Does Baseball Card Condition Really Matter?

t205 fairBaseball Card Condition

Does it really matter?  I mean, unless a card is mangled beyond recognition with pinholes from being thumb tacked to a wall, or cut with a scissor, or dunked in water?  What I’m talking about here is the difference in condition between a card that has the player’s picture intact and all writing legible, and a card that is in such mint condition that you could serve dinner on it.  Does it really matter?  If you’re a hard core collector and want a card for sentimental purposes.  Because you remember the pictures you pored over as a kid.  Because you remember the smell of the cards (and maybe the stale gum?)  Because you love looking at a player’s stats over and over and figuring out what their best year really was.  Or because the card reminds you of your childhood?  Does the condition between very-good and mint really matter?

Now if you’re collecting to have the best collection, in the best shape, and possibly for investing rather than really collecting, the condition differences matter, no doubt.  But when you think about some of the origins of collecting, when you think about how Jefferson Burdick cataloged cards, and even how some cards were pasted into books early on, did the condition of the card really make a difference?

The answer is, to me, that it makes a difference to some people, but not others.  You make your own call on how it matters to you, obviously.  I’ve made mine.

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Posted in Baseball Cards General, Card Value, Investing | Leave a comment

Jim Thome Rookie Cards – A Bargain?

1991 Upper Deck Jim ThomeJim Thome currently sits 8th on the major league baseball all-time home run list. And he’ll be moving up another notch shortly. With 604 homers he needs just six more to pass Sammy Sosa. Consider that Thome swatted 15 just last year in a mere 277 at-bats.

And look at the names above Thome’s on the all-time list: Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Griffey Jr., A-Rod, and Sosa. Pretty impressive list, no? And of those that have not been implicated in any illegal performance enhancers, you have just four: Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Griffey Jr. And Thome has not been implicated, at least credibly, to my knowledge.

Some of the names that Thome leads on the all-time list? How about Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Lou Gehrig, and Stan Musial. All of them Hall of Famers.

So, looking at the above, you might think a pristine condition graded Jim Thome Rookie Card would set you back several hundred bucks, right? Nope. Not even a hundred.

A recent check of completed sales on eBay shows that a BGS 10 Pristine 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition Jim Thome, #17F, sold for a mere $60 recently. Let’s take a look at a similar rookie card from one of Thome’s peers. Ken Griffey Jr. played in the same era as Thome, and his Upper Deck rookie came out two years before Thome’s (granted it was UD’s first set ever). So, what’s the price of a recently completed sale of a BGS 10 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr., #1? Oh, how about $961?!! That’s a $901 difference for those of you counting at home.

So, is Thome’s rookie card a bargain, selling for around $60 in pristine condition? All depends how you look at it. Baseball cards, like any other market, is just a matter of supply and demand. And Thome doesn’t have near the marketability that Griffey Jr. has or had. But, if I’m a Cleveland Indian fan, which I’m not, I’m thinking that the going price for this card is pretty good. I mean, look at the company he is in on the all-time list.

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Deals on 2011 BDPP and Ginter

My wife told me about a deal she found on slickdeals.net, where Topps baseball card boxes were 50% off, plus free shipping on $50 or more.  So, even though I wasn’t sure if these were hobby or retail boxes, I couldn’t pass up the deal.

I ordered, and received just a couple days later, two boxes of cards.  2011 Allen and Ginter and 2011 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects.  Both turned out to be good purchases, in my opinion.

All told, I paid around $53 with free shipping. The Ginter box had 24 packs with 6 cards each for 144 total, and the Bowman box had 16 packs with 8 cards each for 128 total.   They were retail boxes, but each box included “hits”.  (The retail Ginter box cost $35, and it is still $72 on mlb.com and $50 on amazon.com – both retail).

Joey Votto 2011 AGIn the Ginter box, we picked up a game-used Joey Votto bat memorabilia card, plus several parallels.   In the Bowman box, we got a nice auto card of Chris Balcolm-Miller.

The Ginter cards are always fun to open.  Especially when I open packs with my older daughter like I did this time.  She likes the insert cards like the Portraits in Penultimacy, Minds That Made The Future and in particular any of the cards that feature animals.  I put nine of these cards into a sleeve page for her.  Her first collectible cards.

So as my older daughter, 3 1/2 years old, and I were opening the packs, my younger daughter, 18 mos., walked in.  We said she was too young to open packs right now, but when she got older she could help.

Well, she told us.  After she left the room, I left the room as well to tend to something in the kitchen.  My older daughter ran in not a minute later to tell me that her sister had gotten into the cards.   I mistakenly left the cards in the box on the floor.

I walked into the living room, to find all of the cards on the floor with her sitting on top of them, “swishing” them around in circles with her hands.  I had to laugh.  If I had a Pacquio auto in that bunch, it might not have been quite as funny.

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Posted in Baseball Card Boxes, Baseball Cards General, Deals | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hey Readers…….

Hey readers, I apologize that I have not been updating this blog more frequently.  I owe some of you The Baseball Card Report which is being finalized.  I also owe some of you A&G cards which I will mail out as soon as I can find the time.  Things have been quite busy.  So I read that you’re not supposed to write posts apologizing for not posting.  But I felt I had to let you guys know that I will be back posting to Card Collector Universe more frequently as soon as things slow down a bit.   Hope you all got your Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects!

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World Series Champion Impact on Card Value

Would you think that winning the World Series would affect the value of a player’s baseball cards?  Would you think that Albert Pujols’ cards would increase in value, once he and his Cardinals brethren won the World Series?

My gut reaction to those questions would be yes.  The fanfare associated with becoming World Series Champion would have some affect on a Cardinal player’s baseball card values wouldn’t it.  Well, that answer isn’t so clear.  From looking at recent sales, it’s not clear that there has been any impact whatsoever on St. Louis Cardinal player’s card values.  In particular, Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols baseball cards do not seem to have hit higher values post-World Series than they did before the World Series, in general.

Has this been your experience?  Or have you seen an uptick in the price of Cardinal’s cards?  Please let us know what you’ve seen.  Thanks!

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Posted in Card Value | 2 Comments

2011 World Series Game 1 Starters

Your probable 2011 World Series Game 1 starting pitchers will be C.J. Wilson for the Rangers pitching in St. Louis against Chris Carpenter.  Here are some of the best cards to collect of each of these World Series starters.

C.J. Wilson – Most of Wilson’s cards are very affordable for serious collectors.  If he performs well and the Rangers win the Series, that will no longer be the case.  At least for a certain period of time after the Series ends.  Here are three cards to collect right now.

2003 Bowman’s Best Autograph – A little more expensive than most of Wilson’s cards, but not a sky high price by any means.  You should be able to pick up this card for under $50.

2003 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor Numbered to 130 – If you’re looking for the prospect, draft pick and rookie cards to own, and you want a numbered card, check out this X-Fractor.  It’s numbered to 130 and shows Wilson as a young Texas Ranger.  You can find this card for around $25 right now.

2011 Topps Chrome Red Refractor Numbered to 25 - If you’re looking for a numbered card, this one just might be for you, especially if you’re on a budget.  You can purchase this card for probably under $10 right now.

Chris Carpenter – Carpenter’s been an ace on this staff for a while, so his elite cards won’t come cheap.

1999 SkyBox Century Autograph Numbered to 50 – This card, although it shows Carpenter in his original team’s uniform – the Blue Jays, will still not be affordable for many collectors. It would cost you somewhere near $100.  (The non-numbered version will cost you much less).

 2011 Topps Marquee Titanic Threads Patch – A nice card of Carpenter, with his current team, and a big juicy patch of jersey and lettering.  It’s numbered to only 5, so you won’t have many opportunities to purchase this, and it will cost you around $100.

1995 Bowman’s Best Rookie – This one’s going way back.  How ’bout 16 years ago, before Carpenter even broke into the big leagues.  Yeah, he’s wearing a Blue Jays uni, but so what?  It’s a rookie card.  And it will only cost you about $10.

 

 

 

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