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Staggering Price Paid for 1986 Fleer Basketball Commons

I’m sure many of you are aware of the huge prices being paid for 1986 Fleer Basketball PSA 10’s, but this one blew me away. There were two Johnny Moore, #76 in the set, PSA 10’s that sold over the weekend on eBay for $15,103.00 and $14,329.00 respectively. I took a look at the PSA population report and only 35 have been graded gem mint by them, making it the lowest number of any card in the set.

moore

There are many other “commons” in the set with populations not too far off from the Johnny Moore, but they don’t seem to command the kind of prices that the Moore does. The next lowest amount of PSA 10 grades are #67 Jeff Malone and #132 Checklist. There have been several recent sales of the checklist ranging from $6,999.00 to $8.100.00. You’ll also notice how a BGS 9.5 closing price is compared to a PSA in the picture below.

checklist

Recent Jeff Malone sales have ranged from $,1500.00 to $2,400.00. It makes sense to me that the checklist would carry a premium for two reasons. 1. It’s the last card in the set and likely could have had rubber band damage from kids putting them around their cards. 2. Many were likely marked with ink by set builders. These are two reasons you see checklist cards and first/last cards in sets carrying a premium throughout the years.

I’m not well versed enough to understand why the Johnny Moore commands such a high premium other than it being the card with the least amount of PSA 10’s. Possibly tough centering, print marks or something similar. I just don’t know.

What I do know is that there are treasures in 1986 Fleer Basketball beyond Jordan and the other big name rookies that have been fueled by the PSA pop report. Opening a wax pack of this product doesn’t seem as crazy to me anymore after seeing some of the prices on graded common cards. I knew this was going on in vintage sets, but I really didn’t realize how crazy 1986 Fleer Basketball prices had gotten. I suppose 1986 is “vintage” now too. Doesn’t seem that way for someone that was 10 years old at the time though.

I’ve Obtained My Holy Grail of Baseball Cards

January 11, 2012 7 comments

I still haven’t posted my collecting priorities for 2012, but if I had, the following card would have been #1 on the list. My holy grail of baseball cards is the 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card and I now own one. Sure, it’s only a PSA 1, but that doesn’t bother me at all. The card is complete and the colors are great. Most importantly, there aren’t any stains anywhere on the card.

My dad was raised just outside out of Pittsburgh, PA and grew up a Pirates fan. He raised me to be a Pirates fan and told me stories of the teams of his childhood. More often than not, the stories focused on the 1960 team. Their improbable victory over the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series is something that any baseball fan from that era would remember, not just Pirates fans. When my dad wasn’t talking about that team, he was telling me about Roberto Clemente. A man that I had never seen play quickly became my favorite player and a mythical character that I only knew through baseball cards.

I had a chance as a kid in the 80’s to purchase this card from a local card shop for $100. I was going to buy it for my dad (and me) as a birthday present. The most I had ever spent on a single card at that point was $10 on a 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco rookie. When my dad caught wind of my plan, he quickly put an end to it. $100 was far too much to pay for any baseball card.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to purchase this card. I’ve surely spent more for other single cards than I spent for this one. I think I jut had it in my mind that this card was somehow unattainable. If anyone out there has a “holy grail” that’s affordable, I would urge you to purchase it. I cannot tell you how cool it is to finally own this card.

My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 3

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment


Card #3 on the list could end up being one of those iconic cards when all is said and done. It’s a 2011 Bowman #BP1 Bryce Harper Prospects Autograph graded PSA 10. This is Harper’s first certified autograph in his Washington Nationals uniform. Topps has cashed in on the Harper craze with lots of different autographed cards in 2011, but this will always be his first.

What else needs to be said about Harper at this point? He cruised through A and AA this season. He had a great month in the Arizona Fall League, which I saw him play in several times. To top it off, National officials were quoted as saying he will make the club out of spring training. This guy is the real deal and a great investment. If someone asked me what player would be the most solid investment to pay off in the next year, I would say Bryce Harper hands down. The Nats fast tracked him to the majors by moving him from catcher to outfield, his bat is doing the rest. I would not be surprised at all if he’s in the Nats’ Opening Day lineup.

If you’re going to purchase a copy of this particular card, I’d go with PSA graded versions. It seems that Harper used a bad pen when signing these, so it’s very hard to find copies that have a nice dark autograph. Most are streaked. BGS copies have 8 or 9 autograph grades most of the time, thus detracting from their value. I personally think the autograph grade is a crock and a money grab by Beckett, but some people like it. If you can find a gem mint BGS copy with a 10 autograph grade, it will command a premium.

My 10 Favorite Card Purchases of 2011: Number 5

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment


Card #5 on the list is the only purchase I made this year that was on my list of 2011 collecting goals. It’s a 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie graded BGS 8.5. My goal is to eventually get a PSA 9 or BGS 9 of this card, but this will have to do for now.

Henderson, in my opinion, is one of the most undervalued Hall of Famers. He won an MVP, was a 10-time All-Star, had 3,000 hits and his stolen base record will never be broken. Eventually, I think collectors will appreciate his accomplishments and his cards will gain in value. His personality and his unwillingness to retire may have rubbed people the wrong way, but there’s no denying his place in baseball history.

I think I’ll look to add a nice Rickey Henderson autographed card to my collection this year as well. I’ve always liked to pair up a nice graded rookie with a nice autographed card. I haven’t looked at what he has available in terms of certified autographed cards, but I’m guessing those can be had for a nice price too.

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

The Ultimate 1981 Topps Football Cello Pack

What could be better than Joe Montana on the front of a 1981 Topps cello pack? How about Joe Montana on the front and back of a 1981 Topps cello pack! It’s times like this that you don’t care about getting doubles in a pack.

I know that I’ve seen two of the same card on the front of a rack pack before but never a card of this caliber. The cello is on eBay and ends Sunday. It’s currently up to $330.55. I can’t wait to see what this goes for.

This is also the first time I’ve ever seen a PSA graded pack. I had no idea they were offering that service. I thought I only GAI was doing that. Does anyone have any idea how long they’ve been grading packs?

I’ve never had a pack or box of cards graded. Although, I’ve never had a pack valuable enough that would make sense to grade. I’ve had pricey boxes of vintage cards but I bought them to open them. I just don’t know how I feel about getting a box of cards graded. I could see getting a pack graded, especially something like this. I really can’t see myself ever getting a box graded, though. I’m not even sure that PSA grades boxes but I know GAI does.

Hopefully one day soon I’ll have a pack or box valuable enough to consider grading. That’s a problem I’d like to have.