Monthly Archives: January 2014

‘Miracle on Ice’ team draws a crowd more than 30 years later

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. – The USA Hockey jerseys were a dead giveaway.

Or perhaps it was the photos and paintings, hockey pucks and sticks that let people know something special was going on at the Hilton in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.

For the third time in recent months, the 1980 United States men’s hockey team – the group known for “The Miracle on Ice” – reunited for a public signing, something that previously hadn’t happened for many, many years.

“It’s been like a reunion the last three months,” said former forward Mark Wells. “We never imagined people would be talking about 1980. It was something we didn’t think would last.”

The 1980 gold-medal winning team was on hand as part of That 80’s Show run by MAB Celebrity-Services. The show featured the hockey team and the 1986 New York Mets World Series champions.

Some of the team’s biggest names, such as Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig and Ken Morrow, attended the show the weekend of Jan. 12-13. More than 100 people bought tickets for just Eruzione’s signature.

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Rittenhouse bringing Sarah Michelle Gellar autos to new Buffy set

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of the biggest names missing from non-sports cards in the last 15 years has been Sarah Michelle Gellar.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer star never signed autographs for Inkworks’ Buffy sets despite there being more than 10 produced.

However, Rittenhouse Archives announced the popular actress will be signing cards for them starting this year.

The company announced on its Facebook page: “In late 2014, we will release The Complete Buffy The Vampire Slayer Trading Cards and include the first official signed Buffy cards by Sarah Michelle Gellar.”

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Does Greg Oden’s return mean it’s time to get his cards out of storage?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

It might be time to find those Greg Oden cards you hid in a box in the back of your closet.

Oden made his return to the NBA on Wednesday night after missing four years due to injuries (micofractures, broken knee cap) and personal problems. He scored six points in eight minutes for the Miami Heat against the Washington Wizards.

And the first time he got the ball, Oden dunked it.

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Ivan Lovegren’s web series looks at the funny moments in collecting

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Ivan Lovegren’s love of cards started like many other collectors. He got a pack of cards as a child and love for the hobby blossomed.

Opening a pack of cards isn’t where the fun ends. Sometimes the best stories are the ones that don’t always work in your favor, but are enough for a good laugh – or video series – down the road.

Lovegren has created “The Breaks,” a web series looking at the funny, but not always good, moments of collecting through the ups and downs.

“Most of the ideas come from my own experiences – I have this horrible tendency to somehow make every mistake once, and that’s how I learn,” Lovegren said. “For example, (the second) episode has to do with me justifying a low-ball bid on a case of 2013 Topps Inception, but who can ever stop at just one bid?”

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Your Turn: What’s your favorite “other” card?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We all have our favorite players an our favorite cards from the stuff that seemingly everybody collects — or at least stuff everyone is familiar with — from the Big Four sports.

For the upcoming “Others Issue” of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, though, we want to hear about your cherished cards from the sports that aren’t baseball, football, basketball or hockey — or at least not the typical stuff from those sports.

Better yet, we want you to show us your favorites — as long as they aren’t the norm — show us and tell us about your favorite card or set in the comments below.

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Press Pass adds bonus Earnhardt cards to returning Five Star brand

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Five Star is back for racing collectors and so is the No. 3 — and Dale Earnhardt, too.

Press Pass announced on Wednesday that every third case of the high-end 2014 Press Pass Five Star product, which had been off the track since its debut in 2010, will include a bonus card of The Intimidator. Among the cards, which will be numbered to 25 or fewer copies, will be cut autographs, and race-used material cards. It will arrive on Jan. 23.

The new No. 3, Austin Dillon, will have his Rookie Cards in the product along with autographs and memorabilia cards. It’s the first time the car number will be in use in the Cup series since the death of the seven-time champion on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. (Kevin Harvick took over the Richard Childress Racing car at the time, but its number was changed to 29.)

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Beckett 20 Questions on … the “other” sports and other collecting options

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Majority rules.

That might be the best way to describe the sports card landscape and collecting habits these days. The sports that the most people like get the most attention and the most products — and that means that more people probably will own the key cards compared to some of the “other” sports that aren’t the Big Four of baseball, football, basketball or hockey.

And that might be the key to future potential — the oddball stuff of today could be much tougher to find tomorrow if there’s somehow more interest to be seen in sports that aren’t king on cardboard right now. While many a prospector is ripping case after case of the chromed-out stuff, there are far fewer likely buying soccer, wrestling and Olympic brands. There have to be far fewer autographs of some of the “other” sports’ biggest names — you know, the sports that don’t have 20-some products released each year. It’s a compelling thought as tastes always seem to change — just like the stars in the sports world.

In the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll take a look at some of those other sports. As part of “The Others Issue” we’ll showcase your thoughts on this — and more. Have something to say? Leave it in the comments below — only after you respond to our latest 20 Questions.

1. Have you bought sports cards that are not from baseball, football, basketball or hockey?

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2. Have you bought cards that were made outside the U.S. or made for release elsewhere?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Chatter Up with Beckett Media’s Chris Olds … tonight on the Beckett 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 right now if you can’t make it — also look for the early bird question now for a shot at a prize.

First look: 2014 Topps Pro Debut minor league baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The date for Topps‘ minor-league call-up is June 4.

That’s when the first of the company’s card sets for Minor League Baseball arrives in the form of 2014 Topps Pro Debut, the exclusive home of the players down on the farm along with any other MiLB sets the company produces with its license.

Each 24-pack box will include two autographs, one memorabilia card and one manufactured patch card. Debut uses the same base design as the 2014 MLB set that arrives on Jan. 29.

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps UFC Bloodlines MMA cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2013-14 Panini Intrigue Basketball cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

The sophomore edition of Panini Intrigue will hit the shelves in April.

2013-14 Panini Intrigue Basketball will have 11 cards per box, including four hits and five Intriguing Players cards.

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First look: 2014 In The Game’s StickWork

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In The Game is coming out with a unique set featuring a set full of game-used hockey sticks.

StickWork is dedicated to game-used hockey sticks ranging from the 1930s to present. There will be just 2,500 boxes made of StickWork and scheduled to release in mid-February.

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First look: 2014 Topps Finest baseball cards


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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

In 2013, Topps celebrated the arrival of Finest within its new packs of Finest — and with the new inclusions for 2014 the company is clearly hoping for the finest Finest yet.

It’s added color, it’s added nods to the past, it’s added Hot Boxes and more. And it all arrives in 2014 Finest when it arrives in hobby shops on Aug. 13.

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Hobby Pulse Poll: Which recently released baseball product gets your cash?



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Which recently released baseball brand gets your cash? (Pick your top two.)

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First look: 2013-14 Crown Royale Hockey cards


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini is getting ready to crown its next hockey release.

In late February, Panini will release 2013-14 Crown Royale Hockey with inserts and autographs set around the popular brand.

Regal Achievement and Heirs to the Throne die-cuts will appear along with Panini’s Choice Award autographs.

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Ripping Retail Retro: 1992 Pro Line football cards



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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 1992 Pro Line football cards, one of the earliest brands to guarantee an autographed card in each box, in this latest edition of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Who will his autograph be? Watch and find out …

Click here for complete 1992 Pro Line checklists and OPGs.

Beckett Grading to host James Spence on Saturday



Beckett Grading Services will host James Spence Authentication for on-site autograph authentication at Beckett Media headquarters on Saturday (Jan. 11) for collectors who are interested in professional grading or need items examined and/or slabbed.

The Saturday event is, of course, open to the public and begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at the Beckett Media headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

It’s located at 4635 McEwen Road just off of Interstate 635.

Among the services available will be the recently added baseball encapsulation, card grading and encapsulation of JSA-approved items. — Chris Olds

Box Busters: 2013-14 Topps English Premier League Gold Premier



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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2013-14 Topps English Premier League Gold Premier soccer in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside these high-end packs? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2013 Panini Select baseball cards



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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

Michael Jordan’s UNC diploma and recruiting letters up for auction


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

A number of unique Michael Jordan items have hit the auction block.

The Jordan “23 Collection” includes his University of North Carolina diploma, recruiting letters from UNC coaches Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge, and his college transcript, which will be auctioned by Goldin Auctions through Feb. 7.

The items were obtained from a public storage locker that went to public auction, according to Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions. These items were part of Jordan’s Chapel Hill restaurant “23,” and when it closed, they were put into the public storage unit.

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Box Busters: 2013 Bowman Sterling baseball cards



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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2013 Fleer Retro Football cards


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Upper Deck’s twist on Fleer cards is making a return – 2013 Fleer Retro Football will be out this spring.

Each box will contain two autographs. Some of the autographs are included on designs such Great of the Game and Skybox Premium Prime Time Rookies.

The base set will feature 100 cards. There will be 18 packs in each box with five cards per pack.

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Beckett Radio: Episode 1 — Talking NFL Playoffs, the Baseball Hall of Fame & more



Welcome to this first edition of Beckett Radio. Join hosts Derek Ficken and Justin Grunert as they give you an introduction on what Beckett Radio has to offer and talk some sports. Don’t forget to check out a new show every Thursday at 4 p.m. Central.

FORUM LINK HERE per the end segment’s instructions.

Hall of Fame voters got it right — because there is no wrong answer

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The Hall of Fame voting is in and Baseball Writers’ Association of America got it right.

Greg Maddux is in. Tom Glavine is in. Frank Thomas is in. Barry Bonds is not. Roger Clemens is not. Craig Biggio is not. Jeff Bagwell is not. And neither is Mike Piazza.

The vote, the process and the ambiguity of how to interpret the rules are all perfectly flawed and reflect a game, particularly in recent years, that’s just the same. There is no right or wrong answer. And the irony? It’s always been this way to a degree — and that makes it perfect. It keeps us all contemplating things bigger than merely statistics. It keeps us thinking about importance. It keeps us thinking, to a degree, about life — the right way and the wrong way. And for those on the ballot, from the guy with the most votes to the guy with none, baseball was life.

And the Hall of Fame vote — no matter what we may think — is what it is. It’s a reflection of the messes of life — the good times, the bad times. It’s a reflection of the achievements, it’s a reflection of the flaws. It’s a reflection of the opinions of many — even those who might trade two Ryne Sandberg cards for a Jim Sundberg,

Unfortunately, all these messes do negatively affect one thing for dealers, card companies and collectors the most —  they hurt the hobby. Every time there’s a star who excels, there are many of us who invest our dollars, our time, our energy into putting something into our collection that we find appealing. When bad news happens — whether it’s PEDs, stupid decisions, injuries — it takes away from the appeal, the confidence to invest once again. It makes it harder to do as time goes on — and it undoubtedly discourages some newcomers to dig in.

But a day like today isn’t about the Clemenses, the Bondses of MLB and its history books. It’s a day for the Madduxes and the Glavines. It’s a day that may become harder and harder to have in the next few years. Unlike last year, this summer we’ll have someone inducted into Cooperstown and a player or two who collectors can consider collecting once again.

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First look: 2013-14 Titanium Basketball cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America is bringing the Titanium name to basketball.

After using the name in hockey, Panini will release 2013-14 Titanium Basketball in late February.

Each hobby box will contain five packs with four cards in each pack. There will be a hit per pack with two autographs and three memorabilia cards in every box.

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First look: 2014 Press Pass Total Memorabilia Gallery Edition

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Press Pass is putting a twist on its Total Memorabilia racing line.

The company is creating an art product with 2014 Total Memorabilia Gallery Edition, set to release on March 12.

Total Memorabilia Gallery Edition will feature sketched and painted photos of NASCAR drivers. Each box will have five packs with nine cards in each pack.

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Panini reveals rookie redemptions for 2012-13 Certified and Limited hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America announced the checklists for the rookie redemptions in 2012-13 Certified Hockey and 2012-13 Limited Hockey.

The players include a slew of those featured in the Double Rookie Class such as Nail Yakupov, Tomas Hertl and Nathan MacKinnon.

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Who gets the nod in the Beckett.com readers’ Baseball Hall of Fame vote?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Who gets in?

That’s the question we get the answer to on Wednesday, when the latest class of inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is announced. After last year’s induction of absolutely no one via the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, there seems to be even more spirited debate this year as a new crop of big names arrives on the ballot from the BBWAA.

We figured we should let you vote, too, though we see that many stars from the past have card values that are a shell of their primes. That’s one sign that collectors aren’t buying like they were and they probably aren’t buying some of the denials.

Below is a ballot just like the members of the BBWAA received, complete with all the names you would not expect to see.  You can vote for as many as 10. The players who get votes on 75 percent of the ballots are elected.

The Beckett.com readers' 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

First look: 2014 Topps Chrome baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

“Many have tried to imitate it, but there’s only one Topps Chrome.”

That’s the opening salvo on the sales materials for 2014 Topps Chrome, which Topps released on Monday. The hobby mainstay — and popular collecting substrate — will return once again on Aug. 27 with two autographs in every 24-pack hobby box.

There are a few new features this year with Silver & Black Refractors, which will be limited to 25 and signed in silver ink. Also new will be Topps of the Class autos, which have a bit of a Tribute feel, along with Topps Shelf, an Inceptionesque insert, and Topps All-time Rookies reprints. Also new — but old — are 1989 Topps Chrome cards that use the throwback design but in a different way as the cards are diecut.

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Panini to release Titanium in Canada only

 

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America has changed the way its releasing 2013-14 Titanium Hockey cards.

The company recently announced that hobby boxes would only be distributed in Canada through Universal Distribution. This is the first time Panini has released a hockey product in Canada only.

For those in the United States looking to purchase Titanium Hockey, they can order from a limited supply on the company’s website for $109.99.

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps Triple Threads Football


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Beckett Football Editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Topps Triple Threads Football. Watch the video to see what she pulled.

CHATTER UP with Beckett Media’s Chris Olds … Wednesday night on the Beckett 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.

Tiger talks autos in behind-the-scenes signing video


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Tiger Woods has reached a point in his career where he’s signed plenty of autographs and the demands for his signed items ultimately probably aren’t slowing despite his struggles of the last few years.

Upper Deck went behind the scenes for an Upper Deck Authenticated signing with Woods. It shows him signing tournament-used shirts, shoes and more.

“I’ve had many instances where there’s been forgeries and then fans are complaining that they were duped,” he said while selling the points of why UDA items are key for his collectors and recapping past triumphs. “They didn’t know about the hologram and unfortunately a lot of fans they pay the price for it.”

See what else Woods said in the video above.

CONTEST: Tell us your 2014 collecting resolutions

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

New year, new goals.

That’s what many people talk about once the clock rolls to midnight and a brand new year is here. But, first, let’s take a look back at my 2013 goals and see how I did.

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Box Busters: 2013 Ultimate Collection football cards


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Join Beckett Football‘s Dan Hitt and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2013 Ultimate Collection from Upper Deck in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …