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Category Archives: Baseball

Leaf releases SP list for upcoming Valiant

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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

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Manziel

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.

Card Gallery: Takahiro Norimoto BBM cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A team of MLB All-Stars were no-hit by Samurai Japan Saturday, but you won’t find any of the four pitchers who worked the gem on any World Baseball Classic baseball cards.

But where you will find Takahiro Norimoto baseball cards are in 2013 releases from BBM, the major card-maker for Nippon Professional Baseball. His Japanese Rookie Cards show him with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles — the team that New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka played for before coming to MLB.

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Factory sets make comeback with two Donruss sets

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Don’t call it a comeback — but it is.

Panini America is offering its 2014 Donruss release in factory set form and a second boxed set as well — 2014 Donruss The Rookies.

Both are scheduled to start arriving next Wednesday (Nov. 19) but both are available now for pre-ordering on iCollectPanini.com.

The Donruss factory set includes 356 cards — 255 standard cards from this year’s Series 1 and Series 2 releases along with none Rated Rookies Materials card or one The Rookies Signature Update per set. Also included will be 60 Diamond Kings and 40 Rated Rookies, which were a tad shorter-printed in wax pack form. The set is $100 and limited to only 2,014 copies. Among the signers for this one will be National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, Jon Singleton, Jace Peterson, C.J. Cron and Joe Panik. Players with Rated Rookies Materials will be Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Abreu, Oscar Taveras, Gregory Polanco, George Springer, Yordano Ventura and Billy Hamilton to name a few

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Rare memorabilia pieces get rides in Classics

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Sometimes, the rarities are right in front of you — and it’s got nothing to do with serial-numbering.

That’s the case with a handful of cards that Panini America teased Friday from its forthcoming 2014 Panini Classics baseball set that arrives next Wednesday. (Click here for our First Look.)

While first-time memorabilia card appearances of Hall of Famers such as Roger Bresnahan and Gabby Hartnett were touted by the company, there were a few other players among its teaser images who are rarely on memorabilia cards at all — added silent bonuses for those who find them. With vintage players, the memorabilia pieces can be much harder to find, leading to far fewer memorabilia cards than collectors might think.

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Fab Five: Rare Mike Trout autographs to chase

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

One thing’s probably certain in today’s baseball card landscape — Mike Trout autographs won’t be getting easier to land any time soon.

When the Los Angeles Angels outfielder became a Topps-exclusive card-signer last month, that was one sign that he’ll be signing less — and probably for more money per signature. Another sign that more rarity should become a reality was when he was named the youngest unanimous American League MVP in the history of the game.

Not bad for a 23-year-old who hit 36 homers and drove in 111 runs while hitting .287 in just his third full season.

It’s a no-brainer that Trout has quickly become the king of the hobby — at least among current players — an unquestioned diamond king today.

Here are my picks for five cool Trout autographed cards — not the most-important cards, just impressive ones — after the jump.

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BGS Diary Predictor: What will he submit?

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We recently introduced the BGS Diary (click to read) 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.

That was last month’s BGS submission. For this month, we’re getting a bit interactive. He’s prepared his five cards for grading 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?

November BGS Diary Predictor: What will Olds submit?

  • 1980 Topps #482 Rickey Henderson RC (54%, 86 Votes)
  • 2011 Topps Stickers #21 Nick Swisher (40%, 63 Votes)
  • 1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana RC (38%, 60 Votes)
  • 1957 Topps #35 Frank Robinson RC (37%, 59 Votes)
  • 2010 Bowman Chrome 18U USA Baseball Refractors #18BC8 Bryce Harper (36%, 57 Votes)
  • 1986 Donruss #39 Jose Canseco RC (35%, 56 Votes)
  • 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Autographs #JBE Dr. Jim Beckett (31%, 50 Votes)
  • 2013 Topps WWE Diva Centerfolds #1 AJ Lee (25%, 39 Votes)
  • 2001 Topps Heritage #316 Cal Ripken SP (16%, 26 Votes)
  • 1971-72 Topps #4 John Johnson RC (9%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 159

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The File: AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber

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Kluber

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The File on … American League Cy Young Award-winner Corey Kluber as seen in this month’s Beckett Baseball.

Corey Kluber
Starting Pitcher, Cleveland Indians
2014 Stats: 18-9, 2.44 ERA, 269 strikeouts, 51 walks, 235 innings pitched

Quick, name a pitcher in recent Cleveland Indians history to strike out more batters in a single season than this right-hander did this year. The only way you might be right is if you said Ricky Vaughn because his stats are a bit hazy. Nobody on the Indians’ real Major League field has struck out more batters in recent years or recent decades. Kluber posted the best Indians season since 1970 and the sixth-best in the history of the franchise.

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First look: 2014 Panini National Treasures

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

National Treasures is back in baseball.

Panini America revealed the first looks and details for 2014 Panini National Treasures on Wednesday, a second edition of the high-end brand that will pack eight autographs and/or memorabilia cards in every box when it arrives on Dec. 17.

Every box will include at least four autographs and one booklet card. There will be eight types of booklet cards for collectors to find, while Panini also touts that it will have more on-card autographs than the landmark 2012 release.

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Panini America adds Texas Longhorns to licenses

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America hooked ‘em.

The University of Texas Longhorns are the latest major college to sign on with Panini America as its push to become an industry leader in the college ranks continues. The school’s logo will now be used in the company’s baseball, football and basketball products on an exclusive basis with Longhorns-focused multi-sport products also on the tarmac beginning in the spring.

“We are very happy to have The University of Texas join Panini as an exclusive partner. The Longhorns have such a great heritage and continue to produce top student-athletes that go on to very successful professional careers,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO in a prepared release. “We look forward to getting started and producing great products for Longhorns fans.”

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First look: 2015 Topps Tier One baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Tier One is back for another high-end run.

Topps revealed the first glimpses and basic details for 2015 Topps Tier One on Wednesday, a high-end brand that returns for a fifth season in the lineup from the longest-running MLB card manufacturer.

It will pack two autographs and a Relic in every box — and every fourth pack will have a pair of Relics. The standard autographs in this hit-based brand will be from New Guard (one per pack), Tier One (one per case), Acclaimed autos, Clear Ones, Duals or Triple auto sets when it arrives on May 20, while there also will be autographed Relics in the mix, too.

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Ballpark Blueprints offer technical look at game

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

America’s football and baseball stadiums are the homes to the action that our pastimes provide, but they are also shrines to the technology of architecture.

For one company, it’s that technology that’s also become a collectible.

Erie, Colo.-based Ballpark Blueprints offers blueprint-style lithographs for sports fans for two sports and has done so since 2002. Two sports get the primary focus of the company — baseball as well as football on both the pro and college level. Presently there are 34 prints available — 17 baseball stadiums, two American League and National League composite pieces showing all stadiums, eight college football venues and seven NFL stadiums.

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Award-winners star in latest Topps wall art line

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s award-winners can get more than a plaque to put on their wall.

Topps has begun revealing its latest wall art line, the 2014 MLB Awards Collection, with the two Rookie of the Year winners — New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu — and there should be more to come with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announcing the Cy Young winners tonight and the MVP winners on Thursday.

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Beckett 20 Questions … on autographs

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Our next Beckett Sports Card Monthly is one of our favorites — and apparently one of yours, too — The Autograph Issue.

It’s the one time a year where we aim to explore the one thing that seemingly every collector can appreciate and a subject that can generate a lot of opinions at times, too.

How? Just bring up these two words … sticker autographs.

Here is our latest batch of 20 Questions — tell us what you think with the questions below and raise a few of your own at the end if you’d like. The results here will appear in the next magazine as they do in every month.

1. Did you like the way Topps distributed its 2013 Kris Bryant autos this year?

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2-sticker

2. Pick one: Sticker auto or no auto.

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See the rest of our questions … after the jump.

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Rusney Castillo, Brandon Finnegan headline Prizm

CastilloAuto

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s edition of Panini America‘s Prizm Perennial Draft Picks officially arrives tomorrow with two players already notable on cardboard.

They’re Boston Red Sox prospect Rusney Castillo, who signed a seven-year $72.5 million contract as a free agent from Cuba, and Brandon Finnegan, a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals who showed flashes of brilliance during the team’s postseason run.

Checklist details have not yet been released, but you can expect many of this year’s top draft picks on cards and with autographs in the product while Panini also has teased the presence of autographs from Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones and others.

See a selection of images released by Panini for this one … after the jump.

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Derek Jeter gets his own line of McFarlanes

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Derek Jeter‘s not done yet — at least not if McFarlane Toys has anything to do with it.

The recently retired New York Yankees shortstop and future Hall of Famer is the subject of a recently released line of limited-edition figures from the company — every figure is limited to only 3,000 serial-numbered copies and each figure notes one of Jeter’s World Series appearances with his team.

Unlike standard SportsPicks, these figures come boxed with each figure also including a replica World Series trophy.

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Top 5: Jacob deGrom’s key baseball cards

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November 11 - DeGrom Bowman

By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst

New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom walked away with the National League Rookie of the Year award yesterday, garnering 26 of the 30 first place votes. The right-went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 144 strikeouts in little more than 140 innings of work.

With only 122 cards in the Beckett.com Online Price Guide, deGrom collectors do not have many options when it comes to collecting his cardboard, though he’s sure to have plenty to choose from in the late-season 2014 products and the forthcoming 2015 products.

Below, you’ll find some of deGrom’s best cards to add your collection.

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Top 12: Military-themed sports sets to own

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If you’re gung-ho to start a military segment of your sports card collection, it won’t be tough as there are many ways you can go about it and many, many options out there for you to explore. Besides collecting players who have military ties — or perhaps even NASCAR drivers who have been sponsored by branches of the Armed Forces — there are also many complete brands or insert sets from the sports card world that have a service focus.

Here are a dozen places for you to start.

1991ToppsDesertstorm

 

ONE FOR THE TROOPS
1991 Topps Desert Shield >> 792 cards $7,043
Back in 1991, Topps created a standalone foil-stamped product that paralleled its baseball set. The Desert Shield cards were all 792 standard cards with an added foil stamp — but they might as well have been gold for collectors. Why? They were produced to be given away to those in uniform, and many of those people might not have cared about cards. That, in part, explains the big price tag here. These cards also are heavily counterfeited with fake foil stamping, so buy graded copies of key cards if you’re chasing them. The biggest card here? Chipper Jones’ debut — a $300 card raw, much more if it’s graded. Interestingly, this isn’t the only military-only issue from Topps at that time as it made a 30-card Commanders of the Hill set that was only sold along with Coca-Cola on bases back in 1993.

See the rest … after the jump.

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Panini’s Immaculate racks up big-dollar sales

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ParkerImm

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

A funny thing happened when doing some research for the upcoming Autograph Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

I kept on noticing high-dollar Panini Immaculate auctions.

Shaquille O’Neal autographed Logoman went for $8,999. The Tony Parker here? An eBay Best Offer of somewhere between $5,999 and its posted $8,999 was accepted. A Derrick Rose Sneak Peek patch auto card showcasing a jumbo swatch with an autograph off of a game-used shoe? A mere $3,605. A Chris Andersen — Chris Andersen! — Logoman auto redemption went for $2,999.95.

There are many, many more examples of this, though, granted, this is a high-dollar brand from Panini America. It’s a brand that’s been around just two seasons in basketball and arrived this year in baseball, packing plenty of  autographs and memorabilia cards into its boxes.

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First look: 2014 Panini USA Baseball set

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The latest edition of Panini America‘s USA Baseball offerings is here and it’s got plenty of the Red, White and Blue.

And some Cubbie Blue, too.

The annual USA Baseball boxed set is set to arrive on Dec. 3 with top MLB prospect and future Chicago Cub Kris Bryant among the headliners as he’s a USA Baseball alum. Each set will include 77 standard cards showing the 25 members of the College National Team, 19 members of the 18-U team, 19 members of the 15-U team and 14 other basic cards. Then, of course, there will be one Red & Blue Prizm card, seven autographs and two materials cards per set for a total of 87 cards per factory set.

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National Treasures teasers continue from Panini

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The National Treasures teases just keep coming — with some big names.

How big? Kris Bryant, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds and Masahiro Tanaka to name a few — in other words some of the biggest sluggers in baseball history alongside some of the biggest rookies and prospects in the game today.

When’s it all coming from Panini America? Nothing has yet been formally announced, but it will be arriving before the end of the calendar year. (Likely mid-December.)

Check out a selection of images … after the jump.

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Latest Topps wall art line is all Finest 1/1s

TroutFinest

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ latest line of MLB wall art might be its finest — and rarest — one yet.

Every piece in the Topps Finest Metal line is a 1/1 creation — a lineup of 52 cards from 2014 Finest blown up to 10-by-14 inches and printed on 1.2 mm metal stock.

The line includes a mix of past and present players on a mix of basic and insert cards from the product with each piece selling for $199.99 only on Topps.com.

The lineup includes Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jose Abreu, Masahiro Tanaka, Derek Jeter, Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench, Nolan Ryan, Yu Darvish and Buster Posey to name a few.

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World Series champion Giants get Oyo figures

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It will be a while before we see baseball cards of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, but Oyo Sports isn’t toying around with its postseason tribute.

Fifteen members of the Giants squad can already be found with World Series commemorative figures from the Lego-style toy manufacturer. Everyone from World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner to journeyman Travis Ishikawa can be had in figure form with World Series-specific notations on the toys as well as World Series packaging.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Supreme baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Preview Gallery: 2014 Topps Dynasty baseball

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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 Nov. 19 release and here is a selection of new images released since the last time we checked in on the brand.

The brand is 2014 Topps Dynasty and its single-pack boxes are currently pre-selling somewhere in the $375 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.”

Check out a gallery of images from Topps and let us know what you think … after the jump.

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