The Beckett Blog

Beckett Baseball No. 59 contest teaser by Chris Olds

Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds gives you a sneak peek at an item you have a chance to own if you pick up an upcoming issue.

Check it out.

Which one of These Cards is Not Like the Other? by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Knee deep in non-sport research, Beckett analyst Bryan Hornbeck discovered a baffling eBay listing this morning. Although the $1,000,000 listing did not sell, the most puzzling part of the eBayer-described “9 Card Collection of the Greatest in Baseball” is the eighth player selection.

Granted, every fan is entitled to a few outlying picks, and this seller even does a decent job of justifying the oddball. However, l have a feeling that hobbyists will be saying “Huh?” after seeing this audacious addition to Baseball’s best of the best.

Who did this eBay seller select? Click here to see for yourself.

Cardboard and Beyond: Who are you Honoring on Veterans Day? by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Instead of heading straight home after work today, I plan on taking a northbound trek to pay Veterans Day respects to my grandfather. Thanks to a spirit that can’t quit, all-around toughness and an equally gritty grandmother who vehemently monitors his medication and diet, my grandfather, aka “Chief,” is a living wealth of World War Two stories and tales from a different time.

Even with a name like Horace Narvel, he’ll probably never appear on a sports card, but I’m fine with that.

While he never hit a pitch from Bob Feller, my grandfather fought the same fight as the Baseball Hall-of-Famer. Feller, who is recognized as the first MLB player to volunteer for the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor, served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater. Sailing aboard different ships, they never saw combat together; but, in war, they became veterans forever. Joining the likes of their shipmates and future military personnel, Fellers and my grandfather joined a lineage of honor, unaffected by celebrity status or athletic stardom.

Putting professional sports prowess aside for dedicated acts of patriotism, players like Feller, Ted Williams, Rocky Bleier and Pat Tillman stand on the same heroic grounds as their fellow veterans. Equalized by the honor of service, every man and woman in uniform, professional athlete or not, has earned a place in our collective memory.

This is why my grandfather takes a monthly trip to the airport to greet the troops as they return home. This is why his walker dawns two miniature American flags. This is why flags are flying at half-staff today. This is why we remember the retired, the fallen and the fighting today.

As it pertains to collecting, Veterans Day presents a special opportunity to discuss veterans of war and professional play. Although cardboard could never truly tribute the patriotism of our military heroes, there are plenty of players who served in the armed forces. Drawing parallels between the pitcher and my grandfather, Fellers holds a special place in my heart.

Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a Hall-of-Famer, who are you honoring today?

A (Quad) Cut Above the Rest by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

Like the eBay listing says, “this card needs no build up…”

Thankfully, drool travels downward; otherwise, this self-explaining colossal quad cut would be dirtying monitors click by click. Since Ruth, Mantle, Williams and Foxx are household names, the magnitude of this Beckett Select auction really doesn’t require an explanatory infomercial or the ShamWow guy’s hyperbolic pitch.

But I can’t help myself.

Featuring four elite names and two historical franchises, the  1/1 2005 Upper Deck SP Legendary Quad Cuts card is a collector’s dream and a cultural gem. Paired with vintage images, the four boldly inked Hall of Famer signatures are vivid symbols of American icons.

The living history hit was apparently pulled at a flea market in Buffalo, N.Y., and hasn’t surfaced on the market until now.

Graded as authentic and stored safely away from fleas,  current pricing information and other details for the Beckett Select exclusive is available on eBay.

War veterans can be found on countless cards from past by Chris Olds


With Wednesday being Veterans Day, we figured it to be no better time than now to revisit some sports cards from the past that have obvious military ties.

While there have been countless examples in recent years with the influx of non-sports additions to sports card sets, perhaps no cards drew more support than those of former Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State football player Pat Tillman, who volunteered for military duty and died in Afghanistan in 2003.

His story sparked massive interest in what little football memorabilia he had — he appeared on just five football cards in 2001 — but there are countless other cards noting other veterans’ service.

All of them have a story. Here are a few …

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And the Paul Lempa painting card winners are … by Chris Olds


For Beckett Baseball No. 45, we had baseball artist Paul Lempa produce four baseball card-sized paintings of some memorable baseball cards to give away to our lucky readers.

And a fifth reader got to select a custom-painted card for the New Jersey-based artist to create.

All they had to do was tell us who their favorite sports artist is — and the winners were selected based on what they wrote.

Four winners will receive at random one of the cards shown after the jump, which are paintings of Ted Williams’ 1948-49 Leaf card, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson‘s 1915 Cracker Jack, Lou Gehrig‘s 1933 Goudey and Willie Mays‘ 1952 Bowman cards.

Lempa was profiled in a past issue of Beckett Baseball and has produced Sketch Cards for several Topps products in the last year or so. He also has signed on for Topps’ upcoming National Chicle football card set.

These intricately designed paintings take hours to complete and the scans do them no justice, but they’ll be joining the collections of a few lucky collectors.

And the winners are …

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First Look: 2009 TRISTAR Obak minor league baseball cards by Chris Olds


TRISTAR is turning back the clock with its latest minor league baseball set, Obak, which brings the tobacco card aesthetic to the masses with a limited-edition set that’s loaded with interesting cards for collectors to discover.

The base set consists of 114 cards — and there will be only 3,600 hobby boxes made — a lower number than TRISTAR’s already limited 2009 PROjections sets.

The autographs, which will be found two per20-pack box, will feature current minor leaguers as well as retired stars who made an impact down on the farm. All of the autographs in the set are numbered to 200 or fewer copies.

There will be three short-printed cards in each box, which are, according to the company, 77 percent more scare than standard cards.

The set consists of eight subsets as follows:

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