The Beckett Blog

Beckett Tip Sheet: Where can you land an autograph? by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s no secret that the autograph is key to many a sports products these days as those certified authentic slips of the pen turn cardboard into collecting gold.

But the certified autograph is not the only way a collector can land a treasured item.

In fact, many a signer of certified autographs actually signs in other ways — ways that collectors may not always think about in a world of commodified, short-print chases and dreaming of winning mylar-wrapped lotteries. It may sound like common sense, but there are other ways to track down signatures besides ripping packs and buying singles at the card shop or online.

Here’s a rundown of ways that collectors — beginners through the long-time hobby veterans — should always consider trying to land an autograph without hitting up a pack of cards or buying a certified signature straight from a trusted dealer.

These days, it’s pretty common for athletes and celebrities to have their own websites where they sell autographed items directly to the public. The signed copy of WWE Magazine above, for example, was purchased on Trish Stratus‘ website, There, the former multi-time women’s champion sells signed magazines, books, photos, posters and more. If you have your own particular item you want signed, she’ll ink it up for a $10 fee.

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Recapping the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore by Chris Olds

This year’s National Sports Collectors Convention has come and gone but if you missed the show you can get an idea of what went on in Baltimore by checking out a link  or two.

Here’s a recap of all Beckett links from the show, which went fast…

Brian Gray revives Leaf brand at The National

Box Busters at the NSCC: 2010 Famous Fabrics

Strolling the floor at the National Sports Collectors Convention

The Unbelievable Story of a Tim Tebow 1/1 Autograph

Stephen Strasburg Topps Heritage Card Creates National Frenzy

Two Days at The National: A Photo Gallery

Fewer card brands seen on dealers’ shelves at NSCC

Video At The National: Topps’ Panel Discussion

At The National: Turning $14 into $9,000 with The Baseball Card Exchange

At The National: Talking baseball with Dirk Hayhurst, author of The Bullpen Gospels

At The National: Key cards & autographs …

At The National: Japanese baseball cards & more

At The National: No. 1 for a cause

At The National: Random sights of what’s up for sale

At The National: A picture’s worth …

Can The National be more like San Diego Comic-Con?

Tebow spotlight shines brightly on Palm Beach Autographs

At The National: A Vintage View

At The National: As Cool as Iceman

At The National: Collect ‘em all!

At The National: Scenes from the floor

At The National: Bustin’ Wax — 1980s hockey

Video At The National: Topps’ Panel Discussion by Tracy Hackler

On Thursday evening at the 31st National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, Topps officials (from left to right Clay Luraschi, David Reel, Mark Sapir, John Buscaglia and Michael Mader) sat down with a small group of collectors and media members to discuss the company’s products and more.

Beckett Media was there and captured the event on video. Over the course of several video segments, you’ll feel like you were there, too. Here’s a sneak peek.

See Part 2 and the rest of seven segments after the jump.

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Stephen Strasburg Topps Heritage Card Creates National Frenzy by Tracy Hackler


BALTIMORE — The stampede was nearly heard across the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) on Thursday afternoon. Collectors, flippers and baseball fans ran to get on line for an exclusive Stephen Strasburg 2010 Topps Heritage card, which can only be found at the NSCC at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Security tried to keep collectors back, but at 1 p.m., they rushed the line to get one of 225 cards given out that day.

Topps will hand out 998 of the Strasburg Heritage cards (the first was sold on eBay as part of a charity auction) as part of a wrapper redemption program at the NSCC. Ten packs of any 2010 Topps baseball products worth more than .99 cents will net a collector one of the Strasburg cards – while supplies last.

While there are many who like to grab the cards for their own collection, the common idea on the show floor this week has been to throw the Strasburg Heritage card on eBay and try to make money.

“Moving it is a no-brainer,” said Wes Yee, a prospector from San Francisco attending his first National. “It’s a cool card, but I would rather have the money to spend on stuff I really want.”

The Strasburg card was an instant hit with collectors from the moment Topps announced the redemption program. Early eBay sales have the National exclusive card selling between $80-$100.

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Panini unveils autograph quantities for NSCC exclusives by Chris Olds

Panini America‘s National Sports Collectors Convention wrapper redemption packs will have plenty of autographs to be found once the action at the show begins this evening.

The company released the list of signatures — as well as card types and quantities — to Beckett Media on Wednesday.

The Panini Wrapper Redemption set includes 50 cards. Highlights? The first official NBA cards of No. 1 pick John Wall, No. 2 pick Evan Turner and No. 4 pick Wesley Johnson.

All cards are numbered to 499 or less and the set includes the first card of  LeBron James in a Miami Heat uniform as well as a card of Chris Sale, who makes his MLB debut tonight for the Chicago White Sox just two months after being drafted.

Get the rundown, as well as a mini gallery of some of the autographs, after the jump.

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Gallery: Panini America National Convention Box Wars Prizes by Tracy Hackler

When the 31st National Sports Collectors Convention kicks off in earnest on Thursday in Baltimore, veteran show-goers will be treated to a bevy of familiar sights, including a sea of dealer tables, graded vintage cards galore, miles of new wax and the sparkling allure of the corporate pavilion.

That’s where the card manufacturers will be set up, enticing collectors with a stunning array of redemption programs, contests, handouts and promotions. One such contest that has become a staple of the Panini America booth is the company’s popular Box Wars program.

It returns this week in Baltimore with a full slate of showdowns incorporating the company’s football and basketball products. Once again, some of the collection-making cornerstones being offered as prizes (below) are sure to keep the box-busting crowds thick around the company booth come contest time.

A complete Box Wars schedule will be available at the Panini America booth. As for some of the prize cards, well, you can see those now . . .

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (7-30) Contest No. 2 — A National Sports Collectors Convention VIP package (courtesy of Blowoutcards) by Chris Olds

***NOW CLOSED*** winner to be selected on Tuesday.

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 trivia.

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 — it’s one try per person per contest and we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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