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Category Archives: Baseball

Topps Bunt players create real demand for virtual baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There’s a whole new type of collector out there with more than a million users and 75 million sports cards that you simply won’t find in the best of hobby shops or in any retail store aisle — unless you’re on a smartphone.

Some of these fans are paying real money on eBay for virtual collections of cards — collecting pixels if you will — while others are using their real money to buy tokens for virtual packs all contained on the app. In fact, more than 50 million packs have been sold.

They’ve been sold to collectors of  cards on Topps Bunt, the virtual card platform and application from Topps, which has seen plenty of growth in its two years on the field.

“It’s remarkable. We knew these digital cards would have value like physical cards, but things have picked up very quickly,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, who is the head of app operations for Topps Digital. “It’s a credit to the platform and the Topps name holding weight in the digital world.”

Today, Topps launched Bunt for Android, further expanding its possibilities for growth. We caught up with Vaccaro to learn even more about Bunt.

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Rare sight: Two Superfractors, one box

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You don’t see this every day but Blowout Cards did — two Superfractors in one box of 2013 Bowman Sterling baseball cards.

Panini brings back Father’s Day promotion

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America’s Father’s Day Promotion is back.

The program began in 2012 with collectors heading to hobby shops to buy Panini products and getting free Father’s Day packs in return. The packs featured exclusive cards and rare parallels.

This year’s offerings include Diamond-embedded cards, Cracked Ice parallels, Green Prizm parallels from 2013 Select Football (numbered to 15), memorabilia and autographs cards.

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Note to our readers: We’re listening … pre-2001 pricing to return in issue No. 101

The 100th issue of Beckett Baseball marked the start of a three-month experiment in an effort to give more of you what you say you want.

You’ll see in the next issue, No. 101 coming later this month, that we’re continuing to adjust and evolve with what’s inside the covers of Beckett Baseball. You’ll see new brighter and whiter paper to help make our colors and photos more lively and energetic — and also help make those small price guide fonts more readable.

That’s our newest change, and it’s one we hope you’ll like in addition to more space for more photos, more stories and even more color pages.

Last month’s reduction in the price guide has been adjusted back to where it was in previous issues. While issue No. 100 started with pricing for cards from 2001-forward only, you’ll see another change in the next issue.

All the years we took out is coming back.

Repeat, they’re coming back.

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Beckett Media seeks experienced magazine designer for sports titles


Are you a seasoned publications designer?

Beckett Media is seeking a design editor with extensive deadline experience to design covers, interior features and departments for all five of its monthly titles — Beckett Baseball, Beckett Football, Beckett Basketball, Beckett Hockey and Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

Candidates will need to be able to meet deadlines, handle prepress responsibilities and work flow as they work in conjunction with editors on these five titles.

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

Jobu gets his own Major League baseball card in Topps’ oversized online release


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Jobu gets a baseball card after all.

The five Topps Major League cards that arrived in 2014 Topps Archives last week are getting the jumbo treatment with a little help from their little voodoo idol as Topps is offering a 5-by-7 set of the cards online via Topps.com. 

The six-card set will be available for a limited time and arrive in a wax pack befitting the baseball card style of 25 years ago when the hit baseball movie arrived.

The set will include Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen), Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen), Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) and Eddie Harris (Chelcie Ross) in addition to Pedro Cerrano’s locker buddy.

Sets are $12.99.

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 Bowman Sterling baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman Sterling is back — and this time it has some new features.

Topps revealed its plans for 2014 Bowman Sterling on Monday morning and among the new inclusions are diecuts and Wave Refractors. In fact, this one will include an oversized Wave box-topper in every box as well as a diecut auto in every case when it arrives in December.

Each six-pack box will include four cards — three autographs and a rookie or prospect card. There will be eight boxes per case with a 1989 Bowman is Back Silver Diamond Refactor also worked into the mix for every box.

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First look: 2014 Topps Update baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s time for an update — 2014 Topps Update, that is.

Topps revealed the basic details and first images for its season-capping 2014 Topps Update set on Friday, a third installment of the flagship line and a hobby staple for years.

Set to arrive on Oct. 15 with and autograph or Relic in every 36-pack hobby box or one auto and two Relics in every 10-pack HTA Jumbo box, Update will present a continuation of the first two series along with cards of the newest names in the game and players in new places.

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Major League autographs create perfect storm + 2014 Topps Archives Box Busters on location


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Who knew Wild Thing — and the rest of the Major Leaguers — could drive them this wild 25 years later?

ToppsMajor League inserts and autographs arrived in hobby shops on Wednesday with 2014 Topps Archives including the first studio- and MLB-backed certified autographs from the greatest baseball movie of all time.

So far, the ink of Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (aka Charlie Sheen) has topped the $300 plateau in completed eBay auctions with the remaining four signers all fetching $100 or more on the day of their arrival. They’re Rachel Phelps (aka Margaret Whitton), Roger Dorn (aka Corbin Bernsen), Jake Taylor (aka Tom Berenger) and Eddie Harris (aka  Chelcie Ross).

All but Sheen and Bernsen are first-time signers for certified autos but never before has the movie had fully-approved cardboard — a move that undoubtedly added some cost to Archives as Paramount Pictures had to be paid for its property to be used — but it looks like it’s paying off.

Berenger’s card has sold for as much as $250. Bernsen has sold for as much as $200. Whitton has sold for as much as $160 — and it looks like she signed many of her cards twice. Ross has sold for as much as $125. Holy … [insert one of those famous Major League expletives here].

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My Major League Obsession: Jake Taylor, Pedro Cerrano & Co. have a big place in my collection

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Editor’s Note: With the Major League crew officially arriving on Topps cardboard today in 2014 Topps Archives (more on that later), we figured it was time to pull this story from the archives for our online readers — a piece from Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s The Sports Movies Issue (No. 319, October 2011). 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

BSCMmoviesHere’s a collecting confession for you: My priciest collectibles purchase of the last few years was the game-used uniform of a washed-up catcher with bad knees who is now 62 years old.

His name? Jake Taylor.

That’s right, I own one of the uniforms worn by Tom Berenger in the filming of Major League — this one coming straight from the actor himself via a personal friend, Len Rosa, who is a long-time Civil War and antiques dealer based out of Lady Lake, Fla. Berenger, who lives in South Carolina far from the Hollywood scene, is a Civil War buff, and the two met when Rosa had a shop in Gettysburg, Pa.

My purchase included his jersey, pants, belt and stirrup socks — yep, socks from 1988 — that I had to take as a group or not at all. Here’s how it happened …

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First look: 2014 Topps Five Star baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Five Star is back for a third round.

Topps revealed the first glimpses and basic details on its third edition of its high-end baseball card line Five Star on Tuesday with one revelation — there will be more autographs per box.

Each box of 2014 Topps Five Star will include one autographed Relic, Silver Signatures or Golden Graph auto, four other autographed cards and a sixth card that will be either another standard auto, a cut auto, a Legends Relic or a 1/1 Relic. It will arrive on Dec. 3, while a tentative checklist was not released.

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Topps adds George Springer autographs to 13 upcoming baseball card sets


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Houston Astros fans — and maybe a few others — will be happy.

Topps announced on Tuesday that hot-hitting Astros rookie George Springer will have autographs in 13 forthcoming products from the company beginning with Bowman Inception arriving on June 25.

Last night, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound outfielder out of UConn went 4-for-4 with three RBI and two doubles. upping his season totals to eight homers and a .268 average after a slow start with the American League West cellar-dwelling squad.

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Blowout Cards’ Thomas Fish adds original comic book art of Wolverine debut to collection


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Snikt, snikt — Wolverine‘s debut has a new home.

The original comic book art for the first appearance of the Marvel Comics character Wolverine sold for a record-tying $657,250 last week via Heritage Auctions and its buyer was someone that sports card collectors might know a bit about.

FishIt was Thomas Fish, the owner of BlowoutCards.com, who is a heavy collector of original comic book art and key graded issues from the past. The page is the final one from issue No. 180 of The Incredible Hulk from November 1974. It features art by by Herb Trimpe. Trimpe gave the page to the previous owner back in 1983.

“Wolverine is one of the most popular comic heroes today,” Fish said. “Having the opportunity to purchase this historically significant piece of art was one I could not pass on.”

Fish noted that one piece that could be as interesting has a special home.

“The Spider-Man art from Amazing Fantasy No. 15, Spidey’s first appearance, is located in the Library of Congress,” he said. “This Wolverine piece is certainly museum-quality.”

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Box Busters: 2014 Panini Prizm baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

All five Bowman Lucky Redemptions are good for Kris Bryant autographs


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you got Lucky buying Bowman, you got Kris Bryant.

Topps announced on Wednesday that the powerful Chicago Cubs prospect is the player collectors will receive for any of the five Bowman Lucky Redemption cards in 2014 Bowman. There were five Lucky redemptions to be found — each will get a Bryant Refractor auto.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … Tanaka, Topps Dynasty, prospects and more


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s a busy time in the hobby with new products and new star making their mark with performances on the field.

Here’s the latest 20 Questions touching on a bit of all of it — check it out and tell us what you think with your answers and the comments below.

1. Do you want a Masahiro Tanaka autograph?

View Results

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Check out the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Your ballpark photos could end up on a baseball card in 2015 Topps Opening Day set

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you go out to the ballgame and take a picture, you might have a chance to see it on a Topps baseball card.

On Monday, the company announced that it will include fan-generated photos on cards in 2015 Topps Opening Day via an Instagram-based contest called Topps Live.

Beginning today, any fan who posts an image at the ballpark and includes the hashtag #toppslive with the image will have a chance at being on a card. As many as 30 images will be selected from photos shot between now and the end of the season.

Topps said it will judge images on their originality and creativity with examples to be found at @toppssports. For more information, visit topps.com/toppslive.

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.

Which Rookie Card have you always found interesting — and why?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Do you have one Rookie Card that you just find more interesting than all of the rest? If so, tell us why and we might showcase your answers as part of the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly that’s all about rookies.

For myself, the 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson RC has taken on that spot for me after it being held by the 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco Rated Rookie or his 1983 Fritsch Madison Muskies first minor-league issue for years.


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Topps confirms final checklist for Major League autographs in upcoming Archives set


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The red tags were put into lockers so we now know who’s in the Major League autograph set coming in 12 days from 2014 Topps Archives.

The 25th anniversary of Major League will be celebrated with autographs from five cast members as confirmed by Topps on Friday:

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First look: 2014 Topps Dynasty baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Presenting what it calls “the most carefully curated subject list in trading card history” and the “most-premium Topps product of all time,” Topps released on Friday the basic information and first looks at its latest high-end baseball card brand.

It’s 2014 Topps Dynasty, and it will arrive on Nov. 19 with every card limited to 10 or fewer copies, every card encased and with every card featuring an autograph. There will be one card per box and only five boxes per case with a factory (hobby direct) cost of more than $200 per box.

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