Dr. James Beckett was selected as the winner of the 2022 Jefferson Burdick Award, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the baseball card hobby, by SABR’s Baseball Cards Research Committee.
For an entire generation of collectors beginning in 1984, cracking open the latest Beckett Monthly was a ritual as exciting if not more than ripping actual packs of cards. Which new players made the Hot List? How much did the year’s most expensive rookie cards go up? Instant access to the latest prices, which almost always went up, rarely down, surely had its drawbacks. What collector of a certain age doesn’t regret trading away a prized Sandy Koufax or Henry Aaron for high numbers Todd Zeile or Donruss Eric Davis rookie?
After nearly four decades as the CEO of Beckett Inc., Dr. James Beckett built what can rightly be called a multisport hobby empire, one that today includes publications, grading services, livestreams, a marketplace, and a large, vibrant collecting community.
Click here to read more about Beckett’s career and legacy at the SABR Baseball Cards Blog.
Jefferson R. Burdick (1900–63) was a pioneer card collector whose invented classifications still govern the hobby; he donated his enormous collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it remains one of the most popular destinations for researchers. He created The American Card Catalog, the bible of the hobby, and tribute is paid to his lifelong work whenever anyone brings up T-206 or N-162 or other codes common in card collecting. To learn more about his life and legacy, click here.
To learn more about the Burdick Award, click here.
- On August 28, 2022, a virtual Jefferson Burdick Award ceremony was held via Zoom to honor Dr. James Beckett. Click here to watch a replay on YouTube.
Originally published: February 18, 2022. Last Updated: August 30, 2022.