Box Busters: 2015 Panini Americana trading cards

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Matt Bible as they rip into boxes of 2015 Americana from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Chipz

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Chipz in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014-15 Masterpieces

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Eric Norton and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Masterpieces in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Classic Auctions Highlights Historic Hockey Jerseys

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The jersey worn during one of the most controversial moments in Stanley Cup history is up for bidding as Classic Auctions gives collectors an opportunity to purchase the Dallas Stars sweater worn by Brett Hull when he scored in triple overtime to give the franchise its only championship to date back in 1999 in their June 2015 event.

While Buffalo Sabres fans are still understandably bitter that the goal still counted even though the Hockey Hall of Famer’s skate was in the crease, this is but one of the incredible hockey treasures that will be finding new homes once the auction closes on June 16.

A portion of Hull’s personal collection had been auctioned off in the past, but this time, his items are joined by prominent items from the estate of former Detroit Red Wings and 1972 Team Canada defenseman Gary Bergman and several other historical items that are truly one-of-a-kind – including a Bill Barilko Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from his final season and the last sweater ever worn by the legendary Tim Horton.

Read More »

First Look: 2015 Topps UFC Champions

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Following a first round knockout in 2014, Topps is bringing back their popular UFC Champions brand back once again this fall and there is an excellent chance that this release will make an even greater impact with mixed martial arts fans and collectors.

Now loaded up with four autographs per 20-pack hobby box, the spotlight will be turned on those that bravely stepped into the octagon, whether they be proven talents like current champs, Hall of Famers and legends or those poised to make name for themselves now and in the future.

What does Topps have in store for collectors breaking boxes? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Beckett “Hobby Legends” May auction closes Sunday

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Beckett Auctions’ current “Hobby Legends” auction is in its final few days before it closes for good, but there is still time to bid on some pieces of hobby history, both sports and gaming.

There are several showcased items this month including the 1968 Topps 3-D Framed proof sheet with eight cut signature autographs authenticated by JSA, including Roberto Clemente, from the Benanti Collection.  Two notable cut signature cards up for auction also include the historical 2005 SP Legendary Cuts Dual Autograph of Babe Ruth and Harry Frazee and the 2004 Upper Deck History of the United States George Washington cut signature.

This current auction ends Sunday at 9 p.m. Central with a 15-minute extended bidding window on certain items.

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Hobby challenge: Build an autographed card set

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We all want the best player possible as the autograph every single time we open a box, but we should realize that’s not possible.

Why? Simple economics.

Every time a card company puts a card of The Iconic Veteran Player into a pack of cards that sells for $5, it’s actually losing money on that pack and the box that it’s in. Why? Because the player dictates his cost of signing — you take it or leave it — and that’s got nothing to do with how much the card will sell for on eBay or what your product might cost.

What do you do? Who makes it onto your checklist and who doesn’t? That’s up to you as the brand manager — but your goal is to hit your production numbers while also creating the best lineup you can that will appeal to the most people.

Do you load up on quality bargain players? Do you go for the big chase cards? Do you create a balanced product that would appeal to more people but not necessarily draw in the gambler types hoping for a crazy find?

Take our challenge … after the jump.

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Leaf reveals 2015 Greatest Hits original content

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

With 2015 Leaf Greatest Hits basketball expected to hit store shelves in June, collectors were not only anticipating a fantastic shot at pulling either a Michael Jordan autograph or 1986-87 Fleer Rookie Card, but there was also the promise of some original content to add more value to packs.

Leaf Trading Cards has revealed that each pack is set to contain one limited autograph card and the 18-card checklist includes several legends, cult heroes and young stars. No card is limited to more than 65 copies and there will be parallel versions that include 1/1s.

Whose signature can you potentially pull from packs? Read More »

First Look: 2015 Rittenhouse WNBA

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Rittenhouse Archives has produced one of the longest-running brands in the hobby over the past few years and their annual WNBA release has gathered a cult following which is known for delivering autographs from some of the best prospects in the game.

With 2015 Rittenhouse WNBA expected to hit the hobby in mid-August, each collector breaking open a factory set will receive ink from the top three picks in the 2015 WNBA Draft – Jewell Lloyd of the Seattle Storm, the Tulsa Shock’s Amanda Zahui B. and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who was picked by Seattle as well. Read More »

Sylvester Stallone autos coming in Allen & Ginter

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The 10th edition of Allen & Ginter will pack some punch.

Topps revealed on Thursday that Sylvester Stallone will be signing cards for the 10th edition of the retro-styled baseball card set that includes other notables in the sports world.

In this case, it’s a boxer from the big screen, Rocky Balboa, who is a world’s champion. (Note the card is labeled “Balboa.”)

Read More »

Mars Attacks Kickstarter surpasses $100,000 mark

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

When Topps decided to hold a Kickstarter for its Mars Attacks: Occupation release, some collectors may have questioned whether or not the company would be able to reach their goal of raising $50,000 in order to create this product.

Those doubts have been quickly erased thanks to support from the brand’s fan base.

Hitting the target soon after the opening day of May 5, supporters have generated more than twice that amount since thanks to several stretch goals which undoubtedly motivated them to make a contribution. Among the items added in recent days include the addition of a Dinosaurs Attack vs. Mars Attacks chase subset, a free digital novella, Dinosaurs Attacks sketch cards to certain pledge bundles, foil stamped logos on all hobby boxes, randomly inserted Dinosaurs Attack metal cards, and the ability to purchase do-it-yourself sketch card packs.

What else will backers get as the Kickstarter gains even more support? Read More »

Beckett 20 Questions on … having fun in the hobby

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The sports card world of just 20 years ago was immensely different from today, but one thing is the same for many collectors.

They just want to have fun with their hobby … right?

Defining “fun” will vary from person to person (see our Your Turn post’s comments section for examples) and we know that. One example of fun from back then was a Michael Jordan baseball card — his time as a minor-league player sold a lot of cardboard and it was fun to chase them simply because they were different and there were plenty available. And one brand of baseball cards back then was Upper Deck‘s Fun Pack, a kid-focused line that ultimately didn’t last.

It’s curious that it didn’t — there were surely a lot more kids (and others) buying cards then — but it does reinforce today’s manufacturing challenge of trying to decide what works and what doesn’t for collectors.  Kid-focused sets still exist, but that word fun remains hard to define when it comes to cards.

Despite this, we’re exploring the subject of fun and cardboard right here, right now in our latest 20 Questions. Tell us what you think on each one — and tell us more in the comments if you must.

1. Are you having fun in today's hobby?

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2. Which of these best describes you?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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Your Turn: What makes the hobby fun?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

What makes the hobby fun?

It’s not an easy question to answer because so many different people collect for different reasons. It’s also a challenge because there are so many perspectives on what’s cool and what’s not when it comes to cardboard.

A simple card like that of the Rally Squirrel, a short-printed variation found in packs of 2012 Topps showing something that actually happened on an MLB field during an MLB game, can cause just as many groans as it does chuckles. But there’s no doubting that, no matter where you stand, it’s a fun card.

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Peeking inside Panini Americana’s auto checklist

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Panini America‘s top non-sports/celebrity brand, Americana, is back tomorrow after a three-year hiatus with a new crop of celebrity signers and that means one thing — another chance to work on those oddball autograph collections based on your favorite films, TV shows or other non-traditional niches.

I got my first peek at the checklist for this one on Tuesday and here’s a rundown of some notable names that stood out to me on the autograph checklist for non-traditional reasons.

There’s a former Laker Girl, several memorable TV stars and even some sports stars from the reel world to be found here. Check ‘em out …

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Ichiro Suzuki to make Topps auto debut in Ginter

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

He’s appeared on more than 10,000 different baseball cards as a star in both Japan and Major League Baseball. He’s working his way toward 3,000 hits in MLB despite not arriving until he was 27 years old.

But there’s one thing that Ichiro Suzuki has never done before — sign a baseball card to be placed into Topps packs.

All that changes this summer when 2015 Allen & Ginter arrives from Topps with the company’s first autographed cards in packs. He’ll appear on a card as a member of the Seattle Mariners, another as a New York Yankee and a third as a Miami Marlin.

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Collecting becomes a family affair

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Marcus Antoniuk may only be three years old, but he is already a seasoned collector – and a budding math expert thanks to trading cards.

At the recent 49th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo, he came to the Beckett Media booth along with his family and showed off his addition skills. His father, Kevin, explained how pulling a Jonathan Quick card with a large number on it created a new collector.

“We started a year ago,” he said. “We were looking at some of my cards and open one box a month together as a family and when I opened a box and we pulled this card, which is his favorite and he loved it, he put it in there and said ‘it’s two’. He went through every card of mine that had a number and he wanted to take a look at it and he wanted to see what was two plus one and he loves everything about numbers. It was a great way to get him interested in the hobby and every time we open a box, he’d say ‘do we have number cards?’ It’s just a great way for us to share as a family and get him interested in sports and get him interested in cards at the same time.” Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Bowman baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 Bowman in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out.

First Look: 2015 Topps Heritage Minor League

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Baseball card collectors will get another chance to revisit 1966 this year as Topps‘ annual retro minor-league set arrives in September.

Topps released the basic details and first images of 2015 Topps Heritage Minor League on Friday, and it’s a farm-team twist on the 1966 Topps design that will pack two autographs and one Relic into every 24-pack hobby box when it hits on Sept. 16. This will be a hobby-only product.

Read More »

Getting “Up Close” with 2015 Bowman baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Tear into a pack of the recently released 2015 Bowman baseball cards from Topps, and I’ll guarantee you one thing.

You might not get your favorite player. You might not get rich. You might not pull an autograph. But one thing that’s for sure when you open a pack — no matter how knowledgeable you are about the game you are or how many years you’ve collected cards — is that you’ll learn something.

No, seriously, you will learn something.

Get “up close” with card No. 26 and you’ll learn that Washington Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon is a “huge fan of Double Decker Tacos.” Not only that, but he “eschews social media,” likes The History Channel and plays guitar.  You can see for yourself above — and he’s hardly alone with some of the unusual things found on his card.

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First Look: 2015 Super Break Box Breakers Edition

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

One of the most wonderful things about collecting trading cards, autographs and memorabilia are those rare moments when a collector uncovers an incredible jaw-dropping treasure.

With next week’s release of 2015 Super Break Box Breakers Edition, the thrill and chase for some of the hobby’s most coveted items can be found in one place as there will be at least 10 premium items in each box, including “The Bar” – a one-of-one piece of original artwork coupled with rare signatures which have been graded, slabbed and secured by Beckett Grading Services and James Spence Authentication.

Only 120 total boxes are available to the hobby and Super Break has confirmed that nearly 90 of them will contain one of these remarkable pieces. Each one features a genuine Gold Bar logo on the front and a picture of the actual autograph item is found on the reverse side. Additionally, the precious metal or gem content is listed on the back along with biographical information about the depicted historical figure. Some pieces will have multiple subjects as well.

What else can die-hard collectors expect to find in these boxes? Find out after the jump. Read More »

1968 Topps test proof display highlights May auction

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Beckett Auctions is pleased to kick-off its May “Hobby Legends” Auction and there are some unique items on the block this month.

Lot No. 1 features a key piece from The Benanti Collection, which is a 1968 Topps Test 3-D Framed Proof Sheet (Non-Lenticular color test) that features eight cut signatures, including Roberto Clemente. Also, making a return to the auction block is the famous 2005 SP Legendary Cuts Dual Autograph of Babe Ruth and Harry Frazee, a 1/1, which is a card that links the two principles in the most lopsided transaction in sports history.

Looking for something in the Non-Sport category? Check out the 2004 Upper Deck History of the United States Presidential Cut George Washington Autograph 1/1.  That is just a taste of the incredible items available in the Beckett May auction, running now through May 17 at 9 p.m. Central, with a 15-minute extended bidding window on certain items.

Read More »

Ripping Retail Retro: 1979 Topps baseball cards

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Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds joins Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange to open packs of 1979 Topps baseball cards in this Ripping Retail Retro video.

We’ll have a series of Ripping Retail Retro or Box Busters Retro videos to come in the following weeks where they rip and discuss packs from the past — packs as far back as the 1970s.

What Retro video would you want to see next?

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Topps creates Twitter-exclusive Refractor packs

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Are you on Twitter? If not, Topps has a reason for you to be there.

All 150 prospects in the 2015 Bowman product — a crop that includes Kris Bryant and Carlos Rodon — will be found with Blue Refractors that are only available via Twitter giveaways by the @BowmanCards account. Oh, and there’s an autograph — a card limited to only three copies — in every pack, too.

The nine-card packs and the cards will be limited — only 150 packs were made.

Read More »

Gallery: 2014-15 Upper Deck Masterpieces

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

One week from today, a fan favorite returns to card store shelves with the release of 2014-15 Upper Deck Masterpieces. While many collectors are excited about seeing new artistic renditions of some of the biggest names from hockey’s past, present, and future.

Through its Facebook page, Upper Deck has come through with a preview of some of the big hits to be found inside packs and with every piece of memorabilia being game-used and every autograph being hard-signed, Masterpieces may once again become a hobby sensation.

What are some of the big hit that can be pulled from packs of 2014-15 Upper Deck Masterpieces? Check out the gallery after the jump. Read More »

Topps creates oversized Bowman 2015 NFL Draft set

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

In the wake of last week’s excitement about the 2015 NFL Draft, Topps has worked diligently to create a special oversized Bowman set featuring some of the talents that will be hitting the gridiron this fall.

Measuring 5-by-7 and made up of 25 young stars that are ready to make an impact, this collection utilizes the 2015 Bowman design and will be limited to just 199 copies for the standard version that sells in the company’s online store for $49.99. For those wanting an even scarcer set, the gold version which sells for $99.99 is numbered to just 49 copies. Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Panini Diamond Kings

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2015 Panini Diamond Kings in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Will Ferrell autographs coming in Topps Archives

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

First, Ferrell took the field — and now he’ll be taking over the hobby.

Topps teased on Wednesday that there will be Will Ferrell certified autographs in 2015 Topps Archives when it arrives on June 10.

In fact, there will be 10 different cards — one for each of his MLB teams — and there will be regular cards to chase, too. Ferrell, who is historically not an easy autograph to obtain, signed 10 copies per card. These will be his first certified autographs.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Collection

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Derek Ficken and Panini America‘s Keith Hower as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Collection in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out. What can you win from the break just by commenting? Find out … after the jump.

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Beckett May auction includes Power Nine

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Though Beckett Auctions has primarily focused on sport cards and memorabilia in its first year, it has dabbled (and sold) some nice non-sport and gaming items. It’s about time to power-up in that department for the May auction, which begins on Thursday and runs through May 17 at 9 p.m. Central with a 15-minute extended bidding window on certain items. Beckett Auctions will feature several key Magic: The Gathering Alpha and Beta cards, all graded by BGS, which will include every one of The Power Nine cards. Read More »

Cryptozoic ends direct consumer sales

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Earlier this week, Cryptozoic Entertainment implemented changes to the way their cards are sold and distributed by eliminating direct to consumer sales for the company’s trading card releases and their binders through its online store.

The decision was made following requests from retailers to drive the purchases of these products to retail stores.

“We recognized the overall need to support our retailers and distributors, we listened to their concerns, and want to show them support by changing the way consumers purchase product” said the company’s co-Founder and co-CEO, John Sepenuk in a statement issued on their website. “Our overall sales strategy calls for increased support of our retailers and distributors. It makes sense to transition sales from our E-store to thousands of retailers and a larger distribution network.”

How can collectors find their closest store carrying Cryptozoic products? Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Leaf Signature Series Hockey

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Signature Series brand was once a staple for In The Game a decade ago, but Leaf Trading Cards is now reviving it for today’s hockey hobbyists.

Releasing in late June, 2014-15 Leaf Signature Series gives collectors their last shot at Connor McDavid autographs before the young phenom heads to the NHL level. Each box will contain eight autographed cards and production is slated to be a low run of 250 12-box cases.

“We are very exited to add a signature product to the Leaf portfolio that delivers a fantastic variety of autographs from future Phenoms such as Connor McDavid to iconic legends like Gordie Howe,” noted Gregg Kohn, Director of Product Development for Leaf. “The mixture of top prospects and legendary stars signatures is sure to please hardcore hockey fans!” Read More »

Win our autographed Kris Bryant baseball bat

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

TroutCover2We’re finalizing the July issue of Beckett Baseball this week — one that will examine notable past players, cards and sets for USA Baseball — but we couldn’t wait to get things started for one inclusion in the issue.

A contest where one lucky reader will get to own this USA Baseball bat signed by Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant.

He’s a former USA Baseball Collegiate National Team member and he was the winner of the 2013 Golden Spikes Award, which goes to the top amateur player in the country. (Hence the “GSA ’13” inscription.) Right now, of course, Bryant is the top player in the hobby and that makes this item straight from the USA Baseball archives one that we couldn’t help but pass along to one of you.

How can it be yours?

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First Look: 2015 Topps WWE Undisputed

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

World Wrestling Entertainment cards have officially gone high-end.

Topps revealed the first images and basic details for its first high-end WWE trading card brand on Monday with 2015 Topps WWE Undisputed, a hit-based product that will pack 10 hits — seven autographs and three autographed Relics — per box when it arrives on Oct. 7.

Each pack will contain three base cards, one parallel and one auto or auto Relic, while there will be eight boxes per case.

Read More »

First Look: 2015 Panini FIFA Women’s World Cup Stickers

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

In June, the world will be sending its best to Canada as the nation hosts the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and collectors from around the globe are set to seek out their idols through a highly-anticipated sticker collection coming from Panini.

For decades, the company has produced stickers for soccer stars and they are truly a world-wide phenomenon. This is the second time that the women’s tournament will be celebrated in this manner and the debut release four years ago in Germany was a big hit. With nearly 500 stickers to place inside the official album, putting a full collection will certainly be a challenge.

“We take enormous pride in joining this year’s program to celebrate and help create additional awareness and excitement for the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said Panini’s Group Licensing Director Peter Warsop. “We have already had many fans of the game reaching out to us from all over the World in anticipation of a sticker album being launched and we are delighted to be providing this to them. The German hosted event in 2011 was very successful in all respects, which has prompted us to extend our marketing and distribution of this year’s collection from just the host nation to around 25 countries.” Read More »

BGS Diary Predictor (May): What will Olds submit?

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We recently introduced the BGS Diary and it seems like a few of you liked hearing about what — and why — Beckett Baseball Editor Chris Olds submitted what he did for grading.

He’s prepared his five cards for grading in March and we want to see if you can predict which of his cards will end up slabbed. Of the 10 cards listed below, a few are headed to Beckett Grading Services today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

May BGS Diary Predictor: Which cards will Olds submit?

  • 1965 Topps #122 Joe Namath SP RC, $1,800 (62%, 105 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps WWE Black #46 Lana, $30 (45%, 77 Votes)
  • 2008 USA Baseball National Team Starting Lineup Signatures #SL9 Danks, Forsythe, Alvarez, Smoak, Wallace, Paramore, Flaherty, Mercer, Kieschnick, Matusz, $N/A (35%, 60 Votes)
  • 1975 Topps Mini #63 Steve Swisher RC, 75 cents (34%, 58 Votes)
  • 1994 Fun Pack #170 Michael Jordan RC, $10 (34%, 57 Votes)
  • 1987 Topps Tiffany #620 Jose Canseco, $6 (32%, 55 Votes)
  • 1986-87 Fleer #120 Spud Webb RC, $15 (26%, 45 Votes)
  • 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Gold Refractors #71 Curtis Granderson, $125 (24%, 40 Votes)
  • 2013 Bowman Draft Draft Picks Purple Ice #BDPP19 Aaron Judge, $N/A (18%, 31 Votes)
  • 1992 Star Pics Autographs #27 Robert Horry, $80 (16%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 170

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PAST BGS DIARY POSTS

– October: Rookie Cards, Moneyball & Watergate

 November: Vintage, booklets Dr. Beckett & more

– December: Saban, Cerrano, Hawk, Animal & practice

– January: Bull Durham, Star hoops, “Macho Man” … and Bill Murray’s baseball card?

– February: Chasing Amy, metal minis, USA Baseball green and, of course, Crimson Tide

– March: WWE Divas, The Killer, Koufax and a cardboard icon 

– April Seeing gold, stickers … and furry autographs?