The Beckett Blog

‘King James’ debuts with Miami Heat tonight by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The NBA season starts tonight with one of the most anticipated games of the year, and it doesn’t include the current champions.

The Miami Heat travel to the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m., which will air on TNT.

Even the most casual of NBA fans want to get a look at LeBron James in his first regular-season game with the Heat. Plenty of hype surrounded Miami in the off-season, which began with a few simple words this summer.

“I’m taking my talent to South Beach,” James said in an hour-long show on ESPN in July.

He signed with Miami, which already had Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

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THREE OF A KIND: A Coach & A Catcher by Chris Olds

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds brings to you a quick story about three pieces of memorabilia he keeps in his office in yet another “Three of a Kind” video.

Not sure what “Three of a Kind” is? Click here to see the first one posted yesterday.

Beckett Media joins forces with ESPN’s Page 2 by Chris Olds

It’s a busy time here at Beckett Media as we continue to prepare all of the sports card magazines and books you’ve come to expect — as well as a more than a few extra magazines here and there, too — but we’re not done there.

Beckett’s Tracy Hackler and Chris Olds have signed on to provide occasional sports card and memorabilia items to’s Page 2. So in case you haven’t bounced around online to see what’s going on in the hobby enough, now there’s another possible destination.

Why? It’s a chance to get the hobby some added widespread exposure, perhaps drawing back some of those collectors who’ve left cards behind and forgotten the likes of Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, Press Pass and others.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve done for Page 2 so far …

We’ll update this list every so often after additional items are published.

Dec. 29Justin Bieber featured in Donruss hockey set

Dec. 25Tebow, now starting, racking up football cards

Dec. 21 Brett Favre’s memorabilia surely grabbing attention

Dec. 12Wonder Years‘ Jason Hervey is on wrestling cards

Dec. 1Unlike fakes, Derek Jeter already has Red Sox card

Nov. 30Leslie Nielsen appeared on 2009 Upper Deck card

Nov. 20Football pioneer has first memorabilia card made

Nov. 18Bryce Harper’s first pro jersey up for auction

Nov. 12Help Topps pick 60 greatest baseball cards

Nov. 4With passing of Andy Irons, interest in card rises

Oct. 30How about a Yankee Stadium office chair?

Oct. 27Collectors eye first LeBron James card with Heat

Oct. 19Rookies & legends set to appear on hockey cards

Oct. 9Bryce Harper card sells to investment banker

Oct. 3Topps to give away diamonds with baseball cards

Sept. 27 Logan Morrison goes from card shop to majors

Sept. 26Topps readies for 60th anniversary

Sept. 11Robert Horry signs 1st NBA card

Sept. 5 Yes, that Pamela Anderson has a baseball card

Aug. 31 — Tim Tebow, John Elway join up for trading card

Aug. 29Strasburg created buzz on cards

Aug. 27MMA announcer Bruce Buffer makes name for himself

Aug. 16New Obak set looks at game changers

Aug. 1 Alex Rodriguez appears on nearly 18,000 cards

July 29Tim Tebow’s name is on everything

July 20 LeBron James’ first Heat card

July 19“Major League” manager Lou Brown passes away

July 18James-Wade-Bosh card surges in value

July 11 Even Bob Sheppard had a baseball card

July 10 Jordin Sparks, Stuart Scott in card set

July 3Kobayashi beats Chestnut! — in trading cards

June 28Baseball fan cracks code, gets card

June 23Landon Donovan’s trading card value rises

June 22For Tim Tebow, it’s the sign of the times

June 16Strasburg card buyer is sold on pitcher

June 8Harper, Strasburg see cards rise

June 4Tim Tebow trading cards rise in value

May 31Pat Tillman’s football cards not forgotten

May 29Is this Stephen Strasburg card really worth it?

May 22 — Fans can draw their own trading cards

May 15Athletes marketing own memorabilia

May 8Tony Hawk jumps into the trading card game

May 5In NHRA, Forces to be Reckoned

May 2Even celebrities have trading cards

April 23Tim Tebow’s first “card” in NFL is valuable

April 21Hogan, Flair autograph cards for TRISTAR

April 16UFC interim champ Shane Carwin collects cards

April 12You can have a piece of Texas Stadium

April 6So glad Arena League has returned

March 29 Cards correctly predicted WrestleMania winners

March 27 Kobe loves trading cards … seriously

March 27 WrestleMania winners in the cards

March 19 Abraham Lincoln appears on a baseball card

March 17UFC cards are all the rage

March 9No bull here as you can get PBR trading cards

March 7 “Blind Side” heats up Michael Oher’s cards

March 2 —  Apolo Anton Ohno’s baseball card takes off

March 1You’ll be bugged by these baseball cards

Tracy Hackler is the Editorial Director at Beckett Media, while Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to Hackler at or Olds Follow Olds on Twitter by clicking here. Follow Hackler on Twitter by clicking here.

Dick Vitale set to star in debut of first talking Fathead by Chris Olds

Just when you thought you had heard it all from Dick Vitale, Fathead unleashes this.

The Livonia, Mich.-based company is set to unveil the world’s first talking vinyl wall graphics — and the mile-a-minute “Prime-Time Talker” from ESPN is the first subject.

Fathead is debuting new technology with the piece, which enables the image to “talk” with the use of a special pen. Vitale’s arsenal of phrases, like “It’s Awesome Baby,” “Diaper Dandy,” “PTP’er” and “Dipsy-doo, Dunk-a-roo” will be heard on his Fathead Jr., which will be arriving soon.

“We could not have chosen a better ambassador of collegiate basketball than Dickie V to launch and lead off our talking Fathead Line,” said Fathead CEO Patrick McInnis in a release. “We are honored and excited to be working with him again to provide these unique experiences and opportunities to both of our loyal and passionate fans.”

Fathead also is launching its “You’re A Winner Baby” Sweepstakes at, where fans can try to win Vitale-signed memorabilia, Fathead products and other prizes during March Madness.

Preview Gallery: 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Entomology cards by Chris Olds

Upper Deck has continued to release images of its forthcoming Goodwin Champions Entomology Cards, which will be bugging many a collector when the redemptions begin shipping soon.

You can see some more images that UD released on Monday after the jump — if you can handle them.

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*** NOW CLOSED *** Bonus Free Stuff Friday contest No. 2: A 2002 Keith Olbermann Topps 206 baseball card by Chris Olds

NOW CLOSED. Here’s another bonus contest since we’ve got plenty of you guys visiting today. And we’re going to let this one through the whole weekend and pick a winner on Monday morning…


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. Nobody else can see your comment, either. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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ESPN’s Body Issue — great for autographs? by Chris Olds


ESPN The Magazine‘s “Body Issue” has been talked about for some time with its not-so-subtle approach to coverage of athletes.

We’ll make you guess what it is based on the cover above.

And now that it’s set to arrive on newsstands everywhere very, very soon (it has an Oct. 19, 2009, cover date), one more thing is apparent — whether it bombs as a concept or is widely praised and becomes an annual staple.

It should be great for autographs. (If they’ll sign them.)

Based on the clean and clear design of the six different covers, which are free of any blurbs and put the focus solely on the cover subjects — tennis star Serena Williams (above), NBA star Dwight Howard, MMA star Gina Carano, NASCAR star Carl Edwards, NFL star Adrian Peterson and triathlete Sarah Reinertsen.

As with all ESPN The Magazine covers, there already are prints available for $24.95 and up ($109.95 for a 30×36 print) on

See all of the covers after the jump.

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