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Category Archives: Baseball

BGS Black sparks added interest in perfect 10s

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s been nearly a month since Beckett Grading Services launched BGS Black — a simple new label that notes perfect BGS 10 Pristine cards that have four perfect 10 subgrades with a striking black flip.

The new label has sparked a premium for sales of perfect cards, a move that BGS Director Jeromy Murray said has also prompted a number of previously graded perfect cards to be re-submitted for the new label and a number of other cards that came up just .5 short on one subgrade to be sent in for re-examination.

“[Our] feedback is that the label is demanding a premium over the standard 10s, which is good news,” Murray said.

One real-world example of this can be seen with the perfect 2014 Bowman Chrome Kris Bryant card above. It sold on eBay for $3,000. That’s more than double the amount of three previous BGS 10 copies of the same Blue Refractor have sold for on eBay. One sold for $1,406 in late-August, another sold for $1,130 in November and one went for $1,028 — also in August.

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Panini Boxing Day Autograph Content Revealed

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

With participating Canadian stores giving out their special 2014 Panini Boxing Day packs with qualifying purchases this week, Panini America has revealed images of the strong autograph content that will be found inside. With a roster of carefully-selected athletes from the big four sports, collectors pulling them are sure to be pleased.

In addition to signed parallels of the base set cards, there will also be autographed rookie patches featuring team logos for NBA freshmen and special NFL logo cards with a pink background that tie in to the “A Crucial Catch” breast cancer campaign.

Look for a gallery of 2014 Panini Boxing Day autographs after the jump. Read More »

First look: 2015 Topps Archives baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is dipping back into its archives once again for another edition of Archives.

That was the news Friday when the company unveiled the first looks at 2015 Topps Archives, a two-autograph-per-b0x trip through the past photos and designs in the 60-plus year history of the company. The brand is set to arrive on June 10.

Every 24-pack box will include eight cards per pack, while every case will include 10 boxes. The basic set will consist of 300 cards using the designs from 1957, 1976 and 1983. Each card also will have three parallels as well as a set of printing plates. The parallels will be Silver, Gold and 1/1 Black cards. All three will be numbered, though production amounts had not yet been finalized.

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Panini’s Boxing Day Promo Continues With Checkerboard Cards

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The slow reveal for Panini America‘s 2014 Boxing Day promotion continued on today as the company revealed some big hits that will be found inside packs in the form of a special Checkerboard design exclusive cards to with prime pieces of memorabilia.

Exclusive to Canadian Panini Roundtable dealers, packs of the 2014 Boxing Day cards will be available at participating retails and handed out as a bonus for each purchase. More details are yet to come over the next few days, but enjoy a gallery of these visually striking cards after the jump. Read More »

Panini Previews More Boxing Day Images

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Yesterday, Panini America gave collectors a preliminary look at its 2014 Boxing Day promotion and they have shown off even more cards from this product today in advance of next week’s release that is targeted to authorized Canadian Panini Roundtable stores.

Today, the company shared images from the regular set found in packs along with the popular Cracked Ice parallels which will be limited to 25 copies each. With four sports represented, the player selection is perfectly targeted for the Canadian market due to the presence of many athletes who have ties to the nation – including several hockey legends. In the next few days, we can expect to see even more from them as autograph and memorabilia content is expected to be shown to the masses.

For a complete gallery, please read on after the jump.

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Top 5: Wil Myers Rookie Cards to chase

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Former top prospect and 2013 American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers is on the trading block with a few scenarios in play that would likely send him to the San Diego Padres sometime soon — one potentially being a multi-team deal including plenty of potential big-leaguers.

Myers, 23, hit just .222 in his second big-league season and his home run total fell from 13 to six, so perhaps it’s time for a change. You won’t be able to get many of his cards for pocket change, though, as he appears on 1,387 cards in the Beckett.com database valued at more than $15,200 excluding rarities.

Although he made his cardboard debut in 2009, his 14 Rookie Cards appear in 2013 releases from Topps and Panini America. Here’s a rundown of five key Rookie Cards. (His Topps Chrome autos like the one above aren’t RCs.)

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Panini Reveals Boxing Day Promo Details

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

In the wake of a successful Boxing Day promotion last year, Canadian collectors may have been wondering if Panini America would be bringing it back again in 2014 – especially without the presence of NHL and NHLPA licensing.

Today, they received some excellent news as the company will be distributing some special packs via authorized Canadian Panini Roundtable stores. Handed out to those that make qualifying purchases, the contents inside will include base, parallel, autograph and memorabilia cards from all four major sports with a focus on the legends of the game and other content that is strongly tied to the Canadian market.

What stores will be participating? Find out and enjoy a gallery after the jump. Read More »

Baseball world reflects on life of Sy Berger

 

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When former Topps executive Sy Berger died on Sunday, the baseball world began reflecting upon a life dedicated to cardboard.

In the MLB video linked to above, Bob Costas and Harold Reynolds offer their memories of Berger, while noted collector Keith Olbermann took time to do the same. His piece is embedded below.

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Oscar Taveras auction to benefit his family

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A serious collector of a prospect gone too soon is selling his collection to benefit the player’s family.

Nine prime pieces of Oscar Taveras memorabilia will hit the auction block in January via West Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions with the proceeds from the nine lots going to the family of the former St. Louis Cardinals rookie. Taveras died on Oct. 26 during an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His blood-alcohol level was five times the legal limit at the time of the accident. He was 22.

A consensus No. 3 prospect in all of baseball from Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus entering this season, Taveras was a highly watched prospect on both the field and in the hobby. He made his big-league debut with the Cardinals this past season, hitting .239 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 80 games. In six minor-league seasons, he hit .320 with 53 homers and 324 RBI in 436 games.

Among the items up for grabs? The ball Taveras hit for his first MLB hit, which was a home run, his 2010 Appalachian League championship ring as a member of the Johnson City Cardinals, a 2011 Midwest League championship ring as a member of the Quad City River Bandits, his signed game-used jersey from this past postseason, a signed game-used bat, the cleats from his MLB debut, a pair of batting gloves, another bat and his fielding glove from his MLB debut, too.

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BGS Diary: Saban, Cerrano, Hawk, Animal & practice

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

For the last few months, I’ve submitted five cards a month to Beckett Grading Services to finally get some of the cards I like into slabs. Selecting which cards to submit has been easier said than done — and the results can be interesting, too.

Here is the batch I got back from BGS for December — so here is my latest BGS Diary entry. See which five cards I decided to submit … after the jump.

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Former Topps executive Sy Berger dies at 91

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A baseball card pioneer has passed.

Sy Berger, the man who designed the 1952 Topps baseball card set and personally signed players to contracts the company for years, died Sunday in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He was 91.

“His greatest friend may have been Willie Mays, but he had beloved friendships with thousands of players,” said Marty Appel, who announced the news on behalf of Berger’s family. “Getting one’s picture on a Topps baseball card meant you had ‘made it.’ Football followed, based on a handshake with NFL Commissioner Bert Bell — and then basketball and hockey.

“Sy handled entertainment products, too, including The Beatles. He flew to London to meet with Brian Epstein, greeted him in Yiddish, and made a deal. There was Elvis, Michael Jackson, and much more.”

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps High Tek baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

Your Turn: Which legends would you want paired?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We all know Roger Maris‘ story of 61 in ’61 and we all know whose record he toppled.

Today, Topps‘ high-end Five Star brand arrived with a Relic pairing Maris and Babe Ruth — something that, believe it or not, hasn’t happened all that often in the modern era of cardboard. In fact, the players have only been paired up on 50 items in the Beckett.com database.

Want memorabilia cards? On that front there are only 30 previous cards to choose from and nearly all of them are limited to far fewer than 50 copies per card.

It’s an impressive one and it got us thinking … which duos would you like to see on a card?

Tell us in the comments below.

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.

“Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn among Five Star surprises

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ third edition of Five Star arrives Wednesday and it’s packing a few surprises worthy of a high-end brand.

One is “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn in the Relic lineup — something that already has an impressive array of bat knobs and nameplates to be found for past stars as well as MLB legends.

A second one?

MLB-related autographs for legends who aren’t known for their time on the baseball diamond. Get a glimpse at them all — as well as a checklist — after the jump.

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Hobby Q&A: David Cone revisits his perfect game

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By Will Levith

NEW YORK | For years, Steiner Sports has been thinking outside of the box when it comes to memorabilia (Yankees Stadium dirt, anyone?), so when the company unveiled its latest product, the “In Their Own Words” autograph line, on Tuesday morning at Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse N.Y.C. in Grand Central Terminal, it pulled out all the stops.

As previously reported, the line features photographs of famous moments in sports history inscribed (and then signed, of course) by the athletes who experienced them.

Founder and chief executive officer Brandon Steiner brought together a star-studded cast from all of the major sports to talk about their moments. Attendees included baseball legends Frank Robinson, Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner, David Cone and Keith Hernandez; basketball greats Magic Johnson, Dennis Rodman and Larry Johnson; hockey stars Brian Leetch and Mike Eruzione (of “Miracle on Ice” fame); David Tyree, the recipient of “The Catch” in Super Bowl XLII, and several others.

Steiner played the part of MC, roasting many of the athletes himself. One of which was Cone, who played first for the New York Mets before donning pinstripes and pitching the “moment” he ended up inscribing — a perfect game on July 18, 1999, at a packed Yankee Stadium.

“[It was] Yogi Berra Day,” remembered Cone. “Yogi and George Steinbrenner had a feud that had gone on for 15 years or so, they finally made peace, there was a big No. 8 painted behind home plate, and the next thing you know it, at the end of the day, I finished with 88 pitches. If you believe in baseball gods and the mystique of Yankee Stadium … I mean, this is all in the [inscribed] photo. It was an incredible day.”

Beckett had a chance to talk to a number of the players on hand at the press conference (look for a feature in an upcoming magazine), but we wanted to give you a little taste beforehand. Here’s our Hobby Q&A with Cone …

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First look: 2015 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ second series of its 2015 flagship set is already in production.

The longest-running manufacturer of MLB-approved cardboard offered the first looks and basic details of 2015 Topps Series 2 on Tuesday, which will arrive on June 17 packing one autograph or Relic in every 36-pack box. HTA Jumbo boxes will pack one autograph and two Relics per box.

Like its Series 1 predecessor slated to arrive soon, it will be a larger set than in recent years with 350 cards in the series.

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Auction Estimator: How much will this Mantle fetch?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s one of the most-iconic baseball cards of all time — but don’t call it a Rookie Card.

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is one of the hobby’s most-coveted cards of the bubble-gum era, an iconic want of Baby Boomers and younger baseball fans alike.

This BGS-graded card is one of only 11 cards with the “B” variation to be slabbed — and it’s the highest of the bunch. It’s headed to the auction block this weekend via Beckett Auctions where it should grab some attention.

But right here, right now, we’re curious about what you think it might sell for.

How much for The Mick?

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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 Elite Extra Edition baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A prospecting staple returns in January.

Panini America released the first looks and basic details for 2014 Elite Extra Edition on Monday, the foilboarded home of baseball’s top prospects for more than a decade. This time around, there will be six autographs per 20-pack hobby box when it arrives on Jan. 7.

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Steiner readies ‘game-changer’ autograph line

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Steiner Sports says it’s going to change the autograph game with a line that it’s unveiling on Tuesday in New York City.

The project is the In Their Own Words Collection, and it will showcase more than a dozen pieces with descriptions of memorable plays or performances inscribed onto the autographed pieces. The line will be unveiled at a news conference on Tuesday with more than a dozen athletes on hand. The Dec. 9 event will at Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C. in Grand Central Terminal. Among those in attendance will be Magic Johnson, Dennis Rodman, Dereck Whittenburg, Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner, David Tyree, Mike Eruzione, Doug Williams and many more who have had iconic moments and are part of the line.

“Collecting is all about having a piece to recall your fondest memories,” said Brandon Steiner, the founder of the company. “‘In Their Own Words‎’ will change the business. It used to be about the moment, now it’s about the entire story. The players will describe in their own words how they felt at that magical moment.”

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Box Busters & Gallery: 2014 Panini USA Baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a 2014 Panini USA Baseball box set in this edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

After the jump, you can see a full gallery of card images — front and back — from the set. It’s literally everything except the hits found in this particular set.

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Detailing Topps Tek’s patterns

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By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst

After examining thousands of images on eBay, we believe that some of the patterns found in 2014 Topps High Tek are exclusive to  the American League players, others are exclusive to the National League players, while others feature players from both leagues. Multiple email requests for confirmation from Topps have gone unanswered, so we’re reaching out to the Beckett community to confirm or dispute our findings.

Now, it’s only been a few days since the product went live, so it’s possible for some of our conclusions to be found untrue, but there are hundreds of examples of some of these patterns on the secondary market and we’ve yet to find one that disputes what we’ve found.

Please note that it appears the Wave and Spiral Bricks patterns are widely available and are likely to be combined into one base set in the Beckett Online Price Guide, as will the parallels. Also, based on how they are pictured on their base cards, Topps has considered Robin Yount, Jon Singleton and George Springer AL players, while Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Jean Segura and Ryan Braun are considered NL players. Taking into account what league they were in during their careers, this would make sense.

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Topps to put case break contest cards in packs

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you haven’t dabbled with the trend of case breaks you can — simply by ripping into a pack of 2015 Topps Series 1.

Topps announced on Friday that it will be placing redemption cards for case-break slots done by the company — 21 different case breaks during 2015.

The breaks will be streamed on YouTube via the ToppsTV channel throughout the year. The products will include 2015 Topps Dynasty Tier One, Triple Threads, Supreme, Heritage and other products with a loftier price tag than the flagship brand.

Redemptions will be for specific teams in specific products based on the company’s preview information.

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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: 2015 Topps Stadium Club baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Stadium Club will return next year with a new format but the same strong visual formula.

Gone are the mini boxes but the showcase of strong photography remains as Topps revealed 2015 Topps Stadium Club on Thursday, which arrives on June 24 with two autographs in every 16-pack box.

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Panini adds Ichiro Suzuki to autograph roster

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

First it was Derek Jeter. Then it was Barry Bonds.

Now it’s Ichiro Suzuki‘s autograph that is back in packs.

Panini America officially detailed its plans for buyback autographs of the Japanese baseball legend on Thursday — his autographs are the first he’s ever signed for the company.

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How much did this Willie Mays rookie sell for?

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This SGC 92 (8.5) specimen of Willie Mays1951 Bowman Rookie Card was big hit at the auction block this week through Goodwin & Co. because there’s only one copy out there that grades higher from that company — and, of course, because it’s a Mays RC.

How much do you think it sold for? Tell us by taking the poll below.

How much did it go for? (Pick the one you think is closest.)

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You can find out its final sale price in Auction Watch in the next issue of Beckett Baseball.