The calendar just turned over to May, right? For May it sure feels like this week’s sports news cycle has been dominated by the NFL. As I was writing this list last week, the first round of the NFL draft had just concluded and we were about to embark on rounds 2-7. The draft always causes some movement in early season NFL rookie cards. Thanks to Leaf, there is a better option available earlier in the year than usual, making it even more interesting. I mean, what collector isn’t enthused by the Jags trade up to get Justin Blackmon – Jaguars cards sell for crazy money? right? right? please? Sigh. On the flip side I had a guy not pay for Nick Perry Leaf Metal Prismatic Auto /99 a couple weeks ago, he won it then for $4.25. This card was relisted and sold last Sunday for just under $18 and because Nick was drafted by the Packers, the winner is me. Oh and the David Decastro auto that didn’t get paid for, instead of $2.99, I got $12.75 – yeah, you know what it is, black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow.
Unfortunately the draft was about the end of the positive NFL news for the week. Sitting in a meeting at work Wednesday I saw the alert pop up on my iPhone that Oceanside police were investigating a shooting at Junior Seau’s house, likely a suicide. I’ll leave the pondering about the effects of playing in the NFL on the brain to others, the bottom line is that Junior was several things – a San Diego icon, a Hall of Fame caliber linebacker and from all accounts a very decent human being. The interview with his mom on TV was positively gut wrenching and sigh.
Lastly, suspensions were handed out for Jonathan Vilma among other players in “BountyGate” or “Mutiny on the Bounty” or “the Bounties were plentiful” or whatever else you’d like to call it. Vilma’s out for the year, so is Sean Payton and there’s been a bounty (oh yes, I just did) of other penalties inflicted on the Saints. A couple questions to ponder regarding this incident and any others of the sport. Do you think the Saints really wanted to hurt people (insanely hard hits etc.) any more than another team? So is it that much worse that there was some structure to it? At what point in time should we stop calling it football and start issuing tutus instead of pants? Is Roger Goodell in the news and involved in the game far too often as the commissioner? Oh, I’m sure you can tell which way I lean on this sort of thing but I think at least a couple of those questions are worth considering none the less.
Any other week in May, the most impactful news item would have been the draft and where players went but whenever a player dies, especially one of notoriety like Junior, their autos skyrocket and with that, we begin.
1. Junior Seau Autographs
Comments: Well, to make the Hot List, your cards have to go up, no qualifiers on why. Most of the reasons that guys make this list are for things like Perfect Games (Humber), breakout performances, huge weeks and far too often death. It’s an unfortunate reality and from a purely economic perspective death means no more autos therefore causing a rush to market. The card pictured above had buy it nows hit this week for $175 after selling last week for literally 1/10th of that.
2. A.J. Jenkins 2012 Leaf Metal Autos
Comments: Because I am a homer I had bought up some A.J. Jenkins Leaf Metal Purple Prismatic Autos and had them sitting on eBay, fishing. Truth of the matter was I bought too early and up until Thursday night I thought I overpaid, all of a sudden the iPhone starts buzzing with offers. That’s strange, although I loved A.J. I was sure he would be a mid-round pick until the 49ers went all “Momma Incredible” on him and snagged him at the end of the first round. This clearly excited Niners collectors and other football fans as his Metal autos went from $2 to $8 quickly.
3. Chris Davis 2007 Elite Autos
Comments: Honestly, if you haven’t gotten in on an All In Cards group break that is hosted over in the box break forums, you are really missing out. Andrew does a fantastic job, gets you good prices and your cards quick and meanwhile you get to listen to Phish softly in the background. But your trivia question today is “do you know what Andrew’s personal favorite product to break was?” 2007 Elite is the answer I’ve heard him give before but he wasn’t pulling these Chris Davis autographs out of the product, they were redemptions and insanely hot at one point while Chris was in the Rangers minor league system. Since then, Chris has bounced between the minors and majors and been traded to the Orioles. However, it appears that this year he may just stick in the bigs and thus far is batting .316 with 5 HRs and 13 RBIs. His Elite Autos went from $10 to $30 this week and it appears that 2007 Elite will be the power in the Orioles lineup this year with Chris and Matt Wieters both representing.
4. Bryan LaHair 2007 Bowman Sterling Autos
Comments: Speaking of big first basemen who have bounced around between the minors and majors, here’s another one for you. Bryan LaHair – Bryan brings two things to mind for me. First, as a guy who busted 4 cases of 2007 Bowman Sterling, I hated him. He was the $.99 auto that plagued you (I actually checked, I sold a lot of 5 for $16.49 and a lot of 70 2008 Bowman Draft Rookies for $1.51). Secondly, the guy must have gotten teased mercilessly (prior to being 6’5″ 240) with a last name like “Hey Bryan, I have a LaHair in my soup, did you make this?” Anyway, Cubs fans are happy to have him because speaking of plagues – that’s what Carlos Pena felt like last season. Bryan has had a stellar start to the season and the Sterling Autos I once hated that sold for $10 last week are now selling for $25 this week.
5. Brandon Weeden 2012 Leaf Metal Autos
Comments: Only in the NFL Draft season will you hear so much consternation about a guy being 28, I mean, if you just listened without knowing his age you would think that he was 70+ pushing 90. This is not the case and apparently Cleveland didn’t care. That said, if you had Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy, Brady Quinny the Pooh and visions of Derek Anderson dancing in your head, you may not care either. After Ryan Tannehill was selected 8th, Cleveland grabbed Brandon Weeden in the first round too and if you haven’t noticed, first round QBs are kind of a big deal. Brandon’s Prismatic Autos /99 doubled from $15 to $30 and in some cases a bit more.
6. Johnny Cueto 2008 Topps Chrome Autos
Comments: Johnny’s off to a very hot start this season, not only is he 3-0 but he has a 1.39 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, these are not cheap wins. Johnny has had a pretty solid couple of years over the past 2 years but he is yet to put together any real eye popping stats – maybe this year is the year. His 2008 Topps Chrome Autos moved from $5 to $13 this week.
7. Nick Perry 2012 Leaf Metal Draft Prismatic Autos
Comments: As mentioned in the opening, Nick was drafted by the Green Bay Packers who have had great success with their previous USC linebacker pick (Clay anyone?) and decided to take a chance on another one. The story is pretty simple from a Hot List perspective, had Nick been picked by the Carolina Panthers he wouldn’t be here (Kuechly isn’t) but the Packers are a huge draw both from the fan perspective and from the collectors perspective so whoever their first rounder was, was likely going to see a spike in prices and Nick’s Prismatic Autos increased about 80% week to week.
8. Edwin Encarnacion 2003 Bowman Chrome Draft Parallels
Comments: Edwin has had a very respectable big league career to date. Hit over 20 HRs several times, .262 career average, not bad at all. Spectacular, no. Respectable big league regular, you bet. However, thus far in 2012 Edwin has been a lot more than a respectable regular with 9 HRs and 24 RBIs already for the Blue Jays – and you thought Jose Bautista was the big bopper (he’s in the Pujols category right now). Edwins 2001 Topps Traded and 2003 Bowman Chrome Draft parallels went from selling for nothing to having low BINs hit this week.
9. Tyler Austin 2010 Elite Autos
Comments: Tyler is simply dominating the SAL this year, 21 XBH’s an OPS of over 1.2, it is just getting kind of silly. Is it me or do the Yankees like catching prospects (or former catching prospects) – Montero, Sanchez, Austin Romine !!??!! and now Tyler Austin. Austin’s autographs were available for pennies this offseason and now sell for a whole lot more than that, in fact, they were a 20 dollar bill last week and now you’ll need to stack an Alexander Hamilton on top of that Andrew Jackson to acquire an autograph of Tyler Austin.
10. Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: Stephen Strasburg <3 Tommy John, or James Andrews…whatever the case, Strasburg is back and seems to be feeling as good as ever. What’s he done thus far? Oh, just lead the NL in ERA, lose no games and have a WHIP of under .90 – are you thinking that’s crazy? Well, you are right it is and somehow already extremely high priced cards trend higher which was the case this week with Stephen’s 2010 Bowman Chrome Autos which went from $185 to $225.
11. Jered Weaver 2005 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: That’s how much was moving this week, a no hitter doesn’t even land you in the top 10. Plus Jered’s autos were already selling for $50 before the no hitter that pushed them to $70.
12. Bryce Harper 2011 Bowman Chrome Refractor Autos
Comments: Oh yeah, this guy made his debut this week and he’s already hitting in the bigs. Refractor Autos went to $400 up from $300 – who made the post saying he was going to be demoted again?
13. Jonathan Quick 2007-08 UD Ultimate
Comments: Hurry! Grab some Jonathan! Go fast! Quick, that’s his last name and he’s playing a huge role as goalie in the Kings playoff victories thus far, Ultimate Autos are up about 25% to $105.