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Fab 5: Interesting Press Pass sets from the past


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

It’s the end of an era.

Although some collectors may know Press Pass as merely the lone maker of NASCAR cards, the company had an influential run in other sports and helped change the game when it comes to cardboard.

The company is now finished creating cards after a run that included revolutionary game-used releases, historic college brands, memorable non-traditional sports releases and unique non-sports lineups that included Elvis Presley right alongside Yo Gabba Gabba.

Press Pass did plenty during its cardboard run that began back in 1992 — and it did plenty for the world of NASCAR cards — here is a look at a few key sets from the company that you might not remember.

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BGS Diary Predictor (Jan.): What will he submit?


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 January 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 BGS today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

January BGS Diary Predictor: What will Olds submit? (Pick up to five.)

  • 2010 Topps Allen and Ginter Autographs #SS Stuart Scott (69%, 77 Votes)
  • 2010 Topps #65B Nick Swisher (pie in face) (59%, 66 Votes)
  • 1985 O-Pee-Chee WWF Series 2 #63 Randy Savage and Elizabeth (54%, 60 Votes)
  • 1988 Durham Bulls Star #26 Kevin Costner (Gold/Late Issue) (49%, 55 Votes)
  • 1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond #19 Michael Jordan (38%, 43 Votes)
  • 1983-84 Star Sixers Champs #22 Julius Erving (37%, 41 Votes)
  • 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue #29 Bill Murray (33%, 37 Votes)
  • 2011 Upper Deck College Legends Autographs #98 Mark Ingram (29%, 33 Votes)
  • 2004 Topps Originals Signature #JA1 Jim Abbott (1988 TT) (25%, 28 Votes)
  • 1990 Little Sun Writers #17 Ron Shelton (15%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 112

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– October: Rookie Cards, Moneyball & Watergate

 November: Vintage, booklets Dr. Beckett & more

– December: Saban, Cerrano, Hawk, Animal & practice

McDavid leading pack in Hockey Canada auction

McDavid jersey

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship will be heading into its final matchup on Monday evening as Canada is set to face Russia in what could prove to be a fine conclusion to the annual tournament. The Canadians, led by already-drafted talent like Sam Reinhart, Curtis Lazar and Zach Fucale along with potential first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Connor McDavid, are looking to end their gold medal drought on home ice and will have a nation’s eyes upon them. Hockey Canada, in partnership with eBay Canada, is auctioning off a wide selection of game-used jerseys and equipment and the action for these items has been quite intense in recent days.

Leading the pack, as expected, is a game-used sweater from McDavid which was worn during a pre-competition game against Sweden on December 21 and a round robin battle with Germany six days later. On Sunday evening, bidding had reached an impressive $17,800 CDN with over three days left before the hammer drops. Read More »

ESPN’s Stuart Scott loses cancer battle


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Long-time ESPN anchor Stuart Scott who helped bring personality and non-traditional approaches to broadcasting and SportsCenter lost his long-time battle with cancer on Sunday. He was 49.

“I don’t think enough people appreciate what Stuart did when he did it,” said former colleague Dan Patrick in an ESPN tribute video. “He took a lot of chances but he never wavered. So he was so committed to that style, that personality, that demeanor. He wanted to have an impact on the business. And he did.”

Among Scott’s memorable phrases in play-by-play recap were “Booyah!” and “Cooler than the other side of the pillow”  — a repertoire that began on-air at ESPN in 1993.

Scott appeared on 22 different trading cards through the years (click here for a checklist or OPG) with six of those being certified autographs from Upper Deck‘s brief cardboard ties with ESPN and then an appearance in the 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter product.

Read More »

Sunday Conversation: Panini’s D.J. Kazmierczak


D.J. Kazmierczak, right, with Joe Namath during Panini’s NSCC VIP Party last year.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

D.J. Kazmierczak is Panini America‘s Vice President of Sales and we recently caught up with him for a chat about group-breaking for an upcoming issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

He is also the subject of this week’s Sunday Conversation …

How important has group-breaking been for your company?
We were the first company to recognize the opportunity that group-breaking provides the industry. It has been a methodical process figuring out the management of that part of the category. But it is important to our business.

Do you have any estimates about product volume or revenue increases you could attribute to the trends?
We have a lot of quantifiable data. But I don’t want to share specifics because it can always be taken out of context. Let’s just say that group breaking certainly accelerates the velocity of sales on certain products.

Read More »

First Pricing: 2014 Select Football

2014 select beckham


By Dan Hitt | Beckett Football Senior Market Analyst

Beckett first pricing for 2014 Select football is now live to all subscribers to the Beckett Football Online Price Guide.

The Online Price Guide allows subscribers to access complete and full pricing for all cards cataloged and priced in our football database. This not only includes full checklists and all pricing for all mainstream products, but also every ancillary or regional set, old and new, that we catalog. The OPG is also the first place that Beckett pricing will appear for new products and the first place price changes on older cards are published.

2014 Select football is a continuation of last year’s successful relaunch of the brand produced on foilboard with a variety of Prizm parallels. This year, Select has been beefed-up to include a much wider range of inserts and parallels (14 in all) as well as predictor-type cards for teams competing for the Super Bowl title and players competing for the MVP and offensive and defensive Rookie of the Year Awards. These exchange cards are reminiscent of the 1990s-era Stadium Club and Upper Deck predictor cards and have bee garnering plenty of secondary market interest. For example, Odell Beckham Jr., the odds on favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, is trading at $30-$60 while the Super Bowl favorite Seahawks card is valued at $15.

Access or purchase your Online price Guide subscription now to view complete 2014 Select football pricing.


What will 2015 bring? Hobby Predictions: Part IV



Compiled by Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

What will the hobby hold for 2015? We’ve asked a few industry insiders and other notable collectors. Here’s what they have boldly predicted to see in the coming year.

RICH LAYTON — group-breaker and shop owner
I think online group-breaking begins to finally command the respect that it deserves as the driving force of the hobby right now. I think more people will get back into collecting than ever before. The social media platform for group-breakers is reaching out to all sports enthusiasts that either used to collect or have never collected cards before.

Read More »

Second Chance Contest: The Year of DBZ!


Since its re-release, the momentum of Dragon Ball Z has been nothing short of phenomenal. We’ve had a few successful giveaways and we aren’t stopping.

Our most recent giveaway was a Facebook exclusive in which we served up five booster boxes and two starter decks to seven lucky winners. Now, we are having a second chance drawing and we are giving away five more booster boxes.

Just leave a comment below and tell us anything about Dragon Ball Z. A triumphant come-from-behind win at a DBZ tournament perhaps? Or, maybe just fond memories of playing with family members and/or friends? We want to hear them and we will select five lucky winners to receive a booster box of Panini America’s 2014 DBZ.

All comments must be made before January 16. Good luck!

What will 2015 bring? Hobby Predictions: Part III


Compiled by Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

What will the hobby hold for 2015? We’ve asked a few industry insiders and other notable collectors. Here’s what they have boldly predicted to see in the coming year.

TRACY HACKLER — Panini America Hobby Marketing Manager
One of the truly remarkable things about this industry is that each new year brings with it new surprises along with a handful of certainties. It’s those inevitable out-of-the-blue player performances and product surprises that will continue to propel this category forward and add tremendous excitement to the weeks and months ahead. 2015 is primed to be a monster year for Panini America and, personally, I’m more excited about the coming year than any of my previous 18 years in this industry. It’s going to be a wild ride. Stay tuned.

THOMAS FISH — BlowoutCards co-owner
1. Topps releases TEK football in 2015 and perhaps a TEK entertainment brand as well.
2. Panini releases Flawless in another sport or entertainment brand.
3. 2012-13 Panini Flawless, National Treasures, Immaculate, Preferred singles of top rookies experience major price increases.
4. 2012 Topps Chrome and Panini Contenders football hobby boxes continue to skyrocket (we are buying).
5. Online box-breaker video goes viral when cat appears in break and starts playing the piano.
6. Redemptions and sticker autos continue to frustrate and anger collectors.
7. Blowoutcards hires additional staff to expand its services and retail offerings. Please submit resume to Fish@blowoutcards.com help our prediction become a reality.

Read More »

Beckett 20 Questions: Retro sets & vintage cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A new year is nearly here, meaning we’ll get a fresh start at new cardboard soon — or you can continue to revisit the past if that’s your thing.

With plenty of popular retro brands, there are plenty of new options to revisit the old, and we want to ring in the new year with 20 Questions on both pieces of this collecting puzzle.

1. Did you buy more or less new wax in 2014 than in the past?

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2. Did you buy more or less vintage (pre-1980) cardboard in 2014?

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See the rest of the questions … after the jump.

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First Pricing: 2014 SP Authentic football cards

First Pricing Bridgewater

By Justin Grunert | Beckett Football Market Analyst

Beckett first pricing for 2014 SP Authentic football is now live for all subscribers to the Beckett Online Price Guide.

Every year, this is one of Upper Deck‘s most-popular football brands with collectors chasing the autographed jersey cards of this year’s rookie class. Johnny Manziel, Odell Beckham Jr. and Teddy Bridgewater are among some of the most-valuable cards in the set. There are also more short-printed cards in the base set for collectors to go after if they are trying to put together the master set.

Returning sets include the popular Sign of the Times Autographs and the Canvas Autographs sets. A new addition to the product this year is the Super F/X set that can be found in bonus packs. They average about three packs per case. There also is a Silver parallel and autographs that can be found in these packs.

For complete 2014 SP Authentic football pricing, access your Beckett OPG account or sign-up here for a new subscription:


Panini America’s busy year gets a highlight reel

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Panini America has had a busy year — and here’s its highlight reel to prove it.

Beckett Grading to host James Spence on Saturday


Beckett Grading Services will host James Spence Authentication for on-site autograph authentication at Beckett Media headquarters on Saturday (Jan. 3) for collectors who are interested in professional grading or need items examined and/or slabbed.

The Saturday event is, of course, open to the public and begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at the Beckett Media headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

It’s located at 4635 McEwen Road just off of Interstate 635.

Among the services available will be baseball encapsulation, card grading and encapsulation of JSA-approved items. — Chris Olds


First Look: 2014 Panini Spectra football cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of Panini America‘s high-end football card lines is back for a sophomore season.

It’s Spectra and the company revealed the basics and the first preview images of the product on Wednesday. It will pack 10 autographs or memorabilia cards into every box along with six other cards when it arrives on March 4.

Read More »

What will 2015 bring? Hobby Predictions: Part II


Compiled by Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

What will the hobby hold for 2015? We’ve asked a few industry insiders and other notable collectors. Here’s what they have boldly predicted to see in the coming year.

CHRIS CARLIN – Upper Deck’s Sr. Marketing & Social Media Manager

“Upper Deck will continue to run collector-friendly promos like National Hockey Card Day, #UDRAK and more to remain the collector’s choice!”

BRIAN GRAY – President of Leaf Trading Cards

“A new healthier industry where manufacturer production numbers likely adjust to reflect and more accurately supply the real market demand. This is a good thing!”
Read More »

First Pricing: 2014 Bowman Draft w/Chrome Baseball

Schwarber Bowman Chrome


By Brian Fleischer | Senior Market Analyst

Beckett first pricing for 2014 Bowman Draft w/Chrome baseball is now live for all subscribers to the Beckett Online Price Guide.

Perennially, one of the hobby’s most popular brands, this year’s offering stays true to form, with over 20,000 secondary market sales gathered by the Beckett Baseball pricing team.

The Draft Pick Autographs have been some of the most coveted cards in the product, with Alex Jackson and Kyle Schwarber’s cards both topping $100. If you’re one of the many prospectors in the hobby, there are plenty of bargains to be had, with nearly 75 percent of the Autographs set priced at $15 or less.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is featured on two cards in the product – a Chrome Refractor and Chrome Autograph Refractor. Both have garnered a lot of attention from buyers on the secondary market, though sales have started to fall just a bit as the Browns season came to a close and more and more 2014 Bowman Chrome football product hits the secondary market.

For complete 2014 Bowman Draft w/Chrome baseball pricing, access your Beckett OPG account or sign-up here for a new subscription:


NFL Playoff Hobby Impact: AFC Teams



By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

Every year the NFL playoffs provide a big boost in the hobby for the postseason’s top performers. With every game on a national stage, collectors pay attention to teams and players they may have overlooked. We will look at all 12 playoff teams and see which players have already established themselves in the hobby and which have the biggest chance to benefit from a strong postseason run. Yesterday we looked at the six NFC teams and today we examine the AFC’s best.

#1 Seed: New England Patriots
The Patriots have made the playoffs 12 times in the Tom Brady era. Although they have been to five Super Bowls during that time, they haven’t won a championship in 10 years. Brady continues to be the heart of the team, and of he can win his fourth Super Bowl, he will join Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only other quarterbacks to do so. Running back was by committee, as usual, with Jonas Gray, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley splitting time. Gray was the most effective with 4.6 yards per carry. He could be the breakout star for the Patriots in the postseason, but as of late-December, the undrafted rookie and former practice squad player did not have any cards. Rob Gronkowski continues to be the most dangerous tight end in the NFL and Brady’s favorite target. A Super Bowl victory could vault him into elite hobby status. Currently his top 2010 Rookie Cards are valued at about $60-$200. Other top receivers, Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell, were effective with more than 100 catches and 900 yards each. New England has had other similar receivers get hot in the playoffs.

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What will 2015 bring? Hobby Predictions: Part I


Compiled by Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor


What will the hobby hold for 2015? We’ve asked a few industry insiders and other notable collectors. Here’s what they have boldly predicted to see in the coming year.


REED KASAOKA — Baseball Card Exchange Director of Acquisitions
“Despite the few black eyes the industry has faced recently — highly publicized stories about failing auction houses, fake autos, lawsuits — I predict new or returning collectors entering the hobby will continue to grow, with no end to the growth in sight. Not only are the kids from the 1980s starting to buy back products from their youth, but the Baby Boomers are selling off their collections to fuel this demand, with fresh inventory that’s been locked up in collections for the last 30 to 40 years. We can’t keep up with all the requests from collectors all around the country looking to sell their collection and when we do turn around our purchases and offer items out for resale, they sell like crazy. We truly cannot satisfy the demand for the products we specialize in.”

BRAD ZIEGLER — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher and collector
“I see more of the same from the hobby. There hasn’t been anything truly groundbreaking in several years. There are too many sets — the market is watered down. I wish they’d have less releases but put more attention into quality … oh, and filling redemptions!”

Read More »

Your Turn: What do you predict for cards in 2015?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

As our clocks and calendars creep toward a new year, we’re curious what’s on the minds of collectors.

After all, we know there are plenty of you out there with plenty to say about your hobby and we want to know one thing — what do you predict for the hobby in 2015?

Read More »

Preview Gallery: 2014 National Treasures baseball


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A hobby heavyweight returns to the baseball field this week with the arrival of 2014 National Treasures from Panini America.

While checklist-level details are not yet available to get an idea of the typical breaks, the company has been teasing the notable inclusions of the brand’s sophomore release in baseball for a few weeks. We’ve seen everything from bat knobs and autographs from current Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu to patches and signatures of past greats among the inclusions. Want Barry Bonds’ first certified autographs in several years? They’re in there. Want the first deluxe game-used cards of some legendary names?

They’re in there — and it arrives Tuesday.

See a massive sampling of behind-the-scenes images from Panini after the jump.

Read More »

NFL Playoff Hobby Impact: NFC Teams


By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

Every year the NFL playoffs provide a big boost in the hobby for the postseason’s top performers. With every game on a national stage, collectors pay attention to teams and players they may have overlooked. We will look at all 12 playoff teams and see which players have already established themselves in the hobby and which have the biggest chance to benefit from a strong postseason run. First we will look at the NFC. Tomorrow we examine the AFC.


#1 Seed: Seattle Seahawks
The defending champs looked vulnerable at times this season, but allowed the fewest points in the NFL for the third-straight year. They lost four games by a combined 22 points and won nine of their final 10 games. Russell Wilson was the hobby’s hottest veteran last year, and it’s tough to see his top cards rising much more in value even with another Super Bowl win. His 2012 Playoff Contenders Rookie Card was by far the hottest card in the hobby last season. Running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns, and had some fantastic runs. He could get hotter if he’s the one to carry the team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins. The players with the best chance to gain hobby standing are second-tier names such as receiver Doug Baldwin or rookie Paul Richardson. Of course, the “Legion of Boom” defensive backfield highlighted by Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas is always one to keep an eye on.

Read More »

Beckett Baseball Best of 2014 Awards: Vote now!



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It’s time for us to make our selections for the best baseball cards of the year, and we want your help.

While we’ll continue to argue about the highlights of 2014 — with a couple brands still to come in the next week or so — we want your votes for your highlights. We’ve prepared ballots for the notable categories below — and offered your chance to write-in votes on other categories, too.

Your picks for the Best of 2014 will appear alongside ours in the next issue of Beckett Baseball.

Product of the Year (excludes repack/buyback-based brands)

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Player of the Year (a force in the field and in hobby)

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See the rest of the ballots … after the jump.

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First Look: 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

One of the most popular hockey card releases each season has traditionally come under the O-Pee-Chee banner and Upper Deck is taking the collector favorite to a new level in April with the debut of 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum.

With every card printed on chromium stock, this product will certainly evoke memories of when Topps owned the brand in years past and issued their Chrome version that was well-received by collectors. The company has also stated that every autograph in the product is signed on-card and the presence of strong rookie and veteran autograph content along with compelling inserts and parallels is bound to help this one become a hit.

What can be found in packs of 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 17

week4 Watt

By Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt

Veteran of the Week:

J.J. Watt, DE, Texans

(6 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 safety)

J.J. Watt is arguably the best defensive player in the NFL today, the favorite to win defensive player of the year, and even has an outside chance to win the MVP award. Watt helped seal the Texans’ 23-17 victory over the Jaguars with a late sack that went for a safety. J.J. ended the season with 20.5 sacks as well as scoring five touchdowns this year. Three of those touchdowns were on the offensive side of the ball. While the Texans barely missed out on the playoffs, J.J. Watt’s popularity is growing every day. Collectors have already seen his value rise in recent weeks, but he has yet to peak. J.J. Watt should continue to be the most collected defensive player in the NFL, and if he can capture the MVP award his value could rise even higher.

Cards to Grab:

2011 Exquisite Collection #80 AU/70 ($150)

2011 Playoff Contenders #137 AU RC ($40)

2011 Topps Platinum Rookie Autographs #86 /1550 ($30) Read More »

Give 2014 a grade for its baseball cards


We’re presently preparing The Awards Issue of Beckett Baseball and we simply want to know one thing while we prepare our selections and the Fans’ Vote ballots.

How would you grade 2014 and its cardboard?

Making the Grade: 2014 and its baseball cards

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We’ll have our full Fans’ Vote ballot online very soon right here at Beckett.com/news.