The Beckett Blog

Christmas means presents and basketball in New York by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Christmas means presents, family and friends. In the sports world, it means a lot of basketball.

The NBA featured five games of some of the best teams and greatest historical rivalries in this year‘s edition.

The first game began with the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, who have played each other often on Christmas, but this was the first time since the Michael Jordan era the Bulls have played on Dec. 25. New York has played on Christmas more than 40 times.

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Naismith’s Basketball Rules sell for $4 Million at auction by tolentinotown

Image Courtesy of Sotheby's


By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Toto, meet James Naismith.

The Associated Press revealed today that University of Kansas alumnus David G. Booth purchased James Naismith’s 13 original basketball rules for a whopping $4 million.

With his last namesake already appearing on KU’s Booth Family Hall of Athletics, the apparently very wealthy Jayhawk will leave another legacy in Lawrence. Hoping to bring the historical document to his alma mater, Booth and his wife bought the 119-year-old hoops origins from an auction whose proceeds will benefit the humanitarian Naismith foundation.

In an October AP interview, Naismith’s grandson and foundation founder, Ian Naismith revealed, “It’s what Dr. Naismith wanted.”

Stained and tattered by time, Dr. Naismith’s original document is bigger than Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant combined. Without the 13 rules listed below, these league legends might just be … tall. Continue reading

This Michael Jordan jersey auction is out of this world by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

You’ve probably seen a few Michael Jordan game-used jerseys through the years, but this one’s out of this world.

Forget Jordan’s Chicago Bulls threads — or his somewhat-forgettable-anyway Washington Wizards gear — this one has to be one of the rarer Jordan jerseys around. It’s a jersey that was prepped for his use in the 1996 movie, Space Jam, where His Airness co-starred with Bugs Bunny.

Think what you want about the Warner Bros. film, but it made $90.4 million at the box office after it was released in late 1996. And for all those kids out there that undoubtedly saw the movie  — and their parents, of course — the jersey might be an interesting piece of basketball, film or MJ history for them.

After all, many of those 1996 kiddos and pre-teens are likely in their 20s now — and they have spending power, right?

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Images from 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Earlier this week, Upper Deck announced it was moving forward with 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball with big news that every 12-box case will include autographs from one of a couple of pretty big names.

It’s a college- and high school-themed set under the Collegiate Licensing Company.

Each box will have two SP By the Letter Autographs or one By the Letter Autograph and an additional autograph OR a Michael Jordan North Carolina Supreme Court floor card.

Upper Deck released images of the set with some of the biggest stars, including the Jordon Supreme Court card. The Supreme Court card is a 1.5’’x2’’ piece of the floor that Jordan played on while at North Carolina.

See more photos after the jump.

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Upper Deck scraps 2010 Ultimate Collection Football; ups ante in 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Upper Deck released a pair of statements to distributors about two forthcoming products on Monday, with one product getting the red light and the other one getting a green light for some higher-end autograph additions.

First, the company has decided to scrap its plans for a 2010 Ultimate Collection Football set, which would have been a college release under its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company. The company cited the present state of the industry, which is crowded with many slow-moving, perhaps overproduced products at this time.

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Southern California family completes 1,170 monster Michael Jordan set by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Josh Rosen has always loved Michael Jordan – even though he never saw him play.

Jordan has that effect on people even long after he retired from the Chicago Bulls in 1998, the year before Josh was born. Jordan came back and played for the Washington Wizards from 2001-03, but he was never the player he was while in Chicago.

That doesn’t matter to basketball fans. We all remember Jordan shooting over defenders, scoring whenever he wanted and celebrating with a cigar in his mouth.

That’s No. 23. That’s what Josh knows about — arguably the greatest basketball player ever.

Josh is a huge basketball fan and began heavily collecting Jordan’s cards five years ago when he was 7 years old. His mother, Karen, picked up different Jordan pieces for him here and there, but the two decided to go after the ultimate Jordan collection almost two years ago.

They chased the 2008-09 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Legacy Collection, which chronicles every game Jordan played with the Chicago Bulls including the postseason.

The Rosens began their card hunt almost two years ago and finally completed the set last week. Josh found the last card he needed after he made a post on Upper Deck’s Facebook wall.

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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

See more photos  from various auctions after the jump.

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This Michael Jordan basketball card remains a real gem by Chris Olds
September 13, 2010, 10:30 am
Filed under: Beckett Media, NBA | Tags: , , , , ,

Most of you probably remember the Skybox Metal Universe sets of the mid-to-late 1990s and cringe.

But the card above, which is numbered to just 50 copies,  is one reason why those older wax boxes and wax packs should still be considered when wandering the aisles of a card show or digging around at your local card shop.


You’d be surprised what it recently sold for.

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First Look: 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports by Tracy Hackler

Upper Deck officials recently unveiled preliminary information and images for the company’s newest multisport product, Upper Deck World of Sports, due out in December.

As you might imagine, the product’s key calling cards will revolve around longtime company exclusives Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tiger Woods. But the product also is slated to includes stars from such sports as baseball, hockey, soccer, mixed martial arts, extreme sports, Olympic sports and even lacrosse.

The 400-card base set is bolstered such insert sets as Athletes of the World Signatures, Sports National Dual, Triple and Quad Signatures, All Sport Apparel and Clear Competitors.

In addition to including a stable of traditional signature inclusions (Jordan, James, Woods, Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky), the preliminary World of Sports autograph checklist also calls for the likes of Pete Rose, figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Sasha Cohen and MMA legend Randy Couture.

Product promotional literature promises an average of two autographs and one memorabilia card per box (and one multi-signed card per case).

Stay tuned to for additional information on this product.

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Collect Call: Talking with a serious Michael Jordan collector by Chris Olds
July 28, 2010, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Hall of Fame, NBA | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler as he talks to Lou Costabile, a serious collector of rare Michael Jordan basketball cards in this edition of Collect Call.

Examining the Basketball Hall of Fame’s latest class on cards by Chris Olds

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has unveiled its 2010 class of inductees, a crop that includes representatives from from all levels of basketball — and even “The Dream Team” from the 1992 Olympics.

Here’s a rundown of who’s in and where they appear on cardboard …

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Card Gallery: 2009-10 Upper Deck NHL Champ’s hockey by Chris Olds

Upper Deck‘s popular Champ’s hockey set has arrived with its eclectic mix of past and present hockey and sports stars, historical figures, landmarks and much more that help bring the old-school tobacco card aesthetic to the ice.

Champ’s packs four autographs or memorabilia cards per 20-pack hobby box with names like Michael Jordan, Dan Marino, LeBron James and Tiger Woods alongside guys like Sidney Crosby.

Among the inserts are “Wonders of the World,” which focuses on famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall of China, “Natural History,” which focuses on endangered species and extinct creatures.

Of course, also included are “Museum Pieces,” which include fossils, teeth and tools from prehistoric times embedded into the cards.

See more from the set after the jump.

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First look: 2010 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection basketball cards by Chris Olds

Upper Deck may be done producing NBA-licensed basketball cards, but it’s not done trying to put high-end basketball cards into the hands of collectors.

On Wednesday, the company revealed the basic product information and a package of preview images for its upcoming 2010 Ultimate Collection basketball card set, a Collegiate Licensing Company-approved product that packs an autographed card in every four-card pack.

The standard set consists of 60 base cards and 20 Rookie Signature Redemptions, but the real highlight in the product just might be the 1997 Legends autographs — which brings the look of the landmark football set to the hardwood.

Also to be found among the autograph lineup when Ultimate Collection arrives in May are Personal Touch Inscriptions (where players write answers to questions about their lives alongside their autographs) as well as All- Time Team Signatures and  All-Time Draft Signatures among others.

The Legends autographs will be signed directly on the cards and the checklist is set to include Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill  Walton, Jerry West and Yao Ming among others.

See more from the set after the jump.

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Perfect Michael Jordan Rookie Card sells for $200,000 by Chris Olds

A BGS 10 Pristine copy of Michael Jordan’s 1986-87 Fleer Rookie Card has sold for $200,000 in a privately brokered deal.

The card, one of only two BGS 10s in existence, was purchased by Georgia native Sean Storms, an investor who focuses on elite cards such as these. His plans for the card? To pair it with its other BGS 10 buddy and tuck them away in his private collection.

“It won’t see the light of day for at least 10 years, maybe 15,” he said. “I’m very excited to have the card.”

The card wasn’t easy to find, and Storms is seriously interested in finding the other BGS 10.

“There are only two perfect cards in the world,” he said, noting that he’s confident that the 10s aren’t comparable to the 9.5s out there, many of which have been resubmitted by owners seeking grade bumps multiple times only to have had the 10 elude them.

It’s not the only notable transaction of the year for Storms, who works in the solar energy field, as he sold a BGS 10 Joe Montana 1981 Topps Rookie Card for $65,880 in June.

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Upper Deck announces second Jordan Brand All-American Classic Redemption card by Chris Olds


Upper Deck revealed on Thursday the second player in its  Michael Jordan Brand All-American Classic jersey mystery redemption program found in 2009-10 Draft Edition, and it’s B.J. Mullens.

The first redemption from the set, which features players who participated in the 2008 event — a showcase for the world’s best young basketball talent — is of Jrue Holiday (see that card, which also was unveiled on Thursday after being previously announced, after the jump).

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Thursday is Exquisite Pack-out Day and we’ve got a sneak peek at the six biggest cards by Chris Olds

MJTW 1-3

Thursday marks a national holiday of sorts if you’re a high-end card collector as Upper Deck‘s recently announced 2009-10 Exquisite Basketball set will be packed out at the company’s printing facility.

Well, really, it’s more like a three-day holiday weekend that begins tomorrow as it will take that many days for the company to hand-package its final Exquisite set — which is already commanding top dollar just days after its unveiling and just days before its arrival next week.

Each five-card pack will be filled by hand and Upper Deck will take you there via its Facebook page found here. (We’ll post a few pics here, too, from throughout the “weekend.”)

But you don’t have to wait to see six of the best possible finds in the product as we have exclusive images of the entire runs of Tiger Woods-Michael Jordan autographs and LeBron James-Tiger Woods autographs — three cards apiece — right here.

It goes without saying the significance of these cards, which transcend just basketball as they are signed by three of the biggest-name athletes in the world.

What will they command? We’ll have to wait and see.

For now, though, they can all be seen after the jump.

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Upper Deck’s Richard McWilliam: ‘We’ll Continue to Produce Cards Worth Collecting’ by Tracy Hackler
Richard McWilliam (seated, left) interacts with collectors at a recent Upper Deck Diamond Club event.

Richard McWilliam (seated, left) interacts with collectors at a recent Upper Deck Diamond Club event.

In a  topsy-turvy year during which Upper Deck has lost its NBA and MLB Properties licenses and gained an exclusive with the CLC, all while continuing to cope with a sluggish economy, it’s understandable that company CEO Richard McWilliam would have a lot on his mind.

In an exclusive interview appearing in the November issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, McWilliam addresses, among other things, his company’s first 20 years, its plans for baseball, basketball (and even golf), the NHL exclusive and those pesky redemption cards.

You can get the complete interview next month in BSCM. For now, here’s a sneak peek:

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Upper Deck Authenticated unveils Shepard Fairey’s Michael Jordan artwork by Chris Olds

Jordan UNC-50

Upper Deck Authenticated unveiled on Tuesday three new Michael Jordan prints commissioned by Obama “Hope” artist Shepard Fairey.

The series of prints featuring the new Hall of Famer focuses on key accomplishments from Jordan’s career — his NCAA championship with the North Carolina, his six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and and his Hall of Fame induction.
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