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Category Archives: Baseball

BGS Diary Predictor (Dec.): What will he submit?


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 December and we want to see if you can predict which of his cards will end up slabbed. Of the 10 cards listed below, five are headed to BGS today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

December BGS Diary Predictor: What will Olds submit?

  • 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter Autos #NS Nick Saban, $200 (57%, 81 Votes)
  • 2011 Limited Lumberjacks Bats #2 Joe Jackson /199, $100 (46%, 66 Votes)
  • 1989 Score #257 Barry Sanders RC, $30 (45%, 64 Votes)
  • 1988 Wonderama NWA #341 Road Warriors, 60 cents (37%, 53 Votes)
  • 2005 Absolute Memorabilia Tools of Trade Swatch Double #176 Roger Maris J-P/50, $60 (35%, 50 Votes)
  • 1996 Score Board Autographed BK Autos Red #1 Allen Iverson /400, $150 (32%, 46 Votes)
  • 2004 Leather & Lumber Fans of Game Autos #2 Dennis Haysbert, $30 (32%, 45 Votes)
  • 2003 Playoff Prestige Sig. Impressions #46 Barry Larkin /15, N/A (27%, 38 Votes)
  • 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini #364 Ken Griffey Jr. EXT, $80 (20%, 28 Votes)
  • 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini #361 Ichiro Suzuki EXT, $80 (17%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 142

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October: Rookie Cards, Moneyball & Watergate

November: Vintage, booklets Dr. Beckett & more

Topps adds Rusney Castillo & more to Tribute



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is already adding to the lineup for next year’s edition of Topps Tribute. 

One of those additions is Boston Red Sox rookie Rusney Castillo, who is now in the fold for autographs.

Another expanded lineup in this one, according to the company, is the Milestone Baseball Relics list that will include 40 players with game-specific memorabilia swatches complete with MLB Authentication stickers. They will include baseballs from Masahiro Tanaka’s first start, Albert Pujols’ 500 home-run game, and Clayton Kershaw’s debut game to name a few as well as World Series baseballs for Buster Posey and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. 

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Preview Gallery: 2014 Topps High Tek


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One of the more-unique creations of the late-1990s is back on Wednesday and it’s Tek from Topps.

This time, it’s called Topps High Tek and it will be a hobby-only release with an autograph in every one-pack box.

You can see a selection of preview images as well as a few autographs from early online sellers — after the jump.

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Sunday Conversation: Panini’s Jason Howarth



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Jason Howarth is the Vice President of Marketing for Panini America. We caught up with him for a brief Q&A about the industry, its challenges, his New England Patriots and plenty more.

Check it out in our Sunday Conversation. 

What’s the most-interesting trend you have seen in the industry lately — and what makes that stand out?
I’d say this was a trend — but it has evolved into the creation of a whole new segment in the hobby and it’s here to stay — case-breaking. I know some people feel that case-breaking is bad for the hobby, but you have to give the guys that are doing it right their due. They open volumes of product and showcase cards in programs that previously might have been overlooked. Case-breaking also brings in lapsed collectors back into the hobby and reignites their passion to collect.

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BGS Diary: Vintage, booklets, Dr. Beckett & more


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball 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 of five cards I got back from BGS for November — so here’s my latest BGS Diary entry. See which five cards I decided to submit … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First look: 2014 Topps Dynasty baseball checklist


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps continues to tease what is its priciest single-card pack of baseball cards in the company’s history for a Dec. 3 release and the latest information released Wednesday is the most-important one of all for collectors deciding whether or not to dig in on the premium brand.

The autograph subject checklist.

The brand is 2014 Topps Dynasty and its single-pack boxes are currently pre-selling somewhere in the $370 range online. Every card is an encased autograph or a cut autograph. (Click here for our First Look at the product.)

The company touts it as having “the most carefully curated subject list in trading card history” and as being the “most-premium Topps product of all time.”

See — and grade — the autograph subject checklist … after the jump.

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Breaking: Online Price Guide Plus released


Beckett Media is pleased to announce its most significant Price Guide development in a decade – Beckett Online Price Guide Plus.

Subscribers to Beckett Online Price Guide Plus will gain full access to our extensive raw market sales information database through their standard Online Price Guide interface. But what does this do, exactly, for the collector or dealer?

Thousands of bits of raw card sales data are accumulated every day inside the Beckett database. This raw information forms the basis for the data analyzed by pricing staff to produce and publish Beckett Price Guides. For nearly three decades, the pricing information released in our print and Online Price Guides was enough to satisfy the majority of collector and dealer demand for market pricing. While Beckett pricing data is still the best source of information for buyers and sellers, there have been an increasing number of cards released into the market that fall outside the scope of our traditional coverage — hence the need for Beckett Online Price Guide Plus.

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Black Friday contest: Win our 2014 Donruss set


Black Friday is coming and we want this limited-edition 2014 Donruss factory set from Panini America to be yours.

How can you own it?

Tell us your favorite player in the set in a comment below. (Yep, it’s that easy.)

We’ll randomly select a winner from all entries received before next Tuesday (Dec. 2).

Inside this sealed set will be an autograph or memorabilia card as well as all of the standard cards from the two-series release.

While you're here ... grade this set!

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Panini’s Black Friday Starting To Shape Up

Parker P

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

We are barely a week away from the biggest shopping weekend of the year and collectors are gearing up for Panini America‘s annual holiday season tradition – their ever-popular Black Friday promotion.

Over the past couple of weeks, the company has been leaking out details about their 2014 Panini America Black Friday promotional set and packs are expected to loaded with cards that are sure to be heavily chased and may even become the cornerstones of some collections.

Starting on Friday, November 28, collectors will converge on hundreds of their favorite card stores in order to participate in the program and bust some packs or they can visit iCollectPanini.com if they do not have a hobby shop that is participating in the program. Naturally, there is an opportunity to pull autographs and memorabilia along with tough parallels from the worlds of baseball, basketball and football.

What does Panini America have planned for hobbyists on Black Friday? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2014 Panini Classics baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Sources: Panini close to near-exclusive in college card market


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Analysis

The changes coming to the college trading card landscape in 2015 are going to be even more dramatic than anticipated, according to industry sources.

Panini America‘s wave of new deals signed with top schools in the last few weeks has reportedly gotten even larger. Industry sources tell Beckett Media that nearly all of the country’s 60-plus major colleges and universities — and nearly 300 schools in total — have signed multi-year deals with Panini, positioning the Dallas-based manufacturer to operate under a near-exclusive in the college-card market for the rest of the decade. That expansion would effectively end any broad collegiate engagement for Upper Deck, which has held an exclusive Collegiate Licensing Company license for the past five years.

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Top 5: Japanese players in MLB history


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The final game of the Japan Series is scheduled for Thursday with MLB and Japan splitting the first six games.

That got us thinking — who are the top players in MLB today and in MLB history?

Who’s No. 1? We’ll let you decide … after the jump.

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USA Today examines Panini America’s college push


Panini America‘s push into the college ranks includes more than 220 schools that will allow the company to use their trademarks on rookie and prospect cards as well as produce college-specific card sets.

Panini VP of Marketing Jason Howarth offered insight on how the deal works to USA Today Fields of Green’s Nick Zobel, who took a look at the deal.

“The way the process works is that the rights we have with the school are tied to utilizing the school logos and marks,” Howarth said in the piece. “That means school insignia and mascots. The partnerships do not give us rights to players.”

That means all those college stars from those schools in football and basketball will have their first Rookie Cards arrive (once their college careers are over) with views as seen on the field or court. That means the baseball players from those schools will appear in hobby staples such as Elite Extra Edition just as they were seen on the diamond.

What that doesn’t mean is that Panini can make any card it wants of any player in the history of the school — at least not without that person’s permission and, of course, not before they are done playing.

Top 5: Early Pablo Sandoval cards to chase


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The Boston Red Sox are pursuing free agent slugger Pablo Sandoval. 

Now take a second to imagine a lineup — and the damage that could be done on the basepaths — with Panda and Big Papi David Ortiz both rumbling toward a catcher. That’s enough to make Buster Posey wince.

Sandoval’s cardboard presence is a unique one — here are five early cards to consider grabbing before he signs somewhere.

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T206 Honus Wagner headlines next SCP Auction


Update (Dec. 12): The Wagner sold for $403,664.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Holy Grail of baseball cards is heading to the auction block tomorrow via SCP Auctions.

It’s a PSA 1 copy of the T206 Honus Wagner baseball card and it’s the highlight of a sale that runs through Dec. 6. It’s a grouping that also includes Jackie Robinson‘s Hall of Fame plaque — and one of only two confirmed 1949-season game-used bats — as well as parts of three notable collections.

The Wagner is estimated to command as much as $400,000, according to the company. It is a new find and was graded on the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention this year.

“Unveiling a fresh T206 Honus Wagner card is a dream scenario for any hobby professional,” said SCP’s Dan Imler. “The known supply of T206 Wagners will never begin to quench the exceeding collector demand for what is not just the most famous baseball card in the world, but one of our nation’s most-celebrated treasures. And to have it be a part of such an immense and diverse find of previously unknown T206s makes this one of the most exciting tobacco card finds in recent years.”

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First look: 2014 Topps Chrome Update + Megabox


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps Chrome Update is back — and so is the “holiday megabox.”

A new collecting twist that began last season is back for another run as a retail-only edition of 2014 Topps Chrome Update will be found in boxes arriving in stores now. Each box includes five packs of 2014 Topps Update and two packs of Chrome Update for $14.99

The Chrome Update set will consist of 55 cards, while there will be 25 All-Star Stitches Chrome Relics to be found and 10 All -Star Stitches Chrome Relic Autos as well. The only other inserts will be 20 World Series Heroes cards.

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Card Gallery: 2014 Topps Heritage High Number


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s 1965 one last time this Wednesday.

That’s when 2014 Topps Heritage High Number arrives in hobby shops with a season-capping edition of rookies and traded players who did not make it into the hobby staple earlier this season.

The 100-card set includes more than 60 Rookie Cards with both Rookie of the Year winners, Jose Abreu and Jacob deGrom among the players on the basic set as well as the 34-card autographed checklist. (There will be one autograph per factory set.) Interestingly, Abreu actually has two different autographed cards in this release.

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The Bambino powers 2015 Topps’ in-pack game


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is turning to the biggest name in the game to power its 2015 Topps Series 1 in-pack game element.

The Sultan of Swat, The Bambino … Babe Ruth.

While in past years, the company had used an online code game as part of its product, the game in the upcoming set will be of the scratch-off variety atop a code to enter online. The Babe Ruth Call Your Shot game will allow collectors to do just that and scratch off one of three fields to reveal a potential prize entry.

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Top 5: Shelby Miller Rookie Cards to own


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals pulled the first blockbuster trade of the off-season on Monday with a four-player deal that sent pitcher Shelby Miller to Atlanta and All-Star outfielder Jason Heyward to the Cardinals.

Miller, 24, has gone 26-18 in parts of three seasons, winning in double-figures in the last two. He’s got a 3.33 ERA and 312 strikeouts in 370 innings as a big-leaguer. Heyward, on the other hand, has a .262 average and 84 homers in five seasons since his dramatic early season showing during his rookie season in 2010. He’ll be 25 next season.

Miller appears on 1,232 cards in the Beckett database with 416 of those being certified autographs. Excluding rarities, his cards are worth $10,660. Heyward checks in at $17,697 for 2,129 cards in the system with 624 autographs and 11 Rookie Cards.

The winner in this one on cardboard might be Miller — and here are my picks for his five best Rookie Cards (he has 20 total) from  2013.

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Beckett 20 questions on … MLB prospects




By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The next issue of Beckett Baseball is all about our top prospects for 2015, so this edition of 20 Questions is all about prospects. (Don’t worry if that’s not your thing — we snuck in a few rookie, licensing and Draft questions, too.)

Give us your assessment of MLB’s prospecting crop with our 20 Questions below and feel free to leave any comments if necessary.

1. Which of these prospects is your No. 1 in 2015?

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2. Will you be buying more or less prospect-based products in the coming year?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Top 5: Giancarlo Stanton baseball cards to own



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Just call him the $325-million man.

The Miami Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton have agreed to a 13-year, $325-million contract — the biggest in MLB history, solidifying his place in Florida, and perhaps the game, making him more than a young slugger seemingly always on the trading block.

After five big-league seasons, he has a .271 average, 154 homers and 399 RBI in 634 games. He finished second in the NL MVP vote while leading the league with 37 home runs. But for collectors, he’s not quite a million-dollar man as his 1,950 cards in the Beckett.com database are valued at only $19,780, excluding rarities. He has 389 autos, 398 memorabilia cards and just nine Rookie Cards from the loaded 2010 lineup.

Here are my picks for five cool cards to track down … after the jump.

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Win our Kris Bryant Bowman Chrome autograph


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s no secret that Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant is among the top MLB prospects for 2015 — so much so he’s likely going to grace our February 2015 issue of Beckett Baseball when it heads to the printer early next month.

It’s no secret that he’ll be No. 1 on our prospects list as well.

But here’s a secret we’re going to let you in on right now in advance of the issue where you’ll find this exact same contest. We want the card above — his BGS 9.5 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft auto — to be yours.

How? Tell us in the comments below which MLB rookie or prospect you’re watching closest for next season.

Be sure to include your name and email address (can’t contact you if you win without it) and we’ll pick a winner at random from all entries received here (and via the instructions in the next issue of Beckett Baseball) before Feb. 1.

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.

Leaf releases SP list for upcoming Valiant


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s edition of Leaf Valiant includes your typical autograph rainbow but the standard versions of the cards will not all be easy to find.

Some are short-printed.

Leaf Trading Cards‘ latest arrives on Friday with many of this year’s top baseball draft picks, but you can find the list of short-prints … after the jump.

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Johnny Manziel Padres autos coming in Bowman set



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Move over Johnny Bench, there’s a new Johnny in the game.

Well, sort of … Johnny Manziel will be found as a San Diego Padre in upcoming packs of 2014 Bowman Draft, baseball card set, which arrives on Dec. 10, according to an announcement from Topps on Sunday.

Why? Manziel was drafted by the Padres in the 28th round of this year’s MLB Draft back in June.

Tell us what you think with our poll and in the comments below.

Your take: Johnny Football's baseball card

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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.