The Beckett Blog

Topps ups stakes with 2011 Pro Debut MiLB cards by Chris Olds
February 3, 2011, 10:18 am
Filed under: Beckett Media, First look, MLB, Topps | Tags: , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

Topps‘ second year of producing officially licensed minor-league baseball cards will start off with a little something extra — four hits in every box of 2011 Pro Debut.

Set to arrive in late May, Pro Debut will consist of 330 cards — apparently just one series this year — but will pack two autographs and two game-used Relics in every 24-pack box along with eight parallels and 18 insert cards. (Last year’s two-series release included two autographs and one memorabilia card in every hobby-only box.)

New this year are Side-by-side Dual Autographs which pair two players together, while the rest of the lineup is pretty similar. There are Gold (/25), Red (1/1) and Blue (/199) parallels, while there are also printing plates to be found. The insert sets include Single-A All-Stars, Double-A All-Stars and Triple-A All-Stars.

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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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Teaser gallery: 2011 Topps Pro Debut Series 1 minor league baseball cards (with poll) by Chris Olds

Topps unveiled a selection of preview images for its second year of manufacturing Minor League Baseball cards on Tuesday — 2011 Topps Pro Debut.

Pro Debut will have a few more touches next year — a new addition being dual autographs — but we’ll wait for the full preview information to come later this week.

Until then, feast on the photos and tell us whether you like what you see … after the jump.

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Hooked on Trout: Angels farmhand receives Topps/J.G. Taylor Spinks Award by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim prospect Mike Trout received the 51st annual Topps/J.G. Taylor Spinks Award for the top Minor League Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Trout, 19, is the youngest player to win the award.

The Millville, N.J., native hit .341 between Class-A Cedar Rapids and high Class-A Rancho Cucamonga with 10 homers, 56 stolen bases 106 runs in 131 games.

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Card Gallery: 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition autographed inserts by Chris Olds

This year’s Donruss Elite Extra Edition baseball card set is slated to arrive in shops around the country very, very soon and here are a few more images of cards that will be found in packs.

Some of these cards made by Panini America carry a very distinct vintage feel with sepia-toned photos, unlike most of the full-color foilboard-loaded product, though these cards also are printed on the fingerprint-unfriendly stock.

See more after the jump.

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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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Box Busters: 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 2 MILB cards by Chris Olds
September 26, 2010, 2:41 pm
Filed under: MILB, MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , , ,

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a box of 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 2 cards in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters Preview Gallery: 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 2 by Chris Olds
September 23, 2010, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Card gallery, First look, MILB, MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , ,

The second installment of Topps‘ foray into cards for Minor League Baseball arrives soon as Pro Debut Series 2 will hit hobby shops packing two autographs and one memorabilia card per box.

We got our hands on a pair of these boxes well before the Sept. 29 street date and ripped one of the hobby-exclusives in preparation for a Box Busters video to come here on Friday.

The set picks up where Series 1 left off with 220 more base cards, a few parallels, a small lineup of autographs and a healthy batch of Futures Game Relics.

Here’s a sampling of what we found inside … after the jump.

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In the Minors: But will they get baseball cards? by Chris Olds

This one’s definitely from the “kids, don’t try this at home” category.

You might know the Savannah Sand Gnats for having one of the coolest logos in baseball, but it was pretty hot on the basepaths Saturday night in Georgia.

That’s because stuntman Ted Batchelor rounded the bases … on fire.

I’m not going to even try to make sense of this minor league publicity stunt … but all I can say is if this doesn’t get him a baseball card in the Sand Gnats’ team set, I don’t know what would.

But we’re not done there …

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Gallery: 2010 Aflac All-American Classic baseball cards by Chris Olds

This year’s Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic is just a few hours away, starting at 5 p.m. at PETCO Park in San Diego, but the annual favorites are already prepped and ready for collectors’ hands.

The Topps Aflac All-American baseball cards, which were produced in just the last couple of days.

While attendees will receive three cards selected at random, there’s no doubt that there will be collectors trying to scoop up all 38 cards — and perhaps get some of them signed — well before the cards ever appear in Topps packs.

See all 38 cards from this year’s set after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010 Obak baseball cards by Chris Olds

Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer rip into boxes of 2010 Obak baseball cards from TRISTAR in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside these boxes

Watch and find out.

See Part 2 after the jump …

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Hey everybody… Tonight is Rojo Johnson Bobblehead Night! by Chris Olds

The Round Rock Express can’t get enough of their one-pitch wonder.

Tonight, the first 2,500 fans who enter the gates for the Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate’s game against the Memphis Redbirds get a free bobblehead doll of the pitcher who made quite an impact earlier this year, Rojo Johnson.

Also known as Will Ferrell, Johnson also now appears on at least two fully authorized minor league baseball cards and he will have certified autographs coming  later this year for charity.

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

First Look: 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 2 Minor League Baseball Cards by Chris Olds

Topps released the first look at the second series of its Pro Debut cards for Minor League Baseball on Friday afternoon.

The hobby-only product that will arrive in late September packing two autographs and one memorabilia card per 24-pack  box as well as eight parallels.

The base set will consist of 220 cards with the same parallels — Red, Gold and Blue as well as printing plates — while there will be 15 prospect autographs and 20 Debut Cuts (players TBD).

The base set also will mark the debut for several 2010 draft picks who will have their first cards as pros in this set. (The preliminary checklist includes more than 60 players TBD.)

The autographs will have Red, Gold and Blue parallels as well as printing plates, too. Among the signers on the preliminary checklist are Jesus Montero, Slade Heathcott, Brett Jackson and Christian Friedrich.

The Relic selection is deep as there will be 50 All-Star Futures Game jersey cards — with parallels — along with book patches, flag patches and red-bordered patch cards. Among the players on the Relic checklist are Tanner Scheppers, Tony Sanchez, Logan Morrison, Eric Hosmer, Lonnie Chisenhall, Mike Moustakas, Grant Green, Domonic Brown, Desmond Jennings, Mike Trout, Yonder Alonso and many others.

Insert cards will include Future Foundations (25 players) and Baseball America‘s Tools of the Trade, a 50-card set.

See images after the jump.

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Rojo Johnson gets another baseball card; Will Ferrell autographs coming, too by Chris Olds

Rojo Johnson made a memorable debut for the Round Rock Express not long ago here in Texas, which meant he also would likely appear on a baseball card.

Now, he’s a Pacific Coast League Top Prospect.

The league unveiled its 36-card set with Johnson mixed in with names like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brett Wallace, Logan Morrison and Jason Castro.

Will Ferrell, aka Rojo Johnson, authorized the card appearance as a way to further lend his support for Cancer for College, a charitable foundation that grants college scholarships to cancer survivors.

Later this year, 500 special Rojo Johnson cards — as well as 100 numbered cards signed by Ferrell — will be available for a donation on the foundation’s site.

Ferrell does not appear on a certified autograph card but has appeared on a sports card — a promo card of Jackie Moon made for his basketball movie, Semi-Pro.

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

THREE OF A KIND: Random memorabilia in the office by Chris Olds

Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds brings to you a quick story about three random pieces of memorabilia he keeps in his office — probably because he doesn’t know where else to put them.

What are they? Watch and find out in this first “Three of a Kind” video …

Game-used Stephen Strasburg memorabilia hits auction block by Chris Olds

Update: The ball sold for more than $20,000.

Less than a day after his dazzling major league debut, game-used memorabilia from Stephen Strasburg‘s 14-strikeout night as well as items from his pro debut in the minor leagues in April have hit the auction block at

Leading the way so far is a signed and inscribed  “MLB Debut 14 K’s 1st MLB win” game-used baseball. The ball, which was used against Garrett Jones in the second inning Tuesday night, has attracted 11 bids and is at $1,210 with a week or so remaining in the auction.

Other items on the block include first base from the fourth to sixth innings — $630 after three bids — and several items from his debut on April 11. Among those items are a signed lineup card, a game-used rosin bag, a game-used ball,  first base and even an MLB-certified authentic cleat cleaner, which is up to $80. (You know you need one of those…)

A pair of non game-used autographed items also are on the block — a signed baseball that’s up to $215 after 13 bids, and a signed jersey, which is at $610 — for now.

See more images from the auctions after the jump.

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Rojo Johnson’s baseball card arrives by Chris Olds

While we teased you guys about Rojo Johnson‘s baseball card awhile back, there was nothing firm to indicate that the mysterious pitcher would, indeed, appear on cardboard.

Now, he does.

The first 2,500 fans who attend tonight’s game against the Nashville Sounds receive a 2010 Express team set which features the card above showing Will Ferrell in his brief minor league baseball appearance.

The promotion is sponsored by Equipment Depot — no word on whether he’s signed on as a spokesman or whether tickets are still available. (The game starts in five minutes so you might be out of luck.)

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

Box Busters: 2010 TRISTAR Pursuit Series 2 baseball cards by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into a pair of 2010 TRISTAR Pursuit Series 2 baseball card sets in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside these factory sets that guarantee 75 cards and six autographs per?

Watch and find out …