jackie Robinson‘s tale or even someone perhaps less-remembered in history like Vince Papale here. (In the case of Papale, being the subject of a film where he was played by Mark Wahlberg sparked serious demand for the value of his 1977 Topps Rookie Card.) Other times, we get fictional characters and stories that we all remember and appreciate over time for some of those similar peculiarities or details that we latch onto as collectors in real life.

For this issue, we’re curious about what you think, what you remember and what you know about sports films. Here’s the latest 20 Questions on the topic … after the jump.

Read More »

First look: 2012-13 Elite Series basketball cards

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

The Elite name apparently isn’t elitist.

Panini America announced on Thursday yet another new NBA product for the 2012-13 season, and it’s got a familiar name — Elite Series.

Not to be confused with the recently released 2012-13 Elite, 2012-13 Elite Series will arrive in May with an assortment of familiar names — insert lines from the past — inside this one.

Read More »

Topps gives a peek at 2013 football design

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Ready for the 2013 football season?

If you’re not, hurry up because the card companies are getting ready.

Topps offered a sneak peek into its 2013 base football design.

What do you think? Read More »

Is Turkey Red coming to football?



By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Searching the Internet could lead to some interesting stuff.

Today, I ventured over to the Topps site to get a football checklist and stopped from surprise. Listed under products with the big yellow “New” star was 2012 Topps Turkey Red – for football.

The 2012 Topps Turkey Red football checklist (click here) shows 100 base cards with rookies such as Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck on it (of course, they are both short-prints).

Read More »

Cardboard cameos: Baseball cards have had their time on big screen

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It’s not always stars of the big screen that make their way onto sports cards. Sometimes, if you watch real closely, you can find real-life baseball cards among the props in movies.

Some films, naturally, are sports-related — but some are not.

In the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly we’ll offer a look at a few movies where real-life baseball cards got some screen time.

This one? Well, it’s a replica of a 1952 Topps Andy Pafko card from the 2010 comedy Cop Out.

Read More »

RIP Google Reader … you gave me a connection to the blogosphere

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly | Commentary/Opinion

Sorry Night Owl Cards and Waxaholic. I’d like to extend an apology to 2 x 3 Heroes and It’s like having my own card shop, along with the 300 other or so trading cards I follow on a daily basis.

Google is getting rid of Reader, its RSS newsfeed where over the years I inputted as many card blogs as I could. Blogs kept growing in the past couple of years even after I stopped writing on A Cardboard Problem and eventually created Cards by Sooz.

But one thing that never changed in my blogging world was reading the other blogs that are out there and I was able to do this because of Reader.

Starting July 1, I won’t be able to do this anymore because Reader is being taken out of Google’s rotation of products.

Read More »

Free Price Wednesday: Patrick Roy Rookie Card

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey

Ever wonder how a grade could change the value of a card?

On Free Price Wednesday, we’re going to look at Patrick Roy’s 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee Rookie Card. In good condition, the card books for $60-$120.

But this is a popularly graded card. The number peeking back at you in the slab could change the value. Beckett offers these values in the Online Price Guide for various cards.

Read More »

Mosaiq previews 2013 Sports Card Collector Survey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Who collects cards?

We all have an idea of the “collector” – how they collect, what they want and what they are buying. But the truth might be different from perception. Mosaiq, a market research group, has conducted a study to find some of these answers.

The company will reveal their research findings from the 2013 Sports Card Collector Survey at the Industry Summit next week in Las Vegas. However, a preview of the presentation has revealed interesting trends in the hobby.

Read More »

First look: 2013 Score Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini’s first release of the 2013 football season will be Score. But this isn’t just the start of the collecting season for Panini, this is Score’s 25th anniversary.

For the anniversary, Panini is getting a bit nostalgic using the 1989 design for rookies. Players such as Geno Smith and Eddie Lacy will get the same design treatment as Barry Sanders, Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders’ Rookie Cards.

Panini is spicing up the content of Score, which is not a product known for hits.

However, there will be three hits with at least two autographs in every hobby box. Compared to last season where there just four autos in every hobby case.

Read More »

UPDATE: Panini previews Black Boxes for Industry Summit

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Industry Summit kicks off Sunday with card companies and hundreds of dealers converging on Las Vegas to discuss the state of the hobby.

While there is plenty of business talk, there are still aspects that make it fun for those attending.

Panini America is rolling out its Black Box promo once again – a place to get special rare cards specifically made for this type of event.

Read More »

Superman: The Legend Trading Cards preview

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With all the comic book cards on trading cards lately, we can’t forget the Man of Steel.

Superman: The Legend Trading Cards will be released later this month by Cryptozoic.

Read More »

Your Turn: What’s your favorite sports movie?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly

We’ve made our picks for our 20 favorite sports movies in the past, but for the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly — The Sports Movies Issue — we want to hear from you.

If you have pride in your Yankees film, if you have a field of dreams out back — or maybe just a sandlot — or if you just like the money shown to you (on DVD, of course), then we want to know about it.

Heck, if you collect items relating to your favorite film, even better … tell us about that, too.

Tell us, in a comment along with your name and location … What is your favorite sports movie … and why?

It can be any sport, any era … we want to know. Make a compelling case and you just might see your response in the next issue.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Upper Deck releases Fleer Retro Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Upper Deck has taken hold of the Fleer Retro name this year, bringing back inserts that many thought died in the 1990s.

Fleer Retro Football is out with a number of cards from the new set showing up on eBay.

Fleer Retro is not about the hits in the recent sense of the word. There are autographs in the product, but the real excitement seems to come when pulling one of the rare inserts such as this Jambalaya Joe Namath card.

Read More »

My first Registry is easily beatable … or is it?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary & Opinion

Sometimes, my grand ideas don’t aways go to plan.

Not long ago, I wrote about one of my rarest graded cards and how I planned to have it be among my first registered cards. I was wrong and I was as predictable as can be once I saw that the Beckett Graded Registry was live today. I went back to my well — and instead registered my toughest find.

My first registry is “For Major Leaguers only” and it’s for the toughest not-supposed-to-be-tough-set I know, the 1989 Major League Movie collection. You see, the Registry isn’t for just the 1952 Topps collectors of the world — it’s for any weird little niche you can find. And mine? Well, you all know by now …

Read More »

“Moments” banners offer striking looks at 42

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The latest in collectable promotional materials for the forthcoming Jackie Robinson film, 42, have been teased online by Warner Bros. and will start appearing at theaters and perhaps in some of the typical collector outlets soon.

The final “moments” banner was revealed Saturday morning — the latest in a series of eight images that chronicle moments in the story of Robinson, which will come to the big screen on April 12.

One image, for example, shows him signing his contact with Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford, watching — a memorable moment that’s been captured on more than a few baseball cards in the past. Another shows him with his wife, Rachel. Others show him traveling with the team and talking to the media — all are scenes that are sure to be key components in the film, which stars Chadwick Boseman as baseball’s social pioneer.

Read More »

Ripping Retail: A 20-pack pro wrestling repack box

YouTube Preview Image

Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a 20-pack repack of nothing but pro wrestling cards in this latest Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Coming Monday … Beckett Graded Card Registry

Beckett Grading Services customers have wanted a dedicated registry for years – one that worked seamlessly and provided a great user experience.

Well, that time is close. On Monday, BGS will roll out the new Beckett Graded Registry with a completely customizable interface.

“You get to create any collection you want,” said BGS Director of Grading Mark Anderson. “It could be Hall of Fame Rookie Cards or have a bunch of team collectors get together and build a custom registry of the 40-man roster. The thing about the customer registry is the user gets full control of what they want the registry to be.”

The registry will be able to handle any card in the Beckett database, including non-traditional sports, gaming and non-sports cards.

Read More »

NBC Report: Richard McWilliam’s death caused by alcohol poisoning

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Upper Deck co-founder and CEO Richard P. McWilliam died because of alcohol poisoning while at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on Jan. 5, according to a report from

According to the story, the autopsy report states that “McWilliam had been binge drinking for several days and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 in his system at the time of his death.” That amount is three times the legal limit and, according to the autopsy report, NBCSanDiego said, he had “alcoholic dementia and was abusing pain medication.”

McWilliam’s wife also confirmed his habits, according to the report, which she said had worsened since his having heart surgery in 2008.

Read More »