The Beckett Blog

Panini Confirms 72 Donruss Rated Rookie Autograph Short Prints by tolentinotown
January 25, 2011, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Donruss, NFL, Panini | Tags: , ,

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier today, Panini America revealed a list of 72 short-printed signatures from the 100-card 2010 Donruss Rated Rookie set. At only $19.99 per box, the complete set  and an autograph with a 72 percent chance of being limited to 500 or less is a tough bargain to beat.

Below is a list of all short-printed signers and their respective card numbers in the recently released Panini product. Continue reading

2010 Donruss Rated Rookies: All the NFL rookies you want in one box by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

You have seen all the rookies this football season.

Some of them have lived up the hype. Others you would like to forget about. Then, there were rookies who just did their job and stayed out of them media spotlight.

No matter who that rookie was, there is a good chance you’ll find him in 2010 Donruss Football Rated Rookie Boxed Set.

You don’t have to comb through veterans in this set. This self-contained collection includes 100 Rated Rookies and one autograph for $19.99.

These cards should be out next week and it’s a cheap way to get your favorite NFL rookies.

There is an extensive photo gallery after the jump. Panini loves showing off its football.

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Card Gallery: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Earlier today, we busted a box of 2010-11 Donruss Hockey, just hoping for that Justin Bieber pull or a Pamela Anderson Fans of the Game card.

As it turned out, we drew one of each.

Designed with relative simplicity, the Panini America line comes across as a clean set with sharp action photography. Understandably, Anderson’s appearance is a bit more posed, looking like a still from some cinematic dream sequence. Equally dreamy are the Les Gardiens inserts, which feature goalies on round-edged translucent cards. We pulled Tuukka Rask, pictured in his Boston Bruins uniform above the Finnish word “Maalivahdit” (which means goalkeepers, according to Google translate).

Although our only autograph was a Rated Rookies redemption, we found enough fun in the box to enjoy the break. With a decent array of strong inserts, a dedicated rookie focus and well-chosen celebrity tie-ins, the $4-a-pack product has the right bells and whistles to attract non-hockey collectors. On the whole, our box break revealed a good looking set with familiar, yet compelling components.

Before our 2010-11 Donruss Hockey Box Busters video debuts, here are a few cards to snack on.

Four Cards I’m Thankful For by tolentinotown


By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

In the interest of giving gratitude this week, I pulled four cards from my personal collection and gave them a hand turkey tribute. As a card-carrying Texas Ex, I can’t help but highlight players who have donned the burnt orange. Even though Vince Young and Cedric Benson have had their woes as pros, I am nonetheless thankful to have a few of their cards in my Longhorn shrine. If nothing else, our shared school colors are appropriately autumnal.

Below, you’ll find four cards for which I am very grateful. Since every collector has a few personal favorites, we’re interested in finding out which four cards land on your hand turkey finger feathers.

2007 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects Class of 2006 Unsigned #170 Vince Young

Although this isn’t the fanciest VY card in my personal collection, it earned a spot in the shadowbox because of its relative simplicity and nostalgic qualities. Despite the recent drama surrounding his career, I am still (and always will be) thankful for his epic national championship performance.



2006 Playoff National Treasures Helmets #9 Earl Campbell/9

Featured here in his Houston Oilers uniform, the living predecessor of many great Texas running backs motivated me to splurge on a  high-end product for the first time. This little piece of the legendary Longhorn’s helmet is a tangible connection to school pride.

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“D” is for “Rookie!” The 2010 Donruss Rated Rookie Boxed Set by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Carefully avoiding a Gap-esque logo change fiasco, the folks over at Panini America are keepin’ it real by using the iconic Donruss “D” in a few future releases. Soon to reappear in 2010-11 Donruss Hockey and 2010-11 Donruss Basketball, the beloved letter will also land on the recently trumpeted 2010 Donruss Football Rated Rookie Boxed Set.

Comprised of 100 Rated Rookies (Tim Tebow, Dez Bryant, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, to name a few), each box completes the set and offers an autograph, to boot. At $19.99, it’s an affordable, enjoyable set to collect. However, with a January release date, the latest box with the Donruss “D” will have to do as a belated stocking stuffer, or a bargain-priced personal indulgence.

While enjoying the following preview provided by Panini, you might notice that the  “D” is a lowercase version of the crucial consonant, which is an upside-down, mirrored version of a “P.” Just sayin’.

One Pack of Retail by tolentinotown
November 13, 2010, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, Donruss, just for fun, NFL, Panini, Pro Sports, Rippin Retail

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

While running weekend errands, I made my way to the slightly hidden, yet decently inclusive trading card section at a major retail store. It wasn’t exactly on my list of necessities, but a single $2.99 pack of 2010 Panini Threads Football made its way across the scanner and into my home. It’s not a box or even a blaster, but this is the kind of impulse buy that could create or revive collectors.

Thanks to modern technology, my one-shot retail rip is available right here.

JoePa on top by himself; Reaches exclusive 400-win mark by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Penn State coaching legend Joe Paterno reached 400 career wins today in dramatic fashion.

The Nittany Lions came back from a 21-point deficit to beat Northwestern 35-21 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Paterno became the first major Division I coach to hit the 400-win plateau. Two offensive lineman carried Paterno as he smiled and waved to the crowd in Happy Valley. It only took 45 years to get there.

“People ask me why I’ve stayed here so long, and you know what, look around, look around,” Paterno said to a crowd of 100,000-plus. “Now that the celebration’s over, let’s go beat Ohio State!”

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***NOW CLOSED*** Pop quiz: Can you name these players from 1991 Studio Baseball? by Chris Olds
September 22, 2010, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, Donruss, just for fun, MLB | Tags: , , , ,

While doing some tidying up around the office I happened upon a set of 1991 Studio baseball cards, a throwback to the simpler days of cardboard and one that still remains unique to this day.

Why? Every player, coach and manager in the set is pictured in a black-and-white portrait — something that really wasn’t done all that much then or really since.

As I flipped through the cards, there was a smattering of a few names I hadn’t seen in some time — a mix of journeymen, once-promising rookies, stars who are now retired and in the Hall of Fame. Some were cards I never landed in my collection for whatever reason and others were photos with images so weird you just couldn’t forget.

And while I exmanined this still unique, but simple, set it occurred to me that a few of the names I knew so well back in those days didn’t jump out at me as well without some color and maybe some uniform logos.

I want to know whether you can name the 16 players shown here — I’ve removed their names (and in some cases team logos) to make the challenge a bit tougher.

Some should be obvious, while others might not be … can you name them all?

See all 16 after the jump.

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At The National: Turning $14 into $9,000 with The Baseball Card Exchange by Chris Olds

While wandering the floor at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention, Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds happened upon a pretty interesting transaction that turned $14 into $9,000 for one collector.

Get all the details on how that happened with The Baseball Card Exchange owner Steve Hart, a specialist on vintage wax and hear a little bit more from him about the show.

Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is red hot … but are his baseball cards? by Chris Olds

There’s an adage that performance on the field means performance on cardboard.

There are times when it happens and times when it doesn’t.

Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is in the midst of a season for the ages, sporting a 13-1 record with a 1.15 ERA for the year — made all the more impressive when you consider that he pitches in Denver’s Coors Field, the launching pad of all launching pads in MLB.

But has it translated into cardboard sales?

Yes and no, which is a surprising answer as his pace for victories is the best since Roger Clemens started 14-0 in 1986. And even more surprising since he could be in contention for winning 30 games — not done since Denny McLain in 1968 — and he could challenge Bob Gibson‘s record for the lowest ERA in a season (1.12) also set in, yep, 1968.

Earlier this month, Jimenez’s 2005 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Autograph Black card, a 1/1, sold for $2,247 on eBay — a buy that pales in comparison to the record-setting (on cardboard) $16,403 arrival of Stephen Strasburg.

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Ubaldo Jimenez remains one of baseball’s bargain-bin players by Chris Olds

There are countless baseball players who, no matter what they do, really don’t grab the attention of many a collector and remain off the radar when it comes to gaining ground on the hobby’s stars.

But after throwing the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history last night, Ubaldo Jimenez will get a little more attention.

For how long? We’ll have to wait and see.

The 26-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic won 15 games for the Rockies last season (while losing 12) and holds a 34-28 record after playing in parts of five seasons. He has a career ERA of 3.70 — which should impress even more considering he plays half of his games in the high-altitude launching pad known as Coors Field.

This year, he’s 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 21 innings.

So, what should collectors consider when looking into his cards? Well, he’s got just 510 total — and 112 of those are the “elusive” autograph. He’s got 43 memorabilia cards and 21 Rookie Cards — so there are a lot of choices to be made.

We’ll examine two worth considering…

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*** NOW CLOSED *** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (3-19) — Win big with bulls & baseball by Chris Olds

*** NOW CLOSED ***

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday, our weekly ritual where we get cool stuff into the hands of our readers — just for answering some sports card-related trivia whose answers are found on

This week, we’ve got a whole lot of bull and a whole lot of baseball.

Here’s the rundown of the contests after the jump…

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (3-19) Contest No. 8 — An eight-card lot of 2002 Donruss Originals promo baseball cards with one gold (one per magazine in past) by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (2-5) Contest No. 7 — A nine-card lot of 2002 Donruss Originals Beckett Sample cards (all stars; 1 gold) by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — and it starts now.

We’re launching a dozen contests tonight — but look for a few more possibly on Friday afternoon — because we know that plenty of you are fans of  Free Stuff Friday, our weekly contests that let you have a chance at landing cool stuff. What make them cooler? We’re running them all weekend.

logoHow can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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Upper Deck shows its hand for 2010 with two new 2009 baseball card sets by Chris Olds

Update: See MLB Properties’ statement by clicking here.

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball Editor |  COMMENTARY

There has been plenty of speculation (though some might say it’s obvious) about just what Upper Deck will do with its baseball cards for 2010 as its products will only be licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association and not also by MLB Properties.

A pair of 2009 sets — Ultimate Collection and Signature Stars — arrived this week with statements on their boxes and the cards themselves that the products are “not authorized by Major League Baseball or its member teams” and with cards that, while they do not use the team logos as part of the cards’ designs, do include team logos on the players’ uniforms in the photographs used on the cards.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company had not released any preview images for these two products — nor for any of its four announced 2010 sets — prompting and reinforcing the speculation that it would not be digitally editing out team logos or producing cards without game-action photography.

While it’s unclear whether the photo usage would be completely allowable given Upper Deck’s agreement with the MLBPA, Evan Kaplan, the MLBPA Category Director/Trading Cards and Collectibles did say this on Thursday:

“Upper Deck is a current MLBPA licensee which provides them the right to feature active Major League baseball players on their baseball cards.”

Whether that will be challenged legally by Major League Baseball Properties remains to be seen — one thing that’s been historically a given is that MLB and the MLB Players Association don’t always see eye to eye. One thing is clear, though — that these 2009 cards indicate the direction that Upper Deck will be taking in its 2010 releases. (They’ve been released after its deal with MLB Properties has expired — Topps became the sole MLBP-licensed trading card manufacturer on Jan. 1.)

A message to MLB Properties regarding the cards was returned but MLBP had no comment at this time. Upper Deck officials also declined to comment on the issue.

However, if there is not any “coverage” so to speak with Upper Deck’s deal with the MLBPA then one has to look no further than the Donruss-MLB Properties lawsuit last year, which was settled in a U.S. District Court. MLB sued Donruss alleging that its products were in violation of MLB’s trademark rights as well as the terms of its expired license among other claims.

In a handful of 2008 baseball sets, Donruss  (a former MLB licensee whose deal expired in 2005) digitally obscured some logos on cards, digitally replaced others and did not alter some logos at all on other cards.

According to that complaint, MLBP argued that the cards “depict certain Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball players in their team’s proprietary uniforms. The trademarks featured on the uniforms (as well as the overall trade dress of the uniforms) remain visible and identifiable to consumers, despite Donruss’ calculated attempts on some cards to have such marks modified or partially obscured.”

MLB argued that the Donruss products would cause confusion in the marketplace, and that they were leading consumers to falsely believe that the cards were “associated with, authorized, endorsed or sponsored by” MLB or other corporate entities.

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Is there a right way to do sticker autographs? by Chris Olds

TRISTAR's new line of autographed Total Nonstop Action wrestling photos appears to use stickers. Does it make sense? Perhaps.

There’s no question that the sticker autograph is a sticking point for many a collector.

They often loathe them because they want something that someone held signed, because they want an autograph that can accentuate the image that it is affixed to, because they want a signature that is not cut off by the edge of a sticker that’s smaller than the item it’s affixed to.

But collectors also don’t want to wait on redemption cards — an inevitable byproduct of on-card signatures. But collectors also don’t want to receive cards with dinged corners, either. (This just in, many athletes don’t treasure corners on their cards as much as you do … ) This, in turn, has spawned the letter patch autographs, the manufactured logo autographs, the Sweet Spot autographs and so on …

There are advantages for companies to get stickers (and non-card items) signed — primarily pertaining to the issues above — but it’s also one of asset management. What does a company do when there are cards left over after redemptions are fulfilled (something that also costs money)? They’ve cost the company something — yet aren’t necessarily usable in a future product.

Stickers or other types of autographs on the other hand can be used later down the line if a lineup changes or a deadline is missed or if redemptions go unfulfilled — something that saves the company money, which is more important than ever as a shrinking industry continues to weather a poor economy in a world where costs for autographs aren’t shrinking. (Even though they probably should be.) Every company uses them — and it’s become en vogue to tout when they aren’t, likely when it’s time to move some products.

So, we have to ask — is there a right way to do sticker autographs?

Read more after the jump.

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Box Busters Gallery: 2009 Playoff Contenders by Tracy Hackler

Although 2009 Playoff Contenders won’t officially be live until Jan. 6, we were lucky enough to get our hands on two early boxes today. We ripped through one for an episode of Box Busters. The other one we opened so we could provide you with an extended look.

Thanks to its melding of Rookie Cards with autographs way back in 1998, Contenders has earned a reputation over the last 12 years as one of the preeminent football brands released every season. And while this year’s version, delivering four autographs a box including many on-card, is sure to be as hotly pursued as the last 11, it’s got a lot more going for it than just autographed Rookie Cards.

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Should Panini revive Fans of the Game cards for basketball? by Chris Olds

Every once in awhile, whether it’s going through boxes of cards or files on the ol’ computer, I find a reminder of the past.

And while reading up on the latest gadget news — the headline being that entertainment icon Snoop Dogg has lent his voice to a GPS device (go watch the demo video, I’ll wait) — I was drawn to an image of him sitting courtside at a past Los Angeles Lakers game.

And that got me thinking about a past project.

A few years ago I used that same photo on a card mock-up project about Donruss Fans of the Game insert cards I’d want to see created. The celebrity fan sets included the likes of John Travolta, Charlie Sheen and others who were sports fans, but there were still more who I wanted to see on cardboard as it seemed there were always photos popping up of celebrities at sporting events.

I mocked up about a dozen of them for Page 2 of the San Antonio Express-News — where I worked at the time — and the rest is, well, newsprint history. (They’re out there somewhere … likely lining a landfill if I’m lucky.)

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