Sports Cards Mania

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Nov 17, 2010
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So, I got one of the redemptions I've been waiting for since 2017.

The redemption was for a 2016-17 Kenneth Faried, patch auto, from Panini Noir. Panini Noir is a VERY high end product. As of today, that card might sell for $5-10 (hard to tell, as it appears they never actually made any). But had I received the card and sold it when the product was released, it was probably going to fetch $25-50.

Instead of giving me that card, they sent me a 2012-13 rookie auto from Totally Certified (a much cheaper product) for Tobias Harris. Now, Harris is obviously a better player, but the card I got is worth roughly $5-10.

That's the bullshit I'm talking about. These redemptions should be based on the value of the card when the product was released (you know, when you fucking bought the product, or submitted the redemption), not whatever it might be today.

Last week, they replaced my 2016-17 Panini Noir Spotlight Signatures auto, /125, IT4 (Isaiah Thomas, Celtics) with a fucking non-numbered 2014 Gold Standard patch auto of Nerlens Noel. Spotlight signatures is one of the grails from Panini Noir. Even today, the same card for IT4 in a Lakers uniform goes for $44, would have gone for north of $100 when I redeemed mine. The Curry one from that year, to /125, just sold for $6,000, and I get a Nerlens fucking Noel that nobody wants.

They also replaced my other IT4 from Panini Noir, autographed, prime color patch, numbered to /40 with a 2012-13 Panini Marquee auto of Paul Westphal numbered to /299, oh and all of these replacement cards have sticker autos. Panini Noir doesn't have sticker autos.

It's funny, they've replaced about 5 cards in recent weeks, but none of them are the high end cards (cards that have still retained value, like Jaylen Brown RPAs, DeMarre Carroll Logoman, etc.). Guessing I won't see those for years until their values come down.

There is another one on the way right now. A 2017-18 Justin Patton RPA from Panini Noir. You have no idea if you are getting the card, or a replacement until they show up. I'll keep you guys updated. That card now is worth $5-10. Had I sold it when I submitted the redemption, it was $50-100. I'll bet even money I either get the Patton, or a replacement worth $5.
You're better off just selling the redemption card itself. You're going to take a bath on the card 99%of the time.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
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Apr 12, 2005
38,493
You're better off just selling the redemption card itself. You're going to take a bath on the card 99%of the time.
Believe me, it's a question I've asked myself a million times over the years. The thing is, sometimes they fill the redemption quickly, and you get the money.

When you sell a redemption, you never get anywhere near what you get with the card itself for a number of reasons. The first being that collectors that buy high value cards know that there is a risk they never get the card from Panini. Second, with patches and autos, the quality of the auto and the quality of the patch matter, a LOT for value. Third, the numbering matters, cards #'d 1 or the last number or the jersey number of the player have more value than those that don't.

For example, let's say you get a Tom Brady redemption for an autograph patch #'d to 25. The cards numbered 1/25, 12/25 and 25/25 are worth the most. A smudged signature kills value, and each color added to a jersey patch adds value (mono color worth the least, 5 colors worth way more, etc.). You don't know the card number, or the quality of the patch/auto until you receive the redeemed card.

Yes, you don't run the risk of never getting the card, but you're probably looking at a 30-40% price drop by selling the redemption as opposed to the card, if you get it.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
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Apr 12, 2005
38,493
No, numbered cards that match the player’s number

Burrow 9/n, Herbert 10/N etc
Gotcha.

There's a guy out there that only buys Carlton Fisk cards numbered 27/n or 72/n. Back when I was buying regularly, every time I got one, I would email him that I was putting it on Ebay, and he bought every one of them.

There are a lot of "super collectors" out there like that who only collect certain things. For a long while, Andres Galarraga's cards were super overpriced, because there was a super collector that would buy every one of them that hit the market. There was a lot of speculation that it was the Big Cat himself in the collecting world. Likewise, there are a few guys that will literally blow you up if you post a 1/1, because they fight each other for them. I would never sell to any of these guys direct, even though they would hit you up non stop, because I knew in the end, they'd all be bidding against each other anyway.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
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Does Topps have the same issue processing redemptions as Panini? Waiting on a Trout redemption (see Post #1451 above) that I sent in about a month ago and is still listed as “Processing” on the site.

I know a month isn’t much, but @Deathofthebambino ’s story got me nervous.

Thinking it over, it probably took a couple of months or more to land the only other Topps redemption I ever landed — but that was an autograph card of Spencer Howard, so not exactly high stakes.
 

Traut

lost his degree
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Jul 20, 2005
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My Desk
Does Topps have the same issue processing redemptions as Panini? Waiting on a Trout redemption (see Post #1451 above) that I sent in about a month ago and is still listed as “Processing” on the site.

I know a month isn’t much, but @Deathofthebambino ’s story got me nervous.

Thinking it over, it probably took a couple of months or more to land the only other Topps redemption I ever landed — but that was an autograph card of Spencer Howard, so not exactly high stakes.
Over on r/baseballcards I’ve seen zero complaints about Topps redemptions. They seem to be pretty efficient about it. Plenty of complaints about things like quality control, sticker autos, shipping, print runs, and sets being delayed - nothing that I can recall on redemptions.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
38,493
Does Topps have the same issue processing redemptions as Panini? Waiting on a Trout redemption (see Post #1451 above) that I sent in about a month ago and is still listed as “Processing” on the site.

I know a month isn’t much, but @Deathofthebambino ’s story got me nervous.

Thinking it over, it probably took a couple of months or more to land the only other Topps redemption I ever landed — but that was an autograph card of Spencer Howard, so not exactly high stakes.
Yeah, a month isn't long at all, and I can say that every Topps redemption I submitted, I subsequently received. Surely, not in the time frame I would like, but compared to Panini, it's not even close. Topps is pretty good, and Upper Deck is good as well. For a Trout, I'd wait, it'll come in and it isn't losing value like these rookies that don't pan out.
 

Oil Can Dan

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Got my four boxes of Stadium Club today and did pretty well! I got a Carlton Fisk auto, a Torkelson auto redemption, and this Ichiro /15. I guess protocol is to immediately sell it but I kinda like it...

58896
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
38,493
Got my four boxes of Stadium Club today and did pretty well! I got a Carlton Fisk auto, a Torkelson auto redemption, and this Ichiro /15. I guess protocol is to immediately sell it but I kinda like it...

View attachment 58896
According to watchcount, that card just sold for $349.99, which means they underpriced it, because that was the "best offer" price.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/285066478622?hash=item425f49441e:g:IJIAAOSwMd9jj9Da&amdata=enc:AQAHAAAAsKBa0DY7eJeDoAJuo43BKVSpHk9vLbD19f+sgtptAtDUXQ1ArVny+nsRV5gNDdkrRgE9NIdmLHxhbCZnFV7L5iJsY7jrivc1K5Qx1AkwLd1U/WF/bTpK8cmdAmXGGDvOc9GMgs1iUgEPKC2nPQIDPxCl2NV+YXrOSylKfCiM/+i4RpuTj6Pb95HKDDE2a03VyEGlfJpwQyj4AX5RfmHLdKeA7IqR9Z0EQHLCJtxzHX1F|tkp:Bk9SR9SftaqiYQ
 

Tim Salmon

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Oct 24, 2005
3,095
I had weird collation in my five Stadium Club boxes. I ended up with 5 base Wander Francos and no more than two of any other RC. I also kept getting the same players over and over until the fifth box, when I started filling out more of the checklist. For example, I got six Nolan Ryan and zero Bobby Dalbec, Oneil Cruz, Tyler O'Neill, etc. There are bigger tragedies, for sure, but I can imagine it would be frustrating for set builders.

There were also some serious quality-control issues. I'm going to have to send one of my autos for replacement (Base Chrome Auto /25) because two of the edges are badly delaminating.

 

Oil Can Dan

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I had weird collation in my five Stadium Club boxes. I ended up with 5 base Wander Francos and no more than two of any other RC. I also kept getting the same players over and over until the fifth box, when I started filling out more of the checklist. For example, I got six Nolan Ryan and zero Bobby Dalbec, Oneil Cruz, Tyler O'Neill, etc. There are bigger tragedies, for sure, but I can imagine it would be frustrating for set builders.

There were also some serious quality-control issues. I'm going to have to send one of my autos for replacement (Base Chrome Auto /25) because two of the edges are badly delaminating.

That's messed up! Also it seems like it's a sticker auto but I thought SC all had on-card autos?
 

Tim Salmon

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Oct 24, 2005
3,095
That's messed up! Also it seems like it's a sticker auto but I thought SC all had on-card autos?
Somebody put the same card on eBay. There's less damage on that one, but you can still see it on the right side.

The base autos are on-card, but the Chrome autos are stickers.
 

staz

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Dec 2, 2004
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The cradle of the game.
Wonder if people get granular enough to use sources like Statcast and FanGraphs to guide some of their card investing? I picked up a 2021 Topps Chrome Aqua /199 A. Gimenez on the cheap ($20 vs. recent eBay sold of $36) because he was like 2nd in AL WAR for position players behind only Judge. But now thinking I may sell it when opening day approaches because, man his xWOBA took a long, consistent nosedive after a hot start.

Also picked up a spiffy 2020 Leaf Trinity jersey auto Jordan Walker because, you know, the potential for 80 game power.

Do people do this, or am I overthinking things?
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
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May 18, 2007
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Wonder if people get granular enough to use sources like Statcast and FanGraphs to guide some of their card investing? I picked up a 2021 Topps Chrome Aqua /199 A. Gimenez on the cheap ($20 vs. recent eBay sold of $36) because he was like 2nd in AL WAR for position players behind only Judge. But now thinking I may sell it when opening day approaches because, man his xWOBA took a long, consistent nosedive after a hot start.

Also picked up a spiffy 2020 Leaf Trinity jersey auto Jordan Walker because, you know, the potential for 80 game power.

Do people do this, or am I overthinking things?
Some people definitely do this. I think the vast majority of collectors probably just follow the trends they see in the hobby or a team or a player they like in particular, but I suspect people who spend a ton of money on this stuff or who really are looking at longterm business would use analytics to hopefully ID players especially among prospects or cheap players that might explode longer term. In terms of active players I think more people look for a moment where the player draws national attention and then try to sell.

To me, I feel the market is kind of irrational with players like Andres Gimenez (mid-market middle infielder) and that unless he truly explodes the value will never reflect like should for players of that talent level, so like...collect him if ya like him. Jose Ramirez is another great example of the market not really reflecting performance on the field. On the upside, it means you can drop $25-$50 and get a real nice Pedroia or Nomar auto, not a bad deal at all.
 
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Mugsy's Jock

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I always have looked at baseball card prospecting purely through the lens of whether or not they're going to make the Hall of Fame. If there's even a remote chance (which still catches any half-way decent prospect through their first or second year in MLB), I hang onto them... if not, they go to the common pile. I don't throw them out (usually), but they go in a box where I'll trade any of them as commons to partners looking to build sets. Recently, I pulled all my Fred McGriffs out of that box.

Until/unless Gimenez lands on a big market team, he's a common to me. Jose Ramirez, on the other hand, clears the bar.

I don't keep active collections of many who don't have HOF potential, but the ones I do collect include Nomar, Pedroia, and Danny Ainge. And Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod and McGwire. And now Tatis.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
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May 18, 2007
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All I'd add to that is that I think there is some element of targeting specific cards, sets, or styles that you think may age really well. Like in the parallel era, I feel like I'd put a premium on "color match" or legacy parallels or parallels that just have a much better overall look or feel than their counterparts. To be clear, I'm not in the parallel game for buying cards - but if I were, that would be my aim. So if I were looking at a 2022 Topps Andres Gimenez, this $2 red parallel of him that sold or one of the parallels Topps does every year (probably the Gold to the year) would be what I look at as I'd think future buyers would like to aim to those - or maybe the acetate /10 if I went for something rarer. The other way to go, which is much more subjective, is to look for unique cards or photography you think fans will come back to in future years. You see this a lot more in vintage than modern to be honest but there are cards that aren't necessarily rookies or rarer that hold much higher values because the photo or design stands out vs its peers. Like vintage wise, there's a reason that Peewee Reese's 1953 Bowman goes for like 10-15x its other contemporary cards and it's the iconic photo they used. More modern, I think of the immediate response the "One Last Dance" card from 2022 Topps Update got and the premium it sells for over other cards up and down the board.

The long and short of it is a big who knows, and I don't buy with the intent to re-sell any time soon, but if I'm prospecting I agree with Mugsy on the focus (money generally isn't made from "very good" players) maybe with some additional focus on getting cards that fans would really target down the line. What I've found when going through the years is that collectors are absolutely willing to pay that premium for the "definitive" card of a player or one that has a great eye appeal even if objectively it shouldn't meet that muster.
 

Tim Salmon

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2005
3,095
Wonder if people get granular enough to use sources like Statcast and FanGraphs to guide some of their card investing? I picked up a 2021 Topps Chrome Aqua /199 A. Gimenez on the cheap ($20 vs. recent eBay sold of $36) because he was like 2nd in AL WAR for position players behind only Judge. But now thinking I may sell it when opening day approaches because, man his xWOBA took a long, consistent nosedive after a hot start.

Also picked up a spiffy 2020 Leaf Trinity jersey auto Jordan Walker because, you know, the potential for 80 game power.

Do people do this, or am I overthinking things?
People not only do this, but take it further than I even imagined. Some early investors start with broad rules of thumb, like staying away from pitchers and rookies over 25. Then they use any advanced stats available to project major league performance and target Bowman Chrome sleepers. Some also take the stated pack odds the moment they're released, and then use them to estimate the total number of cases manufactured and the total print run for each card. Then they use that information to look for marginal value in team and player breaks. If they've gone that far, then they're also going to be using historical sales data to spot trends with individual players and across the hobby as a whole.

Some investors wait until a player has a solid MLB-track record and then try to buy in bulk at the nadir of a player's hobby relevance. On another forum, there's a thread with people are currently debating whether Vlad Guerrero Jr. is a good investment right now. Others are trying to project whether Tatis Jr. will recover enough from the PED taint to make buying low worth it.

Unfortunately, I don't have a knack for any of this stuff; I just know it's happening at my expense. I'm prone to eBay splurges due to intense FOMO. I want all the new Julio Rodriguez cards that come out. I didn't want them until other people wanted them, but now my love for J-Rod has reached peak-Pedroia levels. I can't rationalize spending, say, $700 for the latest J-Rod auto, but somehow I can talk myself into dropping $500 on spots in Mariners team breaks where I have a small fraction of a chance of pulling that auto. I was never very good at math.

The best insight I can offer is this:

1. Buy singles of players you want at a price where you won't have regrets if you end up displaying it instead of selling it. I've spent at least a couple thousand dollars on eBay box breaks, chasing cards I could have bought for much less. At the end of the day, I didn't get any of the chase cards, but I did end up with boxes full of cards worth less than the paper they're printed on.

2. If you're buying for investment, rather than personal interest, steer clear of unlicensed MLB products like Leaf and Donruss/Panini. They don't have permission to use MLB logos, which is important to a huge subset of collectors. Stick with Topps/Bowman products if you're looking at modern cards, and be aware that there's a ton of stratification even within that universe. For example, not all Bowman Chrome rookies are created equal, and having "1st Bowman" printed on the card makes a world of difference in terms of value (e.g., Blaze Jordan's 2021 Bowman Chrome Prospects card is his "1st Bowman"; his 2021 Bowman Draft Chrome card is not his 1st Bowman and has little value). A 2021 Bowman Draft Chrome Marcelo Mayer base autograph might go for $300-400, even though they're not numbered and plenty were produced. A 2021 Onyx Vintage Extended Marcelo Mayer autograph with a "1st Rd Draft Pick" inscription, serially numbered to 10 ... around $70-80.

3. Relatedly, rarity doesn't always equate to value. 1/1 printing plates aren't as exciting now as they were in the 1990s. They're visually unappealing and many collectors avoid them. Likewise, the market has become oversaturated with game-used relics. In the late 90s, I would have lost my mind if I got a card with a piece of bat or jersey from a player ... any player. Now, they're a dime a dozen (literally, in some cases). A Donruss/Panini David Ortiz relic with three jersey swatches and a piece of bat, serially numbered to 25, just went for $2.25 on eBay.

4. On-card autos are better than sticker autos. Both have value, but some collectors only want cards that the player physically touched, and sticker autos don't check that box.
 

staz

Intangible
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Dec 2, 2004
19,030
The cradle of the game.
I always have looked at baseball card prospecting purely through the lens of whether or not they're going to make the Hall of Fame. If there's even a remote chance (which still catches any half-way decent prospect through their first or second year in MLB), I hang onto them..
To me, I feel the market is kind of irrational with players like Andres Gimenez (mid-market middle infielder) and that unless he truly explodes the value will never reflect like should for players of that talent level
The connection between card value and HoF was discussed on a podcast I was listening to recently (possibly Cards to the Moon). My takeaway for investing was try to project HoF chances by tracking 1st and 2nd year WAR and (curiously) the primary position, with 'up the middle' positions (C, 2B, SS ,CF) given higher weighting due to a higher prevalence amongst current inductees. And forget pitching - which is a crying shame, and a rant for another day. That Maddux' RC PSA10 sells for $200.00 seems criminal. There wasn't really much discussion around big vs. small market, but that makes a lot of sense.

And Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod and McGwire.
It's crossed my mind more than once that one day, the perception of these players (and moreover, Rose?) could change drastically. Regardless of pop counts, Bonds could be a ridiculous bargain now.

The other way to go, which is much more subjective, is to look for unique cards or photography you think fans will come back to in future years.

What I've found when going through the years is that collectors are absolutely willing to pay that premium for the "definitive" card of a player or one that has a great eye appeal even if objectively it shouldn't meet that muster.
Before this past June, the last cards I bought were as a 14 year old in 1983. So, I'm hard-wired to seek a 'lone' RC, and the lack of a definitive RC in the modern hobby (for most players) confounds me. And I get the sentiment that the parallel multiverse is a feature, not a bug. But to then add subjectivity like eye appeal makes my head spin: compared to the 1975-1983 cards of my youth, ALL modern cards have massive eye appeal. Guessing these fine skills will come with more modern card experience.

Some early investors start with broad rules of thumb, like staying away from pitchers and rookies over 25. Then they use any advanced stats available to project major league performance and target Bowman Chrome sleepers. Some also take the stated pack odds the moment they're released, and then use them to estimate the total number of cases manufactured and the total print run for each card. Then they use that information to look for marginal value in team and player breaks. If they've gone that far, then they're also going to be using historical sales data to spot trends with individual players and across the hobby as a whole.

Some investors wait until a player has a solid MLB-track record and then try to buy in bulk at the nadir of a player's hobby relevance. On another forum, there's a thread with people are currently debating whether Vlad Guerrero Jr. is a good investment right now. Others are trying to project whether Tatis Jr. will recover enough from the PED taint to make buying low worth it.

1. Buy singles of players you want at a price where you won't have regrets if you end up displaying it instead of selling it. I've spent at least a couple thousand dollars on eBay box breaks, chasing cards I could have bought for much less. At the end of the day, I didn't get any of the chase cards, but I did end up with boxes full of cards worth less than the paper they're printed on.

2. If you're buying for investment, rather than personal interest, steer clear of unlicensed MLB products like Leaf and Donruss/Panini. They don't have permission to use MLB logos, which is important to a huge subset of collectors. Stick with Topps/Bowman products if you're looking at modern cards, and be aware that there's a ton of stratification even within that universe. For example, not all Bowman Chrome rookies are created equal, and having "1st Bowman" printed on the card makes a world of difference in terms of value (e.g., Blaze Jordan's 2021 Bowman Chrome Prospects card is his "1st Bowman"; his 2021 Bowman Draft Chrome card is not his 1st Bowman and has little value). A 2021 Bowman Draft Chrome Marcelo Mayer base autograph might go for $300-400, even though they're not numbered and plenty were produced. A 2021 Onyx Vintage Extended Marcelo Mayer autograph with a "1st Rd Draft Pick" inscription, serially numbered to 10 ... around $70-80.

3. Relatedly, rarity doesn't always equate to value. 1/1 printing plates aren't as exciting now as they were in the 1990s. They're visually unappealing and many collectors avoid them. Likewise, the market has become oversaturated with game-used relics. In the late 90s, I would have lost my mind if I got a card with a piece of bat or jersey from a player ... any player. Now, they're a dime a dozen (literally, in some cases). A Donruss/Panini David Ortiz relic with three jersey swatches and a piece of bat, serially numbered to 25, just went for $2.25 on eBay.

4. On-card autos are better than sticker autos. Both have value, but some collectors only want cards that the player physically touched, and sticker autos don't check that box.
This is some really great advice here - much thanks for sharing.


After walking 3 or 4 card shows, I find myself pulling a lot of Pete Alonso out of dollar boxes. Great start to career, still young, power bat, big market... buy more, sell or hold on Polar Bear?
 

Traut

lost his degree
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Jul 20, 2005
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My Desk
The connection between card value and HoF was discussed on a podcast I was listening to recently (possibly Cards to the Moon). My takeaway for investing was try to project HoF chances by tracking 1st and 2nd year WAR and (curiously) the primary position, with 'up the middle' positions (C, 2B, SS ,CF) given higher weighting due to a higher prevalence amongst current inductees. And forget pitching - which is a crying shame, and a rant for another day. That Maddux' RC PSA10 sells for $200.00 seems criminal. There wasn't really much discussion around big vs. small market, but that makes a lot of sense.
Pitchers are so much less valued. Autographed Chrome Rookie of CY Young Award winner Corbin Burnes can be had for $29 on ebay right now.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/134339153569?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=j4Krs-eARBK&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=jwZCXVRQQEu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Cy Young Award winner Brendon Webb autograph can be had for $5.50 on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/144797426764?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=WHHdtsgeTPi&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=jwZCXVRQQEu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Odds of any pitcher winning a Cy Young are slim to none. And even if they are an all time great like Pedro or Maddux their PSA 10 rookies go for $200 or less.

I think the key is to try an bet on fame or that some prospect becomes hyped like Tatis or Franco. Most players will be forgotten even before they retire. After they retire they become almost anonymous.

I was born in 1980. The shortlist of truly famous players in my life: Rickey, Griffey, Bonds, Arod, Jeter, and Trout. And Bonds and Arod are tainted with steroids. So really it’s Rickey, Griffey, Jeter and Trout. Guys like Ichiro and possibly Ohtani may belong here as well.

Basically 1 player per decade of all the cards that get made - you are betting on an extreme outlier. And unlike even when Trout broke through every rookie is mass produced and sleeved immediately so you may be stuck trying to pull an 1/1 or 1/5 or 1/10 for it to have real value. Base rookies will never be worth anything anymore.

For every Trout there are dozens of Grady Sizemores. A BCCG PSA 10 Sizemore rookie goes for $15 on ebay.

An even better outcome than Sizemore would be Carlos Beltran. A PSA 9 rookie of his can be had for less than $15.

You have next tier guys like Ortiz and Pedro who are close and very team famous.

And it’s hard because you have say a great player like Mookie Betts who plays in major markets. But he doesn’t do the media that guys like Griffey and Jeter did. Hell Trout doesn’t do media like Griffey did but benefits from having a record high sale of his Bowman first 1/1.

And there’s that Betts’ most similar player at age 29 is Shawn Green. Guys like Betts even at that age can fall off a cliff and into anonymity. A PSA 10 Rookie of Green is between $20 and $30.

I think the best advice is to buy singles you love. Even then it’s unlikely you will sell for what you paid for it. And if you are going to rip say Bowman it’s best to sell fast or hold to when they get called up.

I only buy Pedro and Ortiz because I love those guys. There’s some chance my grandkids recognize their names. And if you adjust for inflation there’s a chance they can hawk my cards for what I paid for them.

I collect cards. If I want to make money, I invest in either my business or municipal bonds.

If I wanted to try and make money in cards I would probably buy vintage of guys like Ruth, Robinson, Mays, Clemente, Aaron, Mantle, and Ted Williams. They are all dead and can’t do anything stupid. They have all achieved icon status and are bonafide great players. And there’s a chance their legend grows over time and the population of their cards decreases as people lose them, fires happen, or are otherwise damaged.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2, 2016
844
Hanover, PA
Pitchers are so much less valued. Autographed Chrome Rookie of CY Young Award winner Corbin Burnes can be had for $29 on ebay right now.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/134339153569?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=j4Krs-eARBK&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=jwZCXVRQQEu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Cy Young Award winner Brendon Webb autograph can be had for $5.50 on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/144797426764?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=WHHdtsgeTPi&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=jwZCXVRQQEu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Odds of any pitcher winning a Cy Young are slim to none. And even if they are an all time great like Pedro or Maddux their PSA 10 rookies go for $200 or less.

I think the key is to try an bet on fame. Most players will be forgotten even before they retire. After they retire they become almost anonymous.

I was born in 1980. The shortlist of truly famous players in my life: Rickey, Griffey, Bonds, Arod, Jeter, and Trout. And Bonds and Arod are tainted with steroids. So really it’s Rickey, Griffey, Jeter and Trout.

Basically 1 player per decade of all the cards that get made - you are betting on an extreme outlier. And unlike even when Trout broke through every rookie is mass produced and sleeved immediately so you may be stuck trying to pull an 1/1 or 1/5 or 1/10 for it to have real value. Base rookies will never be worth anything anymore.

For every Trout there are dozens of Grady Sizemores. A BCCG PSA 10 Sizemore rookie goes for $15 on ebay.

An even better outcome than Sizemore would be Carlos Beltran. A PSA 9 rookie of his can be had for less than $15.

You have next tier guys like Ortiz and Pedro who are close and very team famous.

And it’s hard because you have say a great player like Mookie Betts who plays in major markets. But he doesn’t do the media that guys like Griffey and Jeter did. Hell Trout doesn’t do media like Griffey did but benefits from having a record high sale of his Bowman first 1/1.

And there’s that Betts’ most similar player at age 29 is Shawn Green. Guys like Betts even at that age can fall off a cliff and into anonymity. A PSA 10 Rookie of Green is between $20 and $30.

I think the best advice is to buy singles you love. Even then it’s unlikely you will sell for what you paid for it. And if you are going to rip say Bowman it’s best to sell fast or hold to when they get called up.

I only buy Pedro and Ortiz because I love those guys. There’s some chance my grandkids recognize their names. And if you adjust for inflation there’s a chance they can hawk my cards for what I paid for them.

I collect cards. If I want to make money, I invest in either my business or municipal bonds.

If I wanted to try and make money in cards I would probably buy vintage of guys like Ruth, Robinson, Mays, Clemente, Aaron, Mantle, and Ted Williams. They are all dead and can’t do anything stupid. They have all achieved icon status and are bonafide great players. And there’s a chance their legend grows over time and the population of their cards decreases as people lose them, fires happen, or are otherwise damaged.
This is a great post, thank you. What I have learned from my time collecting is you sell the new cards (hype) and buy the old ones for collecting/nostalgia/investments.
 

Traut

lost his degree
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Jul 20, 2005
12,431
My Desk
This is a great post, thank you. What I have learned from my time collecting is you sell the new cards (hype) and buy the old ones for collecting/nostalgia/investments.
If I were looking to make a bet on something to flip it may be on Wander Franco. He is immensely talented, very young, has already been hyped and the hype has died down.

Of course his cards may never be worth their March 2022 highs or it may be 20 years before they hit those numbers again.

And if he had a great first half and his values spiked - I would sell as odds are he’s not Mike Trout.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 2, 2006
9,297
NJ
Pitchers are so much less valued. Autographed Chrome Rookie of CY Young Award winner Corbin Burnes can be had for $29 on ebay right now.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/134339153569?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=j4Krs-eARBK&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=jwZCXVRQQEu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Cy Young Award winner Brendon Webb autograph can be had for $5.50 on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/144797426764?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=WHHdtsgeTPi&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=jwZCXVRQQEu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Odds of any pitcher winning a Cy Young are slim to none. And even if they are an all time great like Pedro or Maddux their PSA 10 rookies go for $200 or less.

I think the key is to try an bet on fame or that some prospect becomes hyped like Tatis or Franco. Most players will be forgotten even before they retire. After they retire they become almost anonymous.

I was born in 1980. The shortlist of truly famous players in my life: Rickey, Griffey, Bonds, Arod, Jeter, and Trout. And Bonds and Arod are tainted with steroids. So really it’s Rickey, Griffey, Jeter and Trout. Guys like Ichiro and possibly Ohtani may belong here as well.

Basically 1 player per decade of all the cards that get made - you are betting on an extreme outlier. And unlike even when Trout broke through every rookie is mass produced and sleeved immediately so you may be stuck trying to pull an 1/1 or 1/5 or 1/10 for it to have real value. Base rookies will never be worth anything anymore.

For every Trout there are dozens of Grady Sizemores. A BCCG PSA 10 Sizemore rookie goes for $15 on ebay.

An even better outcome than Sizemore would be Carlos Beltran. A PSA 9 rookie of his can be had for less than $15.

You have next tier guys like Ortiz and Pedro who are close and very team famous.

And it’s hard because you have say a great player like Mookie Betts who plays in major markets. But he doesn’t do the media that guys like Griffey and Jeter did. Hell Trout doesn’t do media like Griffey did but benefits from having a record high sale of his Bowman first 1/1.

And there’s that Betts’ most similar player at age 29 is Shawn Green. Guys like Betts even at that age can fall off a cliff and into anonymity. A PSA 10 Rookie of Green is between $20 and $30.

I think the best advice is to buy singles you love. Even then it’s unlikely you will sell for what you paid for it. And if you are going to rip say Bowman it’s best to sell fast or hold to when they get called up.

I only buy Pedro and Ortiz because I love those guys. There’s some chance my grandkids recognize their names. And if you adjust for inflation there’s a chance they can hawk my cards for what I paid for them.

I collect cards. If I want to make money, I invest in either my business or municipal bonds.

If I wanted to try and make money in cards I would probably buy vintage of guys like Ruth, Robinson, Mays, Clemente, Aaron, Mantle, and Ted Williams. They are all dead and can’t do anything stupid. They have all achieved icon status and are bonafide great players. And there’s a chance their legend grows over time and the population of their cards decreases as people lose them, fires happen, or are otherwise damaged.
Vintage is where it’s at. Or, my personal fave right now, 90’s inserts. Some are incredibly rare and there are many, many, many player collectors who pay top dollar for guys like Nomar, Pedro, Ripken, Griffey, Thomas, Gwynn, Maddux, and so on.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
7,425
Manchester, N.H.
Anyone else have some sports cards fun today? The better half hooked me up with a hobby box of Allen and Ginter. Nothing absurdly rare but a Jonathan Taylor auto is my first pulled A&G auto ever and a pretty nice non baseball hit, and the framed Ripken relic at least looks nice. Also avoided dupes on a lot of the subsets so I may try to build some of those now,
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
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Jan 2, 2006
9,297
NJ
Unfortunately no, though I’ll probably use some of the gift card money I got to grab some boxes off Blowout.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
7,425
Manchester, N.H.
Vintage folks, opinions are being sought here. I've talked a bit about this but it's getting to the point where some more major money or trading is involved and nearing completion, so I'm going to come a little too late and ask for advice thoughts on the remaining cards.

I am 154/160 cards into the Bowman 1953 color set picking heavily at Ebay lots and tracking singles for that right cost/quality mix with some other methods here or there. There are a handful of those 154 that are below my own self-imposed standard (the goal was to get a card that either has a graded 2+, would likely grade at a 2+, or if not, has reasonably good eye appeal to make up for it) that came at prices that were very good (the Berra/Mantle/Bauer, Rizzuto, Spahn, and Ford all are upgrade potential as the cards were just so cheap that I was okay with the condition being a clear A/1 grading wise - as well as some commons I got via a lot that may not be up to snuff when I get this completed). At this point, I have one relatively common high number left (Dale Mitchell) and then five of the bigger names: Mathews, Hodges, Campanella, Reese, and Mantle. So, from the people who have really dug into this before

A. On the cards I have, are there any I should be concerned with being less than legit articles? A handful of them (10-15) are graded and the rest are raw, and some of the biggest names I do have are raw (Stan and Berra most notably as well as some of the below condition ones above) - I know there was an '89 reprint run that just look plainly different, but was there a real market for other counterfeits that don't clearly label their reprint status like that? I don't intend on grading the whole set but I likely will end up getting some of the key cards slabbed at the very least.

B. On the cards I don't have, four of them shouldn't be too difficult or pricy in the grand scheme of things - but the Reese and Mantle have me worried a bit. Is there any history in the market of counterfeits on these two that should concern me on buying raw? I figure whatever Mantle I get will likely hit an authenticity guarantee on Ebay or, if at a card show or private seller, I'd probably only go for graded anyway. For context, if the Mantle is passable looking (ideally minimal obvious creasing and no stains, even some paper loss is fine) I'd be happy - but I am fussier on the Reese as I think that's the best looking card in the set. Any hints or recommendations in terms of finding one that is just right outside of stalking eBay and setting up a snipe? I feel like the card shows tend to rely on older book values that just don't hold up or are just way out there, so I've resigned myself online.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
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Dec 28, 2000
14,535
UWS, NYC
Pulled out a bunch of the boxed complete sets I’ve bought over the last 30 years or so, most of which I bought for my sons on their birthdays. Sadly, while both have launched, neither is yet living somewhere with enough storage to handle their 20 or so sets of cards, so they remain in the closet of one of their former bedrooms.

Anyway, going through the boxes I was horrified to see that an awful lot of them have been bricked, cards stuck together by years of northeast humidity. I’ve been very methodically trying to peel the stuck cards apart… generally reasonably successfully (not causing creases or tearing cards or pulling off any paper), but a smudge of ink from the front of the previous card is alomost always visible on the back of most of the cards I’ve separated.

The fronts look fine, and as I’m not really expecting these to be graded and sold, and we’re taking cards between 1980-2018 it’s not a major disaster. But a bummer.

I‘ve looked online for strategies to de-brick older cards, but it all feels either risky (freezer? Microwave?) a d/or super time consuming, like an archaeologist unearthing a fossil and these cards just ain’t worth that. Anyone here have any great ideas?

I‘m also considering liberating the complete set special exclusive additional cards from the sets… those are usually wrapped separately and not bricked. Is it dumb to separate those from the factory sets they came with?
 

Fishercat

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May 18, 2007
7,425
Manchester, N.H.
At some point, I think in the 90s, some card makers moved from the more traditional paper/cardboardy treatment to a specific type of gloss for non-Chrome type cards. Cards that used that gloss in that timeframe are particularly prone to sticking. In many cases it's a handful of cards that get bricked but in the case of boxed complete sets, with the really tight packing and materials used, it can turn into one massive block of cards. I think the Ichiro rookie set (2001 Topps?) was notorious for this in particular as was the UD 93 set the Jeter rookie was in.

I never found a great option for debricking. Personally, I think if I had something rather valuable in a brick I'd prefer to try manually going archeologist style to find that card, and maybe trying the freezing for the rest, but as I said...never had much luck.
 

saintnick912

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Oct 30, 2004
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At some point, I think in the 90s, some card makers moved from the more traditional paper/cardboardy treatment to a specific type of gloss for non-Chrome type cards. Cards that used that gloss in that timeframe are particularly prone to sticking. In many cases it's a handful of cards that get bricked but in the case of boxed complete sets, with the really tight packing and materials used, it can turn into one massive block of cards. I think the Ichiro rookie set (2001 Topps?) was notorious for this in particular as was the UD 93 set the Jeter rookie was in.

I never found a great option for debricking. Personally, I think if I had something rather valuable in a brick I'd prefer to try manually going archeologist style to find that card, and maybe trying the freezing for the rest, but as I said...never had much luck.
My few UD 93 cards were definitely in worse shape than any of the cards from the 80s and earlier 90s when I went through them all last year.
 

DanoooME

above replacement level
SoSH Member
Mar 16, 2008
18,781
Henderson, NV
At some point, I think in the 90s, some card makers moved from the more traditional paper/cardboardy treatment to a specific type of gloss for non-Chrome type cards. Cards that used that gloss in that timeframe are particularly prone to sticking. In many cases it's a handful of cards that get bricked but in the case of boxed complete sets, with the really tight packing and materials used, it can turn into one massive block of cards. I think the Ichiro rookie set (2001 Topps?) was notorious for this in particular as was the UD 93 set the Jeter rookie was in.

I never found a great option for debricking. Personally, I think if I had something rather valuable in a brick I'd prefer to try manually going archeologist style to find that card, and maybe trying the freezing for the rest, but as I said...never had much luck.
This trend really started in 1991 with Classic. They made their cards with that coating and with them being popular as an alternative at the time, it seems everyone started doing it. Classic sets are all like that, stuck together like bricks.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 2, 2006
9,297
NJ
The freezer can/will work - I’ve done it a few times with some older bricked cards with minimal to zero damage.
 

LoweTek

Well-Known Member
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May 30, 2005
2,108
Central Florida
Vintage folks, opinions are being sought here. I've talked a bit about this but it's getting to the point where some more major money or trading is involved and nearing completion, so I'm going to come a little too late and ask for advice thoughts on the remaining cards.
I turned up a 1952 Bowman, Red Sox Walt Masterson. Has nice corners and is very clean but it is like many from the era slightly off center. Let me know if you (or anyone else) has interest in this card.

52 Bowman Masterson Front.jpg52 Bowman Masterson Back.jpg
 

staz

Intangible
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Dec 2, 2004
19,030
The cradle of the game.
Thumbing through the Beckett vintage price guide (1972 Topps Baseball) and noticed there's a price difference between the categories "Common Card," "Minor Stars," and "Semi Stars" in ascending value.

Splitting hairs for sure, but...

A)Who decides which players fall into which category?

B) Is this a 'complete body of work' designation?
Chris Speier, for example, might have been considered a SemiStar at the time... but for his career, I may think he's only a "Minor Star."

C) Is there a published list, or are left to guess/debate?
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
38,493
Thumbing through the Beckett vintage price guide (1972 Topps Baseball) and noticed there's a price difference between the categories "Common Card," "Minor Stars," and "Semi Stars" in ascending value.

Splitting hairs for sure, but...

A)Who decides which players fall into which category?

B) Is this a 'complete body of work' designation?
Chris Speier, for example, might have been considered a SemiStar at the time... but for his career, I may think he's only a "Minor Star."

C) Is there a published list, or are left to guess/debate?
Ebay sets the market. The price guides are almost useless nowadays, especially with vintage, given grading, etc.

The best way to find the value of anything is to go to Ebay, and run a search for the card under "sold listings."
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
7,425
Manchester, N.H.
130point.com is a good resource as it compiles other auction houses with eBay and automatically pulls in best offer real values as well. Maybe a bit less useful for commons but it’s nice to have. I tend to go there when trying to figure out values on anything I buy over like…five bucks. To DotB's point, the auctions set the market and any time a seller posts a "book value" on their auction, it's wildly off from what it ends up selling for.

Edit: As a larger note, if you do go into years old auction house records, it's probably important to note that I feel auction houses tend to bring in higher values, card pricing is variable, etc. Also, oddly specific, don't quote yourself on what GMCards brings into (Greg Morris). I like them a lot as a seller but they have buyers who will buy at higher rates than you will likely see back for a variety of reasons. Also note the difference between buy-it-now/best offer prices and auction ones, some of the higher prices are cards that sat there for ages until the right buyer didn't want to wait or it fit their needs.
 
Last edited:

ElcaballitoMVP

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 19, 2008
3,813
Do we have anyone in here who's knowledgeable about Funko Pops? I recently won a giveaway for a pretty valuable Pop, but I know very little about them, their value, the market, etc.

Edit: It's a 2012 Mars Attacks 01 Glow in the Dark Martian
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

Red-headed Skrub child
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
6,736
Seacoast NH
Do we have anyone in here who's knowledgeable about Funko Pops? I recently won a giveaway for a pretty valuable Pop, but I know very little about them, their value, the market, etc.

Edit: It's a 2012 Mars Attacks 01 Glow in the Dark Martian
Follow @Deathofthebambino’s advice above. Did a quick EBay search and found this auction that ended in December for $1,200.