James Beckett (statistician)
Beckett earned a Ph.D. degree in statistics at Southern Methodist University in 1975 and then joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University as an Associate Professor. While at Bowling Green, Beckett began preparing baseball card price guides, which he offered free upon request.
Beckett price guides rely upon information from sellers throughout the United States, who supply information on customer interest and sales of products. Price guides typically carry two value labels, one based upon a high value, the other denoting low values. As the condition of collectibles is important in ascertaining their value, Beckett price guides also typically include a series of definitions for estimating condition.
In November 1984, Beckett began publishing Beckett Baseball Card Monthly. Rival publication Tuff Stuff was also founded that year. Beckett Baseball Card Monthly grew in popularity and became the basis for the success of Beckett Media, now based in Dallas, Texas. Beckett Publications produces price guides for a variety of sports collectibles and tracks market values for non-sports card collectibles (Beckett's Football, Basketball, and Hockey guides would start in the early 1990s, with Beckett's monthly Racing Guide following in 1996), such as Pokémon Cards and related products. Beckett retains a position as Senior Advisor for Beckett Media, but is no longer Editor/Publisher as he was during the 1980s and 1990s.
Beckett has three children from his first marriage. He is married to the former Diane Burgdorf, daughter of a Dallas car dealer and ex-wife of Sir Mark Thatcher. From time to time, Beckett attends some of the most prominent sports card and collectibles conventions held in various U.S. cities and is considered a celebrity within the industry.
- "Mark Thatcher's ex-wife Diane to marry £15 million American tycoon". Daily Mail. 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
- Beckett Fact Sheet
- "About the Author," Dr. James Beckett, et al., eds., Beckett Almanac of Baseball Cards and Collectibles, Number 8 (Dallas: Beckett Publications, 2003), pg. 10.