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Category Archives: Baseball

20 Questions: College autos & disgraced stars

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It’s a busy time in the sports world as nearly all of the major sports are playing — and it’s just as busy of a year with headlines away from the field impacting collectables, too.

We want to know what you think of it all for the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

Check out our latest 20 Questions below and offer any extra comments if you feel the need.

1. Which sport are you collecting most these days?

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2. Do you feel active college athletes should be able to sign autographs for money?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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First look: 2015 Topps Opening Day baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Opening Day comes early for baseball fans ripping into 2015 Topps Opening Day baseball cards.

It arrives on March 18.

Each 36-pack box of the product will include a selection of cards from the 200-card base set with 75 of those being players who won’t arrive until Series 2 in the Topps flagship baseball set. Each of the base cards will have an Opening Day parallel limited to only 2,015 copies, 1/1 printing plates and — new this year — a 1/1 Opening Day Edition parallel, too.

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Box Busters: 2014 Panini Hall of Fame 75 Years baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2014 Panini Hall of Fame 75 Years in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps Wall Art takes postseason twist with Player of the Game series

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ latest Wall Art series is on that’s focusing on the stars of the postseason — the top players of each game so far.

They’re the focus of the Player of the Game line that arrived online Thursday.

The standard red-framed prints are 10-by-14 and printed on 16-point vintage card stock and are limited to just 25 serial-numbered copies. Those cost $29.99 on Topps.com. Each player also has a blue-framed 1/1 version that costs $99.99.

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Does ESPN’s Cleveland Issue get collectors and The National wrong … or right?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

LeBron. Johnny Bench Football. Draft Day on DVD. The recent National Sports Collectors convention.

Those are a few signs that Cleveland rocks these days when it comes to the sports world, but yet another might be ESPN The Magazine’s “Cleveland Issue” — a magazine that (oddly) features Derek Jeter on its cover but explores many of the narratives putting the focus on the city these days.

One item that didn’t make the issue — but it’s online for all of us to see — is an online-exclusive piece by Mini Kimes that takes us all back to the NSCC, which is described as “a 500,000-square-foot yard sale dreamed up by middle-aged men with childlike hobbies.”

Maybe it progresses from there, maybe it doesn’t — I’ll let you decide and tell us below — but its focus on Cleveland and its misery might be more apt than its take on the hobby — one that I see as a big business and a hobby, too. It’s fueled by the interest of fans of all types and all tastes.

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.

Your Turn: How does Topps Dynasty look so far?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The priciest single-card pack of baseball cards in Topps history is coming on Nov. 21 — and we want to know what you think.

The company teased this week the first images of final cards from 2014 Topps Dynasty — a pack that’s currently pre-selling somewhere in the $375 range online.

Topps 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.”

Let us know what you think in the comments below and take our poll.

Your Turn: What's your first impression of Topps Dynasty 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.

Box Busters Preview: 2014 Topps Stadium Club baseball cards

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

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2014 Panini Classics baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

After nearly a decade on the bench, Classics is back.

Panini America announced its return on Tuesday with 2014 Panini Classics, the latest edition of the brand that was a Donruss/Playoff staple from 2001 to 2005. It returns as a product with 24 packs per hobby box with two autographs, two memorabilia cards and plenty more inside. It will use the familiar mini box format from the brand’s past with one auto and one mem per box when it arrives on Nov. 5.

Among the firsts in this one are the first memorabilia cards for Hall of Famers Roger Bresnahan and Gabby Hartnett among a lineup of memorabilia cards that celebrates the game’s past as well as its present. The company touted six memorabilia sets in the product with three types of cards carrying autographs.

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Baseball’s postseason teams get concert treatment in latest Topps Wall Art offering

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The postseason darlings — and postseason dogs — have their day in the latest Topps Wall Art offering.

The latest line of posters is the Topps Concert Poster series, which emulate the colorful but simple concert posters and fliers of the past. They highlight eight postseason teams with two versions of poster per team — one with familiar team colors and one with a tri-color design.

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Beckett Baseball 20 Questions … on the 2014 season and its cardboard so far

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The regular season is over and the preseason is in full swing — but we’re not even close to done on cardboard.

Take a break from the action and check out our latest 20 Questions on the best players of 2014 as well as offer your take on today’s cardboard and more.

1. In what year did American League batting champ Jose Altuve make his MLB card debut?

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2. Would you buy an autograph of AL home run king Nelson Cruz?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Your Turn: How important is a card’s photograph?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

They say a photo is worth a thousand words, but how important is a photo in today’s sports card landscape that’s heavily populated by autographs and game-used memorabilia swatches (and plenty more)?

The arrival of 2014 Topps Stadium Club this week makes this question even more interesting as the 200-card base set is full of non-traditional photographs — a nod to the brand’s 1991 roots that included portraits tuxedo-clad pitchers and plenty of striking images.

The David Ortiz Presidential Selfie Card along with Barack Obama is merely a standard card in the set — and there are plenty of fun ones like it. (Go look up Evan Gattis, Ted Williams, Derek Jeter, Nolan Ryan and Lou Gehrig cards for some striking images.)

So, all that said, we simply want to know … does the photo make the card?

Tell us in the comments below and take our poll so we know how you feel about the topic.

Your Turn: Grade the photo editing in 2014 Topps Stadium Club

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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.

Return of the shunned: Our hobby can be forgiving

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By Ben Aguirre | Guest Commentary

It’s often said that baseball is an unforgiving sport. The mere fact that a success rate of 30 percent at the plate — or a .300 batting average — is often the benchmark for a good hitter is indicative of this.

But when it comes to the hobby of collecting baseball cards, the sport often seems very forgiving, at least for most players.

Players are not perfect. They are human. They make mistakes and then they “make mistakes,” a phrase often thrown around immediately after a player confesses or is caught doing something they shouldn’t have.

Drinking and driving? “It was a mistake.”

Missing the team flight due to excessive partying? “It was a mistake.”

Caught with performance-enhancing drugs in your system? “It was a mistake.”

In the last decade or so, baseball has taken a big hit with PED scandals. This is not news. Jose Canseco, once one of the game’s most-feared sluggers, opened Pandora’s Box in the early 2000s when he released his self-penned book Juiced, which opened the flood gates detailing — at least in Canseco’s words — the rampant PED use in the sport, including a self-admission.

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Box Busters: 2014 Panini Immaculate Collection baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2014 Panini Immaculate Collection cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

First look: 2014 Panini Prizm Perrennial Draft Picks

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Baseball’s latest crop of draft picks will be showcased on an even larger rainbow as Panini America released the basic information on its 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Picks baseball cards.

Packing three autographs, three serial-numbered Prizms and two more Prizms in every 12-pack hobby box, the second year of the product will include some additional new features as well when it arrives on Nov. 12.

New this year will be Powder Blue (/199), Purple (/149), Blue Mojo (/75) and Orange (/60) parallels with new autograph finds as well — Midnight Ink Mojo Diecuts (/50) and Finite Diecut Prizms (/25).

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Box Busters: 2014 Bowman Chrome baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2015 Topps Museum Collection baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is promising another trip to the Museum.

The company revealed the first looks and the basics for 2015 Topps Museum Collection on Wednesday, a hit-based product with one autographed or Relic in every pack of every four-pack box that arrives on April 1.

Every box includes one autograph, one auto Relic, one quad Relic and one jumbo Relic as has been the norm in previous years.

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Card Gallery: 2014 Topps Stadium Club baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Stadium Club returns Wednesday after six years on the bench with a new array of inserts and autographs to chase as Topps revisits the venerable 1990s brand with a high-end twist.

With a new configuration of three mini boxes per overall box and six packs inside similar to Finest, Stadium Club will deliver the hits with an autograph in every single mini. It’s the first Stadium Club set since 2008, a high-end release back then. It did not return in 2009.

This time around, the base set will consist of 200 cards and here’s a small sampling of a bit of everything found in the brand … after the jump.

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First look: 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Gypsy Queen turns five next year.

Set to arrive on April 15, 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen will arrive with the latest new look and retro style for the popular brand with two autographs and two Relics per 24-pack hobby box. It also will include one 10-card mini-box as a box-topper in its fifth season of release.

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The Journey of Derek Jeter — A year-by-year look at The Captain’s career on cardboard

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

If you’re a certain age, you’ve grown up with him on your television or on your cardboard. If you’re a bit more advanced in age, you’ve grown old with him on the field perhaps evoking memories of similar pinstriped superstars of your youth that you might have loved or hated.

Either way, something is about to change.

The twilight of Derek Jeter’s spotless journey with the New York Yankees is coming to a close with a few days all that remain in the hourglass called his career. Sure, everything ultimately will be documented on the stat sheet, on cardboard (of course) and on DVDs and memory reels to come for decades, but the chance to see a new highlight is coming to a close quickly.

That’s life.

We’ve known Derek Jeter on cardboard far longer than just his last 20 seasons as a big-leaguer — all spent at shortstop for the New York Yankees. While he made his Bronx debut back in 1995, his debut on cardboard came with 20 draft picks and minor league cards from various card companies way back in 1992.

Classic, Front Row, Little Sun, Fleer and more captured The Captain long before he held that title — long before we knew him to be anything more than just another new guy with potential. Long before we came to know him as Mr. November.

Taken with the sixth pick in the 1992 MLB Draft behind MLB non-luminaries Phil Nevin, Paul Shuey, B.J. Wallace, Jeffrey Hammonds and Chad Mottola, Jeter was the first high-schooler selected that year. Five summers from now he should be the first — and potentially only — member of that draft class to find himself in Cooperstown. (Sorry, Johnny Damon.)

Whether you remember Jeter more in his early days fresh out of Kalamazoo Central High School or just in classy blue pinstripes as a Top Prospect who actually delivered, we know that, as a collector, you probably have a memory or two about Jeter cardboard from the past.

If not, we’ll revisit each of Jeter’s 20 seasons as a big-leaguer after the jump, noting just how many of his 14,000-plus cards in the Beckett.com database came from that season and presenting some highlight-worthy cards from the more than $380,000-plus in cardboard (excluding rarities) that are out there for us to chase.

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What’s in your Relic? Exploring some 2014 Allen & Ginter oddities

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Each and every year, Topps’ Allen & Ginter brand of baseball cards ups the ante with unusual Relics that go right alongside some of the eccentric choices found as card subjects. Here’s a sampling of the unusual Relics in this year’s set.

No Secret With Silent Bob
What’s inside filmmaker Kevin Smith’s Allen & Ginter Relic in this year’s set? It’s no surprise, really, as he’s shown wearing one of his Edmonton Oilers-style SIR hockey jerseys and that’s what is in the card. The creator of an empire with Clerks and his other View Askew films also has a network of podcasts and SIR is an abbreviation for SModcast Internet Radio, its collective name. It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Smith in a new trading card set but it is since it’s been a long time since his film Mallrats had its own card set. This hardcore hockey fan helped finance his first film by selling his comic book collection and his empire has had plenty of merch through the years, too. You can check it all out over on jayandsilentbob.com.

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Card Gallery: 2014 Panini Immaculate’s game-used baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

While we visited Panini America headquarters this week for a look inside the vault at some key pieces of game-used memorabilia for the upcoming Game-used Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, there was even more action elsewhere in the Dallas area as Panini’s latest baseball product was being packed at the printing facility.

The debut edition of Panini Immaculate arrives  on Wednesday, and it’s got some game-changing jumbo game-used memorabilia cards inside — cards that will demand you stop and look.

Here’s a selection of images straight from Panini after the jump — and you can see more by clicking here and here.

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First look: 2014 Topps Heritage High Number baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is turning back the clock to 1965 once again this season.

How? With the 2014 Topps Heritage High Number set, a 100-card offering that will arrive via a boxed set on Oct. 29.

Each factory set will include one autographed Rookie Card and there will be 24 sets per case.

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You want our rare cards? We want to see your SuperCollector submissions & your deadline is Dec. 8

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We pulled a pretty sweet 1/1 Craig Kimbrel Relic booklet out of Triple Threads and a rare rookie parallel of Teddy Bridgewater out of Rookies & Stars (/5) and we want them to be yours.

BridgewaterTwo collectors will get their hands on them if they submit their SuperCollector stories for the upcoming annual SuperCollector showcase issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

Your deadline is Dec. 8.

We run SuperCollector nearly every month in the magazine, setting aside space for your stories, your photos and your information. This time, though, it’s our annual showcase issue where we highlight 15 to 20 collectors for the world to see.

Perhaps it’s because of your massive collection of Larry Bird cards — or perhaps it’s for your stash of hundreds of through-the-mail baseball autographs. Whatever it is that you collect, we want to hear about it, whether it’s baseball, football, basketball or hockey — or any other sport … or non-sports … or whatever you can imagine.

After the jump, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to enter — what to say, what to send and where.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Triple Threads baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Triple Threads in this edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Oh, and that big card that was pulled? It’s going out to one of you … get those SuperCollector entries ready. (More to come on that later.)

Mets rookie Jacob DeGrom gets his first autograph — via Topps Finest rookie redemptions

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

New York Mets rookie pitcher Jacob deGrom finally has an autographed card and it can be found in packs of 2014 Topps Finest.

But you won’t see his name anywhere on the redemption card as he’s presently known as “Rookie Auto Redemption No. 2.”

Topps revealed all three of the subjects in this year’s set on Thursday morning and the ninth-round draft pick from 2010 isn’t even the top pitcher on the list, despite his 8-6, 2.68 ERA-season as a rookie in The Big Apple.

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