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Monthly Archives: July 2013

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 …

Box Busters: 2013 Topps Tribute WBC Edition

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2013 Topps Tribute World Baseball Classic Edition in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2013 Topps Pro Debut baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2012 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2012 Exquisite Collection football cards from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

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 graded card book … and more.

(Click here to leave an early comment there if you can’t make it to tonight’s vacation-shortened edition, which will run about two hours.)

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

A helping hand: Collectors come to the aid of one of their own

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Dustin Smith goes to the Blowout Cards forum for relief from his everyday problems. He chats with friends about cards and shows off his collection.

But collecting cards has been put on pause because Dustin has bigger problems. He and his wife Kristen have a son, Connor, suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1, an aggressive, terminal disease.

“It’s a disease that gets worse and worse,” Smith said. “We’ve seen it take a massive toll. He’s lost the ability to swallow, the ability to eat. Without a ventilator, he probably wouldn’t make it 24 hours.”

Dustin turned to the Blowout Cards message boards. He needed a place to vent his frustrations, a place where he could finally get all his feelings and thoughts down. He didn’t expect much of a response, but there was an overwhelming amount of support for the Michigan-based couple.

“It was just for mental support in the beginning,” Dustin said. “I’ve read some cool stories on there and have dealt with awesome people. They are incredibly generous. I wanted to share my story on there.”

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Your Turn: Who’s on your collecting Mount Rushmore?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

It’s a simple question that could spark many, many different answers, and it’s one that I used to laugh at when it was posed in the newsroom from time to time when it came to sports debates. But it’s also a question that seems to resonate with me as a collector so much to the point that I’m not sure I can even answer it decisively.

Who’s on your Mount Rushmore?

As trivial as it may sound, picking a top four players for a team or a school may not be that hard if you’re talking purely about one’s place in history. But for a place in a collection? For me, it’s tough.

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Fan Cave rip party features Billy Ripken and Topps’ MiLB player for a day

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

NEW YORK CITY | Tim Kane’s baseball adventure didn’t end when his one-day contract ran out with the Corpus Christi Hooks. He had one more stop to make at the MLB Fan Cave in New York City.

Kane attended a baseball card rip party at the Fan Cave last week. He and his son Peyton told their story about meeting Nolan Ryan and getting to feel like a minor league player with official jerseys, hanging out in the dugout and taking batting practice with the team. Kane won a contest after pulling a card from Topps Heritage Minor League last year.

“It’s been a whirlwind ever since we found out we won,” Kane, a Millersville, Md. resident, said. “Everything from when we found out we won to going to Corpus Christi and meeting Nolan Ryan – it’s all been so crazy and great. The smile has never left my son’s face. To me, that’s what it’s all about. It’s for him.”

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Fans, prospects and NHL commish get New Jersey welcome at 2013 NHL Draft

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

NEWARK, N.J. | Hot, sticky and humid – a typical summer day in New Jersey. Kids play games on the boardwalk. Parents hold the prizes.

You don’t normally think about hockey on a day like this, but on this particular Sunday, the sport took center ice in Newark. New Jersey Devils fans flocked to the Prudential Center for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, bringing a taste of Jersey to the NHL.

“I’m so excited for this. I’ve been waiting for the draft for a while,” said 17-year-old Matt Kass. “I’ve been coming to game since I was 3 months old. Now this … I couldn’t wait for this day.”

Kass’s day at the Draft was like Christmas on steroids as he could barely keep still while waiting for the event to start.

The Prudential Center was nearly sold out for one of the deepest drafts in a decade. Hockey players such as Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones sat in the arena waiting for their names to be called.

The NHL Draft started with true New Jersey style – the fans booed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as soon as he got on stage … and every time they saw him after that.

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Upper Deck signs Andrew Luck to card deal

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Collectors who had Upper Deck “Trade” cards from 2012 football products have watched their patience pay off.

The redemption was good for a trading card of a first-round quarterback from the 2012 NFL draft. Collectors speculated as to whom it would be, and finally Upper Deck has revealed the player – Andrew Luck.

UD will now be able to produce Luck cards, including autographs, featuring him in a Stanford University uniform.

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Topps wants collectors to pick cover athlete for Chrome Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Have you ever wanted to see your favorite player on the cover of a Topps hobby box?

Topps is giving collectors a chance to have their say on who will be on the next cover of 2013 Topps Chrome Football. Since it’s a rookie product, the choices are limited to some of the top skilled prospects from the latest draft.

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