The Beckett Blog


2010 Donruss Rated Rookies: All the NFL rookies you want in one box by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

You have seen all the rookies this football season.

Some of them have lived up the hype. Others you would like to forget about. Then, there were rookies who just did their job and stayed out of them media spotlight.

No matter who that rookie was, there is a good chance you’ll find him in 2010 Donruss Football Rated Rookie Boxed Set.

You don’t have to comb through veterans in this set. This self-contained collection includes 100 Rated Rookies and one autograph for $19.99.

These cards should be out next week and it’s a cheap way to get your favorite NFL rookies.

There is an extensive photo gallery after the jump. Panini loves showing off its football.

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2010-11 Donruss Basketball … Lots of pretty pictures by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today after looking at the 2010-11 Donruss Basketball card gallery.

These cards just feel oldschool. They feel like something I would have collected when I was just an itty, bitty kid – and that isn’t a bad thing.

Panini America released a massive preview on the product that releases on Jan. 5. There are a number of elements from with jersey cards, autographs, die-cards and flashy Holokote parallels.

Each box yields 24 packs with 10 (!) cards per pack. There are three autograph or memorabilia cards, and more than 20 die-cut cards per box.

The DUOS short-prints are available one in every other box.

What do you think of this product so far?

See the massive gallery after the jump.

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If I had a Baseball Hall of Fame vote … 2011 Edition by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

The Baseball Writers Association of America released the 2011 Hall of Fame ballot this week, a list of eligible players that includes some likely Hall of Famers, some guys still waiting their turn and some guys who’ll get the Vince McMahon Entrance Music Award as they’ve got “No chance … ”

While we have to wait until Jan. 5 to see who was picked on 75 percent of all ballots, here’s my rundown — with an emphasis on the player’s place in cardboard.

Of this year’s new crop, I have several I’d vote for but I don’t see too many getting in. I’d vote for the likes of Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, Jeff Bagwell and Barry Larkin while marveling at those who cast their votes for the likes of Mark McGwire and first-timer Rafael Palmeiro.

See my full rundown after the jump.

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Harlon Hill: One of 2010 Limited’s relatively unknown legends by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Collectors who rip into packs of 2010 Limited Football from Panini America beginning next week will find the likes of Ernie Davis, Tom Brady, Tim Tebow and more inside — a full spectrum of stars from the past, present and (likely) future.

Most of the names will ring a bell immediately, though some — like the autographed card of former Chicago Bears star Harlon Hill seen above — might not.

Hill, though, is a relatively familiar name for me — though his NFL career ended in 1962, well before I was born. You see, in Alabama Crimson Tide country there are a lot of names that get bandied about as football legends — more familiar names like Joe Namath, John Hannah, Ozzie Newsome — but Hill was an Alabama native who didn’t play for the Crimson Tide.

And he became a legend, too.

A player like Hill can be a matter of pride for some — like some of my former co-workers — in that football-crazed part of the country.

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“D” is for “Rookie!” The 2010 Donruss Rated Rookie Boxed Set by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Carefully avoiding a Gap-esque logo change fiasco, the folks over at Panini America are keepin’ it real by using the iconic Donruss “D” in a few future releases. Soon to reappear in 2010-11 Donruss Hockey and 2010-11 Donruss Basketball, the beloved letter will also land on the recently trumpeted 2010 Donruss Football Rated Rookie Boxed Set.

Comprised of 100 Rated Rookies (Tim Tebow, Dez Bryant, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, to name a few), each box completes the set and offers an autograph, to boot. At $19.99, it’s an affordable, enjoyable set to collect. However, with a January release date, the latest box with the Donruss “D” will have to do as a belated stocking stuffer, or a bargain-priced personal indulgence.

While enjoying the following preview provided by Panini, you might notice that the  “D” is a lowercase version of the crucial consonant, which is an upside-down, mirrored version of a “P.” Just sayin’.



Rippin’ Retail: 2010 World’s Greatest Card Chase Baseball by Chris Olds
November 16, 2010, 4:56 pm
Filed under: MLB, Rippin Retail | Tags: , ,

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he rips into a repack box of 2010 World’s Greatest Card Chase baseball in this latest Rippin’ Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …



Baseball certainly not missing in Arlington by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America may not be an official licensee of Major League Baseball when it comes to trading cards, but a small selection of behind-the-scenes autographs the company released on Wednesday certainly shows that the national pastime is certainly on some minds deep in the heart of Texas.

Given the names shown and the types of autographed items signed, some of the signatures are undoubtedly for its upcoming 2010 Century Collection set, one that will combine postage stamps with an autograph placed into a baseball card in a cut fashion. The baseball season may finally be over at the ol’ ballpark in Arlington, but there’s still plenty going on right down the road at Panini HQ.

While that sheet of Johnny Bench sticker autographs is an absolute work of art, you can see what we mean about the other autographs in a small selection of photos after the jump.

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Panini announces redemption plan for 2010 Fall Expo by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Panini America announced its plans for the 2010 Toronto Sportcard and Memorabilia Fall Expo, which starts Nov. 12.

Canada may be known as hockey country and Panini is doing what they can with the sport, but the company is not forgetting basketball or football.

Collectors will get a two-card Expo-exclusive pack for every five packs they open from Panini’s multisport roster of products or a full box of 2010-11 Score Hockey. The packs and boxes must be opened at the company’s booth.

See what you can get after the jump.

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First look: 2010-11 Donruss Basketball by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Donruss is taking to the hardwood.

Panini America announced Tuesday its plans for the first Donruss basketball set in collecting history, a set complete with some design nods to the baseball cards from the 1980s but with the touches of modern-day Panini products.

And that means, you know, Rated Rookie cards of John Wall, Evan Turner and many others.

Set to arrive on Dec.  22, 2010-11 Donruss Basketball will include three autograph or memorabilia cards per box along with at least 20 die-cut parallel cards per box. The base set will consist of 295 cards and also will have a complete parallel set as well.

See more from the set after the jump.

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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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Box Busters: 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition baseball cards by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of not-even-out-yet 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition baseball cards in this latest episode of Box Busters, a box break so big it couldn’t be contained in just one video.

What will they find inside?

Watch and find out … Part 1 is above and Part 2 is after the jump.

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***NOW CLOSED*** Pop quiz: Can you name these players from 1991 Studio Baseball? by Chris Olds
September 22, 2010, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, Donruss, just for fun, MLB | Tags: , , , ,

While doing some tidying up around the office I happened upon a set of 1991 Studio baseball cards, a throwback to the simpler days of cardboard and one that still remains unique to this day.

Why? Every player, coach and manager in the set is pictured in a black-and-white portrait — something that really wasn’t done all that much then or really since.

As I flipped through the cards, there was a smattering of a few names I hadn’t seen in some time — a mix of journeymen, once-promising rookies, stars who are now retired and in the Hall of Fame. Some were cards I never landed in my collection for whatever reason and others were photos with images so weird you just couldn’t forget.

And while I exmanined this still unique, but simple, set it occurred to me that a few of the names I knew so well back in those days didn’t jump out at me as well without some color and maybe some uniform logos.

I want to know whether you can name the 16 players shown here — I’ve removed their names (and in some cases team logos) to make the challenge a bit tougher.

Some should be obvious, while others might not be … can you name them all?

See all 16 after the jump.

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First Look: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey by Tracy Hackler
September 8, 2010, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, Card gallery, First look, NHL | Tags: , , ,

In a hockey trading card season that promises to be full of history-making firsts and grand reintroductions, Panini America provided a sneak peek at the latest one Wednesday afternoon: 2010-11 Donruss Hockey.

Indeed, for the first time since the 1997-98 season, there will be a Donruss-branded hockey set for diehards to devour, complete with its own throwback Donruss logo and everything.

Due out in mid November, the product (five cards per pack, 24 packs per box, 12 boxes per case) carries a $4 pack SRP.

Returning to the product are longtime product standbys (50 Rated Rookies, Press Proof parallels and the Les Gardiens, Elite and Ice Kings inserts) and venerable brand staples such as Fans of the Game. Of course, there are plenty new-generation bells and whistles, too, including the Tough Times insert honoring the most fearsome enforcers of the 1980s (including on-card-autographed parallel versions) and Line of the Times memorabilia cards.

As of now, the Fans of the Game autograph lineup includes such celebrity hockey fans as Pamela Anderson, actor Michael Ontkean and folk singer Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Each box of 2010-11 Donruss Hockey should deliver two memorabilia or autograph cards, six Rated Rookies, three Boys of Winter, two Ultimate Draft, one Press Proof, one Les Gardiens, one Tough Times and one Fans of the Game.

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Landon Donovan Scores Big for Country, Collectors by Tracy Hackler

Landon Donovan’s shot heard ‘round the world (and World Cup) less than one minute into extra time Wednesday gave the U.S. national team a stirring 1-0 victory over Algeria, a win in Group C and entry into the round of 16 for just the fourth time since 1930.

It also sent Donovan’s two autographed trading cards – 2004 Absolute Memorabilia Fans of the Game and 2010 Upper Deck MLS – escalating uncontrollably in value almost immediately after ricocheting off his instantly legendary right foot.

Donovan, the face of American soccer, first appeared on a certified autograph trading card in 2004, pictured as a Los Angeles Dodgers fan as part of an insert set in the Playoff Absolute Baseball set.

That card, prior to Wednesday, was valued at a mere $40 but had been selling for as much as $75 during the first 10 days of the World Cup. In the moments after the U.S. national team’s victory over Algeria, one of the cards on eBay had eclipsed the $100 barrier with three hours still remaining while four new copies of the card had been listed within minutes of the outcome, with two sporting Buy It Now prices of $499.99 and the other two featuring $200 price tags.

One copy of his 2010 Upper Deck MLS autograph card, released in May, sold last week for $249.99.

Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at thackler@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is red hot … but are his baseball cards? by Chris Olds

There’s an adage that performance on the field means performance on cardboard.

There are times when it happens and times when it doesn’t.

Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is in the midst of a season for the ages, sporting a 13-1 record with a 1.15 ERA for the year — made all the more impressive when you consider that he pitches in Denver’s Coors Field, the launching pad of all launching pads in MLB.

But has it translated into cardboard sales?

Yes and no, which is a surprising answer as his pace for victories is the best since Roger Clemens started 14-0 in 1986. And even more surprising since he could be in contention for winning 30 games — not done since Denny McLain in 1968 — and he could challenge Bob Gibson‘s record for the lowest ERA in a season (1.12) also set in, yep, 1968.

Earlier this month, Jimenez’s 2005 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Autograph Black card, a 1/1, sold for $2,247 on eBay — a buy that pales in comparison to the record-setting (on cardboard) $16,403 arrival of Stephen Strasburg.

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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 (5-7) Contest No. 3 — A Wil Myers 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Red Status 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 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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Contest Update: And the Winner Is . . . by Tracy Hackler

You may recall that last September on Beckett.com (and on The Beckett Blog and in Beckett Football), we solicited submissions for a special 2009 NFL Season Preview card-investment contest. Essentially, we asked Beckett visitors how they would invest an imaginary $1,000 in at least five football cards for the 2009 season.

We selected 10 lucky respondents at random and announced that the one whose collection appreciates the most in value from the start of the season to the end of the Super Bowl would be crowned the winner and would receive a pigskin potpourri prize pack that includes an array of 2009 football products.

Well, at long last, the contest is over and the winner is . . . Arlington, Texas, collector David Sharp, who rode the 2009 value-increasing exploits of Ray Rice and Cedric Benson to victory. His hypothetical collection finished at a combined value of $1,130.

Sharp’s 2008 SP Authentic Ray Rice RC (#285) started the season at $60 and ended at $120; his 2005 SP Authentic Cedric Benson RC (#251) started at $60 and ended at $150.

Sharp’s reaction: “That’s awesome! Thanks to Ray Rice and Cedric Benson.”

For his value-minded prognostication, Sharp will receive a star-studded prize pack that looks a little something like . . .

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