What’s in a name? Nickname autographs can add some variety to your collection

Nickname-Autographs-Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

You’re an old-school football fan and have amassed a half-dozen Joe Namath autographs over the years. But do you have a “Broadway Joe”? If a Yankees fan pulls a standard Dustin Pedroia autograph, the reaction might be one of, “meh.” Make it a “Muddy Chicken” and, chances are, even the deepest of rivalries can be set aside.

Notable-Nicknames

Let’s face it, autographs are everywhere in today’s hobby. There’s a reason for that. But with so many out there, it takes a little something extra to make them special. To me, nickname autographs are one of those things. It’s a niche that adds something personalized. And they’re not too common, either.

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2016 Topps Tier One Baseball details

2016 Topps Tier One Baseball George Brett Bat Knob

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2016 Topps Tier One Baseball is another all-hits installment for the brand. And, for the most part, not a lot has changed. Some tweaks have been made to the design, but it has the same overall feel.

Sticking with the same sort of box setup it has used in the past, each one comes with two autographs and one relic card.

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2016 Topps First Pitch checklist includes Mo’ne Davis, Jordan Spieth, Kristaps Porzingis

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Actors, golfers, professional skateboarders — 2016 Topps First Pitch covers some massively varied ground when it comes to its featured subjects. And, at this point, not a lot of names are known.

The insert set returns for a second year, immortalizing some of the folks who kicked off games with the ceremonial toss. The focus the first time around varied but, understandably, much of the attention went to the celebrities. Many of the most popular from 2015, like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, don’t have many cards so they were a novelty on several fronts.

When the 2016 Topps Series 1 checklist was released, a couple of things were missing. The first are the traditional photo variations but those are never announced in advance. The First Pitch inserts were also left to be a surprise.

Jordan Spieth is one of the most notable. Winner of both the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open, the young golfer had yet to have a traditional trading card outside of one included in an issue of Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. This is the first Jordan Spieth card to arrive in pack form. That said, he’s wearing a Red Sox jersey and throwing a ball rather than a collared shirt and putter.

Mo’ne Davis was the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series, making the achievement in 2014. While it would have been great to have a card of the teenager then, this is a notable alternative.

Kristaps Porzingis, arguably the rookie making the biggest splash in the NBA this season, makes his baseball card debut. The Knicks standout took to the mound before a Mets game last June.

2015 finally saw horse racing get another Triple Crown. Victor Espinoza, who was the jockey on American Pharaoh, is part of the First Pitch set.

While most everyone on the 2016 Topps Series 1 First Pitch checklist can be seen as a hero in some form, a couple take that embodiment to a new level. Gabrielle Giffords is a politician from Arizona who survived an attempt on her life during a public rally in 2011. Rebekah Gregory was injured during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 while protecting her young son. And then there’s Evelyn Jones, who threw out a pitch at a Mariners game last July at the age of 108.

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Seven Topps Football Products Due in February

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By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

It looks like Topps is going out with a bang… at least from the NFL licensed card market.

Topps is planning a massive February, starting this week. The company, which has been producing pro football card sets for 60 consecutive years, announced what looks to be its final product of the year. There are seven (count’em, seven!) Topps football products scheduled to release this month, starting with 2015 Topps Fire and 2015 Topps Museum Collection this week. Five are due in the final week of the month. You have to wonder if Topps is planning on using up its memorabilia vault in these final seven products.

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Tentative 2016 Topps Doctor Who Timeless Autographs Checklist Announced

2016 Topps Doctor Who Timeless Autographed Medallion

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

An initial 2016 Topps Doctor Who Timeless autographs checklist has been announced. While there are a lot of signers from the last set, Timeless adds more than 30 new actors to the lineup as well.

Several Doctors are on the checklist including David Tennant, Tom Baker and Colin Baker. Joining them is Sylvester McCoy who played the Seventh Doctor.

The other big new addition is Arthur Darvill who played Rory.

Besides basic autographs, 2016 Topps Doctor Who Timeless has a handful of Dual and Triple Autographs, Autographed Costume cards and Autographed Medallions.

The full initial 2016 Topps Doctor Who Timeless autographs checklist is below.

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Remember when Jose Canseco and Ichiro pitched? 2016 Topps Pressed Into Service does.

2016 Topps Pressed Into Service Ichiro

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

There’s something funny about a position player taking to the mound. The score is probably ugly and the bullpen worn out. Rather than tiring them out for no real reason, bring in an outfielder or second baseman and at least there’s a glimmer of entertainment and novelty on an otherwise gloomy day. 2016 Topps Pressed Into Service is an insert set that delves into some of those moments, creating pitcher cards for players normally known for playing elsewhere in the field.

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Unreleased 2015 Topps Chrome Carlos Correa, 2016 Gypsy Queen autographs surface online

2015 Topps Chrome Carlos Correa Purple Red Autographs

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Last night three 2015 Topps Chrome Carlos Correa autographs were offered up for sale on the Blowout Cards forums. All three were Refractors, a Purple numbered to 250 and two Reds numbered to 5. Nice cards. The only problem is, they’ve never been released to the public.

So how did someone end up with not only these three cards but some other autographs from the yet-to-be-released 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball?

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Trying not to get caught up in John Scott cards

2009-10 Upper Deck John Scott Young Guns RC

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Remember that feeling of excitement and pride you got watching Rocky for the first time? John Scott was the real-life equivalent at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. His story is one for the ages (with a major motion picture in the vein of The Rookie or Miracle probably being discussed at this very moment). But even in the overriding joy of the moment, if you’re a collector, it’s the kind of thing you’ll want to be careful getting caught up in.

Unless you actually like paying more for something than you have to.

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Imports Dragon offers exclusive NHL All-Star Game figures

Rinne

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Imports Dragon, the exclusive manufacturer of NHL and NHLPA-licensed action figures, is offering visitors of the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Fair in Nashville, Tennessee an opportunity to own two figures of their hometown heroes.

Available for sale at the company’s booth for the first time were Premium Sports Action 6″ figures of Nashville Predators All-Stars Pekka Rinne and the show-exclusive Shea Weber featuring the 2016 NHL All-Star Game logo. Limited to 2,400 and 3,600 copies respectively, they were proving to be a hot seller at $20.00 each.

“They (the fans) have been extremely receptive,” noted Imports Dragon Brand Manager Alexandre Ouellette. “They haven’t seen anything like this in a long time. The fan base here has grown and we’re really excited. The figures are beautiful. The Pekka Rinne wasn’t an All-Star exclusive, but we made sure that the Shea Weber wasn’t out there before the All-Star Game. We wanted something special for the NHL and the fans in Nashville as well.” Read More »

2016 Topps WWE Undisputed is Autograph-a-mania

2016 Topps WWE Undisputed Autographed Diva Kiss Shirt Book Ssasha Banks

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2016 Topps WWE Undisputed is sticking with the high-end concept and configuration it brought with it in the brand’s debut. Once again there’s a hit per pack and everything is done with a premium feel.

Each box has six autographs plus a pair of autographed relics.

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2016 Bowman Inception Baseball card details

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2016 Bowman Inception Baseball is focused primarily on three things: young players, autographs and abstract designs. Actually, this has been the brand’s niche since it debuted. Although the spotlight is still on rookies and prospects, more veterans have been added to the product compared to past years.

Every card in the product has an autograph. Five-card boxes deliver four regular autographs and one autographed memorabilia card.

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2016 Panini Super Bowl 50 Private Signings Autographs promo launches

2016 Panini Private Signings Hyper Plaid Barry Sanders Autograph

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

In something that has become something of a Super Bowl tradition, Panini is offering an incentive for those buying football boxes off their website. The 2016 Panini Super Bowl 50 Private Signings Autographs checklist features a mix of veterans, rookies and retired stars. All of the cards are exclusive to the promotion.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Celebrity Apprentice: What’s in the cards?

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Hopefully the hobby has learned its lesson and we won’t get another card set for The Apprentice (although those Donald Trump-worn tie cards are good for a chuckle). That being said, there’s some high-profile cards connected to the latest incarnation of Celebrity Apprentice, which is now being hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Let’s take a look at the key cards for some of the stars and guests announced for the show. It all starts with Schwarzenegger, the original Terminator and former California governor.

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The inside story of how Upper Deck’s e-Pack came to life

Upper Deck ePack Logo feature

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The recent announcement of, e-Pack, Upper Deck’s foray into the world of digital trading cards created waves in the hobby as it will be the first company to offer collectors the opportunity to take their virtual cards and give them the opportunity to eventually hold them in their hands.

Upper Deck President Jason Masherah was present at the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Fair in Nashville, Tennessee to present the company’s latest initiative and discussed what motivated him to take trading cards to a new level.

“For me, the vision was to essentially bridge digital and physical,” he said. “You can’t replace a game-used jersey card. You can’t replace an autograph card digitally. It just doesn’t work and people always want those types of items, so the question was, how do you use the digital technology to make trading cards and trading card packs more accessible? The vision was if a consumer wants to be on a subway in New York and open a pack of cards, give them that ability. If you live in a town of 50 in northern Canada and you don’t have a trading card store within miles and you want a pack right now, it gives you the opportunity to satisfy that need. That’s really what this is about, getting packs of trading cards out to every possible consumer worldwide.” Read More »

(Very) Initial Impressions of Upper Deck e-Pack

Upper Deck e-Pack Collection

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Upper Deck teased getting into the digital trading card realm a couple of months ago. But it was little more than a mention in a press release for the launch of 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey. Suddenly, Upper Deck e-Pack is here.

I’ve been a casual user of digital card apps like Topps Bunt, Star Wars Card Trader and Panini Dunk for a couple of years now. I can’t say I’m heavily invested in any of them but I do see the appeal. But I see where physical cards come into the equation as well.

And that’s what intrigues me most about the overlying theme of Upper Deck e-Pack — it’s aim to live in both the digital and physical frontiers.

So how does Upper Deck e-Pack stand up? It’s too early to say but here are my launch-day impressions from giving the program a spin.

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2016 Panini COPA America Centenario Soccer stickers info

2016 Panini Copa America Stickers Header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Just because 2016 isn’t a World Cup year doesn’t mean there aren’t any major international soccer tournaments. 2016 Panini COPA America Centenario Stickers cover one of the biggest. Highlighting the sports oldest continental competition, the collection features the best national squads in North and South America.

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Mike Trout leads off the 2016 Topps Series 1 Baseball checklist

2016 Topps 1 Mike Trout

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The 2016 Topps Baseball checklist starts with Mike Trout and ends with Chase Utley (at least until Series 2 comes out).

Following an online vote, the Angels outfielder was picked to lead off the flagship release.

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Upper Deck e-Pack seeks to change the virtual trading card world

Upper Deck ePack Logo

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

There is a new competitor in the digital trading card market as Upper Deck has announced its e-Pack initiative and it could finally bridge the gap between virtual and physical cards.

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2016 Upper Deck Captain America: Civil War trading card details

2016 Upper Deck Captain America Civil War header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

It’s Avenger versus Avenger, good guys and gals taking on other good guys and gals. And the implications, at least to the fictional world, run much deeper than an playground battle. But let’s be honest. As much potential as the movie has, how does it come together on trading cards? 2016 Upper Deck Captain America: Civil War has many of the same elements as other sets in the long-running line of releases based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Hobby boxes, which come in on the small side with just ten packs, have a pair of memorabilia cards to go along with an autograph, sketch card or other premium-style insert.

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Unreleased 1936 R327 Diamond Stars baseball cards featured on uncut sheet

1936 R327 Diamond Stars Baseball Uncut Sheet

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The 1934-36 R327 Diamond Stars Baseball set is one of the most beautiful ever produced. Although the final checklist for the multi-year set reaches as high as #108, apparently there were plans to take it higher.

A 1936 R327 Diamond Stars Baseball uncut sheet shows 12 more cards made it to the drawing board and beyond.

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2016 Upper Deck Master Collection Mystery Redemptions Checklist

2016 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Master Collection Mystery Redemptions

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Let’s forget about the cards in 2016 Uppper Deck All-Time Greats Master Collection. Let’s look at the Mystery Redemptions. I think it’s safe to say that most people agree that getting a redemption is one of the worst feelings when it comes to busting packs of cards. But there are instances where it’s a little easier to get behind them. Full-sized pieces of memorabilia that are in-house and ready to ship being one of them.

Each 2016 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Master Collection comes with a Mystery Redemption good for a piece of memorabilia. The list of 200 items is diverse, both in subject matter and style. They range from game-used gear to championship rings to pieces of autographs Upper Deck Authenticated Memorabilia to signed buybacks of some of the most iconic cards Upper Deck has every produced.

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Ripley lives with 2016 Upper Deck Alien Anthology trading cards

2016 Upper Deck Alien Anthology Base

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Forget the discussion over whether we’ll see another Alien movie. While it certainly sounds that way, there’s still plenty of classic mythology to continue to digest. 2016 Upper Deck Alien Anthology trading cards tackle it all, delving into all four films and beyond with an art-based approach.

Autographs and sketch cards are both among the headlining inserts.

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Panini creates Cleveland Cavaliers trading card set for arena promotion

2015-16 Panini Cleveland Cavaliers Irving

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

If you were one of the 20,562 fans in attendance at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland last Thursday as the hometown Cavaliers faced the Los Angeles Clipper, you may have been the lucky recipient of a seven-card pack containing a 2015-16 Panini Cleveland Cavaliers set.

Since Panini America has Kyrie Irving as one of its NBA spokesmen, this promotion was a natural fit for Cavs fans and the pack also contained an extra card advertising both the Panini Dunk app and Panini Authentic.

What players made the cut for the set and how did they perform that night? Find out after the jump. Read More »

2015-16 Upper Deck Hockey binders include exclusive Super Snipers inserts

2015-16 Upper Deck Hockey Binder Package

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

When it comes to sports cards, binders are out there, just not in large quantities. They’re much more common on the entertainment side of things where companies like Rittenhouse and Cryptozoic have a history of producing them for virtually all of their releases. But a curious thing happened at the store last week when I found a 2015-16 Upper Deck Hockey binder package.

It’s not fancy, but it did include some nice extras, particularly for new collectors. And, yes, there are exclusive cards inside as well in the form of Super Snipers inserts.

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The NHL All-Star Game has a strong cardboard history

NHL All-Star Game Doug Smail

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

For 25 years, hockey collectors have been able to experience the excitement of the NHL All-Star Game at home with their cards and as strange as it seems, it started with one of the most-maligned sets of all-time, 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey.

During the Parkhurst, Topps, and O-Pee-Chee era that lasted nearly 40 years, the NHL All-Star Game was an afterthought to trading card manufacturers. While there was occasionally recognition for players who made the First or Second All-Star Team at the end of a season, the game itself was never commemorated on cardboard until the hobby boomed. With each card maker looking for an edge to draw in collectors, Pro Set was able to get photography of all 40 players that appeared at the 1990 NHL All-Star Game, which was held in Pittsburgh.

Since Pro Set rushed their debut release to market, there were a few regrettable errors made along the way. In addition to a couple of factual errors that were never corrected, the Jari Kurri card was updated to reflect his signing with the Milan Devils and the spelling of Shayne Corson‘s name was fixed. The biggest error of them all, though, was not rectified as Doug Smail‘s photo is on the Thomas Steen card. Steen did not appear due to injury, so Smail was a last-minute replacement and Pro Set declined to confirm this fact when producing their cards. Read More »

Order 66 Toys To Discuss Star Wars Publication on KVCE Radio

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst

Attention Star Wars fans! Tomorrow from 7:00 to 9:00 am CT, Order 66 Toys will be appearing on the KVCE radio program, DFW Business Today, to discuss the Complete Guide to Star Wars Collectibles, as well as Beckett’s plans for future publications devoted to collectibles of characters you know and love from a galaxy far, far away. Be sure to tune in and check it out!

Don Drysdale game-used memorabilia, awards set to be sold

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

More than 200 pieces of Don Drysdale’s personal collection of memorabilia are being sold. Game-used gear, championship rings and awards are all among the items being put up for bid. They headline SCP Auctions’ 2016 Spring Premier Auction.

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Box Busters: 2015 Elite Extra Edition

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Join Brian Fleischer and Dave Sliepka as they rip into a box of 2015 Elite Extra Edition Baseball in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

2015-16 SP Game Used Hockey Short Prints

2015-16 SP Game Used Hockey Box

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2015-16 SP Game Used Hockey lives up to its name with a configuration that is focused solely on autographs and memorabilia cards. Outside of base cards that are numbered to the player’s jersey number, everything else has either a signature or some sort of relic embedded in it.

Most of these are serial numbered but some are not. That means 2015-16 SP Game Used Hockey short prints.

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2016 Topps Triple Threads Baseball early details

2016 Topps Triple Threads Baseball Cal Ripken Jr Autographed Triple Relic

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Although exact details are sparse at this point, it looks as though 2016 Topps Triple Threads Baseball is taking on much the same form as it has over the last decade. As the name implies, there are plenty of relics alongside other promised autographs and rarities. And from what Topps has released, the overall look doesn’t appear to be subtle.

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Box Busters: 2015 Panini Select Soccer

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Join Brian Fleischer and Dave Sliepka as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini Select Soccer in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Need a shrine for baseball season? This Jobu figure can get you started.

Jobu Bobblehead Figure

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

In case you’re looking for a superstition in the hopes of helping your favorite baseball team this year or maybe to will your fantasy team into a few extra points, you may want to clear some space for a small shrine. A Jobu figure is ready to fill that space.

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2016 NHL All-Star Fan Fair offers fun for collectors

Fan Fair

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

On Thursday, hockey fans in the Nashville area will be able to walk into the Music City Center for the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Fair and there is a chance to celebrate the game and meet some of its biggest stars.

In addition to the excitement planned at the Upper Deck booth that was announced late last week, attendees will be able to purchase officially licensed 2016 NHL All-Star Game-themed memorabilia on site in addition to items featuring all 30 NHL teams. Imports Dragon will be present demonstrating how the game involving their new line of hockey figures is played and there is also the chance to purchase an exclusive Shea Weber figure that is only available at the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Fair. Fans of lapel pins will certainly converge on the WinCraft Pin Trading zone and there are 20 exclusive designs to collect. An opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind pieces of memorabilia will be made available through NHL Auctions as well. Read More »

Some uncles are easy to love, even when they’re a Cubs fan living in St. Louis

Larry and John Christman

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

A while back we asked readers to nominate someone to receive a 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Kris Bryant autograph. While there were plenty of inspiring and deserving entries, we could only pick one. Here’s the story of Larry Christman, who was nominated by his nephew and godson John. And here is his remarkable story that goes much deeper than simply being a fan of the Chicago Cubs in St. Louis.

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Box Busters: 2015 Panini USA Baseball

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Join Brian Fleischer and Dave Sliepka as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini USA Baseball in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …