The Beckett Blog


White Sox 3B Dayan VIciedo is Topps’ 8th Finest Rookie Redemption by Chris Olds

Topps revealed its eighth 2010 Finest Rookie Redemption card on Wednesday, and it’s Chicago White Sox infielder Dayan Viciedo.

Viciedo is hitting .297 with three home runs and seven RBI this season in limited playing time for the Sox.

Topps previously announced Cubs pitcher Andrew Cashner as No. 7 (autographed), Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg as No. 6,  Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton as No. 5, and that No. 4 was Reds pitcher Mike Leake. Topps’ other releases for the set include Cubs rookie Starlin Castro for rookie No. 3, while info on rookie No. 2 can be found here and rookie No. 1 can be found here.

Through the rest of the season, Topps will announce the remainder of the players in the 10-card set.  Each Finest Master Box includes one Rookie Redemption, which also can be found as Blue Refractors (199 copies) and Gold Refractors (limited to 50).

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.



Evolution of autographs: Which ones do you remember? by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball

Imaging getting paid $20, $50 or $100 for a single swipe of a pen … for your autograph.

Collectors know all about the practice of autograph signings for cash — we see it all the time at shows. However, have you ever put yourself in an athlete’s shoes?

For a multi-millionaire, a private autograph signing might be work — if an athlete even bothers because, after all, time is money. (Meeting and signing for fans? That’s another story. Many athletes have no worries about doing those events — or signing for free if it’s the right place and right time.)

And, when you think about it, signing autographs is work in a different way, too. Can you imaging sitting down and signing your name 500 or 1,000 times with only a break or two?

Many collectors don’t — and that’s why they complain when they get autographs that look like chicken scratch. (To some degree, I understand why they sometimes look the way that they do.)

We all have heard about the “give-up graph” — and we all know about the checkmark autograph of former Houston Texans running back Vernand Morency — but there’s another type of autograph out there that has always interested me.

It’s the “early” autograph — the one where an athlete either hadn’t yet adopted a shorter version of an autograph or a rarer signature where we just don’t commonly see it on items signed in bulk.

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-16) — The short & sweet edition by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday where we give readers the chance to win some cool stuff just by taking the time to answer a quick card-related question on Beckett.com.

It’s as easy as looking up a number and giving is the answer in a comment.

Here’s the rundown of this week’s contests…

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-16) Contest No. 5 — A 2009 Bowman Sterling Gordon Beckham autograph 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 trivia.

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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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (4-16) Contest No. 4 — A 2007 SP Authentic Carlos Quentin By The Letters autograph (only 50 exist) 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 trivia.

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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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (2-26) Contest No. 9 — A 2009 Bowman Sterling Jared Mitchell autograph card by Chris Olds

***NOW CLOSED***
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 trivia.

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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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (2-5) Contest No. 6 — A Luis Aparicio 2009 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures autograph card (only 16 exist) by Chris Olds

***NOW CLOSED***
We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — and it starts now.

We’re launching a dozen contests tonight — but look for a few more possibly on Friday afternoon — because we know that plenty of you are fans of  Free Stuff Friday, our weekly contests that let you have a chance at landing cool stuff. What make them cooler? We’re running them all weekend.

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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Upper Deck will debut “Shoeless” Joe cards in 2010 Goudey by Chris Olds

This is one of those advantages of not being fully licensed.

Upper Deck announced Tuesday that it will include “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in its 2010 Goudey baseball card set, which is scheduled to arrive on March 16.

The set will include cards of Jackson as well as game-used bat cards and will be the first of a few 2010 Upper Deck products to include the disgraced star.

The highest-profile player in the 1919 Black Sox scandal where the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series, “Shoeless Joe,” appears on just 209 baseball cards and nearly a quarter of those were made unlicensed by Donruss in 2008.

Jackson and all other players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot appear on baseball cards licensed by MLB Properties. However, Upper Deck did include a bat card of Jackson (his first memorabilia card; above) in its 2001 SP Legendary Cuts set, which ruffled some MLB feathers at the time.

“The legend of Shoeless Joe Jackson grows every year,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s baseball brand manager, in a news release. “We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement with his estate that allows us to include this former baseball standout in many of our sets next year.”

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.



Upper Deck announces three baseball short-prints by Chris Olds

Jeter Hit King

Upper Deck announced on Friday that it has included three short-printed cards in its recently released 2009 baseball products.

They are:

SP1 – Mark Buehrle’s Perfect Game’ — 2009 Ballpark Collection

SP2 – 1st Pitch at All-Star Game between Barack Obama and Albert Pujols — in 2009 Ballpark Collection

SP3 – Derek Jeter – Yankees All-Time Hit King — in 2009 SP Authentic



Black Sox’s staining of the game hasn’t hurt their cards by Chris Olds

cicotte

There are plenty of scandals and black eyes for baseball through the years but today is the day, albeit 90 years ago, that one of the most egregious tales officially began.

The Black Sox — the throwing of the 1919 World Series by the Chicago White Sox.

Eight players — Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Lefty Williams, Chick Gandil, Fred McMullen, Swede Risberg, Happy Felsch and Buck Weaver — were banned from the game for life, added to baseball’s ineligible list for their involvement in or knowledge of the fix.

And because those players are on the ineligible list, they have largely been unseen on modern-day baseball cards because they are ineligible to appear on any cards licensed by Major League Baseball.

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The mystery of Nick Swisher’s 2009 Bowman baseball card by Chris Olds

swisherbowman

Looking back at the history of Topps baseball cards, it’s always interesting to see the oddities that can be found from decades of sets.

You know, the players whose cards had the same photo for a couple straight years or unusual things like the 1985 Topps card of Gary Pettis which actually features his brother.

There are countless examples of these types of cards through the years — for all companies  (see Billy Ripken and his 1989 Fleer infamy) — which reaffirms that producing sports cards isn’t all mylar and bubble gum.

It’s hard work. (And the rigorous process of league approvals? We’ll leave that for another day.)

Sometimes things happen in the production process that provide collectors with some unusual cards.  Sometimes, it’s a mistake. Sometimes, it’s a requested change or a last-minute adjustment.

And sometimes it’s a mystery.

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Baseball artist Monty Sheldon to commemorate 90th anniversary of Black Sox with eight sketch cards by Chris Olds
sheldon2

An example of Monty Sheldon's sketch cards -- a past Sheldon’s Sketch Card Champions card of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

Noted baseball artist Monty Sheldon is commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal with a series of eight hand-drawn and intricately detailed pencil sketch cards that he will complete, unveil and sell on the anniversary of each game from the 1919 World Series.

His “Eight Men Out” concept is an interesting piece of self-promotion — he already sells his Sheldon’s Sketch Card Champions cards, which are part of a larger set weekly on eBay (user rube77) — but this project will acknowledge the history of the game and, with the auctions’ subjects and timing, also perhaps bring some attention to one of baseball’s more interesting stories.

But it’s also a project that ties into his creative past.

“When I first started painting on baseballs back in 1998, I knew the following year would be the 80th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal, and I finished painting a baseball of each player to correspond with each game’s date,” Sheldon said on Friday afternoon. “Back then, that group of baseballs proved to be quite popular when I would display them at the card shows.

“Now, it is 10 years later, and I wanted to add something special to my sketch card set, so the 90th anniversary set made perfect sense.”

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Guest column: Junior’s exit will mark end of an era by Chris Olds

89UDgriffey

By Stan Carlberg

As Ken Griffey Jr. likely wraps up his Hall of Fame career this fall, one has to wonder the impact his absence will have on the collecting hobby.  After all, it was Junior’s lightning-in-a-bottle 1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card (#1, currently valued at $40) that launched a new era in card collecting, igniting a spark within the hobby that very few ever have.

While Griffey may not have achieved the expectations unfairly placed on him early in his career, he is without a doubt one of the most accomplished and collected players of this or any other generation.  Injuries may have stopped Junior from reaching Ruthian-like numbers, but let’s get real — 625 home runs (5th all-time), 1,800-plus RBIs (17th), 5,220-plus total bases (13th) and 10 Gold Gloves are nothing to sneeze at.

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Mark Buehrle’s perfect game will generate interest, but not dollars by Chris Olds

buehrle

Chicago White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle dominated the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, throwing just the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history — and the first since Randy Johnson in 2004.

Buehrle, who previously threw a no-hitter in 2007, has appeared on 1,740 baseball cards in his career and has just five Rookie Cards — the most valuable being his 2000 Black Diamond Rookie Edition jersey card (No. 131) valued at $15.

His most-traded RC is likely to be his 2000 Bowman Draft card (above, No. 69) and its Chrome counterpart. Neither card sells for more than $10.

He has signed only 161 different certified autograph cards in his career, while also appearing on just 265 memorabilia cards.

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.



Gordon Beckham is Topps’ second 2009 Red Hot Rookie by Chris Olds

09RHRK_GB_02Auto

Topps announced its second 2009 Red Hot Rookie Redemption on Monday and it’s Chicago White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham.

09RHRK_GB_02The card has a twist — one in 10 redeemers will received a card signed by the former University of Georgia star and 2008 first-round pick.

Beckham made his major league debut earlier this month and is hitting just .114 (4-for-35) with four RBIs through his first 10 games.

Collectors who already redeemed their card can check their Topps account to see whether they received a signed version.

The remainder of the 10-card Red Hot Rookies set will be announced throughout the season. Each Series 2 hobby box includes one of the redemption cards.

The first Red Hot Rookie of the year was New York Mets rookie Fernando Martinez.

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.



Dealer finds Black Sox scandal dual cut autograph of Charles Comiskey & Arnold Rothstein by Chris Olds

cuts

Jerry Herrin of All-Star Sports & Collectibles in Byron, Ga., wanted to let Beckett readers know all about a significant pull found in his shop from this year’s SP Legendary Cuts — a dual autograph of Charles Comiskey, former owner of the Chicago White Sox and Arnold Rothstein, the man believed to be behind the fix in the 1919 World Series.

cuts2He writes: “Mark Corrigan (one of my employees), my wife, Stephanie, and I pulled this card. It is definitely the nicest pull I have ever had. I am not sure what something like this would be worth, but would love to know … the card is definitely for sale. I just don’t know what would be reasonable for such a piece of baseball history.”

While it’s a name-your-price kind of item, we’ll let our readers offer up some guesses on its value. (Why ruin the fun with an estimate right now?)

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.



Upper Deck confirms 20 variations on Ken Griffey Jr.’s card in Series 2 by Chris Olds

LRgriffey1989

Upper Deck confirmed on Wednesday that there are 20 versions of card No. 855 in its 2009 baseball set as a form of a tribute to the player that started it all for the company’s first card set in 1989 — Ken Griffey Jr.

Each version of card No. 855 depicts an image of Griffey during a corresponding year of his MLB career — as do the stats and text on the back.

“It’s important for us to continue to look at ways to make the regular base card interesting to collectors,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s associate baseball brand manager, in a news release. “By creating different versions of Griffey’s card to commemorate his illustrious career, we hope to have people go back through their collections to see which versions they have and to hopefully put together the entire 20-card set.”

None of the short-printed cards are more limited than another, according to the company.

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.



And the winner is … by Chris Olds

jackson

We received hundreds of entries in our Beckett Sports Card Monthly-exclusive contest for the 2008 Prime Cuts Joe Jackson Icons dual bat card we pulled from a Box Busters video right here a few months ago.

But there’s only one winner.

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