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MLB Draft: Your team’s newest players probably already have baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When the Houston Astros selected 17-year-old left-hander Brady Aiken with the first pick in this year’s MLB Draft on Thursday night, he immediately had a new fan base that probably can’t wait to seek out his cardboard.

The irony? They already can.

Thanks to the proliferation of pre-professional prospecting products and other All-Star inclusions, many players in this year’s draft — 28 of the first 41 players selected — already appear on cardboard and have certified autographs.

Aiken? Thanks to his presence on USA Baseball squads as well as appearances in the Perfect Game All-American Classic and other prep events, he already appears on 72 cards in the Beckett.com database valued (excluding rarities) at nearly $200 total.

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Latest Topps wall art offering celebrates baseball heroes


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Who’s your baseball hero? He might be among the players in Topps‘ latest vintage-style wall art offering.

The “My Hero Collection” is one of the largest offerings yet with 50 players from the past and present represented on a design reminiscent of the 1967 Topps test issue.

This time around, though, they are 11-by-17 prints printed on 18-point chipboard that are serial-numbered to 99 copies and cost $49.99 apiece on Topps.com.

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First look: 2013-14 Panini Preferred Basketball cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Only autographs and memorabilia cards will be included in 2013-14 Panini Preferred.

Each box will have just four cards with three autographs and one booklet card. The set will include 600 on-card autographs.

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First look: 2014 WNBA Trading Cards


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

The yearly release of WNBA trading cards is coming in August from Rittenhouse Archives.

This year’s set will be limited to just 500 factory sets of 100 base cards.

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First look: 2014 Flair Showcase Football cards


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Upper Deck has used Flair Showcase in Fleer Retro products the past two years. Now, the brand is getting its own release.

Upper Deck will release 2014 Flair Showcase Football in September with 12 packs in every box and six cards in each pack.

Each box will contain one autograph and one memorabilia card along with another hit of either an autograph patch, a Jambalaya insert or a Precious Metal Gem. Collectors will also find four Row 0 cards, two Legacy parallels and three Metal Universe cards in every box.

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Topps Bunt players create real demand for virtual baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

There’s a whole new type of collector out there with more than a million users and 75 million sports cards that you simply won’t find in the best of hobby shops or in any retail store aisle — unless you’re on a smartphone.

Some of these fans are paying real money on eBay for virtual collections of cards — collecting pixels if you will — while others are using their real money to buy tokens for virtual packs all contained on the app. In fact, more than 50 million packs have been sold.

They’ve been sold to collectors of  cards on Topps Bunt, the virtual card platform and application from Topps, which has seen plenty of growth in its two years on the field.

“It’s remarkable. We knew these digital cards would have value like physical cards, but things have picked up very quickly,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, who is the head of app operations for Topps Digital. “It’s a credit to the platform and the Topps name holding weight in the digital world.”

Today, Topps launched Bunt for Android, further expanding its possibilities for growth. We caught up with Vaccaro to learn even more about Bunt.

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Rare sight: Two Superfractors, one box

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You don’t see this every day but Blowout Cards did — two Superfractors in one box of 2013 Bowman Sterling baseball cards.

The case of the Teddy Bridgewater changing autograph

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

How many autographs will we see from Teddy Bridgewater this year?

Right now, the count is at 3.5.

Obviously, his autograph at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere is legit. The cards were signed by Bridgewater with representatives from Panini and Topps on hand. Yet, since the start of the 2014 football card season there have been a few variations on Bridgewater’s autograph.

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Panini brings back Father’s Day promotion

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America’s Father’s Day Promotion is back.

The program began in 2012 with collectors heading to hobby shops to buy Panini products and getting free Father’s Day packs in return. The packs featured exclusive cards and rare parallels.

This year’s offerings include Diamond-embedded cards, Cracked Ice parallels, Green Prizm parallels from 2013 Select Football (numbered to 15), memorabilia and autographs cards.

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Panini offers incentive packs for case purchases of 2013-14 Innovation Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

Panini America is offering an incentive for distributors who purchase cases of 2013-14 Innovation Basketball.

Suppliers will receive two free five-card bonus packs for each ordered case. Often the cards from these packs are passed on to dealers and/or collectors as prizes or incentives.

The packs will contain exclusive parallels of Purple View, Purple Rookie, All Purple Views, Light Blue Stained Glass, Light Blue Rookie Stained Glass and All Light Blue Stained Glass.

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National Sports Collectors Convention adds Case Breakers Pavilion and main stage to show floor


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Case breakers are getting their own pavilion at the National Sports Collectors Convention this summer, NSCC officials recently announced.

The 35th National Sports Collectors Convention will be held July 30-Aug. 3 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

“Plans have been underway for two years to bring this exciting new hobby venue to the National floor,” said Mike Berkus, Executive Director of the National in a release. “Ever since we founded the National in 1980, it has been the goal of ours to constantly add more and more excitement to our National event. Over the years we have successfully added many wonderful and exciting components to the show, exclusive pavilions that house autographs, corporate sponsors, Olympics, and attendee benefits like the VIP programs and Family day, and now we are proud to present the very first Case Break Pavilion”

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Note to our readers: We’re listening … pre-2001 pricing to return in issue No. 101

The 100th issue of Beckett Baseball marked the start of a three-month experiment in an effort to give more of you what you say you want.

You’ll see in the next issue, No. 101 coming later this month, that we’re continuing to adjust and evolve with what’s inside the covers of Beckett Baseball. You’ll see new brighter and whiter paper to help make our colors and photos more lively and energetic — and also help make those small price guide fonts more readable.

That’s our newest change, and it’s one we hope you’ll like in addition to more space for more photos, more stories and even more color pages.

Last month’s reduction in the price guide has been adjusted back to where it was in previous issues. While issue No. 100 started with pricing for cards from 2001-forward only, you’ll see another change in the next issue.

All the years we took out is coming back.

Repeat, they’re coming back.

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First look: 2014 Prestige Football cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Panini is set to release 2014 Prestige Football this summer.

Each box of 2014 Prestige Football will have three autographs and one memorabilia card on average, and a box topper.

Prestige will also have a 200-card base set with 100 Rookie Cards with a chance at short-printed Rookie Photo Variations. Each box will contain 24 packs with a Rookie Card in each, and eight cards in every pack.

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Beckett Media seeks experienced magazine designer for sports titles


Are you a seasoned publications designer?

Beckett Media is seeking a design editor with extensive deadline experience to design covers, interior features and departments for all five of its monthly titles — Beckett Baseball, Beckett Football, Beckett Basketball, Beckett Hockey and Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

Candidates will need to be able to meet deadlines, handle prepress responsibilities and work flow as they work in conjunction with editors on these five titles.

Please send cover letter, resume, link to work samples and salary requirements to bdumas@beckett.com. 

Jobu gets his own Major League baseball card in Topps’ oversized online release


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Jobu gets a baseball card after all.

The five Topps Major League cards that arrived in 2014 Topps Archives last week are getting the jumbo treatment with a little help from their little voodoo idol as Topps is offering a 5-by-7 set of the cards online via Topps.com. 

The six-card set will be available for a limited time and arrive in a wax pack befitting the baseball card style of 25 years ago when the hit baseball movie arrived.

The set will include Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen), Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen), Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) and Eddie Harris (Chelcie Ross) in addition to Pedro Cerrano’s locker buddy.

Sets are $12.99.

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.

First look: 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Hockey cards


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor

O-Pee-Chee is the release for set collectors.

The 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Hockey release will feature a 600-card base set with 32 packs of eight cards in every box.

Each pack will include a Regular Retro Variation card. Every box should have eight Marquee Rookies, eight Marquee Legends, eight Rainbow Foil parallels, 10 OPC Stickers and two OPC V Series A inserts. There will be random Black Border cards (numbered to 100) randomly inserted.

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First look: 2014 Bowman Sterling baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman Sterling is back — and this time it has some new features.

Topps revealed its plans for 2014 Bowman Sterling on Monday morning and among the new inclusions are diecuts and Wave Refractors. In fact, this one will include an oversized Wave box-topper in every box as well as a diecut auto in every case when it arrives in December.

Each six-pack box will include four cards — three autographs and a rookie or prospect card. There will be eight boxes per case with a 1989 Bowman is Back Silver Diamond Refactor also worked into the mix for every box.

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First look: 2014 Topps Update baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s time for an update — 2014 Topps Update, that is.

Topps revealed the basic details and first images for its season-capping 2014 Topps Update set on Friday, a third installment of the flagship line and a hobby staple for years.

Set to arrive on Oct. 15 with and autograph or Relic in every 36-pack hobby box or one auto and two Relics in every 10-pack HTA Jumbo box, Update will present a continuation of the first two series along with cards of the newest names in the game and players in new places.

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Panini’s FIFA World Cup Prizm set includes more than soccer stars

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Collectors aren’t the only ones in the soccer mood. With the FIFA World Cup ready to begin next month, athletes are enjoying the global event too.

Panini released 2014 FIFA World Cup Prizm soccer cards this year. The cards featured dozens of soccer players from across the globe. But one interesting subset has caught collectors’ attention – Fans of the Game.

This autograph subset included just two names: football’s Andrew Luck and basketball’s Kobe Bryant.

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Topps and Panini preview upcoming autos while at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

The NFLPA Rookie Premiere began this week. The event puts together more than 30 of the top rookie prospects with NFL-licensed trading card companies.

Topps and Panini America use this event to get autographs for upcoming releases and a number of those
“event-worn” jerseys you see in products throughout the season. Both companies have been showing off what is going on behind the scenes, giving collectors a sneak peek.

Check out pictures the companies tweeted from the event below.

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