It only took Marquis Grissom 25 years to sign …

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It only took 25 years, but Marquis Grissom has a certified autograph card.

The news comes 10 years after his last of 17 seasons in MLB — a career where he was a two-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner, a two-time NL stolen bases champ and a World Series winner with the Atlanta Braves back in 1995.

The .272-lifetime hitter is one of seven 1990 rookies who are revisited on flashback cards in 2015 Bowman, which arrived on Wednesday from Topps. Grissom now has five certified autographs in the Beckett database (click here for a complete checklist) with each player on the checklist signing a standard card, a Gold Refractor (/50), a Red Refractor (/5), a standard Refractor (/99) and a 1/1 Superfractor.

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20 Questions on … USA Baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We’ve recently seen the arrival of just the second standalone USA Baseball product in packs — 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes from Panini America — and we’ve seen the big-league arrivals of three notable USA Baseball players in Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Carlos Rodon.

With the July issue of Beckett Baseball being prepared right now — one focusing heavily on the Red, White and Blue of cardboard — we also figured that now might be a good time for a USA-focused edition of 20 Questions.

From the early days to the modern day, there seems to be a little bit of everything for everyone possible with a USA Baseball collection. Tell us what you think and test your knowledge with the questions below …

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1. Which of these players was in the 1985 Topps USA Baseball subset.

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2. Which of these brands included 1988 USA Baseball players besides the Topps Traded set?

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First Look: 2015 Topps Valor football cards

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

There are many qualities that make an NFL player a star or legend as their contributions on the field, in the locker room, or to their fans sets them apart from the crowd. Words such as speed, strength, discipline, courage, glory, valor, and heart are used to describe these warriors of the gridiron and Topps is seeking to emphasize them through cardboard.

Back again for another season, 2015 Topps Valor is a celebration of these attributes for the best in the game and these visually-striking cards are bound to turn some heads when they are released in mid-September. Topps recently released preliminary details about the third edition of this product and each 20-pack box is slated to contain a strong array of hits along with plenty of non-memorabilia inserts and parallels.

What can collectors expect to find in packs of 2015 Topps Valor? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters Retro: 2007 Topps Triple Threads

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Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Chris Olds joins Reed Kasaoka of Baseball Card Exchange to open a box of 2007 Topps Triple Threads football cards in this latest Retro video.

We’ll have a series of 10 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.

We start off with a newer older brand — and one where you might be interested in the big cards we find. How can they be yours?

Tell us what you think of the Triple Threads brand in the comments below. We’ll award the two big cards to two readers (via random selection) from all who comment before June 1.

What Retro video would you want to see next?

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First Look: 2015 Topps High Tek football cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The NFL is going High Tek.

Topps revealed on Thursday the first glimpses and the basic details for its first Tek release in football — 2015 Topps High Tek — which will arrive in December after gaining good yardage last season in baseball.

It will arrive on Dec. 9 packing eight base cards, one parallel and one autograph in every pack with 12 packs per case.

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Panini readies Contenders Draft Picks football

 

 

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Fans and collectors are gearing up for the first round of the NFL Draft tonight in Chicago. All the workouts, mock drafts, projections and arguments come down to this weekend as the NFL welcomes hundreds of fresh rookies. With the football card hobby driven by rookies, it’s an exciting time, and Panini is readying the release of its first 2015 product: Contenders Draft Picks football.

The product features the design of the popular 2014 Panini Contenders (the Product of the Year in the June issue of Beckett Football) but carries the license to show college team names, colors and logos. There will be plenty of autographed versions throughout the product. Of course, headlining the set are prospects that are sure to hear their names called tonight: Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper, Kevin White, Melvin Gordon, Donte Fowler, Leonard Williams and many more.

Panini Contenders Draft Picks is scheduled to release next week, which is sure to capitalize on the draft frenzy. Below are several card images of the top draft picks collectors are chasing.

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First Look: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

The second installment of Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of the J. R. R. Tolkien classic, The Hobbit, was a box office smash back in 2013 and Cryptozoic is bringing all of its adventure and excitement to trading card collectors on May 13.

Coming out nearly a year after the previous card set, Cryptozoic The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug offers up a strong assortment of inserts, autographs and one-of-a-kind pieces of art to go along with a base set that relives all of the action of the movie.

Read on after the jump for an extensive gallery of cards that can be found in packs. Read More »

Five questions on … Superfractors

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

They’ve been the source of some of the biggest sales of modern cardboard in hobby history that don’t include a cut signature or a piece of game-used memorabilia. They’re the most sought-after of all the colors in the Bowman Chrome rainbow.

They’re Superfractors.

With the arrival of 2015 Bowman today, we have a new batch of Supers that the Chromies are chasing — both signed and unsigned. That got us curious about your thoughts on Superfractors — tell us what you think below.

How important is the Bowman Chrome Superfractor to the hobby?

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Do you own any Superfractors?

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Topps releases Bowman jumbo cards and wall art

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman is back — and it’s bigger than ever before.

With today a national holiday of sorts for prospectors, Topps added a new element into the Bowman mix this year with a pair of jumbo card sets and even larger wall prints for 33 rookies in the 2015 Bowman release.

Only available on Topps.com, each rookie in the 2015 Bowman wall art collection is available on a pair of 10-by-14 prints on trading card stock — a standard version limited to only 99 copies for $29.99 and a 1/1 Gold version for $99.99.

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Topps Creates Oversized Sets For All MLS Teams

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

The 2015 season is in full swing for the stars of Major League Soccer and on the heels of their popular flagship product, Topps has taken those cards and created special oversized team sets.

Priced at just $14.99 each, the team sets will include each respective base set card from 2015 Topps MLS. They measure 5″ x 7″ and all 20 teams are now available through the company’s online store. Read More »

Who will you be chasing on 2015 Bowman autos?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

This year’s first Bowman release is here with the newest crop of Chrome prospect and rookie autographs as well as a strong selection of insert autographs showcasing some of the biggest names in the game.

We’re curious who you think will be standouts among those on the Chrome auto and the retail auto checklists. You can check them out — and tell us who you’ll be chasing in the comments — after the jump.

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Michael Jordan’s rookie shoes top $70,000 at auction

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

As a rookie with the Chicago Bulls in 1984-85, Michael Jordan swiftly proved to be a superstar and while Nike had the foresight to sign him to a deal early on, his iconic Air Jordan shoes were not ready for game action until he had a few games under his belt.

Instead, he donned Nike Air Ships for a few weeks and over 30 years later, a pair that had been obtained by a ball boy for the Los Angeles Lakers following a narrow victory by the Bulls on December 2, 1984 has just sold via SCP Auctions for an impressive $71,554.

Read on after the jump for the full story behind these unique red and white sneakers. Read More »

Beckett Reveals 2015 Spring Expo Plans

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Collectors attending the 49th Sportcard & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto this weekend will have an opportunity to visit Beckett Media at its booth in the corporate area and take advantage of the many specials on magazines, books and raw card grading that are available for attendees.

First and foremost, all of the current issues of our core titles will be on sale for $10 US or $12 CDN. The titles included are Beckett Hockey, Beckett Baseball, Beckett Basketball, Beckett Football and Beckett Sports Card Monthly; but there is also special pricing ($5 US/$6 CDN) on several special titles like Hockey’s Greatest Goalies and Hockey’s Impact Rookies.

What else does Beckett have in store for visitors at the Expo? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Gallery: Topps Mars Attacks: Occupation Sketch Cards

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

The Kickstarter for Topps Mars Attacks: Occupation is still a week away, but the company recently shared a large group of images featuring the sketch cards that are slated to be a part of this innovative new crowd-funded release.

Drawing from an impressive pool of artists, these one-of-one cardboard treasures will definitely appeal to the brand’s hardcore fans. Based on the landmark 1960s trading card issue, Mars Attacks has a long hobby tradition which Topps has done a great job of building upon over the years.

Look for a list of artists and gallery of sketch cards after the jump. Read More »

Wrestling loses a legend: Verne Gagne dies at 89

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

He was a prep star in three sports, a college football standout, a two-time NCAA wrestling champion, an Olympic team alternate, an NFL draft pick and even a U.S. Marine.

But Verne Gagne dedicated his life to the world of professional wrestling — a career that spanned five decades in the ring and even more time beyond as a promoter and owner of the American Wrestling Association. He died Monday at age 89.

As the AWA owner, trainer and even a 10-time champion, he helped create wrestling stars such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, The Iron Sheik, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Curt Henning and many more. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 for his contributions to wrestling as a whole.

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Pro Set put Draft Day what-ifs on cardboard

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

With this year’s NFL Draft set to begin in prime time on Thursday night, we’re likely going to see some cardboard made just for the draft and some real-time online reveals from card companies showing the league’s newest players linked to their newest teams.

It’s something that I’ve always found interesting — and it’s something we’ve seen before. In fact, it first happened a long, long time ago well before the days of Twitter and Facebook. And it happened on real cardboard.

In fact, a simple four-card set from Pro Set made for the 1990 NFL Draft, then a Sunday event, is one that I’ve always found oddly interesting — and just this week I finally added this simple release to my collection all these years later.

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Gallery: 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Basketball

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

The release of 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Basketball is only a few days away, but Panini America could not wait to let collectors have a closer look at some of its jaw-dropping cards through its official blog earlier today.

In addition to the Sneak Peek cards we were able to show collectors last week, Immaculate is also loaded up with other strong low-run premium memorabilia hits like Sole of the Game and Nameplate Nobility alongside plenty of Logoman parallels.

Look for an extensive gallery of cards you could potentially pull from Immaculate after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2015 Topps UFC Knockout

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014-15 UD Ice + win our Lemieux auto

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Contest: How can you win our big autograph card from this box? Leave a comment below before June 1. We’ll pick a winner at random from all entries received.

Note: The other-color cards are not parallels in this product.

 

First Look: Cryptozoic Sons of Anarchy Seasons 4 & 5

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

While the phenomenally popular Sons of Anarchy series drew to a close a few months ago, fans and collectors have been celebrating the show’s first three seasons through a series of trading cards which was a strong hit for Cryptozoic last year.

All of the action and intrigue of the two chaotic and mayhem-filled seasons that followed can be relived starting on April 29 with the release of Cryptozoic Sons of Anarchy Seasons 4 & 5 and each 24-pack box is loaded up with plenty of hits.

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Topps readies new wave of Star Wars wall art

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst

Looking for some incredible wall art of your favorite Star Wars character? Well, you don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to find it.

Star Wars Masterwork Wall Art is back and this time there is more to go around. In February, Topps produced and distributed quantities of this product when it released a 10-by-14 version that was limited to just one copy per print.

This new release will have 99 copies of the entire 75-card base set and select insert sets such as Scum & Villainy, Companions, and Defining Moments.

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Honus Wagner sells for $1.32 million at auction

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The hobby’s biggest card recorded another big sale this weekend.

It’s a PSA 3 copy of the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner and it was part of the annual Robert Edward Auctions sale that ended Saturday night. After 42 bids, it sold for $1.1 million and that excludes a 20-percent buyer’s premium that raised the sale to $1.32 million.

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First Look: Rittenhouse Game Of Thrones: Season 4

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

One of the most successful non-sports trading card franchises in recent years is based off of HBO’s phenomenally popular Game of Thrones and while fans of the show are enjoying new episodes, they can also sit and bust packs of Rittenhouse Archives Game of Thrones: Season 4 once it hits card store shelves on May 13.

Once again, collectors will be able to obtain two autographs inside each hobby box and the lineup includes stars such as Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Queen Cersei Lannister) and Sean Bean (Ned Stark).

What else can be found inside boxes? Read More »

College student becomes baseball player for day

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For the third time in as many years, a collector of baseball cards became a member of a minor league baseball team for a day.

How? By collecting cards and entering the Topps Make Your Pro Debut contest.

Earlier this week, 21-year-old University of Georgia student Tyler Badger became a member of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

“It’s truly an experience of a lifetime,” Badger told Topps. “I love the essence of Minor League Baseball and how each team has roots within its community. That’s certainly true with this great organization and I’d just like to thank Topps, Minor League Baseball and the Hooks for such a tremendous experience.”

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Gypsy Queen gets jumbo wall art treatment

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is making its latest baseball card release even bigger — as wall art.

This year’s edition of Gypsy Queen, which arrived last week, has been given the online wall art treatment as Topps has unveiled the Gypsy Queen collection on Topps.com.

There are 599 different print options and one set offering in this one — all from the fifth edition of the retro-styled line.

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Topps offers oversized Sounders cards and prints

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Fans of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders have much to cheer about this season with a respectable 3-2-1 record after their first six games this season, but they can also can bring the excitement of the game home with them through some special oversized offerings that have recently been released by Topps.

Topps has produced a complete team set of 5″ x 7″ cards that parallel all of the Sounders players appearing in the 2015 MLS base set. Available for $14.99 plus shipping, it is made up of 13 cards and includes top talents in forwards Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins along with other favorites like midfielder Andy Rose and goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Read More »

Leaf signs Yoan Moncada to autograph deal

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Leaf Trading Cards has signed Boston Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada to a multi-year autograph deal, the company announced on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old second baseman signed a record $31.5 million deal with Boston in February. In two seasons with the Cuban National Series, he hit .277 with four home runs and 28 RBI in 101 games. He’ll begin his season with the Class-A Greenville Drive after he finishes in extended spring training.

He made his debut there last week.

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Box Busters: 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Five Star football cards

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

First Look: 2015 Topps Dynasty baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps Dynasty will be returning in 2015.

That was the revelation on Wednesday when the company teased a card of highly touted Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant and released the basic information and other preview images for the product.

Last year, the brand’s debut marked the most-expensive single-card pack of baseball cards in Topps history as the company dubbed it as “the most carefully curated subject list in trading card history” and the “most-premium Topps product of all time.”

This year, every pack will once again include an autographed patch, cut auto, autographed dual Relic or a cut auto dual Relic when it arrives on Nov. 4.

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Beckett Contest: Star Wars Second Chance Giveaway

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By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst

This past weekend, Star Wars Celebration VII in Anaheim was a huge hit with dealers, collectors, and Star Wars fan boys and girls. Beckett even got in on the action by giving away a box of Star Wars Rebels and a limited edition Star Wars Funko figure.

Now, we are offering everyone a second chance. We have one more box of Rebels to give away and it could have your name on it. All you have to do is answer the following question: What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming Star Wars film, The Force Awakens?

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Jim Brown’s Rookie Contract Up For Auction

Brown's Rookie Contract

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

One of the most historically significant player contracts in NFL history is on the block and thanks to SCP Auctions, a lucky collector will soon walk away with a written record of Jim Brown‘s rookie deal with the Cleveland Browns that was signed before the 1957 season began.

With bidding expected to reach up to $35,000 by the time it closes this weekend, this document marks the beginning of the Hall of Famer’s professional career after being a first round selection in that year’s NFL Draft. Prior to that time, he had been a standout All-American at Syracuse and in the years that followed, Brown revolutionized the game.

“Jim Brown’s 1957 Rookie contract has to be one of the most important pieces of Jim Brown memorabilia known and is certainly among the most significant football related documents in existence,” noted SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler in a press release.

How much was Brown paid in his first season? Find out after the jump. Read More »

First Look: 2015 Cooperstown baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s Cooperstown is back after an anniversary year that saw the company’s Hall of Fame brand go high-end. This time around, it remains high-end with the original name used in 2012 and 2013.

The company unveiled the first glimpses at 2015 Cooperstown in Wednesday — a fourth retrospective release from the company under its licensing deal with the Hall, and it’s a set that will arrive on June 17.

With 12 cards per box and 15 boxes per case, this one will pack two autographs in every box along with a mix of base cards and inserts of the biggest names in the game — and those players only.

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First Look: 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee

 

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

For many that grew up appreciating hockey cards, there were few childhood moments more exciting than the arrival of the latest set and 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee is a great entry-level release that adult hobbyists can share with younger collectors and introduce them to the joys of collecting when it hits the shelves on September 2.

Now heading into its 10th consecutive season of being produced by Upper Deck, O-Pee-Chee has been a hobby mainstay for decades and the tradition continues with some new twists in addition to many of qualities that have long made it a favorite of collectors everywhere.

What will collectors find in packs of O-Pee-Chee this season? Find out more after the jump. Read More »

Draft picks sets helped shape hobby we know today

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

Russell Maryland, Brien Taylor, Larry Johnson, Eric Lindros.

Back in 1991, this first card from Classic Four Sport was a talking point for an emerging niche of sports card collecting — draft picks sets. Back then, we often had to wait a year — or at least later in the year — to see our newest teams’ newest stars on cards, so a card like this was something dramatically different.

The fact that this card had the No. 1 picks from the four major drafts all in one place, all on one card? That might still be considered magical — and Classic pulled it off. A year later, with the company backing the arrival of Shaquille O’Neal, the game was changed and draft picks were truly a force and an option for collectors to seriously consider.

Our next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly will explore draft picks sets in a bit of an abbreviated form — a look back at 20 big-name notables and busts from the past, a look at a few stars heading into this year’s drafts, and a look back at a handful of sets that helped define the changing times. This card didn’t make the cut for the items in the issue, but it should have. It’s perhaps a symbol of the changing times and how things were simpler — and yet still big business — even just a couple decades ago. It also shows us how different things are today.

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