Monthly Archives: June 2014

Stephen Laroche joins Beckett Media as editor for Beckett Hockey and Beckett Basketball

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Beckett Media is pleased to announce that Stephen Laroche has joined its editorial team and will take the helm of two of its monthly magazines today.

Some collectors may recognize him as being a former brand manager for In The Game, where he spent the past 10 years working on numerous projects ranging from its extensive hockey lines to Sportkings and Ringside boxing. Earlier in 2014, Laroche began contributing content to Beckett Hockey and he will be replacing the outgoing Susan Lulgjuraj as editor for that publication as well as Beckett Basketball.

“I am incredibly thrilled by this new opportunity with Beckett,” he said, “and believe that I can continue to move these titles in a positive direction.”

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Topps signs Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig to exclusive autograph deal

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Yasiel Puig has a new team.

The second-year star outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers has signed an exclusive autograph card deal with Topps, the company announced on Friday.

“Joining the Topps family is yet another dream come true for me,” Puig said in a prepared statement. “It’s exciting to be pictured on a baseball card and to be part of such a long-standing American tradition.”

Puig, 23, is in his second season in MLB after arriving from Cuba where he was star player. In 74 games this season, he’s hitting .309 with 11 homers and 45 RBI.

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Hobby Pulse Poll: Two no-hitters in one week — who will you collect?

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Two MLB no-nos in a week ... who you collecting?

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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.

Box Busters: 2013 Upper Deck Exquisite football

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Join Beckett Football’Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2013 Exquisite  in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 SPx football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 SPx in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Beckett 20 Questions on … legendary hitters, strong pitchers, baseball cards & more

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There’s plenty going on in baseball, so we’ll keep this edition of 20 Questions short and to the point.

1. Which of these hitters with Rookie Cards from the last 35 years or so would you buy first?

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2. Which of these 1983 RCs would you buy first?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump. (Click “more” to see the rest.)

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Poll: Which Tony Gwynn Rookie Card is the best?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With Tony Gwynn‘s untimely death last week at age 54, there have been a lot of collectors picking up copies of his cardboard.

That’s inevitable since he was easily one of the most-productive hitters of the last 50 years and also one of the most-overlooked, having spent his entire MLB career in San Diego.

That got us wondering … which Gwynn Rookie Card is the best? Here are a few questions that might help answer that — and feel free to make a case for any of them in the comments below.

Which Tony Gwynn Rookie Card would you want first?

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Which Gwynn RC is the most expensive?

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Which Gwynn RC is the cheapest?

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In your mind, which Gwynn RC is the rarest?

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In your mind, which Gwynn RC is the easiest to find?

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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.

Box Busters: 2013-14 SP Authentic hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2013-14 SP Authentic in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Distributor Sports Images discontinues sports card portion of business

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

After more than two decades as a distributor of sports cards, Woburn, Mass.-based distributor Sports Images is getting out of the game.

The company will continue to sell sports memorabilia to hobby shops and other companies, just not sports cards. Its accounts will now be handled by GTS Distribution, according to an email sent by Sports Images President Matt Lane on Monday.

Lane cited expanding opportunities in the other areas.

“Sports Images has transitioned the hobby trading card segment of their business to GTS Distribution,” he wrote. “After 25 years in the hobby trading card industry, we have decided to focus our efforts on our retail, novelty, memorabilia and other aspects of our business. As these opportunities continue to expand, the demand for more resources, time and attention also increases and a choice was inevitable.”

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Topps exploring even more ‘Major League’ items

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you think you’ve seen the last of Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn and the rest of the Major League gang on Topps stuff, think again.

The company already previously announced that it has acquired a Charlie Sheen-worn “gamer” from Major League 2 and will include Relics in a few upcoming high-end card brands.

In an interview about the company’s online offerings for an upcoming issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, Jeff Heckman, the company’s manager of marketing and product development, mentioned that there might be even more in the works as a follow-up to the recent online-only jumbo card offering from the company.

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First look: 2014 Topps Strata Football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Strata Football is all about the layers and context. The hits are made with bringing multiple elements to one card, and that won’t change for 2014 Topps Strata Football.

Each box will have three hits: two autographs, including, a Clear Cut Autograph Relic card, and a relic card. There will also be five die-cuts in every box. Each pack will hold six cards with 18 packs in every box.

Case hits include one Strata Signature Relic card, one Clear Cut Autograph Patch card and three Strata Patch cards.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Pro Debut minor league baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Tier One baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Archives baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps readies Allen & Ginter promo cards of Masahiro Tanaka and Jose Abreu for National

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Two of baseball’s hottest rookies will headline Topps‘ wrapper redemption programs at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Collectors who visit the company’s booth during the show at the I-X Center from July 30-Aug. 3 and open a box of 2014 Allen & Ginter will receive one of two mini promo cards made just for the show — one of New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka or one of Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu. This is the only way to receive these cards.

A second wrapper redemption program will take place for collectors opening any three packs of any Topps product that is not Opening Day or 2014 Topps Minis, which will be making its debut at the show ($50 per box). For those who opt to open three packs, they will receive a mini card from one of these eight past and present NFL or MLB players: Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney, Jim Brown, Jordan Cameron, Derek Jeter, Mike Trout, Bob Feller or Albert Belle.

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Press Pass preps wrapper redemption program, VIP card set for this year’s National

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Press Pass will have something to rev the engines of racing collectors at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

The only licensee of NASCAR cards is producing a five-card set for show-goers who buy a VIP ticket package for the five-day show beginning at the I-X Center on July 30. The set will include Dale Earnhardt Jr. as seen above along with Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

The company also will have a wrapper-redemption program for collectors who buy a hobby box of 2014 NASCAR cards on the show floor.

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First look: 2013-14 Panini National Treasures Basketball cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Logoman, RPAs and Prime Patches. That’s what 2013-14 Panini National Treasures Basketball is all about.

Each box of National Treasures will contain 10 cards with eight autographs or memorabilia cards, one printing plate and one base card or parallel.

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Vintage logos and player caricatures lead way in latest Topps wall art line

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is turning back the clock and turning to caricature art in its latest line of wall art arriving on Topps.com today.

The Topps MLB Illustration line is reminiscent of the 1961 Topps Magic Rub-offs with more than 30 team logos and player prints available as 11-by-17 prints that are each numbered to just 99 copies.

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First look: 2014 Elite Football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini America will feature 2014 rookies in the NFL uniforms in Elite Football.

Each box of 2014 Elite Football will contain 20 packs per box with five cards in each pack. Each box will also have four hits per box and three Rookie Cards numbered to 999 in each box.

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First look: 2013-14 Panini Spectra Basketball cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini debuted the Spectra brand in last season’s football releases. It’s making the move to basketball in July when 2013-14 Spectra hits the market.

Each box will contain four autographed memorabilia cards and one memorabilia card. Each box will have just eight cards. All the cards will be showcased on Optimchrome printing technology, according to Panini.

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Beckett Media seeks experienced magazine and online editor

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Are you a seasoned editor who can report and write for online as well as plan and execute print projects, too?

Beckett Media is seeking an editor with extensive deadline experience who can do it all for print and the Web — following beat responsibilities on a daily basis, while also overseeing all aspects of multiple monthly publications from start to finish. Throw in maintaining a strong social media presence, too.

Candidates should have a firm journalism background as well as strong knowledge of sports cards and memorabilia. Contributing to and planning/editing for all publications would be expected.

Candidates will need to be able to meet weekly deadlines, handle editing and overseeing other responsibilities and work flow as they work in conjunction with other editors and designers on their titles.

Please send cover letter, resume, link to work samples and salary requirements to bdumas@beckett.com. 

Kawhi Leonard NBA Finals MVP adds surge to card values

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

With all the big names in the NBA Finals, the one that emerged as the series MVP didn’t overtake the bulk of the conversation. Nope, instead LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade were the ones always mentioned.

Perhaps someone should have been watching the 22-year-old small forward because Kawhi Leonard gave one of his best basketball performances in the NBA Finals to help the San Antonio Spurs defeat the Miami Heat.

Leonard was selected 15th in the 2011 NBA Draft. Some teams that passed over him probably wish they could have the developing star on their team. Instead, the Spurs drafted the player they hope could replace Duncan one day.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Series 2 in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn loses cancer battle at age 54

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One of baseball’s good guys is gone.

San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn, a member of the 3,000-hit club and a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2007, died Monday after batting cancer. He was 54.

Nicknamed “Mr. Padre,” he was an All-Star in 15 of his 20 big-league seasons in which he hit .338 and won eight National League batting titles — all with the Padres. While his career average ranks 20th in MLB history, he also was a five-time Gold Glove winner playing outfield.

“Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn,” said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. “The greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life. … For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the National Pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched. On behalf of all of our Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Tony’s wife Alicia, their son Tony Jr. of the Phillies, their daughter Anisha, the Padres franchise, his fans in San Diego and his many admirers throughout Baseball.”

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Box Busters: 2014 Panini America Father’s Day promo packs + Timeless Treasures basketball cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2013-14 Timeless Treasures basketball and the eight Panini America Father’s Day promo packs that came with his purchase.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Major League anniversary also includes commemorative mini bats and two MiLB giveaways

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you thought the Major League madness was over, well, think again.

The 25th anniversary of the film that brought Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano and Roger Dorn to life has generated some red-hot baseball cards from Topps this summer — and the commemorative items for the fictional Cleveland Indians team just keep coming with the latest coming from Florida-based ReelBats.com.

They’re 25th anniversary Cerrano mini bats.

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Kings of Hockey: Los Angeles wins the Stanley Cup

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

This year’s Stanley Cup Final may not look like a hard-fought contest between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers in years to come, but this series was close with three of the five games going into overtime. In the end, the Los Angeles Kings came out on top winning their second Stanley Cup in three years.

Only one game didn’t have suspense, but it doesn’t matter now. The Kings managed to get that magic goal when it counted, winning each of the three overtime games in the Stanley Cup Final.

Some players shined, others will find new life in the hobby.

Here are the players who might be getting a bit more cardboard love this offseason:

Jonathan Quick | Goalie
Quick became popular after Los Angeles’ first Stanley Cup win. His Rookie Cards sky rocketed in value and collectors wanted to own a piece of the Kings netminder. A second title in just three years may give his cards another boost. He even managed a shutout in Game 3 in the Final.

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First look: 2014 Topps Chrome Mini Football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

If you love Topps Chrome Football cards, Topps is hoping you’ll enjoy it just a bit smaller. Topps is introducing 2014 Topps Chrome Mini Football, which is set to come around Christmas.

Each box of 2014 Topps Chrome Mini Football will have 24 packs with four cards in each pack. There will be one mini Rookie Autograph card per hobby box.

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Your Turn: Sabermetrics get showcase on short-printed 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Look closely at the backs of some of your 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball cards and you might not recognize the stats headers on some of the cards — or maybe even the stats themselves.

That’s because they are short-printed Sabermetrics variation cards.

While the full details about these cards continue to trickle in, we simply want to know what you think about this cardboard twist.

Tell us in the comments below.

Your Turn: Do you want Sabermetrics on your 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 20 Questions on … Cleveland and the National Sports Collectors Convention

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Cleveland will become the center of the collecting universe for five days beginning on July 30 as the 35th edition of the National Sports Collectors Convention takes place with all of the major manufacturers, dealers and thousands of collectors under one roof.

We’re curious about what you know about Cleveland, so here are the latest 20 questions all with an NSCC or Cleveland-centric twist.

1. Which of these cities is the host of next year's NSCC?

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2. Who is the priciest signer (starting fee) at this year's NSCC?

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See the rest of our questions … after the jump.

 

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First look: 2014-15 Fleer Ultra Hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck is bringing back an old name into the hockey market.

In September, 2014-15 Fleer Ultra Hockey will release as a standalone product after five years. Each box will come with 18 packs with six cards per pack.

Fleer debuted Ultra during the 1992-93 season for hockey. Upper Deck produced an Ultra set in 2009-10, and included Ultra cards in its Fleer Showcase and Retro revivals over the past couple of years.

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Panini offers exclusive World Cup Prizm parallels through eBay

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With the launch of the World Cup, Panini America is offering soccer collectors exclusive 2014 Prizm World Cup parallels through eBay.

The “El Samba” parallels, which are just 1-of-1, are inspired by the yellow and green colors of Brazil, the home country. These cards were not used in the original product.

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Upper Deck creates Young Guns card for Make-A-Wish Foundation recipient

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

When the San Jose Sharks signed Sam Tageson to a one-day contract in March, people took notice. He was just 17 years old, but he wasn’t a superstar.

Tageson has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, congenital heart defect in which the left ventricle of the heart is severely underdeveloped, and he may need a heart transplant one day. The Sharks signed Tageson with help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

As though skating out of the huge Shark Head and standing with San Jose during the national anthem in a March game wasn’t enough, Tageson got his own Young Guns card from Upper Deck. The company recently revealed the card to Tageson during a charity event, and a limited number of cards will be placed in 2014-15 MVP Hockey, which is scheduled to come out in August.

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Panini Prizm World Cup autographs bring new signers to collectors

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Soccer fans, it’s time to go crazy.

Today starts the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But collectors – and many diehard soccer fans – have been experiencing the World Cup for several weeks. Across the globe, fans have been putting together Panini FIFA World Cup sticker albums with billions of packs being distributed.

Panini also incorporated a card set into this year’s fun with 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup. The set included dozens of players that normally don’t get cardboard attention and even offered autographs of players that haven’t had them. With 50 autographs, Panini put together a checklist that got high praise from collectors.

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Snoopy makes cameo on Joe Mauer’s short-printed 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball card

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Snoopy and Joe Mauer on a baseball card.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Collectors tearing into packs of 2014 Topps Series 2, which officially arrived today have found a short-printed version of card No. 125 (which is actually a Series 1 card) in the packs — a card with the Minnesota Twins star sharing his card with the Peanuts icon.

Why?

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