Did the Internet kill Beckett magazine?

3 01 2008

A funny thing happened last week when I bought the latest issue of Beckett Baseball, #274. I found myself reading three stories in their magazine I had already known about for weeks. First was the issue with the Bowman Chrome Red Refractors that was old news on the Beckett message board, the other was the end of Bowman Heritage line, and the last was the unique backgrounds and messages in ’07 Bowman Heritage. So if some of the articles were not useful and the price guide long lost its supremacy to eBay then what is left?  Well, this is it.

Beckett Baseball will no longer be a monthly issue. Their only monthly release will be an all-sport magazine, similar to Tuff Stuff but if you are not into Golf and Hockey cards then you will still have an option for an all-baseball release but only bi-monthly. At first I freaked out at the idea of not having Beckett every month but long before this announcement came I had grown tired of their tiny section of articles and addition of a Nascar section. I hope this new direction brings in a new era for the #1 price guide publication on the market.


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6 responses

4 01 2008
Elon Werner

I can’t speak to the specific content concerns you raise about Beckett Baseball but I do think your point about the impact of the internet on Beckett Baseball as well as all newsstand print titles is dead-on. The web is where most information will be produced and distributed from now on. Again, not just at Beckett but just about everywhere else, too.

The good news is Beckett has embraced the web and is working on making it easier to collect on the web. Our biggest hurdle is there are not enough guys like you (internet savvy) collecting. Most collectors want to keep the status quo and talk about the good old days when there was a hobby shop on every corner.

They don’t realize that hobby shops are vital but the web gives the consumer so many more options and opportunities.

Yes, the print version of Beckett Baseball is changing but I think the bigger picture is Beckett Baseball is growing into a more dynamic product that hopefully will reach and introduce collecting to more people therefor growing the hobby and blogs like this.

Elon

4 01 2008
Mario C.

Thanks for your comment, Elon. I have always been a fan of your magazine. It is probably not as glamorous as it appears but being in the baseball card industry as a job as a collector is a goal I would like to achieve.

I will continue to support Beckett with my hard-earned money when the new format takes effect. I am very excited about the future of the magazine and I know despite my initial shock, you guys will never turn into Tuff Stuff.

15 01 2008
JT

I subscribed to Beckett years ago, probably 1987-1991ish. I also subscribed to the football monthly when it first came out. One of the things that attracted me to Beckett over Tuff Stuff and other offerings at the time was the quality of the covers and the articles. Like the Canseco cover you posted, they were simple. No “headlines” cluttering up the cover, plus there was a back cover, and artwork on the inside of the front and backs! For me, that was key. The articles were also cool, as were the “Hot and Cold” lists (back when they were player-specific, not card-specific). I still flip through Beckett at the supermarket, but I have no desire to pay for it. There’s no lasting value in the magazine anymore, nothing to bring me back to a six-month old issue. Maybe it’s just me, as a simple collector of low-priced cards, but Beckett doesn’t serve any purpose to me.

3 04 2008
Bartyboy

So starting in March 2008 Becket clones itself into TUFF STUFF… now if Tuff Stuff picks up the pace a little bit they can close in for the kill. All they need to do is add a few letters to the rag, and they’re in.

29 01 2009
Bryon

Tuff Stuff is free online but Beckett isn’t. I didn’t realize they didn’t have older cards in Beckett anymore. A friend of mine picked one up the other day and didn’t realize it only had newer cards in it. It said you had to go online to get older cards. I was like….what??? I miss the old days of Beckett and collecting cards. Now it’s all about inserts. Insert crazy they are. We use to laugh at Tuff Stuff, but I used it for my figurines, now I am going to use it all the time cause it’s free to download.

2 02 2009
David

I used to love the Beckett publications. I couldn’t wait for the latest issue of baseball, football, basketball, and (sometimes) hockey to hit the stands. My local shop in Tucson, AZ, clued me in to the release dates and I was always there in the afternoon to pick up my fresh copy. Yes, I could have subscribed, but I wanted to give the shop my business.

Beckett sold its soul when it started caring about junk outside of the big-4 sports. I never patronized shops that sold Beanie Babies, comic books, and Pogs – why should I read a magazine that comes from a company that can’t stay focused on sports cards?

The beginning of the end was the release of the bi-monthly price guides. This is an idea that never should have gotten off the ground. Then the magazines got smaller, and then the glossy pages disappeared, and now the magazines themselves are gone. And so am I – you couldn’t pay me to read a Beckett magazine.

Oh well … I lost interest in collecting sports cards years ago when the card companies got greedy and started basing everything on inserts. I hung on to my cards and still bought Beckett to stay on top of the hobby and help me determine what, if anything I should buy. No more …

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