So, for better or worse, I kind of enjoyed the introduction element to the Hot List last week. If you ever read Matthew Berry’s (a.k.a the Talented Mr. Roto) Love/Hate for that week of NFL football, you’ll recall that he writes these long winded introductions that begin with something seemingly disconnected from the world of fantasy football and eventually he weaves it back in. I’m not as long winded a writer, talented a story teller, or strange a mind as Matthew Berry but I certainly liked the introduction.
In what should seemingly be a bit of a slow period for sports – with the college football season over outside of bowl games, college basketball in the non-conference portion of the season, baseball in the offseason, the NBA, uh not playing and the NFL in full swing, there was a TON going on this week. At this point you are going to stop and say but Phil, this is a list about what’s going on in cards, not what is going on in the sports world – particularly with your rambling commentary. Right you would be but if you remember the words “regression analysis” from your last statistics class let me assure that these sports world actions have about a 95% R^2 value as it relates to card fluctuations.
All this is good if you are a guy that writes a Hot List based on the movement of cards (harken back to last week’s “hey these cards are selling well list”). It means you have lots of fodder for writing, so lets strap on the feedbag shall we and get to the fodder, I mean, the list.
1. Ron Santo Autographs
Comments: Ok, cut me some slack on this one, (I can never say cut me some slack without hearing in my head the words of one of my college roomates to whom English was a second language, “Phil, cut me some slacks!!!” No problem Tao, I’ll get right on that). As a guy who spent his formative years in Illinois listening to Cubs baseball on the radio, Ron Santo was more than just a 3rd basemen who played baseball prior to my birth. He was the guy in the booth who was not a radio guy, not a good color guy and really not a great fit for the job other than he was a HUGE Cubs homer that yelled unintelligible words when both good things and bad things happened for the Cubs. Listening to him when things went well made you all that much more excited and I’m not really sure there is a purer way to experience baseball (aside from the park itself) than driving home on a summer evening listening to the home team radio broadcast. /nostalgia. As we’ve talked about many times before on the Hot List there are typically two things that cause retired players cards to change value rapidly. Death and the Hall of Fame – surely a stark contrast. Unfortunately both of these events are recent for Mr. Santo – the most recent being a postmortem selection to the HOF which I shall refrain from commenting on and simply mention that it cause tons of BINs and Best Offers to get hit on his autos, often for double what they had previously sold for.
2. Adrian Houser 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Golds & Up
Comments: A few weeks back I commented on the death, or at least downgraded of non-auto’d cards in Bowman Draft. When I mention Adrian Houser you probably understand that a little more fully because your first thought is “Whose Adrian”, or, “Yo! Adrian!” if you’ve watched every Rocky movie 10 times or more like I have. Adrian is actually a promising 18 year old prospect for the Houston Astros who was previously selling for next to nothing even Orange Refractors which sold for under $20 or less. Prospectors rooted out this fact and his cards promptly bumped up, Oranges are now selling for $40 and Golds $25. Remember 2006 Bowman Draft? Billy Rowell Non-Auto Blue Refractors sold for near $80, as Mr. Dylan would say “The Times They are a Changin’.”
3. Albert Pujols 2001 Rookie Cards
Comments: Would you give a 31 year old guy who has had a couple of his worst statistical years during the last two years a contract that represents $25 million a year for 10 years? Yeah, I wouldn’t either. Would you leave a place where you had a chance to become an icon on the level of Stan Musial or more? Me neither. Would you leave a place where you just won a World Series and had a good possibility for more wins? Nope, me either. However, I am not, you are not the owners of the Angels, nor are we Albert Pujols and if he wants to go get paid somewhere other than St. Louis he’s more than welcome too and that’s that. As a Cubs fan I rejoice of his departure from the NL Central, now we shall get rid of Prince and the Cubs shall race to the division win, NOT. Any time there is this kind of news you can bet a whole new slew of fans, Angels fans that is are going to want a Pujols card of their own. As a result 2001 Topps Traded cards jumped from $35 to around the $50 mark. Maybe they can re-write Angels in the Outfield to Angel in the Infield.
4. Chris Paul 2005-06 Rookie Autos
Comments: We know one thing that David Stern isn’t and that’s in the business of making friends. He has the entire Laker nation as well as a few card collectors fairly upset with him at this juncture. Chris Paul’s Rookie Autos like the SPx one popped up to $150 from $100 this afternoon on the expectation that Paul was going to be traded in a 3-way deal for Gasol and Lamar Odom. However, what they weren’t bargaining for is that the owner of the New Orleans Hornets is THE NBA and David Stern lived up to his last name rejecting the trade that would put Chris Paul on a whole new stage and for now Chris is a Hornet.
5. Yu Darvish 2009 Bowman Chrome & Sterling Parallels
Comments: Hey Yu, out there in the cold. Can you hear me? Although my first couple of sentences there reference a wonderful Pink Floyd song, I can assure you, there are major league teams feeling that way. Yu is a major international talent on the level of Dice-K (who’s that you say? yeah, that guy) and his signing with a big league team could be big money both for the team that signs him and for his cards. As speculation rises and falls on who Yu will sign with you can expect his card values to do the same. This week a gold refractor from 2009 Bowman Chrome sold for $160 which is roughly the same as an Orange Refractor sold for last week – so yes, that’s a nice move up.
6. Demaryius Thomas 2010 Playoff Contenders RCs
Comments: As some point I think we all knew Tebow was going to have to do at least a little more throwing to make the whole thing work and last week he found Demaryius Thomas 4 times for 144 yards. Demaryius has been plagued with injuries his first couple years in the league (a slightly smaller plague than that of his first name which always reminds me of a unit of currency used in Roman times) but when he’s healthy man the guy has skills. Wide receivers from Georgia Tech tend to be big strong and fast and I can assure you that Broncos fans would love to see a little more of Mr. Thomas. I think most collectors are taking a bit of a wait and see type approach but Demaryius’ Contenders Autos did move from $4 to $8 this week
7. Victor Cruz 2010 Playoff Contenders Autos
Comments: Throughout the NFL season there are players making appearances on this list only to drop off into oblivion the next week and for all the remaining weeks. Many of these are wide receivers that may have a huge game and then disappear. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought Victor Cruz could be a guy in that category. He had an immense game and made an appearance on the list when Mario Manningham was out and I figured that when Super Mario return Victor would get warped straight into King Bowser’s castle where catching passes isn’t easy. However, this hasn’t been the case and Victor’s production has kept up and so have his card prices – Contenders moved from $30 into the $40s this week and the card pictured above sold for nearly a kilabuck.
8. T.J Yates 2011 Auto Rookies
Comments: Someone forgot to tell T.J. that he was a third string rookie quarterback from North Carolina of whom little was expected. Well, let me tell you this – playing quarterback is easy when you can hand the ball of to Arian Foster over 30 times in a game, its also easier when you can throw the ball in the general vicinity of Andre Johnson and have it caught but at the end of the day – its still playing QB in the NFL. T.J. just did that and guided the playoff bound Texans to a victory on Sunday
9. Tim Tebow High End Autograph Rookies
Comments: Speaking of guiding teams to wins, the Tebow story really is pretty incredible. Act #1 – fans want Tebow, unhappy with Kyle “neckbeard” Orton and boo him at all opportunites. Act #2 – neckbeard does not perform up to standards, Broncos suck generally and fans boo at every opportunity, they boo even when there aren’t opportunities Act #3 – finally Tebow gets an opportunity to come in an play against the San Diego Chargers and very nearly guides them to a comeback victory, one of the few times of the year the Chargers don’t blow it (don’t worry they tried) Act #4 – against what nearly every expert predicted Tebow guides the Broncos on a five game winning streak and back into the race in the awful AFC West Act #5 – well, we’ll have to wait and see. Tim’s a divisive figure on a number of topics but suffice it to say, he has his fans and as a result his high-end rookie cards are really rolling on eBay – Exquisites like the one pictured above are close to $600 now
10. Charles Woodson 2011 Autographs
Comments: The Packers have had this stock sale thing going on, it’s kind of odd but I’m thinking of doing the same thing, odd timing right? Pretty much – you give me $50, in return you get a slip of paper with a Phil embossed logo on it and pretty much nothing else. If you’re looking to have input on decisions I might make regarding those $50 you gave me, forget it. Looking to get them back? Forget that too. Looking to sell them to someone else? Well you better hope the paper’s worth something. Get the point? It’s truly just a donation to Packers and people are making them in droves. However, speaking of making things in droves it is absolutely not what Panini did with one of the Packers’ favorites Charles Woodson autos – his Panini autos continue to leak out very slowly, often numbered to 10 or less and often selling for $300 or more.