Category Archives: Football

Box Busters: 2015 Panini Contenders Draft Picks

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Join Beckett Football‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini Contenders Draft Picks in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

2015 Contenders Draft Pick Variations Revealed

Mariota Combined

By Justin Grunert | Football Market Analyst

Panini America recently released its first collegiate product of the year: Contenders Draft Picks.

This rendition of Contenders has the familiar short-printed photo variations, in both the base set and parallels, that collectors have come to know, love and chase.

In an online exclusive, most of the photo variations have been identified and are now detailed in the Beckett Online Price Guide.

The image on the right is the short-printed photo variation.

Winston Combined

Gordon combined

Ricky Williams talks cardboard & football

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Former Texas Longhorns star and NFL veteran Ricky Williams sat down with Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler to talk football and examine some cards. Check it out …

Ripping Retail Retro: 1989 Score football cards

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Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds joins Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange to open packs of 1989 Score football cards in this Ripping Retail Retro video.

We’ll have a series of Ripping Retail Retro or Box Busters Retro videos to come in the following weeks where they rip and discuss packs from the past — packs as far back as the 1970s.

What Retro video would you want to see next?

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Your Turn: What makes the hobby fun?



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.

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Topps creates oversized Bowman 2015 NFL Draft set

Mariota Gold

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

In the wake of last week’s excitement about the 2015 NFL Draft, Topps has worked diligently to create a special oversized Bowman set featuring some of the talents that will be hitting the gridiron this fall.

Measuring 5-by-7 and made up of 25 young stars that are ready to make an impact, this collection utilizes the 2015 Bowman design and will be limited to just 199 copies for the standard version that sells in the company’s online store for $49.99. For those wanting an even scarcer set, the gold version which sells for $99.99 is numbered to just 49 copies. Read More »

NFL Draft: First Round Hobby Take


winston sage

By Dan Hitt | Beckett Football Senior Analyst

The NFL Draft always delivers plenty of hobby related excitement and can be THE event of the year that changes the overall football card landscape. Let’s take a look at a few of the more interesting picks of the first round and discuss what it may mean in terms of hobby impact.

Jameis Winston (QB, Buccaneers)

It’s little surprise that Winston and Marcus Mariota went No. 1 and No. 2, but the surprise for many was the lack of trade action at the top of the draft. No team was able to move up to select either quarterback, possibly leaving some collectors satisfied that they took a wait-and-see approach while other collectors may be disappointed that a high profile team didn’t step up (like the Philadelphia Eagles).

Hobby Impact: While the Buccaneers haven’t always been the best hobby team for QBs (keep in mind Josh Freeman, Chris Simms, Shaun King, etc.), collectors will still sink plenty of money into Winston cards initially. On the flipside, the same cannot be said for 2013 draft pick Mike Glennon. While Glennon’s cards haven’t been exactly hot of late, they did sell well two years ago and still carry some significant value. However, those prices should quickly drop as Winston becomes the obvious starter.

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First Look: 2015 Prestige football cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Round 1 of the NFL Draft is complete and Panini America already has another football brand ready to roll.

this time around, it’s 2015 Prestige, which will arrive on July 8 packing three autographs and one jumbo patch card in every 24-pack hobby box with all the latest draft picks’ professional teams noted and their college ties visible, too.

The rookies will get a full-bleed photo treatment in this one with four types of parallels — all limited to no more than 100 serial-numbered copies. Meanwhile the rookies also will have a heavy autograph presence with some of the ink coming on-card. There will be Rookie Signatures autos as well as First Impressions autos that will be limited to no more than 99 copies.

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First Look: 2015 Topps Triple Threads football cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of Topps‘ most-popular high-end brands is back for one last run with an NFLPA license.

It’s Triple Threads and the company recently revealed the first glimpses and the basic details for the 2015 version of the product, which will arrive on Nov. 18 with the latest draft picks in their pro uniforms and a selection of notable veterans.  Oh, and there will be hits.

Lots of hits.

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NFL Draft Day Drama: Recap Round 1 here


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

The first pick is in — and his first Panini America card has been revealed.

It’s Jameis Winston and he’s a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

We’ll update this post with more Draft Day card images in real time as they are called this evening and offer two cents about a player’s potential. Tell us what you think of the draft so far in the comments below. (You can see all of the players’ current pre-draft cards and values at the links.)

1 — Jameis Winston, QB Tampa Bay Bucs

No surprises here — now we just have to see how things shake out on (and off) the field.


2 — Marcus Mariota, QB Tennessee Titans

The Titans have drafted QBs often in the last few years. Let’s hope this one sticks.


3 — Dante Fowler Jr., DE Jacksonville Jaguars

Hopefully the home-state fans and collectors appreciate some tenacious D.


4 — Amari Cooper, WR Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr has a target — and the Raiders have yet another strong WR in the mix.

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First Look: 2015 Topps Valor football cards


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

There are many qualities that make an NFL player a star or legend as their contributions on the field, in the locker room, or to their fans sets them apart from the crowd. Words such as speed, strength, discipline, courage, glory, valor, and heart are used to describe these warriors of the gridiron and Topps is seeking to emphasize them through cardboard.

Back again for another season, 2015 Topps Valor is a celebration of these attributes for the best in the game and these visually-striking cards are bound to turn some heads when they are released in mid-September. Topps recently released preliminary details about the third edition of this product and each 20-pack box is slated to contain a strong array of hits along with plenty of non-memorabilia inserts and parallels.

What can collectors expect to find in packs of 2015 Topps Valor? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters Retro: 2007 Topps Triple Threads

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Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds joins Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange to open a box of 2007 Topps Triple Threads football cards in this latest Retro video.

We’ll have a series of 10 Ripping Retail Retro or Box Busters Retro videos to come in the following weeks where they rip and discuss packs from the past — packs as far back as the 1970s.

We start off with a newer older brand — and one where you might be interested in the big cards we find. How can they be yours?

Tell us what you think of the Triple Threads brand in the comments below. We’ll award the two big cards to two readers (via random selection) from all who comment before June 1.

What Retro video would you want to see next?

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First Look: 2015 Topps High Tek football cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The NFL is going High Tek.

Topps revealed on Thursday the first glimpses and the basic details for its first Tek release in football — 2015 Topps High Tek — which will arrive in December after gaining good yardage last season in baseball.

It will arrive on Dec. 9 packing eight base cards, one parallel and one autograph in every pack with 12 packs per case.

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Panini readies Contenders Draft Picks football




Fans and collectors are gearing up for the first round of the NFL Draft tonight in Chicago. All the workouts, mock drafts, projections and arguments come down to this weekend as the NFL welcomes hundreds of fresh rookies. With the football card hobby driven by rookies, it’s an exciting time, and Panini is readying the release of its first 2015 product: Contenders Draft Picks football.

The product features the design of the popular 2014 Panini Contenders (the Product of the Year in the June issue of Beckett Football) but carries the license to show college team names, colors and logos. There will be plenty of autographed versions throughout the product. Of course, headlining the set are prospects that are sure to hear their names called tonight: Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Melvin Gordon, Donte Fowler, Leonard Williams and many more.

Panini Contenders Draft Picks is scheduled to release next week, which is sure to capitalize on the draft frenzy. Below are several card images of the top draft picks collectors are chasing.

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Pro Set put Draft Day what-ifs on cardboard


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

With this year’s NFL Draft set to begin in prime time on Thursday night, we’re likely going to see some cardboard made just for the draft and some real-time online reveals from card companies showing the league’s newest players linked to their newest teams.

It’s something that I’ve always found interesting — and it’s something we’ve seen before. In fact, it first happened a long, long time ago well before the days of Twitter and Facebook. And it happened on real cardboard.

In fact, a simple four-card set from Pro Set made for the 1990 NFL Draft, then a Sunday event, is one that I’ve always found oddly interesting — and just this week I finally added this simple release to my collection all these years later.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Five Star football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2014 Topps Five Star in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Jim Brown’s Rookie Contract Up For Auction

Brown's Rookie Contract

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

One of the most historically significant player contracts in NFL history is on the block and thanks to SCP Auctions, a lucky collector will soon walk away with a written record of Jim Brown‘s rookie deal with the Cleveland Browns that was signed before the 1957 season began.

With bidding expected to reach up to $35,000 by the time it closes this weekend, this document marks the beginning of the Hall of Famer’s professional career after being a first round selection in that year’s NFL Draft. Prior to that time, he had been a standout All-American at Syracuse and in the years that followed, Brown revolutionized the game.

“Jim Brown’s 1957 Rookie contract has to be one of the most important pieces of Jim Brown memorabilia known and is certainly among the most significant football related documents in existence,” noted SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler in a press release.

How much was Brown paid in his first season? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Draft picks sets helped shape hobby we know today


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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Topps signs Jameis Winston to autograph deal


By Denis Dougherty | Beckett Football Editor

Topps has reached an autograph deal with former Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston, the company announced today.

Winston could be the top pick in the April 30 NFL Draft. He will be featured in all of Topps’ 2015 products, according to the company.

“We are excited to add a player of Jameis Winston’s caliber to the Topps family,” Topps Football Brand Manager Kevin Eger said in a release. “Winston is an electrifying player and collectors always look forward to a player’s first Topps Rookie Card. Winston will lead a thrilling 2015 rookie class, and we look forward to working with him in our 60th year of football cards.”

His cards will first appear in Bowmanâ Football, which releases in June, the company said.

Winston was nearly flawless in winning the 2013 Heisman Trophy and leading Florida State to the national championship as a freshman. In his sophomore season, he led the Seminoles to an undefeated regular season before a loss to Oregon in the first College Football Playoff.

Winston has the size and arm to be an NFL and hobby star. He often got Florida State in trouble with interceptions last season but was remarkably good in the clutch, playing his best with the game on the line.

Tim Tebow set to make NFL return


By Denis Dougherty | Beckett Football Editor

Fan favorite and college football legend Tim Tebow is returning to the NFL.

He will sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, according to Fox Sports. The Eagles have quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford. 

There are 1,965 cards in the Beckett Online Price Guide, including 569 autographed cards and 36 Rookie Cards.  The total value of his cards, excluding those too rare to price, is more than $39,400.

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First Look: 2015 Prizm Collegiate Draft Picks


By Denis Dougherty | Beckett Football Editor

Excited about the NFL Draft?

This year’s Prizm Collegiate Draft Picks football card set will be released in late-May. According to Panini America, it will feature autographs of the top NFL draft picks in the All-Americans, Draft Picks and Team Trademarks (all featuring limited parallel versions).

The Alumnus Autographs insert features current NFL stars in their college uniforms, including Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Odell Beckham, Jr., Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch. The insert is bolstered by limited Prizm parallels.

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Topps Unveils 60th Football Anniversary Plans

Topps 60

By David Lee | Beckett Media

Topps football’s 60th consecutive release is coming this summer. Six decades of incredible history have marked the evolution of pro football.

This history of Topps football deserves its own museum, but to celebrate, the company is planning some programs and sets for 2015 Topps this year. Here’s what we know so far:

Topps has developed a special logo/shield indicating the 1956-2015 years. This logo will also be used as a foil stamp on some cards. The Topps 60th Anniversary insert will include 100 cards of veterans, legends and rookies, and feature different Topps designs from the past 60 years. Past Topps cards will be used for Buyback cards that fall one per hobby box. These will feature the 60th Anniversary stamp.

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First Look: 2015 Score football cards



By David Lee | Beckett Media

The first NFL-licensed Panini America product of 2015 will be Score arriving on June 17.

The key to the set will be like years past, including a lower price point with a ton of base cards. Each box will have 24 packs at 12 cards per pack. Boxes will deliver one autograph or memorabilia card on average.

This year’s base set includes more than 400 cards with 100 rookies. Rookies fall up to three per pack. Once again the product will have several parallels indicated by a different color border. These are Showcase, Gold Zone, Artist’s Proof, Red Zone, First Down, End Zone and Gem Masters, numbered to 99 down to one.

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Contest: Mariota vs. Winston


By: Justin Grunert Football Market Analyst

Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. Andrew Luck and RGIII. Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny ManzielAll of these pairs of quarterbacks have something in common: one is a hobby stud and the other is a hobby bust. With this year’s NFL Draft only a few weeks away we are faced with another pair of quarterbacks that are being highly touted.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are the talk of the Draft. So who will be the bigger bust and the bigger star next season? Post your answer in the comments below for your chance to win 10 packs (half box) of 2015 Upper Deck Football. One winner will be selected from Team Winston and the other from Team Mariota. Let the debate begin.

Eight-time Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu retires


By Denis Dougherty | Beckett Media

He was one of the game’s great defensive playmakers, a clutch performer and leader on one of football’s most successful teams.

But eight-time Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu has made his last big play in the NFL. The Uniontown (Pa.) Herald-Standard reported Thursday night that he will retire after 12 seasons.

Collectors have been actively pursuing Polamalu’s cards for well over a decade and his rookie issues first appeared during the 2003 season. At present, he has 2,093 cards in the database and they have a combined book value of $22,058.69, excluding rarities.  Read More »

National Treasures redemptions ready to go


Panini’s 2014 National Treasures Football arrives Wednesday, and the company announced there are a few redemption cards in the product. But many of these redemptions will be ready to fulfill immediately.

These cards include some of the top 2014 rookies such as Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Eric Ebron and Marqise Lee, and superstars such as Deion Sanders, Brett Favre, J.J. Wat and Russell Wilson. Panini even shared many images of these cards (see the gallery below) as proof they are ready to send out.

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Bringing camaraderie back to collecting


By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

Collecting football cards today can be a very isolated, almost lonely experience. The individual cards we want to add to our collection are just a few clicks away. Experiencing the hobby with other people is often lost. But Arizona collector Mike Abbott and his friends are bringing the camaraderie back to collecting.

In 2010, several years removed from Mike’s collecting days as a kid, Mike and his friend started to dive back into the hobby. They decided to buy some boxes of 2010 Topps football cards. “We had a blast,” Mike says. He then set the goal of building a master set, while his friend went after the short prints and various color parallels. The next year, they decided to get an entire case of Topps.

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Box Busters: 2015 Upper Deck football cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Panini Black Gold football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2014 Panini Black Gold in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Supreme football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Supreme in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Panini signs Marcus Mariota to autograph deal


By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

Panini has signed top 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota to a trading card and autograph agreement for the 2015 season. The agreement includes Mariota’s first licensed NFL and collegiate cards and autographed cards. The top NFL prospect will also appear on Panini trading card packaging.

Mariota’s first licensed cards from Panini are scheduled to arrive in the April release of the company’s 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football product. He will also be featured throughout Panini’s run of 2015 NFL/NFLPA licensed football card sets.

“Marcus is one of the most exciting players in the 2015 NFL Draft Class and his accomplishments at the University of Oregon make him one of the most successful quarterbacks in college football history,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “This agreement is huge for us not only for what his presence will mean for our NFL product line, but also for what it will mean for our first college products.”

Sunday Conversation: Philadelphia Eagles Guard Evan Mathis


By Derek Ficken | Beckett Radio Host

The Philadelphia Eagles have been in the news recently for all of their Free Agent signings, but I was able to catch up with Offensive Guard and two time Pro Bowl-er Evan Mathis. Evan is an avid collector of all sports, vintage and modern, and we sat down to chat about the hobby, his personal collection, and much more!

Q: What are your thoughts on the decline in the amount of hobby shops around the country?
A: E-commerce has allowed us to connect to more businesses and it’s really just not profitable for most shops to stay open unless they are very active online as well. I compensate for the nostalgic hobby shop experience by having a partial box wax collection on display in my office. Read More »

Panini teases Contenders Draft Picks football


By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

During the 2015 Industry Summit this week in Las Vegas, Panini America announced the upcoming 2015 Contenders Draft Picks football card set. This will be the company’s first licensed collegiate trading card product.

Each hobby box will contain 24 packs with eight cards per pack. Boxes will deliver, on average, six autographs and 48 inserts or parallels. The product promises to feature autographs from the top players included in the 2015 NFL Draft as well as autographs from several NFL players featured in their college uniforms.

There is an extensive gallery below, showcasing the 2014 Contenders design. The product is scheduled to release in late April.

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Topps announces ‘test run’ Translucent Football


Topps is releasing Topps Translucent Football – a limited “test-run product” at the end of March exclusively on

The cards will be designed on thick, clear acetate stock. All autographs are on-card and there are two autographed cards in every pack. There is a Sepia parallel numbered to 5. The product promises to include all of the top 2014 rookies.

MMC Draft Edition: Kevin White


By: Justin Grunert | Beckett Football Analyst

Kevin White has already started making a name for himself, impressing everyone at the rookie combine. Every mock draft online has him going in the top 5 of this April’s draft. Here are some teams that might take him in the draft and what his collectability could be on those teams. Read More »