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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Baseball’s top prospect Byron Buxton is all business — on the field and off



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton has seen himself on baseball cards, seen himself on the cover of Beckett Baseball and seen himself at the top of the prospects lists.

But in the same week as his first home run in his first spring training with what will hopefully be his future team, his 2014 Panini Prizm cards stood out as a highlight, too.


“They look great, just how glossy and shiny they are,” said Buxton from Ft. Myers, Fla., where he was signing for Panini America on Day 2 of the company’s Spring Training Road Trip. “There’s a lot of thought and technique put into them. Overall, I just like the cards a lot.”

Since he was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the 20-year-old has seen a lot more demands for his time and his autograph — that comes with the territory. But he said he’s taking it all in stride.

“I’m just trying to go out and play ball every day, and you put in the time to do things,” he said of signing at the ballpark. “I usually sign every day. I usually sign when I can for the kids and when a kid asks me, I sign for them after the game. I really sign all the time.”

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Box Busters: 2013-14 Panini Titanium Hockey

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Beckett Hockey editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Panini Titanium Hockey.

Leaf announces short-prints in 2014 Leaf Draft Metal Football

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Leaf announced the short-prints from 2014 Leaf Draft Metal Football set.

Many of the top NFL prospects are short-printed such as A.J. McCarron, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel. Manziel, Tajh Boyd and Marqise Lee are the toughest pulls from the base autographs.

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Beckett 20 questions on … errors & variations


RELATED: What’s your favorite error or variation card? Tell us here … 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s no secret which sports card most people think of when one says “error card” — it’s the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken.

However, there are many errors and variations found on cardboard for all sports through the years beyond those caused by a moment of bad judgment and a renegade marker — enough that we figured we’d try and take a look at the subject in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

These days where the print runs are much shorter, most variations are made on purpose as intentional nods to the past such as those found in the Topps Heritage baseball set arriving this week. Others these days are made to add a chase or some added challenges to building a set, while a smaller few are mistakes that get fixed for whatever reason. It seems that baseball sets have had the most corrections by far through the years, but the gremlins have struck in all sports and even some non-sports releases.

Then, of course, there are the Honus Wagners (T206) and Alex Gordons (2006 Topps) of the world — cards that were made and then removed, sparking interest in those cards that should not be. For this issue, we’re curious about your feelings about some of these approaches and which types of errors made in the past are the most appealing as a collector. Here are our latest 20 Questions — and the results will appear in the upcoming issue.

1. Do you think the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card is the most-famous error card in hobby history?

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2. Do you actively hunt errors and/or variations as a collector?

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See the rest of the questions about errors and variations … after the jump.

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Sports Card Album aims to be the photosharing app for card collectors

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

What happens when there isn’t an app you want?

Some people go out and create one.

That’s what Sergio Dubois did when photosharing software wasn’t what he needed for his card collection. Instead of being able to see a full card, sites were only allowing thumbnail images or cutting off pictures so users couldn’t see full cards.

Dubois decided to do something about it. He paid a friend who is a developer to create a program that suited his needs. In the end, he got Sports Card Album.

The process started nearly one year ago. It launched with a free website where users joined in a beta program to work through the glitches to get the working site ready. On Tuesday, Sports Card Album launched an iPhone app. An Android app is in the works.

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Box Busters Live returns on Friday with 2014 Topps Heritage


Join us right here at Beckett.com/news this Friday for the latest Box Busters Live at noon Central as we rip into several boxes of 2014 Topps Heritage 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 Beckett.com/news the morning of the event.



Card gallery: 2014 Topps Heritage

Heritage checklist includes Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Betty White, Keith Olbermann and more

What intentional errors might be in store for 2014 Topps Heritage?

First look: 2014 Topps Heritage baseball cards

Bryce Harper signs extension to exclusive Topps autograph deal


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s business as usual for Bryce Harper.

Topps announced on Wednesday that it has extended its exclusive autograph and packaging rights deal with the 21-year-old Washington Nationals outfielder for an undisclosed number of years.

He made his Bowman autograph debut back in 2011 and will be starting his third season in the majors this year after hitting .274 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI last summer.

“I am happy to be a part of the Topps family,” Harper said in a prepared statement. “I still get excited when I see my Topps cards and I am glad to hear that fans are excited about them, too.”

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Cardinals’ Michael Wacha talks baseball cards — and signing autographs left-handed if he has to



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A year ago at this time, Michael Wacha was a first-round draft pick in the St. Louis Cardinals organization working his way toward making his big-league dreams a reality as a rookie in his first spring training.

road-trip-logo-finalNothing was a given for the former Texas A&M star and right-hander out of Texarkana back then, but lot has changed in the last 365 days after a whirlwind end of last season that included a string of dominating postseason appearances, some postseason hardware and even a pair of World Series starts.

Now, that means many more baseball fans know his name — and a lot more of them are seeking out his baseball cards and his autograph.

“I think the demand has kind of increased after the past postseason that’s for sure, but it’s still fun,” Wacha told Beckett Media in a call from Stuart, Fla., during the start of Panini America’s Spring Training Road Trip. “I remember when I was young always wanting baseball cards and going to some spring training games and trying to get autographs that way. It’s something I like to do and it’s always been fun for me.”

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Companies prepare promo cards for 2014 Industry Summit

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The four-day 2014 Industry Summit begins on Sunday with dealers, card companies, distributors and licensors heading to Las Vegas to discuss the hobby.

There are seminars and breakout sessions and meetings. This is a chance for companies to explain what they plan on doing over the next few months, giving dealers a preview of what’s to come.

But one of the biggest things people get out of the Industry Summit is swag. Dealers get promo cards and items from different companies. Many of these items carry a premium and dealers can sell them to recoup the cost of going to the Summit or throw it in their collection.

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Box Busters: 2013 Crown Royale Football

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Beckett’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Crown Royale Footbal.

Box Busters: 2014 Leaf Draft Metal Football

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Beckett Football’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2014 Leaf Draft Metal Football.

First look: 2013-14 Panini Crusade Basketball cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini has added more chase elements to Crusade basketball cards.

In 2013-14 Panini Crusade Basketball, three new color variations have been included in the popular Crusade design.

Collectors can find 18 Crusade cards in every box. The new colors are Teal (numbered to 249), Orange Die-Cut (numbered to 99) and Purple (numbered to 49). Other parallels include Blue, Red (numbered to 349), Gold (numbered to 10), Green (numbered to 5) and Black (1-of-1).

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Box Busters: 2013-14 Totally Certified Hockey

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Beckett Hockey editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Totally Certified Hockey.

Ripping Retail: 2014 Topps WWE cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a blaster box of 2014 Topps WWE cards in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Press Pass football cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2014 Press Pass football cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps MLB stickers

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2014 Topps MLB Sticker Collection in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps teases return of Stadium Club baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Stadium Club will be returning.

Topps teased that fact on Thursday, showing a Members Only parallel of a Bryce Harper base card online.

Stadium Club, which was first released in two series back in 1991, hasn’t been seen in baseball since 2008 when it returned for a single season as a high-end hit-per-pack product for hobby shops and a more standard release at retail. At that time, it hadn’t been seen since 2003.

Traditionally, Stadium Club has been a brand known for showcasing photography with a full-bleed design and minimal other front features.

Your take: 2014 Topps Stadium Club baseball cards

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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.

Beckett Radio Episode 9 — Talking NHL licensing, World Cup, Beckett Auctions and more


The latest episode of Beckett Radio is here. Join hosts Derek Ficken and Brian Fleischer as they talk cards, World Cup, hockey licensing as well as discuss the new Beckett Auctions with its crew, Bill Sutherland and Rob Springs. 

Box Busters: 2013-14 Pinnacle Basketball

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Beckett Basketball editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Pinnacle Basketball — stick around until the end to watch the big hit.

Box Busters: 2013-14 Elite Basketball

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Beckett Basketball editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 Elite Basketball cards.

First look: 2014 Leaf Valiant Football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

It’s coming back — 2014 Leaf Valiant Football, an all-autograph product, will return in this spring.

Each box will have four autographs of many of the top 2014 NFL prospects.

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Box Busters: 2013-14 SPx Hockey cards

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Beckett Hockey editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 SPx Hockey by Upper Deck.

Did Upper Deck include an unlisted parallel in Series 2 Hockey?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Sometimes checklists don’t tell the whole story for a trading card set.

Upper Deck may have included at least one parallel in Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey that is not included on the checklist – Young Guns acetate parallels.

A few collectors and dealers found the stealthy hit on the first day of the release.

There are Young Guns Exclusives (numbered to 100), High Gloss or Spectrum (numbered to 10), Printing Plates (1-of-1) parallels, and Canvas Young Guns inserts on the CL, but no mention of the acetate cards.

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Initial autograph guests announced for 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Tickets are on sale for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention.

The National will be held July 30-Aug. 3 at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland. Tickets start at $18 (for a single day) and range all the way to $279 for the SuperVIP package, which includes entry to all five days, free parking, first-in-live privileges for autograph guests, early admission and more.

The National has already announced some autograph guests for this year’s show, and the list is bound to get longer.

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Topps confirms origin of 2013 Kyle Kendrick error card


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For the last few months, a few baseball card collectors have found an unusual 2013 Topps card of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick.

Graphic designers know how a mistake like this happened — simply put, the image wasn’t shrunken to fit the frame of the card. On Monday, Topps confirmed its existence as a legit card printed by the company and shed a little light on the card’s origin we prepared our Errors & Variations issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

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