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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Platinum football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Platinum in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


Box Busters: 2014 Bowman Sterling football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Bowman Sterling in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


The List: 50 group-breakers to know


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Group-breaking is a force in today’s hobby, combining various technology and social media platforms to transform opening boxes of cards into an interactive experience and an event — whether you land something cool or not.

It’s the new virtual card shop, the new eBay, the new game-changer, in that it’s perhaps helping change the hobby as we know it today by drawing in collectors and allowing them to shred wax boxes like never before while connecting with other collectors and dealers to find what they need.

We’ve let collectors speak here at Beckett.com/news about which group-breakers they use and trust to help compile The List — 50 Breakers to Know.

Note: This list is far from comprehensive — and breakers are listed in no particular order. Some are larger and established, some might not be there just yet. Explore The List and see if you think there’s one that’s right for you.

See them all … after the jump.

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BVG 5.5 1952 Topps Mantle Variant Highlights December Auction


This year, Beckett Auctions has gone to great lengths to bring collectors some incredible and rare treasures and for their December event, one of the hobby’s most coveted cards is up for bids and the action on the BVG 5.5 1952 Mickey Mantle “B” version is expected to be intense when it starts at 12:00 CST on Sunday afternoon.

“When it comes to our hobby, this is truly one of the most iconic cards and is held in a very high regard,” said Beckett Auctions Acquisitions Manager Rob Springs. “This particular copy has the highest BGS/BVG grade ever given for this variation and we are very excited to be able to present it to our auction customers. We anticipate the card to bring somewhere in the range of $25,000 to $30,000.”

For collectors unaware of why this card is so unique, it is a small variation where the stitching on the number circle on the back of the card points right instead of left and last “E” in Mantle’s facsimile signature on the front stops instead of curling up.

What else will collectors be bidding once our latest auction begins? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2014 Topps High Tek baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps High Tek in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …


Box Busters: 2014-15 Upper Deck Lettermen

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Derek Ficken and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Upper Deck Lettermen in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

EW’s Star Wars scoop comes via Topps card mocks


Millions of people have seen the teaser for the next Star Wars movie coming next year, but there were a lot of details yet to be revealed for the next chapters of the legendary science-fiction franchise.

The simplest details? The names of the new characters.

On Thursday, Entertainment Weekly learned some of the details when Lucasfilm released to the magazine a series of retro-styled trading card mocks similar to the Topps cards of the past. (The franchise has had Topps cards since the beginning.)

Is it marketing for a real card set or just a viral/retro marketing approach? We’ll have to wait and see — but you can expect there will be plenty of merchandise (and toys) for the next generation of the franchise.

Who are the latest characters? You can find out here …

Top 5: Baseball players on new teams … so far




By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

The MLB Hot Stove is quite warm this week with several moves that could spark interest in the baseball cards of a few key players.

Believe it or not, that’s not as easily done as it is said with a collecting landscape that often hinges upon rookies and key guys collectors can bank on. In other words, key moves might not resonate as much on cardboard as they might in the standings for players who aren’t seen as The Next Big Thing.

But, that said, here are five players whose change of scenery might spark some new interest in their cardboard.

1. Yoenis Cespedes — traded to Detroit Tigers
Top5CespedesBouncing from team to team typically doesn’t help the demand for a player’s cardboard, but Cesepedes has gone from Oakland to Boston to Detroit in less than a year. Some might say he’s now in a better location — though the Tigers did give up a decent name (Rick Porcello) to get him.

He has plenty of cardboard for Tigers fans to now consider — also a plus — but most of it shows him in green.

If Cespedes performs well, they might not care. Or, it could be a scenario much like Miguel Cabrera where his current-team autographed cards are more in-demand than those from the past.

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Basketball Hall sues Grey Flannel Auctions



A major auction house has been sued by the Basketball Hall of Fame for unpaid payments required as part of their long-running relationship with the Hall for an annual auction that coincides with enshrinement ceremonies.

Acco0rding to a report by MassLive.com, Grey Flannel Auctions owes the Hall at least $100,000 in unpaid payments required by the deal.

The lawsuit, according to the report, seeks $225,000 for breach of contract and subsequent damages.

Click here to read the story and the documents.

Panini, Pop Warner extend sponsorship


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of Panini America‘s biggest youth sports initiatives will continue into the coming years as the company announced on Thursday its exclusive deal with Pop Warner will continue under a new multi-year agreement.

The company will continue to work with the Pop Warner Little Scholars and be the presenting sponsor of the Pop Warner Super Bowl. This year’s event is set for Saturday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla.

“Our relationship with Panini America is an important one,” said Pop Warner Little Scholars Executive Director Jon Butler in a prepared release. “In terms of support, passion, innovation and creativity, Panini America embodies what a valued partner should be. We’re proud to call Panini America a member of our family and look forward to many more years of our partnership.”

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Contest: Win more Dragon Ball Z!


Buckle up, gamers, because we are giving away more Dragon Ball Z.

The relaunch of this product by Panini America has been a huge hit and to celebrate this wonderful occasion, we are going to select two more lucky winners to each receive a booster box and a pre-constructed starter deck of 2014 Dragon Ball Z.

All you have to do in order to win is write a comment in the section below. Please tell us your Dragon Ball Z stories. Why did you start collecting DBZ? Have you been an avid collector of DBZ since the beginning? Have you had a chance to buy the new version of DBZ? What do you like about the new DBZ? We want to hear it all!

Winners will be selected before Monday, Dec. 15. Good luck!

National Hockey Card Day Is Back Again In 2015


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The celebration continues for Upper Deck‘s 25th season of making trading cards licensed by the NHL and NHLPA and collectors on both sides of the border will reap the benefits when they visit their local hobby shop for the 2015 editions of National Hockey Card Day.

Canadian hobbyists will get to obtain free packs first with a purchase on February 14 and the set will be comprised of 15 cards. A week later, American collectors are able to take advantage of the free packs and will have a unique group of 15 cards to track down.

Both promotions will also have a special 16th Memorable Moments card that is available as a gift with purchase and it is the only way to complete the set. As expected, there will also be random autograph cards inserted much like previous years. Read More »

Your Turn: Which legends would you want paired?




By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We all know Roger Maris‘ story of 61 in ’61 and we all know whose record he toppled.

Today, Topps‘ high-end Five Star brand arrived with a Relic pairing Maris and Babe Ruth — something that, believe it or not, hasn’t happened all that often in the modern era of cardboard. In fact, the players have only been paired up on 50 items in the Beckett.com database.

Want memorabilia cards? On that front there are only 30 previous cards to choose from and nearly all of them are limited to far fewer than 50 copies per card.

It’s an impressive one and it got us thinking … which duos would you like to see on a card?

Tell us 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.

First Pricing: 2014 Topps Chrome Football

chrome manziel

By Dan Hitt | Senior Market Analyst


Beckett first pricing for 2014 Topps Chrome football is now live for all subscribers to the Beckett Online Price Guide.

By all accounts, Topps Chrome appears to be the hottest football release of the year. The number of closed eBay listings is staggering for a football product, at more than 20,000, and the total interest level from bidders is enormous.

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First Look: 2014 Panini Contenders Football


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Few products in the trading card world have as dedicated a following as the annual Contenders offering from Panini America. Each year, it delivers some of the most coveted rookie cards to football collectors and it is set to hit store shelves on January 7.

With an average of five autograph cards in every 24-pack box, there is plenty of potential for a good mix of first-year players, retired legends and today’s brightest stars. At least two of those will be signed on-card by one of the 40 participants from the 2014 NFL Rookie Premiere.

What else does 2014 Panini Contenders have to offer? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

Wiggins 1

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

It’s back – and it looks like it might be even better than ever.

Preliminary details about 2014-15 Panini Gold Standard were released today and basketball collectors are in for a treat with all of the improvements that Panini America has implemented this season.

Releasing on January 21, each pack of Gold Standard will contain 10 cards and five of those will be either autographs or memorabilia cards. At least four of those cards will feature autographs, which means that this product has the potential to deliver some serious value on a consistent basis. One of the four signed cards will be an Autographed Rookie Jersey and for the first time, every card in the product is serial-numbered – a move that will satisfy many collectors.

What else can be found inside of these premium packs? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Beckett 20 Questions on … group breaks & rookies


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Our next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly will explore two subjects in one — and they are two subjects that are among the most-talked-about in today’s hobby.

One is group-breaking and the other is rookies.

In the issue, we’ll take a look at 10 of the hottest rookies of the past year in a few sports — and we’ll also take a look at 50 breakers as well as the trend itself.

As part of this package, we have another edition of 20 Questions where we want your input on it all.

1. Have you participated in a group break?

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2. Do you plan to participate in a group break?

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Rams mascot gets Relic treatment from Topps




By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The fine print from the latest Topps release on Tuesday said it all.

Rampage was not harmed in the making of these exclusive mascot fur cards. He will continue to entertain and delight on the sidelines on Sunday and around St. Louis throughout the year.

The news? Topps has teamed up with the St. Louis Rams to produce an exclusive set of trading cards for the St. Louis Rams Kids Club — complete with a Rampage Relic featuring the mascot’s game-used fur.

“The St. Louis Rams take pride in being innovative and family focused,” St. Louis Rams fan engagement and senior mascot coordinator Clint McComb said in a prepared release.  “By working with Topps to create a mascot fur card, we’re allowing our fans to experience more of the St. Louis Rams by sharing with them a piece of who we are, literally. We wanted our Kids Club Package to include something no other team has offered and our hope is that the Rampage fur card will really excite our young fans.”

The “Defend Our Turf” set can be found at the Rams Kids Club table in Section 101 during the team’s home games against the Cardinals on Thursday and on Dec. 21 when the team takes on the Giants.

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“Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn among Five Star surprises


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ third edition of Five Star arrives Wednesday and it’s packing a few surprises worthy of a high-end brand.

One is “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn in the Relic lineup — something that already has an impressive array of bat knobs and nameplates to be found for past stars as well as MLB legends.

A second one?

MLB-related autographs for legends who aren’t known for their time on the baseball diamond. Get a glimpse at them all — as well as a checklist — after the jump.

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Hobby Q&A: David Cone revisits his perfect game


By Will Levith

NEW YORK | For years, Steiner Sports has been thinking outside of the box when it comes to memorabilia (Yankees Stadium dirt, anyone?), so when the company unveiled its latest product, the “In Their Own Words” autograph line, on Tuesday morning at Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse N.Y.C. in Grand Central Terminal, it pulled out all the stops.

As previously reported, the line features photographs of famous moments in sports history inscribed (and then signed, of course) by the athletes who experienced them.

Founder and chief executive officer Brandon Steiner brought together a star-studded cast from all of the major sports to talk about their moments. Attendees included baseball legends Frank Robinson, Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner, David Cone and Keith Hernandez; basketball greats Magic Johnson, Dennis Rodman and Larry Johnson; hockey stars Brian Leetch and Mike Eruzione (of “Miracle on Ice” fame); David Tyree, the recipient of “The Catch” in Super Bowl XLII, and several others.

Steiner played the part of MC, roasting many of the athletes himself. One of which was Cone, who played first for the New York Mets before donning pinstripes and pitching the “moment” he ended up inscribing — a perfect game on July 18, 1999, at a packed Yankee Stadium.

“[It was] Yogi Berra Day,” remembered Cone. “Yogi and George Steinbrenner had a feud that had gone on for 15 years or so, they finally made peace, there was a big No. 8 painted behind home plate, and the next thing you know it, at the end of the day, I finished with 88 pitches. If you believe in baseball gods and the mystique of Yankee Stadium … I mean, this is all in the [inscribed] photo. It was an incredible day.”

Beckett had a chance to talk to a number of the players on hand at the press conference (look for a feature in an upcoming magazine), but we wanted to give you a little taste beforehand. Here’s our Hobby Q&A with Cone …

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First look: 2015 Topps Series 2 baseball cards




By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ second series of its 2015 flagship set is already in production.

The longest-running manufacturer of MLB-approved cardboard offered the first looks and basic details of 2015 Topps Series 2 on Tuesday, which will arrive on June 17 packing one autograph or Relic in every 36-pack box. HTA Jumbo boxes will pack one autograph and two Relics per box.

Like its Series 1 predecessor slated to arrive soon, it will be a larger set than in recent years with 350 cards in the series.

Read More »

Auction Estimator: How much will this Mantle fetch?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s one of the most-iconic baseball cards of all time — but don’t call it a Rookie Card.

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is one of the hobby’s most-coveted cards of the bubble-gum era, an iconic want of Baby Boomers and younger baseball fans alike.

This BGS-graded card is one of only 11 cards with the “B” variation to be slabbed — and it’s the highest of the bunch. It’s headed to the auction block this weekend via Beckett Auctions where it should grab some attention.

But right here, right now, we’re curious about what you think it might sell for.

How much for The Mick?

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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.

What’s your best haul from a group break?



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Group breaks have become big business in the last few years, and we’re taking a look at them in the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

One thing we want to see are what one or two key cards you have landed while doing a group break. Maybe it’s something legendary like a Ty Cobb memorabilia card — or maybe it was a legendary haul of Gavin Escobar autographs all found in the same case.

Either way, we want to hear about it — no matter what the player or sport.

In the comments below, show us an image (link) of your best pull, what it might have cost you (if you remember) and where you got it from. 

We’ll run some of the most-notable finds in the issue.

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.

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Chrome football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Chrome in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 14

Week 14 MM Bell

By Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt

Veteran of the Week:

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

(26 carries, 185 yards, 3 total touchdowns)

Le’Veon Bell has always been a good running back, but on Sunday he was on fire. With two rushing touchdowns and a touchdown reception, while running all over the Bengal defense for 185 yards, Bell seemed untouchable in the Steelers 42-21 victory. He is also going to pass 2000 yards from scrimmage very soon as well, having 1,924 already. Le’Veon Bell was one of the hottest running back rookies from the 2013 class but his card values have stayed pretty steady from the beginning. If the Pittsburgh Steelers can make a deep run into the playoffs, and Bell keeps playing at an elite level, collectors could see his value take off.

Cards to Grab:

2013 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs Refractors #RCRALB ($30)

2013 Exquisite Collection #127 JSY AU/125 ($150)

2013 Panini Contenders #221A AU RC ($60) Read More »