The Beckett Blog

The Winners of Wild Card Weekend by Tracy Hackler

In a wild, woolly and record-setting opening weekend of the NFL playoffs, a handful of stars helped their hobby perceptions more than others with pristine performances for the football-watching world to see.

None, however, were as sizzling as these six . . .

Early Doucet, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Doucet was the choice early and often for Kurt Warner in Sunday’s record-breaking 51-45 overtime point orgy between the Cardinals and Packers. The second-year pro from LSU was on the receiving end of Warner’s first two touchdown passes Sunday, both 15-yarders, to help stake Arizona to first-half leads of 14-0 and 24-7.

Doucet finished the game with six catches and a career-high 77 yards. His two scores doubled his previous career total and helped immensely in easing the burden caused by Anquan Boldin’s injury.

Key RC: Doucet has 40 total, but his 2008 Playoff Contenders ($60), is limited to just 113 copies. Another performance or two like Sunday’s and $60 will seem like a steal.

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The Blind Side’s box office success sparks interest in Michael Oher football cards by Chris Olds

While its $34.1 million opening weekend was lost in the shadow of the new Twilight movie, The Blind Side — a film based on the real-life struggles of a current NFL rookie — is holding on to the No. 2 spot at the box office again this week.

And that has helped spark interest in Michael Oher‘s football cards.

Oher, a first-round pick by Baltimore in this year’s draft who has started every game for the Ravens, was a star offensive lineman for the Ole Miss Rebels. Before that, he was a homeless child in Memphis, Tenn., who was taken in by a family. His story inspired a book by Moneyball author Michael Lewis as well as the film, which stars Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.

Oher appears on 153 different football cards so far this year — just 22 of those autographed and all from Upper Deck. And with the kind of national exposure his story is getting, there are a lot more than just the typical football card collectors picking up his cards.

Sales have been strong. For example, Oher’s 2009 Philadelphia National Chicle Autographs card (No. #NC100; above) typically sold in the $30 range (high-side) but has recently gone for as much as $90. His 2009 Upper Deck Icons Autographs card (No. 125) typically sold for about $20 but has gone for as much as $80.

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Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 2 by Tracy Hackler


Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout player of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Here are our selections for NFL Week 2.

By Dan Hitt

Breakout Player of the Week:
Mario Manningham, WR, Giants
(10 catches, 150 yards receiving, 1 touchdown)

Just two games into the season Manningham has far surpassed his 2008 rookie-year totals for catches, yardage and touchdowns. The Giants needed a receiver to step up and replace Plaxico Burress as Eli Manning’s go-to guy and Manningham appears to be the answer. He torched the Cowboys on the road Sunday night with 10 catches for 150 yards with a number of those coming on crucial third-down conversions. Collectors largely ignored Manningham’s 2008 Rookie Cards after it became apparent that he wasn’t ready. But they are quickly jumping on-board the bandwagon after this hot start, so don’t expect to pick off tons of cheap singles.

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Is This The Greatest Football Insert Ever? by Tracy Hackler


Some hardcore product purists are deriding it as an affront to the very hobby it’s meant to help rejuvenate. Others are calling it a welcomed addition to even the most exciting pack of football cards.

Either way, the 15-card Topps Cheerleaders insert (seeded one in nine hobby packs of 2009 Topps and one in eight packs of the just-released 2009 Topps Chrome) is an utterly compelling conversation piece.

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Steve McNair, 1973-2009 by Chris Olds


Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was found shot to death on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn. He was 36.

The Alcorn State star played 13 seasons in the NFL, 11 with the Tennessee Titans and his final two with the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for 174 TDs and more than 31,000 yards during his career, winning 2003 NFL MVP honors from The Associated Press and appearing in three Pro Bowls.

McNair signed just 126 different certified autographed cards during his career, some during his rookie year of 1995, but most of them for Donruss/Playoff products from 1999 forward. He’s definitely not a plentiful autograph.

His most valuable autograph card comes in the 2004 SPx Winning Materials Autographs set, a $250 card (No. MM) that has his signature alongside Peyton Manning‘s.

McNair appeared on 4,108 different football cards total during his career, with 32 of those being Rookie Cards from 1995. His most valuable RCs are his 1995 Bowman’s Best #R3 and his 2002 Titanium #171 card, which also features Albert Haynesworth and is limited to 500 copies.

They’re worth $15 apiece.

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

Troy Polamalu — and his hair — returns to McFarlanes by Chris Olds


Pittsburgh Steelers DB Troy Polamalu — and his hair — returns to McFarlane Toys’ 21st series of SportsPicks, the company’s popular 6-inch vinyl action figures.

It’s not Polamalu’s first figure — but perhaps this one showcases his famous mane the best. He previously appeared in Series 14 and in a Super Bowl XL two-pack, while a Steelers two-pack of Polamalu with Hines Ward is set to arrive in August.

His latest figure is scheduled to arrive in October with that series also including debut figures for six players. A sneak peek with freshly released images is below.

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