From time to time we will look at cards, sets, and wax that are sneaking under the radar, yet showing huge gains on Ebay. These are the cards you want to scour shows and shops for, as the mainstream hasn’t caught up with the hoopla as of yet. We hope you enjoy it!
Common Bin to Commodity Card of the Week
2002 Bowman Draft Omar Infante Refractor Parallels
Who would have ever believed this card would be so torridly sought after? Infante, known as the lightest hitting middle infielder in all of baseball, has started the season with a bang for the new Miami Marlins. As strange as Mike Stanton’s name change, and as wild as the awful “Fidel Castro is the man” remarks by Ozzie Guillen, the seemingly commonest common card of the last 10 years is now pretty hot. I’ve seen these in common bins, and as of early this month, refractor versions /300 and xfractors /150 would never generate an opening 99 cent bid on Ebay. This card, numbered to 50, is currently at $20 with some time left.
With over 3000 MLB at-bats, Infante has only been intentionally walked six times in his career. Despite being a career .275 hitter! In just 3 days, he’s already halfway to last year’s HR total with 3 dingers; 2 coming in 1 game. Pujols? No. A darn good, underrated must-have for any team? Absolutely.
“Hottest Insert Set in the Hobby”
2011 Topps Chrome “Heritage” Refractor Parallel Sets /62
2011 Topps Heritage Refractor Parallel Sets/62
(both #d to 62, the only way to tell them apart is the Heritage logo or the Chrome logo that appears in the upper left)
It never ceases to amaze the allure of the Topps Heritage product: Designs of yesteryear meshed with the “young folks’” bells and whistles, like refractors. In this case, these were inserted into the wildly popular 2011 Topps Chrome Wax Boxes, and we’re wildly popular out of the gate. Topps Heritage had already done this year within Heritage boxes, and both sets are visually stunning, and red hot.
The sets caught absolute fire recently, and are gaining popularity by the day. Stunning cards numbered to just 62, they feature mostly veterans, with some First Year major leaguers.
Both Worley and Hellickson are commanding $50 apiece if you can find them. That’s more than Worley’s 2008 Auto Rookies go for by a large amount. And Hellickson, who seems to be poised for a breakout year to remember, has seen his black chrome double in the last few weeks.
It can be confusing as the cards are identical other than small details. Readers: Can anyone weigh in and explain the way the two sets are connected, and which one you feel is more collectible? Is one set more desired than the other?
Commons regularly went for a few bucks, and now it’s $15 across the board for run of the mill ham and eggers (like Fukadome). Can this set go any higher? History says yes. Last year we featured the incredible dollar rise in 2001 Heritage Chrome Parallels. But it’s safe to say this year’s flawless design will be hard to top in the future,
“Big Gainer, Big Changes in the Hobby Award”
Jeremy Hellickson: An illustration showing exactly how the hobby has changed.
This card moved from $14 to $45 in 10 days. It’s a 2011 Triple Threads Auto /75.
This card, 5 years the Triple Threads issue’s senior, and his True RC, sold for $60 in the offseason and remains there currently despite Hellickson’s wave of popularity/success.
The lesson here?
- When Hellickson had NO autos, and that was for about 4 years after this (06 Bowman Chrome) came out, the card peaked at $500-$600, as Jeremy’s prospect stature became more prominent.
- Now that there are autographs, even though they are 5 years “too late,” this card (the ’06) is an afterthought.
- In fact, the 2011 Bowman Jeremy Hellickson Rookie Card Logo Autos are starting to creep close to the 2006 Gold Refractor edition. “First cards” of players, or “true” rookies, have never meant less in the Hobby.
I don’t like it, but I have to accept it. Or, maybe….just maybe, this cyclical hobby will eventually hearken back to treating gold refractor chrome rookies even better than the “flavor of the month,” badly designed cluster Triple Threads, thick as bricks and hardly resembling cardboard. If chrome is King, than what is Triple Threads? Supreme Ruler? King of Kings? High Fashion?
The sure thing award goes to…..
Here at Atlanta Sports Cards, for over a year now, we have offered tips on cards we think are undervalued and wise to invest in. Think we’re any good at it? Despite taking cheap shots by bloggers who proclaimed that a Industry giant marketplace, sometimes a market-making venue for wax of all kinds like ASC, has no business going outside the set “comfort-zone” of other Hobby giants where its taboo to do anything to possibly steer people in the wrong investment directions. Guess What? Owner Josh Pankow, from Day 1 to now, has left up each and every investment article. [On a rainy day, go under the 2011 month blog headings, and see if we we’re on the right track. I’ll let the reader decide, but I know for a fact that we we’re dead on most of the time.
Last year, Bowman Sterling’s 2010 Baseball Wax came with a box topper good for a future on card autograph. One of the redemptions was Houston’s JD Martinez. The box toppers were clearly short printed compared to the “hit,” 2-per box autos. Martinez, who was raking at AA, didn’t have a lot of fans as the Astros had their worst season ever.
Today, Martinez hits 3rd or 5th in the line-up, and is off to a fast start to his MLB career. Last year, we told you to stock up at $5 a card. Just 2 weeks ago, they were selling at $3 per.
Don’t look now, but the card is at $15 and rising.
The A.J. Factor
All of AJ Cole, AJ Pollock and AJ Griffin are making waves in the Minor Leagues, and to little fanfare.
I’ll speak more about Griffin in the upcoming weeks, but look at his stats and know these EEE won’t be cheap for long.
AJ Cole and AJ Pollock have bright futures as well, but, for now, the “AJ of the week award” goes to Griffin, hands down.
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