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Monthly Archives: July 2013

At the National: Day 1 highlights

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The National Sports Collectors Convention opened Wednesday, giving hobbyists a chance to look at priceless cards and memorabilia – and pick up some special items, too. Here’s a recap from the Beckett team. Read More »

At the National: Yasiel Puig’s Topps redemption cards in demand

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | It’s 2:30 p.m. The National doesn’t officially open for another hour, but the dealers are waiting.

Not at their own booths, either. Instead, they’re in front of the Topps display, hoping to capitalize on the company’s wrapper redemption program.

The Topps wrapper redemption program is a popular one again this year at the National Sports Collectors Convention with a 25-card Bowman Platinum set and Gypsy Queen redemption cards. However, the draw isn’t just the exclusivity of the cards. It’s Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig, the hottest player on cards right now.

He’s worth the hour wait.

“Puig. Puig. Puig,” said Tyson Hauser, who works with RBI Cru 7 in St. Louis. “You sell to people when it first comes and make a lot of money. If you wait, you don’t know what you’re going to get.”

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At the National: A musical reprieve from sports collectibles


By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Collectors gathered at Will Simmons’ booth Wednesday, considering the purchase of famous signatures and rare posters.

Posters and signatures are pretty common at the National Sports Collectors Convention. But where other dealers sell sports memorabilia and cards, Simmons focuses on rock & roll memorabilia and vintage guitar picks with his Tennessee-based company, Rockit Collectibles.

Instead of Jim Brown, think Jimi Hendrix. Instead of Paul Pierce, think Paul McCartney. Read More »

At the National: Beckett gets its first winner in the NSCC scavenger hunt

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | The Beckett Cover Cards scavenger hunt had its first winner at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention on Wednesday.

Jan Viliral completed the 11-card set in just over three hours. He searched the show floor, following the booth numbers on the cheat sheet in the VIP bag. Then, he arrived at the Beckett booth (#866) for the exclusive 11th card – a Michael Jordan numbered to just 99 copies.

“I like it a lot,” Viliral said. “I think these cards are great.”

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NSCC Box Busters: 2013 Bowman Platinum baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Topps marketing manager Marc Stephens as they rip into a box of 2013 Bowman Platinum baseball cards in this special edition of Box Busters from the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

NSCC Box Busters: 2013 Topps Mini baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2013 Topps Mini baseball cards on the show floor in advance of the National Sports Collectors Convention for this special edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Can’t make the show but want to get your hands on some packs of Minis before the Topps.com release date? Check out Chatter Up tonight on our Facebook page where we’ll be giving away a box.

Keep Goodwin weird: An interview with Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground has been in the card industry for nearly 20 years. He’s worked at a card shop. He worked at Beckett and now he’s Upper Deck’s Director of Product Development.

And none of his work experiences quite compare to creating Goodwin Champions.

“To me, it’s the most fun product I work on every year,” Sandground said. “The landscape we have to work with is so open. I enjoy being able to offer collectors something that they have never really seen before or trying to pursue before.”

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NSCC Notebook: Preview & Day 1 nuggets … (updating)


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Nuggets and notes from this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention … look for this file to be updated throughout the day on Wednesday, the sneak-preview night for the show. (Click here for all of Beckett Media’s past NSCC stories.)

New arrivals …
The day before the show, vendors are working on setting up their booth space while many collectors are en route for the afternoon opening. Several new products will be making their debuts at this one, including Panini America‘s high-end season-capping National Treasures basketball and then Topps‘ online-only and NSCC-only Minis and Bowman Platinum. No matter how a season looks on the field, high-end brands, limited-run brands and prospecting products seem to do well. Look for plenty of interest in these at the show thanks to group-breaking — which will have a much larger presence this year — and wrapper-redemption programs. Nearly all companies in attendance will have some type of incentive program to see collectors rip and have the one-on-one chance at feedback during the rip. (See our past stories link for more details.)

Add one more star to the Panini VIP guest-list …
In November Chris Chelios will take his spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but during the NSCC weekend he’ll be among the guests signing for those in attendance at the Panini VIP Party set for Saturday. The invitation-only event will be open to a select group of big-spending collectors and other VIPs in attendance. The three-time Stanley Cup winner is just the second guest announced thus far — Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig will be there to mark the launch of his autograph memorabilia deal with Panini Authentic. Other guests will be announced one per day this week with each of the players signing a specially designed photo for those in attendance.

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Stan Musial’s family selects Heritage for auction; items to be displayed at The National


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The memorabilia collection of one of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history is headed to the auction block.

They are the artifacts from the life and career of St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial and they’re going to be sold by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, which will be showcasing some of the pieces at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention starting tomorrow in Chicago.

More than 500 lots will be sold, including the baseball’s hit for his 1,000th, 2,000th and 3,200th hits of Musial’s legendary career. The auction will be held in October.

“Stan Musial was known as ‘Baseball’s Perfect Knight’ for good reason,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage in a prepared release. “His incredible talent and humility on the field influenced his beloved status off, which endures to this day. His legacy will be celebrated in this auction and the top collectors will finally have a chance to acquire some of the things that meant the most to him from his storied career.”

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Chatter Up with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds … Wednesday night on our Facebook page


Join Beckett Baseball’Chris Olds for this week’s Chatter Up over on the Beckett Media Facebook page on Wednesday night at 8:30 Central. Up for grabs this week will be wax, game-used and more from the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention.

(Click here to find the image above and leave an early comment there if you can’t make it.)

If you miss the chat, be back on the page next week.

Topps officially launches Archive Prints


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

After several weeks of a soft launch, Topps officially launched a line of new, larger-than-life baseball card prints on Tuesday.

Archive Prints are reprints of baseball cards from the past for (eventually) all 30 teams and many players from the past. The company plans to offer more than 1,000 images for fans to choose from with two sizes available —  17-by-21 or 23-by-31.  They cost $64.99 or $99.99 unframed or $149.99 and $249.99 when framed.

“Having been in the baseball card business for over 60 years, Topps has amassed an amazing collection of one-of-a-kind card artwork and Major League Baseball player photography,” said Michael Bramlage, Topps’ Vice President of Digital. “Each card captures the style of that year and enshrines the image of your favorite MLB players, exactly as you remember them growing up. We’re excited to begin opening up our archives with these authentic, high-quality prints for your wall.”

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RareInk.com launches line of MLB lithographs



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A California-based art company is now an approved manufacturer of limited-edition lithographs featuring the stars and teams of Major League Baseball.

RareInk.com launched its MLB collection on Tuesday. Additional details of the deal with MLB as well as the MLBPA were not disclosed.

The company, launched by a pair of former card industry executives, arrived with an NBA line last fall. The MLB line will include more than 500 pieces from many types of styles by artists from around the world.

“RareInk is reinventing sports wall décor by offering an enormous collection of cutting-edge art in styles typically not seen by fans,” said Tim Muret, CEO of RareInk.  “Today’s fan is looking for something uniquely artistic for their walls to capture their passion for baseball and RareInk delivers the game like it has never been seen before.”

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True Blood trading cards to come out next week

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Don’t worry, this card set doesn’t bite.

Rittenhouse Archives is preparing for the release of 2013 True Blood Archives Trading Cards, a set based on the HBO show on vampires. True Blood stars Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse and focuses on the world surrounding her filled with vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters.

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Panini releases short-print info on Score Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Score Hockey has been for a week. Collectors have noticed a few trends through box breaks – some cards are tougher to pull than others.

Below is a list of the short-printed hits in 2013-14 Score Hockey.

So, how tough are these pulls?

So far,  few eBay auctions have popped up for Nail Yakupovor Jonathan Huberdeau autographs and two Alex Galchenyuk autographs finished at $98 and $80, respectively.

However, a completed auction for a Yakupov Score autograph sold for $170.

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Topps adds Yasiel Puig Gypsy Queen card to its National wrapper redemption programs


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There’s one more promo card to chase at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention.

Topps announced that it will have Yasiel Puig 2013 Gypsy Queen cards — 100 available each day — at the NSCC starting on Wednesday.

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Preview Gallery: 2013 Panini Cooperstown


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

On a day where many could be talking about those excluded from Cooperstown this year, let’s take a second to see who’s included in Cooperstown this year.

You know, Panini America‘s Cooperstown.

The exclusive trading card licensee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum offered an in-depth look at some of the inclusions in the forthcoming 2013 Panini Cooperstown, which now arrives on Aug. 28. (Click here for our First Look story from April.)

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First look: Rittenhouse’s Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos got their start in 1963. They were a fictional World War II combat unit in the Marvel Comics world. Rittenhouse Archives is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original comic with a premium set.

Each pack will contain one hand-drawn sketch card, three base cards and one character portrait card.

The base set will consist of 30 cards with images from the early years of the comics. The character cards will feature nine cards of Sgt. Fury and his team.

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First Look: 2014 Topps Tribute baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A new year is here.

Topps unveiled its plans for the first baseball card set of 2014 on Friday, and it’s the high-end Topps Tribute, which is back for yet another run.

Set to arrive on Feb. 19, Tribute will include one autograph or Relic in every box along with two base cards. Each six-pack box will include four autographed cards limited to no more than 99 copies with the other two hits being Relics also capped at 99. There will be eight boxes per case.

The base set’s size was not announced, but it will consist of stars from the past and present with six parallels per card — Blue (/99), Green (/50), Gold (/25), Red (/5) and 1/1 Purple and printing plates to be found.

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Rare animals make for high prices

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We looked at art cards yesterday, and today it’s time to peek at the animals.

Upper Deck’s 2013 Goodwin Champions has a number of interesting inserts that have made this a popular product with collectors, even outside of the sports realm. The Animal Kingdom cards have transcended sports collecting with some of the manufactured patch cards selling for more than $1,000.

Yes, more than a grand to own some of the rare cards.

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Oyo SportsToys heads to The National with projects for kids, free limited-edition figures


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Oyo SportsToys hopes it can build a little fun into the National Sports Collectors Convention.

The Acton, Mass.-based company will be at the showcase of all shows starting next week in Chicago with a limited edition NSCC-branded collectable for some collectors to pick up. The first 100 collectors — 50 adults, 50 kids — who visit Booth No. 670 each day of the show will receive one of the miniature baseball figures.

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Guest Commentary: Times change but the memories last for years

Editor’s note: Houston-based card shop owner Todd Nelkin has decided to close the doors to his shop, HLT&T Sports, and offered his thoughts as the closing time comes.

By Todd Nelkin | Commentary & Opinion

Everyone who has ever set up at a show knows the feeling. It gets to 5 p.m. Sunday, the final day of the show you had circled on the calendar for months, and people around you start to re-assemble boxes and put unsold goods into trucks or luggage.

It’s closing time. Time to go home.

What do you do when you’re closing your retail store after 30 years of business? It is the ultimate show teardown. First comes the realization that comes one day soon, you will no longer have the key to your place. Something else will be in your area where you called the shots. Something else will be in the area where you set up displays, staged pack wars games and sold Beanie Babies, pogs and all the other fads that came and went.

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Goodwin Champion’s Art of Ages cards popular with collectors

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Imagine getting a mini-sized rendition of your favorite artwork – pieces from Monet, Whistler, Matisse or Michaelangelo?

Upper Deck has created a special rare insert for 2013 Goodwin Champions – Art of the Ages. These cards have been extremely popular with collectors since its release, with eBay auctions ending in at least triple digits for the 1-of-1 cards.

Check out some of these sales:

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The 2013 NFL rookies show off their art skills

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

It’s a good thing some of these NFL rookies have day jobs.

Panini America revealed artwork many of the 2013 NFL rookies created while at the NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere. The 1-of-1 player-drawn sketch cards is seemingly becoming an annual venture – and one collectors enjoy getting a peek at.

The results appear in pictures on this page, but Panini is putting these cards into exclusive 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention packs.

Most players stuck to simple ideas, drawing the logo of their new NFL team. While other improvised, drew up a play and had a little fun.

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Your Turn: What would your one-item National Sports Collectors Convention want list include?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The National Sports Collectors Convention — the show of all card shows — is less than a week away and truth be told I don’t have a single, unquestioned item on my want list.

Why? Because I’ll know it when I see it — and I’ll know even more when I see the price tag. (That’s how I roll.)

You see, at The National you’ll see things you’ve seen many times — and you’ll see so much that it will numb your senses in that good way that only cardboard and collecting can. Even if your hobby is merely window-shopping, it’s without question the place to be beginning next Wednesday evening and running through Sunday. Want to see a display case full of 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards? It’ll likely be there. Want to see wax packs likely older than you are? Some of you will. Want to see game-used memorabilia? There will be plenty of that, too.

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First look: 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America is coming home with a new line of retro-styled baseball cards arriving later this year.

It’s 2013 Hometown Heroes and it will include players from the 1950s to today as part of a 300-card base set and six different autographed insert sets packed inside its boxes.

And there will be plenty of nods to the past — via new creations — too.

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