ITG Signs Exclusive Agreement with Artist Jared Kelley

Do you not know who Jared Kelley is? Well you should.

Have you seen those amazing U.S. President cards from 2011 Goodwin Champions by Upper Deck? The ones that are hand painted on the cards? That’s Jared Kelley’s work. Simply put, those cards are amazing looking and sell for a pretty penny on the secondary market.

Well Dr. Price over at In The Game trading cards has signed an exclusive agreement with Jared Kelley for Sport Kings and ITG trading cards. His first assignment with Dr. Price’s companies will be with Sports Kings Series E which will release in the spring of 2012.

So if you are into the beautiful artwork that Jared Kelley does, look for more of his work coming out soon in trading cards by ITG/Sport Kings.

October 2011 Sports Card Releases

As has become a monthly thing, here are the sports card releases for October 2011. Prices and release dates are subject to change. If you’re new, the rating is just based on my personal excitement level for the product coming out.

Baseball:

2011 Bowman Chrome – October 19, 2011 – $67 – 7/10

The biggest prospecting product comes out providing collectors with some of the most sought after rookie autographs of the season. If you are a prospector, this is your World Series right here.

2011 Leaf Metal Draft – October 10, 2011 – $86 – 6/10

An interesting move by Leaf to put this product out at the same time as Bo-Chro. 6 autographs per box including possible autographs of the newly signed Ichiro Suzuki!

2011 Topps Finest – October 12, 2011 – $95 – 9/10

This looks to be one of the best baseball products of the season, in my opinion. Newly updated set with no more manufactured patches, I’m excited to see what Topps can do with this product.

2011 Topps Update & Hightlights – October 5, 2011 – $58 – 6/10

The Topps update set featuring all the trades, new rookies, and a season recap. Nothing earth shattering, but it’s good to pick up a few base rookies before next season.

Football:

2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia – October 19, 2011 – $150 – 8/10

One of the coolest products with some of the nicest memorabilia and autograph pieces of the season.

2011 Panini Certified – October 26, 2011 – $94 – 7/10

Lots of rookies, lots of autographs, and some nice memorabilia pieces, this is a favorite for collectors every season.

2011 Panini Crown Royale – October 12, 2011 – $94 – 9/10

One of my favorite products across all sports, I love Crown Royale’s die cut design and I love the Rookie Silhouettes subset. Definitely a must buy for me.

2011 Topps Chrome – October 26, 2011 – $65 – 7/10

The Topps flagship set with chrome technology. With tons of great refractors and inserts sets, it’s definitely a better buy for me then regular Topps.

2011 Topps Gridiron Legends – October 12, 2011 – $77 – 8/10

Featuring some of the best legends of the game including some future legends and rookies, this looks to be a product with a ton of different possibilities when it comes to players and hits.

2011 Upper Deck College Football Legends – October 25, 2011 – $113 – 8/10

With tons of legends of the college gridiron, including over 20 different Heisman trophy winners autographs, this is a must have product for college football fans around the country.

2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic – October 19, 2011 – $110 – 8/10

One of Upper Deck’s most famous products is back featuring your favorite current players and rookies in their college colors. The patch autographs here are some of the most highly sought football collectibles of the year.

Hockey:

 2011-12 ITG Canada vs. The World – October 6, 2011 – $97 – 7/10

Featuring some of the greatest Canadian hockey players as well as some from around the world, this product is loaded with some great autographs and memorabilia for die-hard hockey collectors.

2011-12 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee – October 4, 2011 – $52 – 6/10

The biggest set of the year with over 600 cards is back featuring just a ton of different cards. Try putting this set together set builders!

2011-12 Upper Deck Parkhurst Champions – October 20, 2011 – $76 – 8/10

I really like what Upper Deck has done this year with this product and think it could be one of their better products of the season. Bringing back the Champs cards was a good idea and a solid checklist will make this a great product.

Basketball:

None. Basketball trading cards are taking a hit with the NBA lockout this season.

Other:

2011 Upper Deck World of Sports – October 11, 2011 – $75 – 6/10

I can see a slight improvement from last year’s product, which I really didn’t like at all. I really hope it’s more than a slight improvement…

Topps Signs Deal With Roberto Clemente

Well not Bob Clemente himself as he died in a tragic accident many years ago, but Topps has signed a multi-year deal with the Clemente estate to feature him on Topps cards once again.

In 2012 Topps products, you will find Roberto Clemente cut signatures and relics in several products starting with Topps Series I baseball. Clemente is added to the also newly signed Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

Roberto Clemente has remained highly collectible throughout the years and Topps is proud to bring you closer to this former Pittsburgh Pirates star than ever before. I really hope Topps does a nice job paying tribute to a great player who was taken away from us way too early.

Topps Prime 9 Hobby Shop Redemptions List

The final card of the “Prime 9″ Topps hobby shop program has been revealed.

Sandy Koufax is the last card in the 9 card set, only available at hobby shops if you pull any of these redemptions from Topps Series II baseball.

And here is the final list of the 2011 Topps Prime 9 hobby shop program.

The “PRIME 9”

Week 1 (July 19th) Johnny Bench, Catcher (redemption card #1)

Week 2 (July 26th) Albert Pujols, First Base (redemption card #2)

Week 3 (Aug. 5th) Jackie Robinson, Second Base (redemption card #3)

Week 4 (Aug. 12th) Derek Jeter, Shortstop (redemption card #4)

Week 5 (Aug. 19th) Mike Schmidt, Third Base (redemption # 5)

Week 6 (Aug. 26th) Hank Aaron, Left Field (redemption # 6)

Week 7 (Sept. 2nd) Mickey Mantle, Center Field (redemption # 7)

Week 8 (Sept. 9th) Ichiro, Left Field (redemption # 8)

Week 9 (Sept. 16th) Sandy Koufax, Pitcher (redemption # 9)

Panini Inks MLBPA Deal For Trading Cards

Wow! This came out of left field.

Panini America, the world’s largest producer of trading cards, has agreed to terms with the MLBPA to start producing baseball trading cards. This makes Panini the only trading card manufacturer with licenses in all four of the main sports in the United States.

The first product set to release is 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition which will release in December which will be followed by 2011 Contenders baseball. This product will include new Panini autograph signer Josh Hamilton will who be signing for Panini as well as featuring him on product packaging.

Honestly, this comes at a great time and I am absolutely pumped. Competition really drives the market here in America and finally having a licensed company compete with Topps is something great for the hobby. (I’d be saying the same thing if someone else got an NBA license too!) I like what Panini brings to the table and this should make Topps step up their game a little bit.

Welcome back Donruss. We missed you.