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Category Archives: Baseball

Full list of Sports Card Expo signers announced

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Sports Card Expo has announced its final autograph lineup for the May show.

Friday’s guests include Tom Barrasso, Joe Daley and Andy Moog.

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Baseball’s top prospect Byron Buxton is all business — on the field and off



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton has seen himself on baseball cards, seen himself on the cover of Beckett Baseball and seen himself at the top of the prospects lists.

But in the same week as his first home run in his first spring training with what will hopefully be his future team, his 2014 Panini Prizm cards stood out as a highlight, too.


“They look great, just how glossy and shiny they are,” said Buxton from Ft. Myers, Fla., where he was signing for Panini America on Day 2 of the company’s Spring Training Road Trip. “There’s a lot of thought and technique put into them. Overall, I just like the cards a lot.”

Since he was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the 20-year-old has seen a lot more demands for his time and his autograph — that comes with the territory. But he said he’s taking it all in stride.

“I’m just trying to go out and play ball every day, and you put in the time to do things,” he said of signing at the ballpark. “I usually sign every day. I usually sign when I can for the kids and when a kid asks me, I sign for them after the game. I really sign all the time.”

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Beckett 20 questions on … errors & variations


RELATED: What’s your favorite error or variation card? Tell us here … 

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s no secret which sports card most people think of when one says “error card” — it’s the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken.

However, there are many errors and variations found on cardboard for all sports through the years beyond those caused by a moment of bad judgment and a renegade marker – enough that we figured we’d try and take a look at the subject in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

These days where the print runs are much shorter, most variations are made on purpose as intentional nods to the past such as those found in the Topps Heritage baseball set arriving this week. Others these days are made to add a chase or some added challenges to building a set, while a smaller few are mistakes that get fixed for whatever reason. It seems that baseball sets have had the most corrections by far through the years, but the gremlins have struck in all sports and even some non-sports releases.

Then, of course, there are the Honus Wagners (T206) and Alex Gordons (2006 Topps) of the world — cards that were made and then removed, sparking interest in those cards that should not be. For this issue, we’re curious about your feelings about some of these approaches and which types of errors made in the past are the most appealing as a collector. Here are our latest 20 Questions — and the results will appear in the upcoming issue.

1. Do you think the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card is the most-famous error card in hobby history?

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2. Do you actively hunt errors and/or variations as a collector?

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See the rest of the questions about errors and variations … after the jump.

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Sports Card Album aims to be the photosharing app for card collectors

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

What happens when there isn’t an app you want?

Some people go out and create one.

That’s what Sergio Dubois did when photosharing software wasn’t what he needed for his card collection. Instead of being able to see a full card, sites were only allowing thumbnail images or cutting off pictures so users couldn’t see full cards.

Dubois decided to do something about it. He paid a friend who is a developer to create a program that suited his needs. In the end, he got Sports Card Album.

The process started nearly one year ago. It launched with a free website where users joined in a beta program to work through the glitches to get the working site ready. On Tuesday, Sports Card Album launched an iPhone app. An Android app is in the works.

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Box Busters Live returns on Friday with 2014 Topps Heritage


Join us right here at Beckett.com/news this Friday for the latest Box Busters Live at noon Central as we rip into several boxes of 2014 Topps Heritage baseball cards on the day of its release in a live video chat.

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Susan Lulgjuraj will be on hand for the break as well as fielding your questions in real time via the webpage and @beckettmedia Twitter account.

The best part? The boxes we rip will all end up in collectors’ hands via direct contests during the event or later giveaways in Beckett Baseball magazine.

Look for more details here on Beckett.com/news the morning of the event.



Card gallery: 2014 Topps Heritage

Heritage checklist includes Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Betty White, Keith Olbermann and more

What intentional errors might be in store for 2014 Topps Heritage?

First look: 2014 Topps Heritage baseball cards

Bryce Harper signs extension to exclusive Topps autograph deal


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s business as usual for Bryce Harper.

Topps announced on Wednesday that it has extended its exclusive autograph and packaging rights deal with the 21-year-old Washington Nationals outfielder for an undisclosed number of years.

He made his Bowman autograph debut back in 2011 and will be starting his third season in the majors this year after hitting .274 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI last summer.

“I am happy to be a part of the Topps family,” Harper said in a prepared statement. “I still get excited when I see my Topps cards and I am glad to hear that fans are excited about them, too.”

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Cardinals’ Michael Wacha talks baseball cards — and signing autographs left-handed if he has to



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A year ago at this time, Michael Wacha was a first-round draft pick in the St. Louis Cardinals organization working his way toward making his big-league dreams a reality as a rookie in his first spring training.

road-trip-logo-finalNothing was a given for the former Texas A&M star and right-hander out of Texarkana back then, but lot has changed in the last 365 days after a whirlwind end of last season that included a string of dominating postseason appearances, some postseason hardware and even a pair of World Series starts.

Now, that means many more baseball fans know his name — and a lot more of them are seeking out his baseball cards and his autograph.

“I think the demand has kind of increased after the past postseason that’s for sure, but it’s still fun,” Wacha told Beckett Media in a call from Stuart, Fla., during the start of Panini America’s Spring Training Road Trip. “I remember when I was young always wanting baseball cards and going to some spring training games and trying to get autographs that way. It’s something I like to do and it’s always been fun for me.”

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Companies prepare promo cards for 2014 Industry Summit

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The four-day 2014 Industry Summit begins on Sunday with dealers, card companies, distributors and licensors heading to Las Vegas to discuss the hobby.

There are seminars and breakout sessions and meetings. This is a chance for companies to explain what they plan on doing over the next few months, giving dealers a preview of what’s to come.

But one of the biggest things people get out of the Industry Summit is swag. Dealers get promo cards and items from different companies. Many of these items carry a premium and dealers can sell them to recoup the cost of going to the Summit or throw it in their collection.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps MLB stickers

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2014 Topps MLB Sticker Collection in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps teases return of Stadium Club baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Stadium Club will be returning.

Topps teased that fact on Thursday, showing a Members Only parallel of a Bryce Harper base card online.

Stadium Club, which was first released in two series back in 1991, hasn’t been seen in baseball since 2008 when it returned for a single season as a high-end hit-per-pack product for hobby shops and a more standard release at retail. At that time, it hadn’t been seen since 2003.

Traditionally, Stadium Club has been a brand known for showcasing photography with a full-bleed design and minimal other front features.

Your take: 2014 Topps Stadium Club baseball cards

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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.

Initial autograph guests announced for 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Tickets are on sale for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention.

The National will be held July 30-Aug. 3 at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland. Tickets start at $18 (for a single day) and range all the way to $279 for the SuperVIP package, which includes entry to all five days, free parking, first-in-live privileges for autograph guests, early admission and more.

The National has already announced some autograph guests for this year’s show, and the list is bound to get longer.

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Topps confirms origin of 2013 Kyle Kendrick error card


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For the last few months, a few baseball card collectors have found an unusual 2013 Topps card of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick.

Graphic designers know how a mistake like this happened — simply put, the image wasn’t shrunken to fit the frame of the card. On Monday, Topps confirmed its existence as a legit card printed by the company and shed a little light on the card’s origin we prepared our Errors & Variations issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

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Your Turn: What’s your favorite sports card error or variation?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

People make mistakes.

If you study the entire history of sports cards, you can easy see that this simple statement holds true. From tobacco cards to today’s releases, there are often mistakes that are made as human beings prepare our cardboard.

Sometimes the mistakes are on purpose — we’ll see some of those as homages to 1965 Topps when 2014 Topps Heritage arrives later this week — but most of the time they are not. For myself, seeing two versions of the same sports card side by side have always had a kind of mystifying effect as a collector. I’m not one to hunt through 5,000-count boxes to find new mistakes, but I am one to always stop and look to see which version of a card have if I know it has an error and a variation. (Basic lesson: A variation card is created when an error is corrected — and sometimes that spawns more than two cards. Typically, the rarer version will sell for more.)

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll be revisiting errors and variations as something different for collectors of all sports to chew on — something that’s partly in the past, partly in the present but completely fun. (At least to some of us.)

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Card Gallery: 2014 Topps Heritage baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With this year’s Topps Heritage set less than a week away, Topps has begun teasing images of what’s to be found in this year’s remake of the 1965 Topps set.

We’ve been given just a sip of the insert lineup, a few base cards and  a few others that can be found on the checklist (click here for our past look or to view the final checklist for yourself). One thing we have not yet seen are any teasers for error cards that will be corrected as nods to the original release. (Click here for a primer on what might be possible.)

For now, though, take a look at some of the images after the jump — a gallery we’ll be adding to as the week goes on.

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Box Busters: 2014 Donruss baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Tribute baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

What intentional errors might be in store in 2014 Topps Heritage? (UPDATED WITH CONFIRMED ERRORS)


UPDATE (March 14): The first five cards below have been confirmed as having variations in 2014 Topps Heritage. A sixth, card No. 442 of Mark Trumbo, has his birthdate incorrectly listed as 1927. The six error-based variations have been added as a gallery below. (Only the rarer error cards are shown.)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

With the release of the final checklist for 2014 Topps Heritage about 10 days before its arrival, we now know the players who will have variation cards for three of the four ways Topps is adding a chase to this year’s throwback brand.

Now, it’s time to guess on which cards will have variations based on mistakes made way back in 1965.

While there are 20 throwback uniform variations, 25 image variations and 25 logo variations to chase, the number of error variations isn’t yet known. That’s where we just have to dare to compare the checklists for both sets and, for now, guess which players’ cards could have the rarer — and potentially pricier — cards.

Again, this is purely guesswork, but …

– No. 43, Mike Shannon. His name is incorrectly designed in red, while the other Cardinals cards in the 1965 set are in yellow. This one might hold true again as Carlos Beltran holds down card No. 43 in this year’s set, though he’s a New York Yankee and a former Cardinals player now.

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Topps Heritage checklist includes Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Betty White, Keith Olbermann autos and more


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The final checklist for this year’s edition of Topps Heritage has been released, and there are nearly 60 different signers on the autograph checklist alone as Topps turns back the clock to 1965 in this long-running brand.

Among the signers for this one, which arrives on March 7, are Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Don Zimmer, Ernie Banks, Don Larsen, Michael Wacha, Nomar Garciaparra, Willie Mays and plenty more from the past and the present.

Oh, and there will be two Keith Olbermann autographed cards, too — and that’s just the solo sigs.

To view or save a copy of the final checklist as released by Topps, click here.

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Jewish Major Leaguers card series gets new set



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The newest version of Jewish Major Leaguers baseball cards arrives in March with a new group of players as well as the World Baseball Classic highlighted.

It’s the first edition since 2010, and seventh edition overall to the card series, which is licensed by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. It will include 50 cards and arrive on March 15.

The first set in the series arrived back in 2003. The new set includes updates on current Jewish players in MLB as well as past stars. Among them are Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler and Ike Davis to name a few.

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Panini America readies Donruss wrapper redemption


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With the arrival of 2014 Donruss today, Panini America announced that it has another surprise for collectors beyond the return of the brand.

This year’s Donruss also will have a wrapper redemption program.

Collectors who trade in 24 hobby wrappers (one box’s worth) of 2014 Donruss mylar will receive a three-card pack that completes their set — card Nos. 201-203, three Rated Rookies.

The packs will begin shipping on April 1.

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