First Look: 2015 Elite baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

After cameos as inserts in Donruss brands the last two years, Elite is back as a standalone product.

Panini America revealed the first details and preview images for 2015 Elite on Wednesday night, a 200-card set that will arrive on June 17 with the traditional names and foilboard look that has defined the brand since the 1990s.

Back for another run will be Passing the Torch Signatures, Thowback Threads — two past staples — while new inclusions will highlight Panini’s newest venture with the college ranks.

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Opening Day: Star Wars Celebration 2015

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst

Today, the Force is awakening in Anaheim, California.

Star Wars Celebration kicks off today at the Anaheim Convention Center with all the fanfare and hype that you would expect in the Star Wars Universe. Actors, producers, artists, cosplayers, and collectors alike will partake in this glorious event over the next four days. Guests include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Ray Park, Billy Dee Williams, Jeremy Bulloch, Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, and many more of the actors and actresses who have portrayed beloved Stars Wars characters over the years. However, the actors aren’t the only esteemed members of an already impressive guest list. Some of the industry’s biggest companies will be there to offer some pretty nifty exclusives to fans and collectors.

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Upper Deck Announces Spring Expo Priority Signings

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

While Upper Deck had recently announced plans for special promotional cards of Connor McDavid and Andrew Hammond along with the final installment of 25th Anniversary Retro Young Guns being offered to collectors at the 49th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto, hockey card enthusiasts have been patiently waiting for full information about the company’s popular Priority Signings offering at next month’s show.

In order to get in on the action, collectors need to visit a Certified Diamond Dealer at the show and purchase a box of either 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 2, 2014-15 Fleer Showcase, 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum, or 2014-15 Upper Deck ICE. They will be given a voucher to take to the company’s booth and they can break their box in front of a staff member in order to receive one of these limited signed cards.

Which players will be available in the Priority Signings program this time? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters Preview: 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a box of 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen in this latest Box Busters Preview video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps notes Jackie Robinson Day with new sets

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Sixty-eight years ago, Jackie Robinson changed Major League Baseball forever and today every person in uniform on every roster will wear his No. 42.

Topps is placing its focus on the Hall of Famer and social pioneer as well by releasing two sets of cards and a series of oversized prints available now only on Topps.com.

The Jackie Robinson Story collection is a reproduction of the 10-card set found in packs of 2015 Topps at Target stores — only this time they are 5- by 7-inch jumbo cards and 10- by -14-inch prints.

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Topps Unveils 60th Football Anniversary Plans

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By David Lee | Beckett Media

Topps football’s 60th consecutive release is coming this summer. Six decades of incredible history have marked the evolution of pro football.

This history of Topps football deserves its own museum, but to celebrate, the company is planning some programs and sets for 2015 Topps this year. Here’s what we know so far:

Topps has developed a special logo/shield indicating the 1956-2015 years. This logo will also be used as a foil stamp on some cards. The Topps 60th Anniversary insert will include 100 cards of veterans, legends and rookies, and feature different Topps designs from the past 60 years. Past Topps cards will be used for Buyback cards that fall one per hobby box. These will feature the 60th Anniversary stamp.

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NHL Hobby Stars of the Week: Jamie Benn, Ondrej Pavelec, Mark Stone

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst

It’s Tuesday, and that means we run down the three Hobby Stars of the Week and let collectors know why they should take notice of their cards. Below are the three stars of last week.

Jamie Benn, LW, Dallas Stars
Despite the Stars having been eliminated from playoff contention there was still plenty on the line for their left winger Benn as he was in race for the Art Ross Trophy. All Benn did was snatch the trophy away from John Tavares in the waning moments of the Stars final game of the season. He led the league with 10 points, including five goals, in a week that saw Benn record at least three points in each of the Stars outings. He opened the week by scoring two goals and adding a helper (2-1-3) in a 5-1 rout of the Sharks. In the Stars next game, Benn added three more assist (0-3-3) as Stars defeated the conference rivals Anaheim Ducks. Benn then closed the week with his second career hat-trick, and an assist, to clinch the Art Ross Trophy (3-1-4), against the Predators, in front of the hometown fans in Dallas. For a fifth round draft pick Benn has quietly become the best left winger in the game.That may be a little hometown bias, but the numbers are hard to argue. Since he entered the league in the 2009-10 season he has played in 426 games, scored over 150 goals, and has added over 200 assist (151-208-359). Collectors know who he is as well, especially in the Dallas market. While the asking prices for his cards are not astronomical on the secondary markets some of his high-end Rookie Cards can come with a premium.

Cards to Grab:
2009-10 The Cup #130 JSY AU RC/249, $250
2009-10 SP Authentic #223 AU RC/999, $50
2009-10 Be A Player #281 RC/99, $30

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Hardcourt Heroes of the Week: Jordan Clarkson and Isaiah Thomas

 

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Each week, we will take a look inside the NBA and will give you the top players of the week and provide a rundown on why collectors should take notice. Please feel free to leave your comments for a healthy debate.

By Derek Ficken | Beckett Basketball Analyst

Jordan Clarkson – PG, Los Angeles Lakers
Last 5 Games: 21.6 PPG, 7.2 APG, 2.6 STLPG

The Lakers have had little to celebrate for throughout the 2014-15 season. Luckily for them, the lone bright spot has been the emergence of a young rookie from Mizzou, Jordan Clarkson. His PPG averages since February has gone up from 9.8 PPG to an astounding 19.4 in the early stages of April. Clarkson looks to be their point guard to guide them back into the promise-land and some collectors have started to take note. Because Clarkson was never a touted rookie coming out of college, he was not involved in any of the pre-draft showcasing with card companies, and it shows with only 87 total cards in the Beckett Online Price Guide with only 28 autographs. With that said, you can easily grab a key card of his and still have some money left over to get your favorite issue of Beckett Basketball Monthly! Look for his 2014-15 Donruss Rookie Autographs /199 ($30) or his 2014-15 Panini Prizm Rookie Autographs Prizms /499 ($30) to buy now and hold onto for the future. This kid has what it takes to make it in the NBA, and like I said above, some collectors are taking note, but everyone needs to get on the Clarkson bandwagon now before he becomes a potential All-Star.

Key Cards To Collect:
2014-15 Court Kings Fresh Paint Autographs #18 /260 ($30)
2014-15 Panini Threads #366 WOOD RC ($20)
2014-15 Prestige Premium #195 RC ($4) Read More »

Leaf Announces Spring Expo Redemption Plans

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Attendees of the 49th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto are already buzzing about junior hockey phenom Connor McDavid and Leaf Trading Cards has made him and some of his peers the focal point of their highly-anticipated redemption program, which will be held from May 1 to May 3.

With the release of 2014-15 Leaf In The Game Heroes and Prospects coming just in time for the opening day of the show, those in attendance can bust their boxes of this hits-only release and will receive a special emerald parallel card that is numbered to 10 copies or less.

What else can collectors expect to see from Leaf at the Expo? Find out more and check out the gallery after the jump. Read More »

Beckett Non-Sport Profile: Vision

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst

The list is powerful. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Wolverine, and Spider-Man.

All of these Marvel heroes at one time have belonged to the superhero fraternity known as The Avengers. However, there are many other heroes in this club who sometimes get overlooked. One of those heroes is Vision.

So, why is Vision significant to the Marvel Universe? For starters he is a key character in the Age of Ultron story line. Last week, Marvel finally revealed the first image of Vision for the upcoming Avengers sequel (above). And, if you’re not an avid comic book reader or fan boy, you probably had no idea this character even existed. Well, here is the low down on Vision, including some key collectibles and cards that collectors might want to keep an eye on…

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First Look: 2015 Leaf Rookie Retro

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Returning after a one-year hiatus, Leaf Rookie Retro is poised to hit store shelves in the coming days and the company has managed to combine some of today’s hottest young stars with many of the best rookie cards the hobby has ever seen inside of each pack.

Since Leaf Trading Cards has become known for delivering early cards of up-and-coming talent, they managed to dig back into their recent releases and the first half of each pack will have a Rookie Retro Proof card that is hand-numbered to five copies or less. Instead of a signature on these cards, there will be a gold foil stamp instead noting that it is a proof version and hobbyists can look for names like Kris Bryant, Johnny Manziel, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Connor McDavid.

What else will collectors find in packs of 2015 Leaf Rookie Retro? Look for a gallery and find out more after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2015 Score football cards

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By David Lee | Beckett Media

The first NFL-licensed Panini America product of 2015 will be Score arriving on June 17.

The key to the set will be like years past, including a lower price point with a ton of base cards. Each box will have 24 packs at 12 cards per pack. Boxes will deliver one autograph or memorabilia card on average.

This year’s base set includes more than 400 cards with 100 rookies. Rookies fall up to three per pack. Once again the product will have several parallels indicated by a different color border. These are Showcase, Gold Zone, Artist’s Proof, Red Zone, First Down, End Zone and Gem Masters, numbered to 99 down to one.

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Kentucky Derby races onto magazine shelves

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With the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby set for May 2 at Churchill Downs, Beckett Sports has released a definitive magazine for Kentucky Derby followers titled, simply, The Kentucky Derby. The cover of the publication features jockey Victor Espinoza atop 2014 Derby winner California Chrome.

Espinoza is scheduled to be the jockey on 2015 Kentucky Derby favorite American Pharoah, having ridden the 3-year-old to a lopsided win in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby — the final tune-up before the Kentucky Derby, which remains the first leg of the Triple Crown series.

No horse has won the Triple Crown — the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in a period of six weeks — since Affirmed did so in the spring of 1978.

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Box Busters: 2014-15 SP Authentic basketball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Upper Deck Marvel 3D

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Matt Bible and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2015 Upper Deck Marvel 3D in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Contest: How can you win a box? Tell us what you think about this brand in the comments below. A winner will be selected from all entries received before May 15.

Box Busters: 2015 Panini Dragon Ball Z Heroes & Villains

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Matt Bible and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2015 Panini Dragon Ball Z Heroes & Villains in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? How can you win two boxes? Watch and find out …

Contest note: A winner will be selected from all entries received before May 15.

First Look: 2015 Topps WWE Road To WrestleMania

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Road to WrestleMania next year in Dallas begins now.

Topps revealed the first looks at 2015 Topps WWE Road to WrestleMania on Monday, a step-by-step recap of the year that was and sets the stage for WWE‘s biggest event of the year. While this year’s WrestleMania took place last month, next year’s will be in JerryWorld — aka the home of the Dallas Cowboys — next spring. The card set will be among the earlier milestones as it’s set to arrive on Aug. 12 packing two hits per hobby box.

Among the firsts in this one will be the first Relics of NXT performers — stars and Divas who might be on the card next year in Dallas — while Turnbuckle Relics and Jerry Lawler sketch cards are new to the brand.

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Honus Wagner pushes $1 million mark in Robert Edward Auction

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s the hobby’s biggest card and it’s in one of the year’s biggest auctions.

Naturally, the bidding is already a big deal, too.

It’s a PSA 3 copy of the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner and it’s part of the annual Robert Edward Auctions sale that’s active now and runs until April 25. It sits at $950,000 — excluding a 20-percent buyer’s premium that will put the card over the $1 million mark.

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Russell Westbrook scores 54, picks up 16th technical

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By Denis Dougherty | Beckett Basketball Editor

Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 54 points but it wasn’t enough as Indiana rallied late for a 116-104 victory Sunday night in Indianapolis.

Westbrook also picked up his 16th technical foul of the season. NBA rules require a player to sit out one game at that point, but the league could rescind the foul today.

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LeBron James Leads NBA All-Star Jersey Auction

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

In the wake of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, fans were able to bid on game-worn and event-worn jerseys from the biggest names in the sport and some of the prices for them soared to impressive heights.

With eight different items reaching final bids of over $10,000 over the past few weeks, collectors and fans were willing to place high bids for a piece of history and the most expensive turned out to be the white Eastern Conference jersey worn by Cleveland’s LeBron James during the first half of the 2015 NBA All-Star Game hit $35,620 after 27 bids. Even King James’ warm-up jacket was a hot commodity as it garnered a bid of $10,095 before the gavel dropped and his shorts went for $6,125. Read More »

Contest: Mariota vs. Winston

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By: Justin Grunert Football Market Analyst

Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. Andrew Luck and RGIII. Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny ManzielAll of these pairs of quarterbacks have something in common: one is a hobby stud and the other is a hobby bust. With this year’s NFL Draft only a few weeks away we are faced with another pair of quarterbacks that are being highly touted.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are the talk of the Draft. So who will be the bigger bust and the bigger star next season? Post your answer in the comments below for your chance to win 10 packs (half box) of 2015 Upper Deck Football. One winner will be selected from Team Winston and the other from Team Mariota. Let the debate begin.

The Relic contained in this Chris Davis Museum Collection card is from a specific game and season

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

This year’s edition of Topps Museum Collection arrived in hobby shops today with every pack containing some type of hit — an autographed card or a Relic of an MLB player.

This particular card was pulled by a collector, and it includes a nameplate from a black game-used bat from Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis embedded into it — but that’s not why it carries extra appeal to me.

It’s a nameplate of a black Louisville Slugger M356 model that Davis splintered at the handle when facing Jon Lester during the bottom of the fourth inning on March 31, 2014, in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. How do I know this? The MLB Authentication sticker tells me just that.

The game’s box score tells me Davis went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on that sunny, 60-degree Monday — a game that, despite the slugger’s tough day, was a 2-1 Orioles victory.

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Contest: DBZ Heroes and Villains

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst

It’s contest time once again, and we are celebrating the release of 2015 Dragon Ball Z Heroes and Villains.

But, we’re not just giving away one box of DBZ. We’re in such a great mood that we’re not only going to give away a box of Heroes and Villains, but also a box of 2014 DBZ. That’s right, two boxes.

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Your Turn: Which 2014-15 NHL Rookie Will Win the Calder Trophy

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst

As the 2014-15 regular season NHL campaign draws to an end, and the playoffs lie in wait, Calder Trophy contenders are making their final bids for the hardware. Past winners of the award read like a who’s who of the NHL. Names like Bobby Orr, Ken Drayden, Ray Bourque, Mario Lemieux, Peter Forsberg, Alexander Ovechkin, and Patrick Kane just to name a few. The contenders this season are first rounders, mid-rounders, and late bloomers, but they all have a case to be made for winning.

Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Calgary Flames – 2011 NHL Entry Draft (104th overall)
Through 80 games Gaudreau has 24 goals and 40 assist (24-40-64) which leads all rookies in scoring. The left winger from Calgary has absolutely set the NHL on fire (no pun intended) and may be the odds on favorite to win.

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Eight-time Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu retires

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By Denis Dougherty | Beckett Media

He was one of the game’s great defensive playmakers, a clutch performer and leader on one of football’s most successful teams.

But eight-time Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu has made his last big play in the NFL. The Uniontown (Pa.) Herald-Standard reported Thursday night that he will retire after 12 seasons.

Collectors have been actively pursuing Polamalu’s cards for well over a decade and his rookie issues first appeared during the 2003 season. At present, he has 2,093 cards in the Beckett.com database and they have a combined book value of $22,058.69, excluding rarities.  Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Basketball Hero Lauren Hill Passes Away

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

The sporting world lost one of its most inspirational athletes this morning as Lauren Hill passed away at the age of 19. Back in November, she made headlines for stepping into an NCAA basketball game for the first time for Mount St. Joseph’s as she bravely battled an inoperable brain tumor.

Ultimately, she appeared in four games and recorded 10 points before health concerns forced her to step away from action.Last month, Upper Deck announced a special Heroic Inspirations card to celebrate her bravery and dedication and proceeds from the sales of the regular and autographed cards went to support The Cure Starts Now. Read More »

Win our box of 2014 National Treasures baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We got our hands on some serious wax for a contest as part of our Panini America Spring Training Road Trip coverage in the June issue of Beckett Baseball.

If you pick up an issue, you’ll find a form to fill out and mail in for a shot at a box of 2014 National Treasures, which was the Beckett Baseball Product of the Year award-winner.

While all entries there must be postmarked by June 1, we’re giving our online readers the option of winning, too.

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Will Ferrell MLB auctions enter final hours

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When comedian Will Ferrell played for 10 MLB teams in a single day last month to raise money for cancer-fighting charities, many laughed at his historic antics in meaningless games.

Nobody is laughing at the results on the auction block so far.

More than 70 auction lots of game-used jerseys, pants, bats, shirts, socks, baseballs, lineup cards, catcher’s gear and plenty more are presently up for sale via MLB Auctions — and the sales are entering their final day with several items already topping the $1,000 mark.

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Rookie Jordan shoes among SCP auction highlights

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

It is hard to imagine one of basketball’s greatest legends wearing anything on his feet other than his iconic namesake Air Jordan shoes, but early in his rookie season, Michael Jordan wore a different type of sneaker and a game-worn pair is hitting the auction block via SCP Auctions.

Originally obtained from Jordan by a former Los Angeles Lakers ball boy following Chicago’s narrow 113-112 road victory on December 2, 1984, these Nike Air Ship shoes were signed after the game and safely stored for 30 years. With bidding already over $7,000 and expected to go higher, a collector is going to need deep pockets to acquire them.

What other game-used sports treasures are up for bids? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Topps releases 1952 Tribute jumbo team sets

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The famed 1952 Topps set is back — in jumbo team set form — via the latest online offering from Topps.

The 2015 Topps 1952 Tribute team sets were unveiled by the company on Thursday, and they’re the latest in oversized cards and wall art offered only on the company’s website.

This time, the standard team sets are limited to only 99 copies and are available for 18 teams. A Legend version is limited to only 49 copies and includes a card of a past star for 18 MLB teams.

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Box Busters: 2015 Donruss baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Topps Bunt launches for another virtual season

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A new season is here on the field and it’s here on virtual cardboard, too.

While this year’s baseball cards on paper arrived a few months ago, this year’s edition of Topps Bunt arrived late last week with a new card design, new inserts and new challenges for the online virtual card app.

Fully licensed by MLB and the MLBPA, Bunt is available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. It allows collectors to get free packs daily without purchase or buy tokens to buy packs. Tokens are also awarded based on performance of active players on the field in one’s collection.

“Topps is continuing to deliver on the mission of revolutionizing how fans collect and interact with their favorite sports and athletes,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, Director of App Production at Topps. “We’re excited to bring fans an even more interactive experience in 2015.”

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What’s on your want list? Tell us right here …

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

I’ve had a collecting void for nearly seven years now, and I was reminded of it this past weekend when I dug out one of my many Nick Swisher boxes to snap a few photos and make a feeble attempt at organizing my collection.

It’s not something I have lost any sleep over, but it’s a challenge that I’d like to finish. It’s been on hold since I found two of the four cards I need within the same week or two back in 2008.

And then nothing since.

My lone card that has gone missing is one of the four printing plates of my favorite player from the 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter set, a brand that probably established itself as one of my favorites upon its arrival all those years ago.

My missing card? The magenta printing plate.

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First Look: Rittenhouse Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

One of last season’s most-anticipated television shows, Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond what they saw at the movies and tied in its stories seamlessly to other comic book-themed projects. Now, Rittenhouse Archives has attempted to recapture the magic of this series on cardboard for fans with a look back the the program’s early episodes.

Packing at least one Autograph and one Relic in each box, Rittenhouse Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One hits store shelves next week and is expected to deliver strong value to collectors in addtion to carrying on the strong tradition of trading card sets based off Marvel’s movies.

What can be found in boxes of Rittenhouse Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One? Find out after the jump. Read More »