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Category Archives: Hockey

Manufacturers looking for ways to handle growing group breakers

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Want a chance at a hit from a high-end product? Collectors have turned to online group breaks as a way to satisfy that craving.

It may be tough for some collectors to spend $500 on a box of cards, but a $50 slot in a group break is a more affordable gamble. Group break collectors can walk away with big-money cards or get “skunked,” the term collectors use when they wind up with nothing from a break.

Despite opposition from some hobby shops and manufacturers, group breaks are gaining appeal. The explosion of group breaks started a couple of years ago. It has become part of the National Sports Collectors Convention and The Industry Summit, with breaks happening live on camera.

Group breaks occur every night at various price points as the cards are shown off on camera.

While group breaks have become another collecting option, they have also become a place of concern for longtime hobby shop owners. Group breaks are often streamed online, showing breakers opening cases on YouTube or BreakersTV. This means a collector with a PayPal account doesn’t have to leave the house and can watch their breaks online. A few days later, their cards are in the mailbox.

The topic of group breaks was addressed at The Industry Summit in Las Vegas in March with representatives from Panini America, Topps and Upper Deck discussing the craze with a room full of hobby shop owners.

“Obviously, group breaks in general are a positive in terms of being able to expose people to products they wouldn’t normally see,” said Topps’ Vice President of Sales, David Reel. “It’s something that is going to continue to grow.”

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Collectors go on a mad dash for John Gibson cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Anaheim Ducks shook up their goalie situation this weekend, putting 20-year-old John Gibson between the pipes in Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Ducks were rewarded with a shutout with Gibson making 28 saves. It was his first playoff appearance and just the fourth NHL start of this season. Gibson will now get the start in Game 5 against the Kings tonight at 10 p.m. with the best-of-seven series tied at two games apiece.

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Your Turn: Which new rookies — in any sport — are you collecting?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With a new crop of NFL rookies aligned with their teams, a new MLB season under way and both the NBA and NHL drafts coming soon, there’s a lot of potential brewing for collectors of rookies and prospects.

For the upcoming Rookies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re curious about who you are going to collect — in any sport.

Tell us in the comments below … which rookies are getting your hobby dollars?

We’ll showcase a selection of the most-interesting answers left here in the issue.

Which NFL rookie is most-worthy of the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly cover?

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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 by clicking here.

Beckett 20 Questions on … rookies and busts


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

When Johnny Manziel slid all the way to the 22nd pick in this year’s NFL Draft, some collectors had to wonder what was up with their red-hot pre-draft cards of Johnny Football.

Well, so far, they’re still hot — even though he’s headed to the quarterback blender called the Cleveland Browns.

Johnny Football’s story got us thinking about rookies who just couldn’t miss in the past — and many of those who did miss, too. We’re curious as to what you’re thinking about Manziel and more about rookies of today and yesterday.

Here are our latest 20 Questions …

1. Would you put your money into a Johnny Manziel autograph?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump. (Click on “read more.”)

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First look: 2014-15 Upper Deck MVP Hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck’s first product for the 2014-15 season features a return of a former mainstay.

2014-15 MVP Hockey cards is a set that is intended for all. Hobby boxes will be affordable and feature retail packs for around $1.

Each hobby box will have eight cards per pack with 24 packs in every box.

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Beckett Auctions features iconic cards, autographs, memorabilia and more


Beckett Auction’s May event kicks off today at noon CT.

This month’s collection features hundreds of lots with more than 50 autographed sports jerseys including Robert Griffin III, Barry Sanders and Terry Bradshaw.

There are also dozens of sports cards with autographs from Joe Namath, Michael Jordan, Kirby Puckett, and memorabilia cards of Red Grange and Lou Gehrig.

Two of Michael Jordan’s earliest cards are featured with his iconic 1986-87 Fleer #57 (7.5 BGS) and 1984-85 Star #101 XRC (BGS 6.5) up for grabs.

Click here for more information on this month’s Beckett Auctions.

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First look: 2013-14 Panini Prime Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Panini is gearing up for 2013-14 Prime Hockey, its third – and final – installment of the popular high-end product. Prime will be one of the final products from Panini under the current NHL and NHLPA licenses agreement.

Each box will hold seven cards with one Prime Rookies Quad Autograph and four more hits.

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Unmarked checklists could be hidden gems

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Collectors from the 1960 and ‘70s had a personal checklist style.

Some used check marks, others used Xs, while still others would color the entire box.

Before spreadsheets and software, checklist cards – issued in a regular series – helped collectors keep track of the cards they needed to complete a set.

The different checklist techniques make cards unique all this time later, but marking up these cards also did something else – it added value to unblemished checklists from vintage sets.

Current collectors don’t need to know how far along collectors of yesteryear got in their collection. No, collectors now want these cards unmarked, nearly untouched after 40 or more years. But it’s difficult to find cards that weren’t defaced since so many collectors used the checklists for their intended purpose.

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Leaf and In The Game announce new partnership to create trading cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Editor

Leaf Trading Cards and In The Game Trading Cards have formed a partnership, the companies announced on Saturday at an event at the Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo.

New products will come out with the two companies working together, adding elements from each to make new products.

“This is just what the hobby needs,” said Leaf CEO Brian Gray in a telephone interview. “One license is not enough. Me and Brian (Price) both feel it’s right to work together and take on what we think is an unfair monopoly for collectors.”

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Autographs, cards and more available at the 2014 Spring Expo

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The 2014 Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo kicks off Friday at the Toronto International Centre.

In The Game, Upper Deck and Panini America will all be represented at the show, featuring giveaways and prizes for attendees.

Here’s a look what each company is doing and how you can get your hands on all the swag.

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Nathan MacKinnon already a star with hockey collectors

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

You may not realize Nathan MacKinnon was 18 years old by watching him play hockey.

He moves across the ice with the presence of someone who has played on this level for years. He sees the ice well, finding intricate ways to get the puck on his teammates’ sticks. MacKinnon can score too.

In two games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche rookie already has seven points, tying the record for the most points in the first two playoff games of a career. MacKinnon had three assists in Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild, and a goal and three assists in Game 2. Game 3 is tonight at 7 p.m. ET.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … military on sports cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Plenty of metaphors and cliches get tossed around when it comes to the sports world, and many of them parallel military action — referring to our pastimes as battles, combat and so much more.

For some players on the field in the past and present, the comparisons might be ironic as there are many sports stars who also served in the military or have military ties of some sort. There are far more out there than Pat Tillman, Roger Staubach or David Robinson. We see it on our cardboard and collectibles from time to time — enough that we’ve opted to dedicate an entire issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly to exploring what’s out there for the niche and one that those collectors serving in the military might find interesting, too.

Heck, even virtual collectibles like ToppsBunt cards found in virtual packs on its popular app have military subsets. There, it’s a 10-card Hall of Fame Heroes set that notes Hall of Famers’ military service, including Marine fighter pilot Ted Williams. It seems the military nods — whether its camo parallels or cards from military backed athletes or events — are everywhere.

As part of the issue, we want to hear what you think of a few things when it comes to creative cards and more with a new set of 20 Questions … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2013-14 In the Game’s Between the Pipes

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Join Beckett Hockey Editor Susan Lulgjuraj as she opens a box of 2013-14 In The Game’s Between the Pipes.

First look: 2013-14 In The Game’s Lord Stanley’s Mug hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

The biggest celebration in hockey happens when a player finally gets to hold The Stanley Cup Trophy high above his head. There might be no greater moment in hockey.

In The Game is celebrating hockey’s championship with 2013-14 Lord Stanley’s Mug.

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Gallery: Upper Deck shows off newest cards from 2013-14 Fleer Showcase Hockey

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck’s Fleer Showcase Hockey will hit the shelves in less than two weeks. Upper Deck got some of the cards in hand and showed off a number of them including Precious Metal Gems, rare inserts and patch cards.

Check out the gallery below to see the latest additions to 2013-14 Fleer Showcase Hockey.

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Upper Deck creates Heroic Inspirations trading card for cancer survivor

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Upper Deck has been making trading cards of everyday people. They don’t need to be a celebrity, throw a ball well or skate the ice with blazing speed. Instead, Upper Deck is honoring others for dealing with harrowing situations or the way they give back to their communities.

The latest to get a “Heroic Inspirations” trading card from Upper Deck is Jaclyn Murphy.

In 2004, when she was 9 years old, Jaclyn was diagnosed with malignant brain tumor and given a 30 percent chance of survival. During her treatments, she became friends with members of the Northwestern lacrosse team, a perfect match since Jaclyn loved the sport.

Jaclyn inspired the team while they had a positive impact on her life. Northwestern went on to win its first lacrosse national title that year.

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


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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Upper Deck presents the Black Diamond Draft

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Collectors who pulled a Black Diamond Draft Card have no idea what they are going to get.

Sure, they know they are getting one of 25 cards – but the players still remains a mystery. Players on the checklist include Nathan MacKinnon, Tomas Hertl, Aleksander Barkov and Sean Monahan.

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First look: 2013-14 Rookie Anthology Hockey cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Updates to all of Panini’s hockey products will be out in May with 2013-14 Rookie Anthology Hockey.

The updates will find collectors with new chase elements in products such as Prizm, Crown Royale and Titanium. However, Rookie Anthology will also be the home to 2013-14 Dominion hockey cards with Rookie Autograph Patches, Peerless Patches and Rookie Ensigns.

Each box of Rookie Anthology will have 10 packs with five cards in each pack. There will be four hits in every box with at least two autographs.

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Box Busters: 2013-14 In The Game Used

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Beckett Hockey’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013-14 In The Game Used. Watch the video to see what she pulled.