Monthly Archives: November 2013

Upper Deck gives Gretzky collector a big surprise

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Most Wayne Gretzky collectors know Jeffrey Griffith.

The Anaheim resident is one of the top Gretzky collectors. He literally wrote the book on it – which can be seen at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Griffith has about 5,200 unique Gretzky cards with about 15,000 total pieces, including doubles.

Upper Deck decided to add one more autograph to Griffith’s collection while at the 2013 Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto. It was a personalized signed Gretzky oversized card with an inscription that read:

To Jeffrey
Thanks for all your support over the years! Great job.
Wayne Gretzky 2013

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Chatter Up with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds … Wednesday night 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 on Wednesday night at 8:30 Central. Thanks to Upper Deck for this week’s prizes, which will go out to active chatters during the two-hour session.

Click here to find the image above and leave an early comment there if you can’t make it — also look for the early bird question now for a shot at a prize.

If you can’t make the chat, be back on the page next week.

Gretzky collector pulls massive hit from 2012-13 The Cup


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Norm Fournier and some friends hang out often at Dave’s Sports Cards in Cornwall, Ontario.

A bunch of guys just talking sports and having a few laughs.

Remember those days when card shops were the place to hang out?

Of course, you can’t just stand around. Part of the fun is opening boxes just to see what’s hiding on the shelves. Fournier did just that when he picked up a tin of 2012-13 The Cup.

Then he froze.

Fournier is a big Wayne Gretzky collector and he just pulled one of the top cards out of Upper Deck’s product – a ‘Property Of’ Game Used Stick with Gretzky’s name stamped on it.

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First look: 2013-14 Sereal KHL Sixth Collection

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Missing out on Ilya Kovalchuk cards?

You will be able to find some in Sereal’s KHL collection sixth season of cards.

The new set will come out in January with 20 different types of cards for collectors. Each box will come with 34 packs with five players in each pack. Each box will come with four hits and 10 parallels.

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Coming Soon — Beckett Yearbook: Best of 2013

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The year isn’t over yet, but the calendar year for Beckett Media‘s five sports card titles is — and that means it’s time for a new addition.

Joining the Beckett lineup beginning in December will be the Beckett Yearbook, a full-color look at the Best of 2013 — the most-interesting, most-notable and most-important stories found in the pages of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, Beckett Baseball, Beckett Football, Beckett Hockey and Beckett Basketball this year.

Arriving in early December in hobby shops and then on newsstands in the middle of the month, Beckett Yearbook will pack 128 pages of nothing but stories about sports cards and memorabilia from Beckett Media’s editors as well as other contributors this past year. World Series champion David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox graces the magazine’s front cover, while Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck gets the nod on the back.

The cover price for this special issue is $9.99.

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First look: 2014 Bowman Inception baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman Inception will be back for a sophomore season in 2014.

Topps unveiled the first looks at and the preliminary information for the second run at the higher-end, hits-only prospecting line on Friday, and it’s one that will include some new features as well.

Set to arrive on June 18, it will include with boxes per case with each box including just five cards. Each pack will include four autographs and one autographed Relic.

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Teemu Selanne has collected mementos throughout his storied career

By Jon Waldman | Contributor

The media’s summer ritual of the “Teemu Selanne Retirement Watch” might finally be over.

Two decades after he took the NHL by storm in a record-breaking rookie season, the Finnish Flash is hanging up his skates.

It took a video pronouncement from Selanne to affirm that. After 20-plus seasons in the NHL, his storied career would be coming to an end. However, even that video, which caught on with fans across the globe, wasn’t enough to convince everyone that Selanne would step off the ice for the last time in 2014.

“I still don’t think it’s his last game here,” said countryman Olli Jokinen in the days leading up to Selanne’s last game in Winnipeg on October 6, 2013. “It’s not official before it’s official. He’s an amazing athlete, playing this level for that long. He’s the guy every young player can learn from.”

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Behind-the-scenes look of Panini making hockey cards

Have you ever wondered what it took to make a trading card?

NHL.com got to go behind the scenes at Panini America, following the progress of an NHL trading card from start to finish. Check out the video for more insight.

Steiner Sports hosts Mariano Rivera Farewell Collection Auction

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Just because Mariano Rivera retired from baseball doesn’t mean he’s not going to stay out of the spotlight just yet.

Rivera, the long-time New York Yankees closer, has teamed Steiner Sports Memorabilia for an auction to raise money for a charitable foundation.

However, it’s not just Rivera’s game-used gear collectors can find. Rivera spoke to a number of athletes to have them donate items including Ichiro, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.

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Box Busters Preview: 2013 Bowman Draft baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into 2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects on its release date in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Click here for our previous preview story for this one.

Topps to sell Wacky Packages original art for $1 million

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It seems Topps employees were digging deep into the company’s vault recently.

A piece of artwork from the 1960s was discovered in one of Topps’ warehouses, and the company is making it available to purchase to the public.

Topps artist Norm Saunders created a 5-by-7-inch painting for a Wacky Packages design titled “Band-Ache,” parodying the Johnson & Johnson brand Band-Aid.

The fetching price for the nearly 50-year-old piece — $1 million.

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The Deacon Jones Collection being auctioned through Steiner Sports

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Deacon Jones’ collection has hit the auction block as part of Steiner Sports Memorabilia’s Coast to Coast Legends Auction.

The Los Angeles Rams standout died earlier this year, leaving behind a trove of memorabilia from his Hall of Fame career. Jones’ wife Elizabeth is auctioning part of his collection to raise money for the Deacon Jones Foundation, which assists inner-city communities.

The Deacon Jones Collection has 24 items, including his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring, his 1968 and 1969 MVP Trophies, a 1966-67 Ram defensive playbook and an expired driver’s license, passport and birth certificate.

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Photo Gallery: 2013 Toronto Fall Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The 2013 Fall Sportscard & Memorabilia show wrapped up this weekend.

Upper Deck, Panini America and In The Game were in attendance, giving away prizes to collectors and showing off their products.

With more than 100 hundred dealers on, there was something there for just about everyone.

Check out the photo gallery below of highlights from the 2013 Fall Expo.

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First look: 2013 Crown Royale football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The silhouette autographs from Panini America’s 2013 Crown Royale are set to hit the market soon.

Crown Royale will feature the popular on-card Rookie Silhouette cards from the attendees of the NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere. The silhouette autographs will also include current NFL Stars and legendary players.

Along with silhouettes, collectors will also be able to find Rookie Die-Cut autographs, Rookie Die-Cut Crown parallels and Panini’s Choice Signatures.

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First look: 2013 Panini Black football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America is back with Black Football.

The second-year product will have one pack of 12 cards in every box and each box will have three autographs (at least two on-card), two memorabilia cards and two Rookie Cards.

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First look: 2013 Elite Extra Edition baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Elite Extra Edition is back.

Panini America announced on Tuesday that its annual prospecting staple will return for 2013  with a 100-card set, autographs, diecuts, parallels and more in store when it arrives on Jan. 9.

Packing six autographs, six inserts and two additional serial-numbered diecut cards per 20-pack hobby box, EEE will present all of the things that fans of the long-running brand have come to expect in what Panini touts as “the industry’s most-complete draft pick set.”

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Take the Beckett Media collectors survey

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Please help us learn about your collecting habits by taking this 18-question survey.

1. Where do you buy trading cards (pick all that apply)

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2. Where do you get your hobby news from? (pick all that apply)

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Chatter Up with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds … Wednesday night 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 on Wednesday night at 8:30 Central. Thanks to Upper Deck for this week’s prizes, which will go out to active chatters during the two-hour session.

Click here to find the image above and leave an early comment there if you can’t make it — also look for the early bird question now for a shot at a prize.

If you can’t make the chat, be back on the page next week.

Box Busters: 2013-14 Panini Select Hockey with special guests

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Beckett Hockey Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Panini Select Hockey with special guest, David Wright from Cardboard Connection Radio. Look for cameos made by Panini America folks while at the 2013 Fall Expo in Toronto.

Beckett Grading Services Expands to the Asian Market

Dongwoon Lee, BGS Asia Regional Sales Manager

Beckett Grading Services is expanding its global reach.

BGS is proud to announce the hiring of Asia Regional Sales Manager, Dongwood Lee, who will oversee a new BGS office in Seoul, South Korea.

Lee will be in contact with the many avid collectors throughout Asia and Australia who haven’t had the opportunity to get their cards graded by the industry’s leading grading service. He begins immediately.

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Collecting USA: 50 cards, 50 states … it’s your turn to choose who’s the most-collectable

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It seemed like a simple idea — pick a sports card that is symbolic for each of the 50 states, a star who is known as the best of the best for that area when it comes to collecting.

It turned out to be a bigger challenge than I thought. Do you choose who is most collectable? Most memorable? Who comes to mind first? You know, it’s pretty hard picking cardboard icons.

Take Alabama, for example. Do you pick a coaching icon who still defines plenty in the football-crazed state — a Paul “Bear” Bryant? Or do you pick his modern-day equivalent in Nick Saban? Or do you pick one of the Crimson Tide’s star players  — a list that includes a who’s who of NFL greats such as Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Ken Stabler, Ozzie Newsome, Don Hutson, John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson, Cornelius Bennett, Derrick Thomas, Shaun Alexander … and that’s just pre-Saban. (And that’s just the Crimson Tide.) Or, do you look at Bo Jackson or Frank Thomas at Auburn? Or maybe Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and many others who don’t have school ties — but are all-time greats and from the state?

For the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly, The Collecting USA Issue, we’ll present our picks for a card representing every state. But, for now, it’s your turn to choose right here — pick from the greatest (focus on sports with cardboard) athletes with ties to each of the 50 states.

Picking a cool or memorable card after you pick a player? Well, that’s another story.

Make your picks … after the jump. (And be sure to add any comments you may have below, too.)

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Beckett 20 Questions on … Collecting USA

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Winter Olympics are less than 100 days away and those waiting for the arrival of the only fully licensed Olympic trading cards have an even shorter wait.

And that means the latest batch of athletes aspiring to become medal winners and household names will have their first autographs and trading cards — cards that may resonate well with non-collectors and generate cash for some savvy wheelers and dealers once things heat up this February in Sochi, Russia.

Topps2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team & Hopefuls arrives on Nov. 20 including some of the big names you likely know from past years and others you might not such as Amy Purdy, a member of the US Paralympic Snowboarding Team. Purdy, above and seen holding her upcoming Topps card, lost both of her legs below the knee at age 19. (Check out her story here.)

With all of the collecting potential to be found with the latest arrival sporting the Red, White and Blue, we figured the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly would be a good chance to examine a bit more about Collecting USA — the hot spots, the interesting cards and more from Olympic-focused sets and other releases that are of note or touch on the stars from all 50 states. As part of that, here’s the latest 20 Questions with a focus on Olympic cards of all types.

1. Which sports have you bought Team USA cards for? (select all that apply)

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2. Which past or present Winter Olympians' autos from the new Topps set interest you the most? (Pick your top five)

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See the rest of this month’s questions … after the jump.

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Upper Deck donates new hockey packs to military-related charity

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

One thing I’ve noticed as a collector is how much military personnel and veterans enjoy trading cards.

I’ve been to hobby shops where military members come home from being overseas and love opening cards. Perhaps it’s the first time they are opening cards in a decade, or they’re taking a free moment while on leave to do enjoy their hobby.

This Veterans Day, Upper Deck has donated 6,000 packs of new NHL cards to Defending the Blue Line, a charity that helps children of military members participate in hockey.

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Fall Expo: Upper Deck honors dealer who passed away

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck gathered fans at its booth on Friday night at the Fall Sports Expo.

It was ready to give away prizes for a free raffle, which included uncut sheets, hobby boxes and autograph cards. But in the few moments before the raffle, Upper Deck recognized a longtime dealer Mel Wolff who passed away recently.

Upper Deck did it by what it does best – making a trading card of him.

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Box Busters: 2013 Fall Expo Panini packs + contest

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Beckett Hockey editor Susan Lulgjuraj opened several Panini America Fall Expo wrapper redemption packs. She pulled some nice cards, including an autograph.

Watch the video to see how you can win the autograph!

2013 Fall Expo preview: Double Rookie Class will bring the noise

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

I attended my first Fall Expo a year ago, essentially standing in hockey card heaven.

However, I was told by many Expo veterans that it was a light show. The NHL Lockout was in full swing and no one knew at the time when the NHL would be back.

I heard how much fun the Expo would be and just how crazy it will get. And if you love hockey, this is the place to be.

But this Fall Expo should be crazier.

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First look: 2013 Leaf Ichiro Immortals Collection baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you’ve been waiting patiently for Ichiro Suzuki baseball cards, you now have your high-end chance with 2013 Leaf Ichiro Immortals Collection. 

Unveiled by Leaf Trading Cards on Wednesday, the product will include four base cards and one autograph per box when it arrives in early December. A suggested retail price was not announced, but dealer cost from Leaf is $550 per box and only 300 hand-numbered boxes will be released.

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Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston already a hit with collectors

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Collectors usually have to wait before getting a hold of a college football player’s first trading cards.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is certainly one that is on the radar for them.

After eight games this season, Winston has 2,502 passing yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has a 70.3 percent completion rating while leading Florida State to an undefeated record. Winston is one of the favorite for the Heisman Award so far this season.

Here’s good news for collectors – Winston already has cards on the market with the bulk appearing in 2012 Upper Deck USA Football.

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Upper Deck reveals booklet card 16 Michael Jordan autographs

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

What’s better than pulling a card with a Michael Jordan autograph?

How about a card with 16 Michael Jordan autographs?

Upper Deck released images of 16-autograph booklets that will be in 2012-13 Exquisite Collection Basketball. One of the booklets will have 16 autographs with players such as Jordan, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Bill Walton and Clyde Drexler.

However, the next two sneak peeks really intrigued collectors.

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Box Busters: 2013 Hometown Heroes baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2013 Hometown Heroes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Chatter Up with Beckett Media’s Chris Olds … Wednesday night 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 on Wednesday night at 8:30 Central. Thanks to Topps for this week’s prizes, which will go out to active chatters during the two-hour session.

Click here to find the image above and leave an early comment there if you can’t make it — also look for the early bird question now for a shot at a prize.

If you can’t make the chat, be back on the page next week.

Topps Ultimate Chase Ticket lets father and son enjoy Los Angeles Dodgers’ postseason run

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ roller coaster of a season ended in the National League Championship Series, but the memories of the season — and especially the postseason — will remain for a father-son collecting duo.

Thanks to the Topps Ultimate Chase Ticket, Alan Tavelman and his 14-year-old son, Zach, got tickets to every postseason game for their selected team, the Dodgers, after they found one of 10 tickets inside a box of 2013 Topps. The ticket was good for a signed bat — and then a spot in a drawing to win a postseason pass for a team of their choice, which they won.

“At first my son and I were not sure what it was,” said Alan, 53, of Porter Ranch, Calif. “Then we actually read the ticket and we were very excited and could not believe that we actually had one.”

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Monday Morning Collector: A look at Nick Foles

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

You expect a game like that from Peyton Manning – and he did it earlier this year.

Usually, not from a guy who’s been inconsistent and without knowing if he’s going to start from week to week. However, that’s the beauty of football.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles tied the NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a 49-20 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Foles had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 by completing 22-of-28 passes for 406 yards.

If you did the math, he actually had more touchdowns that incompletions.

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Panini previews cards for Fall Expo packs

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America has revealed how collectors can get exclusive 2013 Toronto Fall Expo packs for next weekend’s show.

To get their hands on these packs, collectors have to bring an unopened box of select Panini products, and open them at the Panini booth. Depending on the products, collectors get anywhere from five to 20 2013 Sportscard & Memorabilia Fall Expo packs.

Panini has included cards of rookies from all four major sports numbered to 399, Cracked Ice parallels, Tools of the Trade memorabilia cards, Player Sketch Cards and plenty of autographed variations.

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In The Game announces Toronto Fall Expo plans

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Every Toronto Expo, In The Game has a display of jerseys showing off CHLs sweaters or other neat jerseys it gets.

At the Fall Expo, ITG will show off classic game-used jersey to showcase Superlative – The First Six. Jerseys of Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Niklas Lindstrom, Bobby Orr and others will be on display at In The Game Land at the Fall Expo, which starts Nov. 8 at the Toronto Expo Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

The jerseys may get you in the area, but ITG doesn’t want you to come empty-handed as it will also have a redemption program. Here are the rules:

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