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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Box Busters: 2011 Press Pass by Chris Olds
December 11, 2010, 10:34 am
Filed under: NASCAR, Press Pass | Tags: , , ,

Join Beckett Media’s Tim Trout and Andrew Tolentino as they rip into a box of 2011 Press Pass NASCAR cards in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …



Press Pass Five Star Kicks High-End NASCAR Collecting into Another Gear by Tracy Hackler

NASCAR collectors just thought Press Pass Showcase was as high-end as a racing card set could get when it launched to rave reviews just two years ago. In hindsight, they haven’t seen anything yet.

In late November, on the day before Thanksgiving, the company is releasing 2010 Press Pass Five Star, a super-premium product sure to give well-heeled racing enthusiasts plenty of things to be thankful for.

Each five-card wooden box of Five Star will deliver:

* A base card numbered to 35 or less
* A dual, triple quad or oversized memorabilia card numbered to 25 or less
* A certified autograph card numbered to 35 or less
* An autographed memorabilia card serial numbered to 50 or less
* A Classic Compilations book card featuring either an autograph, a piece of memorabilia or both

Two pieces of memorabilia incorporated in Five Star sure to command collector attention are Wrangler firesuits — one worn by Dale Earnhardt Sr. in 1981, the other worn by Junior during his 2010 victory at Daytona — that will be paired together on a historic Classic Compilations card.

Other drivers included on the Five Star roster include Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Bill Elliott, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick.

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Mandatory, Massive Gallery: 2010 Press Pass Showcase Racing by Tracy Hackler

The day that racing collectors have been anxiously anticipating for the better part of a year arrived today with the release of 2010 Press Pass Showcase Racing, the heavily anticipated followup to last year’s history-making debut of the most expensive racing product in trading card history.

Showcase’s 2009 premiere was one the most talked-about sports card releases of the year and it lived up to its billing with a stunning ensemble of some of the greatest racing cards ever made. Judging by the massive gallery that follows, it would appear that 2010 Showcase is every bit as alluring.

Showcase’s $225 boxes include three five-card packs, each including one autograph or memorabilia card. The 51-card base set is bolstered by four unique autograph programs, three unique memorabilia programs and five sequentially numbered parallel levels.

For those of you partaking in the Showcase thrill ride in the coming days, enjoy. For those of you who just want to window shop or kick the tires first, feast your eyes on this . . .

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (5-28) Contest No. 2 — A lot of six 2010 Press Pass Stealth hobby packs (two 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 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.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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Box Busters: 2010 Press Pass Stealth racing cards by Chris Olds
May 26, 2010, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, NASCAR, Press Pass | Tags: , , , ,

Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler and Tim Trout as they bust a box of the not-even-out-yet 2010 Press Pass Stealth racing cards in this episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? How can you win packs?

Watch and find out in this epic production from unofficial Beckett cinematographer Chris Olds.



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (2-12) Contest No. 3 — A 2006 Press Pass Eclipse NASCAR set with three insert sets by Chris Olds

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

We’re launching several contests tonight and we’re starting off big 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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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (1-29) Contest No. 1 — 2010 Wheels Element Jimmie Johnson Flagship Performers race-used flag card (Only 20 exist) by Chris Olds

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

We’re launching five 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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Box Busters: 2010 Press Pass Element Racing by Tracy Hackler

The Beckett Racing team breaks one of the first boxes of 2010 Press Pass Element and unearths all manner of racing goodness, including Danica Patrick‘s first NASCAR  Rookie Card.

For high entertainment value, watch the video here.



Preview gallery: 2010 Wheels Element Undiscovered Elements autographs by Chris Olds

Press Pass2010 Wheels Element — aka the “going green” NASCAR set — arrives on Friday with the headline being the stock car trading card debut of Danica Patrick weeks before she takes the wheel for real in an ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway.

But there are more debuts to be found in Element besides the world’s most famous part-time Nationwide Series driver.

There will be Undiscovered Elements autographs of several young drivers to be found — like Leilani Munter, who signed the card above with a rather Elemental nickname.

Check ’em out after the jump.

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Danica Patrick’s foray into NASCAR means plenty to Press Pass by Chris Olds

How important is Danica Patrick‘s foray into stock-car racing for Press Pass, the lone trading card manufacturer for NASCAR?

It’s big — big enough she’ll be appearing on the boxes and wrappers of 2010 Element, the set that arrives with her first cards in January — well before she makes her ARCA debut in February at Daytona International Speedway and her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut on Feb. 20 at the at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

And it’s notable that a driver with little-to-no experience driving stock cars running a part-time schedule in one of NASCAR’s lower levels will be gracing the packaging of a product she just signed on to appear in little over a week ago.

But then again, Patrick isn’t the typical driver. Despite winning just one race in her five-year Indy Racing League career she won the IRL’s Most Popular Driver award four times.

And that isn’t lost on Press Pass.

“We ran into some approval issues with the original artwork [on the boxes] and had to go back to re-design,” said Nick Matijevich, Press Pass’ Director of Product Development. “So with the Danica deal now finalized, we decided to completely change direction. ”

There should be some added interest from non-racing fans as a woman competes with men in a professional sport — and NASCAR touts a fan base demographic that is at least 40 percent female. Throw in the buzz that will come with her arrival and it makes sense from Press Pass’ perspective.

“Once the Danica deal was finalized, it became evident that shifting to Danica made sense due to the release timing [as] Element releases at retail in late January; just before Daytona,” said Press Pass’ Tom Farrell. “The NASCAR buzz around Danica is big now and she’ll likely be the lead news story in Daytona, too.  We’re excited to bring collectors the first NASCAR cards of Danica and feel confident that we’ll create a wide variety of cards throughout 2010 that will deliver collectors both fun and value.”

However, Patrick is not a social pioneer as the first woman to drive in NASCAR — that was Sara Christian in 1949 — and 14 others have competed regularly in NASCAR events, including Janet Guthrie, Patty Moise, Shawna Robinson, Erin Crocker and Tina Gordon.

However, there’s no question that Patrick just might be the most recognizable one of the bunch from a marketing standpoint. And with the backing of one of the biggest names in NASCAR behind her in team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., she just might have the chance to be the most successful.

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.

See the creative design for the hobby box — something this writer doesn’t previously recall seeing for any racing product despite it being so simple and appropriate — after the jump … Continue reading



First look: Danica Patrick’s debut NASCAR cards from Press Pass by Chris Olds

Press Pass unveiled its first NASCAR cards of Danica Patrick on Monday evening — cards which are set to arrive in  2010 Element in January.

As reported here on The Beckett Blog last week, Patrick will appear on a card in the base set as well as one insert set in Element. The company did not have enough time to secure autographs for inclusion in the product, however she will have autographed and race-used cards in future Press Pass products.

Patrick will make her debut in an ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway in February and run a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series while continuing to race on the IRL circuit.

Look for more on upcoming NASCAR cards right here in the coming weeks. See both forthcoming Patrick cards after the jump.

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***NOW CLOSED*** Free Stuff Friday (12/11) contest No. 7 — An autographed & game-used catcher card lot by Chris Olds

NOW CLOSED. Click here to see the latest contests once you’re done here.

We’re  in the midst of Free Stuff Friday with this item 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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***NOW CLOSED*** Free Stuff Friday (12/11) Early bird contest — A Ben Roethlisberger 2009 UD Black flag patch card by Chris Olds

NOW CLOSED. Click here to see the latest contests once you’re done.

We’re  starting off Free Stuff Friday early this week with this item 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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Danica Patrick’s move to NASCAR means one thing to collectors — Press Pass trading cards by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS

Whether Danica Patrick‘s foray into racing stock cars will ultimately mean much on the track or not, the move announced Tuesday already means one thing for collectors.

She will appear on NASCAR cards from Press Pass.

And the four-time Indy Racing League Most Popular Driver will make her NASCAR cardboard debut before she makes her scheduled entrance into professional stock car racing in an ARCA race on Feb. 6 at Daytona International Speedway.

Element will be the first program in which she’ll be included,” said Nick Matijevich, Press Pass Director of Product Development, on Thursday.

Element, which is scheduled to arrive in January, is the Charlotte, N.C.-based company’s “going green” concept set that consists of a 100-card base set printed on recycled card stock and a full array of inserts with recycling themes in mind.

Oh, and it also includes a special insert that’s about as green as it gets — cold, hard cash can also be found in the packs.

The 27-year-old one-time IRL race-winner will appear in the base set and in one insert set found in the product, Matijevich said.

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Hot Wheels brings IndyCar back to toy aisles by Chris Olds

IRLdanica

Noticed something a bit different while wandering the toy aisle at Target on Tuesday… IndyCar diecasts from Hot Wheels.

It’s been awhile since IRL or Formula 1 has had a presence on retail shelves with Hot Wheels, the toy car staple of many a youth — 1998 for Indy, 2003 for F1 — but these days there’s a new crop of drivers whose cars can be found in 1:64 or 1:24 scale.

Who? Danica Patrick, Tony Kanaan, Justin Wilson, Dan Wheldon, Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Dario Franchitti to name a few.

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Collecting Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover models’ autographs not so tough with certified trading cards by Chris Olds

brinkley

By Chris Olds

If you watched The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night — or if you’ve been over to SI.com Tuesday morning, you know all about the model who appears on the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Bar Refaeli.

siprices1While she’ll be busy doing signings and personal appearances to promote the magazine staple that has printed annually since 1964, our crack staff decided rather than examine the value of the issues to examine a different niche — certified autograph cards of the cover models.

(Besides, editor Chris Olds already wrote a column on the collectible aspects of the swimsuit issue way back in 2003. The findings? Most magazine dealers say a few issues sell particularly well, but the demand is nothing like the first appearances of prominent athletes like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods — and we won’t mention that it’s one of SI‘s most overproduced issues of the year. A list of going rates back then appears right here — values likely haven’t changed much.)

For the models, the cover is an iconic achievement that may lead to movie roles and added stardom, but that doesn’t guarantee an appearance on cardboard. In fact, only nine cover models have appeared on trading cards which they then signed for inclusion in packs (certified autographs).

In fact, only two of those nine have cards that weren’t produced for a Sports Illustrated trading card set, meaning they made it enough mainstream to appear in something beyond the four Swimsuit Issue sets made by Stellar Collectibles from 2003 to 2006.

Who are the two?

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