The Beckett Blog


Beckett Tip Sheet: Where can you land an autograph? by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s no secret that the autograph is key to many a sports products these days as those certified authentic slips of the pen turn cardboard into collecting gold.

But the certified autograph is not the only way a collector can land a treasured item.

In fact, many a signer of certified autographs actually signs in other ways — ways that collectors may not always think about in a world of commodified, short-print chases and dreaming of winning mylar-wrapped lotteries. It may sound like common sense, but there are other ways to track down signatures besides ripping packs and buying singles at the card shop or online.

Here’s a rundown of ways that collectors — beginners through the long-time hobby veterans — should always consider trying to land an autograph without hitting up a pack of cards or buying a certified signature straight from a trusted dealer.

OFFICIAL WEBSITES
These days, it’s pretty common for athletes and celebrities to have their own websites where they sell autographed items directly to the public. The signed copy of WWE Magazine above, for example, was purchased on Trish Stratus‘ website, www.trishstratus.com. There, the former multi-time women’s champion sells signed magazines, books, photos, posters and more. If you have your own particular item you want signed, she’ll ink it up for a $10 fee.

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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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Reminder when flipping through a binder: Enjoy ‘em while you can by Chris Olds

I recently dusted off one of my old football card binders to find my ridiculously inexpensive, ridiculously unorganized stash of cards of one Hall of Fame caliber player.

I once thought was going to possibly sit atop the all-time the NFL’s career rushing touchdown list – well at least possibly rub shoulders with the guys listed right below Emmitt Smith (164) – but it turns out that just didn’t happen.

My player is among just eight who scored 100 career touchdowns on the ground during a career that lasted all of just eight seasons. He played in a Super Bowl, but his career was essentially over after that one appearance in the big game.

His name? Shaun Alexander.

The former Seattle Seahawks and Alabama Crimson Tide star put up a successful and potentially overlooked career, one that ended for all intents and purposes in 2006 at age 29. Sure, he lasted another season and a few games more even after that, but he wasn’t the same. He vanished from the radar when I wasn’t even paying attention.

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Alabama football media guide sure is subtle, isn’t it? by Chris Olds

It’s been out for some time now, but I hadn’t tracked down a copy of the Alabama Crimson Tide‘s 2010 media guide to see just how the school treated its 13th national championship and its first Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram.

Subtle, isn’t it?

Maybe not, but at a first (thumbnail-size) glance, I didn’t realize that he was holding the crowning jewel of the American Football Coaches Association trophy, the Waterford Crystal football that tops it.

Once I did, I realized that’s a pretty cool image. Having spent a few years in Tuscaloosa and, having finished school there in 2000, I can easily say that very little is this subtle when it comes to Alabama football.

And there’s nothing subtle about this media guide’s appeal. It will be a sweet item to get signed —  if one can chase down Ingram.

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



THREE OF A KIND: A Coach & A Catcher by Chris Olds

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds brings to you a quick story about three pieces of memorabilia he keeps in his office in yet another “Three of a Kind” video.

Not sure what “Three of a Kind” is? Click here to see the first one posted yesterday.



Alabama Crimson Tide heats things up on auction block & with upcoming appearance on NASCAR track at Talladega by Chris Olds

Do you call yourself the biggest Alabama Crimson Tide fan? You aren’t without this…

The 16-foot wide logo from the floor of the national champions’ locker room from Bryant-Denny Stadium is up for grabs — and already has hit $7,600 on the auction block with more than six weeks remaining. (Click here to view the auction.)

The 13-time national champions have a partnership with Steiner Sports to bring game-used and other memorabilia to collectors (much like the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys). The floor logo is just the latest to be found in the “Alabama Collectibles by Steiner Sports” offerings.

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First Look: 2010 Razor U.S. Army All-American Bowl inscription autographs by Chris Olds

The 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl has come and gone with the arrival of Tim Tebow‘s first football card and plenty of autographs signed.

On Thursday, Razor unveiled preview images for its 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl set, which will include inscription autographs limited to just five copies per card.

Most of the players signed something related to the university that they will be attending, but some added other notations.

We’re somewhat fond of Matt James‘ note with his autograph.

See it and plenty of others after the jump.

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Beckett Media’s Alabama National Champs commemorative issue set to hit newsstands Monday by Chris Olds

The celebrations have only just begun for Crimson Tide football fans as the University of Alabama football team knocked off the Texas Longhorns for their 13th national championship on Thursday night in Pasadena, Calif.

And we want to make sure we can help the Alabama fans celebrate.

Beckett Media‘s Alabama National Champs commemorative issue will start arriving on newsstands on Monday with its dual-covered 80 full-color pages highlighting not only the Crimson Tide’s 37-21 victory, but also the team’s run to a perfect 14-0 season. Order your special issue today by clicking here.

Inside, fans can find a recap of the SEC Championship Game, the Iron Bowl and every other matchup this season. In addition, the issue also contains a look at the team’s biggest stars — including Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram — as well as a rundown of some of the biggest names in Crimson Tide history and a look at their memorabilia.  You know, legends like Paul “Bear” Bryant, Joe Namath, Bart Starr and many others.

Get a sampling of what can be found inside the magazine after the jump.

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Urban Meyer’s shocking news leads to a shocker on cardboard by Chris Olds

Urban Meyer‘s decision to step down as the coach of the Florida Gators on Saturday night citing health reasons at age 45 has sent a few shockwaves through the college football world.

But it also prompted this writer to  do a little research on college football coaches and their trading cards, which led to another shocking discovery — their near-complete lack of cards — despite there being a constant flow of cards showing athletes in their NCAA uniforms.

It seems that all of the major football card manufacturers — and all of the smaller ones, too — have dabbled with players in college uniforms in their sets, but very few have dabbled with the idea of getting the most famous names in college football (the coaches) in their sets. Or if they have, they’ve chosen not to as they’ve also failed to sit them down with a pen to sign a few cards that can be placed into packs (certified autographs for the non-collector).

In fact, it appears that among college coaching’s elite names only Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Nebraska’s Tom Osborne have signed for a card company.

And the game’s biggest college coaching legends? If they have any autographed cards at all, they’re immensely rare cut autographs where the signatures were cut from documents and matted into the card.

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Does the Heisman Trophy make Mark Ingram the greatest player in Alabama football history? by Chris Olds

Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram became the first player in the storied history of Crimson Tide football to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in New York City.

One now has to ask … does that make him Alabama’s greatest player ever?

It’s an easy question to answer as the Crimson Tide’s list of past legends is lengthy. It includes 20 members of the College Football Hall of Fame and seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Yet none of those other Alabama Crimson Tide players ever won the Heisman.

While most football fans who live south of the Mason-Dixon Line in Southeastern Conference territory know precisely who the legends produced by Alabama are, let’s quickly recap them … and see if we can answer that question.

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Separated at birth? Joe Namath & Clive Owen by Chris Olds
February 14, 2009, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Hall of Fame, NFL, sports movies | Tags: , , , , , ,

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It’s something that’s been bothering me for years … the resemblance between former Alabama Crimson Tide (and New York Jets) QB Joe Namath and actor Clive Owen.

At left is Namath’s 1967 Topps card and at right is Owen on the cover of the latest (March 2009) issue of Esquire. At least I think that’s right.

I can’t watch Sin City without being annoyed by the fact that Dwight looks like one of the biggest stars in my alma mater’s history. Same for Closer and Shoot ‘Em Up.

Am I the only one?

Sure, the resemblance these days isn’t there — and there’s a slight difference in accent — but, if anyone’s asking, I know who needs to play Broadway Joe in the bio-pic …

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.



Steiner Sports teams with University of Alabama Crimson Tide on memorabilia, photography deal by Chris Olds

alabama1

Steiner Sports and the University of Alabama will be teaming up to bring Crimson Tide memorabilia to the masses.

namathbearA deal announced Wednesday between Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, the University of Alabama, CBS College Sports and Steiner Sports revealed the creation of Alabama Collectibles by Steiner Sports.

Available to fans will be game-used gear, photographs and gameday experiences through an online store and Web auctions at www.rolltide.com and the soon-to-be-launched www.AlabamaSteiner.com. The University had previously auctioned some memorabilia on its site, but had not partnered with any companies to expand its scope of offerings.

Steiner also obtained photography rights to Crimson Tide football.

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