Monthly Archives: May 2014

Upper Deck to have interactive show and giveaway tonight

Ever wonder what card company officials think of upcoming prospects? Upper Deck is giving a chance for collectors to get feedback from its employees.

Using Breakers.TV, Upper Deck is holding a discussion on 2014 football rookies at 7 p.m. ET.

There will also be giveaways. To participate, contestants have to email with your full name, shipping address and phone number before 5 p.m. ET today. The event will take place LIVE on BreakersTV from 7-8 p.m. ET.

Upper Deck officials will also discuss upcoming products.

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Your Turn: Which Japanese players have made the biggest mark in Major League Baseball?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka continuing to impress and the Rangers’ Yu Darvish continuing to come so close to throwing major-league no-nos, it seems that Japanese players’ impacts upon MLB might be at an all-time high.

Many Japanese stars have come to MLB in the last 20 years or so since Hideo Nomo arrived and perhaps changed perceptions about Japanese baseball. And, of course, Ichiro Suzuki arrived in 2001 and showed us all that impactful baseball wasn’t just about 500-foot home runs — and that not all Japanese success stories in MLB have to be pitchers.

Baseball Reference lists 60 big-league hitters born in Japan and 42 pitchers — some of them more successful than others.

We’re curious … who do you think the best MLB players from Japan have been through the years?

Tell us in the comments below, and a selection of your responses will appear in an upcoming issue of Beckett Baseball.

Your Turn: Which MLB pitchers born in Japan are the most-collectable? (Pick your top three.)

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Your Turn: Which MLB hitters born in Japan are the most-collectable? (Pick your top three.)

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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 Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Collectors go on a mad dash for John Gibson cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Anaheim Ducks shook up their goalie situation this weekend, putting 20-year-old John Gibson between the pipes in Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Ducks were rewarded with a shutout with Gibson making 28 saves. It was his first playoff appearance and just the fourth NHL start of this season. Gibson will now get the start in Game 5 against the Kings tonight at 10 p.m. with the best-of-seven series tied at two games apiece.

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Your Turn: Which new rookies — in any sport — are you collecting?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With a new crop of NFL rookies aligned with their teams, a new MLB season under way and both the NBA and NHL drafts coming soon, there’s a lot of potential brewing for collectors of rookies and prospects.

For the upcoming Rookies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re curious about who you are going to collect — in any sport.

Tell us in the comments below … which rookies are getting your hobby dollars?

We’ll showcase a selection of the most-interesting answers left here in the issue.

Which NFL rookie is most-worthy of the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly cover?

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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 Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Beckett 20 Questions on … rookies and busts


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

When Johnny Manziel slid all the way to the 22nd pick in this year’s NFL Draft, some collectors had to wonder what was up with their red-hot pre-draft cards of Johnny Football.

Well, so far, they’re still hot — even though he’s headed to the quarterback blender called the Cleveland Browns.

Johnny Football’s story got us thinking about rookies who just couldn’t miss in the past — and many of those who did miss, too. We’re curious as to what you’re thinking about Manziel and more about rookies of today and yesterday.

Here are our latest 20 Questions …

1. Would you put your money into a Johnny Manziel autograph?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump. (Click on “read more.”)

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First look: 2014 Topps Supreme baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps Supreme is coming to the United States

After a Japan-only MLB release last year, Topps announced on Friday that Supreme is coming soon, bringing its simple high-end approach to collectors in this country when 2014 Topps Supreme arrives on Oct. 8.

With just two autographed cards per box and 20 boxes per case, this is a high-end brand.

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Beckett acquires industry-leading COINage and Rock & Gem publications from Trimbach Media


Beckett Media takes another key step solidifying its commitment to serve specialized interests of the collector community.

Since 1964, COINage has been a leading name in numismatics publications and serves both experienced and the novice readers to keep them engaged by providing the most relevant information and riveting content while keeping the prime interest of a broader group in mind.

RockGemSince 1971, Rock & Gem has been the leading magazine for the lapidary and mineral hobbyist. It speaks to the average rockhound, providing just the right blend of entertainment and information. Armchair hobbyists and diehard diggers alike will find something to enjoy in each issue.

“This acquisition connects deep into our ecosystem and our goal to diversify into other specialized hobby verticals. This helps serve our existing web traffic for coin collectors while attracting new users to savor both the offline and online mediums making it an all-encompassing experience” said Sandeep Dua, Beckett President.

“Our rich experience and strategic focus in the publication community helps us in serving the current readership and expand our offerings to reach out to new audience by keeping the core interests of our hobby subscribers in mind while offering them unparalleled service.”

For more information visit and

Topps’ new deal with Clayton Kershaw goes beyond just signing autographs


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Every time Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw signs his autograph, he gets paid a certain amount from Topps.

Every time he strikes out a batter this season, Kershaw’s Challenge gets paid a certain amount, too.

Topps announced the details of its latest new deal in the hobby this week, and it’s one that will benefit the non-profit group that helps children in Los Angeles, Dallas and the Republic of Zambia. For every strikeout the reigning NL Cy Young Award-winner records this season, the charity gets $100 from the card company.

“Topps is an iconic American brand that has brought joy to baseball fans for generations,” Kershaw said. “Ellen and I are so pleased that we have a partnership that helps support Kershaw’s Challenge and delivers exciting product to the fans.”

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Topps expands Power Player presence for Update set


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Power Players were an online force in the season-opening 2014 Topps Series 1 — and they might be even more interesting for collectors in the season-capping Topps Update release.

They’ll be autographs — and more.

Topps revealed on Friday that 2014 Topps Update arriving this fall will include Power Players as autographs limited to 25, Relics limited to 99 and autographed Relics limited to just 10 copies.

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Box Busters: 2013 Upper Deck Quantum football

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly’s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2013 Upper Deck Quantum football cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Press Pass American Thunder racing cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly’s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2014 Press Pass American Thunder in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


Rittenhouse previews Buffy autograph card

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

For all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer trading card sets that came out over the years, the one card that was missing was an autograph of the main star.

Sarah Michelle Gellar never signed for all those Inkworks set. Rittenhouse Archives has picked up a license and the company is producing a retrospective set of which they announced Gellar’s inclusion.

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First look: 2014-15 Upper Deck MVP Hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck’s first product for the 2014-15 season features a return of a former mainstay.

2014-15 MVP Hockey cards is a set that is intended for all. Hobby boxes will be affordable and feature retail packs for around $1.

Each hobby box will have eight cards per pack with 24 packs in every box.

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Beckett Auctions features iconic cards, autographs, memorabilia and more


Beckett Auction’s May event kicks off today at noon CT.

This month’s collection features hundreds of lots with more than 50 autographed sports jerseys including Robert Griffin III, Barry Sanders and Terry Bradshaw.

There are also dozens of sports cards with autographs from Joe Namath, Michael Jordan, Kirby Puckett, and memorabilia cards of Red Grange and Lou Gehrig.

Two of Michael Jordan’s earliest cards are featured with his iconic 1986-87 Fleer #57 (7.5 BGS) and 1984-85 Star #101 XRC (BGS 6.5) up for grabs.

Click here for more information on this month’s Beckett Auctions.

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First look: 2013-14 Panini Prime Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini is gearing up for 2013-14 Prime Hockey, its third – and final – installment of the popular high-end product. Prime will be one of the final products from Panini under the current NHL and NHLPA licenses agreement.

Each box will hold seven cards with one Prime Rookies Quad Autograph and four more hits.

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Box Busters: 2013 Topps Five Star Football cards

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Beckett Football editor Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Topps Five Star Football.

Ripping on the Street: NBA fans rip some basketball cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Derek Ficken as he gives a few basketball fans a chance to rip into Panini Prizm and Fleer Retro basketball cards in this Ripping on the Street video.

Who are the most valuable 2014 NFL prospects so far?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Are you ready for some football? Well, at least the NFL Draft.

The 2014 draft kicks off on Thursday in New York City. The NFL is bringing in more prospects than ever, and collectors are looking forward to something to make them forget about the 2013 season.

Many of the top prospects are being widely collected already with Leaf, Press Pass, Sage and Upper Deck cards hitting the market before these players have been picked up by an NFL team. The most collectible player so far has been Johnny Manziel by far. Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Sammy Watkins come in the next grouping but by a lot less.

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Unmarked checklists could be hidden gems

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Collectors from the 1960 and ‘70s had a personal checklist style.

Some used check marks, others used Xs, while still others would color the entire box.

Before spreadsheets and software, checklist cards – issued in a regular series – helped collectors keep track of the cards they needed to complete a set.

The different checklist techniques make cards unique all this time later, but marking up these cards also did something else – it added value to unblemished checklists from vintage sets.

Current collectors don’t need to know how far along collectors of yesteryear got in their collection. No, collectors now want these cards unmarked, nearly untouched after 40 or more years. But it’s difficult to find cards that weren’t defaced since so many collectors used the checklists for their intended purpose.

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First look: 2014 Topps Road to WrestleMania wrestling cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The next set of World Wrestling Entertainment cards from Topps will be filled with WrestleMania moments.

As in autographs and Relics from some of the biggest names in the 30-year history of WrestleMania — Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Trish Stratus and John Cena to name a few.

And even the Ultimate Warrior.

Topps unveiled its plans for 2014 Road to WrestleMania on Tuesday, and it’s a set that will arrive on Sept. 10 packing more than perhaps any other WWE brand before and two hits per 24-pack hobby box. Boxes will carry a suggested retail price of $48.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Chipz

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a gravity box of 2014 Topps Chipz in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Bowman baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2014 Bowman in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? How can you win one of the boxes? Watch and find out …

Beckett Media acquires The Industry Summit, launches conferences division

DALLAS (May 6, 2014) – The sports collectible industry’s trade conference has a new owner.

Beckett Media today announced it has acquired The Industry Summit, the ultimate trade event for sports collectible executives and insiders, from Wisconsin-based Isaacson Consulting Group, LLC. Summit founder Kevin Isaacson will continue to host the March 2015 Summit and additional events under a newly-formed Beckett Conferences division.

“This important acquisition reinforces Beckett’s unparalleled commitment to the sports collectibles category,’’ said Sandeep Dua, Beckett president. “The Summit has emerged as an essential event for our industry’s best and brightest retailers, manufacturers, licensors and service providers. We look forward to working with Kevin Isaacson to expand the Summit’s positive impact for many years to come.’’

The Summit’s rapid growth – paid attendance has increased 300 percent over the past five years – created a significant need for expanded event management expertise, Isaacson noted.

“Pairing Beckett’s incredibly talented staff and significant assets with the Summit’s family-operated approach to customer service is a positive step for our industry,’’ Isaacson said. “This acquisition will help the Summit deliver even more value to our partners next March and into the future.’’

In addition to hosting the Summit, Isaacson will also serve Beckett as an Executive Consultant, supporting the company’s growth initiatives for Beckett Business Solutions and additional product lines.

For more information on the 2015 Industry Summit (March 15-18 in Las Vegas), contact Isaacson at Corporate sponsorship packets and early-bird registration for retailers and service providers will be available in coming weeks at

Topps reveals Jose Abreu as one of remaining mystery autograph redemptions


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The mystery is no more — and it’s Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu.

Topps revealed the identities of several mystery redemption players on Tuesday, and the powerful Cuban slugger who leads the majors with 12 home runs is among them, appearing on three of the six autographs announced.

But he’s far from the only elite draw here.

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Leaf and In The Game announce new partnership to create trading cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Editor

Leaf Trading Cards and In The Game Trading Cards have formed a partnership, the companies announced on Saturday at an event at the Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo.

New products will come out with the two companies working together, adding elements from each to make new products.

“This is just what the hobby needs,” said Leaf CEO Brian Gray in a telephone interview. “One license is not enough. Me and Brian (Price) both feel it’s right to work together and take on what we think is an unfair monopoly for collectors.”

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First look: 2014 Bowman Sterling Football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The Bowman brand is utilized to highlight rookies and prospects – and 2014 Bowman Sterling Football will celebrate the upcoming season’s rookies.

Bowman Sterling will contain five cards in every pack with six packs in every box.

Each pack will contain three base cards, an autograph and a relic card. Each box will yield four rookie autographs, one rookie autograph relic, one rookie autograph patch, six dual relics or dual patches, and one box topper hit.

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Guest Commentary: Highlighting Wrigley Field on cardboard

By Stan Carlberg | Guest Commentary

As baseball celebrates the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, I thought I’d reach into the cardboard archives to see how card companies captured baseball at 1060 W. Addison Street through the years.

While it can be a challenge to tell if a photo was taken at spring training, on the road, or at a team’s home turf, Wrigley has some very distinct features that are hard to miss. The ivy-covered outfield walls, for instance, are pretty obvious. So is the hand-turned centerfield scoreboard and clock, a Wrigley fixture for more than 70 years.

While the card above has yet to arrive in 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter, the following cards represent the folklore and ambiance that make Wrigley Field one of baseball’s all-time great stadiums.

15. 1974 Topps #378 Burt Hooton: In just his fourth Big League start, “Happy” tossed Wrigley’s first no-no since Ferguson Jenkins’ gem in 1969. This card shows Hooton waiting for the umpire’s call as the centerfield bleacher fans look on.

14. 1995 Upper Deck #200 Michael Jordan and Harry Caray: This card pictures two Chicago legends. During a 1994 exhibition game between the Cubs and their cross-town rival White Sox, the recently retired basketball legendary drove in a pair of runs against the South Siders. The Hall of Fame announcer was there to capture all the fun and excitement.

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First look: 2014 Topps High Tek baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps Tek officially is back.

After several years on the bench, a brand that was ahead of its time back from 1998-2000 is back as Topps officially revealed the basics on the product it had teased at the recent Industry Summit.

This time around, though, it’s 2014 Topps High Tek and it includes autographs as well as buybacks and new cards with the complicated acetate aesthetic that some collectors have come to love over the years.

It will include just eight cards per pack/box — six base cards one parallel limited to 99 or fewer copies and one autograph — when it arrives on Nov. 5. There will be 12 packs per case with each case guaranteeing a buyback autograph or a “re-created design Diffractor.”

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First look: 2014 Bowman Draft baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s Bowman baseball cards have just arrived — now it’s time to preview Bowman Draft.

Topps released the basic details and first preview images for its annual release showcasing the newest draft picks, 2014 Bowman Draft, on Thursday morning.

Set to arrive on Nov. 12, the hobby-only product will include one autograph per hobby box with a selection of cards from the 220-card prospects sets in both standard and Chrome format. Each pack will include five draft picks or prospects cards along with two Chrome cards with 24 packs per box and 12 boxes per hobby case.

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Autographs, cards and more available at the 2014 Spring Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The 2014 Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo kicks off Friday at the Toronto International Centre.

In The Game, Upper Deck and Panini America will all be represented at the show, featuring giveaways and prizes for attendees.

Here’s a look what each company is doing and how you can get your hands on all the swag.

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