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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Richard McWilliam dies, Mastro pleads guilty, Panini gets Lillard: A look at the top stories from 2013

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The last year had some memorable moments in cards – good and bad.

The trading card industry lost a giant while families bonded over cards. Even though we all collect cards for different reasons, it’s the one thing that brings us together.

We share our collections through different avenues, trade with people halfway around the world and get a sweet joy when we watch the next generation opening packs of cards.

Here’s a look back at some of the top moments from card and memorabilia collecting in 2013.

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Beckett Baseball 20 Questions on … prospecting

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s the dead of winter, but we’re less than a month away from the arrival of the first baseball card set of 2014 — and that also means that the first prospect cards (and spring training) aren’t far behind.

With the latest free agency moves not meaning all that much on cardboard, we figured now might be the time to focus an issue of Beckett Baseball on the cards that many collectors simply can’t get enough of — prospects.

As part of that one we want your take on the collecting landscape as part of our latest 20 Questions … this time all about prospects.

1. Who are your top five MLB prospects/newcomers to collect in 2014?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey


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Watch as Beckett Hockey’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond.

First look: 2013-14 Fleer Showcase Hockey


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck is revamping its popular Fleer Retro brand into 2013-14 Fleer Showcase Hockey.

The product will contain a number of the elements that made Fleer Retro popular such as short-printed inserts and low-numbered parallels.

Each box will contain 15 packs with five cards in each pack.

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Box Busters: 2013 Panini Absolute Football cards


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Watch as Beckett Football’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Absolute Football.

Upper Deck creates Winter Classic cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

As the NHL gets ready for The Winter Classic, Upper Deck has put together a set of the big game.

Every fan in attendance at The Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will get a free pack of Upper Deck’s Winter Classic cards.

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CHATTER UP with Beckett Media’s Chris Olds … New Year’s Day on the Beckett Media 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. There will be prize for 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.

Box Busters: 2013 Topps Strata Football cards


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Beckett Football Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Topps Strata Football.

Box Busters: 2013-14 Upper Deck Team Canada hockey cards


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Beckett Hockey’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Team Canada Hockey cards.

First look: 2014 Topps Star Wars Chrome Perspectives

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps’ newest Star Wars set will look at the different sides of the fight for the galaxy – in chrome.

Stars Wars Chrome Perspectives will release in mid-May looking at the different viewpoints of the Rebel Alliance and the Empire as they battle for control of the galaxy.

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Salt Lake City collector nabs every Flawless Rookie Card

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Adam Gray hasn’t collected a set some time.

He usually focuses on singles or ripping and flipping. But the longtime basketball collector was intrigued by 2012-13 Flawless basketball from Panini America.

After looking at previews – and using his basketball collecting expertise – he decided the Rookie Cards from the most expensive box of cards would be his.

“Rookie Cards have always driven the hobby,” Gray said. “These are the rarest rookie basketball cards part of a base set that have ever been made. It was a challenge for me to put that together. I obviously liked the look of the cards, but it was about the rarity.”

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Chatter Up with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds … Christmas night on the Beckett Media 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. There will be prize for 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.

Box Busters: 2013 Upper Deck Thor the Dark World


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Join Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2013 Upper Deck Thor The Dark World cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Leaf acquires Famous Fabrics’ assets

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Famous Fabrics is changing hands.

Leaf Trading Cards has acquired the assets of the company from In The Game, the companies announced on Wednesday.

The transfer is immediate.

“I am very comfortable taking the groundwork laid by Famous Fabrics and further developing those brands into even greater value propositions for its collectors,” said Leaf President Brian Gray in a release. “I have every confidence we can continue the creativity and innovation in a way that continues to push the limits of what has traditionally been provided in the marketplace.”

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps 75th trading cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Bryan Hornbeck and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2013 Topps 75th in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2013 Totally Certified Football cards


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Beckett Football’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Totally Certified Football from Panini America.

Box Busters: 2013-14 Totally Certified Basketball cards


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Beckett Basketball’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Totally Certified basketball.

Box Busters: 2013-14 Panini Timeless Treasures basketball cards


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Beckett Basketball Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box 2013-14 Timeless Treasures basketball.

Chatter Up with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds … Wednesday on the Beckett Media 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. There will be prize for 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 — yes, there will be Chatter Up on Christmas night! (Olds is dedicated … or something.)

Box Busters: 2013 Topps Five Star baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2013 Topps Five Star in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What would they find inside? Watch and find out …

Panini becomes presenting sponsor for NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Game

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America is going bowling.

The Irving, Texas-based trading card and memorabilia company will be a presenting sponsor for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 18 in Carson, Calif., Panini announced on Monday.

The third annual NFLPA showcase features many top draft-eligible prospects from across the country.

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Panini America to offer exclusive packs for Boxing Day in Canada

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The United States got a Black Friday promotion, and now Panini America is giving Canada an exclusive Boxing Day (Dec. 26) promotion.

The promotion will only be available at Canadian Panini Roundtable stores. The Boxing Day set will include a 40-card set with 20 base, 15 rookies, and five memorabilia rookie cards. There will also be other inserts and hits – all inspired by the Absolute brand.

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Upper Deck includes former Yale hockey star on Heroic Inspirations card in Series 1

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The latest person to appear on an Upper Deck Heroic Inspiration card is Mandi Schwartz.

Schwartz, a former Yale University hockey player, died in 2011 at the age of the 23. She was diagnosed with cancer her junior year in college in 2008.

Upper Deck has put other inspirational people on cards including 9-year-old Jack Hoffman, who is in cancer remission, and UD officials wanted to include one in Upper Deck Series 1.

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Newest Upper Deck employee cards feature Michael Jordan autograph

By Dan Good | Contributing Writer

Many companies give holiday bonuses, a token of appreciation for hard-working employees.

Those bonuses come in numerous forms – usually a check or gift card, maybe a fleece or sweatshirt.

And then there’s Upper Deck, which this year gave its employees Michael Jordan displays featuring an autographed card and piece of the United Center floor. A few of the displays have already popped up online.

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The King and S.I. — New Jersey collector pursues lifelong autograph project


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“The S.I. King” Scott Smith has a collecting mission — to get the autograph of every person who has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That, of course, includes Swimsuit Issue models Elle Macpherson — and he’s amassed more than 94 percent of cover subjects in the near 60-year history of the weekly magazine.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Imagine a collecting challenge that spans decades into the past and has at least one new autograph addition arriving every single week.

That’s the life of Scott Smith, and it’s been that way for years now.

His quest? To get every issue of Sports Illustrated — the weekly magazine that has been around since 1954 — autographed by its cover subject. That’s nearly 60 years’ worth of magazines as S.I. will celebrate its diamond anniversary this August, and it’s a project that started for “The S.I. King” way back in 1982.

“My grandmother gave me a subscription to S.I. in 1973, and I collected and saved every issue and stacked them up in my closet,” said the 49-year-old former investment banker from New Jersey. “Like any kid who saves anything, I saved every issue. Wayne Gretzky‘s Sportsman of the Year was the first signed S.I. I got when he passed through town playing against the Devils. Went to Oilers team hotel in New Jersey.”

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