The Beckett Blog

Panini America readies first Ernie Davis memorabilia card by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Tucked among the behind-the-scenes images that Panini America released on Friday documenting its quality control process was a gem probably missed by many.

What is it?

The first memorabilia card of former Syracuse star and Cleveland Browns legend Ernie Davis.

Davis was the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy and appeared to be set for a fine pro career — he was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft (also a social first) in 1962 — before he was diagnosed with leukemia and died at age 23 on May 18, 1963. His only appearance on a professional field came when he was introduced to the crowd during a preseason game at Cleveland Stadium.

Davis’ story was the subject of a recent major motion picture, The Express, as well, but despite all of that, he still hasn’t yet had an extensive number of football cards — and not a single memorabilia card.

All that changes when 2010 Certified arrives in hobby shops on Nov. 17.

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Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 14 by Tracy Hackler

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select a rookie, veteran and breakout player of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Here are our selections for Week 14.

By Dan Hitt

Veteran of the Week:
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
(178 yards receiving, 1 touchdown catch, 1 punt return TD)
Jackson had an incredible game Sunday to continue his incredible season. He tied the NFL record for 50+ yard plays in one season (eight) with three games still to play. Jackson scored on a 72-yard punt return, a 60-yard reception and finished the game with six catches for 178 yards. Jackson is on the verge of his first 1,000-yard season and sits high on the list of today’s best receivers. Collectors made Jackson one of the most collected receivers of the 2008 rookie class but hadn’t taken enough interest this year to send his card values upward. His best 2008 cards still are reasonably priced for a player of his caliber, but that should change this week as Jackson and the Eagles are rolling toward the playoffs.

Cards to Grab:
2008 Exquisite Collection #154 JSY AU/199 RC ($135)
2008 SP Authentic #290 JSY AU/999 RC ($100)
2008 Playoff Contenders #127 AU RC ($60)

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New video game brings football fans into HBCU campuses by Chris Olds


A new video game arrives in stores today that brings gamers an unprecedented look at football at historically black colleges and universities, or HCBUs, with former Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams leading the way.

BCFX — The Doug Williams Edition combines football action with the pageantry and energy of the famed marching bands which are part of two unique new rhythm games within the game — the interactive Halftime Show and Drum Line Challenge.

The game offers a lesson in HBCU football history with historical data in its Legacy Museum as well as licensed music performed by those famous marching bands.

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Upper Deck sacks Buffalo Bills legend Bruce Smith for some autographs by Chris Olds


Upper Deck announced Wednesday that it has signed former Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins star Bruce Smith to an autograph deal.

The 11-time Pro Bowl sleection will have cards in 2008 SP Rookie Edition (available now) and 2008 Ultimate Collection, which will arrive in hobby shops in February.

Smith will appear in the highly anticipated Legends Autograph set, above, which is modeled after the ground-breaking 1997 Upper Deck Legends set. Others in that set will include Troy Aikman, John Elway, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Jerry Rice among others.

A quick search of the Beckett database shows that Smith hasn’t signed any substantial amount of cards since 1992 — when he signed for the Pro Line Profiles set.

Just another nugget: Smith will be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at