Dr. James Beckett: Sports Card Insights

Dr. James Beckett


Dr. Beckett unretires to share sports card stories, analyses, and opinions, based on his six decades of intensive experience.

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1338 episodes

1202 - Small Nuggets in Plain Sight, with Brian Gray

Exploring the nuanced strategies for unearthing hidden gems within the sports card market. Both speakers employ a type of contrarian approach to collecting, specifically by showing interest in cards that the majority of the market overlooks due to their low cost. They challenge the prevailing market trends that prioritize highly valuable cards, emphasizing how lower-priced cards can hold significant potential for growth. Brian elaborates on this principle by sharing personal anecdotes and examples, such as his investment in non-sports cards and historical figures, to illustrate the overlooked value found in plain sight. The conversation also weaves in broader topics, including the psychology of collecting, the impact of grading on card values, and the crucial role of personal research and experience in making informed buying decisions. Finally, the video touches on the importance of adopting a long-term perspective in collecting and investing, suggesting that a marathon approach, rather than a sprint, is more suited to realizing the true value of sports cards. 01:56 The Contrarian Approach to Collecting 03:13 Spotting Value in Unlikely Places 04:56 The Philosophy of Collecting: Sprint vs. Marathon 10:36 Navigating the Hobby with Experience and Insight

Apr 01
1201 - Founder's Half-Life, with Brian Gray

Dr. James Beckett and Brian Gray, formerly of Leaf, delve deep into the concept of corporate culture in the sports card industry, focusing on the persisting influence of company founders even after they've left. They explore how the cultural imprints of iconic figures like Richard McWilliam of Upper Deck continue to shape company values and operations. The duo also reflects on their personal experiences with leadership transitions at Leaf and Beckett, highlighting the complexities of maintaining or diverging from the founder's vision in evolving business environments. The narrative extends to discussing the role of new leadership in rebranding and the challenges of integrating different corporate cultures within conglomerates like Fanatics. Furthermore, they contemplate the future of the industry with the transitions of entities like JSA and the potential strategies for leaders facing change, including Ken Goldin. This episode provides profound insights into how the shadows of founders loom over corporate cultures and the dynamic response of companies in the sports card industry to leadership changes, mergers, and the constant push towards innovation. 00:26 Exploring Corporate Culture and Leadership Transitions 00:46 The Impact of Founders on Company Culture 01:32 The Evolution of Corporate Identity Post-Founder Departure 03:39 Personal Reflections on Leadership and Legacy 05:34 The Future of Authentication and Collectibles 08:06 Advice for Industry Leaders and the Future of Fanatics

Mar 29
1200 - Recap: Podcast Episodes 1176-1199

Recap of episodes 1176 to 1199 from the 'Sports Card Insights' podcast, showcasing a rich array of topics within the sports card collecting hobby. The episodes cover discussions on vintage collectibles, the intricacies of card grading, and insights into football cards, including Beckett's participation in the Football Card Hall of Fame voting process. Noteworthy is a delve into box battles between Panini football collections, the significance of NASCAR collectibles, and how celebrity relationships influence card values, using Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce as examples. Additionally, the podcast touches on the Baseball Hall of Fame's unique allure, the evolving definition of what constitutes a sports card, and Beckett's methodical approach to addressing listener questions, ranging from hobby box reveals to the handling of cards with potential damage. A particularly intriguing segment discusses the implications of Shohei Otani's interpreter's scandal on the collecting world. Throughout these episodes, Beckett emphasizes the importance of understanding odds, appreciating the hobby's history, and navigating its future, illustrating his commitment to fostering a knowledgeable and enthusiastic collecting community.  

Mar 27
1199 - Shohei Ohtani's Interpreter

Scandal involving Shohei Ohtani's interpreter, accused of incurring substantial gambling debts. Dr. Beckett ponders the possibility of the gambling accusations being shifted towards the purchasing and investing in sports cards, particularly those of Ohtani, highlighting the thin line between gambling and informed speculation in the hobby. Further, he reflects on the implications of insider gambling, its potential to corrupt the purity of sports, and the necessity for audits and oversight in financial dealings within the sports and entertainment industry. Throughout, Dr. Beckett maintains a critical stance on gambling, advocating for the integrity of sports and expressing hope for a resolution that safeguards the reputation of involved parties like Shohei Ohtani. 00:37 The Shohei Ohtani Interpreter Gambling Controversy 02:59 Exploring the Nature of Gambling and Its Impact 03:25 The Intersection of Gambling and Sports Card Collecting 07:03 The Ethical Dilemmas of Insider Trading in Sports Cards  

Mar 25
1198 - Rule of 72

Balance between passion and pragmatism? Addressing the often ambiguous line between collecting for pleasure and investing for profit, underscoring that both can coexist with the right insight and strategy. Highlighting the implications of inflation and the significance of surpassing a 5% annual return, the benchmark of risk-free investments, to truly deem sports card collecting a fruitful investment. He advises on the art of acquisition — advocating for the purchase of cards at appealing values rather than market highs and outlines the advantages of buying in bulk for discounts without compromising on quality. Comparing sports card investing to traditional investments like real estate, employing real-life analogies to demystify the concept of value growth over time. Practical advice on expanding one's collection smartly, stressing the joy of collecting, the intricacies of trading, and the criticality of purchasing decisions on long-term investment outcomes. 00:49 The Essence of Collecting: Passion, Investment, and Skill 01:27 Navigating Inflation and Investment Basics in Card Collecting 02:35 Strategies for Smart Investing in Sports Cards 03:42 The Power of Buying Collections and Making Smart Purchases 08:11 Understanding the Market and Making Informed Decisions 12:28 Trading Cards: The Social Aspect and Investment Considerations

Mar 22
1197 - Thumbtacks

We delve into the realm of sports card alterations, distinguishing between deceptive modern alterations and childish alterations from the past, such as thumbtacks or tape on cards during the 1950s and 1960s. While altered cards are indeed worth less, they should not be considered worthless. In fact, in some cases, an altered card could possess more value than a lower-graded, unaltered counterpart. We oppose deceptive alterations aimed at increasing a card's value fraudulently but acknowledges that cards altered innocently in the past hold a certain charm and authenticity. He further explores specific types of alterations including the use of tape, glue, and other materials, and how these affect a card's grading and overall market value. We suggest the market is evolving to appreciate the unique history and authenticity of such cards, potentially leading to a reevaluation of their value in the collectors' market. 00:12 The Closet Episode: A Deep Dive into Card Alterations 00:59 Understanding the Value of Altered Cards 02:16 Navigating the World of Card Restoration and Grading 10:09 Market Dynamics and the Future of Card Grading

Mar 20
1196 - Listener Questions about My Card Wall

He shares an interesting perspective on binge-watching his content, a habit he personally enjoys and believes adds momentum and enjoyment to consuming media. Viewers' comments spark discussions on various topics, from the binge-ability of his videos to specific interesting cards like the Vern Gagne wrestling card and a Lou Gehrig card inherited from his father, showcasing a blend of personal stories and hobby insights. Dr. Beckett reflects on the "Readers Write" tradition from Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, illustrating an audience connection over the years.  Looking towards future content, he contemplates creating more detailed videos and exploring eclectic card collections outside of his traditional Card Wall setup, to keep it fresh and engaging. 00:49 Binge Watching 01:27 The Card Wall 02:04 Reminiscing Readers Write Tradition 03:09 Wrestling Cards 03:52 The Legacy of Lou Gehrig 04:23 The Ken Griffey Junior Collection 05:38 The Charm of Zee Nut and PCL Cards 06:13 The SMU Connection and High School Cards 08:00 Eskimo Pie Cards 09:19 Exploring Obscure and Eclectic Cards

Mar 18
1195 - Listener Questions on YouTube Hobby Box Reveals

An array of listener questions and feedback originating from his YouTube channel, where he shares box opening videos. We touch on topics like the appreciation for the artistic effort behind sports card sets, notably Court Kings basketball, and shares his personal experiences and surprises from opening high-value card boxes, including a memorable 2003-04 SP Authentic hobby box that yielded a Michael Jordan Significant Signatures card. Additionally, the complexities of collecting are explored through Beckett's own collecting habits, the concept of 'loaded' boxes, and the emotional dimension of whether to keep or sell high-value cards. He also deliberates on the cultural and financial considerations that influence soccer card collecting globally. Further he pays tribute to the unseen graphic designers who contribute significantly to the aesthetics of sports cards. The episode encapsulates the multifaceted nature of sports card collecting, combining practical insights, personal anecdotes, and viewer engagement to provide a comprehensive look at the hobby. 00:57 Appreciating the Artistry in Sports Cards 01:35 The Emotional Rollercoaster of Card Collecting 02:24 The Soccer Card Market and Sticker Collecting 03:33 The Thrill of Finding Valuable Cards 04:47 The Definition of a 'Loaded' Box 05:51 Reflecting on Missed Opportunities 07:55 The Collector vs. Investor Dilemma

Mar 15
1194 - Listener Questions on RC Ramblings

Dr. Beckett reflects on his previous discussions with Victor Roman on the RC Ramblings episodes, delving into the nuances of what constitutes a 'junk wax' product and the transformative impact of grading on card values. Listeners are introduced to eclectic collecting preferences, like pursuing pre-rookie cards and the distinctions between pack-pulled and other types of cards. The discussion also touches on the significant influence of money in the hobby, suggesting that chaos in card categorizations can lead to financial gains for those with hard-earned knowledge. The debate continues over what should be considered a rookie card, given differences in distribution methods, such as Topps Tiffany's and vending box issues. Dr. Beckett shares a personal anecdote about his collection downsizing strategy, emphasizing a focus on reducing volume over financial gains. The conversation shifts to the evolving semantics surrounding rookie cards, the changing landscape of card availability due to digital advancements, and the ongoing debate over regional exclusivities and their impact on card values. Towards the end, the episode tackles the criteria for defining the 'best' rookie card, including the timing of release and its implications for collectors. Dr. Beckett advocates for clear guidelines in defining rookie cards, despite the challenges posed by the hobby's evolution. The episode concludes with a reaffirmation of the importance of reasonable structures in understanding rookie cards, alongside a nod to the global expansion of the hobby. Dr. Beckett thanks Victor Roman for his contributions and promises more discussions in forthcoming episodes, emphasizing a commitment to clarity and structure amidst the hobby's intricacies. 01:23 Insights on Junk Wax and Grading 02:22 Exploring Pre-Rookie Cards 03:12 The Impact of Money on the Hobby 04:55 Debate on Topps Tiffany's and Vending Box Cards 06:40 The Semantics of Rookie Cards 07:47 The Evolution of Card Availability 08:25 Geographic Boundaries and Card Definitions 10:18 The Importance of Card Issuance Timing

Mar 13
1193 - Nine Listener Questions 7.0

A wide array of listener questions are addressed, covering topics from the intricacies of trading on COMC, spotting celebrities on sports cards, to the aesthetic considerations of slab uniformity in collections. Discussions extend to the impact of personalities like Jeremy Lee on the sports card content atmosphere, alongside an insightful exploration into the collector mentality through an anthropological lens provided by a college survey project from Hannah Torres. Survey at: https://csuci.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3pXDdrIeP041ErQ   Additionally, the episode navigates the nuances of the PSA and SGC acquisition, shedding light on its implications for the sports card industry, and reflects on the essence of promoting the hobby versus self-promoting, underscoring the importance of fostering a positive community around the hobby. 01:08 COMC Haggling? 02:32 Spotting Celebrities in Card Backgrounds 03:23 Addressing Negativity in the Hobby 04:31 The Uniformity of Slabs in Sets 05:49 Hannah Torres' Anthropological Study on Collecting 08:36 Addressing Criticism on Self-Promotion 09:31 Speculations on the PSA SGC Acquisition

Mar 11
1192 - Dueling Questions with Joe Orlando, Part 3

The final part of this insightful and engaging conversation, we reflect on the evolution of card manufacturing since the 1980s and discuss the potential impacts of ongoing changes within the sector. A primary topic of discussion is the entry of Fanatics into the industry, and the potential for it to positively impact the sector if handled correctly, despite recent consolidation at the manufacturer level. However, we stress the importance of attracting more collectors, rather than just boosting card production, to ensure long-term growth and sustainability of the hobby. Meanwhile, we caution new companies against focusing solely on financial returns, and instead highlight the significance of embracing the love and passion for card trading. The conversation also includes a look at the rising participation of younger fans, as well as the challenging transitions companies face when going public, which is a potential path for Fanatics. The speakers nostalgically reflect on their personal connections with card collecting, before offering their perspective on the industry's power structures, arguing that a duopoly could prove to be more formidable than monopoly or single dominant entity. Lastly, they propose an untapped growth area within the hobby: the music, celebrity, and entertainment sector, which they believe could attract a broader demographic and instill a deep sense of nostalgia, similar to sports. They suggest that companies like Fanatics could leverage their marketing prowess to create structured collectables centered around musicians and actors, potentially fuelling a ten-fold growth in this niche. The conversation is a deep dive into the complexities, challenges, and opportunities within card and collectibles market, underscoring the need to balance profit motives with the core joy and love of collecting. 00:00 The Evolution of Card Manufacturing 00:20 The Impact of Fanatics on the Industry 00:48 The Importance of Growing the Collector Base 01:10 The Role of Fanatics in Expanding the Hobby 01:55 The Potential of Young Collectors 02:00 The Dangers of Overemphasizing Financial Returns 03:42 The Challenges of Going Public 05:41 The Origins of a Card Collector 07:21 The Dynamics of Monopolies and Duopolies 10:07 The Future of Collecting: Music and Celebrity Cards  

Mar 08
1191 - Dueling Questions with Joe Orlando, Part 2

We start with an exploration of our personal journeys through sports card collecting including their collecting methods and preferences, from set collecting to chasing color variations and autographs. They also walk through how their professional backgrounds have been instrumental in their contributions to the industry. Dr. Beckett possesses a Ph.D. in statistics while Orlando holds a law degree, both of which have offered them unique perspectives in handling their collections and understanding the market dynamics. Furthermore, the duo delve into the current state of the sports cards industry, emphasizing the constant innovation and experimentation which keeps it dynamic and interesting. Key business aspects including branding, universal acceptance, and reputation are highlighted as crucial factors that differentiate a major grading company or a major auction company in this competitive market. They also shed light on the essential role that auction houses and dealers play in authenticating and representing sports card products in the market. As key intermediaries in the value chain, these entities contribute significantly to customer education and trust building in the industry. Lastly, they reinforce the importance of brand recognition and provide insights into the interaction between grading entities and auction platforms, highlighting the symbiosis that exists between these essential industry players. 01:05 Collecting Journey and Challenges 03:18 The Impact of Education on Career 06:51 Appreciating the Current State of the Hobby 09:14 Defining Major Auction and Grading Companies 12:00 The Role of Dealers and Auction Houses

Mar 06
1190 - Out-Takes on PSA/SGC from Hobby Hotline 030224

Dr. James Beckett, alongside Hobby Hotline co-hosts Danny Black and Victor Roman, explores the repercussions of PSA's acquisition of SGC in the sports card collecting and grading industry, analyzing it as a strategic business move reflective of the hobby's trend towards consolidation. The conversation extends to speculate on potential future acquisitions by Fanatics and its impact on grading and market dynamics. We preview the introduction of a universal checklist and registry, discussing how it might affect collectors. The potential harmonization of grading standards between PSA and SGC, considering the historical differences and how it might unfold moving forward. Implications on set registries with the merging of companies are debated, pondering how such changes could affect collectors ranked within these systems. Dr. Beckett and his guests also ponder how these developments could sway the future strategic directions of not just PSA and SGC, but also Beckett, CGC, and Fanatics. 00:25 Discussion on PSA Acquiring SGC 00:59 Potential Business Moves in the Hobby Industry 01:35 Concerns about Market Dominance and Pricing 02:26 Consumer Confidence and Job Security in Grading 03:34 Speculations on Future Consolidations and Branding 04:03 Discussion on Grading Standards and Market Leadership 07:32 Potential Changes in Grading Scale and Standards 09:47 Challenges and Possibilities of a Universal Registry 12:21 Potential Impact of Fanatics and Other Big Players  

Mar 04
1189 - Dueling Questions with Joe Orlando, Heritage

Dr. James Beckett and Joe Orlando, respected industry veteran and former CEO of PSA, discuss the dynamic evolution, emerging trends, and future outlook of the sports card and collectibles industry. Touching on the exponential growth from the 1980s to the digital age, they delve into the significance of universal population reports and the transition from relational to transactional dealing. They express ambivalent sentiments about the idea of a universal registry system, citing the complexities arising due to it. The discussion also uncovers surprising trends in the industry, underlining the growing importance of tickets, photo matching and game-worn items. This conversation further explores the potential impact of universal auction listings on dominant companies like PSA and Heritage. Finally, emphasizing the collector's emotional attachment to the 'hunt' of collection, the dialogue ends on a high note considering the future shape of the industry. 01:04 Reflecting on the Past: The 1980s Boom 01:28 Regrets and Successes: A Look Back 01:46 The Impact of Digitalization on the Industry 02:01 The Evolution of Grading 02:27 The Pros and Cons of a Universal Pop Report 03:45 Current State of the Hobby 05:02 The Potential of a Universal Registry 09:15 Surprising Trends in Collectible Categories 11:18 The Future of Auction Listings  

Mar 01
1188 - Dollar Box Travels, with Rich Klein

We delve into the enticing prospect of attending the Philadelphia sports card show to graze through the dollar boxes in search of nuggets. We offer advice and insights to our friend Kyle, who is contemplating his own attendance at the show. We touch on the potential challenges of bringing back a substantial haul of cards from the show. Recognizing the limitations of luggage space and weight restrictions, we strategize various methods of packing and shipping cards to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. We stress the importance of being selective in our purchases, carefully considering the value and practicality of each card before adding it to our collection. Additionally, we explore the unique characteristics of the Philadelphia show, highlighting its vintage-oriented nature and discussing potential differences in pricing and selection compared to other shows. We encourage Kyle to approach the dollar boxes with a discerning eye, aiming for quality deals rather than sheer quantity to avoid overwhelming himself with unwieldy amounts of cards. We share personal anecdotes, reflecting on our own experiences attending card shows and the joys and challenges that accompany them. Our main objective is to equip Kyle with the knowledge and wisdom gained from our own journeys, hoping to spare him from potential mistakes and inspire him to make the most of his own card show adventure.

Feb 28
1187 - 2023-24 Panini Prizm Premier League Soccer Box Analysis

We begin with sharing thoughts on soccer as a collectable sport and its potential to rise in popularity. We dissect the concept of a 'flagship' brand using Panini Prism as an example and discuss the importance of base sets in a flagship product, especially with the existence of numerous parallels in Panini Prism products. Thereafter the dilemma of choosing between soccer and "football" cards and the impact of secondary market forces on sports card value, highlighting the influence of the quality of rookie crops. Discussing his method of evaluating sports cards. I admit generally not looking up base veterans, but focusing on the more valuable cards such as autographs, game used relics, low serial number, and exotic inserts. While unpacking also drawing notable observations about packaging trends. Finally a (soft) personal critique of "silver" prisms and that the last card in the last pack was the autograph!  Concludes by expressing hope for soccer's future prominence in the world of sports card collecting. 00:51 Understanding the Concept of Flagship Brands 02:03 The Dilemma of Choosing Between Sports 02:54 The Impact of Market Forces on Card Value 05:29 Unboxing and Evaluating Soccer Cards 06:02 The Strategy of Sorting and Valuing Cards 08:13 Thoughts on Silver Prisms and Autograph Cards  

Feb 26
1186 - Odds and Bronny

We delve into the concept of odds and probability, particularly in the realm of sports card investments. As a trained statistician, Dr. Beckett emphasizes that the notion of probability is seldom a coin flip, direct 50-50 scenario.  He cautions against irrational optimism and stresses informed decision making while investing in sports cards. Focusing on basketball prodigy Bronny James, son of LeBron James, he alerts investors to the risk of overvaluing a player's sports cards due to their pedigree, instead of their on-court performance. He further articulates his informative perspective on the unpredictable nature of sports card market, underlining the influence of changes in odds, collector (and bettor) perceptions, and fluctuating player performance on card prices. In closing Dr. Beckett predicts that Bronny is highly unlikely to be an NBA All-Star, which may already be optimistically baked into his asking prices. Be careful. 00:35 Understanding Odds in Sports 00:56 LeBron and Bronny: A Comparative Analysis 01:52 The Betting World and the Concept of 50-50 Odds 03:17 The Impact of Odds on Sports Card Market 04:44 Bronny's Potential in NBA and Card Market 05:57 The Risk of Betting on Bronny's Success  

Feb 23
1185 - 2023 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Hobby Box

Details of the 2023 Goodwin Champions Hobby Box by Upper Deck. The product includes a mix of different sports cards, establishing an eclectic appeal, and each pack of 18 cards is configured with the middle card usually the best. The set is suitable for ages 14 and up, which may be due to the educational component provided by the inclusion of historical and non-sports cards. He talks about base cards, which he compares to car models, where the base is the low-end, and parallels, special cards, or inserts are akin to higher-end models, letting the quality of the special cards pop against the simpler base design. He discusses unique facets of the pack, such as the tricky odds listed and the presence of 'decoys' or blank cards. He also describes the intriguing physical differences in the thickness of different packs. Dr. Beckett further expands on how he believes the product should primarily allure the buyers for its unique elements rather than just the base cards, highlighting how this product affects different platforms in the card industry marketplace such as price guides, marketplaces, grading services, and others. Lastly, he scrutinizes how other major players in the card world, including Panini and Fanatics, should learn from what Upper Deck has achieved with this product, and how post-production quality control could be ensured through focus groups. He appreciates the eclectic aesthetic and the interesting variety of cards that live up to the Goodwin Champions brand. 00:42 Packaging and Card Placement Insights 01:14 Age Recommendation and Educational Component 02:23 Base Card Design and Comparison with Luxury Cars 03:55 Multi-Sport Sets and Player Selection 04:12 Hits, Rookie Cards, and Licensing 04:57 Pack Odds and Decoys 05:34 Thick Packs vs Thin Packs 06:42 The Eclectic Nature of the Set 07:31 Sponsor Acknowledgement and Market Observations 11:45 Final Thoughts and Thanks  

Feb 21
1184 - What Is a Sports Card? (with Rich Klein)

We ponder the question: What truly defines a sports card? We analyze a range of factors like material composition, size variations, and unique shapes that challenge the traditional notion of what constitutes a card. We question whether items like newspaper inserts, thick box cards, or even three-dimensional cubes can be considered cards. Furthermore, we explore the influence of intentionality, discussing whether an item's intended purpose as a collectible or its inclusion in a sports card set contributes to its classification. We acknowledge the complexities and blurred boundaries within the realm of sports cards.

Feb 19
1183 - Out-Takes on 10X-ing from Hobby Hotline 020324

Dr. Beckett engages during Hobby Hotline with Danny Black and Rich Klein about the concept of 10X-ing the hobby, specifically in relation to sports cards. They explore the recent news of Panini losing the UFC license to Fanatics and Tops, discussing the implications of this change. The conversation also delves into potential growth areas in the hobby, with a focus on women's basketball and college cards. They highlight the increasing popularity of women's basketball and the potential market expansion in the college card segment. Additionally, the acquisition of Press Pass by Leaf, showcasing the vibrancy and evolution of the hobby. 

Feb 16
1182 - Baseball Hall of Fame Mystique, with Rich Klein

A detailed discussion about the Baseball Hall of Fame and its unique significance compared to other sports hall of fames. The history of the Baseball Hall of Fame, noting its early establishment and the time advantage it had over other sports. The notion of relatability, as the individuals highlight how baseball players are often more relatable to fans compared to players in other sports. In the card collecting world, induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame seems to have a greater impact on values. We discuss the varying collectibility of players in different sports hall of fames, highlighting examples of football and basketball players who may not have as much value in the collecting market. We touch on the subjective nature of hall of fame voting and the challenges of evaluating players' qualifications. The positional aspects of baseball don't translate as well to football or basketball, which influences the perception of hall of fame worthiness. There's a special aura surrounding baseball and the unique experience of visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, evoking a sense of nostalgia and stepping back in time. We address the public nature of hall of fame voting in baseball, highlighting the transparency that comes with each ballot being made public. The speakers discuss the potential impact of online writers and their more intuitive approach to evaluating players, as well as the evolving qualifications to become a voter. Controversial figures such as Pete Rose and players linked to steroid allegations like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are also touched upon. We explore the baseball hall of fame's strict stance on gambling, leading to the exclusion of certain players. We raise the question of whether the Baseball Hall of Fame's conservative approach adds to its mystique and garners more respect compared to other sports hall of fames.

Feb 14
1181 - Out-Takes on Grading from Hobby Hotline 020324

Dr. James Beckett engages with Danny Black and Mike Moynihan, discussing a conversation about the importance of grading in the sports card industry and the compensation of card graders. Dr. Beckett emphasizes the need for a skilled wage for graders, considering the level of knowledge and training required for the job. They also touch on the detection of fake autographs and the challenges that arise with popular players like Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. The conversation explores the role of technology in the authentication process, with mentions of micro dots and DNA detection. We conclude with a discussion about the recurring battle against fraud in the sports card market and the importance of maintaining integrity in this great hobby we all love. 

Feb 12
1180 - Celebrities and Cards (Taylor Swift?) with Rich Klein

A detailed discussion about the relationship between celebrities, sports cards, and the collecting hobby. It begins with a mention of Taylor Swift and how her presence has elevated the demand for certain sports cards, specifically Travis Kelce, Jason Kelce, and Patrick Mahomes. The positive publicity celebrities can bring to the hobby and the potential value of including combo cards that feature both athletes and popular culture figures. Referencing famous figures from the past, such as Spike Lee's presence at Knicks games and his inclusion in card sets alongside Michael Jordan. Exploring the idea of creating a dual relic card featuring Kelce and Taylor Swift. The importance of wider audience engagement and the potential impact of card companies like Fanatics in expanding into music-related cards. There's a variety of opinions within the hobby community, with some individuals expressing concerns about the inclusion of celebrities and the fear of diluting the purity of the hobby. However general agreement that broadening the audience and embracing the superstar orientation can be beneficial, as long as it is done with a level of care and consideration. Also touches on the impact of TCGs like Pokemon on the sports card community, speculating whether the rise of music cards and other entertainment-related cards might draw away collectors from sports cards. Despite these potential challenges, we trust the enduring nature of collecting and the possibility of coexistence between different types of cards. We conclude with a fanciful scenario where the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, and Travis Kelsey proposes to Taylor Swift during the celebration, suggesting the creation of a commemorative card for that moment. We emphasize the importance of storytelling and the connection between the hobby and collectors.

Feb 09
1179 - Panini 2023 Football Box Battle: Absolute vs. Phoenix

A review of two different Panini football card boxes: 2023 Phoenix and 2023 Absolute. I share my experience opening and examining these boxes, offering insights into their contents, prices, and overall value.  As a statistician, Dr. Beckett addresses the misconception of loaded or conspiratorial boxes, emphasizing that while the probability of getting a great card is unlikely, someone will eventually get it due to chance, rather than any special advantages. He also mentions the allure and fun of box breaks and acknowledges that his own preference lies somewhere between low-end and high-end boxes. We discusses various aspects related to the pricing of boxes and the factors that contribute to their costs and sale prices. He explains that the price of a box is determined based on the costs associated with its production, the history and brand value of the product, and the assets included within the box, such as autographs, game-used material, and special treatments on inserts. Dr. Beckett also argues against the notion that the price is determined solely by the cost of cardboard and ink, clarifying that serial numbers and rarity themselves do not significantly impact the price. Throughout Dr. Beckett delves into the card collecting experience, sharing his thoughts on brand continuity, package design, player images, and the importance of dual licensing from the Players Association and the leagues. He reflects on the challenges faced by companies in titling and categorizing their products, especially in relation to the years indicated on the cards. He mentions the trend of increasing the number of cards, creating a wide range of parallels, and explains that market research supports demand for more variations of player cards. Dr. Beckett also touches on the difficulty of tracking and valuing numerous card variations, particularly those associated with less popular or obscure players. He expresses gratitude to Panini for their contribution to the growth of the basketball hobby and acknowledges the need for responsible growth in the sports card industry. The script concludes with Dr. Beckett revealing that his personal preference leaned towards the Phoenix football box due to its larger number of cards, appealing design, and potential inclusion of a player that he may consider displaying on his wall. However, he acknowledges the subjective nature of individual preferences in card collecting and emphasizes the importance of enjoying the hobby, opening boxes, and finding joy in the process.

Feb 07
1178 - Out-Takes on Strongsville and Grading from Mike Moynihan

Mike had an agenda for our time together - a good agenda!  So easy to talk about the hobby we love with kindred spirits - thanks Mike - feed the Beast!

Feb 05
1177 - My 2024 Football Card Hall of Fame Ballot

The first class of ten cards were elected last year - the 45 cards under consideration this year are also outstanding - outstanding players and outstanding cards - see how I voted - and be sure to vote for yourself before February 6th - search for football card hall of fame - it's easy.

Feb 02
1176 - Out-Takes on Shows and Cleveland National from Mike Moynihan

Mike Moynihan asked me to guest on his Golden Age of Cardboard and YouTube channels - we obvious share a love of vintage - he asked me some great questions!  Thanks Mike.  If you love vintage, subscribe to whatever Mike puts out!

Jan 31
1175 - Recap: Podcasts 1151-1174

Recapping the last eight weeks of podcasts covering the holiday seasons of Christmas and New Year's and much more - lots of content in case you missed some - thanks!

Jan 29
1174 - Out-Takes on Cleveland from John Newman's Sports Card Nation

John has never been to Cleveland - he is in for a treat - he's driving and will take in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when he comes for the National this summer.  Great baseball town too with lots of serious collectors!

Jan 26
1173 - Out-Takes from Hobby Hotline 010624

This Hobby Hotline quarterbacked by Adam Palmer and also featuring Rich Klein and myself was fast moving covering many topics quickly as is the nature of that show - you should subscribe!

Jan 24