Monthly Archives: January 2014

Box Busters: 2013 Topps Magic Football cards

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Watch as Beckett Football’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Topps Magic Football cards.

Box Busters: 2013-14 SP Game Used Edition hockey cards

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Beckett Hockey’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 SP Game Used Edition. Watch the video to see what she pulled.

Box Busters: 2013-14 Heroes & Prospects by In The Game

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Watch as Beckett Hockey’ Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 In The Game Heroes & Prospects.

First look: 2013-14 Ultimate Collection Hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Ultimate formula is simple from Upper Deck. Four cards, two hits, a Rookie Card and a base card.

It’s going to be back again in June when UD releases 2013-14 Ultimate Collection Hockey.

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Leaf previews pre-draft football releases: Trinity, Metal Draft and Originals

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Leaf is getting its pre-draft football products ready for 2014.

The card company announced three new football products slated for the calendar with Leaf Trinity, Lead Metal Draft and Leaf Originals.

Here’s a look at the autograph-heavy products:

Leaf Trinity Football

This product will feature five autographs in every box. While preview pictures aren’t available yet, Leaf says the Pure glass autographs are back. In addition, the patch cards will have autographs this year.

The on-card inscriptions are back as well.

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Goldin Auctions says Jordan family won’t dispute UNC items

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Goldin Auctions received attention recently when it announced four pieces of unique Michael Jordan memorabilia were up for auction.

These pieces included a recruiting letter from University of North Carolina head coach Dean Smith; a recruiting letter from assistant coach Bill Guthridge (both from 1980); Jordan’s UNC diploma; and Jordan’s UNC undergraduate academic record.

However, just days after the announcement, Jordan’s mother Deloris Jordan told ESPN the items were not legitimate because she had the original documents in storage.

However, Goldin Auctions announced today that it has taken steps to ensure that the “clear and undisputed title will pass to the winning bidder of each of the four UNC Michael Jordan items, including confirmation that neither Michael Jordan nor his family will dispute said title.”

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BOX BUSTERS LIVE: 2014 Topps baseball cards — Watch the replay and Win two boxes now!

Are you ready to rip into some 2014 Topps and chat about it live?

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Susan Lulgjuraj as they rip into hobby boxes of 2014 Topps baseball cards and chat with you in the debut edition of Box Busters Live.

When? Today, (Jan. 29), 2 p.m. Central

Where? Right here on To submit questions to the rippers, leave a comment below or tweet @beckettmedia on Twitter.

What else? We’ll be giving away nearly all of the boxes during the event. (At least one we open will be given away in a future issue of Beckett Baseball.)

HOW CAN YOU WIN ONE OF THE BOXES NOW? Leave a comment below telling us what you think of 2014 Topps and we’ll pick a winner from all comments left before Feb. 10.

Note: There will not be a Chatter Up Facebook chat this week since we’re doing this event.

Need the 2014 Topps short-print (so far) list? Click here.

Need the 2014 Topps checklist? Click here.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Beckett Baseball: The Best of 2013 Awards — Collector’s Choice portion


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The baseball card year for 2013 is nearly complete and the calendar has turned, so now is the time where we are preparing our selections for the Best of 2013 — aka The Awards Issue of Beckett Baseball — where we present our picks for the memorable and notable cardboard of the year

As part of the issue, we wanted to make sure that you, the collectors, also have your picks noted. Here are the major categories that you’ll find in the next issue.

Cast your votes — after the jump — and let us know more in the comments below if you feel the need.

The Beckett Baseball Product of the Year for 2013 is ...

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See the rest of the categories after the jump.

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Looking back on 10 years of In The Game’s Heroes & Prospects

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Editor

When In The Game’s Heroes & Prospects hits this week, the products will celebrate a decade of releases.

It has featured many of today’s NHL stars before they made it big such as Sidney Crosby, John Tavares and Steven Stamkos.

In The Game employees look back on 10 years on Heroes & Prospects.

With the 10th anniversary coming up, what stands out to you from Heroes & Prospects?

What stands out most for me is the way that this brand has evolved over the past 10 years. With each season, a new crop of exciting young players comes to the forefront for collectors through the release of Heroes & Prospects.

This product has always featured an outstanding selection of autographs and game-used memorabilia that appeals to a wide range of collectors. We have added many interesting and collectible features over the years to keep things fresh and to add more value to every box.

- Brian Price, President ITG

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Postseason moments get short-print treatment in 2014 Topps baseball set — and sparkles are back, too


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Postseason celebrations — and a small selection of Series 2 cards — appear to be among the short-printed variations in 2014 Topps Series 1, according to a small selection of collectors who have posted their findings on Internet auction sites so far.

The first baseball card set of 2014 officially arrives in hobby shops on Wednesday.

Some of the cards found have numbers higher than 331, where Series 1 stops, while others have two photos. And some cards appear to have the return of the sparkle variations as well.

The list below contains cards that are confirmed as having two photos, having Series 2 numbers or having sparkles.

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Ripping Retail: 2014 Topps baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a selection of 2014 Topps packs in this latest edition of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

And be back here on on Wednesday for a live break of several hobby boxes — Box Busters Live — where the cards could end up being yours. Click here for details.

First look: 2014 Topps Triple Threads baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For the ninth straight year, Topps is readying Triple Threads with trios of Relics, trios of autos and, well, more high-end possibilities than ever.

When 2014 Topps Triple Threads arrives in hobby shops on Sept. 10, it will include familiar two pack options per box adopted in recent years. One pack will include three base cards, two parallels, a triple Relic and a Unity single-auto jumbo Relic. The other will have three base cards, two parallels a signed triple Relic and a jumbo Unity Relic. Each will be numbered to 36 or less or 99 or less depending on type.

New for this year will be Triple Hits — deluxe cards that have autographs, Relics and a handprint — while Triple Threads Transparencies will have a jumbo Relic and an auto on acetate. Triple Hits will be a redemption because of the size — and limited to 10 — while the Transparencies will be numbered to 25 with a 1/1 Onyx parallel to chase.


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Super Bowl footballs will be marked with special ink

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

To protect against counterfeit items, the footballs, pylons and coin from Super Bowl XLVIII will be marked by synthetic DNA ink.

PSA/DNA Authentication Services will handle the certification of the more than 100 footballs that will be used in the big game.

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Panini gives away Super Bowl-themed cards at Macy’s

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Have you headed to Macy’s in New York City lately?

Panini America has been giving out Super Bowl-themed cards at Macy’s Herald Square. Each day, fans can pick up a different trading card by visiting the Panini section in the NFL Shop on the fourth floor.

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First look: 2013 Spectra Football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

A new football product is coming from Panini America.

The card company will debut 2013 Spectra in early March featuring what Panini calls “Optichrome” printing technology.

Spectra football boxes will come loaded with hits. There will be six autographs and six memorabilia cards (numbered to 299 or less) in every six-pack box. Each pack will have five cards, including two base cards.

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Box Busters: 2013 SP Authentic Football cards

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

Action Packed: A company that tried — and failed — to make hockey cards

By Sal J. Barry | Contributing Writer

Nearly every trading card company tried to secure an NHL license in the early 1990s – but not all of them succeeded.

After Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, interest in hockey and hockey memorabilia grew in the United States, and card companies took notice.

Upper Deck, Pro Set and Score expanded into the hockey card market in 1990, with companies such as Leaf, Fleer and Pacific joining later that decade.

But one company just couldn’t make the cut – Action Packed.

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Carmelo Anthony has a Rookie Card for every point he scored on Friday — 62

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

With the New York Knicks struggling this season, Carmelo Anthony has had to stand in front of his locker trying to explain the woes.

Anthony was once again the center of attention on Friday night with reporters clamoring to talk to the Knicks star, but for an entirely different reason.

Anthony scored 62 points, setting a New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden record, against the Charlotte Bobcats. He did it in less than 39 minutes and sat for most of the fourth quarter.

The Madison Square Garden scoring record was held by Kobe Bryant. He did it five years ago when he dropped 61 points against the Knicks.

Anthony was part of the 2003 draft class that featured LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Denver Nuggets before being traded to New York during the 2010-11 season.

Anthony has 4,623 cards, according to the database, and more than 1,000 autographs.

An even more astonishing number – Anthony has 62 Rookie Cards. Sixty-two.

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Box Busters Live returns Wednesday with 2014 Topps Series 1 baseball cards


Join us right here at this Wednesday for the latest Box Busters Live at 2 p.m. Central as we rip into several boxes of 2014 Topps Series 1 baseball cards on the day of its release in a live video chat.

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Susan Lulgjuraj will be on hand for the break as well as fielding your questions in real time via the webpage and @beckettmedia Twitter account.

The best part? The boxes we rip will all end up in collectors’ hands via direct contests during the event or later giveaways in Beckett Baseball magazine.

Look for more details here on the morning of the event.

First look: 2013 Bowman Chrome mini baseball set


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman Chrome. Minis. Prospects. Rookies. Factory Set. Bonus Refractor parallels.

Those few words should sum up it all when it comes to Topps‘ latest release — a test-run if you will — that will take the 2013 Bowman Chrome set, modify it into a 330-card prospect and rookies edition and release it in a shrunken but high-end factory set form.

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Need the 2014 Topps Series 1 baseball card checklist? Download it here


The final checklist for 2014 Topps Series 1 baseball cards has been released.

Click here to download and view all the details.

Look for an analysis of what’s in store when the longest-running and best-selling brand in the hobby arrives next week right here later today (updated below).

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The final checklist for 2014 Topps Series 1 has finally arrived five days before the official hobby-shop arrival of the cards themselves, and it’s a mix of features in this one that might interest more than a few collectors in more than a few ways.

Here’s a rundown of some of the ins and outs in 2014 Topps.

Rookie Cards
There are 34 standard Rookie Cards in the 330-card basic set, presuming no RC tag-eligible players were missed. (That has happened in past years.) Among them are Michael Choice, Billy Hamilton, Xander Bogaerts and Nick Castellanos.  Several other young players, such as Manny Machado above, have the Future Stars foil-stamping on them but are just your typical base cards. Among those players are Jurickson Profar, Will Middlebrooks and Mike Zunino to name a few.

Return of a “tradition”
When Topps abandoned a long-running trivial tradition of placing star players on card numbers that end with 50s or 00s, some collectors were offended and voiced their opinions. Why? That varied by person. This year, the key players are back on key numbers.  Mike Trout leads things off at No. 1, while No. 50 is Buster Posey, No. 100 is Bryce Harper, No. 150 is Andrew McCutchen and so on … card No. 331 — issued because No. 7 is retired for Mickey Mantle — is Yasiel Puig.

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Box Busters: 2014 Upper Deck Marvel Now! cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Bryan Hornbeck and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Upper Deck Marvel Now! cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Oyo Sportstoys skates into the hockey market

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Oyo Sportstoys is joining the hockey market.

The minifigures will feature The Original Six teams first and will expand from there.

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Beckett Radio: Episode 3 — Talking autographs, Russell Wilson & more

Forum post version here.

Introducing the BGS Club

Beckett Grading Services is giving its customers more with the BGS Club.

The newest membership club will give collectors free grading vouchers, access to the Online Price Guide and special items such as t-shirts, backpacks, roller bags and more.

Membership is available for all whether you’ve been grading with Beckett for years or ready to start grading your collection today. Joining the club is optional. Customers can still get their cards graded with Beckett through our traditional channels.

There are three service levels available, check out the benefits below:

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Hobby Notebook: Teasing 2014 Topps baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The arrival of the hobby’s longest-running and most-collected baseball card set is a week away, and Topps has begun teasing some of the inclusions in 2014 Topps Series 1. 

Set to arrive next Wednesday, it will include plenty of the features previously disclosed (click here for our First Look story) as well as some surprises. It’s pure speculation at this point, but with two of the cards shown above perhaps the mystery variations will be related to champagne celebrations?

We’ll wait and see.

As Topps teases more to come this week via social media and other platforms, we’ll post the most-notable and new teasers right here here all in one handy place. The company announced on Tuesday that it has added an Instagram account into the mix, username ToppsSports.

Check our First Look for the basics and more here as the week goes on. See more images after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2013 Panini Elite Extra Edition baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2013 Panini Elite Extra Edition in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Press Pass Five Star racing cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2014 Press Pass Five Star racing cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps confirms Russell Johnson autograph redemptions will be fulfilled

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The actor who played The Professor on Gilligan’s Island died last week.

Russell Johnson was 89.

Many people who bought 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary packs may have pulled a redemption for an autograph of Johnson.

Topps confirmed to Beckett Media that Johnson signed the autographs before he died.

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Topps adds Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to 2014 Bowman … baseball?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Russell Wilson is headed to the Super Bowl in February, and he’s headed to the baseball field in April.

Well, at least on cardboard.

The second-year pro out of Wisconsin helped his Seattle Seahawks clinch a spot in the big game on Sunday and Topps announced it will be adding the quarterback to 2014 Bowman baseball as a short-printed card arriving on April 30.

It’s not the first time that a former two-sport star has had both a baseball card and a football card. In fact, it’s happened many times with the likes of Bo Jackson, Brian Jordan, Ricky Williams, Quincy Carter, Drew Henson, Chad Hutchinson, Deion Sanders, Brandon Weeden, Josh Booty and others through the years.

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First look: 2013-14 Panini Playbook Hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America is crossing over another brand to hockey.

2013-14 Playbook Hockey will make its debut in late March. The set has been featured in football and is known for its booklets cards.

The hockey version will have two hits in every three-card pack, including a booklet card in every pack.

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Panini establishes early relationships at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

E.J. Manuel has only played in 10 NFL games, but he’s already become a mentor for future NFL players.

He and seven other 2013 rookies are attending the Panini America NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which kicks off today at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

“My role is to be available and answer questions for these guys,” said Manuel, the Buffalo Bills quarterback. “What it takes to get drafted, what it takes to sort through draft boards, as well working with Panini.”

Manuel remembers his pre-draft experience well – it was only last year. He was a standout at the Senior Bowl and felt his performance helped his draft stock. Manuel was the only quarterback picked in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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First look: 2014 WWE Chrome wrestling cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is reviving a tag-team that’s not been done in more than a half-decade for its next wrestling card release.

It’s pairing Chrome with the WWE.

For the first time since 2008’s Heritage III Chrome release, a wrestling card set will be released with the preferred stock of many when 2014 WWE Chrome arrives on June 11.

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SIX PACK: Want to start a Jimmie Johnson card collection? Try these …


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With Jimmie Johnson‘s quest for a record-tying seventh Sprint Cup starting this season, there could be more fans and casual collectors checking out the cards of the NASCAR veteran. There are plenty of collecting options out there but what should someone start with?

Try these …

2000 SP Authentic #39, $20
Johnson has more than 4,000 cards listed in the Beckett database valued at more than $123,700 excluding rarities. Only four of those are Rookie Cards from back in 2000. The priciest of those is his SP Authentic card that checks in at $20 or less, while the rest can be had for $12 to $15 or less.

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Beckett Radio: Episode 2 — Talking NFL, A-Rod & more


Forum post here.