The Beckett Blog

Topps ups stakes with 2011 Pro Debut MiLB cards by Chris Olds
February 3, 2011, 10:18 am
Filed under: Beckett Media, First look, MLB, Topps | Tags: , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps‘ second year of producing officially licensed minor-league baseball cards will start off with a little something extra — four hits in every box of 2011 Pro Debut.

Set to arrive in late May, Pro Debut will consist of 330 cards — apparently just one series this year — but will pack two autographs and two game-used Relics in every 24-pack box along with eight parallels and 18 insert cards. (Last year’s two-series release included two autographs and one memorabilia card in every hobby-only box.)

New this year are Side-by-side Dual Autographs which pair two players together, while the rest of the lineup is pretty similar. There are Gold (/25), Red (1/1) and Blue (/199) parallels, while there are also printing plates to be found. The insert sets include Single-A All-Stars, Double-A All-Stars and Triple-A All-Stars.

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First look: 2011 Topps Series 2 Baseball & 60th Anniversary ring by Chris Olds
January 14, 2011, 3:29 pm
Filed under: First look, MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps unveiled the first glimpses at its second series of 2011 baseball cards on Friday, marking the first public unveiling of a 60th Anniversary diamond ring that will only be produced in limited quantities and found via Topps Diamond Dig redemption code cards as part of the company’s anniversary celebration.

However, one lucky reader of Beckett Baseball will have the chance to put one of the rare rings on his or her finger, too, via a contest in the pages of our magazine coming later this spring.

While the new series will supplement Series 1, which arrives in roughly a month, new for Series 2 will be Diamond Anniversary parallels, a Before There Was Topps insert card set, a Diamond Stars insert set, Hall of Fame buybacks, Topps 60 dual Relics and a new batch of Topps Attax cards.

The Diamond dig cards will be found one in every six packs and can unlock the diamond ring, a vintage pack of cards, a card with an actual diamond embedded into the cardboard or one of a few other options. Codes found on the cards will be entered at where fans can also collect virtual rings and other anniversary-themed cards.

Each 36-pack hobby box will include one autograph or Relic, while every 10-pack HTA Jumbo box will pack an autograph and two Relics inside when it arrives on June 6.

More to come. See images after the jump.

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Panini’s forthcoming Classics basketball carries new feel by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It may celebrate the stars of yesteryear along with a mix of greats and potential of today’s NBA, but Panini America‘s latest creation does all that with a seemingly brand-new look.

The Arlington, Texas-based hobby giant unveiled its latest forthcoming basketball brand — 2010-11 Classics Basketball — on Tuesday evening, a relatively affordable mid-range product ($5.99 a pack) that will arrive in late March packing two autographs and two memorabilia cards in every hobby box.

Each hobby box also will include more than a dozen inserts along with a selection of cards from the 100-card base set that is capped by 40 Legends and 40 signed Rookie Cards.

But that’s not what caught this writer’s eye — it’s the design of the inserts, which perhaps eschew the typical trappings of a more “classical” product — and also stray from the more reserved designs found in last year’s set. (Granted, that could be this selection, but either way they seem to be more energetic — while keeping a bit of retro-flavored flair, too.)

See what we’re talking about … after the jump.

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First Look: 2011 Bowman Baseball by Chris Olds
January 6, 2011, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, First look, MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps unveiled its 2011 Bowman baseball set on Thursday, which will mark the first appearance of Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper in his MLB uniform on an officially licensed MLB card.

Scheduled to arrive on May 9, Bowman will feature only on-card signatures with every HTA Jumbo box including three Bowman Chrome autographs and each 24-pack hobby box packing one.

There will be 110 Chrome prospect cards to be found and a base set of 220 rookies and veterans. With a new twist, there will be Bowman Buyback Cut Signature cards in the fold.

Also new will be Topps 60th Anniversary autographs, USA Baseball patch cards and Futures Game Triple Relics.

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Oh Canadadiana: ITG Celebrates being Canadian by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

On the verge of a new year, In the Game officials recently gave collectors one of many great things to look forward to in 2011. Putting it as plainly as possible, today’s newsletter explained, “In the Game celebrates being Canadian with the upcoming release of Canadiana.”

Filled with Canadian pop culture and history, this set presents an opportunity to collect and even learn about the heritage of the great white north. Appearing alongside rare and some familiar autographs, Canadian-born celebrities, athletes, artists and inventors add depth to the celebratory trading card context.

Although the pending release is old news by now, the hockey-happy manufacturer recently revealed new images of base cards, cut signatures and beyond. Nobody likes being called a hobby hoser, so check out these cards, eh? Continue reading

First look: 2011 Topps Baseball packaging by Chris Olds
December 23, 2010, 12:38 pm
Filed under: First look, MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

The annual Topps baseball card set is one that always gets plenty of attention and often every little detail gets examined.

That’s what happens when you’re a product that has existed year-in, year-out for 60 years.

Here’s what you’ll need to be looking for when the cards arrive in February … a first look at the packaging, which features New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez will wear new Sox on 2011 Topps baseball cards by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

The Boston Red Sox have been busy adding new talent this off-season and that means that Topps has been busy, too.

With a little help from Photoshop.

Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez — two players who will have cards topping the next Beckett Baseball Hot List — will appear in Red Sox uniforms in the 2011 Topps set, the company announced on Friday.

Because of their late additions, the cards will be short-prints.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Topps revives 1887 Gypsy Queen baseball for 2011 release by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Move over Allen & Ginter, there’s a new queen in town.

Topps released the basic product information for its 2011 Gypsy Queen baseball card set on Wednesday, a retro-styled release modeled after the 1887 N174 set of the same name.

Scheduled to arrive in late-April, the Queen will deliver two autographed cards and two Relic cards in every 24-pack hobby box as well as a 10-card mini box inside.

The base set will consist of 450 cards — 50 of those short-printed variations — with a mix of current players, Hall of Famers and rookies in the mix. There will be seven base cards and three parallel cards in every pack.

See the images — and read more — after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects checklist by Chris Olds
December 9, 2010, 7:30 pm
Filed under: First look, MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

We apologize for the somewhat grainy picture quality, but we did some networking and got our hands on something that many a prospector has been clamoring for … the packed out retail checklists for 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects.

(We’re hoping that the dedicated collector won’t mind some pixels … click for a closer look at the images.)

Due out Dec. 15, Bowman Draft had a substantial TBD presence on each of its checklists, which are now revealed in full.

After the jump …

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The Prospect of 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Fortifying its late-January release with proven icemen like Pavel Bure and Steve Yzerman, In The Game claims that 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects “…could be the best…ever!” AHL, CHL and International contenders bolster the checklist with the prospect of stardom in this pairing of hopeful and established hockey heroes.

Doing what they do best, ITG officials bring the game to the collector with spectacular game-used memorabilia cards from the Top Prospects Game, the Subway Series and other on-the-rink action. These, along with National Pride, Net Prospects, Prospect Trios, Quad Patch, Complete Jersey inserts justify the chase. The memorabilia-focused manufacturer even sweetens the deal with autographed versions of some of its game-used inserts. Continue reading

First look: 2010 National Treasures Football by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Those sneaky card guys over at Panini America couldn’t hang on to photos of 2010 National Treasures Football any longer. They couldn’t keep the lid on the final and most expensive product in their 2010 football line.

National Treasures is consistently one of the most anticipated sets since it debuted in 2006. The high-end product features sharp photos, beautiful patches and a good mix of legend, veteran and rookie autographs.

The product isn’t due out until March 2, 2011, but Panini just couldn’t hide its preview photos any longer.

A $400-pack gets you eight cards. The preview photos show players such as Tom Brady, Johnny Unitas and Sam Bradford, all guys at the top of the game or quickly on the rise.

See the gallery — and more — after the jump.

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Teaser gallery: 2011 Topps Pro Debut Series 1 minor league baseball cards (with poll) by Chris Olds

Topps unveiled a selection of preview images for its second year of manufacturing Minor League Baseball cards on Tuesday — 2011 Topps Pro Debut.

Pro Debut will have a few more touches next year — a new addition being dual autographs — but we’ll wait for the full preview information to come later this week.

Until then, feast on the photos and tell us whether you like what you see … after the jump.

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Panini America readies first Ernie Davis memorabilia card by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Tucked among the behind-the-scenes images that Panini America released on Friday documenting its quality control process was a gem probably missed by many.

What is it?

The first memorabilia card of former Syracuse star and Cleveland Browns legend Ernie Davis.

Davis was the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy and appeared to be set for a fine pro career — he was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft (also a social first) in 1962 — before he was diagnosed with leukemia and died at age 23 on May 18, 1963. His only appearance on a professional field came when he was introduced to the crowd during a preseason game at Cleveland Stadium.

Davis’ story was the subject of a recent major motion picture, The Express, as well, but despite all of that, he still hasn’t yet had an extensive number of football cards — and not a single memorabilia card.

All that changes when 2010 Certified arrives in hobby shops on Nov. 17.

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First Look: 2010 Century Collection trading cards by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s back.

Panini America unveiled the basic product information and images for 2010 Panini Century Collection, a multi-sport and non-sport product laden with memorabilia swatches, autographs and postage stamps of some of the world’s biggest names.

It’s a product that had been announced in January 2009 by Donruss but was shelved in the wake of the company’s legal issues with Major League Baseball and its eventual sale to the Italian collectibles giant.

The high-end offering will include five cards in every pack — at $200 a pack — with two autographs, two memorabilia cards and one additional autograph or memorabilia card when it arrives on Dec. 22.

Each 15-box case will include at least three of the following items: cuts or stamp cut cards, astronaut autographs, memorabilia cards of Joe Jackson or Jim Thorpe and autographs from Pete Rose, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, George Brett or Stan Musial.

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First look: 2010 Playoff Contenders football cards by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America offered a sneak peek at one of its annual staples on Monday in the form of 2010 Playoff Contenders.

Set to arrive in January, it will include four autographs in every 24-pack box along with nearly 20 additional rookies and inserts.

New this year in the ticket-styled staple are cards made of 14 karat solid gold — literally, a golden ticket.

We’ll have more on this product closer to its release, so stay tuned.

Until then, you can check out the selection of preview images after the jump.

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First Look: 2010-11 Limited Hockey by Chris Olds
October 21, 2010, 10:04 am
Filed under: First look, NHL, Panini | Tags: , , , , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America‘s on-ice offerings just keep on coming in its rookie season in the NHL and the latest installment is a high-end veteran that many collectors should be familiar with.

Set to arrive on Dec. 15, 2010-11 Limited will include seven cards in each $100 pack — one autograph, one memorabilia card, one additional autograph or memorabilia card as well as two base cards, one legends and one more card after that.

Some of the NHL’s newest rookies will be included in the product — including top pick Taylor Hall — while the set will include stars from the present and the past like Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux.

Panini also promises some first-time signers will be found in Limited, while there will be cut autographs of players like Harry Oliver and Eddie Shore as well.

See more after the jump — and see more from Panini here soon.

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First look: 2011 Topps Heritage baseball cards (updated) by Chris Olds
October 20, 2010, 5:37 pm
Filed under: First look, MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Topps has teased the first glimpse at the 2011 version of one of its most popular baseball card sets, Topps Heritage, and to no one’s surprise it carries the classic design of the 1962 Topps set.

The famed wood borders will return — last used in an original Topps design in 1987 — in 2011 with Heritage, a product that will pack 24 packs in every hobby box, each with  one autograph or Relic card inside when it arrives in mid-March.

The base set will consist of 500 cards — 425 players along with World Series highlight cards, combos cards, League Leaders cards, Sporting News All-Stars, team cards, Rookie Parade cards and In-Action cards — all like they were in 1962. There will be 75 short-printed cards to be found, while the Chrome parallels and Topps Stamps also will return.

Oh, and if you remember the original set that means The Bambino himself, Babe Ruth, also will be involved in 2011.

New for 2011 are ’62 Mint cards, which will include money from 1962 embedded into the cards. There will be penny cards noting a player’s birthday, nickel cards noting their MLB debuts, dime cards noting personal trivia, quarter cards that focus on highlights and silver dollar cards for players who were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The autograph and Relic lineup appears to be the same as in recent years — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? — with Flashback Stadium Relics and Clubhouse Collection Relics leading the way. The autographs are all signed on-card in several forms. They include Real One, which are players whose last appearance came in 1962 Topps, Flashbacks, Cut Signature and new 60th Anniversary autographs where players note Topps’ diamond anniversary of making MLB cards.

See more … after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Panini Plates & Patches football cards by Chris Olds
October 20, 2010, 12:36 pm
Filed under: First look, NFL, Panini | Tags: , , , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

There have been quite a few football brands launched for 2010 and Panini America has a new one, too, in 2010 Panini Plates & Patches.

Scheduled to arrive in mid-December, each $150 box will include one autographed prime memorabilia Rookie Card, two autographs and either one memorabilia card or a fourth autograph. Also found in each box will be two base cards, one parallel and one insert.

And, based on the product’s name, it should be obvious what the product is built around when it comes to the selling points.

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