The man who helped bring order to the wild world of trading cards during an explosive period of growth was honored Monday in Dallas with an award named in his honor.
Dr. Jim Beckett, founder of Beckett Media, was given the inaugural Dr. James Beckett Industry Summit Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Summit, held in Dallas for the first time, is a gathering of national retailers, manufacturers, service providers, distributors and professional sports league representatives.
Former Dallas Cowboys great Drew Pearson and Lynne LaPlaca, vice president of Collectible Sales at Ultra Pro International, presented the award, which will be given to a hobby figure each year going forward.
“It is a great honor,” said Dr. Beckett after the surprise announcement. “You look at Drew Pearson and someone had to throw him the ball, someone had to block, someone had to call the play and he had to catch it. It was always a team effort. When Beckett was just starting out it was just me and then when I got great teammates it got so much bigger. I was part of it but I had a lot of good teammates.”
In 1984, Beckett began publishing his Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, a price guide for collectors and traders of baseball cards. Beckett Baseball quickly became the go-to publication for sports card collectors, and drove interest in the hobby to unprecedented heights. The magazine remains the cornerstone publication for the company, which expanded to include other sports and price guide annuals for sports and even video games. The company now offers its price guide services online.
“Dr. Beckett’s impact on the sports card industry goes beyond publishing and collectibles,” said Bill Sutherland, Industry Summit Director. “He was a visionary for the industry that saw the potential for both entertainment and business development around the world. The Industry Summit has grown and been successful because of his influence and his contributions at all levels of the business.”
The award presentation kicked off the first full day of activities at The Industry Summit. Also on the schedule are networking events with retailers from around the country, one-on-one sessions with manufacturers, insight from representatives from the world of e-commerce including eBay and Beckett Business Solutions, and on-site tours including the Graphic Converting facility used by Arlington-based sports card manufacturer Panini America.