Monthly Archives: July 2013

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Ziegler collects “quality over quantity” with his baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you’re a collector and you don’t see Brad Ziegler throwing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, there’s a good chance you’ve seen him on the highlight reels elsewhere.

You may have seen him in videos doing online breaks because he’s also a collector.

The sixth-year MLB sidearmer says he chases his own cards while also chasing “quality over quantity” as his collection is filled with autographs, bat barrels and bat knobs of some of the biggest names in the game.

“My three big personal collection guys are Jackie Robinson, Stan Musial and Roberto Clemente,” he said. “But I try to get as many different Hall of Famers as I can. My dream collection would be a bat Relic, a jersey Relic and an autograph of every Hall of Famer. I know it’s not realistic, but I’m trying to get as close as I can.”

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First look: 2013 UFC Bloodlines

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is celebrating UFC’s diversity.

The most famous MMA league brings fighters from around the world to compete in some of the most grueling matches. Topps is bringing back 2103 UFC Bloodlines, highlighting the nationality of these fighters.

There will be 10 mini boxes in one display box of UFC Bloodlines. Each mini box will contain two base cards, one parallel, one insert and one hit. Every display box will offer two relics, two jumbo or dual relics, one manufactured relic, two autographs and two autograph relics. In addition, sketch cards will be offered as hits.

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Topps looking for new artists for its ‘On Demand’ program

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is looking for a few artists to join its Artists on Demand program.

Topps announced the new program in May where collectors can request sketch cards from various artists. Each month, Topps would offer a different theme for collectors to choose from such as Wacky Packages or Mars Attacks.

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A collector first, Oakland A’s pitcher Pat Neshek still hunts his own baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Long before Pat Neshek was a big-leaguer, he was a collector and like many 1980s kids he collected heavily in his younger years before the distractions of life and the lack of funds during the college years curtailed his collecting habits.

Then, one weekend he volunteered to help his Butler University roommate hound for some autographs when a big-time college team came to town and his collecting interests were renewed.

“My roommate was a huge eBay autograph seller and one weekend he needed an extra hand because Ohio State basketball was coming into town,” said Neshek, who is in his seventh season in MLB pitching with the Oakland A’s this year. “I was pumped just to leave my dorm for the weekend, and I didn’t know what was in store. We ended up getting four team-signed basketballs, pictures with the guys on the team and we were able to get into the game with scalped tickets for $5. After that moment, I was hooked. I didn’t know player access was that easy.”

He hasn’t looked back since as a collector and during his path to MLB. He often documents his collection and his collecting habits via Twitter — he’s currently working on a signed 1985 Topps baseball set, for example — and his website, On the Road With Pat Neshek. There, he tells collectors how they can get his autograph — on their own card or via a trade — while also showing off some of his collection and his projects.

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps MLS soccer cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2013 Topps MLS soccer cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

All-Star Alex Gordon remembers his Rookie Card craze

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

NEW YORK CITY | Before Alex Gordon was an All-Star, he became an overnight baseball card star.

Gordon was a top prospect in the Kansas City Royals system in 2006, but that wasn’t what got people to take notice. It was a baseball card.

An Alex Gordon card was accidentally released in the 2006 Topps set, card #297.

It shouldn’t have been there. Under new MLB Players Association rules, Gordon was not allowed a Rookie Card yet because he was not on the Royals’ 25-man roster.

“All these people kept asking me about the card,” Gordon told Beckett Media on Monday. “I was playing in Wichita at the time and apparently it wasn’t supposed to come out. It got my name out there because of a baseball card.”

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Thousands of dollars, garters & fisticuffs: Old baseball cards we never see can offer surprises

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

If you’re one of the Everyday Joe kind of collectors without a bank account in the six-figures or someone who makes a hobby out of window-shopping in auction catalogs, you’re probably a lot like me when it comes to older baseball cards.

They’re out of sight, so they’re out of mind — if you even know they exist at all.

There are countless examples of pre-war cardboard that I’ll readily admit that I have only seen flipping through pages of the latest Beckett Almanac, if that. They’re cards most of us may never see or you might see at a National Sports Collectors Convention if you attend … maybe.

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First look: 2013-14 Prizm Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America gave collectors a look at 2013-14 Prizm Hockey earlier this year when it included packs of its newest brand in Rookie Anthology.

The three cards held collectors over until now when Panini has released preview of the upcoming product. Prizm is set to come out in September with two autographs and two Prizm parallels in every box.

In addition, there are 20 packs with a Rookie Card in each pack – giving collectors a chance to get many of last year’s rookies that didn’t appear on cards.

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NSCC Notebook: Catching up on what’s going on at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

This year’s National Sports Collectors Convention is just two weeks away for non-VIP ticket-buyers. Here’s a rundown of what’s new from the announcements for the show.

Topps Q&A session 
As it has the last few years, Topps is hosting a Q&A session with interested show attendees. The first 150 people to sign up at the company’s booth will be able to attend an 8 p.m. session on Aug. 2  The company will have officials on hand to discuss the hobby. It will take place in Room 3 at the Rosemont Convention Center and run until 10 p.m. See more on Topps’ wrapper redemption programs here. The company also will debut its line of 2013 Topps Mini baseball cards. Click here for more info.

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First look: 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team & Hopefuls (w/ preliminary checklist)

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is getting in the Olympic spirit.

As athletes prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Topps is giving fans a look at those who are striving for gold in its newest product, 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team & Hopefuls. There will be 24 packs in each box with eight cards per pack.

There will be three hits in every box including one U.S. Olympic Team Autograph and two U.S. Olympic Team Relic or Commemorative Relic cards.

The autograph checklist will feature up to 50 names including figure skater Evan Lysacek and skiers Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn. Topps will also include on-card autographs of some of the greatest members of Team USA in the Winter Olympics such as Bonnie Blair, Scott Hamilton and Mike Eruzione. The autographs will also come in four parallel versions.

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Panini offers to swap stickers of Aaron Hernandez for Tim Tebow

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America is giving Aaron Hernandez the boot from its upcoming products.

Hernandez, who is in currently in jail as a murder suspect, will be replaced by New England’s Tim Tebow in Panini’s 2013 releases, the company announced on its blog today. The changeover will start with Rookies & Stars, set to be released August 21.

In Panini’s upcoming sticker album, Hernandez already has a placeholder with his former Patriot teammates. However, Panini is offering replacement stickers to those who want to switch out their Hernandez ones with those of Tebow.

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Turning back the clock: 1989 Topps baseball cards commercial

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By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Ah, the Gregg Jefferies days …

I was recently watching a TV broadcast from 1989 when I came across a gem – a commercial for Topps team sets.
Only $12.95 plus tax! Sure seems like a good investment.

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Beckett Covers cards return at National Sports Collectors Convention

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We’ve got it covered … again.

The Beckett Covers trading card concept — a promotional program that debuted earlier this year with free promo cards featuring past Beckett covers just as they appeared on newsstands — will return at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention that starts two weeks from today in Chicago.

There will be 10 limited-edition cards to be found at various booths at the show with a bonus 11th card — one limited to just 99 copies — only available to those who present a complete Beckett Covers set at the Beckett Media booth and do a few other small things as part of an NSCC scavenger hunt.

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Panini lands Yasiel Puig for autograph deal that includes appearance during National

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Puig goes to Panini.

Panini America will have one of the hottest rookies in baseball on hand at the National Sports Collectors Convention next month when it has Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig at a VIP event after the show.

The appearance is part of a deal signed between the company for its Panini Authentic memorabilia line that the company also announced today. His first signed items will be sold beginning next month.

“Yasiel’s rocket-like ascent this season has been one of the most captivating stories baseball has produced in quite some time, and we look forward to working with him,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop in a prepared statement. “We’ve already incorporated some of Yasiel’s first Rookie Cards into products that will be releasing soon, but we wanted the relationship to be more than that by delivering his authentic autographed memorabilia and by having him help us entertain our most important fans, collectors and partners at our VIP event at the National Sports Collectors Convention.”

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

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Join Beckett Baseball’Chris Olds for this week’s Chatter Up over on the Beckett Media Facebook page tonight at 8:30 Central tonight. Up for grabs this week will be a copy of the new Beckett Almanac book, the 42 DVD … and more.

(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 for more.

Box Busters: 2012-13 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

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Beckett Basketball’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2012-13 Panini Gold Standard Basketball. Watch to see the Hall of Fame autograph she pulled.

Box Busters: 2013 Elite Football

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Watch as Beckett Football’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Elite Football.

Box Busters: Upper Deck University of Notre Dame football (contest)

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Watch Beckett Football’s Susan Lulgjuraj rip open a box of Upper Deck’s University of Notre Dame.

Win a sealed box! Tell us in the comments who your favorite all-time Notre Dame football player is and why. We’ll pick a winner on July 23.

Box Busters: 2013 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into boxes of 2013 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2013 Topps Mini baseball cards (with full final checklist; updated with images)

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Minis are back.

Topps unveiled the first glimpses at its second online-exclusive product of the year to Beckett Media on Thursday as it’s readying 2013 Topps Mini for release with its first public arrival at the National Sports Collectors Convention starting on July 31 in suburban Chicago.

While the cards inside the packs of this one are small — just 2 1/4 by 3 1/8 inches — versions of the cards you have already seen, there’s one big inclusion among those on the autograph checklist.

That’s Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig. It will be his first MLB autograph to arrive live into packs when this one arrives. (His other autographed cards from Topps have been redemptions.)

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First look: 2013 Panini Playbook football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America is getting dirty this Fall.

One of the big highlights from 2013 Panini Playbook will feature jumbo game-worn unwashed, dirty swatches for the insert Down & Dirty Booklets.

That’s just a small peek of what Panini is offering in this year’s Playbook, scheduled to release in early October.

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First look: 2013 Press Pass Showcase Racing

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

A high-end racing product is coming up on the schedule for Press Pass.

Collectors will get one on-card autograph and two memorabilia cards in every box of 2013 Showcase Racing. There’s a hit in every pack with five cards coming in each of the three packs.

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Video: Matt Harvey asks New Yorkers about Matt Harvey

Watch this funny video as New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey asks New Yorkers about Matt Harvey on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. One of Harvey’s baseball cards also makes an appearance in the video.

Minnesota prospect Byron Buxton collects baseball cards, just not his own

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

NEW YORK CITY | Byron Buxton still seems like a kid – loping around the outfield or sidling up to the batter’s box. Buxton looks like he’s still having fun on the baseball diamond.

His time at the MLB Futures Game reminds people that Buxton is still 19 despite being one of the top prospects in baseball. He got a $6 million signing bonus last year, which he spent part of on a house and cars for his family.

However, none of that prepared him for some of the best pitchers he faced so far in his young career.

“The first pitch I saw was 94, but it looked like 105 coming off the bench,” Buxton said following Sunday’s game at Citi Field, in which he went 0-2 with two strikeouts.

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Box Busters: Ripping into a vintage baseball card grab bag

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a vintage baseball card grab bag.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out.

 

MLB Fan Fest has something for every baseball fan (with photo gallery)

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

NEW YORK CITY | The baseball world will focus on New York City in the coming days. Tuesday’s All-Star Game is being held at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets.

But, first, a little fun.

Thousands of baseball fans are descending on the Jacob Javits Center in New York City for this year’s All-Star FanFest, which opened Friday and runs through Tuesday.

From the outside, the glass building doesn’t give away what fans are about to see. Attendees zipped through the glass doors, rushing to visit a mesmerizing group of displays dedicated to America’s pastime.

Baseball stars, interactive games and even baseball cards appeared inside.

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First look: 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 1 hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Young Guns will be here in November, brandishing a crop of Rookie Cards that hasn’t been seen since Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin first graced NHL cards.

Upper Deck Series 1 will feature the top rookies from last season such as Nail Yakupov, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Huberdeau and Vladimir Tarasenko along with this year’s draft class of players that make the NHL roster.

Upper Deck Series 1 is a basic set with several inserts and a base set made for set collectors. But the heavy focus this year will likely be on the Rookie Cards.

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Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum no-hits Padres

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Freak put on a show.

Former San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum no-hit the San Diego Padres Saturday night for his fifth win of the season. He struck out 13 and walked just four in a complete-game effort in a 9-0 victory.

Entering the game, the two-time former Cy Young winner had a 4-9 record this season with a 4.61 ERA.

As for his collectibles, Lincecum appears on 3,113 items in the Beckett database (click here for a checklist or OPG) with a total value of $30,077.05, excluding rarities.

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Dwight Howard introduced by the Houston Rockets

By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Dwight Howard has a new home again.

The Rockets introduced their star center at a Saturday press conference, giving Houston championship hopes – and officially ending the off-season’s most hotly-contested free-agent sweepstakes.

The four-year deal is worth about $88 million.

Howard is coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued 2012-13 season with the Los Angeles Lakers. While Howard’s points and rebounds averages were consistent with his career marks, he failed to provide Los Angeles with a spark, and the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs. As the season unfolded and unwound, teammates and franchise icons publicly questioned his toughness and resolve.

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Upper Deck, Hockey Hall of Fame team up to offer exclusive game-used jersey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Hockey fans going to the Hall of Fame can get a special card to add to their collection.

This summer, Upper Deck has teamed with the Hockey Hall of Fame to create special game-used jersey cards to commemorate the NHL Team Fan Days. The HOF is already five days into the special promo.

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Topps gives MLB Fan Fest attendees exclusive cards and a figurine

By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

NEW YORK CITY | You better get some unopened packs – and your cell phone – ready if you want to win big at the Topps booth during this year’s MLB All-Star FanFest.

Mets fans should be especially happy with the options.

The Topps booth buzzed with activity Friday, with collectors opening packs to receive special wrapper redemption cards.

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Houston Astros rookie Jarred Cosart dazzles in Major League debut

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It was his first big-league start and his first big-league gem.

Houston Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart made it look simple in his Major League debut on Friday night in Tampa, no-hitting the Rays for the first six innings of his his first game before surrendering a single in the seventh. Cosart struck out just two, walked three and gave up just two hits as he took a scoreless night into the ninth before ceding to the bullpen and earning a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay and reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price.

Acquired in the deal that sent Hunter Pence to Philadelphia in July 2011, the 23-year-old right-hander was 7-4 this season with a 3.29 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 93 innings for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Redhawks before his promotion. Since drafted in 2009, he compiled a 32-26 record with a 3.29 ERA over five seasons.

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First look: 2013 Panini Prizm baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

No surprise here, the Prizms are back for a sophomore season.

Panini America offered the first glimpses and a bit more information about the forthcoming 2013 Panini Prizm baseball card set on Thursday with the follow-up to the late-season addition to its 2012 lineup set for a Sept. 18 arrival.

Carrying a suggested retail price of $4.99 a pack, Prizm will include two autographs in every 20-pack box along with hobby-only Prizm parallels dropping three per box. Also to be found will be hobby-only Orange diecuts (/50), Gold (/10) and 1/1 Black Finite Prizms. There will be eight more short-prints or insert cards per box.

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Baseball and civic pride: Searching for MLB All-Star Game apple statues in New York City

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By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

I headed north, scrambling in skyscrapers’ shadows, in search of … apples.

No, not the edible kind – no Granny Smiths on this trip. I was looking for giant-sized apple statues, each six feet tall and adorned with MLB team logos. The apples are scattered about New York City, 35 in all, a precursor to this year’s All Star Game, which is being held at Citi Field, home of the Mets. Forever Collectibles designed the apples.

MLB added a social media element to the apple search, with prizes awarded to people who upload their photos to Instagram and tag them #ASGApples. Upload photos of 15 apples, and you’re entered to win the grand prize – World Series tickets.

Since I work in Midtown Manhattan, in the heart of apple territory, I decided to spend my Saturday morning tracking down these apple statues. Sure, winning would be nice, but this had more to do with baseball and civic pride.

The search deepened my appreciation for the Big Apple, a city full of contradictions – wealth and poverty, commercialism and scrappiness, dreams and noise, a city with baseball on its mind. Read More »

Box Busters: 2013 Bowman Inception baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into two packs of 2013 Bowman Inception from Topps in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …