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My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 2

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment


Card #2 on my list should have been part of my 2011 collecting priorities, but I really was focused on vintage cards when I made that list. When you talk about iconic cards from the modern era, this card and the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie have to be near the top of every list. The card I’m talking about here is the 1993 Upper Deck SP Derek Jeter rookie card. I’ve always wanted this card and I’m thrilled to have such a nice mint copy in my collection now.

When you talk about condition sensitive cards from the modern era, nothing is tougher than a foil rookie from Upper Deck SP. That is why mint copies of this card command such a premium. Gem mint copies are incredibly rare and way out of the price range for most collectors. I’m quite happy with a mint copy and will never chase a gem mint copy of this card.

Jeter had already accomplished enough to be a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer, but added the cherry on top in 2011 with his 3,000th hit. He will go down as arguably the best shortstop of all time and one of the most clutch post-season players of all time. All this under the microscope of being a New York Yankee. He’s a special player that doesn’t come along often.

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My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 4

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment


Card #4 on the list is another one of those eBay purchases where you buy based on picture and description and hope that it comes as good as described. As you can see from the picture, it did, and it graded gem mint from BGS. The card is a 2010 Bowman Chrome Wrapper Redemption Bubba Starling USA Prospects Autograph.

I love the 2010 Bowman Chrome Wrapper Redemption autographs. I was lucky enough to pull a Bryce Harper from one of my wrapper redemption packs. I also pulled a Matt Barnes, Michael Choice and Bryce Brentz, so I was one of the lucky ones. I think these cards have so much room to grow in terms of value for all players included. No autographed card was numbered higher than 100 in this set. When you compare prices between these and similarly numbered autographs in other sets, these are undervalued. I’m always on the lookout for autographs from this set.

Bubba Starling is a freak athlete. The Royals gambled on drafting him fifth overall in the 2011 MLB Draft, hoping to lure him away from his football commitment at Nebraska. The gamble paid off. If there wasn’t a Bryce Harper attracting all the attention, I believe that Bubba Starling would be getting that attention. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s going to be the player that Harper is. I don’t think there are many players that will be. I do think that Starling is going to be a perennial All-Star caliber player and an incredibly popular one at that. At his current prices, I think he’s a great buy.

My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 8

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment


Card #8 on the list is a 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Dustin Ackley Turn of the Century Autograph /75 graded BGS 9.5. As stated earlier, I prefer EEE to Bowman Chrome, so I love having this card in my collection.

I purchased the card ungraded on checkoutmycards.com earlier in the year. It looked good in the scans and I was happy when it looked just as good when I had it shipped to me. EEE cards are very susceptible to edge chipping and bad corners because they always have dark borders. I couldn’t have been happier when this came back graded gem mint from BGS.

Ackley had a decent rookie season batting .276 and playing solid 2B for a miserable Seattle Mariners team. As the Mariners get better, I believe Ackley will develop into a .300 hitter with 15-20 home run power. I’m looking forward to seeing a full season from him in 2012.

My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 9

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment


Card #9 on my list is a 2011 Bowman Chrome Matt Moore Prospect Autograph graded BGS 9.5. I’ve got a couple of these and would love to have more. I actually pulled one from a pack too, but it wasn’t in good enough shape to send off to BGS. This card has 9.5 subgrades across the board and a 10 for the autograph grade.

Moore was the #2 prospect in Baseball America’s Rays Top 10 prospects list in 2011. He holds the top spot in 2012. He burst onto the scene late last season when the Rays made him a September call-up. He only pitched 9.1 innings in the regular season, but had 15 strikeouts and a respectable 2.89 ERA. He went 10 innings in the playoffs with 8 strikeouts and an absurd 0.90 ERA.

Moore will certainly make the Rays out of spring training this year. I cannot think of many better investments in the baseball card market right now, certainly not from a pitching standpoint. Look for big things out of him in 2012.

My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 10

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment


This list is always fun to put together. It’s also very challenging to put together because I wait until the last minute and have to remember if I made the purchase in 2011. This could lead to a New
Years resolution of getting more organized. I will preface this list by saying that a few of my favorite purchases of 2011 are at BGS being graded right now. I will not mention them in this list since they’re not currently in my possession. Who knows, they may not be favorite purchases if they don’t come back with good grades. I’ll post the results of that submission when it arrives in a couple weeks.

#10 on this list is a 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Jurickson Profar Franchise Futures autograph /390 graded PSA 10. I didn’t go back and look, but this may have been the earliest purchased card of 2011 that made the list. EEE usually hits the streets in December, so I’m sure that I purchased in January or February. For me, I always prefer a gem mint copy of an EEE rookie over a Bowman Chrome rookie. I know the EEE value is going to be less, but they’re so much harder to get a gem mint grade on. The cards are typically numbered much lower as well. For these reasons, I had to have this card.

Profar is an elite shortstop prospect in the Texas Rangers organization. Baseball America doesn’t release their Rangers Top 10 prospects list until January 30th. When they do, I’m certain that Profar is going to be #1. Martin Perez got the honors in their 2011 list.

Top search terms on eBay

January 2, 2011 Leave a comment

There’s a great site called What’s Hot Weekly that provides really interesting eBay data like most watched items and top search terms. You’re able to drill down by category so I always head to Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop > Cards > Baseball. I check the most watched items at least once a week. You’ll find some amazing cards when you search the list.

Today was the first time that I’ve used the Most Searched feature. I found it very interesting when I looked up the top 10 searches in the Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop > Cards > Baseball category.

auto
mickey mantle
stephen strasburg
lot
2010 bowman
topps
psa
2010 allen ginter
strasburg
triple threads

The thing that immediately struck me is that Stephen Strasburg appears in the list twice. His full name and his last name appear separately. Even though he won’t come near a major league mound until 2012 his cards continue to be very popular. Collectors obviously aren’t scared off by his injury.

Another thing that really jumped out at me was the position of BGS relative to PSA. PSA, as you can see in the list, appeared as the 7th most popular search. BGS was way down at 116th. SGC even appeared higher in the list. BGS used to be toughest and most respected grading company on the market when they first launched their service. Since then, the BGS 9.5 grade has lost its luster as it has become a fairly easy grade to obtain.

My 2011 Card Purchasing Priorities

January 1, 2011 Leave a comment

As you can see from reading my blog I mainly collect baseball prospects. I’m not much for cards from other sports, although I do dabble in hockey from time to time. I’ve thought about the cards that I want to purchase in the new year and I break them up into two categories, prospects and Hall of Famers.

I’m not much for vintage cards, but the thought of diversifying my collection is appealing. The problem I have with prospecting is the wait for return on investment. Granted, a player doesn’t have to make the majors in order for you to turn a profit. I’ve sold plenty of prospect cards at a profit when a players moves from AA to AAA. The issue I have is that prospects are kind of like taking out a 2-year CD at the bank, the money is tied up and can’t be touched. What if I come across a really great deal and need to come up with some cash quickly? I’d be selling off prospects at the expense of future earnings to purchase more prospect cards that are going to sit and wait for future earnings.

Vintage Cards

My 2011 collecting/investing goals now include vintage cards. I really think there are some deals to be had on vintage right now, especially with some of the bigger names. I’m doing this as an investment and a way to get that quick cash that I spoke of before if a great deal comes along.

1955 Topps Roberto Clemente – I had a chance to purchase one of these when I was a kid and didn’t do it. For Pirates fans, this is the holy grail of baseball cards. A PSA 3.5 recently sold for $400.

1954 Topps Hank Aaron – The true home king. Did you know that you can pick up a PSA 3 of his rookie for around $400? Absolutely crazy.

1963 Topps Pete Rose – The hit king, another record that will probably never be broken. You can pick up a PSA 5 in the $400 range.

1980 Topps Rickey Henderson PSA 9 – The PSA 10 is a little to rich for me right now. The PSA 9 hangs out between $175-$200. That’s a bargain in my eyes considering he owns a record that will never be broken.

Prospects

There are too many cards available to list individual cards. I’ll go the route of just naming players, in no particular order, that I’ll be prospecting in the next few months before prices really start to rise.

Jesus Montero
Dustin Ackley
Jarrod Parker
Grant Green
Aaron Hicks
Brett Jackson
Nick Castellanos
Tony Sanchez
Julio Teheran
Kyle Gibson
Mike Moustakas
Martin Perez