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Category Archives: Multisport

Jesse Owens’ Olympic gold medal sells for record $1.4 million

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

An Olympic gold medal Jesse Owens won at the 1936 Berlin Games has sold for a record $1.4 million through SCP Auctions on Sunday.

Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle won the medal at auction, according to the Associated Press. He paid $1,466,574.

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Holiday Gift Guide for sports collectors

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Buying gifts for a sports card or memorabilia collector can be tough if you’re not one yourself. They say things like top loaders and penny sleeves, and you have no idea what they’re talking about.

Let’s make things a little easier with Beckett’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for collectors.

1. Pay Pal Gift Card

It’s one of the simplest presents you can get a card collector. Many of them probably shop on eBay for singles or even hobby boxes. A PayPal gift card will allow them to pick up anything they want.

2. A hobby box

Don’t be afraid to ask the collector in your family what their favorite sport is – then head over to a hobby shop and pick up a hobby box of their sport. Many of these will be in the $100 range. Most hobby shops clerks are willing to help you pick the right box, but the important information is usually listed on the sides of the boxes. It will tell you how many packs, autographs and what collectors can expect to find inside.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps U.S. Winter Olympics

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Bryan Hornbeck as they rip into a box of 2014 Topps U.S. Winter Olympics in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Companies prepare for Black Friday — where the industry’s creativity continues to show


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor  | Commentary & Opinion

It’s not just a big sales day, it’a a whole lot of work — and, to some degree, an experience for collectors.

Black Friday is nearly here, and, for card companies, it’s a chance to add to the creative pieces collectors can chase. For card sellers, it’s  a chance to be creative with marketing and to ensure they are utilizing all of their sales potential as best they can.

These days, that’s not just a website or simple storefront for many dealers. It’s a multi-channel online approach that creates and fosters surges of traffic — as well as collector interest — throughout the biggest sales weekend of the year. It’s building an audience and an experience — and, of course, both of those things benefit a brand that can stick with collectors the remainder of the year.

How big can it be online?

“In the past, the website has averaged between two to three million pageviews on Black Friday,” said Chris Park of Sterling, Va.-based Blowout Cards.

And that’s just one of the company’s platforms.

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Family’s love of collectibles turns into a family business

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Chuck Whisman’s home was filled with trading cards and memorabilia. Even his young daughters would comment on how their dining room table was completely hidden by the goods.

But everything has been moved into Whisman’s new card shop in Lancaster, Pa. – VSM Sports Card Outlet, which opened in August.

“The thought of just doing the shop is a little scary these days,” Whisman said. “You don’t see shops alone anymore.”

That’s why Whisman has turned his love of collectibles into a family business with him running the shop, his wife as an auctioneer for their other new company Wheatland Auctions and his young daughters offering up their brand of advice along the way.

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Coming Soon — Beckett Yearbook: Best of 2013


The year isn’t over yet, but the calendar year for Beckett Media‘s five sports card titles is — and that means it’s time for a new addition.

Joining the Beckett lineup beginning in December will be the Beckett Yearbook, a full-color look at the Best of 2013 — the most-interesting, most-notable and most-important stories found in the pages of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, Beckett Baseball, Beckett Football, Beckett Hockey and Beckett Basketball this year.

Arriving in early December in hobby shops and then on newsstands in the middle of the month, Beckett Yearbook will pack 128 pages of nothing but stories about sports cards and memorabilia from Beckett Media’s editors as well as other contributors this past year. World Series champion David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox graces the magazine’s front cover, while Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck gets the nod on the back.

The cover price for this special issue is $9.99.

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Take the Beckett Media collectors survey


Please help us learn about your collecting habits by taking this 18-question survey.

1. Where do you buy trading cards (pick all that apply)

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2. Where do you get your hobby news from? (pick all that apply)

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … Collecting USA


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Winter Olympics are less than 100 days away and those waiting for the arrival of the only fully licensed Olympic trading cards have an even shorter wait.

And that means the latest batch of athletes aspiring to become medal winners and household names will have their first autographs and trading cards — cards that may resonate well with non-collectors and generate cash for some savvy wheelers and dealers once things heat up this February in Sochi, Russia.

Topps2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team & Hopefuls arrives on Nov. 20 including some of the big names you likely know from past years and others you might not such as Amy Purdy, a member of the US Paralympic Snowboarding Team. Purdy, above and seen holding her upcoming Topps card, lost both of her legs below the knee at age 19. (Check out her story here.)

With all of the collecting potential to be found with the latest arrival sporting the Red, White and Blue, we figured the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly would be a good chance to examine a bit more about Collecting USA — the hot spots, the interesting cards and more from Olympic-focused sets and other releases that are of note or touch on the stars from all 50 states. As part of that, here’s the latest 20 Questions with a focus on Olympic cards of all types.

1. Which sports have you bought Team USA cards for? (select all that apply)

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2. Which past or present Winter Olympians' autos from the new Topps set interest you the most? (Pick your top five)

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See the rest of this month’s questions … after the jump.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … your collecting tastes


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

With the latest issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re taking you behind the scenes inside some card companies to show you things you may not have seen before and talk shop with some people whose daily routines include helping your cardboard come to life.

As part of that, we’ll have our typical 20 Questions in the issue but, honestly, there may not be 20 questions that fit that concept — so instead we’re asking questions that take us behind the scenes in your minds.

Here are 20 questions asking what you think about collecting today as well as your collecting tastes and habits.

1. Where do you buy most of your wax boxes?

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2. What type of collector are you?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Art and autographs combined in 2013 Leaf Masterworks

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Leaf has added art cards and autographs in several products over the last year.

Now, it has put it all together for one set – 2013 Leaf Masterworks.

Leaf Masterworks contains three art cards with an autograph of the featured athlete. Since these are all custom created, every card is considered 1-of-1.

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Tip Sheet: Five tips for success on eBay


By Ben Aguirre Jr.

To say the Internet has changed the game in terms of sports collectibles would be an understatement. The World Wide Web has opened the door for collector-to-collector trading across the world that really was previously only available to the most-connected dealers.

But perhaps no aspect of the Internet has had a bigger impact on the hobby than eBay. Hands down, the San Jose, Calif.-based company has been the dominant place to buy and sell cards online. When the auction site burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, collectors caught auction fever and were seemingly buying anything they had not ever seen before. Whether or not it was actually rare was not important — it was new to them.

But even though eBay has been a part of the hobby and business for more than 15 years now, there are still some older collectors and newer ones who do not fully understand some of the nuances of buying and selling on the site.
Here are some tips to make the site work for you:

Looking for a bargain? Try a blind category search. Instead of searching for something specific like a 1986-1987 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card, search the entire category of basketball cards and then sort the search by “ending soonest.” There are lots of good bargains to be had using this method.

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Beckett Media publishes new book solely about autographs



If you’re an autograph hound — or merely a collector of certified ink — Beckett Media has a new book just for you.

The newest offering in the Beckett library is the Beckett Autographs Price Guide, a release solely dedicated to autographs. The 432-page book includes a pair of feature stories to assist ink collectors hunting on their own and to spot some of the landmark certified sets. In addition, there are more than 1,000 exemplar images of autographs for most notable players from the Big Four sports as well as a few others and also a gallery of presidential autographs.

Lastly, more than 300 pages of the $49.95 book are dedicated to price guides for most major certified autograph sets from the four major sports as well as those from racing, golf, tennis and multi-sport releases.

For more information or to order a copy, click here.

Upper Deck creates rare Precious Metal Gems for employees

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Several collectors noticed interesting cards showing up on eBay – purple Precious Metal Gems.

Turns out these cards were made for Upper Deck employees, according to the company’s blog. These cards were given away to show appreciation to the employees.

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First Look: 2013 Topps 75th anniversary (with preliminary checklist)


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is celebrating an anniversary this December — its 75th anniversary of making cardboard of any kind — and it’s all culminating in a single take-a-look back product that’s all about pop culture and Topps’ place in it documenting it via cardboard.

It’s 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary.

Since 1938, Topps has existed — first as a chewing gum company. Then, in 1947 Bazooka arrived and then in 1949 so did its cardboard. This one will take a look back at more than 100 classic sets from the past with some new inclusions, too.

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Looking at vintage lacrosse cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

Canada and hockey go together. It’s the national winter sport.

However, that wasn’t always the case. For decades, the Canadian national sport was lacrosse — and only lacrosse. Hockey and lacrosse now share that distinction side by side. But Canada has been a hot bed of lacrosse with athletes crossing over between the two sports.

This isn’t just a modern phenomenon as lacrosse has been a huge sport in Canada for the last century. It was so popular that lacrosse trading cards were nearly as popular as hockey cards back in the early 1910s.

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At the National: Collectors can get customized sketch cards on the spot

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | Collectors spend their lives collecting pictures on cards.

It can be anything from athletes to movie stars to Martians. But Leaf is giving collectors at the National Sports Collectors Convention a chance at getting anything you want on a card, and most collectors are going for pictures of their family.

Jay Pangan III is holed up at the Leaf booth on the National floor. He’s doing custom sketch cards for $40 a card.

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At the National: Upper Deck honors Cards2Kids teen founder

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | John Makowiec loves collecting cards – so much so, that he wants other children to feel the same joy.

About four years ago, Makowiec decided to give his extra cards to other children and started the charitable program Cards2Kids. As the company’s saying goes, he trades sports cards for smiles.

Makowiec donates cards to schools and hospitals. He also helped create an educational program to help children learn about statistics and math using sports cards. The charity has gone international with cards getting into the hands of children in Canada and Panama as well as those from around the country.

Makowiec, now 17 years old, was honored by Upper Deck at the VIP Reception at National Sports Collections Convention on Wednesday. The company put the young entrepreneur on his own trading card.

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Keep Goodwin weird: An interview with Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground has been in the card industry for nearly 20 years. He’s worked at a card shop. He worked at Beckett and now he’s Upper Deck’s Director of Product Development.

And none of his work experiences quite compare to creating Goodwin Champions.

“To me, it’s the most fun product I work on every year,” Sandground said. “The landscape we have to work with is so open. I enjoy being able to offer collectors something that they have never really seen before or trying to pursue before.”

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NSCC Notebook: Preview & Day 1 nuggets … (updating)


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Nuggets and notes from this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention … look for this file to be updated throughout the day on Wednesday, the sneak-preview night for the show. (Click here for all of Beckett Media’s past NSCC stories.)

New arrivals …
The day before the show, vendors are working on setting up their booth space while many collectors are en route for the afternoon opening. Several new products will be making their debuts at this one, including Panini America‘s high-end season-capping National Treasures basketball and then Topps‘ online-only and NSCC-only Minis and Bowman Platinum. No matter how a season looks on the field, high-end brands, limited-run brands and prospecting products seem to do well. Look for plenty of interest in these at the show thanks to group-breaking — which will have a much larger presence this year — and wrapper-redemption programs. Nearly all companies in attendance will have some type of incentive program to see collectors rip and have the one-on-one chance at feedback during the rip. (See our past stories link for more details.)

Add one more star to the Panini VIP guest-list …
In November Chris Chelios will take his spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but during the NSCC weekend he’ll be among the guests signing for those in attendance at the Panini VIP Party set for Saturday. The invitation-only event will be open to a select group of big-spending collectors and other VIPs in attendance. The three-time Stanley Cup winner is just the second guest announced thus far — Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig will be there to mark the launch of his autograph memorabilia deal with Panini Authentic. Other guests will be announced one per day this week with each of the players signing a specially designed photo for those in attendance.

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


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. Up for grabs this week will be wax, game-used and more from the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention.

(Click here to find the image above and leave an early comment there if you can’t make it.)

If you miss the chat, be back on the page next week.