The Beckett Blog

Another look at Muhammad Ali set by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

On Sunday, we had a quick peek at some of the rarest cards in the Muhammad Ali trading card set Leaf Trading Cards is producing.

Slowly, Leaf is letting a few pictures trickle out as its teases collectors with this set that should be released in February. This time there are five cards from a subset that include associates, fans and opponents of the greatest boxer in history.

While these cards are the autograph versions, which are all numbered to 5, there are more common versions of these cards available in the product.

Of this group, my favorites are the ones where there is a picture with Ali. Leaf is obviously limited to certain pictures, but they definitely used pictures they had with Ali whenever possible.

How do you feel this set is shaping up?

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

Leaf preps Muhammad Ali card set by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

He’s the baddest.

The greatest there ever was.

Now, he’s coming to a new a trading card product.

Leaf Trading Cards has taken another step to add to Muhammad Ali’s legacy by bringing fans closer to the iconic boxer. Leaf is creating a set dedicated to Ali, which will feature all on-card autographs from Ali and others, including many exclusive features.

Each box will include four base cards, one Ali hit and two other autos.

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Post-WrestleMania thoughts: Wrestling & The hobby by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

As one of the 72,744 in attendance for WrestleMania 25 at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Sunday, it’s apparent how big pro wrestling has become, how much of it is a spectacle and how much of it is athletics. (Just watch the video above — while it lasts.)

Pro wrestling’s grandest stage is a larger-than-life event, a showcase of the ultimate in scripted danger. Yes, the results are fixed — manipulated — but there’s nothing fake about the falls and the passion. There was no blood on Sunday, but you can bet that there was real pain as the stars put their bodies on the line.

The passion of the competitors is there — their mission for WrestleMania to be the one who steals the show, the one who is remembered, the one in the highlight reel forever. The passion of the fans is there, too — I’d bet that roughly 72,743 fans wore some type of WWE clothing — I wore my standard white dress shirt (had to have a pocket to secure my ringside ticket in mint condition, I swear). The days of wrestling madness in armories or high school gyms pales in comparison, even if the legends of yesteryear are more remembered than some of today’s stars.

And, in the ring, it was the UndertakerShawn Michaels match that stole the show, one for the eternal highlight reel and one — I’ll say it — that just might be the greatest pure WrestleMania match in history. At one point in the match, nearly every Michaels chop to Undertaker’s chest was matched by a Ric Flair “wooooo” from the crowd, while every countering blow from the Deadman was matched with a “boooo” — at least from many in my section.

But the mainstream main event — the one getting talked about on E!, in People magazine and in “legitimate” news outlets like The Los Angeles Times — was actor Mickey Rourke‘s knockout punch on Chris Jericho. Rourke, star of The Wrestler, had been involved in an angle for months — but it wasn’t clear what the payoff would be until his left hook connected with Jericho’s jaw and an in-ring celebration with Flair ensued.

Although the angle probably fell flat of many a wrestling fan’s expectations — everything from a rescue by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan to a Randy “The Ram” Robinson appearance (Rourke’s character) had been hoped for — it was the WrestleMania Moment that the WWE had hoped for, one for the highlight reel on everywhere but a wrestling fan’s TV screen. The one that brings wrestling into everyone else’s living rooms.

And right alongside Rourke? The biggest wrestling star in the hobby right now — “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

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