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Recent High End Baseball Card Sales

February 16, 2009

2004 Leaf Certified Cuts Babe Ruth Autograph (1 of 2)
Final Sale Price: $8,766
Sale Date: Feb 8, 2009

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This card is distincitve in that the signature included on the card is G.H. Ruth, not the usual Babe Ruth.

2008 Upper Deck Signs of History Abe Lincoln Autograph (1 of 1)
Final Sale Price: $11,000
Sale Date: Feb 5, 2009

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1953 Topps Jackie Robinson
Final Sale Price: $10,009
Sale Date: Feb 10, 2009

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1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 3
Final Sale Price: $8,700
Sale Date: Feb 11, 2009

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Selling Baseball Cards – Part II – Five Factors Affecting Baseball Card Value

June 30, 2008

Five Factors Affecting Baseball Card Value

1)  Obviously the player in question is the first and foremost important factor when considering card value.  A card of Derek Jeter or Mickey Mantle will sell for more money than a card of Joe Girardi or Claudel Washington.  The longer the player’s tenure (and tenure with one particular team so that fans can identify that player with their team),  the better his statistics, and the more World Series he has won, are all factors that will affect the value of the player’s card. 

In addition, it helps greatly if the player has stayed out of trouble off the field.  We can all name players who have gotten into trouble with drugs and steroids, whose cards have dropped in value dramatically, and who may never be candidates for the Hall of Fame, even though they put up amazing statistics.

2)  Card Condition is extremely important when considering card value.  A card in mint condition will always sell for more money than a card in fair condition.  That’s just how the market works.  Mint before near-mint before excellent before good before fair before poor.  It also depends who has graded the card.  A card graded a BGS 9 might be more valuable than a card graded a BCCG 9.5. 

Minor imperfections in the card will not dramatically affect the card’s value.  An off-center picture on an older card, or a surface blemish, is much more easily overlooked than rounded corners, a major crease in the middle of the card, or even worse, a piece of the actual card missing.

3)  The rarity of the card could be the single most important factor, according to some collectors.  If there is only one print of a particular card ever made, it will bring much more money in the market than if the card is part of a normal distribution.  Think of a 1 of 1 signed Albert Pujols card.  This baseball card would sell for more money 99% of the time than a 1 of 200 signed Pujols card.  This applies not only to superstar cards, but to error cards as well.  The uncorrected Topps Jeter card with Bush and Mantle in the background.  The whiteout version of the infamous Billy Ripken card.

Probably the best example of a rare card causing a marked increase in value is the T-206 Honus Wagner card.  It is rumored that this card was pulled from production, possibly because Wagner objected to the use of his likeness to promote a tobacco product.  Some experts now estimate that there are only 200 of these cards in the world.  This card in near-mint to mint condition recently sold for over $2 million! This proves the impact on card value of combining the factors of who the player is, card condition, and rarity.

4)      Recent events will often impact a baseball card’s value.  If a player was just elected, or just inducted into the Hall of Fame, look for their card value to increase.  If they are just about to reach a statistical milestone, it’s a good time to sell that player’s card.  Some prime examples of recent events affecting card value are Ken Griffey Jr. hitting 600 dingers, Cal Ripken Jr. being elected to the Hall of Fame, the multitude of players implicated in the steroid scandals, and the Red Sox winning the World Series.  So, as you can see, both positive and negative events, upcoming or in the recent past, can have an impact on a particular card’s value.

5)  Which team the player is identified with will always have an effect on a baseball card’s value.  It’s particularly helpful if a player has played with one team for his entire career.  Think of Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn, who were inducted into the Hall of Fame together.   They will both always be identified with the Baltimore Orioles and the San Diego Padres respectively.  If Ken Griffey Jr. had remained with the Mariners for his entire career, it most likely would have had a positive effect on his card value, and in particular his rookie cards.  If you say Derek Jeter, what team comes to mind?  Only one,  right?  That affects his card’s value.    

 

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Albert Pujols Baseball Cards to Collect Now

April 15, 2008

Continuing the top 5 players to collect article, here are the top three cards to collect for number 2 overall on our list, Albert Pujols.

1)  2001 Bowman Chrome Autographed Rookie Card, Card Number 340

This is one of the most, if not THE most, sought after baseball cards of the modern era.  Beckett book value on this card in mint condition is $2,500.  This is a great card, no doubt.  Only 500 of them exist.  Just how sought after is this card?  Well, taking into account the book value mentioned above, a BGS 9.5 graded version of this card recently sold in auction for $6,000.  And there have been more versions of this card graded BGS 9 or above which have sold for over book value.   So, the question here is, IF you have the cash, is a $2,500 card a good investment right now?  That all comes down to what you think Pujols will do with the rest of his career.   His statistics to date are out of this world.  Can he keep it up?  Will he be the all-time home run king eventually?  Only time will tell.  What we do know, is that he plays for a team with rabid fans, and has only played for that team in the bigs, adding to the collectible value here.  We also know that there isn’t a better hitter in baseball today. 

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2)  2001 SP Authentic Rookie Card, Card Number 126

It’s one of only 50 cards of it’s kind.  The combination of this being one of Albert’s rookie cards, and the rarity of it, make it one of the best Pujols cards to collect now.  Book value in mint condition for this card is about $300.  If you can find the card in near-mint to mint condition, it will cost you, and will sell for, at least that amount.  It should only increase in value however.

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3)  2001 Upper Deck Star Rookie, Card Number 295

Not an autograph or special materials card, but a real nice rookie card from Upper Deck.  This card is somewhat more attainable than the two previously listed cards.  The key to investing in this card however, is to find it in mint condition.  If you can do that, you’ve got an investment that should increase considerably.  The book value on this card in mint condition is $60.  These cards graded in mint condition are selling in auctions for more than $100. 

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These are three Albert Pujols cards I would invest in now for future value.   There are others, to be sure, but these are three cards you should check out now. 

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Today’s Top 5 Players To Collect

April 12, 2008

Which of today’s current player’s baseball cards should you be collecting, if you are collecting for future card value?  We’re talking about guys who aren’t currently Hall of Famers, but will be several years from now.  Let’s look at a few of the players you should be considering when collecting baseball cards for value.  In a future article we’ll look at the actual cards of these players you should be collecting. 

1)  Derek Jeter– He’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer five years after he decides to retire, which may not be for several years from now.  Derek is the ultimate type of player whose cards you’d want to collect.  The captain of America’s most beloved baseball team (and reviled baseball team – but that’s beside the point), a World Series Champion, World Series MVP, great clutch hitter, excellent shortstop, and model athlete.  He’s only played with one team, and that team is the most popular team, arguably, in the world.  This only boosts his collectible value.  Add to all this the fact that you almost never hear anything but positive news about him, and you have the ultimate player whose cards you’d want to collect. 

2)  Albert Pujols– Playing his entire career, so far, with the Cardinals, another one of America’s favorite teams, Pujols has established himself quickly as one of the finest hitters ever.  He was the NL ROY in 2001, NL MVP in 2005, is a three-time silver slugger, and six-time All-Star.  He has never batted lower than .314 for a full season in his career.  (He currently holds a career batting average above .332).  Including his rookie year, his lowest home run total in a season has been 32 (in 2007).  Okay, we could keep going on with the stats but you get the point.  The guy is good.  Real good.  It’s why you should be picking up his baseball cards now, well before he’s enshrined in the Hall. 

3)   Alex Rodriguez– Why?  Because he’s probably the best all-around baseball player the sport’s had in quite a time.  If he continues on pace, he should become the all-time home run champion, if he can stay healthy.  His statistics are amazing, and he’s put up big numbers on all three pro teams he’s played with.  (The fact that he’s played for three different teams is a slight detraction from his card’s value.  After all, if you’re a Yankee fan, doesn’t having a rookie card of Rodriguez in a Mariners uniform take a little value away from the card for you?)  Don’t forget too, that he was the sport’s best defensive shortstop and he made the seamless switch to third base. 

4) Ichiro Suzuki– Speed and Average.  Ichiro uses those two tools better than the large majority of all current players.  He currently holds lifetime batting average above .330, and the least amount of stolen bases Suzuki has had in one season was 31 in 2002.  Ichiro has obviously played his entire career with the Mariners, and is the baseball idol of an entire nation in the Pacific.  You also never hear anything untoward about Ichiro on or off the field. 

5)  David Wright– Playing in the big apple, Wright has endeared himself to Mets Nation (if you can use that term).  Not only does he wield a hefty bat, with a career average over .300 and double digits in homers each year in the bigs, but he’s also flashed some speed, swiping 34 bases in 2007.  He has a good glove and is improving on defense.  He is also a big community contributor and the consumate team player.  Some would compare him to Derek Jeter.  That’s why he makes this list.  

That’s it, your top 5 players to collect, who still take the field today.  Stay tuned for the cards of these players you should collect. 

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2008 Players To Watch – Part I

January 10, 2008

Here’s the first in a four part series on young (under 25) major leaguers to keep your eye on in 2008. 

Nick Markakis

In his rookie season of 2006, Markakis swatted 16 homers, with 62 RBI, 72 runs, and a .291 batting average in 491 at-bats.  One year later he hit 23 homers, 112 RBI, 97 runs, and a .300 batting average, WITH 18 stolen bases, in 637 at-bats.  What will 2008 hold in store for Markakis? 

Russell Martin

As a 23 year old rookie catcher for the Dodgers in 2006, Martin hit a respectable .282 with 10 homers, 65 RBI and 10 stolen bases.  After one year of seasoning, he batted .293 with 19 homers, 87 RBI and 21 stolen bases.   A catcher who was one homer away from a 20-20 season?  Not bad at all.  Keep a close eye on this Canadian native who won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in the National League for 2007. 

Mark Reynolds

You might be saying, “Who?”  This 2007 rookie, who took over the starting job at third base for the D-Backs, put 17 balls over the wall in 2007 in only 366 at-bats.  If he gets 600 at-bats in 2008, look for him to hit close to thirty homers.  

B.J. Upton

Upton will be entering his fourth year of big league ball in 2008.  After hitting only one homer in 175 at-bats in 2006, he knocked 24 dingers in 474 at-bats last year.  Match that with his 22 stolen bases and .300 average last year and you’ve got a superstar in the making. 

Chad Billingsly

After the All-Star break last year, Billingsly struck out 83 batters in 92.1 innings pitched, with seven wins, and a 3.12 ERA.  The 23 year-old will be entering his third major league season, and will be a mainstay in the Dodgers’ rotation. 

Yovani Gallardo

Gallardo has 78 whiffs in 86.1 innings pitched last year, again, after the All-Star break.  2007 was Gallardo’s rookie season, and he made the most of it.  9 wins in 17 games started.  101 whiffs in 110.1 total innings pitched (most happened after the All-Star break as you can tell from above.) 

To answer the question of why you care about these 2008 players to watch, other than general baseball knowledge, it’s because if any of them have a breakout year you’ll see their baseball card values skyrocket. 

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Clayton Kershaw – Baseball Cards To Collect Now

December 24, 2007

Clayton Kershaw has been rated the Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect by Baseball America.  He’s a lefty pitcher who has made quite a stir in the Minor Leagues.  In 2007, Kershaw put up the following stat line split between A and AA ball.

Wins Losses I.P. K’s BB’s Hits ERA
8 0 122 163 67 89 2.95

2006 Bowman KershawCheck out that strikeout to innings pitched ratio.  Not too shabby.  The Dodgers will need pitching in 2008, so look for Kershaw to make the jump to the majors sooner rather than later. 

The 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks and Prospects Gold Refractor Auto is a card you’ll want to check out.  It features a nice action shot of Clayton delivering the ball, along with his autograph.  It’s his first Bowman card, and the Gold Refractor version is limited to 50 total cards in production.  The limited quantity of these cards, including Clayton’s autograph, in additon to his previous Minor League performance and Major League potential make this a card to snap up now.  

Another nice card of Kershaw’s, currently in high demand, is the 2006 Bowman Sterling Prospects Refractor autograph rookie card.   It features another nice action shot of Kershaw in his Dodgers uniform.  His autograph in blue ink is featured prominently across a chrome colored certified plate.  This card has been selling recently, in near-mint to mint condition, for roughly $50 to $75.  Look for that price to increase once Kershaw hits the bigs. 

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