The Beckett Blog


Bryce Harper’s first game-used jersey as pro hits auction block by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Plenty has been written about 18-year-old baseball prospect Bryce Harper and plenty has been sold featuring Harper, too.

But until now he’s never had any officially licensed MLB trading cards or game-used MLB memorabilia for the deep-pocketed investors to latch on to.

What’s new? No, it’s not a Bowman baseball card bearing the Washington Nationals logo beside his name — we’ll get that in 2011 — but we’ve got the next-closest thing.

Harper’s first jersey worn in a game as a professional — a Nationals home jersey from his Arizona Fall League debut on Oct. 20 — has hit the auction block at MLB.com and already is commanding attention.

The jersey sits at just $2,535 after 36 bids, a relative bargain so far — though the auction does not close until next Sunday, Nov. 21.

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Auction Watch: Signed game-issued 2010 All-Star jerseys hit block for charity by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

You might be accustomed to seeing the Major League Baseball All-Star Game workout jerseys in small pieces in packs of Topps baseball cards, but if you pay attention to the auction block and have the funds then you just might see one in your collection.

A second complete set of the 2010 Workout Day/Home Run Derby jerseys — each signed by the player it was issued to — is available on the auction block through Hunt Auctions and all 80 jerseys will be sold on Saturday during the company’s Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Auction in Louisville, Ky.

The proceeds from the sale benefit the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps pay expenses of former players who have fallen on hard times.

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Steiner Sports offers unique items in company’s first catalogue auction by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Imagine sitting in a seat from the original Yankee Stadium while watching a baseball game in the comforts of your own home.

You can think about everything that seat witnessed as it was part of a history that spans back into the 1920s.

No, not one of those hard blue seats that makes you numb after sitting for two hours.

You could own a huge fielding replica glove couch that sits six to eight people. The couch is 86 inches high and 115 inches across.

Hope you have room for this thing.

Just for good measure, you will also get a Yogi Berra signed game-model glove.

This is one of the lots up for bidding in Steiner Sports Collectibles first catalog auction, which ends November 17 and 18. The items can be viewed at SteinerSports.com.

See more photos  from various auctions after the jump.

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Ruth family photos hit auction block through Shulte Auctions by Chris Olds

A collection of autographed Babe Ruth photos originally owned by his sister and never seen by the public have hit the auction block through SchulteAuctions.com.

The collection consists of five original photos and an inner book cover, which was signed, dated and personalized by The Bambino to Mamie Margaret Ruth-Moberly. The items have been consigned by the family and have never before been publicly available.

Adding to the allure of some of the items are photos from the Ruth family as well. The exact signed photo above, for example, can be seen in a photo of Mamie, which will come with the piece. That photo can be seen at right.

In addition, there also is a photo signed by Lou Gehrig, which also is personalized to Ruth’s sister.

The auctions are active now though the Woodstock, Md.-based company  and continue until Aug. 31.

Each of the photos have been certified by either James Spence Authentication or PSA/DNA.

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Hey everybody… Tonight is Rojo Johnson Bobblehead Night! by Chris Olds

The Round Rock Express can’t get enough of their one-pitch wonder.

Tonight, the first 2,500 fans who enter the gates for the Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate’s game against the Memphis Redbirds get a free bobblehead doll of the pitcher who made quite an impact earlier this year, Rojo Johnson.

Also known as Will Ferrell, Johnson also now appears on at least two fully authorized minor league baseball cards and he will have certified autographs coming  later this year for charity.

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: Random memorabilia in the office by Chris Olds

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds brings to you a quick story about three random pieces of memorabilia he keeps in his office — probably because he doesn’t know where else to put them.

What are they? Watch and find out in this first “Three of a Kind” video …



Beckett Baseball: How artistic are you? by Chris Olds

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds gives you the basics on a contest in the latest issue of the magazine — one that will test the artistic skill of baseball collectors.

Watch the video to find out more.



Game-used Stephen Strasburg memorabilia hits MLB.com auction block by Chris Olds

Update: The ball sold for more than $20,000.

Less than a day after his dazzling major league debut, game-used memorabilia from Stephen Strasburg‘s 14-strikeout night as well as items from his pro debut in the minor leagues in April have hit the auction block at MLB.com.

Leading the way so far is a signed and inscribed  “MLB Debut 14 K’s 1st MLB win” game-used baseball. The ball, which was used against Garrett Jones in the second inning Tuesday night, has attracted 11 bids and is at $1,210 with a week or so remaining in the auction.

Other items on the block include first base from the fourth to sixth innings — $630 after three bids — and several items from his debut on April 11. Among those items are a signed lineup card, a game-used rosin bag, a game-used ball,  first base and even an MLB-certified authentic cleat cleaner, which is up to $80. (You know you need one of those…)

A pair of non game-used autographed items also are on the block — a signed baseball that’s up to $215 after 13 bids, and a signed jersey, which is at $610 — for now.

See more images from the auctions after the jump.

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Topps launches Stephen Strasburg autographed memorabilia line by Chris Olds

Just hours before Stephen Strasburg takes the hill for the Washington Nationals in his big-league debut, Topps has launched its line of autographed memorabilia featuring the budding young star and former No. 1 overall draft pick.

Previously announced as part of his exclusive deal signed with Topps last fall, the line launched Tuesday currently includes three options:

An autographed baseball, $275

An autographed mini batting helmet, $250

An autographed MLB cap, $275

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.

See more images after the jump. Click here to visit the Topps Store.

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Chicago Cubs rookie Starlin Castro’s autographs can’t come soon enough … by Chris Olds

Forget Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson, baseball has a new phenom whose autographs can’t get here fast enough — it’s Chicago Cubs rookie shortstop Starlin Castro.

Castro’s first certified autograph card of any kind arrives in 2010 Bowman next week, so other cards of his are getting a little love right now. (Have you entered to win a box of Bowman by the way?)

So, while he’s one more red-hot reason to buy Bowman, the attention his memorabilia is getting after his six-RBI MLB debut, which included a home run in his first at-bat, is focused on his debut prospect cards from 2009.

However, Just Minors announced on Saturday that it has a limited number of signed baseballs and bats available signed by Castro, with prices that won’t break the bank An autographed baseball runs for $49.95, while a signed bat costs $69.95 (there are limits to how many can be ordered). The company did a signing with him just a few weeks ago.

You can find more information by clicking here.

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.



Your team can be toast — without facing Tim Lincecum or Roy Halladay by Chris Olds

“They’re toast.”

Many a baseball fan has said that about their team when they face the likes of a Tim Lincecum or Roy Halladay.

But this? It might be considered one that’s half-baked … or perhaps it’s just one that will burn a few fans leaving them feeling a bit crusty.

The latest creation from Pangea Brands isn’t quite on the level as the famed “toaster toaster” that sci-fi fans loved a couple of years ago, but its new line of Pro Toast toasters literally lets baseball fans show their team pride in yet another way and takes team branding to new culinary heights.

Available for all 30 big-league teams, the Pro Toast toasters are officially licensed by Major League Baseball and carry a suggested retail price of $34.99.

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-30) Contest No. 4 — A randomly selected McFarlane Toys Playmakers figure (five winners) 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 triviaand this week’s biggest prizes are courtesy of Topps.

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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MLB now authenticating … game-used cufflinks? by Chris Olds

Game-used dirt, post-game championship champagne bottles, autographs, jerseys.

MLB’s authentication program has slapped those little code stickers on plenty of unusual things over the years and they’re not done yet.

The latest?

Cufflinks.

Those little pieces of game-used memorabilia that we’re all pretty used to in the memorabilia world embedded into baseball cards and other memorabilia pieces can now be found inside high-end cufflinks at cufflinks.com.

For the collector who has everything — except a pair of fascinating cufflinks — this might be the latest item to grab one’s attention. The game-used baseball links above are made of sterling silver and run $140 a pair — unless, of  course, you’re a New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox fan. Those carry an additional $10 premium charge.

Also available are stadium seat cufflinks, which have a piece of an authentic stadium chair built into the links — they’re $155 a pair for the Yankees, $230 for the Red Sox (Hey, the Sox won something in that rivalry!), $155 for the Cubs and so on.

Also to be found are logo cufflinks (without memorabilia embedded into them), tie bars and other gift sets as well.

See a slideshow of some of them after the jump.

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Box Busters preview gallery: 2009 Topps Sterling by Chris Olds

We’ve cracked a pair of 2009 Topps Sterling boxes for an upcoming episode of Box Busters but wanted to make sure you could see some of what’s to be found while the video is in the famous Beckett microwave.

Can you guess what our two boxes’ themes were based on this small selection of cards?

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Is your New York Yankees collection in the black? by Chris Olds

While many collectors often buy items that might make their back accounts — and, in turn, their collections — in the red, there’s a recent addition to the Yankee Stadium memorabilia lineup from Steiner Sports that’s all about being in the black.

What is it?

It’s a piece of “The Black” — the center field area behind the pitcher in the old stadium that allowed for hitters to be able to see the ball coming from the pitcher.  In many stadiums, a tarp will often block any seats that may be in that area, but not in New York.

Collectors — diehards who must have everything Yankees — can get a piece of The Black for $99.99 which comes in an engraved display case.

The chunks are MLB-authenticated, however Steiner does note that the size and shape of the game-used Black piece will vary.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.



***NOW CLOSED*** Free Stuff Friday (12/4) Early Bird contest — A Citi Field New York Mets Ballpark hardcover Pop-up Book by Chris Olds
December 3, 2009, 7:30 pm
Filed under: MLB, sports books | Tags: , , , , , ,

Now closed. Click here for the latest contests.

We’re  starting off Free Stuff Friday early this week with this item perfect for a younger baseball fan that can be yours right now

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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McFarlane Toys launches new line; announces first autographed chase figure by Chris Olds

McFarlane Toys has announced a pair of forthcoming items that should get the baseball fans and toy collectors buzzing.

First, baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn will be signing 100 figure bases that will be included with new chase figures in the company’s SportsPicks Cooperstown 7 lineup.

Secondly, McFarlane is launching a new line of articulated action figures — pieces that promise more than 20 moving parts on a 4-inch figure.

The first series of Playmakers will arrive next spring with 12 MLB players on the initial offering — and each toy will have a batting and fielding version.

They are:
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New York Yankees’ Mark Teixeira signs exclusive autograph deal with Steiner Sports by Chris Olds

teixSteiner Sports announced on Thursday that it has signed New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira to an exclusive collectibles and autograph deal.

The move, announced by Steiner founder and CEO Brandon Steiner, has the slugger joining the likes of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Yankees manager Joe Girardi in Steiner’s exclusive roster.

“Steiner Sports is extremely excited to add New York’s All-Star first baseman as part of our exclusive roster,” Steiner said in a release.  “We look forward to working with Mark, an all-star both on and off the field, on many of our upcoming projects.”

Teixeira’s first memorabilia line will include autograhed baseballs, photos, jerseys, bats, hats and batting helmets.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.