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Category Archives: Football

Weekend Warriors: Alabama vs. Auburn – who wins the hobby?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

The Alabama Crimson Tide vs. the Auburn Tigers, aka The Iron Bowl, is a week away and that means the bitter rivals and their fans will be doing plenty of talking from here until the end of the fourth quarter on Nov. 29.

Oh, who are we kidding … they’re always talking each other down because that’s what rivals do.

For a new feature, we’re trying something new — Weekend Warriors — where you can assess rival teams, rival players or other combatants who have trading cards with our series of questions and our open forum for collectibles-related trash-talking in the comments below.

After the jump are nine more ways for you to assess the Alabama-Auburn rivalry and its cardboard — and you have the final say on who wins in the hobby.


1. Alabama-Auburn Heisman Trophy winners: Who's most-collectable?

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Click on “read more” to cast the rest of your votes.

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Panini’s Black Friday Starting To Shape Up

Parker P

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

We are barely a week away from the biggest shopping weekend of the year and collectors are gearing up for Panini America‘s annual holiday season tradition – their ever-popular Black Friday promotion.

Over the past couple of weeks, the company has been leaking out details about their 2014 Panini America Black Friday promotional set and packs are expected to loaded with cards that are sure to be heavily chased and may even become the cornerstones of some collections.

Starting on Friday, November 28, collectors will converge on hundreds of their favorite card stores in order to participate in the program and bust some packs or they can visit iCollectPanini.com if they do not have a hobby shop that is participating in the program. Naturally, there is an opportunity to pull autographs and memorabilia along with tough parallels from the worlds of baseball, basketball and football.

What does Panini America have planned for hobbyists on Black Friday? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Upper Deck signs exclusive deal with Notre Dame


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of college football’s most-storied programs is sticking with Upper Deck.

Notre Dame has signed a multi-year deal to have its trading cards made by the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company beginning this spring.  The deal will include sports cards beyond just the gridiron.

“The University of Notre Dame boasts an impressive list of athletes as alumni and has one of the most passionate fan bases in college sports” said Jason Masherah, President of Upper Deck, in a prepared statement. “Over the last five years, we have built a strong partnership with Notre Dame and we continue to be dedicated to producing the most creative and innovative collectibles for Notre Dame fans to enjoy.”

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Panini acknowledges additional Flawless mistakes


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Thirty-seven cards of five NFL players in 2014 Flawless have event-worn material mislabeled as game-used material on cards, according to Panini America.

The company announced the developments on Thursday as a result of its findings earlier this week that other cards in the product were mislabeled.

“This week’s experiences, while not ideal, have only strengthened our focus, our desire and our commitment to doing things the right way every time; mistakes happen, they’re part of any human process,” said a statement issued by the company. “We are truly sorry about these mistakes; but we are grateful that our collectors were able to shed the light on this issue to allow us to look deeper into what went wrong in the process. Our intent is always to get it right and properly identify whether a patch is event-worn or game-worn. We evaluated the ‘event-worn’ vs. ‘game-worn’ strategy on a number of occasions — and while this process is much more detailed — and have determined that this was a better scenario than just identifying every patch as ‘player-worn.’ As always, we are committed to making this right for consumers.”

According to the Panini announcement today, cards of Andrew Luck, Calvin Johnson Jr., Cam Newton, Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill were mislabeled in Flawless’ Patches insert. According to the company, they are:

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Box Busters: 2014 Limited football cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Totally Certified football

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


WIN a Panini POD Jimmy Garoppolo Photo


By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

The Panini NFL Player of the Day promotion has already reached hundreds of hobby shops and countless collectors with giveaways and player appearance signings. In partnership with the successful program, we will be giving away autographed items that are part of the promotion through the Beckett Media Twitter feed.

This Week’s Giveaway: New England Patriots Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo autographed photo (pictured above)
How to Win: Simply tweet a message about your local hobby shop. The tweet must include these three tags: @BeckettMedia @PaniniPOD #NFLPOD
Winner chosen Saturday, Nov. 22.

If you do not have a Twitter account it is easy and free to create one at Twitter.com. One winner sill be chosen at random on Saturday, Nov. 22.

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Sources: Panini close to near-exclusive in college card market


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Analysis

The changes coming to the college trading card landscape in 2015 are going to be even more dramatic than anticipated, according to industry sources.

Panini America‘s wave of new deals signed with top schools in the last few weeks has reportedly gotten even larger. Industry sources tell Beckett Media that nearly all of the country’s 60-plus major colleges and universities — and nearly 300 schools in total — have signed multi-year deals with Panini, positioning the Dallas-based manufacturer to operate under a near-exclusive in the college-card market for the rest of the decade. That expansion would effectively end any broad collegiate engagement for Upper Deck, which has held an exclusive Collegiate Licensing Company license for the past five years.

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Beckett Football Turns 25!


The first issue of Beckett Football Card Magazine was published 25 years ago this month. That iconic picture of Bo Jackson staring you down on the cover is one of the most recognized images in the industry.

A quarter of a century is very long run in the publishing business (287 issues). The magazine has carried the name of Beckett Football for 10 years, and it has presided over nearly every major change, innovation, controversy and flop in the football card hobby. So much changed 25 years ago in 1989. Score and Pro Set burst on the scene after decades of dominance by Topps. It was becoming clear that rookies would fuel the hobby, and they have ever since. The 1990s saw rapid growth, and tons of new brands and ideas. Some had staying power and others, well, not so much. It’s interesting to look through those early issues and see price changes moving up or down by 20 cents or a dollar.

There have been so many incredible cards since 1989. To celebrate 25 years of Beckett Football, and 25 years of countless hobby innovations, the December issue (on sale now) presents the 25 most impactful football cards since 1989. It was not an easy list to come up with. Most of the cards are no-brainers, but many key cards had to be left off. It’s a fascinating trip through two and a half decades of hobby evolution. This also inspired this month’s cover pictured above.

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Poll: What’s your take on multi-piece mem cards?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

When Panini America revealed its first looks at the 20th anniversary edition of Absolute last week, it included one card that piqued my attention.

Why? Eight players’ jersey swatches on a single front — now that’s a Tools of the Trade card.

For some time I have wondered why card companies don’t go with more pieces on cards rather than larger pieces — this is something that Donruss did heavily with its TOTT cards back in 2004 and 2005 Absolute Memorabilia and they were cards that got me to finally dig into a brand with a higher-end price.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like the idea of more of less just because it’s a more-sophisticated feeling card. (At least to me.)

Tell us what you think in the poll below or share your thoughts in the comments.

Your Take: Do you like having several swatches on a single card?

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisolds2009.

USA Today examines Panini America’s college push


Panini America‘s push into the college ranks includes more than 220 schools that will allow the company to use their trademarks on rookie and prospect cards as well as produce college-specific card sets.

Panini VP of Marketing Jason Howarth offered insight on how the deal works to USA Today Fields of Green’s Nick Zobel, who took a look at the deal.

“The way the process works is that the rights we have with the school are tied to utilizing the school logos and marks,” Howarth said in the piece. “That means school insignia and mascots. The partnerships do not give us rights to players.”

That means all those college stars from those schools in football and basketball will have their first Rookie Cards arrive (once their college careers are over) with views as seen on the field or court. That means the baseball players from those schools will appear in hobby staples such as Elite Extra Edition just as they were seen on the diamond.

What that doesn’t mean is that Panini can make any card it wants of any player in the history of the school — at least not without that person’s permission and, of course, not before they are done playing.

Panini addresses Flawless football mistakes


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America admitted on Tuesday that it made a mistake on some game-used cards in its 2014 Flawless football card set.

Three players’ cards had event-worn jerseys mislabeled as game-used in the product, a move that affected 168 cards total for Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Alshon Jeffery. The errors happened in Patches (/25), Patches Ruby (/15), Patches Gold (/10), Patches Emerald (/5) and 1/1 Patches Platinum cards for each player. The company said the autographed cards of those players are fine. The discrepancy was first noted by collectors on the BlowoutCards.com forum.

“There is nothing we take more seriously here at Panini America than the ironclad authenticity of our products — and the memorabilia and autographs we use to make them,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “While this is a truly regrettable mistake, that’s all it is. There was no intent to deceive or to portray those pieces of memorabilia as anything other than what they are: Event-worn by those players.

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Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 11

MM Week 11 Charles


By Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a run down on why collect ors should take notice. Here are our selections for NFL Week 11.

Veteran of the Week:

Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs

(159 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns)

Jamaal Charles is now the NFL Leader for yards per carry for a running back. He averages 5.5 yards per carry which beats Jim Browns previous record of 5.2 yards per carry. Charles torched the Seahawks defense on Sunday while the Chiefs went on to win 24-20. Jamaal Charles has long been considered one of the best running backs in the league. He has been having an off year from what was expected of him, with only one game over 100 yards rushing. Charles has been having a cool year with collectors as well. He has been selling for closer to low book, but if he can get back to the Jamaal Charles people are used to, he can climb back closer to high book.

Cards to Grab:

2008 Bowman Sterling #158B JSY AU ($30)

2008 Exquisite Collection #148 JSY AU RC/199 ($150)

2008 Playoff Contenders #145 AU RC ($60)

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Peek at Epix in 2014 Totally Certified Football



By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

The hyper-color, holofoiled microo-etching of the Epix insert in 2014 Totally Certified will be shimmering in hobby shops Monday. Epix is a multi-tiered memorabilia insert featuring up to four pieces of memorabilia on each card. There are themes highlighting great plays, games, seasons and moments, with a checklist of past and current greats, along with plenty of and rookies.

Other tiers include Gold Seasons (numbered to 25 or less) and Green Moments. Check out the images after the jump.

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BGS Diary Predictor: What will he submit?



We recently introduced the BGS Diary (click to read) 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.

That was last month’s BGS submission. For this month, we’re getting a bit interactive. He’s prepared his five cards for grading and we want to see if you can predict which of his cards will end up slabbed. Of the 10 cards listed below, five are headed to BGS today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

November BGS Diary Predictor: What will Olds submit?

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Panini America adds Texas Longhorns to licenses


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America hooked ‘em.

The University of Texas Longhorns are the latest major college to sign on with Panini America as its push to become an industry leader in the college ranks continues. The school’s logo will now be used in the company’s baseball, football and basketball products on an exclusive basis with Longhorns-focused multi-sport products also on the tarmac beginning in the spring.

“We are very happy to have The University of Texas join Panini as an exclusive partner. The Longhorns have such a great heritage and continue to produce top student-athletes that go on to very successful professional careers,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO in a prepared release. “We look forward to getting started and producing great products for Longhorns fans.”

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Ballpark Blueprints offer technical look at game



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

America’s football and baseball stadiums are the homes to the action that our pastimes provide, but they are also shrines to the technology of architecture.

For one company, it’s that technology that’s also become a collectible.

Erie, Colo.-based Ballpark Blueprints offers blueprint-style lithographs for sports fans for two sports and has done so since 2002. Two sports get the primary focus of the company — baseball as well as football on both the pro and college level. Presently there are 34 prints available — 17 baseball stadiums, two American League and National League composite pieces showing all stadiums, eight college football venues and seven NFL stadiums.

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Beckett 20 Questions … on autographs


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Our next Beckett Sports Card Monthly is one of our favorites — and apparently one of yours, too — The Autograph Issue.

It’s the one time a year where we aim to explore the one thing that seemingly every collector can appreciate and a subject that can generate a lot of opinions at times, too.

How? Just bring up these two words … sticker autographs.

Here is our latest batch of 20 Questions — tell us what you think with the questions below and raise a few of your own at the end if you’d like. The results here will appear in the next magazine as they do in every month.

1. Did you like the way Topps distributed its 2013 Kris Bryant autos this year?

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2. Pick one: Sticker auto or no auto.

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See the rest of our questions … after the jump.

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Top 12: Military-themed sports sets to own



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.



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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WR Allen Hurns Named Finest Mystery Rookie Auto Redemption

Allen Hurns - Finest Redemption Auto

Topps has announced Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns as the Mystery Rookie Autograph Redemption player in 2014 Topps Finest Football. Hurns is currently tied for most touchdown catches (5) among rookies. Yesterday against the Dallas Cowboys, he hauled in 112 yards and two touchdowns.

Look for first pricing on 2014 Finest in the December issue of Beckett Football, on newsstands now!

David Lee
Editor, Beckett Football
Twitter: @FreeEnergyDude

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 10

Week 10 MM Lynch


By Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Here are our selections for NFL Week 10.

Veteran of the Week:

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks

(140 yards rushing, 4 touchdowns)

Beast Mode was out in full force on Sunday against the New York Giants. Marshawn Lynch scored a career best four touchdowns while he rushed all over the Giants’ defense. His first three scores were all goal line scores but his fourth was a 16 yard rush where he made up for a fumble on the previous play. Marshawn Lynch has exactly 3,800 cards in the Beckett database; most of them are at the Unlisted Star level. His autographs are very accessible for collectors to buy, but if he keeps tearing apart defenses it is only a matter of time before we could see his value rise.

Cards to Grab:

2007 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs ($50)

2007 Exquisite Collection #131 JSY AU/99 RC ($150)

2007 Playoff Contenders #194 AU/533* RC ($50) Read More »

Your Turn: Do you like history on sports cards?



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Berlin Wall, a symbol of Communist oppression and the Cold War, fell 25 years ago this weekend — the next year, Pro Set featured NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue at the Wall on a card in 1990 Pro Set because two NFL teams played in Germany.

Since then, the Berlin Wall has had a lot of cardboard appearances as sports card set inclusions have continued to evolve. Right now, the Wall itself has 42 cards in the Beckett database — and all of this leads to a simple question … Do you like history on your sports cards?

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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.

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



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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Devon Still’s jerseys still selling strong



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

He’s a 6-foot-5, 305-pound defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, a product of Penn State and a dad.

And it’s that last part that’s why Devon Still‘s No. 75 jersey is among the top sellers in the NFL right now.

He has started just seven games in three seasons but his jersey ranks 11th in overall sales. Why? The Cincinnati Bengals donated all proceeds from the sales of his jerseys last month — a cancer awareness month in the NFL — to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and pediatric cancer research.

Why? Still’s 4-year-old daughter Leah is battling cancer.

Tonight, the Bengals will present a check for more than $1.3 million to Leah and other cancer patients during an on-field ceremony during the team’s game with the Cleveland Browns. According to an ESPN story, Saints coach Sean Payton bought 100 jerseys — and the New England Patriots cheerleaders wore jerseys on the field when playing against Cincinnati. Those jerseys were then signed by the cheerleaders and sold for $250 apiece on eBay to benefit cancer research.

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Panini adds 200-plus schools to portfolio


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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