It is time for the last Hot List of 2011. Typically around this time of year, material is difficult to come by, the NFL is just about to wind up, the NBA is in full swing, there’s a lack of cards for NCAA football and basketball and it is smack in the middle of baseball off-season. More often that not, what’s on the Hot List is driven by on the court/field/floor performances. People tend to get the most excitable about these things at the beginning of the season and therefore, all sports being in mid-season form means a little less Hot List fodder.
Ah, but you are saying, “Phil, I know where you are headed here, you had 3 Clippers on the list last week and…” and…you are right, the NBA regular season started, albeit a little late this week and as a result, guys who all of a sudden appear to be good, or at least much better than expected immediately starting catching collector’s and fan’s eyes alike. This would be DeAndre Jordan last week and more to come this week and in the months ahead.
Another element of the Hot List that I particularly love is the suggestion thread this is where you the FCB reader and member tell me about things that I’d never know otherwise. Some things will go un-noticed until you raise them to my attention and frankly, I think others read this suggestion thread and go scurrying off to commons boxes to see what they have of the named player. If you get a chance, throw your suggestion into the Hot List hat and see what happens. What typically happens is that I cull through the items listed in the thread, combine them with those in my head and then see what we’ve got. Amazingly enough, I had enough in my head to round out the list this week but should there not be enough at some point in time, you’ll see the re-emergence of the cold list but not this week.
1. Norris Cole 2011-12 SP Authentic
Comments: Case in point, when Norris Cole was suggested I figured someone had jumbled up prospect names like Gerrit Cole and Daniel Norris but nay nay, they meant Norris Cole. OH, that Norris Cole, the guy from Cleveland State, yeah! Still not awake yet? Yeah, me neither. However, what you really need to know about Norris is that he was a previously unknown rookie who is now making it known that he’s going to score some points and get some minutes for the Miami Heat. Yeah, that Miami Heat, the Heat that are going to win oh 6, 7, and 8 championships or more, yeah those guys. All the heroes need sidekicks, whether it be Robin, Watson or others heroes, they need sidekicks and star players need role players. Being a role player on a winning team can be lucrative, ask Derek Fisher. Norris’ only card, the 2011-12 SP Authentic went for $.50 last week and some were over $5 this week.
2. Victor Cruz 2010 Playoff Contenders Autos
Comments: And you thought that WRs hit their stride in their 3rd year in the league. Victor’s here to tell you that the first year can be just fine (yes, fine is defined as 1358 yards in receiving (3rd in yards) and 78 receptions). Not only is Victor doing that but he’s doing it for a New York market team. This guy was an undrafted free agent and now he’s scoring 99 yard touchdowns on Sunday. Victor has been on this list several different times as cards like his contenders autos have jumped up and down and this week he’s here again because his Contenders $25 last week and this week some hit $50 raw and a few 9.5s hit near $100.
3. Claude Giroux Young Guns RC
Comments: Leading the NHL in points is no small thing. Doing it for a team that most believe is laden with young stars (the Flyers) is also no small thing. The additional thing with hockey guys is they often have that go to card – Young Guns – it isn’t hard to run down the list of recent Young Guns sales and see the pop for Claude. His Young Guns were selling for $10 the previous week and are now selling for $24. I have an article on Young Guns that will be going up within the next week and on the unique nature of this set – they are seriously one of a kind, which is exactly what Claude is trying to be leading the league in points this year.
4. Drew Brees 2001 Auto Rookies
Comments: Drew is already one of the most recognizable faces and quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s had prolific season after prolific season, won a Super Bowl and is generally revered as an all around great guy. All this being said to make the point that Drew’s cards already carry some nice sale prices and it would take something very significant to make the sale prices increase even further. Well that something happened when Drew broke the single season yards passing record last week adding yet another notch to his belt. UD Graded Autos in 9.5 for were up to $265 this week, in previous weeks they’d only been at or near $160.
5. Ty Lawson 2009-10 National Treasures Auto
Comments: I watched Ty Lawson play college basketball and he struck me as a huge prospect. The athleticism, the speed, the scoring. However, his first two years in the league yielded average results at best but now that he’s the main guy with the Nuggets I think it is very possible we’ll see something quite different this season. If the first two games are any indication, I might be right, Ty’s taking a lot more shots (13 per game) and scoring more points, 21 per game. Ty’s National Treasures Patches are often bland such as the white one pictured above but that isn’t stopping collectors from grabbing them via BIN for $170, definitely a new high.
6. Jordan Eberle 2010-11 UD Young Guns
Comments: While Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been getting a lot of press regarding young hockey phenoms, Eberle has been quietly piling up a tremendous season in the points category. He has more points than his #1 line compatriots Taylor Hall and Mr. Nugent-Hopkins and now collectors are starting to take notice. Young Guns were selling for $25 and are now into the mid-$30s, should Eberle continue to pile up these stats chances for larger increases totally exist.
7. Bubba Starling 2011 Bowman Sterling Autos
Comments: Name a prospect that coincides with the year 2011 – you’d have to say Bryce Harper right? I mean he was the cover boy of nearly every Topps product and the big hit in nearly as many. Bryce’s presence however is not big enough to overshadow Bubba who from a card sales perspective appears to be the guy to have. Topps wound up insert his cards as redemptions into 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft but didn’t make the same mistake in Sterling. Starling’s Sterling Autos are live and people are snapping them up. Refractors are north of $65 and the rare stuff like the Purple Autos /10 are over $300. Outside of Harper and Hosmer no one is really in the ballpark.
8. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Certified Autos
Comments: In number 6 on this list, I mentioned Nugent-Hopkins being on the same line as Eberle. Nugent-Hopkins is an 18 year old phenom who is already on the NHL leaderboard as far as points scored. Nugent-Hopkins previously made this list for non-auto’d non-GU’d Young Guns that are selling for $75-$100 and now makes it for auto jerseys out of Certified that sell for very nearly $250. Anything new released of this guy all season long is going to be scorching hot.
9. Cam Newton 2011 Rookie Cards
Comments: Speaking of young guys who put up absurd numbers, how’s Cam Newton for you? He may eclipse 4000 yards passing in his last game of the year, already has 20 TDs passing,, 674 yards rushing, 14 rushing TDs and is pretty much any fantasy footballers dream come true. Jamarcus Russell he is not, not at all and the Panthers have to feel like geniuses for drafting the #1 guy who some felt like they got stuck with. Cam has invigorated that franchise and the card market has felt the same kind of adrenaline. His most basic cards are selling for great money now, base chrome Topps Chromes for $8+, Chrome 9.5s for $30+, Chrome Ref 9.5s for over $50 and the numbers just get crazier from there.
10. Bryce Harper 2011 Bowman Sterling Autos and Parallels
Comments: So right now, if you eBay search “Bryce Harper” in the cards category you’ll find over 2,000 results which is pretty much insane given the fact that the guy has played a part of a season of AA baseball. Topps signed Bryce to an exclusive contracts and has been getting their moneys worth to say the least. This is what makes it even more amazing that Gold Refractors non-auto out of Bowman Sterling are still selling for over $300. Bryce, is still THE guy you want to pull something really nice when opening a product and still drives sales for wax sellers across the globe.