Category Archives: Basketball

Ripping Retail: What’s inside a 1986-87 Fleer basketball pack?

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Beckett Media’s Chris Olds caught up with a collector named Dylan to rip a pack of the iconic 1986-87 Fleer basketball set — home of the Michael Jordan Rookie Card.

Will he land one? Watch and find out …

John Smoltz, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar join Panini America VIP party guest list

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One of the newest Baseball Hall of Famers, a hardcourt legend and two more young NBA stars have been added to the Panini America VIP Party guest list for Saturday night.

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz and Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar headline the latest batch of signers for the exclusive event. Joining them will be Chicago Bulls rookie Bobby Portis and Milwaukee Bucks star Jabari Parker, who also were announced on Friday.

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Scenes at the show: National Sports Collectors Convention (Friday)

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You can find virtually anything at the National Sports Collectors Convention. Look for a gallery of images — just a small selection of scenes from the show — after the jump.

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Ripping Panini America NSCC wrapper redemption packs with Tracy Hackler

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Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds joins Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler to rip some wrapper redemption packs from the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

We’ll give away some of the hits in this break randomly to commenters … so let us know what you think.

Nickels turned into thousands via vintage wax

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A visual tour of just some of the vintage wax boxes and packs at the Baseball Card Exchange booth at the NSCC. So much pocket change turned into thousands of dollars. Check it out …

Box Busters: 2014-15 Panini Excalibur basketball

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Eric Norton and Chris Olds as they rip into premium boxes of 2014-15 Panini Excalibur in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Memorabilia from historic Jordan game up for auction

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Heritage Auctions has put a major piece of NBA history up for bidding as the backboard and rim from Michael Jordan‘s final game as a member of the Chicago Bulls can be owned by a lucky collector.

This item is the net upon which one of the most notable shots in basketball history was made. On June 14, 1998, the Bulls were poised to eliminate the Utah Jazz and earn the second three-peat in franchise history and Jordan delivered an incredible 45-point performance. With less than a minute to go and down by three points, Jordan scored on a layup and then stole the ball from Karl Malone soon before sinking his last shot, a 20-foot jumper, and taking an 87-86 lead and, ultimately, the championship. The moment has gone down in sporting history as “The Shot” and the game itself had the highest television ratings for an NBA game.

“This is arguably the most recognizable basket and backboard in the sport,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage in a press release. “The story of the greatest basketball player of all time effectively ended here, in the glass and metal of this special artifact. To own this is to secure ultimate bragging rights in the highly-competitive world of Michael Jordan collectibles.”

When does bidding end for this piece of history? Find out after the jump. Read More »

SCP Auctions partners with Basketball Hall of Fame

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

SCP Auctions has been named the new official auction and appraisal partner for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

As part of their multi-year partnership, fans and collectors will be able to experience an annual auction where the Hoop Hall will benefit from the proceeds. In addition to this, SCP has become a key sponsor of festivities for the upcoming Class of 2015 Enshrinement and is a partner for the annual Family Reunion Dinner that is scheduled to take place on September 10. This year, the Hall of Fame will welcome legendary talents that include Dikembe Mutombo, Jo Jo White, and Lisa Leslie.

“SCP Auctions is extremely proud and excited to be the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s new auction partner,” said SCP Auctions President David Kohler. “As one of the country’s premier sports memorabilia auction houses, we look forward to creating a great working relationship with the Hall of Fame as well as with many of basketball’s greatest legends.” Read More »

Beckett 20 Questions on … college cardboard

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

School ties are seemingly everywhere on cardboard from the past and present. Now they’re the focus here for our latest 20 Questions …

1. Do you buy or collect college cards?

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2. Did you attend a school commonly found on cards?

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3. Which do you prefer best?

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First Look: 2014-15 Panini Excalibur

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America has tried something new with some of its NBA releases this season and partnered up with Target to ensure that three of them were going to be exclusive to the retail giant. With Prestige and Threads getting new life brought into them in recent months by becoming retail exclusive, the company has announced that 2014-15 Panini Excalibur is on the way and it will be showing up on store shelves as early as next week.

New to the basketball market, there are only scant details available regarding Excalibur at this time, but Panini has noted that it will be available in three different formats. The most expensive is the Premium box which is set to contain three autograph or memorabilia hits along with at least three always-popular Crusade cards. For those that want to dabble first but at least pull something decent, blaster boxes will retail at $34.99. Finally, gravity feed packs provide a realistic shot at a good pull (two autograph or memorabilia cards per box)  without having to put much money down at the cash register.

What else is expected in packs of 2014-15 Panini Excalibur? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2014-15 Panini Preferred + win our book

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds and Eric Norton as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Panini Preferred in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

How can you win the big card in the break? Find out after the jump …

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Panini gives a virtual look at NBA draftees

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The 2015 NBA Draft saw 60 up-and-coming players chosen by the league’s clubs and in a matter of months, several of them will be making an impact with basketball card collectors in next season’s trading card releases from Panini America which start hitting store shelves in October with 2015-16 NBA Hoops.

Earlier that day, Panini had announced that they had signed contracts with approximately 50 players that were eligible for the draft. During the event, however, the hobby received a sneak peek at that product’s design as the company’s design team was busy creating cards and communications staff went into overdrive on their social media feeds to show off the first virtual trading cards of many picks. Starting with first overall selection Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the company created cards for nine of the top 10 picks and added several more throughout the night.

Look at the “first” Panini trading cards of next season’s hot rookies after the jump. Read More »

Panini Signs Five Top NBA Draft Prospects

Panini America 2015 NBA Draft Karl-Anthony Towns

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The 2015 NBA Draft will take place tonight, but Panini America has already been busy inking exclusive trading card deals with five prospects that are projects to be selected in the first round.

Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay, D’Angelo Russell, and Jerian Grant will be a big part of the company’s plans for next season as they will be a part of products in their collegiate and NBA lineups. The Minnesota Timberwolves have the first pick and many believe that they will choose Towns.

“The NBA Draft is always a key time for us at Panini America because it signifies the official start to a new season – and the grand introduction of the NBA’s next wave of superstars,” said Panini’s CEO, Mark Warsop. “Many of the players selected Thursday night – including the five newest exclusive members of the Panini America family – will be driving forces for our licensed trading card products for years to come; and that’s just as exciting for fans and collectors as it is for us.”

How many other NBA prospects has Panini signed? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Panini Gala

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Basketball is truly a global game and collectors outside of North America are often a serious and dedicated group. In recognition of the NBA’s presence on the international scene, Panini America has developed a high-end product which will be heading exclusively to those markets this summer and it may make some waves on a global scale.

As the current season drew to a close, the company gave the hobby a small preview of 2014-15 Panini Gala through its official blog. Loaded up with three autographs, a limited base card and a memorabilia card in each box, collectors will also be compelled by the fact that every card in this product is limited to 99 copies or less.

What else can be found in 2014-15 Panini Gala? Find out after the jump. Read More »

The Warriors are Golden once again

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By Derek Ficken | Beckett Basketball Analyst | Commentary

First off, as a Bay Area native, I want to congratulate the Golden State Warriors players, front office, and especially the fans.

What an amazing 2014-15 NBA season that was capped off with “dethroning” the King, LeBron James. With this recent NBA championship, many collectors should start buying into their stock. This team is compiled of many role players and it was the reason opponents had such a hard time figuring out their game plan.

With veterans like David Lee and Andre Iguodala, as well as young leaders in Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, this team is stacked for a long-run of potential success. Will the recent success of Iguodala translate into big values on cardboard? Has Curry exceeded his value this season? Read More »

Considering autograph signings at the National? Here’s a rundown of who is appearing …

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The National Sports Collectors Convention is set for Chicago beginning on July 29 with more than 100 signers from the four major sports and beyond.

One highlight this year will be the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team reunion, while notables such as Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Allen Iverson and Greg Maddux also will be signing.

Here’s a rundown of this year’s schedule with beginning prices for each signer. (Click here for more info.)  Note: All times p.m. except where noted by *. Tickets for autographs from all members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team in attendance start at $399.

WEDNESDAY, July 29

Name Time Signing Fee
Rollie Fingers 4:30 Free
Pierre Pilote 4:30 Free
Bret Saberhagen 4:30 Free
Lem Barney 5:30 $39 and up
Ed Belfour 5:30 $60 and up
Tom Gordon 5:30 $39
Tony Esposito 5:45 $50 and up
Eric Hinske 5:45 $29 and up
Bobby Hull 6 $50 and up
Paul Konerko 6:15 $80
Fergie Jenkins 6:30 $40 and up
Chris Chelios 6:45 $50 and up
Jeremy Roenick 7 $60 and up

Olds’ Bargain Pick: It’s hard to beat free, so I’d go with Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers. His penmanship is as slick as his famous mustache.
The High-end Pick: There are a few hockey legends here but I’d go with Hall of Famer Chris Chelios.

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Shaq signs new deal with Upper Deck

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

One of the best-loved players in NBA history, Shaquille O’Neal gathered a legion of fans throughout his 19 NBA seasons and Upper Deck has signed a new autographed memorabilia deal which sees the creation of several premium pieces from Upper Deck Authenticated.

“Shaquille O’Neal’s charisma and fun-loving personality make him just as popular today as when he played for the NBA,” said Upper Deck’s President, Jason Masherah. “We’ve received many requests for his memorabilia over the years, and we are excited to bring fans this innovative new collection of premium Shaq collectibles.”

The Upper Deck Authenticated Shaq collection is set to include a variety of limited edition pieces that is highlighted by “The Show” – an image measuring 46″ x 20″ that includes the largest O’Neal signature ever produced. There will also be a “Tegata” piece featuring the big man’s handprint and the intriguing “Breaking Through” which depicts its subject ready to make a slam dunk and has a basketball coming through the Plexiglass.

How many cards of O’Neal are in the Beckett.com database? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2014-15 Panini Spectra basketball

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Panini Spectra in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

First Look: 2014-15 Panini Luxe

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Even though the current NBA season is in its final days, Panini America will still be busy in the coming weeks and months finishing out their production schedule with several high-end releases. This year, they have added an all-new product to the mix and 2014-15 Panini Luxe promises to be an exciting new part of their lineup that is expected to deliver plenty of autographs and colorful memorabilia pieces.

Arriving on store shelves in mid-July, Luxe will contain four premium cards per pack and three of them are hard-signed autographs. The other item inside is a jumbo prime memorabilia card and some of them will be die-cut. On top of that, every card is sequentially numbered to 99 copies or less.

What is expected in packs of 2014-15 Panini Luxe? Find out more and view an extensive gallery after the jump. Read More »

Topps adds NBA hopefuls to Allen & Ginter

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s Allen & Ginter set from Topps will be the home of autographs from legendary fictional fighters named Rocky Balboa and Thunderlips as well as future baseball Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki.

It will also include four potential NBA stars.

Read More »

Panini prepares NBA Finals promotion

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

While basketball fans around the world prepare to watch the opening game of the 2015 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, collectors will be able to enjoy a special bonus courtesy of Panini America in the form of special promotional packs that will contain some seriously limited autographed cards.

Those that make a qualifying purchase on iCollectPanini.com will receive a one-card pack for every $100 spent on the site and every card inside is numbered to 25 copies or less. Some of them will be one-of-one HyperPlaid parallels which could prove to be very popular on the secondary market. The roster of signers includes a strong mix of current stars, hot rookies and revered legends and they will only be available while supplies last.

What will you need to break to receive one of these packs? Look for an extensive gallery and find out more after the jump. Read More »

NBA Finals bring out superstar prices

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By Derek Ficken | Basketball Market Analyst | Commentary

The NBA Finals are quickly approaching, and the basketball market has been ramping up for a classic match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Many story lines are swirling around including this being the first Finals appearance since 1975 for the Warriors, as well as LeBron James coming home and potentially leading the Cavs to their first NBA championship in franchise history.

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Panini Father’s Day promo returns

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Now in its fourth straight year, Panini America‘s Father’s Day promotion has been a solid success for retailers and the company has released early details regarding what will be coming out of these popular packs once they start to hit local card stores next week.

Drawing from three different sports, many of today’s biggest stars and prospects will be present and accounted for as part of a 60-card set along with plenty of limited memorabilia cards. Traditionally handed out as a bonus to collectors purchasing Panini products, they also can act as a way for fathers to bond with their children over a pack of cards.

What are some of the cards included in 2015 Panini Father’s Day packs? Look for more information and a base set gallery after the jump. Read More »

Gallery: 2014-15 Panini Spectra

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 By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Basketball card collectors had better put on some shades as 2014-15 Panini Spectra is about to hit store shelves and the cards inside each box are going to dazzle thanks to the etched opti-chrome technology that Panini America used to make them.

Each box will contain eight cards and seven of them will feature autographs, memorabilia or a mixture of both. Earlier today, the company gave a sneak peek of some of the cardboard treasures headed into packs and their sample break showed a strong mix of players from the past and present along with a blast of color.

Look for an extensive gallery after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Panini National Treasures

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Expected to be a hot summer release once it hits the market in July, 2014-15 Panini National Treasures is back once again and it will be delivering a few new twists to an already-solid formula this time around.

Containing 10 cards per pack, there is a heavy focus on autographs and memorabilia with eight of those highly sought-after pieces being found inside. As always, Rookie Patch Autographs are expected to be a major part of this collection and with a strongly-hyped freshman class, the competition will be tight for big names. There are five different types of these cards to collect, including horizontal versions that contain a Logoman patch piece. The pieces on each card are large and often eye-catching as well.

Panini America is also debuting college-themed cards of rookie players, which may give an early indication of how they will incorporate these themes into their basketball products.

What else can collectors expect to find inside of 2014-15 Panini National Treasures? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Leaf reveals 2015 Greatest Hits original content

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

With 2015 Leaf Greatest Hits basketball expected to hit store shelves in June, collectors were not only anticipating a fantastic shot at pulling either a Michael Jordan autograph or 1986-87 Fleer Rookie Card, but there was also the promise of some original content to add more value to packs.

Leaf Trading Cards has revealed that each pack is set to contain one limited autograph card and the 18-card checklist includes several legends, cult heroes and young stars. No card is limited to more than 65 copies and there will be parallel versions that include 1/1s.

Whose signature can you potentially pull from packs? Read More »

First Look: 2015 Rittenhouse WNBA

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Rittenhouse Archives has produced one of the longest-running brands in the hobby over the past few years and their annual WNBA release has gathered a cult following which is known for delivering autographs from some of the best prospects in the game.

With 2015 Rittenhouse WNBA expected to hit the hobby in mid-August, each collector breaking open a factory set will receive ink from the top three picks in the 2015 WNBA Draft – Jewell Lloyd of the Seattle Storm, the Tulsa Shock’s Amanda Zahui B. and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who was picked by Seattle as well. Read More »

Your Turn: What makes the hobby fun?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

What makes the hobby fun?

It’s not an easy question to answer because so many different people collect for different reasons. It’s also a challenge because there are so many perspectives on what’s cool and what’s not when it comes to cardboard.

A simple card like that of the Rally Squirrel, a short-printed variation found in packs of 2012 Topps showing something that actually happened on an MLB field during an MLB game, can cause just as many groans as it does chuckles. But there’s no doubting that, no matter where you stand, it’s a fun card.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Collection

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Derek Ficken and Panini America‘s Keith Hower as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Collection in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out. What can you win from the break just by commenting? Find out … after the jump.

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BGS Diary Predictor (May): What will Olds submit?

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We recently introduced the BGS Diary 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.

He’s prepared his five cards for grading in March and we want to see if you can predict which of his cards will end up slabbed. Of the 10 cards listed below, a few are headed to Beckett Grading Services today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

May BGS Diary Predictor: Which cards will Olds submit?

  • 1965 Topps #122 Joe Namath SP RC, $1,800 (62%, 105 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps WWE Black #46 Lana, $30 (45%, 77 Votes)
  • 2008 USA Baseball National Team Starting Lineup Signatures #SL9 Danks, Forsythe, Alvarez, Smoak, Wallace, Paramore, Flaherty, Mercer, Kieschnick, Matusz, $N/A (35%, 60 Votes)
  • 1975 Topps Mini #63 Steve Swisher RC, 75 cents (34%, 58 Votes)
  • 1994 Fun Pack #170 Michael Jordan RC, $10 (34%, 57 Votes)
  • 1987 Topps Tiffany #620 Jose Canseco, $6 (32%, 55 Votes)
  • 1986-87 Fleer #120 Spud Webb RC, $15 (26%, 45 Votes)
  • 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Gold Refractors #71 Curtis Granderson, $125 (24%, 40 Votes)
  • 2013 Bowman Draft Draft Picks Purple Ice #BDPP19 Aaron Judge, $N/A (18%, 31 Votes)
  • 1992 Star Pics Autographs #27 Robert Horry, $80 (16%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 170

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PAST BGS DIARY POSTS

– October: Rookie Cards, Moneyball & Watergate

 November: Vintage, booklets Dr. Beckett & more

– December: Saban, Cerrano, Hawk, Animal & practice

– January: Bull Durham, Star hoops, “Macho Man” … and Bill Murray’s baseball card?

– February: Chasing Amy, metal minis, USA Baseball green and, of course, Crimson Tide

– March: WWE Divas, The Killer, Koufax and a cardboard icon 

– April Seeing gold, stickers … and furry autographs?

Michael Jordan’s rookie shoes top $70,000 at auction

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

As a rookie with the Chicago Bulls in 1984-85, Michael Jordan swiftly proved to be a superstar and while Nike had the foresight to sign him to a deal early on, his iconic Air Jordan shoes were not ready for game action until he had a few games under his belt.

Instead, he donned Nike Air Ships for a few weeks and over 30 years later, a pair that had been obtained by a ball boy for the Los Angeles Lakers following a narrow victory by the Bulls on December 2, 1984 has just sold via SCP Auctions for an impressive $71,554.

Read on after the jump for the full story behind these unique red and white sneakers. Read More »

Gallery: 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Basketball

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

The release of 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Basketball is only a few days away, but Panini America could not wait to let collectors have a closer look at some of its jaw-dropping cards through its official blog earlier today.

In addition to the Sneak Peek cards we were able to show collectors last week, Immaculate is also loaded up with other strong low-run premium memorabilia hits like Sole of the Game and Nameplate Nobility alongside plenty of Logoman parallels.

Look for an extensive gallery of cards you could potentially pull from Immaculate after the jump.

Read More »

Draft picks sets helped shape hobby we know today

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Russell Maryland, Brien Taylor, Larry Johnson, Eric Lindros.

Back in 1991, this first card from Classic Four Sport was a talking point for an emerging niche of sports card collecting — draft picks sets. Back then, we often had to wait a year — or at least later in the year — to see our newest teams’ newest stars on cards, so a card like this was something dramatically different.

The fact that this card had the No. 1 picks from the four major drafts all in one place, all on one card? That might still be considered magical — and Classic pulled it off. A year later, with the company backing the arrival of Shaquille O’Neal, the game was changed and draft picks were truly a force and an option for collectors to seriously consider.

Our next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly will explore draft picks sets in a bit of an abbreviated form — a look back at 20 big-name notables and busts from the past, a look at a few stars heading into this year’s drafts, and a look back at a handful of sets that helped define the changing times. This card didn’t make the cut for the items in the issue, but it should have. It’s perhaps a symbol of the changing times and how things were simpler — and yet still big business — even just a couple decades ago. It also shows us how different things are today.

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Gallery: 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Sneak Peek

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

One of the most intriguing innovations in the hobby last season, Panini America‘s Sneak Peek cards brought collectors giant and unique pieces of game-used shoes from the game’s biggest stars.

Today, the company released some new images for the coveted pieces that are slated to be dropped into packs of 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Basketball and there are some jaw-dropping pieces featuring a mix of today’s best players along with many legends of yesteryear. Each card will be a one-of-a-kind treasure and potentially become the cornerstone piece of many collections.

Look for an extensive and detailed early gallery of Sneak Peek cards after the jump. Read More »

Hardcourt Heroes of the Week: Jordan Clarkson and Isaiah Thomas

 

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Each week, we will take a look inside the NBA and will give you the top players of the week and provide a rundown on why collectors should take notice. Please feel free to leave your comments for a healthy debate.

By Derek Ficken | Beckett Basketball Analyst

Jordan Clarkson – PG, Los Angeles Lakers
Last 5 Games: 21.6 PPG, 7.2 APG, 2.6 STLPG

The Lakers have had little to celebrate for throughout the 2014-15 season. Luckily for them, the lone bright spot has been the emergence of a young rookie from Mizzou, Jordan Clarkson. His PPG averages since February has gone up from 9.8 PPG to an astounding 19.4 in the early stages of April. Clarkson looks to be their point guard to guide them back into the promise-land and some collectors have started to take note. Because Clarkson was never a touted rookie coming out of college, he was not involved in any of the pre-draft showcasing with card companies, and it shows with only 87 total cards in the Beckett Online Price Guide with only 28 autographs. With that said, you can easily grab a key card of his and still have some money left over to get your favorite issue of Beckett Basketball Monthly! Look for his 2014-15 Donruss Rookie Autographs /199 ($30) or his 2014-15 Panini Prizm Rookie Autographs Prizms /499 ($30) to buy now and hold onto for the future. This kid has what it takes to make it in the NBA, and like I said above, some collectors are taking note, but everyone needs to get on the Clarkson bandwagon now before he becomes a potential All-Star.

Key Cards To Collect:
2014-15 Court Kings Fresh Paint Autographs #18 /260 ($30)
2014-15 Panini Threads #366 WOOD RC ($20)
2014-15 Prestige Premium #195 RC ($4) Read More »