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Category Archives: Basketball

Sky’s the limit for BGS 9.5 Jordan Star XRC

Jordan Star

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

It has been 30 years since Michael Jordan made his NBA debut and a professionally graded gem mint trading card issued by Star Company during his rookie season is now up for sale courtesy of Beckett Auctions.

Opening at $50,000, the bidding war for this piece of cardboard history is expected to be intense as it is the first copy of the 1984-85 Star Company #101 card to ever receive a 9.5 grade from Beckett Grading Services. Read More »

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.

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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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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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Auction Watch: Auburn gem, Jeter’s glove & BGS

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A Collegiate Shocker | Chris Davis’ 2013 Iron Bowl helmet
One of the most-outrageous finishes in college football the last few years can be found on the field of the 2013 Iron Bowl — aka the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. This helmet was worn by former Auburn Tiger Chris Davis, who is now a San Diego Charger, during his endzone-to-endzone shocker to win the game. College football fans can be rabid — especially in the SEC — and this helmet is a high-priced example when it hit the auction block via Goldin Auctions. It collected 21 bids and sold for $47,190.

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Signature shoes highlight signature cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

They’re some of the sweeter-looking autographed cards to be found in the history of cardboard and they’ve just arrived from Upper Deck.

They’re Signature Kicks and they can be found in boxes of 2013-14 Exquisite Collection basketball cards — they all feature autographs from past greats and present stars and note which signature model the shoe swatches came from.

What each of these cards isn’t, though, is game-used. They are “a tribute to classic collectible sneakers” according to a company statement. They are pieces of famed signature models for the featured players — a dynamic twist on the manufactured relics we’ve seen in the hobby for years and something the company hopes appeals to shoe collectors and brings them into cardboard.

“We wanted to let the shoes be the focus of the card, not the teams or even the players,” the company said in a statement. “Keeping in line with the individual style sneaker fans appreciate, we looked for imagery that lent itself to those collectors. We depict the athletes in their youth and older, or just showing off their individual style.”

Shoe cards are nothing new — but using the unique pieces that they carry within prevented deluxe shoe memorabilia cards from being done in the past. Most cards from the past have simple leather swatches and few carry any brand or model identity. These are different.

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Panini adds 200-plus schools to portfolio

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America has added even more to its college portfolio.

How much more? More than 220 universities have signed on to have their trademarks used on an exclusive basis on upcoming Panini trading cards, the company announced.

The biggest names on the list? Mississippi State, Baylor, NC State and Kansas State, though schools represented by LRG, or Licensing Resource Group (click to see list), make up the bulk of the additions. Among those schools are Memphis, Marquette, St. John’s and Temple. The news comes on the heels of the company announcing its initial deals on Oct. 23.

“This has been an exciting few weeks for Panini America and the future of licensed college trading cards and we’re proud to be at the forefront of a new era,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO, on its blog. “We now have more than 225 universities signed to exclusive, multiyear trading card agreements – our unmatched retail distribution, commitment to marketing and ability to feature professional players in collegiate trading card products through our group player rights will lead to new growth in the collegiate collectibles category and all of our partners recognize that.”

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BGS 9.5 1984-85 Star Jordan Highlights Next Beckett Auction

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With the 2014-15 NBA season in full swing, basketball fans are talking about their favorite stars and rookies and Beckett Auctions is ready to celebrate as well by delivering cards and collectibles featuring some of the best hoops stars from the past and present. In fact, we are offering up one of the most fantastic hobby finds ever with the only 1984-85 Star Co. Michael Jordan XRC that has been graded 9.5 by Beckett Grading Services – and no other copy has been graded higher!

The introductory bid for this cardboard treasure? A steep $50,000, but it’s a small price to pay for what could be the greatest single copy of this card to ever come to auction.

“We are very excited to add this landmark card to our November Hardwood Heroes auction,” said Rob Springs of Beckett Auctions.”The Star #101 has always had a little extra hobby mystique surrounding it and the fact this particular copy has been graded a BGS 9.5 is phenomenal. This is the only copy that has been graded a 9.5, and there is none higher. This would truly be the centerpiece of someone’s Jordan collection.”

What else is up for bid starting on November 2? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2014-15 NBA Hoops

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Join Beckett Basketball editor Stephen Laroche as he tears into a box of the all-new 2014-15 NBA Hoops release from Panini.

Upper Deck issues statement on CLC status

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Upper Deck‘s exclusive card license with the Collegiate Licensing Company that began in 2010 will remain in place into next year, the company said in a statement Friday — a response to the news that Panini America had signed a trading card agreement with three major universities.

“Upper Deck continues to be fully committed in creating the most innovative, high quality collegiate trading cards ever produced. Previously, collegiate cards were only interspersed into professional trading card sets by the large manufacturers, and referred to as ‘Professional Prospect cards,'” the company said in a statement posted on its blog. “Over the last four years, Upper Deck has taken collegiate cards to a whole new level … In addition, Upper Deck has expanded well beyond the boundaries of traditional college sports to include a wide array of both men’s and women’s athletic programs that have never been featured on trading cards.”

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Panini signs deal with three universities

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America is going back to school.

The card company has signed exclusive deals with three major universities — the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky and the University of Miami — and will use their trademarks in upcoming card products that include NBA, NFL and MLBPA releases. According to a company release, there will be more schools’ deals announced soon.

“This is a significant announcement not just for us, but for the entire trading card industry,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop in a prepared release. “Some of the most-collectible players that we work with across all sports are closely associated with these three universities and we’re genuinely excited to be able to honor their collegiate accomplishments in our products.”

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Box Busters: 2014-15 NBA Hoops

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2014-15 Panini Prestige Basketball

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

A change for a long-standing trading card product can occasionally be a good thing and in the case of 2014-15 Panini Prestige Basketball, the move to becoming a retail exclusive could prove to be a smart move – especially with a variety of methods for purchasing them at Target locations.

Hitting store shelves this week, collectors will be able to acquire this new product in the traditional single-pack method, of course; but they can also choose to instead purchase hanger boxes (with a $10 Suggested Retail Price), blasters ($20 SRP), Plus Boxes ($65 SRP) or even take it to a new level with the $200 Premium boxes.

What does Panini America have planned for hobbyists and shoppers? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Upper Deck Euroleague Analysis

October 21- Ricky Rubio

By Derek Ficken | Basketball Price Guide Analyst

With the recent news of Upper Deck’s exclusive deal with Euroleague Basketball, many are wondering how this may affect the basketball card market.

There are presently a number of young, international players like Ricky Rubio, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Dennis Schroeder garnering attention on the court and in the hobby, there is an increased interest in international basketball stars. Many collectors are looking for their earliest cards and currently, would most likely have to wait until after the NBA Draft (barring some special promotion or exclusive from Panini America) before adding these cards to their collection.

Potentially, with Upper Deck’s exclusive deal, collectors will be able to purchase cards of international stars before their first official NBA-licensed cards are released. While they won’t carry the Rookie Card designation in the Price Guide, they could prove to be highly collectible.

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Upper Deck Adds Euroleague License

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The presence of European players with their pre-NBA teams in North American card sets is something that has not been utilized to its fullest potential over the years, but Upper Deck is looking to change things up as they announced today that they have entered an exclusive trading card agreement with Euroleague Basketball.

“Euroleague Basketball welcomes Upper Deck to our growing family of global partners with the launch of Euroleague Basketball trading cards and game-worn memorabilia collections,” said Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO. “This agreement provides a unique opportunity to bring the best basketball in Europe to fans across North America, and we are looking forward to building a strong relationship with Upper Deck.”

Upper Deck plans to begin adding the Euroleague stars to all of their basketball products starting in early 2015 and the players will be featured on autograph and game-used memorabilia cards as well. Read More »

Panini readies Black Friday promotion

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America‘s Black Friday program is returning next month — and it’s including even more new players than ever.

What’s new? Salute to Service camo swatch rookies for starters — all in a program that will be limited to no more than 40,000 total packs distributed only via Panini Roundtable stores.

The basic set will consist of 65 cards capped by 29 rookies whose cards are limited to only 499 serial-numbered copies. On top of that, 15 rookies will have memorabilia cards limited to only 99 copies.

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Introducing … the game-used wallet?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

“What’s in your wallet?” has a very different meaning now.

Thanks to Berkeley, Calif.-based Tokens & Icons, there is a whole new line of game-used memorabilia out there with the practical in mind for the sports collector with everything from stadium seats to game-used jerseys making their way into high-end everyday objects that can be used.

Or should we save them to be collected?

Either way, the creativity from the company goes far beyond the $150 Alabama Crimson Tide game-used football jersey wallet seen above — in fact, Tokens & Icons is producing items for MLB, the NHL, selected college football and basketball teams, golf, tennis, the PGA Tour, vintage arenas and even the famed horse-racing venue Churchill Downs.

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First Look: 2014-15 Panini Prizm Basketball

Panini America 2014-15 Prizm Basketball Anthony

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America has released early details about their always-popular Prizm release and this season, it should soar to new heights thanks to a fantastic rookie class and plenty of the parallels that have made the brand a hit in recent years.

Scheduled to arrive in stores on December 3, 2014-15 Panini Prizm has garnered a reputation for being a strong product and this year looks to carry on that tradition. With a new configuration that sees one hit per pack and the added challenge of shortprinted base cards, there should be something to satisfy most basketball card fans.

What can collectors expect to find in packs? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2013-14 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The passage of time can have an interesting impact on even the most valuable and coveted of trading cards and Upper Deck created something special a little over a decade ago when they released their Exquisite Basketball product for the first time. Today, that issue is regarded with even more reverence by collectors and its success carries forward with the final release of the company’s 2013-14 schedule.

Expected on store shelves in early November, 2013-14 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball is a bonafide high-end release that offers up a solid mix of autographs and memorabilia along with plenty of innovation that is sure to make some waves.

What can collectors expect to find in boxes of this product? Find out after the jump. Read More »

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.

First Look: 2014-15 Panini Totally Certified Basketball

 Panini America 2014-15 Totally Certified Basketball Kobe Base

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

It is not going to take long for the first premium basketball card brand to hit the shelves this season and at a first glance, 2014-15 Panini Totally Certified looks to be loaded with plenty of hits.

With each five-card pack containing one parallel card along with either an autograph or memorabilia card, Totally Certified cuts right to the chase and offers up a lot that will be of interest to player collectors. Boxes will contain four packs and there is an average of one autograph per box while the rest of the packs are set to contain memorabilia cards.

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

Box Busters: 2013-14 Panini Immaculate Collection basketball cards

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2013-14 Panini Immaculate Collection cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

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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First Look: 2014-15 Panini NBA Hoops

Panini America 2014-15 NBA Hoops Basketball Durant

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

A quarter of a century ago, Basketball card collectors rejoiced when they were finally able to collect more than one set during a season and it is only fitting that 2014-15 NBA Hoops from Panini America will be kicking off the upcoming campaign.

An affordable entry-level release that is loaded with hits that even advanced collectors can appreciate, Hoops is expected to deliver two autographs and one memorabilia card in every box along with a wide array of rookies, inserts and parallels.

What else can hobbyists expect to find in packs? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Panini America Reveals Early Details on 2014-15 NBA Releases

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The 2014-15 NBA season is already receiving a ton of hype due to a strong rookie class and the off-season moves by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but trading card collectors have been patiently waiting for further details on what to expect from Panini America.

With some new products coming and many established favorites returning, Panini hopes to build on a strong 2013-14 season and will actually be slightly reducing the number of brands to help the market grow. Beckett Basketball recently received a chance to pose some questions to the company’s Product Development Director, David Porter, and he gave an indication about what is anticipated on store shelves in the next few months.

“We’re very excited about the 2014-15 NBA calendar,” he said “We’re going to lead off with our Hoops release on October 15th. Prestige will follow shortly, available only at Target. Next, we have a revamped Totally Certified releasing November 5, 2014. December will contain two releases, Court Kings and a brand new offering in Paramount. The bulk of the products will be released by the end of April, 2015. Stay tuned for release schedules on National Treasures Basketball, Immaculate Basketball, and Flawless Basketball.” Read More »

Beckett Auctions “Find of the Week”

By Derek Ficken | Beckett Market Analyst & Auctions Coordinator

Beckett Auction Services (www.auctions.beckett.com) has been able to consign many items of sports hobby history since its inception earlier this year. A common theme for the current September auction is showcasing items from “His Airness”, Michael Jordan. One item in particular that caught my eye was a UNC team-signed basketball from the 1983-84 season. Some call it one of the greatest teams to be labeled as underachievers, but others just call it a solid squad with some Hall of Famers.

Signatures from this baby blue and white colored basketball with a retro Tarheel logo have the entire roster of players including Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daughtery, Kenny Smith, Cliff Morris, Buzz Peterson, Cecil Exum, Matt Doherty, and more.   Read More »