Sports Cards Hobby Thread

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Thanks for the heads up, @HarleyQuinn. May have to grab some of those but I told myself I need to slow down a little because I’ve been going ham on completing a couple sets I had pending and upping my Bayley collection.
 

HarleyQuinn

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Thanks for the heads up, @HarleyQuinn. May have to grab some of those but I told myself I need to slow down a little because I’ve been going ham on completing a couple sets I had pending and upping my Bayley collection.
No worries. One of the positives about Beckett is that cards are pretty readily available compared to say an Ebay and prices can fluctuate if the market goes down a bit. You can also just throw them in a 'cart' and buy them at a much later date as well so you don't have to forget about them or try to remember which specific card you had been looking at.
 
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HarleyQuinn

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My COMC order back in July came a few weeks ago and the cards were in surprisingly good shape considering it's COMC and I've heard some stories about very badly beaten cards being sent out.
 

HarleyQuinn

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Made a couple offers on Ebay for a Dominik Hasek RC BGS 8 (9 Centering) [The PSA 9 listed above it was far more off-center] and Martin Brodeur RC GMA 9 with slight corner wear but its centering looks identical to a PSA 9. Worth highlighting that even the PSA 9s of that RC are being offered at around $25, pretty cheap for a guy with his legacy.
 
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HarleyQuinn

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Both offers were accepted. The pictures of the cards are below. The Marty Brodeur GMA 9 was $10.99 (instead of $14) and the Dominik Hasek BGS 8 was $8.99 (instead of $12) with both coming to around $7+ shipping combined. My offers usually 'wipe out' the shipping cost of the initial BIN prices.

 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
I grabbed a couple cheap graded Red Sox cards for my collection last night. Stumbled on a 2018 Topps Heritage Andrew Benintendi PSA 10 that was $10.44 shipped. Not that it is a super valuable card but grading costs more than that. Another seller had a 2016 Bowman Chrome Refractor (/499) of David Price PSA 10 for $14.99 shipped. Not one of my favorite Red Sox players but a guy from his time there in a relatively low print run for less than it would cost to acquire the same card and get it graded (which hoping for the same grade).
 

HarleyQuinn

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I grabbed a couple cheap graded Red Sox cards for my collection last night. Stumbled on a 2018 Topps Heritage Andrew Benintendi PSA 10 that was $10.44 shipped. Not that it is a super valuable card but grading costs more than that. Another seller had a 2016 Bowman Chrome Refractor (/499) of David Price PSA 10 for $14.99 shipped. Not one of my favorite Red Sox players but a guy from his time there in a relatively low print run for less than it would cost to acquire the same card and get it graded (which hoping for the same grade).
Yeah. I really like the designs of those Topps Heritage cards and anything that's a Chrome Refractor Serial #'d under $15, nevermind at a PSA 10 price, is robbery. The two cards with shipping were $13.40 (Hasek) and $15.63 (Brodeur).

The Dominik Hasek had: 9.5 Surface, 9 Centering, 8.5 Edges, and 7.5 Corners so it's total grade was an 8 despite having two sub-grades that were 9+. Crazy steal at that $8.99 price IMO. I was actually influenced seeing an old video of ThoseBackPages showing off a 1990 Michael Jordan card he picked up for like $11 that was graded a BGS 5 because the surface was a 4 but every other sub-grade was 9+ (around the 4:55 mark in the video).

With grading prices nowadays, unless you have a super rare /10 or /25 type card raw that you want to send in to get graded, it seems far more beneficial to just buy a card that's already been graded. Another benefit is you can "pick" your grade so rather than sending in the David Price Refractor and getting an 8 or 9 back, you got a 10 for a dirt cheap price and there's only 498 others in the world.

At best, most raw cards on the cheap will be $3 - $5. Depending on the player or card you may be paying upwards of $20-$30. If you send it in to PSA in a bulk submission, you may pay $12 or around there per card so you're already at $15 never mind the shipping costs too. That's all assuming the card you've sent in will grade as a Gem Mint 10 as well.
 

HarleyQuinn

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I'm curious, more so pertaining to MLB and NHL, but what do guys consider Rookie Cards? I was thinking of this when looking at old-school players like Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr, Tony Gwynn, etc. that their "rookie" cards tended to be either their first MLB season or the card set after their first MLB season e.g. Upper Deck, Donruss, Topps, etc.

But then you look at Derek Jeter and his '93 Select is his iconic rookie despite him not playing in the Majors until 1995 for 15 games. You have cards of Nomar from 1994 despite playing in the majors in 1996 for 24 games. In theory, shouldn't that make 1996 and 1997 respectively their "rookie cards" if going by the somewhat classic status of the next year post-1st MLB season?

Even Chipper Jones appeared in just 8 games in 1993 then had his first real MLB season in 1995. But all of his stuff is listed as 1991. One can pick up a 1995 Upper Deck Chipper Jones #293 PSA 10 Card for $24.00 shipped. Then snag a 1996 Topps Chipper Jones #177 PSA 9 Card for $18.90 shipped or less if you're doing the best offer.

Obviously, market demand dictates certain things but I feel like with the Chipper Jones example, one could arguably get 'legitimate' MLB Rookie Cards at a far cheaper cost than they should be. Mike Trout's 2011 Topps Update is iconic (and 2011 all bear the RC logo) compared to his 2012 cards, which are deemed '2nd Year' instead.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
I’m not as well versed on the NHL but the MLB get messy. Especially in older eras.

I guess for me, I would look toward the first card in a major brand. Right now, it seems like there is a piece of the market that feel like a “1st Bowman Chrome” card of a card who appears as a minor leaguer in that set will retain more value than their rookie card of an equal or higher brand. This came up a couple months ago. I stumbled across a good deal on a PSA 9 Vladimir Guerrero Topps Chrome RC. Seller had multiple around $14, which like my post the other day, seemed to be good. I got one and shared with him but he started telling me the prospect card was the one to get. From the same logic and comps, you can look at some of the hot rookies. This year a lot of people looking at Bo Bichette and getting his rookie card from the 2020 sets. Bo appeared first as a 1st Bowman Chrome in the 2016 set. Looking at a quick eBay scan, looks like the 2016 are priced higher.

Using Bo, Beckett has this article breaking down some of his key rookies in 2020 but then highlights some of the earlier key “Pre-Rookie” cards, which seems silly when a rookie card makes me think of first card.


I know even back to the 80s there were some famous draft pick cards you see before guys got the call up like Frank Thomas and Chipper Jones, Chipper being in 1991 Topps as a draft pick, despite not really being a rookie til years later as @HarleyQuinn mentioned. It actually wasn’t even the Select I thought of when Derek Jeter was brought up. When I think of his first card, he has that 1993 Topps Draft Pick, which is same year but maybe sticks with me feeling like one of the more iconic sets of my childhood card collecting.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
It's a cop out, but I generally just use Beckett as a guide for "RC" and "XRC" for things like Traded and redemptions from later day Select. There's no consistency for me to take a stand one way or the other.

I have a good number of 1990 Frank Thomas "RC" cards but I can also buy licensed cards featuring him from 1989, meaning he wasn't an amateur athlete anymore and he was collecting a check from baseball, but not in THE league. Same with "The Kid." I have a card from him in 1988 NOT in a Seattle Mariners uniform. I could list more examples. Then flash forward to 2006 and the Alex Gordon "RC" drama, he got sent to the minors so he wasn't supposed to have a "RC" and suddenly there's a premium for this mistaken printed card.

Football isn't much better. Joe Montana, Dan Marino, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Rickey Jackson, Steve Young, and Jim Kelly are a few examples of 1980s Topps "Rookie cards" that were released a season or more after their respective drafts. Modern football is a LITTLE better about "rookie cards" except for things like I referenced above. Pulling a 2019 Select redemption for "3rd QB in 2020 draft" is a little irritating.
 

HarleyQuinn

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A very quick example of PSA's "Pop Control" scarcity in pricing action.

Allen Iverson
1996 Finest #69 = 232 PSA 10s, 611 PSA 9s. You can get a PSA 9 for around $55
1996 Finest #240 = 25 PSA 10s, 30 PSA 9s. You can get a PSA 9 for $78 to $81
1996 Finest #280 = 14 PSA 10s, 29 PSA 9s, 5 PSA 8s. You can get a PSA 8 for $150

Dirk Nowitzki
1998 Bowman's Best #109 = 62 PSA 10s, 106 PSA 9s, 16 PSA 8s. You can get a PSA 8 for $40
1998 Finest #234 = 567 PSA 10s, 632 PSA 9s. You can get a PSA 9 for $70
1998 Topps #154 = 106 PSA 10s, 219 PSA 9s, 150 PSA 8s. You can get a PSA 9 for around $105

For just $25-$30 more, you could pick up the Finest #240 PSA 9 and have a fraction of the competition when selling it. Same for targeting the Bowman's Best while saving yourself $30 in the process.

Even just comparing say Frank Thomas. You can see that Bowman, Classic, and Leaf have relatively lower PSA 10 populations. Even the Score Traded has almost 500 fewer PSA 10s than the base Score counterpart.
1990 Bowman = 590 10s ... PSA 10 = $138
1990 Classic Series III = 310 10s ... PSA 10 = $105
1990 Fleer Update = 1240 10s ... SGC 10 = $50
1990 Leaf = 3585 10s ... PSA 10 = $230 (BGS 9.5 is $153 by the way)
1990 O-Pee-Chee = 120 10s ... PSA 10 = $659
1990 Score = 1333 10s ... PSA 10 = $61
1990 Score Traded = 885 10s ... SGC 10 = $50
1990 Topps (Name on Front) = 2897 10s ... PSA 10 = $84-$85
1991 Upper Deck = 210 10s ... PSA 10 = $65 (PSA 9s are literally $10 - $15... bonkers)
 

HarleyQuinn

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Man... looking through some NBA 90s Inserts. Fuck the Silver Prizms and Color Parallels of today's modern cards. 90s Inserts should be worth a bajillion dollars just based on the designs alone.

 

SFH

Integral Poster
Two graded cards from my COMC order that arrived today. Didn't scan the other 39 cards, filed them into the "to be graded" queue, though.



 

HarleyQuinn

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Having some fun comparing PSA 10 Gem Rates of the now-iconic 1986 Fleer set to see if 'star' players are routinely pop-controlled similar to the stuff that Vintage Card Curator does on his Youtube videos. Some really interesting stuff. Michael Jordan is clearly being pop-controlled as he's had 18,110 cards graded and in theory, his PSA 10 Count should be around 561 taking the lower end 3% range (say 3.2%) instead of its current 317 total. Dominique Wilkins also in theory should be closer to 124 PSA 10s than his current 92 total.

#1 Kareem Abdul Jabbar: 3.39%
#4 Danny Ainge: 7.80%
#7 Charles Barkley: 3.67%
#9 Larry Bird: 3.08%
#13 Sam Bowie: 9.78%
#24 Darryl Dawkins: 6.11%
#26 Clyde Drexler: 6.11%
#27 Joe Dumars: 6.60%
#31 Julius Erving: 5.04%
#32 Patrick Ewing: 3.03%
#36 George Gervin: 9.40%
#53 Magic Johnson: 4.73%
#57 Michael Jordan: 1.75% ... Hmm.
#60 Bernard King: 6.78%
#61 Bill Laimbeer: 7.49%
#68 Karl Malone: 3.42%
#69 Moses Malone: 7.11%
#73 Kevin McHale: 4.46%
#77 Chris Mullin: 3.43%
#81 Charles Oakley: 10.54%
#82 Akeem Olajuwon: 5.05%
#97 Ralph Sampson: 8.79%
#109 Isiah Thomas: 5.19%
#119 Bill Walton: 7.32%
#120 Spud Webb: 7.26%
#121 Dominique Wilkins: 2.38%
#131 James Worthy: 4.79%
 
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HarleyQuinn

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Having some fun with people buying the grade, not the card... Eddie Murray 1978 Topps trying to aim for similar centering aesthetic cards. Interesting to see the extreme pricing disparity too especially as a 'collector' mainly.

PSA 9 = Sold for $935
PSA 8 = Sold for $140 [Right Heavy]
SGC 6 = Sold for $39 [Right Heavy]
GMA 7 = Sold for $33 [Bottom Heavy]

 

SFH

Integral Poster
PSA and BVG 2 cards of MJ's rookie can still catch some nice prices. Basically as long as it is assured to be authentic, you can make money.
 

HarleyQuinn

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Staff member
Just picked this up. It came out to $15.60 ($9.99 price) and there was a PSA 8 being offered for $20 (Free Shipping) and a GMA 8.5 offered for about $25. Past sales showed PSA 9s going for around $12-$14 so I opted for the '10' over the PSA label. There's just something about that card that's super eye-catching to me personally: Griffey's smile, holding the bat, the 'Cooperstown' word on there, the circular framing behind him. I literally had never seen it until I just typed in '1991 Ken Griffey Jr. PSA' to see what was out there.

 
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HarleyQuinn

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That’s a really nice card! I remember having a good amount of early 90s Score but can’t remember that Cooperstown at all. Very clean looking.
Yeah! Looks like it was part of this 1991 Score Insert Set of 7 Players: Wade Boggs, Barry Larkin, Griffey, Rickey Henderson, George Brett, Will Clark, and Nolan Ryan.

For comparison: Barry Larkin PSA 10 being offered at $32, Will Clark PSA 10 being offered at $25, Rickey Henderson PSA 9 is at $17.90 & $14.99, Barry Larkin PSA 8 is $7.50, Wade Boggs PSA 8 is $11.99 & PSA 10 is $24.00

I picked up my Griffey Jr. for $9.99 (with $4.99 shipping) just because the 'label' was GMA.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Wow, quite the value find!

Seeing the list, Boggs and Henderson were two of my favorites as a kid, making me even more surprised I can’t remember coming across these.
 

SFH

Integral Poster
Looks like they were included in the Factory sets only.
I was going to ask. This is the first time I've seen that insert as well. A lot of my early 90s stuff was the result of those deals in magazines offering 1000 unopened baseball cards (and they are still in magazines) and it'd wind up being packs of late 80s early 90s Fleer, Score, etc... Would explain why I didn't see anything that was in the factory sets.
 

HarleyQuinn

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I was going to ask. This is the first time I've seen that insert as well. A lot of my early 90s stuff was the result of those deals in magazines offering 1000 unopened baseball cards (and they are still in magazines) and it'd wind up being packs of late 80s early 90s Fleer, Score, etc... Would explain why I didn't see anything that was in the factory sets.
This was a lot of my early to mid 90s sports collecting. Tons of 'retail' card packs and such but never complete factory sets or anything of that nature. I'm also not that well versed in the 1991-1995 'Insert' side of baseball compared to NFL or even NBA.
 

HarleyQuinn

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Staff member
Continuing to take advantage of others doing the legwork and my hockey focus, picked up 3 Rookie Cards of a single player. I still like GMA a lot but it's definitely a case of: Buy the Card, Not the Grade for them as I've seen some... wonky (to put it kindly) GMA 10s on the market.

1990 Score - Canadian #74 Mike Richter PSA 10 for $19.99. Actually my first ever PSA 10 purchase!
1990-91 Upper Deck - French #32 Mike Richter BGS 9 for $14.99 (9.5 Centering, 9.5 Edges, 9 Surface, 8.5 Corners)
1990 Score - Young Superstars #27 Mike Richter PSA 9 for $12.95
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Seems like some pretty good deals there!

In addition to some big gets for my Bayley collection, I decided to amp up some of my Paul Pierce collection too. Have a couple interesting pieces on the way but I try to wait until I have them in hand, as I got a nice Pierce the other day and the guy said “uh, do you want something else from my store? I can’t seem to locate that card.”
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Seems like some pretty good deals there!

In addition to some big gets for my Bayley collection, I decided to amp up some of my Paul Pierce collection too. Have a couple interesting pieces on the way but I try to wait until I have them in hand, as I got a nice Pierce the other day and the guy said “uh, do you want something else from my store? I can’t seem to locate that card.”
Ouch. You seem to have more horror stories than I do, lol but I've been targeting the players I grew up with as a kid partly for the nostalgia and partly because they are sometimes cheaper. After my HQ card issue, I also am much more selective about who I'm buying the cards from as much as the card/grades themselves too. I've passed on some really good cards because I don't trust the seller's feedback score enough. Below were the 3 Richters I snagged.

 
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