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Category Archives: Baseball

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?

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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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Topps readies Masahiro Tanaka Relic cards for six upcoming products


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Masahiro Tanaka‘s game-used uniforms are coming to Topps baseball cards.

The company announced on Thursday that it has acquired game-used items for Relic cards of the New York Yankees pitcher and that the Relics will appear in six upcoming baseball products.

Tanaka will have Relics in Tier One (June 4), Allen & Ginter (July 11), Bowman Platinum (Aug. 1), Triple Threads (Sept. 12), Topps Updates and Five Star (dates TBD).

After his victory Wednesday night, the Japanese right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 58-plus innings.

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.

Topps teases upcoming high-end baseball card brand called Dynasty


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is going high-end once again with its baseball cards.

The company offered the first visual teases of 2014 Topps Dynasty on Thursday, posting the image above via its social media accounts. No details have been released for the brand at this time.

Three years ago, Topps released its most-expensive high-end baseball brand Five Star, which carried a $500 per box price tag. Is there room for another high-end brand? Tell us via our polls below and in the comments if you have even more to say.

First impression: 2014 Topps Dynasty baseball cards

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Does the hobby need more high-end baseball card sets?

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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.

Manufacturers looking for ways to handle growing group breakers

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Want a chance at a hit from a high-end product? Collectors have turned to online group breaks as a way to satisfy that craving.

It may be tough for some collectors to spend $500 on a box of cards, but a $50 slot in a group break is a more affordable gamble. Group break collectors can walk away with big-money cards or get “skunked,” the term collectors use when they wind up with nothing from a break.

Despite opposition from some hobby shops and manufacturers, group breaks are gaining appeal. The explosion of group breaks started a couple of years ago. It has become part of the National Sports Collectors Convention and The Industry Summit, with breaks happening live on camera.

Group breaks occur every night at various price points as the cards are shown off on camera.

While group breaks have become another collecting option, they have also become a place of concern for longtime hobby shop owners. Group breaks are often streamed online, showing breakers opening cases on YouTube or BreakersTV. This means a collector with a PayPal account doesn’t have to leave the house and can watch their breaks online. A few days later, their cards are in the mailbox.

The topic of group breaks was addressed at The Industry Summit in Las Vegas in March with representatives from Panini America, Topps and Upper Deck discussing the craze with a room full of hobby shop owners.

“Obviously, group breaks in general are a positive in terms of being able to expose people to products they wouldn’t normally see,” said Topps’ Vice President of Sales, David Reel. “It’s something that is going to continue to grow.”

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Topps adds vintage baseball card wrappers to its wall art offerings


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This time, it’s the wrappers.

Topps launched a new line of wall art for the baseball collector on Tuesday, and this time it’s 38 years’ worth of memorable baseball card wrappers getting the nod as limited-edition pieces of art.

The Topps Baseball Wrapper Art Collection will include each year from 1952 to 1989 will be available as 10- by 14-inch prints limited to just 99 serial-numbered copies. They will cost $29.99 per year and be available on Topps.com.

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