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Category Archives: Baseball

Vintage logos and player caricatures lead way in latest Topps wall art line


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is turning back the clock and turning to caricature art in its latest line of wall art arriving on Topps.com today.

The Topps MLB Illustration line is reminiscent of the 1961 Topps Magic Rub-offs with more than 30 team logos and player prints available as 11-by-17 prints that are each numbered to just 99 copies.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Series 2 in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn loses cancer battle at age 54


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One of baseball’s good guys is gone.

San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn, a member of the 3,000-hit club and a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2007, died Monday after batting cancer. He was 54.

Nicknamed “Mr. Padre,” he was an All-Star in 15 of his 20 big-league seasons in which he hit .338 and won eight National League batting titles — all with the Padres. While his career average ranks 20th in MLB history, he also was a five-time Gold Glove winner playing outfield.

“Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn,” said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. “The greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life. … For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the National Pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched. On behalf of all of our Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Tony’s wife Alicia, their son Tony Jr. of the Phillies, their daughter Anisha, the Padres franchise, his fans in San Diego and his many admirers throughout Baseball.”

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Box Busters: 2014 Panini America Father’s Day promo packs + Timeless Treasures basketball cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2013-14 Timeless Treasures basketball and the eight Panini America Father’s Day promo packs that came with his purchase.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Major League anniversary also includes commemorative mini bats and two MiLB giveaways


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you thought the Major League madness was over, well, think again.

The 25th anniversary of the film that brought Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano and Roger Dorn to life has generated some red-hot baseball cards from Topps this summer — and the commemorative items for the fictional Cleveland Indians team just keep coming with the latest coming from Florida-based ReelBats.com.

They’re 25th anniversary Cerrano mini bats.

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Your Turn: Sabermetrics get showcase on short-printed 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Look closely at the backs of some of your 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball cards and you might not recognize the stats headers on some of the cards — or maybe even the stats themselves.

That’s because they are short-printed Sabermetrics variation cards.

While the full details about these cards continue to trickle in, we simply want to know what you think about this cardboard twist.

Tell us in the comments below.

Your Turn: Do you want Sabermetrics on your 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.

Beckett 20 Questions on … Cleveland and the National Sports Collectors Convention


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Cleveland will become the center of the collecting universe for five days beginning on July 30 as the 35th edition of the National Sports Collectors Convention takes place with all of the major manufacturers, dealers and thousands of collectors under one roof.

We’re curious about what you know about Cleveland, so here are the latest 20 questions all with an NSCC or Cleveland-centric twist.

1. Which of these cities is the host of next year's NSCC?

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2. Who is the priciest signer (starting fee) at this year's NSCC?

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See the rest of our questions … after the jump.


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Snoopy makes cameo on Joe Mauer’s short-printed 2014 Topps Series 2 baseball card


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Snoopy and Joe Mauer on a baseball card.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Collectors tearing into packs of 2014 Topps Series 2, which officially arrived today have found a short-printed version of card No. 125 (which is actually a Series 1 card) in the packs — a card with the Minnesota Twins star sharing his card with the Peanuts icon.


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Topps’ latest MLB wall art offering revisits the 1955 Topps baseball card design


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you’re a fan of 1955 Topps baseball cards, then the company’s latest creation is for you.

It’s Topps‘ latest series of wall art prints — and this time they showcase active players on the memorable horizontal design.

Sixty-two players are available on 10-by-14 prints that are printed on 16-point retro-style card stock. Those cost $24.99 and can only be found on Topps.com.

For card collectors, there’s an extra twist, though.

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MLB Draft: Your team’s newest players probably already have baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When the Houston Astros selected 17-year-old left-hander Brady Aiken with the first pick in this year’s MLB Draft on Thursday night, he immediately had a new fan base that probably can’t wait to seek out his cardboard.

The irony? They already can.

Thanks to the proliferation of pre-professional prospecting products and other All-Star inclusions, many players in this year’s draft — 28 of the first 41 players selected — already appear on cardboard and have certified autographs.

Aiken? Thanks to his presence on USA Baseball squads as well as appearances in the Perfect Game All-American Classic and other prep events, he already appears on 72 cards in the Beckett.com database valued (excluding rarities) at nearly $200 total.

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Latest Topps wall art offering celebrates baseball heroes


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Who’s your baseball hero? He might be among the players in Topps‘ latest vintage-style wall art offering.

The “My Hero Collection” is one of the largest offerings yet with 50 players from the past and present represented on a design reminiscent of the 1967 Topps test issue.

This time around, though, they are 11-by-17 prints printed on 18-point chipboard that are serial-numbered to 99 copies and cost $49.99 apiece on Topps.com.

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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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