The Beckett Blog

What you get signed is as important as the autograph itself by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

For sports collectors where seemingly everything has been commodified, this is probably an obvious statement — but for the rest of the collecting world (or beginners) it might not be.

What you get autographed is as important as the autograph itself.

In the sports world, the type of item you get signed at a show or an appearance is often tied to the amount of money you’ll pay for the signature. Basically, the more valuable item you get signed the more you’ll typically have to pay. Why? The players, agents and show promoters know the relative value of an item, and, well, they want a relative cut.

Getting a jersey or another piece of equipment will cost you more than, say, a baseball card or a photograph. That’s just how it is with the business side of things. In fact, there are countless examples where players won’t sign certain items,  things showing them with certain teams or even certain brands of cards. (It’s not just a scene in Jerry Maguire.)

But the real value in a unique item is in the interest, the reaction, it should draw from those who see it. Some of my favorite autographed items in my collection — items I got signed in-person — were because they were unique items. They’re not the most expensive piece or the toughest autograph to land. They’re not ultra-rare, either, as a collector could conceivably re-create them with some legwork.

Then again, one of my most unique autographed items isn’t even a sports item at all — and that’s why you see a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie, Death Proof, above where stuntwoman Zoë Bell is in action riding atop the hood of a 1970 Dodge Challenger as it speeds down a highway with another car in hot pursuit.

Read more … after the jump.

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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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Card Gallery: 2010 Topps WWE Wrestling by Chris Olds

We got our first look at the 2010 Topps WWE set on Wednesday and one of the things that stands out in this release are strong photographs cleanly showcased on the design for Topps’ 2010 baseball set.

From the WWE Divas to the brutes, the set of both past and present stars seems to carry a crisper and more energetic look than recent wrestling releases — even last year’s much- improved set — largely because of the photos, which are a mix of action and studio work.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that there are some pretty deep insert card sets to be found — and some autographs from guys who haven’t signed in years.

Get a closer look at the set with a 30-plus card gallery after the jump.

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Card gallery: TRISTAR TNA Icons wrestling cards by Chris Olds

You’ve probably seen the Box Busters episode, but we wanted to make sure you got a closer, sharper, look at some of the cards to be found in the latest Total Nonstop Action wrestling card set from TRISTAR, 2010 TNA Icons.

The design of the autograph cards seems to be stepped up and the photography, as always, is rich with a mix of studio and action images from TNA’s official photographer, Lee South.

See a selection of the cards from the set that arrived in hobby shops last week after the jump.

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I’ll Tweet You For It by Tracy Hackler

In case you missed it, St. Louis Blues forward David Perron is celebrating the signing of his new deal by giving his Twitter followers a chance to win an autographed stick directly from him.

The budding star announced the contest, which ends on Wednesday, in late July by asking fans to prove their Perron fandom with a picture.

Perron has been rather enlightening with his tweets by giving fans insightful information (sometimes in French). He clearly enjoys communicating with hockey fans in the offseason.

He’s already amassed more than 13,000 followers thanks to his popular teammates – defenseman Erik Johnson and tough guy Cam Janssen. Johnson, it should be noted, will be giving some money to charity for reaching 15,000 followers and Janssen is planning an opening night ticket giveaway for his 6,000th follower. He hasn’t reached that number just yet.

Lagging behind is teammate Patrik Berglund, who is hoping to reach 10,000 followers and will donate $5,000 to charity as well; currently he has less than 4,000. The money will be donated to an as yet undetermined cause, but the Berglund camp is soliciting advice on that.

— Russ Cohen

Tales from Twitter: Nick Swisher, Jose Canseco, Keith Olbermann and much more… by Chris Olds

Twitter has been talked and written about countless times, but it’s a tool that’s making its presence felt in the collecting community in countless ways.

Want to see the latest from a card company or the latest from Beckett? You can find it there. Want to complain to a card company about something they made? You can do it there. (Pssst … You can also praise them, too. I’m just sayin’.) Want to see the latest deals from notable dealers? Yep, it probably was tweeted.

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Is a Derek Jeter autograph really all that rare? by Chris Olds

How rare is a Derek Jeter autograph?

That came to mind during a conversation I had with a few collectors on Twitter. And Beckett Baseball Senior Price Guide Analyst Brian Fleischer was able to answer it with a quick search of the Beckett Media database.

We can give a total stat for all 954 certified autographs with announced or serial-numbered press runs. Are you ready?

The autographed cards — his first coming in 1992 — have a combined print run of 48,183. (I own three of those, by the way … )

Throw in all those un-numbered autographs and it’s even higher.

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