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Category Archives: Basketball

Coming Soon — Beckett Yearbook: Best of 2013


The year isn’t over yet, but the calendar year for Beckett Media‘s five sports card titles is — and that means it’s time for a new addition.

Joining the Beckett lineup beginning in December will be the Beckett Yearbook, a full-color look at the Best of 2013 — the most-interesting, most-notable and most-important stories found in the pages of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, Beckett Baseball, Beckett Football, Beckett Hockey and Beckett Basketball this year.

Arriving in early December in hobby shops and then on newsstands in the middle of the month, Beckett Yearbook will pack 128 pages of nothing but stories about sports cards and memorabilia from Beckett Media’s editors as well as other contributors this past year. World Series champion David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox graces the magazine’s front cover, while Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck gets the nod on the back.

The cover price for this special issue is $9.99.

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Steiner Sports hosts Mariano Rivera Farewell Collection Auction

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Just because Mariano Rivera retired from baseball doesn’t mean he’s not going to stay out of the spotlight just yet.

Rivera, the long-time New York Yankees closer, has teamed Steiner Sports Memorabilia for an auction to raise money for a charitable foundation.

However, it’s not just Rivera’s game-used gear collectors can find. Rivera spoke to a number of athletes to have them donate items including Ichiro, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.

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Take the Beckett Media collectors survey


Please help us learn about your collecting habits by taking this 18-question survey.

1. Where do you buy trading cards (pick all that apply)

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2. Where do you get your hobby news from? (pick all that apply)

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Chatter Up with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds … Wednesday night on our Facebook page


Join Beckett Baseball’Chris Olds for this week’s Chatter Up over on the Beckett Media Facebook page on Wednesday night at 8:30 Central. Thanks to Upper Deck for this week’s prizes, which will go out to active chatters during the two-hour session.

Click here to find the image above and leave an early comment there if you can’t make it — also look for the early bird question now for a shot at a prize.

If you can’t make the chat, be back on the page next week.

Collecting USA: 50 cards, 50 states … it’s your turn to choose who’s the most-collectable


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It seemed like a simple idea — pick a sports card that is symbolic for each of the 50 states, a star who is known as the best of the best for that area when it comes to collecting.

It turned out to be a bigger challenge than I thought. Do you choose who is most collectable? Most memorable? Who comes to mind first? You know, it’s pretty hard picking cardboard icons.

Take Alabama, for example. Do you pick a coaching icon who still defines plenty in the football-crazed state — a Paul “Bear” Bryant? Or do you pick his modern-day equivalent in Nick Saban? Or do you pick one of the Crimson Tide’s star players  – a list that includes a who’s who of NFL greats such as Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Ken Stabler, Ozzie Newsome, Don Hutson, John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson, Cornelius Bennett, Derrick Thomas, Shaun Alexander … and that’s just pre-Saban. (And that’s just the Crimson Tide.) Or, do you look at Bo Jackson or Frank Thomas at Auburn? Or maybe Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and many others who don’t have school ties — but are all-time greats and from the state?

For the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly, The Collecting USA Issue, we’ll present our picks for a card representing every state. But, for now, it’s your turn to choose right here — pick from the greatest (focus on sports with cardboard) athletes with ties to each of the 50 states.

Picking a cool or memorable card after you pick a player? Well, that’s another story.

Make your picks … after the jump. (And be sure to add any comments you may have below, too.)

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Beckett 20 Questions on … Collecting USA


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Winter Olympics are less than 100 days away and those waiting for the arrival of the only fully licensed Olympic trading cards have an even shorter wait.

And that means the latest batch of athletes aspiring to become medal winners and household names will have their first autographs and trading cards — cards that may resonate well with non-collectors and generate cash for some savvy wheelers and dealers once things heat up this February in Sochi, Russia.

Topps2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team & Hopefuls arrives on Nov. 20 including some of the big names you likely know from past years and others you might not such as Amy Purdy, a member of the US Paralympic Snowboarding Team. Purdy, above and seen holding her upcoming Topps card, lost both of her legs below the knee at age 19. (Check out her story here.)

With all of the collecting potential to be found with the latest arrival sporting the Red, White and Blue, we figured the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly would be a good chance to examine a bit more about Collecting USA — the hot spots, the interesting cards and more from Olympic-focused sets and other releases that are of note or touch on the stars from all 50 states. As part of that, here’s the latest 20 Questions with a focus on Olympic cards of all types.

1. Which sports have you bought Team USA cards for? (select all that apply)

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2. Which past or present Winter Olympians' autos from the new Topps set interest you the most? (Pick your top five)

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See the rest of this month’s questions … after the jump.

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Upper Deck reveals booklet card 16 Michael Jordan autographs

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

What’s better than pulling a card with a Michael Jordan autograph?

How about a card with 16 Michael Jordan autographs?

Upper Deck released images of 16-autograph booklets that will be in 2012-13 Exquisite Collection Basketball. One of the booklets will have 16 autographs with players such as Jordan, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Bill Walton and Clyde Drexler.

However, the next two sneak peeks really intrigued collectors.

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Panini previews cards for Fall Expo packs

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America has revealed how collectors can get exclusive 2013 Toronto Fall Expo packs for next weekend’s show.

To get their hands on these packs, collectors have to bring an unopened box of select Panini products, and open them at the Panini booth. Depending on the products, collectors get anywhere from five to 20 2013 Sportscard & Memorabilia Fall Expo packs.

Panini has included cards of rookies from all four major sports numbered to 399, Cracked Ice parallels, Tools of the Trade memorabilia cards, Player Sketch Cards and plenty of autographed variations.

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Panini to offer Damian Lillard autos in wrapper redemption program

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketbal Editor

Panini America is creating a special group of Damian Lillard autograph cards featured on designs from the 2012-13 season.

Panini will create 400 new Lillard cards to be used in a redemption mail-in program. The designs will be from National Treasures, Preferred Silhouettes, Gold Standard and Select.

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Damian Lillard 1-of-1 Flawless Diamond has surfaced

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini Flawless Basketball has been a hot topic the last couple of days.

How could it not?

A $1,500-a-pack product (that’s been the going price through many card dealers) and cards selling on the secondary market for thousands … and I mean thousands of dollars.

Here is one of the biggest hits to make it out of 2012-13 Flawless Basketball – a 1/1 Damian Lillard Diamond card. The Buy It Now price on eBay is only $29,999.

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Stephen Curry’s breakout season has collectors scooping up his cards – and Golden State thinking big

By Dan Good | Contributing Writer

Stephen Curry’s breakout moment came in the half-court shadows.

His Golden State Warriors were facing off against powerhouse San Antonio in the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Game One, and Curry was putting on a clinic – raining threes, nailing behind-the-back passes, even picking the ball up from the floor to knock down the jumper.

Curry’s teammates erupted from the sidelines, holding their hands against their heads in disbelief.

With 40 seconds left in the third quarter, his heels nipping across the giant ‘Spurs’ logo at center court, Tony Parker in his face, Curry launched one final shot.


Twenty-two points in the quarter.

Curry pointed to the rafters, and when the Spurs called a timeout to regroup, he punched the air and screamed. All the recruiters who said he was undersized, the skeptics who wondered if he could stay healthy, the doubters, the critics … Redemption.

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Behind the Scenes: Where the magic happens in the sports card industry — outtakes & more

Just a small view from the Baseball Card Exchange warehouse floor.

Just a small view from the warehouse floor of the Baseball Card Exchange. You can see a much grander scene in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly — the Behind The Scenes Issue.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Step through the door of a card company and you might be surprised that what’s inside isn’t all wax packs and bubble gum.

The reality is that in many instances the locations that help sports cards come to life — or come to your door — look a lot like everywhere else but with hints and touches that there might be something unique, something creative, going on at times.

Armed with a checklist of photo ideas — blanket categories or concepts that might not apply to all locations — we recruited talent behind the scenes at several card companies and other businesses in the industry to present a visual story of what things look like everyday in the parts of the hobby you probably don’t see.

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First look: 2012-13 Exquisite Collection Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

All on-card, all the time – that’s way 2012-13 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Basketball will be for collectors.

Each box of Exquisite will have one pack of six cards with five on-card autographs with a rookie or base card numbered to 99 or fewer. Upper Deck will feature autographs from Michael Jordan and LeBron James and many of the all-time greats. The release will also be limited.

The rookies will include players from the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

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First look: 2013-14 Panini Prizm Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America debuted its Prizm brand in basketball last year.

The second installment of 2013-14 Panini Prizm will come out Dec. 18 with 20 packs in every box.

Panini is adding more parallels to Prizm. It will feature new Die-Cut Purple Prizm (numbered to 49) and Black Prizm 1-of-1s for the first time in basketball.

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Hobby Pulse Poll: Is this the coolest sports card packaging ever?


 We want to know what you think … is Panini America‘s Flawless briefcase the coolest piece of sports card packaging ever? If not, what trumps it? Let us know with your vote and add a comment below.

Is this the coolest sports card packaging ever?

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Beckett 20 Questions on … your collecting tastes


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With the latest issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re taking you behind the scenes inside some card companies to show you things you may not have seen before and talk shop with some people whose daily routines include helping your cardboard come to life.

As part of that, we’ll have our typical 20 Questions in the issue but, honestly, there may not be 20 questions that fit that concept — so instead we’re asking questions that take us behind the scenes in your minds.

Here are 20 questions asking what you think about collecting today as well as your collecting tastes and habits.

1. Where do you buy most of your wax boxes?

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2. What type of collector are you?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Knicks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. happy to stop looking at dad’s basketball cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Tarrytown, N.Y. | Tim Hardaway Jr. is used to cameras and cards. His father was one of the best point guards of the 1990s, starring for the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat.

Hardaway Jr. is happy to finally get his own cards.

“It’s awesome just to be in a situation now that you are in the NBA and have your own trading card … now I could stop looking at my father’s all throughout the house,” Hardaway Jr., told Beckett Media recently. “Now I can have my own collection.”

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Box Busters: 2013 Upper Deck Kansas basketball

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2013 Upper Deck Kansas cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.


Box Busters: 2013 World Stars Toreka Edition + win our 24K gold autograph

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2013 World Stars Toreka Edition — a high-end autograph brand from Brothers Inc. in Tokyo, Japan, in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Contest: How you can enter to win the 24K gold card? Comment below — we’ll pick a winner from all entries received (with email included in proper field) on Nov. 1.

Here’s the link for the U.S. Edition’s availability.

Panini shows off diamond, emerald cards in Flawless

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor | Commentary

As we get closer to the release 2013 Flawless Basketball, collectors are eager to learn more.

We have seen a checklist that includes players such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard.

However, we need pictures and Panini gave more of its base cards on Wednesday.

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