Category Archives: Baseball

Dare to Tear: Ripping a 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Double Rip Card

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Would you dare to tear? Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds rips his 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Double Rip Card in this tear-worthy Box Busters video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Get the back story on this card — and his stance on the whole ripping debate — here.

Beckett Auctions lands Strasburg Superfractor

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Devin Grant holds the 2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg Superfractor along with his godson, Tristan, who is his “collecting buddy.” The card previously sold for $21,403.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The 2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg Superfractor is headed to the auction block one more time — this time it’s via Beckett Auctions.

The card originally sold for $17,403 raw in 2010 and then sold to Leaf Trading Cards for $21,403 so it could be placed into a repack product. Devin Grant pulled it from a pack and attempted a charity fundraiser in 2011 but ran into roadblocks with state laws about such a venture.

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Box Busters: 2015 Panini Cooperstown baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2015 Panini Cooperstown in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Your Turn: Who’s your favorite Hall of Famer?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s Baseball Hall of Fame inductions are set for Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, N.Y., with the latest class of legends joining the other 306 former players, executives, managers and umpires already enshrined.

Joining the Hall this year are Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio, but we have a bigger question for you on this legendary weekend. (Click here to see their best early cards.)

Who’s your favorite Hall of Famer?

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To rip or not to rip … that is the Ginter question

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

It’s a question that has probably sparked many a debate for collectors during the last decade, and a situation that ultimately comes down to a personal choice about what to do with your cardboard.

With the latest edition of Topps‘ popular Allen & Ginter line arriving this week, the question arises again with a new batch of Rip Cards and a third helping of Double Rip Cards.

Do you rip it? Do you dare to tear?

The concept isn’t unique to Topps’ retro brand — it’s something that we’ve seen before in late-1990s Pinnacle cards with oversized releases containing a regular-size card inside. However, the cards back then weren’t found one per case and they weren’t serial-numbered and among the rarest cards in a brand. Now, though, the debate can be had — and if you’re lucky enough to pull a Double Rip then the debate might be twice as tough.

It’s one that I am faced with myself.

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First look: 2015 Topps Strata baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Strata is coming to baseball and it’s including some of the biggest names in the game with some of the biggest pieces possible with nothing but hits in single every pack.

And it’s all under plastic.

Set to arrive on Dec. 9, 2015 Topps Strata will include one autograph and one Relic per box and 12 boxes per case.-Every other box, according to Topps, will include an autographed Relic instead of a standard one. Every autograph will be signed on-card.

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Topps reveals Ginter buyback auto list

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s edition of Topps‘ popular Allen & Ginter line is the 10th version of the retro-styled brand and one of the inclusions in this year’s product that makes it stand out is something we’ve seen before.

Buybacks.

Each box includes two regular-sized buyback cards and one framed mini buyback. In some instances, though, the cards are autographs.

On Thursday, Topps released the list of signers for the buybacks.

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Ripping Retail: 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a blaster box of 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter in this latest episode of Ripping Retail.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps Vault adds signed memorabilia to lineup

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For more than a decade, the Topps Vault program has helped get behind-the-scenes collectibles from the making of our collectibles into collectors’ hands.

Now, the lineup of Vault items on Topps.com contains more than just photo transparencies and player contracts as the company has added autographed memorabilia into the mix.

A selection of more than 500 autographed photos, baseballs and bats have been added to the site’s inventory — a selection that includes the inexpensive and somewhat obscure to legends such as Sandy Koufax and Hank Aaron from the past as well as stars of today like Miguel Cabrera, Yu Darvish, Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig.

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Kris Bryant signs with Fanatics Authentic

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

MLB’s biggest rookie has a new home.

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has signed with Fanatics Authentic on an exclusive basis for autographs and memorabilia, according to a report from ESPN.com.

Bryant joins a stable of signers from the past and present whose autographs for card companies will go through Fanatics — if they sign — unless they have pre-existing deals that have not yet been exhausted. Fanatics will also launch its own memorabilia lines featuring Bryant’s autograph on items and have a booth at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention beginning July 29 in Chicago.

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BGS Diary (July): Digging vintage, Kris Bryant, ‘Eight Men Out,’ minis and The Dude

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

For the last few months, I’ve submitted a few 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 June — so here is my latest BGS Diary entry. See which cards I decided to submit … after the jump.

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Topps commemorates Todd Frazier’s Home Run Derby win, Mike Trout’s All-Star MVP

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Derby champ and the MVP are now noted on cardboard.

Cincinnati Reds slugger Todd Frazier was the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby Champ and Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout was The Midsummer Classic’s MVP and Topps has commemorated both with a three-piece wall art offering released Friday.

Available only on Topps.com, these 10-by-14 prints are styled after the 1960 Topps All-Star subset design and are printed on glossy card stock.

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Photo of the Day: Olbermann’s Ferrell collection

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It’s not a shock, is it? Noted collector Keith Olbermann recently showed off his Will Ferrell autograph collection.

Box Busters: 2015 Bowman Inception baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 Bowman Inception in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter checklist

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The wait is over for the biggest questions about one of the hobby’s most-popular products.

Who will be signing for Allen & Ginter this year?

Well, Topps answered that on Monday with the release of the checklist for the 1oth edition of the brand that has brought “world’s champions” from many fields of sport — as well as many other non-traditional inclusions — in advance of its release on July 22.

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Topps’ NSCC promos also include Ginter, Gypsy Queen

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ plans for promo cards at the National Sports Collectors Convention will have even more of a retro-styled twist.

Beyond the previously announced 1953 Bowman homage that will be available to VIPs at the show beginning on July 29 in Chicago, the company is readying a wrapper-redemption program will focus on two popular retro brands.

One will be Allen & Ginter 10th Anniversary diecut cards, the other will be a youthful update to Gypsy Queen.

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Latest Topps release focuses on MLB All-Stars

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The MLB All-Stars already have another honor.

Topps revealed the 2015 MLB All-Star Selection Set on Thursday, an oversized offering showcasing 20 members of this year’s teams in a modified version of the 1960 Topps All-Star subset design.

Found only on Topps.com, there are two version of the 5-by-7 set and a series of 1/1 wall art prints that collectors can choose from.

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College ties among baseball highlights in Panini’s National show wrapper redemption program

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When the Panini America wrapper redemption program kicks into gear at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago on July 29, there will be plenty of familiar names inside the packs.

Jameis Winston, Russell Wilson, Kris Bryant, Matt Harvey and plenty more will be found in packs.

What might not be the norm is what uniforms they are seen in.

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First Look: 2015 Panini Immaculate baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

More — that’s one word that might describe what’s in store for the second edition of one of Panini America‘s high-end baseball card brands.

The brand is Immaculate Collection and the 2015 installment is coming on Aug. 26 with five memorabilia or autograph cards and one base card per box — a selection that the company promises will have “more jumbo cleats, jerseys, batting gloves and fielding gloves of the game’s hottest players from the past to present.”

Last year’s introduction of Immaculate to baseball came on the heels of successes in basketball and football. For baseball collectors, there will be even more to be found this time around and biggest of them all might be a game-used memorabilia presence for Babe Ruth.

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Topps tests Fire in baseball as wall art collection

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The latest Topps baseball brand is Fire — but you won’t find these creations in packs.

The brand that has been around for a couple of seasons in baseball comes to the diamond with the designs of Australian graphic designer Tyson Beck as a series of wall prints only found on Topps.com.

The collection of 40 images includes some of the biggest young stars in the game today as well as a few Hall of Famers, too. Each of them comes autographed — by the artist.

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Box Busters: 2015 Elite baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2015 Elite in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps prepares exclusive cards for All-Star FanFest

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When MLB’s All-Stars converge upon Cincinnati, there will be another show besides the All-Star Game for collectors to check out.

That’s the MLB All-Star FanFest that begins July 10.

As part of the four-day show, Topps will be creating cards solely for the event and creating interactive exhibits for baseball fans who aren’t regular card-buyers to rediscover collecting in a few ways.

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BGS Diary Predictor (July): What will Olds submit?

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We recently introduced the BGS Diary and it seems like a few of you liked hearing about what — and why — Beckett Baseball Editor Chris Olds submitted what he did for grading.

He’s prepared his five cards for grading in June and we want to see if you can predict which of his cards will end up slabbed. Of the 10 cards listed below, a few are headed to Beckett Grading Services today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

BGS Diary Predictor (July): What will Olds submit?

  • 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes Jersey Signatures #56 Kris Bryant (55%, 91 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps Heritage Gum Stained Back #377 Nick Swisher (44%, 72 Votes)
  • 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractors #104 Joc Pederson (41%, 67 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps #616 Kris Bryant (38%, 63 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps WWE Blue #32 Maryse (29%, 47 Votes)
  • 2012 Topps Mini #661 Bryce Harper (27%, 44 Votes)
  • 1988 Pacific Eight Men Out #13 D.B. Sweeney as Joe Jackson (23%, 37 Votes)
  • 1969 Topps #4 NL Leaders (McCovey, Santo, Williams) (21%, 34 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps First Pitch #1 Jeff Bridges (20%, 33 Votes)
  • 1987 Donruss #46 Mark McGwire (20%, 32 Votes)
  • 2014 Panini Prizm Gold Prizms #293 A.J. McCarron (13%, 21 Votes)
  • 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini Minis #147 Clay Buchholz (9%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 164

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PAST BGS DIARY POSTS

– October: Rookie Cards, Moneyball & Watergate

 November: Vintage, booklets Dr. Beckett & more

– December: Saban, Cerrano, Hawk, Animal & practice

– January: Bull Durham, Star hoops, “Macho Man” … and Bill Murray’s baseball card?

– February: Chasing Amy, metal minis, USA Baseball green and, of course, Crimson Tide

– March: WWE Divas, The Killer, Koufax and a cardboard icon 

– April: Seeing gold, stickers … and furry autographs?

– May: A lone BGS 10 Michael Jordan, another Lana, a rare Yankee & one USA Baseball lineup

– June:  Vintage Pudge, Atomic Paige, Cooperstown autographs, Canseco & more

Stadium Club goes acrylic for wall art line

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

You can now put The Club on your wall.

Topps revealed its 2015 Stadium Club wall art collection on Wednesday, a selection of 133 jumbo acrylic wall art pieces that include highlights from the recently released baseball card set.

Found only on Topps.com, there are 19 basic cards from the photo-centric 300-card set available as acrylic jumbo prints limited to 25 serial-numbered copies as well as one Members Only 1/1 copy. They are 7.5 inches by 14 inches and include wall mounts. The standard versions are $99.99, while the Members Only versions cost $199.99 or more.

Those aren’t the only options, either.

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First Pitch celebs get jumbo treatment from Topps

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The celebs are going jumbo.

Topps revealed its First Pitch: Complete Oversized baseball card sets and there are three new ways to get your hands on some of the most-unique cards made this year.

Each of the 25 cards found in the first two series of 2015 Topps are now available as 5×7 creations that are part of three limited-edition sets found only on Topps.com.

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First Look: 2015 Topps Strata baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A Bowman brand came off the calendar for this year and 2015 Topps Strata is replacing it.

Topps revealed the first looks at Strata as a standalone brand on Tuesday and it was with some technology we’ve seen in football before — a signature rivet patch card of San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey.

Strata was introduced in baseball last year as an autographed Relic insert in the standard Topps set and was done again this year. This time, though, it will be a standalone product.

Look for more details on Strata right here when the full details are released soon.

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.

Top Five: Overlooked Joc Pederson baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson joined elite company Monday night with his 20th home run of the season — a 460-foot blast that catapulted him into rare air in the National League history books.

He’s just the second NL rookie to hit 20 or more home runs before the All-Star Break with the NL record of 21 set by Albert Pujols in 2001. Pederson has 12 more games until The Mid-Summer Classic, so, barring injury or slump the record should be his soon.

Just like Pujols, Pederson’s first Bowman Chrome autograph gets all the attention among his 640 cards valued at more than $15,700 (excluding rarities) in the Beckett database. Pederson’s first Bowman Chrome autograph arrived in 2012, but it wasn’t his first autograph.

Here’s a rundown of five overlooked Pederson baseball cards …

1. 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #168 AU /799, $100 (above)
The 2010 rookie crop was one that had plenty of big names, but there was one prospect autograph that snuck into the mix in a single brand that year. Elite Extra Edition included the first certified autographs for Pederson, and it’s an undervalued card compared to its Bowman Chrome counterpart from two years later. The most-plentiful version of this card has a mere 799 copies and some of them have a more-complete autograph than the cards we see today.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … league leaders and top rookies

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

As we near the All-Star Break, we’re taking another look at this year’s surprises so far with our latest batch of 20 Questions.

1. Which of these hitters is most undervalued?

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2. Which of these home run hitters is most under-appreciated?

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See more questions … after the jump.

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Topps details print runs on rarest 2015 Stadium Club parallels

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Those Stadium Club parallels may not be numbered, but that doesn’t mean they’re not rare.

Topps detailed the print runs for three types of parallel cards in 2015 Topps Stadium Club, which arrived last week.

The rarest, one per case, cards are the Member’s Only parallels that are limited to just seven copies per card, the company announced on Monday.

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On the Rise: Cincinnati Reds 3B Todd Frazier

On the Rice - Frazier Topps Update

By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst | Commentary

Unheralded in the hobby since his first cards appeared in the 2006-07 USA Baseball product, Todd Frazier is having a breakout season, both on the field and in the hobby. In 73 games this season, he’s hitting .290 with 25 home runs – the second most in the Majors – and 53 RBI.

A semistar for the majority of his career, Frazier currently has 818 cards cataloged in the Online Price Guide, including 269 certified autographs and 168 memorabilia cards. He was a featured prospect in products from 2007 through 2010, but his first Rookie Cards didn’t appear until 2011. They were including in Bowman Chrome Draft, Bowman Draft, Bowman Sterling and Topps Update. All of his RCs are remarkably affordable, ranging in value from $1.50 to $5. In recent weeks, the secondary market activity has picked up considerably and in response, he was raised to an unlisted star for his 2012 through 2015 cards. The majority of his earlier prospect cards were raised a couple price levels and are now listed in print in the Beckett Baseball Price Guide.

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Box Busters: 2015 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Series 2 in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Stadium Club baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Stadium Club in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps readies Bowman homage for VIPs at National Sports Collectors Convention

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One big part of the major show experience is the ability to meet people from card companies face to face and discuss the hobby with those who create our treasures.
An even bigger part of the National Sports Collectors Convention is the show-exclusive card circuit — cards that can be mementos of a trip or a way to help pay the bills of going. It’s a big benefit of going to a big show and it’s all a part of having the major companies all under one roof — a competition of sorts between them where you can be the winner.

Topps revealed the first part of its plans on Wednesday.

For VIP bag buyers, Topps will have a five-card set of 1953 Bowman “cards that never were” — a checklist that includes Ernie Banks, Al Kaline, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays.

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Stadium Club returns with tradition it is known for — strong photography

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Tradition is one thing that, for whatever reason, resonates heavily in the sports world. The past and the present are always together in baseball, for example, as the record books can seemingly always be altered any given day or season. Times change, but certain things seemingly stay the same.

One tradition that we have come to expect in the hobby has been the strong photography found in ToppsStadium Club brand. For the last 25 years or so, collectors have cited the imagery used in the brand as iconic and memorable. Why? Because that’s what it’s always been known for, and, oddly, that hasn’t seemed to stick elsewhere — even though a strong photo can make or break any design.

This year’s Stadium Club set officially arrives today with the newest batch of photographs destined for a double-take — and it’s a set that even includes my struggling favorite player, Nick Swisher, with a photograph so Stadium Club that I feel like I might even have picked it for the brand.

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Immaculate Collection baseball returns this summer

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s high-end Immaculate Collection brand will return for a second season reflecting the stars of the baseball diamond.

That was the news Tuesday as the company revealed the first images of autographed cards coming in the brand — a mix of various autograph types and technologies.

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