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Category Archives: Pro Wrestling

Distributor Sports Images discontinues sports card portion of business

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

After more than two decades as a distributor of sports cards, Woburn, Mass.-based distributor Sports Images is getting out of the game.

The company will continue to sell sports memorabilia to hobby shops and other companies, just not sports cards. Its accounts will now be handled by GTS Distribution, according to an email sent by Sports Images President Matt Lane on Monday.

Lane cited expanding opportunities in the other areas.

“Sports Images has transitioned the hobby trading card segment of their business to GTS Distribution,” he wrote. “After 25 years in the hobby trading card industry, we have decided to focus our efforts on our retail, novelty, memorabilia and other aspects of our business. As these opportunities continue to expand, the demand for more resources, time and attention also increases and a choice was inevitable.”

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First look: 2014 Topps Road to WrestleMania wrestling cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The next set of World Wrestling Entertainment cards from Topps will be filled with WrestleMania moments.

As in autographs and Relics from some of the biggest names in the 30-year history of WrestleMania — Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Trish Stratus and John Cena to name a few.

And even the Ultimate Warrior.

Topps unveiled its plans for 2014 Road to WrestleMania on Tuesday, and it’s a set that will arrive on Sept. 10 packing more than perhaps any other WWE brand before and two hits per 24-pack hobby box. Boxes will carry a suggested retail price of $48.

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WWE Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior dies at 54

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Less than 24 hours after appearing on World Wrestling Entertainment‘s Raw and just days after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, the Ultimate Warrior has died. He was 54 and a cause of death was not announced.

“WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior,” read the company’s statement Tuesday night.

Known for his other-worldly persona and spiritual-yet-eccentric promos, Warrior was born James Hellwig but legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993. The move was in part to help his battles for ownership of his wrestling character and his trademarks, which originated as the Dingo Warrior in the 1980s while working for Dallas-based World Class Championship Wrestling. He worked for WWE, then-WWF from 1987 to 1991, winning the WWE title from Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI in 1990. He returned to the company briefly in 1992 before retiring and then again returning in 1996. He also worked for WCW briefly in the late 1990s.

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Your Turn: Which athletes and cards with military ties are most memorable to you?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

When Fleer produced an 80-card set documenting the career and the life of Boston Red Sox star Ted Williams back in 1959, it included something that wasn’t all that common for sports cards at the time but is something that we’ve seen a little bit more of in recent years.

It included a selection of cards showcasing the Hall of Famer’s time in the military.

For those who don’t know, Williams missed parts of five baseball seasons — three from 1943-1945 in the Navy reserves for World War II where he learned to be a pilot and then part of the 1952 and 1953 seasons. In his second stint, he was a fighter pilot serving in the Marine Corps in the Korean War where he flew 39 combat missions.

Williams is far from alone as many stars from that era missed time serving in the military.

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Card Chat: Collectors talk about checklists and buying habits

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Checklists can be a hot topic. Some collectors clamor for them, others are more nonchalant about the whole thing.

But one thing they have all noticed is how checklists don’t seem to come out until at least release day. It’s rare that a final checklist is released early, but a lot of that has to do with getting autographs back from athletes and finalizing paperwork and information from printers.

Collectors had a discussion about checklists on Twitter on Thursday night. See their reactions and what group late checklists seems to affect most.

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Can we get final checklists sooner? Manufacturers say ‘no’

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS – When it comes to checklists, one question always comes up – why can’t we get them sooner?

This was one of the hot topics during a manufacturer panel that featured representative from Topps, Upper Deck and Panini America at the 2014 Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

Collectors and dealers may not like the answer. It seems the earliest companies can get a final checklist is the day of pack out because the biggest hurdle is the autographs.

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Are you a SuperCollector? We want to see your collection in Beckett Sports Card Monthly

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CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED STEPS ON HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SUBMISSION (click for a larger view)

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We haven’t been seeing enough of collectors’ passions in the pages of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, so here’s another call for SuperCollectors.

We run them nearly every month in the magazine, setting aside space for your stories, your photos and your information. Later in the year, we’re likely to do 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 Barry Larkin cards — or perhaps it’s for your stash of hundreds of through-the-mail 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.

What are the steps for entry? Click the link below.

CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED STEPS ON HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SUBMISSION (click for a larger view)

Full list of Sports Card Expo signers announced

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Sports Card Expo has announced its final autograph lineup for the May show.

Friday’s guests include Tom Barrasso, Joe Daley and Andy Moog.

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Ripping Retail: 2014 Topps WWE cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a blaster box of 2014 Topps WWE cards in this latest Ripping Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Your Turn: What’s your favorite sports card error or variation?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

People make mistakes.

If you study the entire history of sports cards, you can easy see that this simple statement holds true. From tobacco cards to today’s releases, there are often mistakes that are made as human beings prepare our cardboard.

Sometimes the mistakes are on purpose — we’ll see some of those as homages to 1965 Topps when 2014 Topps Heritage arrives later this week — but most of the time they are not. For myself, seeing two versions of the same sports card side by side have always had a kind of mystifying effect as a collector. I’m not one to hunt through 5,000-count boxes to find new mistakes, but I am one to always stop and look to see which version of a card have if I know it has an error and a variation. (Basic lesson: A variation card is created when an error is corrected — and sometimes that spawns more than two cards. Typically, the rarer version will sell for more.)

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll be revisiting errors and variations as something different for collectors of all sports to chew on — something that’s partly in the past, partly in the present but completely fun. (At least to some of us.)

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Initial Spring Expo signers include hockey favorites and WWE legend

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Canada’s most popular sports card show announced its initial autograph signings for the Spring Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo.

Names include some of Philadelphia Flyer favorites, recent Calgary stars and a WWE Legend.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … collecting vintage

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly

It’s easily a driving force in the hobby, a mainstay of collecting and it’s got nothing to do with the current card companies’ creations, the headlines or even much to do on the field today.

It’s vintage.

Walk the aisles at the National Sports Collectors Convention and you’ll see plenty of it in cards, memorabilia and much more. Walk into a good hobby shop, and you will find plenty of it, too, but that’s becoming less of the norm all the time.

Some of the biggest cards from 1980 and before (what Beckett terms “vintage”) can’t quite compete with the shiny autograph-enhanced cards or game-used booklets of today, but they’re never going to go out of style for the highest-grade specimens of the biggest and most-significant cards.

For our next Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll take a look at vintage stars, vintage values and a few selected vintage cards. As part of that package we want your take on vintage in this, the latest Beckett 20 Questions.

1. Do you consider yourself a vintage collector or own a decent amount of vintage cards?

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2. Which sports do you collect when it comes to vintage? (Select all that apply.)

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Your Turn: What concerns you the most about collecting vintage cards?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

When it comes to collecting vintage cards, it’s no secret that it’s a different animal despite the simplicity of yesteryear’s cardboard.

Counterfeits, trimmed cards, awful printing and cutting jobs are among the obstacles when it comes to finding your key card — if you can find it at all. Then, of course, there are other debates — do you buy graded, do you buy high-grade cards or durable beaten-down copies that you can afford?

Of course, that’s presuming you can find the cards at all.

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll be looking at notable names as well as fun and interesting cards all of the vintage variety (by Beckett definition, that’s 1980 and before). As part of that issue, we’d like to know your thoughts on collecting vintage and we’ll share a sampling of your thoughts left here in the magazine.

So, all that said …

What concerns you the most about collecting vintage cards?

What do you like about vintage cards?

What makes vintage cards an attractive collecting niche in your mind?

Tell us what you think on those three points — and tell us whatever else is on your mind when it comes to these cards 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.

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

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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. There will be prize for active chatters during the one-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.

First look: 2014 WWE Chrome wrestling cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is reviving a tag-team that’s not been done in more than a half-decade for its next wrestling card release.

It’s pairing Chrome with the WWE.

For the first time since 2008′s Heritage III Chrome release, a wrestling card set will be released with the preferred stock of many when 2014 WWE Chrome arrives on June 11.

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Your Turn: What’s your favorite “other” card?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

We all have our favorite players an our favorite cards from the stuff that seemingly everybody collects — or at least stuff everyone is familiar with — from the Big Four sports.

For the upcoming “Others Issue” of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, though, we want to hear about your cherished cards from the sports that aren’t baseball, football, basketball or hockey — or at least not the typical stuff from those sports.

Better yet, we want you to show us your favorites — as long as they aren’t the norm — show us and tell us about your favorite card or set in the comments below.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … the “other” sports and other collecting options

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Majority rules.

That might be the best way to describe the sports card landscape and collecting habits these days. The sports that the most people like get the most attention and the most products — and that means that more people probably will own the key cards compared to some of the “other” sports that aren’t the Big Four of baseball, football, basketball or hockey.

And that might be the key to future potential — the oddball stuff of today could be much tougher to find tomorrow if there’s somehow more interest to be seen in sports that aren’t king on cardboard right now. While many a prospector is ripping case after case of the chromed-out stuff, there are far fewer likely buying soccer, wrestling and Olympic brands. There have to be far fewer autographs of some of the “other” sports’ biggest names — you know, the sports that don’t have 20-some products released each year. It’s a compelling thought as tastes always seem to change — just like the stars in the sports world.

In the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll take a look at some of those other sports. As part of “The Others Issue” we’ll showcase your thoughts on this — and more. Have something to say? Leave it in the comments below — only after you respond to our latest 20 Questions.

1. Have you bought sports cards that are not from baseball, football, basketball or hockey?

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2. Have you bought cards that were made outside the U.S. or made for release elsewhere?

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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 on the Beckett Media Facebook page

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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. There will be prize for 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 — yes, there will be Chatter Up on Christmas night! (Olds is dedicated … or something.)

Beckett 20 Questions on … collecting autographs

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Few things in the trading card industry these days — except maybe licensing — are as vital as the autograph.

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’ll once again be taking a look at autographs. Among the selections, of course, will be 20 Questions.

We want to know what you think about certain things when it comes to autographs in the hobby as well as know what kind of collections you might be building. (Be sure to tell us more if you need to in the comments below.)

1. Do you consider yourself an autograph collector?

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2. How many autographs do you own?

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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 on the Beckett Media Facebook page


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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. There will be prize for active chatters during the two-hour session.

The prizes? Well, it will be an all-autograph edition this week. Among the autographs that will go out to collectors will be Manny Machado, George Springer, Wil Myers, Josh Donaldson, Homer Bailey, Dominic Brown, Lonnie Chisenhall and Wade Miley.

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.