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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ripping Retail Retro: 1978 Topps football wax tray

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Join Beckett Football‘s Chris Olds and Reed Kasaoka from Baseball Card Exchange (bbcexchange.com) as they rip into a 1978 Topps wax tray in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

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Collecting ’42’ via its baseball cards and its stars

Lucas Black, left, plays Pee Wee Reese while Chadwick Boseman plays Jackie Robinson in "42" arriving in theaters on April 12. (Warner Bros. photo)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary & Opinion

Many of us may think we know the story of Jackie Robinson — and we might from what we have read or seen on cardboard — but for many who see 42 beginning on April 12 his cardboard might be seen a bit differently.

His cards might be seen as must-haves.

Robinson is one of many in the Warner Bros. film who can be found on baseball cards — and some of the actors in the film have their share of collectibles, too. Here’s a rundown of who’s playing who along with some tidbits from an advance screening last week in Dallas as well as stats and values as found in the Beckett.com database.


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Guest commentary: The NBA’s greatest win streak eludes cardboard


By Stan Carlberg | Guest Commentary & Opinion

In the midst of March Madness, the Miami Heat’s historical run has caught the imagination of basketball fans everywhere, including college hoops fanatics. But as much as Miami’s winning streak has intrigued the basketball world, if it weren’t for the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers setting what many believe to be one of the game’s unbreakable records, the Heat’s current run wouldn’t have as much drama or pressure to reach that magical No. 33.

As LeBron James and Co. challenge one of the game’s most coveted marks — and put in a bid as one of the greatest teams ever — in researching collectibles that center around the Lakers’ 33-game winning streak, I was surprised at how little memorabilia there is on the historic run.

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Press Pass jumps on Parks & Recreation license

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of TV’s top shows is coming to cards.

Press Pass announced its newest license for Parks and Recreation while at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas last week. Press Pass had licenses in the entertainment field before with Elvis and Kiss cards. But this takes the company – which usually focuses on racing and football – in a different direction.

“It’s a business we’ve eyed for quite awhile now. We wanted to find a property we felt had some good momentum to kick things off,” said Press Pass’s Tom Farrell, vice president of product development. “Pop culture has been on such a role, from autograph heavy sets to numerous entertainment sets; collectors are just hungry for pop culture products.”

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps Heritage baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2013 Topps Heritage in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2013 Panini USA Baseball Champions

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Red, White and Blue are coming in pack form — with legends of the past, too.

Panini America revealed on Saturday its 2013 USA Baseball Champions product, which will arrive on May 29.

Set to include two autographs and three memorabilia cards per 24-pack hobby box, it also will include retired USA Baseball alumni, prospects and current-day USA squad members all in one 187-card base set.

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Check out an OPG for $5

Ever wanted to check out an Online Price Guide?

Today, Beckett is offering a one-month subscription for $5 to one of five sports: baseball, basketball, football hockey or racing.

To get one of these $5 subscriptions use one of the following codes with the link provided.

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Prizm is coming to hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Prizm is coming to hockey.

Panini America made the announcement at the 2013 Industry Summit. Three-card preview packs of Prizm will be included in 2012-13 Rookie Anthology, coming out in June.

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First look: 2013 Inception football


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

High-end won’t wait for the end of a season.

The first high-end product from Topps is scheduled for the end of July with 2013 Inception football – a hobby-only product.

In this one-pack-per-box product, collectors will get three hits with at least two autographs. Each pack will have seven cards with two veteran base cards and two parallels.

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Industry Summit: Panini America’s corporate address


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS – The crowd at The Industry Summit shuffled into a showroom at The Orleans in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The room is usually reserved for concerts or big shows at the casino, but instead Panini America spoke to a room full of dealers.

It did not feel like a typical corporate address at The Industry Summit. The stage had three chairs in the center, banners of Panini’s exclusive athletes and purple lighting, giving the address of far different feel than those held in a conference room.

Panini discussed the company’s growth and where it believes it is headed. Here are the highlights from the address:

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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.

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Box Busters: 2013 Industry Summit Panini Black Box

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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.

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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!”

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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:

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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:

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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.”

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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.”

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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)

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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.

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A mailday video … just for fun

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

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?

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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.

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

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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.

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