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Monthly Archives: July 2013

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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Check it out: A look inside the final 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball card checklist


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

From Axl Rose to Sandy Koufax, it looks like this year’s Allen & Ginter baseball card set from Topps will have a bit of everything for everyone when it arrives on Aug. 7.

Oh, and it’ll include Yasiel Puig, too.

Topps released the final checklist for the eighth edition of the product on Tuesday (click here to download a PDF or here for our updated preview story), so we’re taking a look at what can be found in this one soon.

A Puig of his own
As previously reported here, the Los Angeles Dodgers rookie will have a certified autograph in this one as well as a standard base card (not short-printed; above) along with mini parallels. He’ll be joined by 46 other MLB rookies, among them Shelby Miller, Manny Machado, Hyun-Jun Ryu and Abe Vigoda. Wait, isn’t Vigoda a bit too old for an RC? Scratch that … he’s in there — but not an RC.

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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 autographs, game-used cards 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.

Cryptozoic peeks autographs for Psych trading cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Psych Trading Cards are set to release next month.

The Cryptozoic team is getting ready for the release by teasing us with images of the autographs. It’s not enough that Cryptozoic signed the leading men from the show – Dulé Hill and James Roday – but also got a number of well-known celebrities for its autograph checklist.

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Famous Fabrics to announce winner of Fab Four cut card at NSCC

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The time is close for collectors holding a redemption ticket for a Beatles cut card.

Collector who opened Famous Fabrics – Music, Music, Music and found a redemption for a chance to win the card will finally learn the winner at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention.

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First look: 2013 Topps Triple Threads Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Are collectors ready for a new-look Triple Threads?

At least that’s what Topps is promising in 2013 Topps Triple Threads Football when it previewed the high-end product on Tuesday. In the exact words of Topps, it called it “redefined.”

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Ripping Retail: Inside two Excell baseball repacks

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a pair of retail repackage products from Excell Marketing in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

One thing’s certain: Ryan Braun’s suspension won’t help his baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Major League Baseball suspended former National League MVP Ryan Braun for the remainder of the season Monday for his ties to the Biogenesis investigation.

It means one thing for his baseball cards … bad news.

That shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who has collected him since his failed drug test in late 2011 that resulted in a suspension that was overturned on appeal. At that time, Braun claimed to have been the “victim of a flawed process” and alleged misconduct in the handling of his samples by the courier.

On Monday, Braun issued a statement remarkably different than his previous story.

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Panini lets collectors trade redemptions at NSCC


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Collectors attending the National Sports Collectors Convention next week in suburban Chicago will have the chance to finish off some outstanding collecting issues.

They can trade in their older Panini America redemptions for cards at the show.

The company announced its plans for the Panini America Trade Up program on Monday, which will allow collectors to trade in any non-fulfilled redemptions in the Panini America system for randomly filled grab bags of corresponding value at the show that include a single autograph or memorabilia card. Redemptions that are four months old or older are eligible for the replacement program.

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Box Busters: 2013-14 UD Trilogy hockey

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Beckett Hockey’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box 2013-14 Upper Deck Trilogy hockey. With a hit per pack, watch the video to see what she pulled.

Beckett Baseball Hobby Pulse Poll: Which upcoming baseball card release gets your cash?


Which upcoming baseball product gets your cash?

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The second half of the baseball season has begun but the baseball card year still has plenty of time to go. Which upcoming product (list excludes re-packs and cut products) gets your attention?

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


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


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 …