20 Questions on … Topps Heritage baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The annual trip down Memory Lane to the past is here with the arrival of this year’s Topps Heritage and we’ve seen plenty of reactions to some of the surprises found inside.

You know, like bubble gum-damaged cards made on purpose.

With all that talk about Heritage, we figured now’s the time for a new edition of 20 Questions … all about Heritage.

1. Are you a fan of Topps Heritage?

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2. When did you first discover Topps Heritage?

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Click “read more” to see and respond to the rest of the questions … 

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First Look: 2015 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

A quirky collector favorite is back again this year as early details have surfaced regarding 2015 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions. Known as the place to find truly unique pieces of memorabilia along with a strong mix of athletes from a variety of sports, this brand has established a reputation all of its own for delivering the kind of cards you simply will not find in other releases.

With three hits in every box, the potential of finding a strong card is always present and the company noted that all of the Autograph cards will be hard-signed. There are plenty of other interesting concepts returning once again and some new ones that may gather a following as well.

What can collectors expect to find in boxes of 2015 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2014-15 Panini Threads Basketball

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The relationship between Panini America and Target continues on with the upcoming release of 2014-15 Panini Threads Basketball, which is expected to hit the shelves later this month.

This is the second of three exclusive releases the chain will see this season and it will once again have multiple pack and box configurations to appeal to a wider array of collectors. Threads is returning to the hobby after a one-year hiatus and Panini recently gave hobbyists a sneak peek of some of the cards via its blog.

What can collectors expect to find in 2014-15 Panini Threads Basketball? Find out after the jump.

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Box Busters Preview: 2015 Topps Heritage + links

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into two boxes of 2015 Topps Heritage in this Box Busters Preview video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …

MORE HERITAGE

ERRORS: Click here to see confirmed error and traded-player variations. (Will update as confirmed.)

VISUAL GUIDE: Click here to see who has action photo, retro photo or color swap variations. (Will update as confirmed.)

WITH GUM? Topps puts bubble gum back into packs … sort of

20 QUESTIONS: Read & react to Topps Heritage here

WALL ART: Heritage goes big-time day after release

Lauren Hill Receives Heroic Inspirations Card

2015-Upper-Deck-Lauren-Hill-Heroic-Inspirations-Rookie-Card-Front

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Upper Deck has announced that they are creating a Heroic Inspirations card for Mount St. Joseph freshman player Lauren Hill, who overcame tremendous adversity to play collegiate basketball. While making her dream come true, she has battled an inoperable brain tumor and has served as an inspiration for millions of fans since she made her debut this season.

“My goal has always been to play and contribute to the Mount St. Joseph women’s basketball team, but never could I have imagined I would have my very own Upper Deck rookie card,” noted Hill in a press release provided by the company. “It is an honor to be recognized like this and I am so happy my story has inspired hope. I hope those who have been touched by my story will want to collect my Upper Deck rookie card, especially knowing that all the proceeds from the cards will go to help The Cure Starts Now Foundation.”

How can you purchase one of these cards and support The Cure Starts Now? Find out after the jump. Read More »

NHL Hobby Stars of the Week: Andrew Hammond, P.K. Subban, Evgeni Malkin

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst

It’s Wednesday, 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.

Andrew Hammond, G, Ottawa Senators
Hammond was more than serviceable last week as he went 3-0-0 while posting a 0.67 goals against average, a .978 save percentage, and two shutouts as the Senators pulled off a trifecta of wins. His first career shutout came in a 3-0 win over the Ducks as he denied all 25 shots that Anaheim hurled at him. The next night in L.A. he shutout the Kings as he turned away the 35 shots they took as well in a 1-0 victory. This marked a bit of history as he became only the second goaltender ever to record back-to-back road shutouts since Steve Mason accomplished the feet in December 2008.  Hammond closed the week with 28 saves as the Senators defeated the Sharks 4-2, capping off their west coast swing through California.  In the collecting world, Hammond is a virtual unknown given that he has just a handful of cards but the rookie has started his career 5-0-0 and if he continues his hot play what cards he does have could see a significant increase in asking price on the secondary market, so investing now might not be a bad idea.

Cards to Grab:
2014-15 O-Pee-Chee #529 RC, $2.50
2014-15 O-Pee-Chee  Black Rainbow #529, $10
2014-15 Sp Game Used #142 RC/30, $30

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Topps puts bubble gum back in packs … sort of

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Collectors ripping into packs of 2015 Topps Heritage today will have a chance to find something they haven’t found in packs of baseball cards in some time.

Bubble gum.

Well, sort of. Topps has created “gum damage” versions of cards in the set where an area of white residue exists on the back of the card. If it’s scratched, it smells like bubble gum — just like when Topps first arrived with this look back in 1966.

According to Topps, there are three different patterns to the stains and can be found on all 500 cards in the basic set.

MORE: Click here to see confirmed error and traded-player variations. (Will update as confirmed.)

MORE: Click here to see who has action photo, retro photo or color swap variations. (Will update as confirmed.)

What do you think of bubble gum-stained cardboard?

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Will you scratch your cards?

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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 @chrisolds2009.

Is Buffy the Empire Slayer next?

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst | Commentary

Wooden stakes and charms vs. lightsabers and Force lightning?

Most likely not. However, it was announced yesterday that Sarah Michelle Gellar, star of the 1990s horror hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer will don the headphones and mic to do voiceover work for a character on Star Wars Rebels.

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Gallery: 2014-15 Donruss Basketball Trade-In

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Last week, Panini America provided the hobby with early information regarding plans for a wrapper trade-in program that was being held for collectors that were busting packs of their 2014-15 Donruss Basketball product.

As a quick refresher, those that choose to send in 24 wrappers from this release were going to receive a three-card pack themed around the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. These cards will feature Rising Stars Challenge MVP Andrew Wiggins, Three-Point Contest winner Stephen Curry and Zach LaVine, who won the Slam Dunk Contest.

What are the other cards that could be found in these special packs? Check out the gallery after the jump. Read More »

Get your NFL Draft Preview now

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Don’t be the one who’s unprepared for the NFL Draft.

Beckett Media’s 2015 NFL DRAFT PREVIEW magazine has everything you need to impress your friends April 30-May 2.

— Player Rankings and analysis of every position. Who’s better, Mariota or Winston? Gordon and Gurley are great, but will a running back go in the first round?
— Biggest draft-day steals and busts
— Best drafts in NFL history
— Best and worst draft teams today
— Draft reports for every NFL team: Who will your team pick?

And there’s much more. Check out 120-plus pages of outstanding stories and photos on the 2015 NFL rookie class.

The magazine is on newsstands and at local hobby shops now or you can order direct from Beckett by calling 866-866-5146, ext. 2754; emailing dealers@beckett.com; or going to http://www.beckettmedia.com/special-issues

First Look: 2015 Leaf Metal Draft Footballl

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By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

One of the early 2015 draft picks products, Leaf Metal Draft returns with the top prospects in next month’s draft. Each hobby box includes four autographed cards. The product focuses heavily on the draft’s top quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. Inserts feature several parallel levels numbered to as low as one.

State Pride Autographs features a flag design of the state in which the featured player played college ball. Touchdown Kings Autographs has a crown-shaped die-cut design and features some of the top touchdown scorers in the 2015 rookie class. More info and images after the jump.

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First Look: 2014-15 In The Game Heroes & Prospects

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Heroes & Prospects is back again this season, but the hobby is in for a bit of a shock as the longest-running brand of CHL-licensed trading cards has undergone a major transformation since being moved over to Leaf Trading Cards.

2014-15 In The Game Heroes & Prospects has changed from a traditional wax pack product to a hits-only box. While some could argue that this transition may have been a long time coming, those that were loyal builders of the base set featuring a wider array of young talent will undoubtedly have strong opinions regarding the new direction it has taken. Each box will contain five autograph cards in addition to four game-used memorabilia cards.

The presence of autographs from some of the game’s greatest legends along with big memorabilia and autographs from a group of prospects that includes potential first overall pick Connor McDavid will undoubtedly draw much attention. A dramatic 80 percent cut in product to a mere 200 10-box cases may also help it perform strongly on store shelves once it releases next month.

What will be found in boxes of 2014-15 In The Game Heroes & Prospects? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Miracle On Ice Comes To The National

Craig

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

While members of the 1980 United States Olympic Team recently held a reunion in Lake Placid celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Miracle On Ice, collectors will get an opportunity to meet many of them this summer at the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

This will be a rare opportunity to receive an autograph and interact with 16 of the men who were behind one of the greatest upsets in sports history along with the team’s general manager, Hockey Hall of Fame member Craig Patrick. While the prices for this experience and the date and time have yet to be published, the show will run from July 29 to August 2 at Rosemont’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

Which players will be signing? Find out after the jump. Read More »

NBA Hardcourt Heroes of the Week: Jordan, Gobert, Mozgov

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By Derek Ficken | Beckett Basketball Analyst

Each week, we will take a look inside the NBA and will give you the top three 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.

DeAndre Jordan – C – Los Angeles Clippers
Last Five Games: 13.4 PPG, 20.4 RPG, 39.6 MPG
This beast from Texas A&M has produced career-high numbers this season with the Clippers in hopes of getting into the promised land and grabbing their first NBA title in franchise history. Jordan had nine-straight games of 15-plus rebounds and continues to wow collectors and fans alike. Since Blake Griffin’s injury on Feb. 7, Jordan has stepped up his production and has helped the Clippers stay on the path for a potential No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Within the collecting world, Jordan doesn’t have the star appeal like he does in the real world. In the Beckett Online Price Guide, we only have 136 total autographs and 56 autographs that have been priced, and only five of those autographs break the $50 mark. If the Clippers continue their run into the playoffs and a potential NBA title, Jordan might be a good reason for MVP with his unlimited amount of rebounds per game and his double-digit points per game on average. Some collectors are starting to take note of his potential with key Rookie Cards like his 2008-09 SP Authentic JSY AU RC (currently priced at $30) starting to break the $40 barrier. You have ample opportunity to grab key RCs for a bargain price, including his 2008-09 SPx JSY AU/599 RC ($20) or his 2008-09 Upper Deck Premier JSY AU/199 RC ($15), so stock up now before the home stretch comes around at the end of March.

Key Cards To Collect
2008-09 Exquisite Collection #84 JSY AU/225 RC ($120)
2008-09 SP Rookie Threads #92 JSY AU/599 RC ($15)
2008-09 Topps Chrome Refractors AU/476 ($20)

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Card Gallery: Babe Ruth in 2015 Diamond Kings

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Babe Ruth‘s presence in 2015 Diamond Kings will be simply Ruthian when it arrives in April, and Panini America has teased some of its plans for the baseball legend’s inclusion in the product.

The company will have a cut autograph, game-used cards and plenty of base cards and parallels in the product, which is the first for the brand — as well as Ruth — since the 2005 brands released by Donruss/Playoff. (Click here for our First Look on this product.)

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Top 5: Cards of WWE Diva Paige

2015 Topps WWE This Is Awesome Paige

By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst | Commentary

When it comes to this year’s wrestling cards, this is her house.

The night after WrestleMania 30 last year, Paige made her WWE debut by winning the Divas Championship from AJ Lee on Raw. Ever since, she has ridden a wave of massive popularity among wrestling fans.

Now, a star of Total Divas and a two-time champion, her popularity is soaring with collectors of cardboard. The release of 2015 Topps WWE has opened the floodgates for Paige collectors, as it includes her “Rookie Card” and many firsts, including autographs, Relics and kiss cards. In a very strong product with many superstars from the past and present, such as John Cena, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, Paige is the hottest seller among all of them. While she doesn’t have many cards yet, here is a list of her all-time top five … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2014 Topps Mini Chrome football

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Star Wars Rebels

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds and Matt Bible as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Star Wars Rebels 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 of the product in a comment below. We’ll select one winner at random from all entries received before March 20.

Box Busters: 2015 Topps WWE + win our kiss card

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Contest: Tell us what you think of 2015 Topps WWE in the comments below for a shot at winning our kiss card. We’ll select a winner at random from all entries received before March 20.

Box Busters: 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 2 hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey‘s Eric Norton and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Upper Deck Series 2 in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

BGS Diary Predictor (March): What will he 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, five are headed to Beckett Grading Services today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

March BGS Predictor: What will Olds submit?

  • 1963 Fleer #42 Sandy Koufax (60%, 61 Votes)
  • 1991 Upper Deck #SP1 Michael Jordan SP (46%, 47 Votes)
  • 2004 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Sigs #Hk Harmon Killebrew (44%, 45 Votes)
  • 2004 Topps Fan Favortites Autographs #SB Sy Berger (43%, 44 Votes)
  • 1958 Topps #386 Birdie's Young Sluggers (Ed Bailey, Birdie Tebbetts, Frank Robinson) (42%, 43 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps WWE Relics #NNO Paige (30%, 31 Votes)
  • 2011 Topps Stickers #21 Nick Swisher (28%, 29 Votes)
  • 2006-07 USA Baseball Signatures Blue #7 David Price (25%, 26 Votes)
  • 2014 Topps WWE NXT Prospects #14 Paige (24%, 24 Votes)
  • 2015 Topps WWE #46 Lana (16%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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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

30 days, 30 teams, 30 contests … start here

30days

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The start of a new baseball season is not far away and we wanted to add some march madness of the MLB variety to collectors’ routines leading up to the new season.

We’re presently running 30 contests for 30 teams that will last for 30 days.

Each MLB team will have a contest and a winner on that team’s Opening Day. How can you find out more? How can you enter? Click “read more” below for all 30 links.

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Advance tickets for National on sale today

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If you’re Chicago-bound for the National Sports Collectors Convention, then now’s the time.

Tickets and VIP packages for this year’s NSCC, which is the 36th National, are on sale today for the show that begins on July 29 and runs until Aug. 2 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention center in suburban Chicago. Advance ticket prices are lower than the cost at the door for the show.

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Wizards Hold Panini Trading Card Giveaway

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The Washington Wizards are the latest basketball team to hold a trading card giveaway courtesy of Panini America and fans who made their way into the Verizon Center on Saturday night were treated to a seven-card NBA Hoops set featuring their hometown heroes.

Well, six of them anyway, as Andre Miller was recently traded to the Sacramento Kings. However, the six that are still on the roster were ready for action on the hardcourt as the Detroit Pistons came in to town.

Who are the other players in the set and what other special card could collectors track down? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Panini readies Donruss wrapper redemption

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If you’ve opened boxes of 2014-15 Donruss basketball cards, save those wrappers.

Panini America has a wrapper redemption program ready for the return of the Donruss brand, and it detailed its plans on Friday.

They include plenty of NBA All-Star Weekend notables.

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Visual Guide: 2015 Topps Heritage variations (updated)

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s Topps Heritage officially arrives on Wednesday with three types of variations for collectors to chase — throwback uniforms, action images and color swaps.

The throwback uniforms will include different photos showing player in retro-styled uniforms as they are commonly used in MLB today. Action images will showcase action photos instead of the portraits commonly used in past sets and re-created here. The color swaps will alter the color scheme on the stripes of the card fronts.

After the jump is the previously released checklist of those three types of cards. We will detail and update the list to include images of each card as they are discovered by collectors this week.

Check out the checklists … after the jump.

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Chicago White Sox star Minnie Minoso dies at 89

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Another Chicago icon is gone.

Orestes “Minnie” Minoso, who might be best-remembered as the first black player on the Chicago White Sox and a player who played in an MLB game in five different decades, died Sunday. He was 89.

Minoso played in 17 big-league seasons, making his debut with the Cleveland Indians at age 23 in 1949. He finished his career with 1,963 hits and a .298 average, driving in 1,023 runs in 1,835 games. He was a nine-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner in his career, which was mostly spent in Chicago. His playing days ended in 1964 but he was famously signed to short-term deals with the promotion-minded Sox in 1976 and 1980. At age 54 in that final season, he went 0-for-2, to become only the second player to play in five decades. (The other was Nick Altrock, a pitcher from 1898 to 1924 who had single at-bat performances with the Washington Senators a few years up to 1933.)

“Our organization and our city have suffered a heart-breaking loss today,” said Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in a statement. “We have lost our dear friend and a great man. Many tears are falling. … When you talk about the top players in the American League in the 1950s, you talk about Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and Minnie Minoso.”

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Sunday Conversation: Topps’ Jeff Heckman

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Jeff Heckman is a manager of marketing and development for Topps Digital, which helps bring all of the company’s offerings to life via Topps.com. He’s also the subject of this week’s Sunday Conversation.

Q: We last caught up with you last summer for the Beckett Sports Card Monthly Art Issue to take a look at Topps’ new wall art. How busy has the division been during that time and has it grown?
A: We have been very busy developing wall art concepts for Topps.com. Once we made the decision to start offering limited edition wall art in late March 2014, the wall art category really exploded for us. We found the sweet spot of offering a limited number of prints using classic designs from our Archives. The category grew exponentially vs. 2013 to the point where we had demand for two-to-three new wall art offerings per week.

Q: Which lines of wall art were the standouts in the last year? Any that will go back to drawing board for refinement?
A: We were fortunate to have more standouts than flops last year. The biggest standouts were the following collections: Movie pin-up posters, For Mayor, ’59 Logos, Major League, MLB All-Star, Finest 1/1, Past & Present, Concert posters and MLB playoffs. There were definitely a few collections that didn’t live up to our expectations such as Illustrations, because we really liked the design and quality. The real positive from last year is that we were able to get real-time data based on designs, players and teams that we used to improve our wall art collections as the year progressed. We plan to continue to apply these learnings to our 2015 offerings.

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Top 5: Notable Leonard Nimoy cards

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst | Commentary

“Live long and prosper.”

These words will forever resonate with Trekkers, Trekkies and anyone who is even remotely familiar with the world of science fiction. It is Beckett’s sad duty to report that the world has lost a television icon. Leonard Nimoy, most notable for his role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek, has passed away at the age of 83 due to an extended illness.

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First Look: 2015 Upper Deck Inscriptions Football

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By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

The first football card product of the year from Upper Deck will be Upper Deck Inscriptions. As the name suggests, there are plenty of autographs and, well, inscriptions.

Lots of them.

Read More »

Legends, Divas power interest in 2015 Topps WWE

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Some of the newest names in professional wrestling as well as some of the oldest ones are capturing the attention of collectors who have ripped into packs of 2015 Topps WWE, which arrived last week.

More than 65 eBay auctions have ended with final bids topping $100 for cards from the product — a mix of autographs, Relics, kiss cards and even manufactured Relics have topped the plateau.

The retail-only autographs of long-time wrestler but WWE newcomer Sting are leading the way. His autographs, which are limited to only 100 copies and found only in Walmart packs have topped $300.

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30 days, 30 teams, 30 contests: Milwaukee Brewers

30days

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The start of a new baseball season is not far away and we wanted to add some march madness of the MLB variety to collectors’ routines leading up to the new season.

Today, we’re launching 30 contests for 30 teams that will last for 30 days.

Each MLB team will have a contest and a winner on that team’s Opening Day. How can you find out more? How can you enter? Click “read more” below for all your instructions.

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30 days, 30 teams, 30 contests: Los Angeles Dodgers

30days

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The start of a new baseball season is not far away and we wanted to add some march madness of the MLB variety to collectors’ routines leading up to the new season.

Today, we’re launching 30 contests for 30 teams that will last for 30 days.

Each MLB team will have a contest and a winner on that team’s Opening Day. How can you find out more? How can you enter? Click “read more” below for all your instructions.

Read More »

30 days, 30 teams, 30 contests: Tampa Bay Rays

30days

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The start of a new baseball season is not far away and we wanted to add some march madness of the MLB variety to collectors’ routines leading up to the new season.

Today, we’re launching 30 contests for 30 teams that will last for 30 days.

Each MLB team will have a contest and a winner on that team’s Opening Day. How can you find out more? How can you enter? Click “read more” below for all your instructions.

Read More »

30 days, 30 teams, 30 contests: Kansas City Royals

30days

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The start of a new baseball season is not far away and we wanted to add some march madness of the MLB variety to collectors’ routines leading up to the new season.

Today, we’re launching 30 contests for 30 teams that will last for 30 days.

Each MLB team will have a contest and a winner on that team’s Opening Day. How can you find out more? How can you enter? Click “read more” below for all your instructions.

Read More »