Thursday, May 7, 2020

MVPs (Most Valuable Pieces of Cardboard)

This post is inspired by a post on one of my favorite blogs, The Chronicles of Fuji, earlier today.  In that post, Fuji did a little research on some recent selling prices for some of the Michael Jordan cards in his collection.  The results were pretty insane, and even though I'm not a basketball guy I had to admire the beauty of a lot of those cards.  There were even a couple I'd love to track down myself someday, but probably not unless prices unexpectedly drop off a cliff.

I thought it was an interesting post because, much like Fuji described himself, I personally tend to do a lot of research on pricing before I pick up a significant card, but then lose track of the value after that since I don't typically plan to sell most cards at any point.

I was inspired enough by the post to think about what some of my most valuable cards might be, and came up with a top seven list for this post.  There are two big caveats though:
  1. I only considered cards that I've already posted at some point in the history of this blog.  I have a few whoppers in my back pocket still for posting at some future date that were not considered.
  2. Card values are constantly changing.  In the past couple of months we've seen insane skyrocketing prices on certain cards despite an economic outlook and future that could be described as worrisome at best.  This list could look totally different even a few weeks from now.
Alright, with those asterisks in mind, let's see how some of my most valuable cards stack up.  To keep this from taking many hours, I simply searched completed eBay auctions and averaged the price of the last three successfully sold cards in the same condition/grade as mine...

#7 - 1985-86 Topps Mario Lemieux RC PSA 9 ($301.99)

Of the seven cards in tonight's post, I think this one is the most under-valued by collectors.  Lemieux was an absolute stud, and while I understand that O-Pee-Chee is generally more desired by hockey card collectors than Topps, I'm shocked that you can still pick this card up in a PSA 9 for around $300 even.  Given what other famous rookie cards are going for these days I expect this one to explode in value in the coming years.  Seriously, if I had $600 laying around that I didn't know what to do with I'd grab two of these and stick them in a safe for a decade.

#6 - 1957 Topps Ted Williams PSA 6 ($366.65)

No surprise to see a relatively high-grade playing era Ted Williams make the list.  I used the funds from the first and only "card draft" that I ever held on this blog in order to procure this one.  I certainly enjoy it more than I did the hundreds of cards I shipped out from that draft.  Pretty much one of the cornerstones of my Red Sox collection.

#5 - 2005-06 Upper Deck Alex Ovechkin RC PSA 9 ($474.49)

I bought this card less than two years ago because I had a feeling that Ovechkin was going to quickly climb out of my price range if I didn't pick one up soon.  Well, it turns out that was some good foresight on my part.  I paid $200 even for this card, and within 24 months it's now roughly a $500 card.  Like him or not, he's one of the greats of the game.  Unfortunately, this pandemic cost him some games here at a time when he was red hot and racking up goals.  If he can somehow pass Gretzky some day for the all-time NHL goal lead, the current $500 price tag on this card will look like peanuts.  Even if he falls short, expect it to continue to climb steadily in value as he climbs past other all-time scoring greats.

#4 - 1953 Topps Satchell Paige PSA 6 ($948.04)

This was one of if not the first "big" card I purchased after returning to collecting as an adult in 2007.  In fact, I just checked my email records and I picked this card up in January of 2008...for $326.02.  I remember thinking at the time how crazy it felt to spend over $300 on a baseball card, but I was 25 living in an 800-square-foot apartment with very few financial obligations and this was a card I'd literally dreamed about since childhood.  In the ensuing dozen years it has just about tripled in value it looks like.  To this day probably still a top-5 favorite baseball card in my entire collection.

#3 - 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout Cognac Diamond Anniversary RC ($2,122.73)

Before going through this exercise, I honestly thought that Mike Trout's Cognac Diamond Anniversary RC might be the overall most valuable card I own.  This is an even more drastic example of card prices ballooning than the Satchel Paige above.  I picked this card up for $189.99 in March of 2016, if you can believe that.  It's not like I was early to the game on Trout or anything either, he'd already won a Rookie of the Year and an MVP Award (plus three second-place MVP finishes) before I bought this.  Insane to think that a card that was already that popular is worth well over 10 times what I bought it for just four years later.  I'd love to take a time machine back to 2016 and snag a few more of these at sub-$200 prices!

#2 - 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan RC PSA 4 ($2,197.99)

The most recently acquired card on the list is this Michael Jordan rookie, which I sold off over 30 other graded singles to fund the purchase of earlier this year.  Honestly, I think you could argue that the value is actually much higher than this, as the last three PSA 4s to sell were total beaters compared to this example.  I did a good bit of research on Jordan RC sale prices when putting together my post showing this one off, and I honestly think I could fetch close to $3,000 for this card in current market conditions.

#1 - 1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky RC PSA 8 ($2,567.82)

I knew the crown jewel of my hockey card collection would be inside the top three, and it's a worthy card for the number one spot on this countdown for sure.  Like the Mike Trout above, this one's multiplied in value about ten-fold since I picked it up.  I'd sell every single hockey card I own probably before I got rid of this card.  I may never be able to afford a Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe RC, but in those cases I never was able to at any point in my collecting timeline.  I'm grateful that I was able to grab Gretzky's when I did.

So, there you have it, the seven most valuable cards (most likely) to see the light of day on the blog to date.  How about you, have you ever looking into which of your cards might be the most valuable?

Thanks as always for stopping by and thanks to Fuji for inspiring this post!


The Diamond King said...

Holy wow, Batman.

Tim B. said...

Pretty awesome top 7!

Jay said...

Really great post. I had the Gretzky as a kid and I think it got thrown out when I went to college - seriously, I actually thought it was worth significantly more than that, so your post makes me feel a little better about it all.

Fuji said...

Holy stromboli! Now that's a list. Gretzky and Jordan rookies? I guess I'll be living vicariously through you... because I'll never own either of those cards.

Matt said...

Gretzky - Jordan - Trout = That's got to be the Holy Trinity of rookie cards right there. Since I'll never see those in hand I appreciate you showing them off!

Paul said...

That's awesome stuff there! Would definitely love to have one of those Ovechkin YG's someday.

gregory said...

Wow. That's a staggering top-7. If I were to put together a top-7 from my collection, the most valuable card would be lower than the least valuable card in your top-7 ;-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...