Category Archives: Beckett Blog

First Look: 2011 Threads Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Panini America unveiled today a few details about its forthcoming cloth-laden line 2011 Threads.

The late-summer brand, slated for an August 17 shelving date, should arrive with the usual fan favorites and some new twists.

Each box promises four autograph or memorabilia cards (one autograph guaranteed), 24 Rookie Cards, and an additional 13 inserts or parallels. New Rookie Class Gold autographed letters should fall favorably among the brand’s familiar offerings Rookie Class autographed letters and Pro Gridiron Kings cards.

“The Rookie Class Gold autos are a unique twist on an established concept and will be among the most sought after singles in 2011 Threads; the Pro Gridiron Kings, with their proud lineage dating back to the early 2000s, tend to speak for themselves,” said Panini America NFL Brand Manager Carlos Torrez.

More details and eye candy after the jump.
Also headlining in 2011 Threads are:

  • Autographed Rookie Class Nameplates (numbered to 499 or less)
  • Rookie Signature Combos (Triples and Quads, numbered to 50 or less)
  • Gridiron Kings Signature Materials (numbered to 25 or less)
  • Franchise Fabrics Signature Materials (numbered to 10 or less)

Torrez adds, “[2011 Threads] comes out right before the season and, like its name suggests, is loaded with NFL threads in the form of captivating game-worn memorabilia from veteran NFL stars and a healthy dose of event-worn memorabilia from the top 2011 rookies who attended the 2011 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.”

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Hall-of-Famers get noticed in Panini’s National Treasures Basketball

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In its second year as a basketball brand, Panini America‘s National Treasures is bringing back plenty of what made the product popular, including some new additions to add to the appeal.

Part of what made this product last year were Blake Griffin’s rookie cards. His cards sparked great conversation about the hobby and had many talking about his autograph cards that sold for high dollar amounts.

Although, Griffin isn’t a rookie in this high-end product, Panini expects the popularlity of this set to continue when the National Treasures hits the card market on its scheduled August 3 release.

See a full gallery after the jump:

“We  were delighted with the collector acceptance of 2009-10 National Treasures and realized what a successful foundation was established with that release,” Panini America NBA Brand Manager David Porter said. ”Many of the same elements will be found in the 2010-11 National Treasures, including the most desirable and scarce rookie cards for the 2010-11 Class. We are also excited to bring back an array of our popular Logoman cards and uniquely designed Laundry Tag material cards of many current and retired NBA Stars.”

National Treasures is expected to include many on-card autographs including those of Griffin, Kevin Durant and John Wall.

Durant’s inclusion into the set should be joyous news to collectors considering his autographs in products this year were very, very limited.

The case hits seem to be of special quality this year with big names. The autographs include Julius Erving, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird or Jerry West.

One of the case hits listed also hearkens back to the pioneers of the game. Collectors could find a George Mikan memorabilia card. Mikan was considered one of the 50 greastest basketball players in 1996. The Hall-of-Fame members changed the game by showing what big men can do with talent.

Mikan is part of the new lineup with National Treasures, including the addition of Erving and David Robinson autograph cards. Also, for the first time Panini will have Wilt Chamberlain memorabilia cards.

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UD offers promo pack at Stanley Cup Finals game 4

By Andrew Tolentino | Hockey Editor

Adding to its recent promotional efforts in the Stanley Cup Finals, Upper Deck announced yesterday yet another opportunity for attendees in Boston tomorrow night.

The hockey-hearted manufacturer will be handing out free promo packs on Wednesday’s game four to all attending fans. Now, whether or not the recipients will be fans of the Bruin-centric pack is another thing.

Transplanted Canuck constituents  at TD Garden could use the cards for hexing purposes while home team supporters can further savor the occasion.

Each pack consists of:

  • Five Bruins — Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara
  • One “Stanley Cup Memorable Moments” card
  • One checklist card
  • One “History You Can Hold” card — featuring Upper Deck’s forthcoming Stanley Cup Championship box set

Randomly inserted chase elements include:

  • Five different “Stanley Cup Memorable Moments” cards featuring Ray Bourque, Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Kane, Bobby Orr and Alex Ovechkin (one per pack)
  • “Instant Winner” cards — redeemed for prizes at the Upper Deck booth during the game

“These cards will be a great way for fans to commemorate this exciting event. In addition, we are giving fans the opportunity to create their very own personalized trading cards while they are at the arena, all courtesy of Upper Deck,” said the company’s Director of Marketing Jodi Wasserman.

Upper Deck will be operating its P-Card Station on location, giving fans an opportunity to create custom Stanley Cup cards with personal photos.

Perfect Michael Jordan Rookie Card sells for $100,000

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

A Pristine copy of Michael Jordan‘s 1986-87 Fleer Rookie Card sold for six-figures in a Memory Lane Inc. sale Sunday evening.

The card, graded a 10 by Beckett Grading Services, fetched $100,000 in the Tustin, Calif.-based auction house’s Own it Now sale, which launched not long before the sale.

There are just three copies of the famed card graded as a BGS 10 out of more than 5,500 cards submitted. This particular copy was the first to receive the grade and once appeared on the cover of Beckett Basketball Card Plus, now Beckett Basketball, magazine.

The last known BGS 10 Jordan sale came in August 2009 when a collector paid $82,000 for this same card. It was reportedly sold for $150,000 in 2006. However, that sale never was confirmed. The card’s subgrades included 10s for its centering, edges and corners and a 9.5 for its surface condition.

The first BGS 9.5 copy of the Jordan RC went for $77,600 in a June 2003 deal. The Jordan RC is not the only high-profile BGS 10 of a 1980s icon to sell for big bucks in the last few years as a Joe Montana 1981 Topps RC sold for $65,880 in April 2009. That card carried the third-highest pricetag of any football card sale ever documented by Beckett Media.

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

Elite RCs made possible by the Rookie Premiere

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Proving that it wasn’t all fun and games  at NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere, Panini America recently unveiled a massive gallery featuring the fruits of their labor.

Set to go live with the upcoming 2011 Donruss Elite release — scheduled for June 22 — these Rookie Cards offer some of the earliest opportunities to see the new class sporting their new duds on cardboard. While the photography here obviously doesn’t come from from in-season action, collectors can catch a glimpse of what newcomers should look like later this year.

Here’s one more before the post-jump slideshow.

First look: 2011 Topps WWE trading cards

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

One of the WWE‘s newest talents is a high-flying Mexican luchador named Sin Cara, whose name translates to “faceless.”

The latest pro wrestling release from Topps, which it unveiled Monday morning will be anything but that.

The 2011 Topps WWE set will include Sin Cara and plenty more inside its packs when it arrives in early September packing an autograph and an event-used Relic card into every 24-pack hobby box.

What else will be inside?

Oh, yeah, The Rock.

Read more — and see more images — after the jump.

How much of a presence will the former WWE champ-turned actor, Dwayne Johnson, have in his return to WWE cardboard? The autograph checklists are completely to-be-determined right now, but he does appear on the preliminary checklist for the base set as well as some insert cards.

Two autographed cards are shown among the product’s teaser information, though, with an Alberto Del Rio autograph — his first — and a brotherly pairing of Cody Rhodes and Goldust on a dual.

As with the past two releases the brand will use the flagship Topps design that is seen on its MLB and NFL releases and the product also will include several parallel cards that will be seeded one per hobby pack. Among those are1/1 Reds, 1/1 Red Relics, 1/1 printing plates for both base cards and inserts and Gold parallels numbered to 50.

The base set will consist of 110 cards, a 50-card Topps Heritage insert set, a 25-card Electrifying Entrances set (oddly, a checklist lacking The Rock), 15 Prestigious Pairings, 10 Catchy Phrases, 20 Ringside Masterpieces, 25 Masters of the Mat and 15 Relics.

The Relic checklist will include “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Randy Orton, The Miz, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Santino Marella, Daniel Bryan and more.

Several of the WWE’s relative newcomers will appear in the base set with many of the NXT competitors making debuts, while others include Alex Riley, Mason Ryan, Brodus Clay, Ricardo Rodriguez, Alberto Del Rio and Kaitlyn.

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


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California man finds Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor in pack, plans raffle to benefit charity and leagues

Devin Grant holds the 2010 Bowman Chrome Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor along with his 10-year-old godson, Tristan, who is his "collecting buddy." The card sold last summer for $21,403.

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

A 43-year-old California man has found the Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Chrome SuperFractor in a pack of Razor Rookie Retro and has big plans in store for the $21,000 baseball card.

Devin Grant will be launching a raffle next week to benefit the Brian Stow Fund — the Giants fan who was beaten by two men after a Dodgers game on Opening Day — two Little League organizations and two softball leagues in his area. He found the card in a pack at Peninsula Sports Cards in Belmont, Calif.

“It took about two days to know that this was something bigger than me,” Grant said. “I mean the act of pulling the card was phenomenal, but a card like this has some firepower and I felt that it could be used in a more powerful way.”

The card has, indeed, been a powerful force in the hobby initially selling for $16,403 before the Washington Nationals pitcher made his debut last summer and then re-selling for $21,403. It was sold the second time after its owner, Robert J. Power, received several negative and harassing messages after the publicity about his buying the card. The card was purchased by Leaf’s Brian Gray, who placed it into packs of his repackaged product that launched last year — but the card had never been found until now.

“It’s great to see something come full circle and benefit those in need — even if it is ‘just a baseball card,’” said Power after hearing the news. “Hopefully a large amount of money can be made for the charities. I also just read that Strasburg is now slow-throwing from a mound — so it seems as though his rehab is on track. I greatly look forward to the first Nationals game where Strasburg strikes out 12 to get the win via a walk-off Bryce Harper home run in the ninth.”

Grant said making baseball part of his plans was a no-brainer.

“I love sports, I love kids sports, I love baseball,” he said. “I went to the World Series in Texas last year and felt a connection with Brian Stow as a traveling Giants fan. So rather than give it all to one group it seemed that we could raise a lot more money and benefit five groups. I am a restaurant owner (Wicked West Pizza & BBQ and Flavor Restaurant) and I am incredibly lucky to be in the position I am.

“So because of that, it really was an easy decision,” he said. “I am going to add a couple cards from my own collection and will certainly try to add a few more prizes to the list. I am hoping to get some autographed balls from Strasburg himself to use as runner-up prizes.”

Grant said 30 percent of the money raised will go to the Stow Fund, 30 percent to the Half Moon Bay Little League, 30 percent to the West Sacramento Little League and five percent each to the Half Moon Bay Softball League and the West Sacramento Softball League. A website for the raffle will be set up as soon as Tuesday, Grant said, with tickets costing $10 with all of the proceeds going to the charities. In addition, area Little League teams will be able to sell a different type of ticket to help raise money directly for them as well. [Editor’s note: We’ll have a follow-up story when the site is live.]

As a collector, Grant focuses on low-grade vintage cards of Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron when he’s not chasing singles to complete his 2007 Exquisite baseball set. As a former card shop owner, he knew he had something — and the dream of that pull was why he was buying.

“This is once-in-a-lifetime pull and that is the real exciting thing about that Retro product,” he said.

He hadn’t purchased a ton of the boxes to land the Strasburg, either.

“I believe that was my fourth pack that I opened,” he said. “I bought a few other packs a couple of months before, but I had heard the Strasburg had not been pulled so I went to see if Peninsula Sports Cards had any more. It turned out that they had a case. It had been in the shop for at least a week and had gone untouched. I told [the owner] I would take the case and on the second pack … ”

So, what was his reaction when he found the card? It wasn’t what you might think …

“When I first saw it I was excited that it was a Strasburg but I just assumed that it was some other version. I showed [the shop owner] and he said ‘You got it! … I think.’ I turned the card over and saw the 1/1 and then I knew that I had found the Holy Grail. I am still in a bit of disbelief but ‘I cant believe it’ has been the overwhelming thought running through my head even to this day.”

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

So because of that it really was an easy decision. I am going to add a couple cards from my own collection and will certainly try to add a few more prizes to the list. I am hoping to get some autographed balls from Strasburg himself to use as runner up prizes.

Topps Vault will auction rare items at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

VIP attendees will have one more event to attend at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago as The Topps Vault will be auctioning 10 one-of-kind and rather significant items during the VIP reception on the opening day of the show.

Among the items — two final two have not yet been unveiled — are proof cards of some notable past releases as well as cards that were never made along with contracts of key players in the history of sports as well as Topps.

– A 1957-58 Topps basketball signed Bill Russell contract (above)
– A 1957-58 Topps-related signed Bill Russell check
– A 1968 Topps color transparency Nolan Ryan Rookie Card
– A 1977 Topps uncut proof sheet with the never-released Reggie Jackson Orioles card (top)
– A 1987 Topps/Nestle set Mickey Mantle signed contract
– A 1979-80 Topps hockey uncut proof sheet with a Wayne Gretzky RC
– A 1980 Topps/Pepsi uncut proof sheet (set never released)
– A 1968 Topps uncut proof sheet with a Nolan Ryan RC

“We are extremely pleased to be able to present a very exciting event to our VIP attendees who support the show,” said Show Manager Mike Berkus. “Topps will give our VIP attendees a chance to bid on and walk away with some fabulous collectibles from their archives.”

The auction will begin at 2:30 on the opening day with payment expected at the event.

For more on each of the items for for show information, click here.

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

Are YOU a Supercollector? We want YOU in Beckett Sports Card Monthly …

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

We’re going to dedicate an upcoming issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly to showcasing SuperCollectors — and we want to see your collections.

We’ll pick the most interesting and most outrageous collections for the magazine, but first we need to hear about your stash.

You don’t have to have the most-expensive collection on the block but it needs to be unique — downright crazy — in some way that it stands out.

Here are your instructions …

Send in an email to readersrock@beckett.com (or leave in a comment here) the following information.

1. Name, age, your email address, your location (city, state) and who/what you collect.

2. Statistics about your collection (total cards, number of 1/1s, number of autographs, number of game-used cards o items, etc.)

3. Tell us why you should be picked. Sell us on what makes your collection the best — and how/why it started.

4. Send us LINKS to images that we can examine or use with your item. (Bad images won’t help your case … and 900 MB attachments won’t either!)

5. Be patient. We have a group of baseball entries from awhile back to go through as well. We WILL be in touch if you are selected or we need more information.

6. Act fast … we want YOUR info by Friday, July 1.

Above is a sample of a SuperCollector who recently appeared in the magazine. See what information he presented if you’re struggling. (Click for a closer look if you need it.)

Shaquille O’Neal retires: What’s your favorite Shaq basketball card & moment?

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor | Commentary

“Excellence is not a singular act, it’s a habit.”

In one of his many memorable interviews, Shaquille O’Neal became “The Big Aristotle” with that singular quote.

And after 19 years of playing in the NBA, it was a singular video sent to the masses via Twitter on Wednesday that said his Hall of Fame career (first-ballot lock) had come to an end.

Unlike few athletes in our time, Shaq truly arrived upon the scene in 1992 breaking backboards and perhaps ushering in a new era of basketball cards where The Brand was just that from Day 1. Sure, Air Jordans took some time to inflate — and Brand LeBron has come since — but there’s only one Shaq.

His career can be recapped with a few stats — but there’s no doubt that his excellence was a habit for most of his career. You don’t win four NBA titles, make 15 All-Star teams and score more than 28,000 points by just being big and tall. And you don’t score yourself a spot in countless card collections by just putting up points, either.

You do it by being accessible to fans via Twitter, not by having an inaccessible air of success. You do it by being a fool online (see the video on the playlist after his retirement clip). You do it in countless memorable interviews. You do it in other ways. You do all that and then you produce on the court, too.

But, most importantly, you do it by being yourself — not just a brand.

That’s not to say that every card a collector owns is absolutely treasured. Shaq arrived right in the heart of an era of mass-produced cardboard treasures that somehow lost that “treasures” part over time. Even still, if you wanted to own every one of Shaq’s cards that are priced on Beckett.com, it’d cost you $104,265.67 right now.

Shaq appears on just 5,557 different cards — it seems like it should be way higher — beginning with his Classic cards in 1992 and ending with his NBA releases still coming from Panini America today. He appears on just 411 different autographed cards — a low number — and 1,719 memorabilia cards as his career comes to a close. Despite his countless college cards from his once-exclusive deal, only 11 cards from 1992-93 are classified as Rookie Cards. Again, that’s an attainable and affordable group to collect — unlike many of today’s biggest-name rookies who might not have much success to show for it yet.

For me, the arrival of a player like Shaq meant buying a bit more cards — and of course Topps returned to the NBA fold as a card manufacturer that year with its Topps Gold inserts (above) and later its Stadium Club Beam Team inserts driving the hobby — no “When Doves Cry” singing included. (Seriously, go watch that video after his retirement clip…) I still have some of them, though many have moved on through the years. Oddly, I don’t own a single Shaq autograph.

There’s no secret that the NBA has had its share of image problems — and it has the dark shadow of labor issues looming — but even in his worst days Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t one of them. He’s a character who has performed on the court in ways that place him among the greatest in the game — but that isn’t the only way that he defined his greatness.

He’s a character who won’t be forgotten easily.

What’s your favorite Shaq moment or piece of Shaq memorabilia? We want to hear about it …

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

First look: 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

The long-running Topps Heritage baseball line is taking a trip this summer.

A trip down to the farm.

Topps unveiled the basic product information and preview images for a new Minor League Baseball line on Tuesday afternoon, 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League Edition, which will arrive in mid-September with three very notable inclusions.

Bryce Harper, Bryce Harper’s autographs and Bryce Harper’s first professional non-1/1 game-used Relic cards.

Each 24-pack box of this hobby-only product that carries the design of the 1962 Topps set will contain two autographs, one Relic and four numbered parallel cards.

Read more and see additional images after the jump.

Harper’s Real One on-card autographs will be limited to just 54 copies with the following signed on-card parallels: Printing Plates, Black border (1/1), Green Tint (/5), Red (/10) and Blue (/25).

There will be a single Harper signed jumbo patch card while his standard Relics will include a piece of a base from his debut game in the Arizona Fall League. There will be a Black 1/1, a Green (/5), a Red (/50) and a Blue (/100).

The base set will consist of 200 cards with 50 short-printed All-Star cards found one in every four packs.

The set will be paralleled just like the Harpers via printing plates, Blacks (/62) while the set will be divided by Blue tints, Red and Greens each limited to 299. Only 50 cards from the set will be on Greens, while the other two colors divide the remaining cards in half.

The autograph cards checklist will include more than 30 players each with printing plates, Black 1/1s, Greens (/10), Reds (/25) and Blues (/99). The Relics will be found with 1/1 patches, Blacks (/5), Green (/50), Red (/99) and Blue (/199) tint parallels.

Among the signers for the product are Brett Bochy, Dickie Joe Thon, Jordan Pacheco, Jordan Swagerty, Nolan Arenado, Steve Geltz, Stephen Lombardozzi and many others.

The full preliminary Relic checklist includes Stetson Allie, Lonnie Chisenhall, Wil Myers, Christian Colon, Adys Portillo, Rymer Liriano, Jason Kipnis, Travis D’Arnaud and Anthony Gose.

Among the All-Stars on SPs are Dustin Ackley, Chisenhall, Randall Delgado, Grant Green, Harper, Manny Machado, Jesus Montero, Mike Montgomery, Myers, Jurickson Profar, Miguel Sano, Donavan Tate and several others.

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


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Upcoming Goodwin Champions baseball set includes paintings, presidents … and even more bugs

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

We’re in the heart of the baseball season, so Upper Deck is right in the thick of its baseball release calendar as well.

First, 2011 SP Legendary Cuts arrives this week but on Tuesday Upper Deck pulled back the curtain a bit further on a product that will arrive on July 5, packing a whole lot besides baseball.

It teased a bit more about 2011 Goodwin Champions.

Click here to view the embedded video.

As previously seen here, there will be plenty of big-name autographs from around the sports world and even more of what collectors would expect to find from a product that included the world’s first entomology trading cards — actual dead insects inside of a shadowboxed trading card — back in 2009.

Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground, a Beckett alum, offered collectors a behind-the-scenes peek at precisely what’s in store in the product — oil paintings on each and every base card, actual painted cards of American Presidents found inside packs and, of course, a bigger, badder dose of bugs.

See it all in the video above.

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

Danica Patrick’s car, diecast will honor 9-11 victims

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Danica Patrick‘s No. 7 Chevy will sport nearly 3,000 stars on its black paint scheme for a Sept. 9 NASCAR race, according to images released Tuesday by Lionel NASCAR Collectables.

The Sept. 9 Nationwide Series race will take place at Richmond International Speedway in Richmond, Va., just two days before the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Each star is to represent those who died during the attacks.

As with most of her cars, there will be diecast replicas made for the No. 7 GoDaddy.com/GetYour.net with a 1:24 scale Elite model selling for $129.95.

Patrick will not be the lone driver with a 9-11 paint scheme that weekend as Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Josh Wise and Tony Stewart also are set to drive American-themed stock cars.

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

Latest non-sport set from Leaf packs pop, unfortunate circumstance and more …

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor | Commentary

No matter what you think of Hollywood, there will be plenty to think about when 2011 Leaf Pop Century arrives this week.

Pick a name you might have read about in the news … Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Mickey Rourke, Britney Spears … they’re in there as autographs.

Also in there will be a 1/1 dual cut autograph booklet of President John F. Kennedy and the man who murdered him, Lee Harvey Oswald … a card that also includes a piece from the limo driven on that infamous day in Dallas.

And the product also includes an autographed card of Jeff Conaway, the former Grease actor, who died Friday after battling drug problems for years.

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Taxi star Jeff Conaway,” said Leaf CEO Brian Gray after hearing the news. “I personally did the signing with Jeff, and I was shocked what a great guy he was. He was one of the few celebrities Ive worked with that acted like we were doing him a favor and not the other way around.”

Other celebrity autographs to be found in the product include Harrison Ford, Pamela Anderson, Kate Beckinsale, William Shatner, Bo Derek, Vivica A. Fox, Pam Grier, Hayden Penettiere, Kim Kardashian (and the rest of them, too), Kendra Wilkinson, Dennis Rodman, Vince Neil, Traci Lords and countless others.

There’s also a small segment of the sports world with the last two Heisman Trophy winners, Auburn’s Cam Newton and Alabama’s Mark Ingram, along with strikeout king Nolan Ryan among those signers.

No matter what you think of the scandals that have surrounded the lives of more than a few of the subjects on the list — or whether a JFK-Oswald card is tasteful — there’s no doubting that those scandals have made them household names in the tabloids or on our televisions.

And it’s that star power — however it comes — that will likely translate into sales of trading cards.

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

Tim Tebow — as a Gator — hits toy stores in June

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

Tim Tebow‘s days as a quarterback for the Florida Gators are over, but there will be another way to see him in that uniform besides DVDs and YouTube clips starting next month.

The Denver Broncos quarterback dons his Gators blue once again — well, in miniature plastic form –  in the third series of McFarlane ToysSportsPicks college football figures.

The eight-figure series includes Tebow as a Gator, Michigan’s Charles Woodson, Ohio State’s Chris “Beanie” Wells, Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, Rutgers’ Ray Rice, USC’s Troy Polamalu, Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson (for a second time) and LSU’s Joseph Addai.

It’s not a McFarlane debut for Tebow, who had a Denver Broncos figure released last September.

See more of each figure after the jump.


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

Report: Michael Eisner may be shopping Topps

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

A “Heard on the Street” item published by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday suggests that Michael Eisner may be looking to sell Topps, the longest-running manufacturer of baseball cards.

“We overhear the former Walt Disney chief may be looking to sell Topps. The firm is famous for its baseball and football trading cards, not to mention Bazooka Joe bubble gum and Ring Pops. Mr. Eisner teamed with Madison Dearborn Partners to buy Topps in 2007 for about $385 million.

“No word on what Topps could fetch now. The company denies it is on the market. But it likely would draw some interest.”

Topps is the exclusive official licensee for Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, USA Baseball, WWE and Ultimate Fighting Championship trading cards while also holding licenses for the NFL and other non-sport properties.

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

Press Pass readies National Sports Collectors Convention promo cards

By Chris Olds | BSCM Editor

The National Sports Collectors Convention is little over two months away but that hasn’t stopped Press Pass from unveiling its promo card plans for the annual event.

And the folks at the Charlotte, N.C.-based company are bringing some style to the show … 3D style.

Nine of the company’s 10-card Hot Pursuit promo cards will be included in the gift bag of any collector who buys a VIP admission package … the final card — of Dale Earnhardt Jr. — along with an ultra-necessary pair of 3D glasses will be available at the Press Pass booth during the event.

The other drivers who’ll appear in the set include Danica Patrick, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin and Kevin Harvick.

This year’s NSCC is set for Aug. 3-7 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. For more on the event, click here.

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

WNBA all-time blocks leader dies at 37

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Former WNBA player Margo Dydek died on Friday after being placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a heart attack last week.

Dydek led the league in blocks nine times. The 7-foot-2 center is the WNBA’s all-time leader in blocks with 877.

This is a sad story coming out of Australia, where she lived. Dydek was just 37 years old and pregnant with her third child.

Dydek was the No. 1 pick by the Utah Starzz in 1998. She also played for San Antonio, Connecticut and Los Angeles.

The Poland-born player appeared on 35 cards during her WNBA career, including three memorabilia cards and just one autograph.

Her one autograph came in the 2007 WNBA set.

Her loss was tough on many of the WNBA fans and her former teammates.

“She was a tremendous person, role model and athlete who touched the lives of her many fans and made an indelible mark on women’s basketball around the world,” WNBA President Laurel Richie told the Associated Press.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

Weekly Highlights (May 23 – May 27)

Box Busters

First looks and sneak peeks of the week

Rookie Premiere plethora

Collector thoughts

This week in redemption readiness

Extra credit

Card galleries

Just for fun

Click here to view the embedded video.

http://www.beckett.com/news/2011/05/redemptions-ready-in-2011-press-pass-legends-football/This

First look: 2011 Topps Prime Football


By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend, Topps released details describing its upcoming 2011 Prime football brand.

Slated to hit shelves in late September, it’s a product that should arrive after a few weeks of regular season play. Whether the lockout remains or recedes by then, 2011 Topps Prime will make its hobby debut.

On to the details.

Box breakdown

  • 10 packs (mini boxes) per “display box”
  • Six display boxes per “packer carton”
  • Two “packer cartons” per case

Each box promises four autographed or Relics, usually yielding one autograph Relic, one autograph Rookie Card and two additional Rookie Cards. New to the product are rookie autograph Jumbo Relics, rookie autograph variations, rookie Jumbo Relics and hobby-only Red Zone autographs (on-card rookie signatures).

Autograph Rookie Cards feature 50 top 2011 draft picks on numbered hits including:

  • Prime (1/1)
  • Gold (numbered to 25)
  • Silver (new and numbered to 50)

Autograph Relic cards fall in the following forms:

  • Prime I Rookie QBs: Seven rookie quarterbacks in book cards with five swatches made from wristbands, footballs, patches and other memorabilia (numbered to 10)
  • Prime I Rookies: 29 various book cards featuring rookies with  six swatches from gloves, wristbands, footballs, patches, home and away jerseys (numbered to 10)
  • Prime II Rookies: The same 29 rookies as Prime I, but with five (instead of six)  memorabilia pieces (numbered to 15)
  • Prime III Rookies: 29 rookies with four memorabilia pieces (numbered to 25)
  • Prime IV Rookies: 36 rookies showcased alongside a jumbo multi-color patch Relic ( new and numbered to 15)
  • Prime V Rookies: The same 36-rookie crop, but featured on one-of-one book cards with three jumbo relics
  • Prime VI: 36 rookies and 14 venerable veterans on cards with four pieces

In addition to the roman-numeral nuances, collectors can expect to find new powder blue parallels (numbered to 75) and aqua variations (numbered to 199) that mirror the 100 veterans on the checklist. The set’s 50 rookies are paralleled by Prime, Silver Rainbow, red, blue, gold as well as new green and purple cards.

Stay tuned to Beckett.com for more information on the upcoming release on 2011 Topps Prime.

First look: 2011 Topps Update baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

The baseball season isn’t even at its midpoint — and Topps Series 2 hasn’t yet arrived — but that means one thing with new product news.

It’s time for 2011 Topps Update to be unveiled.

Topps released the basic product information and preview images for its season-capping set on Friday, a 330-card set that will arrive in early October.

The first half of the 2011 season will be recapped with 55 new rookies, recently traded players and highlights from this year’s All-Star Game all among the checklist.

New this year will be Hope and Cognac Diamond Parallels with base and base variation cards from the first two series in these packs as well as Glove Leather cards, 1/1 player-produced sketches, All-Star autographs and Relics and, of course, Silks and other inserts that we have seen this season.

Each 36-pack hobby box will include one autograph or Relic, while the HTA Jumbo boxes will include an autograph and two Relics.

More to come. See more images after the jump.


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

Your Turn (Beckett Baseball No. 65) — Who is the player you are prospecting right now?

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

You may have seen the Your Turn page in nearly every issue of Beckett Baseball where we showcase stuff that is all about you. You can see your comments on hobby topics and get chances to win cool stuff in contests all on one page. While we used to run this prompt for replies on the message board, we’re going to try it out here …

Here’s the next Your Turn question for issue No. 65, which will focus on prospecting:

Who is the player you are prospecting right now … and why? (BASEBALL ONLY)

Please include your name and location with your comment below — we will only run items with that information. A selection of your answers will appear in the next issue along with our next batch of contests and giveaways found only in the magazine.

Redemptions ready in 2011 Press Pass Legends Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Following a previous announcement regarding the readiness of a few redemptions in 2011 Legends, Press Pass confirmed today that all outstanding autographs have now been signed and returned by the players in question.

“We know collectors are not fans of redemption cards, and we wanted to make sure that they were aware that if they pull one from a box of Legends, they won’t have to wait long to get the actual on-card autograph in their hands,” noted Nick Matijevich, Press Pass’ Director of Product Development.

This announcement is particularly pertinent to collectors who have already pulled and sent in redemption requests for Past & Present autographs. Tandems Emmitt Smith and Mark Ingram, Bo Jackson and Cam Newton, Franco Harris and Evan Royster, and Dan Marino and Ryan Mallett have fulfilled their inking duties, allowing the manufacturer to seal the deal with the numbering process.

Meet the ‘New Breed’ in 2011 Donruss Elite Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Thanks to the miracle of digital photography and  the convenience of the NFL Rookie Premiere, the hot-handed design team at Panini America already has a handle on some of the hobby’s newest inserts.

Set for a mid-June release with 2011 Donruss Football, “New Breed” inserts feature recently snapped shots from last week’s draftee extravaganza. This marks — electronically, at least — the first opportunity to see top draft picks on cards sporting their respective team jerseys.

Numbered or not, these uniforms offer a good glimpse at the upcoming player apparel to look out for in the hobby and on the field.

Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Baseball to arrive a week early with no redemptions

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Upper Deck isn’t out of the baseball market yet. The company teased SP Legendary Cuts Baseball on Wednesday with a product that featured more than baseball players.

SP Legendary Cuts Baseball is also coming out early – and with no redemptions.

Each box will contain just one cut signature card. The single-player cuts are considered part of the 200-card base set. All cuts are hand-numbered to 35 or less. SP Legendary Cuts will feature 91 Hall of Famers such as Roberto Clemente, Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth.

Upper Deck unveiled photos of some of the historic cards collectors can obtain.

See a full gallery after the jump …

As a baseball fan, one of the flashiest cards in the set is an eight-cut signature card with eight members of the New York Yankees’ Murderer’s Row, including Lou Gehrig and  Ruth.

There is also a quad-cut card of members from the 1919 famed Chicago White Sox team – the ‘Black Sox.’

But the entire box isn’t filled with baseball players. There are actually items in there that those outside of the hobby world could find intriguing, especially with The Royal Wedding still fresh in minds.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles will have their ‘Royal Couples’ card.

Then, the royal family that is a little closer to home – the Kennedys.

A cut card of this family features Ted Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.


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Keith Olbermann revives bit of cardboard trivia on new autograph cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Keith Olbermann is known for a few things in the political and sports arenas but one of his newest baseball cards revisits a bit of cardboard trivia from his past.

That nugget of information has everything to do with a card seen above — a relatively worthless 1981 Topps card — something most collectors don’t know about unless they read card-related publications years ago.

“I am also on the 1981 Ken Landreaux card. Happy birthday Topps!” wrote Olbermann on a few of his 60th Anniversary autographs that will be placed into packs of upcoming Topps cards. “Keith Olbermann.”

Yep, that’s his right leg and arm …

The anniversary autographs have been found throughout Topps’ 6oth anniversary products this year, most with the simple congratulatory statement. Olbermann said, via his Twitter account on Wednesday, that he signed seven different inscriptions.

In addition to the anniversary autographs, Olbermann showed images of himself signing a dual autograph card that had yet to be inked by Al Gore, which will be found in this year’s Allen & Ginter set that arrives soon.

While Olbermann’s tweeting of images set of a chain reaction of, well, reaction, he mentioned that he stole the idea for multiple inscriptions from another Topps signer, former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dirk Hayhurst. The pitcher also showed off his 2011 cards on Twitter, complete with what might be one of the oddest card images in MLB set history.

What else could be in store? We’ll just have to wait and see …

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

Box Busters Preview Gallery: 2011 Prestige Football

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

As soon as we finish processing and posting the video, you’ll be able to watch our massive, two-box break of Panini’s 2011 Prestige.

Now live, the first fully-licensed 2011 football product delivers both quantity and quality  in each 24-pack (eight cards per pack) box. It’s a lovable line, loaded — most importantly — with the earliest Rookie Cards of the season, insert variety and other hits worth showing off. Surprise players from last year, like Danny Woodhead and Jordy Nelson also supplement the nuance of the newest football cards on the market.

Since we busted not one, but two 192-card boxes on camera, we figured, “why not scan a few?” After the break is an 18-card look at the hits and some highlights from my half of the break.

Here’s one more, before the jump.

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Upper Deck combines manufactured letters with plastic autos in upcoming basketball release

By Chris Olds | Basketball Editor

Upper Deck is taking one part UD Glass and one part past letterman releases and meshing them together in its next basketball product with one name that’s pretty big in the basketball card world.

Michael Jordan.

The company’s 2011 All-time Greats set will arrive on June 14 with Letterman autographs as seen above encased in PETG plastic and signed on the smooth surface instead of the fabric. Each four-card box will contain three base cards and one autograph — each of the same player — with just 20 players on the product’s checklist. Each case includes just three boxes.

The base set will consist of 200 cards, while the insert lineup will include Storybook Career booklet cards, One-on-One Dual Signatures booklets, the Lettermen autographs and All-time Nine signatures, which are 1/1s. There will be no sticker autographs in the product, according to the company.

The 20 players on the checklist? Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Steve Nash, James Worthy, Jerry West, John Havlicek, David Robinson, Alonzo Mourning, Hakeem Olajuwon, Walt Frazier, Derrick Rose, Clyde Drexler, Grant Hill, Chris Paul, Larry Johnson and Anfernee Hardaway.

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

NFL PLAYERS President Keith Gordon Discusses Rookie Premiere with Panini America

Click here to view the embedded video.

By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

Many readers may have already seen this interview on Panini America’s blog. But at the at the Rookie Premiere, as Tracy Hackler notes, “Of all of the players [Keith Gordon, NFL PLAYERS President] is the most important.”

A primary key holder to those NFL Rookie Cards that collectors continue to crave, Gordon sat down with the major licensee to discuss the significance of the event and gush over a few of football’s newest faces.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage, err Randy Poffo, may not have had a baseball card but … I found something else

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

After I watched the news of “Macho Man” Randy Savage‘s unfold via Twitter on Friday morning  — first with an unusual one-word expletive tweet from one current WWE wrestler and then a I-hope-the-rumor-is-untrue tweet from another — I immediately started writing.

Summing up an iconic person’s life isn’t always an easy task, particularly within minutes — and I briefly pondered whether I really should include a Slim Jim reference in the story — but I brainstormed about what I knew of the former WWE champ and childhood icon of many. Former minor league baseball player. Memphis wrestling. Miss Elizabeth. WrestleMania III. “Ohhhhh yeah” …

I searched the Beckett.com database for Randy Poffo, his real name, knowing full well that he didn’t appear on a single baseball card — it was searched long, long ago under more casual and trivial times. One should really know better than to expect an early 1970s Rookie League team to have a card set, but I looked once again, anyway. I called up his baseball stats — half-surprised they were actually documented — linked and kept writing. Then I searched Beckett.com for “Randy Savage” where I found his stats as a wrestler, the most pertinent piece of information for collectors and finished up my piece.

Then, on a whim, I hit eBay, wanting there to be a long-omitted baseball card to be there waiting for me. After all, I had never even seen a photo of Savage as a ballplayer — it’s the stuff of Internet wrestling lore, kind of like that epic image of Triple H with 1980s Flair Hair. It’s out there — I’ve seen it — but I can’t seem to find it when I need it. (You know, I’ve got important emails that need to be sent.)

It wasn’t to be … but I did find something else for Randy Poffo.

I hit the Buy It Now button, knowing full well that I could be quite disappointed in an inexpensive but trivial purchase — but I wanted a piece of Poffo, the baseball player, to go with my 1994 Action Packed Macho Man autograph I picked up years ago. After all, it turns out, there has been plenty of interest in Macho as a baseball player in the days before his death. Read this quality story from Sports Illustrated.

For a mere $14 — including shipping — I bought a 1971 Tampa Tarpons scorecard (definitely not going to include Poffo but a 21-year-old Ken Griffey is on the roster for the Aug. 18, 1971, game), a 1974 Tarpons game program and a 1975 Tarpons program. Of the three, only the ’74 program might have been assured to have something inside … the only season among the three he was on the squad.

I opened my carefully packaged envelope that arrived today — quite quick shipping from across the country — and examined the 1971 piece first, not expecting much. I spotted Griffey but not much else on the card and its included roster.

Then, I turned my attention to the 1974 program, once folded in half during the action at Al Lopez Field in Tampa years before I was born. Inside the 25-cent treasure — at least its cost back then — was a mimeographed game notes roster printed with the kind of purple ink I vaguely remember seeing on papers in my early years of elementary school … before Savage was a more familiar name to me.

On June 7, 1974, the Tarpons — managed by eventual big-league skipper Russ Nixon – took on the St. Petersburg Cardinals in a game that followed a season-high 4,811 in attendance the night before. No. 9 on the Tarpons roster, tucked in between No. 8 Richard Counts and No. 10 Jimmy Lett was all I was looking for.

“9 Randy Poffo, cat,” the sheet reads.

The actual program itself, a 23-page tribute to the level of baseball known for a family-friendly atmosphere more than the constant flow of dreams that often die, merely shows photos of team officials, Nixon and even the ticket manager inside. (The most-expensive item at the novelty stand was a cap for $2.50 right ahead of the mascot doll for $2.25, by the way.) Inside, among the numerous advertisements was a tribute to Miss Tampa Tarpon Baseball Queen Bridget Hanahan, images of former Tarpon in the bigs — Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion and more.

Also inside was a schedule, un-scored scorecards and, perhaps most appropriately, on Page 14 an advertisement for NWA Wrestling every Tuesday evening at 8:30 in the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory. That’s a spot where, apparently, if you know your wrestling history more than a few future wrestlers watched from the crowd at one time or another, including one Hulk Hogan.

Poffo was nowhere to be found among the Reds’ 1973 minor league review — he was still in the Cardinals organization — but that nearly 37-year-old piece of paper was good enough for me. I really didn’t have a place for it in my collection — though I guess it could go with my Bill Goldberg University of Georgia football media guide and my Dwayne Johnson Miami Hurricanes program. None of them are vital pieces by any means, but they have stayed with me here and there for trivia’s sake … no need for them to be jettisoned.

Then, I opened the 1975 program.

This game, which was played on Sept. 5, 1975, has Randy Poffo nowhere to be found — his career already ended by injury. However, I continued to carefully thumb through the program that’s older than I am just for the casual stroll through history. Inside, once again, were photos of the team’s officials and advertisements for stores such as Kash n’ Karry and Hudson Nursery and Spray Service before I arrived at Page 11 and did a double-take.

Taking up nearly the full width of the page was a team photo of the Northern Division Champions … the 1974 Tampa Tarpons. It’s the image you can see below.

Unfortunately, there were no names attached to the half-toned image, so I studied it as best I could, initially thinking that Poffo sat on the far left of the front row wearing a twenty-something uniform number looking a bit like his Reds uniform photo that ran with his SI story. I scanned it and enlarged it — still not sure. (Click for a closer look.)

I’m still not totally convinced it isn’t him — after all, uniform numbers can change like the Florida weather in rookie ball. But then I turned back to that first roster I spotted him on with the uniform No. 9 included. I checked the photo and there stands No. 9 in the upper right. Could be him as well, though I’ll fully admit that recognizing him without a beard and sunglasses is a bit tough. All I can compare it to is his SI photo.

Just like Randy Savage, the wrestler, there’s a bit of mystery to this piece of Randy Poffo, the baseball player. You never quite knew what he meant during some of his promos but you couldn’t help but watch … same for when he was in the ring.

Whether it’s him on the right or the left, I’m still not sure. Either way, just like when he was in the ring or in front of a mic, I’m looking closely.

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

First look: 2011 Topps Marquee baseball cards

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Topps unveiled a new  baseball card line on Tuesday, a product that will include an autograph or Relic in every pack, as well as include the previously reported return of “Joltin’” Joe DiMaggio to Topps when it arrives in late August.

Topps Marquee will include one four mini boxes per display box with 12 display boxes per case in a product Topps says will feature “something for everyone at a mid-range price point” with  on-card and multi-piece Relic autographs, jumbo and patch Relics and more in the mix.

Each box will include one on-card autograph, on autographed multu-piece Relic, one jumbo Relic and one quad Relic.

In every case, there will be a Museum Collection autograph card which is placed into a metal frame and limited to just 10 copies.

The base set will consist of just 100 cards with three cards found in every pack. The are four parallels of each card — a 1/1 Platinum, Golds (/99), Coppers (/199) and Blues (/299).

The Monumental Markings autographs will include 75 rookies and veteran players as well as an autograph of boxer Manny Pacquiao. Among the notable signers here are Albert Pujols, Hank Aaron and Sandy Koufax as well as many retired and Hall of Fame players. There will be Gold parallels limited to just five copies.

The dual Monumental Markings autographs will have two signatures with players grouped by position or team. That’s a deep checklist as well.

Read more and see more images after the jump.

The dual Relic autograph checklist includes 75 players with each having a 1/1 patch parallel and Gold parallels limited to five.  The triple Relics will feature 35 players with an autograph with the same parallels.

Jumbo Relics will include a 1/1 Ty Cobb jersey stitching card — his name from the tag inside the jersey — Titanic Jumbo Relics, a 130-player checklist, Titanic jumbo patch Relics and jumbo Relic autographs. The easiest versions will be limited to 99 copies, while parlalels will be limited to 10 for the standard cards.

The quad Relics will include autographed booklet cards, while most cards will simply feature four memorabilia pieces.

Among the other notable signers in the product are Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Don Mattingly, Cal Ripken Jr., Reggie Jackson, Ryan Howard, Tom Seaver, Roy Halladay, Tony Gwynn, Mike Schmidt, Jason Heyward, Buster Posey, Paul O’Neill, Jeremy Hellickson, Brandon Belt, Michael Pineda and Evan Longoria.

Among the notable Relics to be found are Cobb, DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Aaron, Koufax, Roy Campanella, Mel Ott, Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Jackie Robinson.

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

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Sneak peek: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball Highlight Sketches

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

This year’s Allen & Ginter baseball card set from Topps doesn’t arrive for about two more months, but we’ve got a new tease of what you’ll find inside the packs thanks to sports artist Dave Hobrecht.

As you might have seen in The Art Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, which is in stores now, he has produced 25 pieces for the Baseball Highlight Sketches set found in the product. While there were four exclusive card previews in that issue, here are a few more — this time featuring Roy Halladay, Stephen Strasburg, Matt Garza, Trevor Hoffman and Ubaldo Jimenez. They’re not the final cards, just the final artwork that will be featured in the product.

See them all after the jump.

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

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