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Category Archives: Hockey

Panini shows off NHL rookie sketch cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

As the hockey world awaits for the owners and NHL Players Association to come to an agreement and avoid a lockout, a couple of hundred people have descended in Toronto for the NHLPA Rookie Showcase.

It was a great way for these groups to get their minds off a potential shortened season.

Much like football and basketball, the rookies for the upcoming season get together for the card companies. They take dozens of pictures and sign autograph cards and memorabilia for Upper Deck and Panini America, the companies with both NHL and NHLPA card licenses for 2012-13.

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With lockout looming, Kreider leads early NHL rookie class on cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Every day that passes without an agreement between the NHL owners and the NHL Players Association, it seems hockey is heading closer to a lockout.

Of course, this will effect cards. Specifically, you won’t be able to collect all those rookies you were hoping to see. There’ll be no Nail Yakupov or Ryan Murray on trading cards anytime soon if there is a lockout.

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Black & White surprise in 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck included a surprise insert in 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee NHL that wasn’t on the checklist.

The insert set is called O-Pee-Chee Black & White. As the name suggests all the picture are black and white, in addition to a deckled edge with a facsimile autograph on the front of the card. There are no real autographs version of these cards, according to Upper Deck.

The cards are tough to grab, and prices on eBay are certainly indicating the scarcity.

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Product Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck Artifacts

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In just a couple of short months – and the hopes of no lockout – 2012-13 Artifacts Hockey is scheduled to hit the shelves.

The newest Upper Deck product comes with a number of low-numbered cards and memorabilia cards beyond jerseys.

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Orr autos seem plentiful in Ultimate

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Have you ever wanted a Bobby Orr autograph, but couldn’t afford to get one of the best hockey players of all time?

It seems as though 2011-12 Ultimate Collection is making it a little easier for collectors to get their hands on one. Collectors opening the Upper Deck product have noticed Orr autographs falling at a pretty decent rate, which is usually unheard for a player of Orr’s caliber.

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Collectors remember 2004-05 NHL lockout

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Eight years ago, the NHL had an unprecedented season – one that didn’t happen.

After the NHL and NHLPA couldn’t come to terms for a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL had a lockout that resulted in a cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season and the Stanley Cup was not given out for the first time since 1919.

It could happen again.

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AT THE NATIONAL: A post-show mega-gallery

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A week has gone by since the close of this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention and there’s plenty that could be said, that could be written, about what could be found under one roof during the hobby’s showcase event.

From “extra” DNA Relics found in the bottom of one collector’s Allen & Ginter box (a Texas lizard in the wrong place at the wrong time at the printing plant) to countless vintage gems, from vintage wax to priceless auction items, from kids sorting soccer cards with their grandmas to kids walking the show floor in movie-used Jack Parkman jerseys, there was plenty to see.

If you followed me on Twitter during the show, you’ve undoubtedly seen a few of these already. But with the deadline clock ticking and more to do for your next magazines, this chapter of the NSCC — all except for some video still to come — is closing with a massive 97-image gallery after the jump.

It’s just a small glimpse at much of what was seen at the show — check them out and let us know what you think. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words — so there’s plenty that could be said.

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Panini VIP event offers experience beyond show


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

We’re about a week removed from the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore and since then a couple of things have resonated with me about the hobby and its premiere event.

It’s still pretty strong — but it could still be stronger.

Not stronger in practical ways like more dealers, more space, more education and more discussions. That’s easy, and it’s stuff that could be done — by NSCC organizers or others attending the event (some companies did). But it could also be stronger as in potentially bringing in more of corporate America, more star power in different ways and making it feel more like The Event of All Events — something that can raise the profile of the hobby beyond just those in it, a way to ensure that those who used to collect can realize that it’s all still around and that the cardboard is better than it was in the past, too.

Panini America‘s VIP party on Aug. 4 showed how a bit of that might be possible as the company put on a show beyond the card show.

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Lord Stanley cut autograph coming to ITG’s Superlative Hockey 3

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Punching in “Lord Stanley” in the Beckett database reveals just 41 cards with his name on it.

By the end of the year, there should at least one more. In The Game will release Superlative Hockey 3 in November in time for the Fall Expo with a cut autograph of Lord Stanley of Preston.

It will be the 10th cut auto to hit the market since 2001-02 SP Game Used.

However, the cut autograph is just one of the highlights in Superlative Hockey 3, which has been two years in the making.

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FIRST LOOK: 2012-13 Upper Deck Hockey Series 1

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Hockey fans are gearing up for another installment of Young Guns.

Upper Deck Series 1 hits the shelves in November with one of the most popular series for Rookie Cards in the sport.

Young Guns will fall at an average rate of six cards per 24-pack hobby box. Each eight-card pack will have two to three inserts. Some other items collectors can get include parallels, jersey cards and canvas cards.

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Your Turn (HK 242): Who do you think is a future hockey legend?

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In an upcoming issue of Beckett Hockey, we’re looking at legends of the game.

All the notables will be there with Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr.

However, there are few things we want to know from you – the collector.

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Your Turn (BSCM 331): Show your school colors … who do you collect?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

In an upcoming issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re going to explore the world of college collecting.

While we haven’t yet ironed out all of the items we’ll have inside The College Issue — there are lots of options — one thing we know we do want is to hear from you. We want to know a few things about how your school ties tie into what you collect and how you collect.

I finished my college days at the University of Alabama — a school that has produced many Hall of Famers on the gridrion (both college and pro), produced quite a few MLB and NBA stars, and even some stars in the literary and media world. My collection is all over the map from my days down there — and it’s a collection with plenty of variety beyond just the football greats. (I’ll have plenty to potentially write about in that issue.)

But that’s for later. We want to know about your college collecting habits.

Give us your name and location and answer the following questions … we’ll run a selection of the most-interesting answers in the issue.

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Upper Deck offers wrapper redemption program for O-Pee-Chee hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Hockey card season is here, and Upper Deck’s first product is 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee, which comes out in just a week.

Canadian collectors get a special surprise for grabbing the newest product, which happens to have a 600-card base set. Upper Deck is having a wrapper redemption program for OPC.

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Prime Hockey shows off its patches

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini America had a unique way of showing off cards from one of its newest products. The company strategically placed patches together from 2011-12 Prime Hockey to make them look like one big patch.

But they aren’t. It’s anywhere from six to 16 cards put together.

For those out there who are completists, try to control the urge.

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AT THE NATIONAL: Forget me not … tales from the bargain bins

 By Ben Aguirre Jr. | Contributing Writer | Commentary

BALTIMORE | “Everything over here is $1 or $2, and everything over there is 50 cents,” one dealer says.

“And if you pick out a lot, I’ll give you a good deal.”

That was an actual selling point one dealer was shouting Friday as he was drawing customers to his booth to dig through the various so-called bargain boxes.

In reality, words to this effect are fairly common place at sports card shows such as the National Sports Collectors Convention.  There are bargain bins at just about every other dealer booth.

And to me, those selling points are music to my ears.

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The National can be overwhelming to first-timers

By Ben Aguirre | Contributing Writer | Commentary

BALTIMORE — Where do I start?

No, seriously. Where do I start?

That’s the question I asked myself Thursday when I walked into the Baltimore Convention Center for my first day of the 33rd National Sports Collectors Convention.

I walked through the door, saw one booth and then another, and then a dozen more. And the room kept going like this several times over like some sort of funny carnival mirror.

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AT THE NATIONAL: Your Beckett starter kit

If you’re heading to the National Sports Collectors Convention tonight, this week or this weekend, one thing’s for certain — there will be plenty to see.

To help, we suggest picking up a copy of the August issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly for more about the show — available now at hobby shops and selected bookstores or available at the Beckett booth. (If you attend using a VIP package, look inside your bag for exclusive discounts on grading, books, magazines, OPGs and more from Beckett while at the show.)

To help you even more, you can see all of our previous stories about this year’s show after the jump — and be sure to look for more right here on Beckett.com and via our editors’ Twitter accounts @chrisolds2009, @yanxchick as well as contributors @cardboardicons and @dgood73 during the show.

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First look: In The Game’s History of Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

In The Game’s hockey products have been around for more than a decade. Now, Dr. Brian Price is bringing together a product that highlights its past with History of Hockey.

There are just four cards in each box: a memorabilia card, a PSA/DNA certified autograph, a Rookie Card and a buyback.

ITG hasn’t released dates or pricing yet, but there are plenty of pictures and early information about History of Hockey for hockey collectors.

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Get your hands on Tracy Hackler at the NSCC

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

From the Tongue-Firmly-in-Cheek File …

Just in case you’ve ever wanted to get your hands on Panini America‘s Tracy Hackler, you now have your chance at the National Sports Collectors Convention.

No, he’s not auditioning opponents for inside the Octagon. No, he’s not holding arm-wrestling contests at the company booth (that we know of) — but watch out, he’ll test positive for Monster and Jack Links beef jerky so if you want to take your chances on a reversed decision …

Instead? Well …

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Hockey’s turn for Ultimate’s 1997 Legends autos

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Over the last several years, Upper Deck’s Ultimate Collection has been inserted with the 1997 Legends autograph subset. The checklist is filled with some of the great players in the respective sports.

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in basketball. Brett Favre and Dan Marino in football – just to name a few.

This year’s Ultimate Collection kicks off a three-year cycle with hockey of the 1997 Legends autographs with 30 players in each release. The product comes out next week.

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Newest Ultimate Collection arrives next week

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Even during the dead heat of this summer, there are many collectors looking forward to the days when the air cools and ice arenas become a popular hang out.

Upper Deck is getting hockey fans in the mood when its latest release comes out next week – 2011-12 Ultimate Collection.

While on the high-end scale, Ultimate is a favorite among collectors with high-caliber autographs and sharp designs. Ultimate is scheduled to arrive on Aug. 7 with pre-orders around $100 a box.

Collectors will get one pack per box with four cards including an autograph, a Rookie Card, a base card and a memorabilia card, on average.

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ESPN’s Mint Condition talks The National


ESPN’s “Mint Condition” catches up with Mike Berkus of the National Sports Collectors Convention to discuss next week’s show in Baltimore.

Mastro, Allen indicted on fraud charges

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Sports auction house executives Bill Mastro and Doug Allen were indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago on Wednesday on charges of fraud for allegations that include auction manipulation and, in the case of Mastro, altering one of the hobby’s most-famous baseball cards, the PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner that has sold for $2.8 million.

Mastro, the founder of defunct Mastro Auctions which closed in 2009, faces one count of mail fraud. Allen, who was the president of Mastro before it closed and is now president of Legendary Auctions, faces 14 counts. Another former Mastro executive now with Legendary, Mark Theotikos, faces six. According to a New York Daily News report, the maximum penalty for the charges is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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Panini America NSCC wrapper redemption to include plates, cracked ice … and Bryce Harper



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America‘s plans for its wrapper redemption program for this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention have not yet been fully revealed with the start of the event just 10 days away.

What’s known so far? The Texas-based company is bringing printing plates and cracked ice to the show as part of its show at the show in Baltimore Aug. 1-5.

While the company is promising more info later today, its first offering will be printing plates from various box designs from its products this year. These items will be found via instant-win redemption cards in the bonus packs opened at the show. (Collectors who open a certain number of standard Panini packs will receive a show pack in return, which will have exclusive show-only cards along with other bonuses.)

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Box Busters: 2011-12 SP Authentic hockey cards

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2011-12 SP Authentic cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …