Filed under: ESPN, NBA | Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA trading cards, Panini America, Wesley Johnson
Bright and early Monday morning, Panini America officials tipped off what promises to be a busy week by announcing that they have reached an exclusive trading card agreement with No. 4 overall pick Wesley Johnson.
To launch the relationship, Panini has arranged for Johnson to visit ESPN headquarters for an extensive media tour Monday that will include stints on seemingly every ESPN platform.
Johnson, drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves out of the University of Syracuse, last season earned Big East Player of the Year honors and was a First Team Associated Press All-American. His first mainstream NBA trading cards will be available late next month in Panini’s 2010 NBA Prestige product.
“We are excited to add Wesley Johnson as an exclusive Panini athlete,” said Scott Prusha, Panini America’s Director of Marketing. “Wesley excited Syracuse fans in college and we expect him to do the same for the Timberwolves fans. We look forward to introducing Wesley to NBA trading card collectors.”
Stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional information on this story, including an exclusive interview with Johnson.
Filed under: ESPN, NBA | Tags: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, NBA trading cards, Panini America
Basketball collectors just thought LeBron James was hot before.
According to Beckett NBA Senior Market Analyst Keith Hower, they haven’t seen anything like the scorching he’s about to set off on South Beach if indeed the reportedly Heat-seeking wunderkind with the $12,000 Rookie Card chooses to sign with Miami.
In addition to painfully concluding one of the most overwrought, drama-filled, Twitterific free agent signings in sports history, James’ expected announcement tonight that he’s joining the Heat will also send NBA cardmaker Panini America hustling to produce the first cards of James with his new team.
When those hit the market in a matter of months, Hower insists they’ll be instant must-haves.
“LeBron going to the newly dubbed ‘Heat Superteam’ will help the card values of every player on that team, especially those of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and, of course, James,” Hower says. “The first Heat cards of LeBron will set off a frenzy on the entire team.”
And in the event that James shocks the world tonight live on ESPN and chooses a team other than the Heat . . .
“If LeBron doesn’t go to Miami, the best places for him to end up hobby-wise are New York and Chicago,” Hower says. “Both teams are rich in hoops history and their legacies will feed LeBron’s newfound popularity. Cleveland is not the ideal market for an NBA superstar.”
Filed under: ESPN, MLB, Razor, Stephen Strasburg, Topps | Tags: 2010 Bowman, baseball cards, Bowman, MLB, Stephen Strasburg, Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor, Strasburg, Topps
By Chris Olds | COMMENTARY
Stephen Strasburg probably never intended to be a polarizing figure in sports. By nearly all accounts, he’s a confident, quiet superstar in the making – and the results of his first five big-league games reinforce that.
Although the 21-year-old Washington Nationals pitcher sports just a 2-2 record, he’s got a 2.27 ERA and 48 strikeouts in his first 30 or so innings of work – good for second place in the history books for the start of an MLB career. By all accounts, this is Major League Baseball’s dream story – a highly successful college power pitcher arrives in a big-market baseball town that’s had little success on the field and becomes the talk of a nation; a “national treasure” as Sports Illustrated screamed from its cover.
But among the collecting community, where many have watched thousands of dollars in Strasburg cards sold – and even more money spent on boxes and packs of 2010 Bowman baseball cards — where Strasburg made his big-league cardboard debut — the story of the year resonates quite differently, particularly online.
Strasburg’s cards have generated resentment, hatred and vast conspiracy theories.
As well as harassment.
Robert J. Power appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” show to talk about buying the Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor not long after talking about the card with Beckett Media.
Check it out …
Filed under: Beckett Media, ESPN, just for fun, NBA, Panini, Upper Deck | Tags: 2010 NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA trading cards, Panini America
For those counting at home, the Los Angeles Lakers‘ just-won 16th NBA championship gives transcendent superstar Kobe Bryant five titles for his career. That’s five more than LeBron James, one more than Shaquille O’Neal and just one shy of Michael Jordan.
All that math got us to thinking about what a banner year it’s been for Bryant — and how Beckett’s been there every step of the way.
Here’s how Beckett Basketball started the 2009-10 season:
Filed under: Beckett Media, ESPN | Tags: Beckett Media, ESPN, ESPN.com, ESPN.com Page 2, Page 2, Sports Cards, sports memorabilia
It’s a busy time here at Beckett Media as we continue to prepare all of the sports card magazines and books you’ve come to expect — as well as a more than a few extra magazines here and there, too — but we’re not done there.
Beckett’s Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds have signed on to provide occasional sports card and memorabilia items to ESPN.com’s Page 2. So in case you haven’t bounced around online to see what’s going on in the hobby enough, now there’s another possible destination.
Why? It’s a chance to get the hobby some added widespread exposure, perhaps drawing back some of those collectors who’ve left cards behind and forgotten the likes of Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, Press Pass and others.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve done for Page 2 so far …
We’ll update this list every so often after additional items are published.
Oct. 30 — How about a Yankee Stadium office chair?
Sept. 27 — Logan Morrison goes from card shop to majors
Sept. 26 — Topps readies for 60th anniversary
Sept. 11 — Robert Horry signs 1st NBA card
Aug. 29 — Strasburg created buzz on cards
Aug. 16 — New Obak set looks at game changers
July 29 — Tim Tebow’s name is on everything
July 20 — LeBron James’ first Heat card
July 18 — James-Wade-Bosh card surges in value
July 11 — Even Bob Sheppard had a baseball card
July 10 — Jordin Sparks, Stuart Scott in card set
June 28 — Baseball fan cracks code, gets card
June 16 — Strasburg card buyer is sold on pitcher
June 8 — Harper, Strasburg see cards rise
May 15 — Athletes marketing own memorabilia
May 5 — In NHRA, Forces to be Reckoned
April 23 — Tim Tebow’s first “card” in NFL is valuable
April 21 — Hogan, Flair autograph cards for TRISTAR
April 12 — You can have a piece of Texas Stadium
April 6 — So glad Arena League has returned
March 27 — Kobe loves trading cards … seriously
March 27 — WrestleMania winners in the cards
March 19 — Abraham Lincoln appears on a baseball card
March 17 — UFC cards are all the rage
March 1 — You’ll be bugged by these baseball cards
Tracy Hackler is the Editorial Director at Beckett Media, while Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to Hackler at firstname.lastname@example.org or Olds email@example.com. Follow Olds on Twitter by clicking here. Follow Hackler on Twitter by clicking here.