Category Archives: Baseball

College student becomes baseball player for day

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For the third time in as many years, a collector of baseball cards became a member of a minor league baseball team for a day.

How? By collecting cards and entering the Topps Make Your Pro Debut contest.

Earlier this week, 21-year-old University of Georgia student Tyler Badger became a member of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

“It’s truly an experience of a lifetime,” Badger told Topps. “I love the essence of Minor League Baseball and how each team has roots within its community. That’s certainly true with this great organization and I’d just like to thank Topps, Minor League Baseball and the Hooks for such a tremendous experience.”

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Gypsy Queen gets jumbo wall art treatment

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is making its latest baseball card release even bigger — as wall art.

This year’s edition of Gypsy Queen, which arrived last week, has been given the online wall art treatment as Topps has unveiled the Gypsy Queen collection on Topps.com.

There are 599 different print options and one set offering in this one — all from the fifth edition of the retro-styled line.

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Leaf signs Yoan Moncada to autograph deal

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Leaf Trading Cards has signed Boston Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada to a multi-year autograph deal, the company announced on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old second baseman signed a record $31.5 million deal with Boston in February. In two seasons with the Cuban National Series, he hit .277 with four home runs and 28 RBI in 101 games. He’ll begin his season with the Class-A Greenville Drive after he finishes in extended spring training.

He made his debut there last week.

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Box Busters: 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2015 Topps Dynasty baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps Dynasty will be returning in 2015.

That was the revelation on Wednesday when the company teased a card of highly touted Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant and released the basic information and other preview images for the product.

Last year, the brand’s debut marked the most-expensive single-card pack of baseball cards in Topps history as the company dubbed it as “the most carefully curated subject list in trading card history” and the “most-premium Topps product of all time.”

This year, every pack will once again include an autographed patch, cut auto, autographed dual Relic or a cut auto dual Relic when it arrives on Nov. 4.

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First Look: 2015 Cooperstown baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s Cooperstown is back after an anniversary year that saw the company’s Hall of Fame brand go high-end. This time around, it remains high-end with the original name used in 2012 and 2013.

The company unveiled the first glimpses at 2015 Cooperstown in Wednesday — a fourth retrospective release from the company under its licensing deal with the Hall, and it’s a set that will arrive on June 17.

With 12 cards per box and 15 boxes per case, this one will pack two autographs in every box along with a mix of base cards and inserts of the biggest names in the game — and those players only.

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Draft picks sets helped shape hobby we know today

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Russell Maryland, Brien Taylor, Larry Johnson, Eric Lindros.

Back in 1991, this first card from Classic Four Sport was a talking point for an emerging niche of sports card collecting — draft picks sets. Back then, we often had to wait a year — or at least later in the year — to see our newest teams’ newest stars on cards, so a card like this was something dramatically different.

The fact that this card had the No. 1 picks from the four major drafts all in one place, all on one card? That might still be considered magical — and Classic pulled it off. A year later, with the company backing the arrival of Shaquille O’Neal, the game was changed and draft picks were truly a force and an option for collectors to seriously consider.

Our next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly will explore draft picks sets in a bit of an abbreviated form — a look back at 20 big-name notables and busts from the past, a look at a few stars heading into this year’s drafts, and a look back at a handful of sets that helped define the changing times. This card didn’t make the cut for the items in the issue, but it should have. It’s perhaps a symbol of the changing times and how things were simpler — and yet still big business — even just a couple decades ago. It also shows us how different things are today.

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Mascots take over in latest Topps wall art line

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Baseball’s furry friends are taking over.

Twenty-five mascot cards found in packs of 2015 Topps Opening Day are getting enlarged to make their way onto collectors’ walls as the MLB Mascots collection is the latest wall art line from Topps.

Found only on Topps.com for a limited time, there are three options for collectors who want a piece of the action showing the stars found in the stands.

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USA Baseball is common thread with emerging stars

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Kris Bryant, Carlos Rodon and Addison Russell have a lot more in common than you might think.

Sure, they’re all now MLB rookies in Chicago. They’re all now under lock and key for another season before they can be free agents (thanks, Super Two rule!) and they’re all guys who have been watched closely on cardboard for some time. But that about of time is longer than you might think. Why?

USA Baseball cards.

Each of these guys — and many, many more — appeared on USA Baseball cards in the past. They made their cardboard debuts well before they even had a professional team and professional fans to latch onto them because their team colors matched. They’ve literally had baseball cards for years — and yet I continue to wonder why these extra-early — and officially official — cards don’t seem to resonate as well as others despite them being made by Upper Deck, Topps and Panini America in the last decade or so. (Panini is the present manufacturer.)

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Box Busters: 2015 Topps Museum Collection

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

Kris Bryant gets his own Topps wall art line

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Kris Bryant is kind of a big deal — even bigger as wall art.

The Chicago Cubs rookie made his big-league debut last week and on Monday Topps released a series of five wall art prints showcasing the third baseman’s 2014 Bowman card design as an oversized piece of acrylic.

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First Look: 2015 Topps High Tek baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

High Tek won’t be a one-year wonder — not after its popularity last year.

Topps revealed the basics and first teasers for 2015 Topps High Tek on Friday evening, a follow-up to the popular autograph-focused brand that returned last year after several years on the sidelines.

This time around, Tek will once again include an autograph in every box along with one parallel card when it arrives on Oct. 14. Every 12-box case will now include an insert card limited to no more than 50 copies.

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BGS Diary: Seeing gold, stickers … and furry autos?

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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 April — so here is my latest BGS Diary entry. See which cards I decided to submit … after the jump.

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Topps readies Kris Bryant Rookie Cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With Kris Bryant‘s arrival finally here in a game batting cleanup for the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field, that finally means his first official MLB Rookie Cards get the green light.

Topps detailed its plans for Bryant RCs on Friday, and it will all start with his standard Rookie Cards in Topps Archives and Finest — short-printed cards — and Topps Series 2, which arrives in June. Tier One will have redemptions for a Bryant auto when it arrives on May 20, while Finest will have a rookie auto as well.

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Kris Bryant arrives: 10 baseball cards to consider

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Today’s the day — Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant gets the call.

Heading into this spring, everybody in baseball knew that Bryant was on the verge of something big. The 23-year-old third baseman had done everything to indicate that was ready in the minor leagues. Then he came out and hit .425 this spring with nine homers and 12 RBI in 14 games — the best power marks in baseball this year. However, because of MLB’s Super Two rule, a move that allows a team to keep a player under contractual lock and key for an extra year if they don’t play a full first season, Bryant didn’t begin this season as a Cub. That didn’t thwart his dominance on cardboard, though, and he graces the cover of the next Beckett Baseball issue — his second cover in five months — because we all know he’s ready for liftoff.

How good can Bryant be? He’s never failed to impress in the minor leagues or college, smacking 54 homers and driving in 155 runs while hitting .353 in 172 games as an amateur and 52 homers and 142 RBI in his first 174 games as a pro where he hit .327. As the Adidas billboard across the street from Wrigley Field said, he’s “Worth the wait.”

His arrival in Wrigley will likely spark even more interest in his 600-plus cards already valued at more than $46,000 (excluding rarities too scarce to price). His 2013 Bowman Chrome autos were not received in time to be placed into packs, but were instead placed into several brands of 2014 Bowman. They have been the go-to cards for him — including a five-figure Superfractor headed into a repack product soon — but they are far from the only options.

The going prices for his key cards and autographs aren’t low, but that doesn’t mean he’s not collectable. In fact, there’s a bit of something for everyone — for now. Here are 10 of the cool cards to consider — you can find the 10 others in the next issue of Beckett Baseball — for a Bryant collection before we get a steady stream of his MLB Rookie Cards in products this summer.

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First look: 2015 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Two autographs per box and Hot Packs are back.

Those are the best ways to sum up 2015 Bowman Chrome, which Topps teased for the first time on Monday. The prospecting staple will arrive on Sept. 2 with 18 packs per standard box and 12 packs per box in HTA Jumbo boxes.

The basic set will include 200 veterans and rookies each with eight types of parallels — standard Refractor, Purple, Blue, Green, Gold, Orange (/25), Red (/5) and 1/1 printing plates. A preliminary checklist and production volumes for these numbered cards were not announced.

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First Look: 2015 Elite baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

After cameos as inserts in Donruss brands the last two years, Elite is back as a standalone product.

Panini America revealed the first details and preview images for 2015 Elite on Wednesday night, a 200-card set that will arrive on June 17 with the traditional names and foilboard look that has defined the brand since the 1990s.

Back for another run will be Passing the Torch Signatures, Thowback Threads — two past staples — while new inclusions will highlight Panini’s newest venture with the college ranks.

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Box Busters Preview: 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen in this latest Box Busters Preview video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps notes Jackie Robinson Day with new sets

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Sixty-eight years ago, Jackie Robinson changed Major League Baseball forever and today every person in uniform on every roster will wear his No. 42.

Topps is placing its focus on the Hall of Famer and social pioneer as well by releasing two sets of cards and a series of oversized prints available now only on Topps.com.

The Jackie Robinson Story collection is a reproduction of the 10-card set found in packs of 2015 Topps at Target stores — only this time they are 5- by 7-inch jumbo cards and 10- by -14-inch prints.

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Honus Wagner pushes $1 million mark in Robert Edward Auction

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s the hobby’s biggest card and it’s in one of the year’s biggest auctions.

Naturally, the bidding is already a big deal, too.

It’s a PSA 3 copy of the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner and it’s part of the annual Robert Edward Auctions sale that’s active now and runs until April 25. It sits at $950,000 — excluding a 20-percent buyer’s premium that will put the card over the $1 million mark.

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The Relic contained in this Chris Davis Museum Collection card is from a specific game and season

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

This year’s edition of Topps Museum Collection arrived in hobby shops today with every pack containing some type of hit — an autographed card or a Relic of an MLB player.

This particular card was pulled by a collector, and it includes a nameplate from a black game-used bat from Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis embedded into it — but that’s not why it carries extra appeal to me.

It’s a nameplate of a black Louisville Slugger M356 model that Davis splintered at the handle when facing Jon Lester during the bottom of the fourth inning on March 31, 2014, in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. How do I know this? The MLB Authentication sticker tells me just that.

The game’s box score tells me Davis went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on that sunny, 60-degree Monday — a game that, despite the slugger’s tough day, was a 2-1 Orioles victory.

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Box Busters: 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Win our box of 2014 National Treasures baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We got our hands on some serious wax for a contest as part of our Panini America Spring Training Road Trip coverage in the June issue of Beckett Baseball.

If you pick up an issue, you’ll find a form to fill out and mail in for a shot at a box of 2014 National Treasures, which was the Beckett Baseball Product of the Year award-winner.

While all entries there must be postmarked by June 1, we’re giving our online readers the option of winning, too.

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Will Ferrell MLB auctions enter final hours

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When comedian Will Ferrell played for 10 MLB teams in a single day last month to raise money for cancer-fighting charities, many laughed at his historic antics in meaningless games.

Nobody is laughing at the results on the auction block so far.

More than 70 auction lots of game-used jerseys, pants, bats, shirts, socks, baseballs, lineup cards, catcher’s gear and plenty more are presently up for sale via MLB Auctions — and the sales are entering their final day with several items already topping the $1,000 mark.

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Topps releases 1952 Tribute jumbo team sets

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The famed 1952 Topps set is back — in jumbo team set form — via the latest online offering from Topps.

The 2015 Topps 1952 Tribute team sets were unveiled by the company on Thursday, and they’re the latest in oversized cards and wall art offered only on the company’s website.

This time, the standard team sets are limited to only 99 copies and are available for 18 teams. A Legend version is limited to only 49 copies and includes a card of a past star for 18 MLB teams.

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Box Busters: 2015 Donruss baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps Bunt launches for another virtual season

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A new season is here on the field and it’s here on virtual cardboard, too.

While this year’s baseball cards on paper arrived a few months ago, this year’s edition of Topps Bunt arrived late last week with a new card design, new inserts and new challenges for the online virtual card app.

Fully licensed by MLB and the MLBPA, Bunt is available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. It allows collectors to get free packs daily without purchase or buy tokens to buy packs. Tokens are also awarded based on performance of active players on the field in one’s collection.

“Topps is continuing to deliver on the mission of revolutionizing how fans collect and interact with their favorite sports and athletes,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, Director of App Production at Topps. “We’re excited to bring fans an even more interactive experience in 2015.”

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What’s on your want list? Tell us right here …

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

I’ve had a collecting void for nearly seven years now, and I was reminded of it this past weekend when I dug out one of my many Nick Swisher boxes to snap a few photos and make a feeble attempt at organizing my collection.

It’s not something I have lost any sleep over, but it’s a challenge that I’d like to finish. It’s been on hold since I found two of the four cards I need within the same week or two back in 2008.

And then nothing since.

My lone card that has gone missing is one of the four printing plates of my favorite player from the 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter set, a brand that probably established itself as one of my favorites upon its arrival all those years ago.

My missing card? The magenta printing plate.

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Josh Donaldson talks baseball cards on MLB Central

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds recently caught up with Josh Donaldson during the Panini America Spring Training Road Trip where the subject of his baseball card values came up.

On Tuesday the Toronto Blue Jays third baseman was on MLB Network‘s MLB Central — and that discussion came up once again.

Check it out …

First look: 2015 Topps Supreme baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

September will be a Supreme time of year.

Why? Because Topps revealed the next edition of Topps Supreme on Wednesday and the hit-based product’s 2015 edition will arrive in September with potentially more punch than ever in its brief history.

Each pack of 2015 Topps Supreme will include just two cards — both autographs — and there will be 20 packs per case. The company promises “bigger and bolder cards with more 1/1 unique hits and colossal pulls that collectors have come to love with the Supreme brand.”

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Your Turn: Who will take it all in MLB this year on the field … and on cards?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

While there’s now plenty of irony on this 2015 Topps Opening Day baseball card, we figured now’s the time to ask you two things about the upcoming baseball season even though the baseball card season has been going for a few months now.

Who will win it all?

Tell us in the comments below who you think will win it all — the World Series — and who’ll dominate on cardboard.

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 @chrisolds2009.

Kris Bryant Superfractor pulled, graded by BGS

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BryantWBThe Kris Bryant 2013 Bowman Chrome Superfractor autograph visited Beckett Grading Services for encapsulation after it was pulled by a customer of Neuhart Cards in Delaware, Ohio.

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds caught up with Neuhart’s Brian Rideout who hand-delivered the card to BGS for examination and encapsulation on Friday.

What’s the future of this big card? How much has been offered for it?

Check out our video interview to find out …

Update: The card is now listed on eBay with an $89,999 Buy It Now price and has more than 300 watchers.

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Opening Day baseball

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Beckett 20 Questions on … rookies and prospects

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

As we all eagerly await the arrival of baseball’s Next Big Thing, Kris Bryant, we figured now is the time to look at the hot rookies and prospects of the last few years — and maybe a few even older than that.

It’s a chance to put the hype surrounding Bryant in perspective and allow collectors a chance to tell us what they think about rookies and prospects.

Here is your latest batch of 20 Questions … tell us what you think in the comments below, too.

1. Which recent-year phenom is best in your opinion?

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2. Which recent-year phenom is worst in your opinion?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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BGS Diary Predictor (April): 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 March 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 (April): What will Olds submit?

  • 1975 Topps Mini #228 George Brett (58%, 70 Votes)
  • 1959 Topps #415 Bill Mazeroski (48%, 58 Votes)
  • 2013 Topps Opening Day Mascot Autographs #MA2 Phillie Phanatic (46%, 55 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps WWE #56 Paige (43%, 52 Votes)
  • 2014 Topps #1B Mike Trout (Gatorade) (33%, 40 Votes)
  • 2010 Bowman Chrome #BCP1 Stephen Strasburg (29%, 35 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps Heritage #377 Nick Swisher (24%, 29 Votes)
  • 2015 Donruss #176B Bryce Harper SP/Mohawk (24%, 29 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps Heritage #500 Mike Trout (20%, 24 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps Stickers #57 Nick Swisher (20%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 120

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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