Panini gives a virtual look at NBA draftees

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The 2015 NBA Draft saw 60 up-and-coming players chosen by the league’s clubs and in a matter of months, several of them will be making an impact with basketball card collectors in next season’s trading card releases from Panini America which start hitting store shelves in October with 2015-16 NBA Hoops.

Earlier that day, Panini had announced that they had signed contracts with approximately 50 players that were eligible for the draft. During the event, however, the hobby received a sneak peek at that product’s design as the company’s design team was busy creating cards and communications staff went into overdrive on their social media feeds to show off the first virtual trading cards of many picks. Starting with first overall selection Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the company created cards for nine of the top 10 picks and added several more throughout the night.

Look at the “first” Panini trading cards of next season’s hot rookies after the jump. Read More »

Topps details print runs on rarest 2015 Stadium Club parallels

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Those Stadium Club parallels may not be numbered, but that doesn’t mean they’re not rare.

Topps detailed the print runs for three types of parallel cards in 2015 Topps Stadium Club, which arrived last week.

The rarest, one per case, cards are the Member’s Only parallels that are limited to just seven copies per card, the company announced on Monday.

Read More »

On the Rise: Cincinnati Reds 3B Todd Frazier

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By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst | Commentary

Unheralded in the hobby since his first cards appeared in the 2006-07 USA Baseball product, Todd Frazier is having a breakout season, both on the field and in the hobby. In 73 games this season, he’s hitting .290 with 25 home runs – the second most in the Majors – and 53 RBI.

A semistar for the majority of his career, Frazier currently has 818 cards cataloged in the Online Price Guide, including 269 certified autographs and 168 memorabilia cards. He was a featured prospect in products from 2007 through 2010, but his first Rookie Cards didn’t appear until 2011. They were including in Bowman Chrome Draft, Bowman Draft, Bowman Sterling and Topps Update. All of his RCs are remarkably affordable, ranging in value from $1.50 to $5. In recent weeks, the secondary market activity has picked up considerably and in response, he was raised to an unlisted star for his 2012 through 2015 cards. The majority of his earlier prospect cards were raised a couple price levels and are now listed in print in the Beckett Baseball Price Guide.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Bowman football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2015 Bowman in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Beckett giveaway pays off big for young collector

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst | Commentary

A couple of weeks ago over on the Beckett Media Instagram page, we gave away for a box of 2014-15 Upper Deck Ice. In order to be eligible to win, participants were to like and repost the contest and tell us why they thought they should take home the box. Skye Gillespie, the young collector who was chosen at random, wasn’t exactly a hockey collector and was looking to get into the sport. In fact, he is fairly new to collecting altogether as he has only been involved in the hobby since Christmas.

Read More »

First Look: 2015 Leaf Legends of Sport

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

After a three-year absence, Leaf Trading Cards is bringing back its Legends of Sport brand back to hobby store shelves in 2015 and the company has touted it as spanning “the widest range of the greatest athletes in their respective sports.”

Collectors will get to make that judgment for themselves once it releases at the 36th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, but with seven autograph cards per box, the odds of pulling a significant signature are quite strong. The lineup will feature many global sporting icons with a particular focus on some of the top soccer players from the past and present, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, and Lionel Messi.

Some of the other athletes taking part in this release include Hulk Hogan, Cal Ripken, Jr., Mike Tyson, Andrew Wiggins, Jameis Winston, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman, Ric Flair, Roger Federer, Marcus Mariota, and Damian Lillard.

What else will be coming out of boxes of 2015 Leaf Legends of Sport? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Connor McDavid signs exclusive with Upper Deck

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Moments after the Edmonton Oilers officially announced that they were selecting Connor McDavid with the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Upper Deck made an announcement of their own and revealed that it would be the sole source for autographed trading cards of the league’s newest star.

“Connor McDavid has been on our radar for a long time and we are thrilled to be able to add him as one of Upper Deck’s exclusive trading card signers,” said Upper Deck’s president, Jason Masherah. “The sky is the limit with a player of his caliber, and to be able to deliver exclusive content of this sensational talent is a thrill for us here at Upper Deck. We are excited to watch his career begin with a historic franchise like the Edmonton Oilers, and we look forward to delivering hockey fans the best of the best in terms of licensed trading card content for McDavid.”

The deal between Upper Deck and McDavid will also give the company the option to feature him on product packaging and have the ability to partner with each other on promotional opportunities related to trading cards.

When can collectors expect to find the first NHL-licensed trading cards of McDavid? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Series 2 in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Stadium Club baseball cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Football card showdown: Bowman vs. Score contest

 

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By Justin Grunert | Beckett Football Market Analyst

Panini America and Topps have released their first NFL products of the year with 2015 Score and 2015 Bowman dropping on the same day. Both of these products offer a lot different things for collectors to enjoy.  Read More »

Win a 2015 Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron box from Beckett Radio

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By Derek Ficken | Beckett Radio Host

Beckett Radio is pleased to announce it is giving away a box of 2015 Upper Deck Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron on the latest episode. Be sure to listen in to see how you can win this box from them. Send your answers in to radio@beckett.com or on their Twitter page @beckettradio. Read More »

Panini Signs Five Top NBA Draft Prospects

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The 2015 NBA Draft will take place tonight, but Panini America has already been busy inking exclusive trading card deals with five prospects that are projects to be selected in the first round.

Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay, D’Angelo Russell, and Jerian Grant will be a big part of the company’s plans for next season as they will be a part of products in their collegiate and NBA lineups. The Minnesota Timberwolves have the first pick and many believe that they will choose Towns.

“The NBA Draft is always a key time for us at Panini America because it signifies the official start to a new season – and the grand introduction of the NBA’s next wave of superstars,” said Panini’s CEO, Mark Warsop. “Many of the players selected Thursday night – including the five newest exclusive members of the Panini America family – will be driving forces for our licensed trading card products for years to come; and that’s just as exciting for fans and collectors as it is for us.”

How many other NBA prospects has Panini signed? Find out after the jump. Read More »

On the Rise: Tyler Johnson

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst | Commentary

We are about a week removed from the Stanley Cup, but that does not mean that the secondary market is going to be cooling off anytime soon. In fact, we have been watching things closely and have noticed a few names heating up. Over the course of the next few days, we will be highlighting some of those names for you to help you get a jump on the market. Call it a sneak peek of notable names that you may want to add to your collection soon.

Tyler Johnson, C, Tampa Bay Lightning
Johnson wasn’t exactly an unknown before the playoffs started, he was tied with Steven Stamkos for 14th place in the NHL with 72 points, but it was in the postseason where his star shined the brightest. At one point during the Lightning’s run, he led all players in goals and points, which is a far cry from the undrafted player he was coming out of the junior level. This, of course, made collectors notice and his sales on the secondary market reflected it, too.

On the Rise:
2013-14 Dominion #120 AU RC/299, $50
2013-14 Crown Royale #225 AU RC/499, $30
2013-14 Panini National Treasures Gold #125 AU/25, $200

Be sure to subscribe to Beckett’s Hockey OPG to get all the latest pricing on Johnson and the rest of the NHL.

First Look: 2015 Topps Heritage WWE

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

World Wrestling Entertainment is turning back the clock for the next release with the return of Topps Heritage wrestling cards in November.

When 2015 Topps Heritage WWE arrives on Nov. 11, it will showcase the 1985 Topps baseball design with the stars of the squared circle. There will be two hits per box and a $3.49 suggested retail price per hobby pack.

The basic set will consist of 110 cards showcasing stars of the past and present with Superstars, Divas, NXT talents and WWE Legends found. After that, there will be a 30-card Rookie of the Year set, a 30-card NXT Called Up set, a 30-card Then & Now insert set and a 10-card Hulk Hogan Tribute installment.

Read More »

Topps readies Bowman homage for VIPs at National Sports Collectors Convention

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One big part of the major show experience is the ability to meet people from card companies face to face and discuss the hobby with those who create our treasures.
An even bigger part of the National Sports Collectors Convention is the show-exclusive card circuit — cards that can be mementos of a trip or a way to help pay the bills of going. It’s a big benefit of going to a big show and it’s all a part of having the major companies all under one roof — a competition of sorts between them where you can be the winner.

Topps revealed the first part of its plans on Wednesday.

For VIP bag buyers, Topps will have a five-card set of 1953 Bowman “cards that never were” — a checklist that includes Ernie Banks, Al Kaline, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays.

Read More »

Stadium Club returns with tradition it is known for — strong photography

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Tradition is one thing that, for whatever reason, resonates heavily in the sports world. The past and the present are always together in baseball, for example, as the record books can seemingly always be altered any given day or season. Times change, but certain things seemingly stay the same.

One tradition that we have come to expect in the hobby has been the strong photography found in ToppsStadium Club brand. For the last 25 years or so, collectors have cited the imagery used in the brand as iconic and memorable. Why? Because that’s what it’s always been known for, and, oddly, that hasn’t seemed to stick elsewhere — even though a strong photo can make or break any design.

This year’s Stadium Club set officially arrives today with the newest batch of photographs destined for a double-take — and it’s a set that even includes my struggling favorite player, Nick Swisher, with a photograph so Stadium Club that I feel like I might even have picked it for the brand.

Read More »

Immaculate Collection baseball returns this summer

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s high-end Immaculate Collection brand will return for a second season reflecting the stars of the baseball diamond.

That was the news Tuesday as the company revealed the first images of autographed cards coming in the brand — a mix of various autograph types and technologies.

Read More »

Upper Deck Overtime returns for 2015-16

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

One of the best-kept secrets among hockey card collectors in recent years has been the Overtime promotional packs that Upper Deck has created for GTS Distribution in the United States and Universal Distribution in Canada. Not only are they a perfect promotional tool for dealers to utilize, but they also offer hobbyists some limited cards and autographs as a special bonus.

Heading into its third season, 2015-16 Upper Deck Overtime will once again be offered in three waves and allocation is tied to how much dealers order of specific products from the two distributors. For the first offering, those staking their claim on boxes and cases of 2015-16 Upper Deck Artifacts, 2015-16 Upper Deck Series One, and 2015-16 Upper Deck Buybacks will receive packs. Each wave will have 60 base cards along with compelling insert and autograph content.

Back in 2012-13, Upper Deck worked with GTS and Universal on a promotion that was a precursor to Overtime and it started as a bonus pack that was relatively basic and moderately successful. It was meant to help support dealers during the last NHL labor stoppage and has constantly evolved since then.

Read More »

Golf’s new star Jordan Spieth has little cardboard

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly

Golf’s biggest star at the moment is a newcomer with very little official cardboard bearing his name — and it’s something we have seen before.

SpiethIssueHe’s Jordan Spieth and he’s a 21-year-old former Texas Longhorn who dropped out of college to turn pro — and he’s won both the Masters and the U.S. Open this year. With two more majors wins this year, he’ll do something that Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods never could — win the Grand Slam of golf in a single year. Since 1960, only three golfers have won the first two majors of a year — and you guessed it … Palmer, Nicklaus and Woods.

Not only is Spieth chasing history on the links at a furious rate, he’s also doing it at an unprecedented age. His win at the U.S. Open on Sunday made him the youngest champ of the event since 1923 and the youngest to win two majors since 1922.

His only official trading card at this point? A Sports Illustrated for Kids card that appeared in the June issue. Copies of the issue have sold for as much as $30 online with his card separated also commanding similar amounts. Woods’ 1996 SI For Kids card debut was his only card for some time before Upper Deck entered the golf card world in 2001 — and it has been a hot seller as well through the years. It hasn’t died down, either, with a recent example being a BGS 10 selling on eBay for $9,222.44 just this month.

Read More »

Vintage Break added to the National

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

The 36th National Sports Collectors Convention is a little over a month away and collectors from all over the world are expected to come to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois to enjoy the world’s largest trading card show. It is an event that has continually evolved since it debuted in 1980 and organizers are looking to expand upon last year’s case breaker pavilion with a special break that will deliver some drool-worthy collectibles.

In conjunction with Heritage Auctions and RippingWax.com, the first National Vintage Break will take place at noon on Saturday, August 1 and 15 lucky collectors will have a shot at items that include a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.

“We are incredibly excited to host this historic National Vintage Break event, at the National, on our AmazonSports.com Main Stage,” said National founder Mike Berkus. “Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions and David Gelfman of RippingWax.com have created a high profile live event that attracts and includes current trading card collectors and vintage memorabilia collectors simultaneously on-site and on-line, a truly unique and exciting concept.”

What are some of the other items scheduled to be a part of this historic break? Find out after the jump. Read More »

On the Rise: Vladimir Tarasenko

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst | Commentary

We are about a week removed from the Stanley Cup, but that does not mean that the secondary market is going to be cooling off anytime soon. In fact, we have been watching the market closely and have noticed a few names heating up as of late. Over the course of the next few days, we will be highlighting some of those names for you to help you get a jump on the market. Call it a sneak peek of notable names that you may want to add to your collection soon.

Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, St. Louis Blues
Tarasenko was one of the hottest players in the 2013-14 dual rookie class, and his play during this past season helped collectors ask for a premium in trades and sells alike.  Below are three cards that we recently gave up arrows to and we thought you would like to know about. Note that all three of these cards are redemptions but are still doing very well on the secondary market.

On the Rise:
2013-14 Panini Contenders #272A AU SP1 RC EXCH, $100
2013-14 Panini Contenders Patch Autographs #272 /100, $150
2013-14 SP Authentic #276 AU RC EXCH, $150

Five cards to chase after Max Scherzer’s no-hitter

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

He was a beanball away from a perfect game, but a no-hitter still might impress.

The pitcher was Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who lost his chance at the 24th perfect game in MLB history on Saturday when he plunked Pittsburgh’s Jose Tabata with two stikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Scherzer retired Josh Harrison to secure the no-hitter and raise his record to 8-5 this season. Scherzer struck out 10 Pirates in the game.

Baseball’s $210-million man is affordable on cardboard with his 1,769 cards in the Beckett database carrying a total value of $12,049, excluding rarities. Collectors have known about the right-hander since his cardboard debut back in 2005 as a member of the USA Baseball National Team.

Here are my picks for five early and affordable Scherzer cards to track down first.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Score football cards

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Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2015 Score football cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

A-Rod & 3,000 hits … do collectors care?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Alex Rodriguez is knocking on the door of the 3,000-hit club, a group that only 29 players in MLB history have joined.

Even fewer in history have 3,000 hits and also smacked 600 or more home runs — just Hank Aaron and Willie Mays — and at some point he might join Aaron as the only 3,000-700 players. However, we all know why Rodriguez’s statistics and his cards just don’t have the kind of image that they used to.

So with history nearly in hand — and plenty of history in just the last year or so, too — we ask a few questions about A-Rod (checklist/OPG here) and what you, the collectors, think …

Do Alex Rodriguez's on-field accomplishments make you want his cards?

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Do Alex Rodriguez's off-the-field issues make you want his cards less?

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Are you an A-Rod collector?

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Would you want A-Rod's autograph?

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A-Rod: Buy, sell or hold?

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Do you think A-Rod will break Barry Bonds' home run record?

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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.

Upper Deck produces Blackhawks set

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Chicago Blackhawks and their fans have been celebrating in the wake of their third Stanley Cup championship over the past six seasons, but Upper Deck has been busy putting together a commemorative set featuring the team’s top stars.

With only 1,000 copies of the 18-card set available as a gift with purchase, this collection could sell out quickly.

How can fans and collectors get this set?  Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Panini Gala

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Basketball is truly a global game and collectors outside of North America are often a serious and dedicated group. In recognition of the NBA’s presence on the international scene, Panini America has developed a high-end product which will be heading exclusively to those markets this summer and it may make some waves on a global scale.

As the current season drew to a close, the company gave the hobby a small preview of 2014-15 Panini Gala through its official blog. Loaded up with three autographs, a limited base card and a memorabilia card in each box, collectors will also be compelled by the fact that every card in this product is limited to 99 copies or less.

What else can be found in 2014-15 Panini Gala? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Beckett Auctions ‘Championship Quest’ ends Sunday

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Beckett Auctions‘ current sale is set to close this Sunday and there are still plenty of showcase items to pick up — possibly some for a fantastic belated Father’s Day gift.

Be sure to check out great legendary baseball items like the 2014 Topps Triple Threads Dual Cut Signature Relics card featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, a 500 Home Run Club Autographed baseball and a 1971 Topps baseball complete set with several key cards graded by BVG. Also, be sure to check out items from the Benanti Collection including several 1968 Topps 3-D Test Proof cards, many unopened packs of 1971 Kellogg’s baseball and more. This auction ends this Sunday at 9 p.m. Central, with a 15-minute extended bidding window on certain items.

Read More »

Blackhawks score championship hat trick

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst | Commentary

Three Stanley Cups in six seasons speaks volumes to the quality of the Chicago Blackhawks franchise. As the team celebrates its latest victory, let’s take a look at the key players that contributed to this season’s success and what the future may hold for each of them.

Read More »

First Look: 2015-16 Upper Deck Artifacts

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

A decade ago, Upper Deck introduced its Artifacts brand to the hockey card market and in the time since then, it has evolved into an early-season standard which delivers a mix of autographs, rookies, and memorabilia with a ton of parallels which have either generated praise or cries of frustration from player collectors.

Scheduled for release on October 7, the 2015-16 season sees Artifacts at a slightly lower price point and it has been reconfigured to eight four-card packs per box. The good news for collectors is that each box will contain three autograph or memorabilia cards and there are some new concepts that will breathe more life into the long-running brand..

What will collectors see in boxes of 2015-16 Upper Deck Artifacts? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips a box of 2015 Topps Series 2 in this latest Box Busters Preview video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

The Warriors are Golden once again

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By Derek Ficken | Beckett Basketball Analyst | Commentary

First off, as a Bay Area native, I want to congratulate the Golden State Warriors players, front office, and especially the fans.

What an amazing 2014-15 NBA season that was capped off with “dethroning” the King, LeBron James. With this recent NBA championship, many collectors should start buying into their stock. This team is compiled of many role players and it was the reason opponents had such a hard time figuring out their game plan.

With veterans like David Lee and Andre Iguodala, as well as young leaders in Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, this team is stacked for a long-run of potential success. Will the recent success of Iguodala translate into big values on cardboard? Has Curry exceeded his value this season? Read More »

Card Gallery: 2015 Topps Series 2 First Pitch

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The second series of 2015 Topps baseball cards officially arrives today with a new helping of First Pitch celebrity cards.

The idea of capturing famous first pitches at MLB games on MLB cards was one of the simplest surprises on cardboard this year with Series 1 including Jack White, Jeff Bridges and 50 Cent.

Series 2 includes a mix of Hollywood stars, comedians and musicians. See them all … after the jump.

Read More »

Panini America continues to challenge status quo with Father’s Day memorabilia cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

If you’re a collector who has participated in some of Panini America‘s promotional pack programs in the last few years, you know how the company has implemented the unusual into them.

We’ve seen player-used towels, Hackler-used shirts, player-used giant foam fingers, gloves and so much more make their way into cards that bring something different into the mix, something we haven’t quite seen before.

This year is no different.

Read More »

Gallery: 2014-15 SP Authentic Hockey

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

In two weeks, hockey card collectors will be on the hunt for boxes of 2014-15 SP Authentic and Upper Deck has given them a small preview of the inked treasures of the game’s brightest prospects and revered legends and stars that will be popping out of packs.

In addition to hobby favorites like Future Watch Patches and All-Time Moments, the other highlights for this season include a tribute to the company’s 1994-95 SP set with a die-cut autograph collection which could generate some buzz.

Check out the 2014-15 SP Authentic autograph gallery after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2015-16 Upper Deck Buybacks

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The hobby has seen its fair share of products where classic hockey cards are repackaged and sent out into the hands of collectors once again and the results have generated both positive and negative reactions from collectors. Upper Deck has decided to step into this part of the market with its own concept and the results could generate plenty of praise once 2015-16 Upper Deck Buybacks hits card stores in September.

Each pack will contain two cards and one of them will be a buyback from a previously-released Upper Deck product. Many of these hits will be hard-signed autographs, including signed Young Guns cards of the best freshmen from the past two seasons that are either limited to the player’s jersey number or a gold version that celebrates the company’s 25th anniversary and fittingly numbered to 25. It has been revealed that all non-rookie buyback cards featuring current and retired stars are numbered to five copies or less and there is also an opportunity to find hot boxes where every pack has a card signed by Wayne Gretzky.

What else will be in packs of 2015-16 Upper Deck Buybacks? Find out after the jump. Read More »