Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sports Segment of the Geek
Stephen Strasburg is the hottest baseball prospect in years. Tonight he knocked 14 strikeouts in his major league debut for the terrible Washington Nationals against the not-quite-as-horrific Pittsburgh Pirates. He was impressive as he blazed 100 MPH fastballs and nailed curves in the high 80s. Number 37 struck out more victims than any first gamer since 1971. The 6'4" kid has the potential to be one mighty man on the mound, which makes me cringe in calling one dude an idiot.
In May, a 2010 ungraded Bowman Chrome Superfractor of Strasburg sold for $16403 on eBay. The inflated price was due to Yahoo, among others, featuring the card on their homepage. Now, the typical high-dollar card will be old and graded or new and have a combination of rarity and memorabilia. Hype has made for what could be one very bad investment. I know many of you don't know sports, but you do know numbers, so I'll give you examples of card values for people you HAVE heard of for comparison.
2007 Upper Deck Historical Cuts Dual Autograph Babe Ruth and Roger Maris $10 000
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Rookie card PSA 6 $15 600
1953 Bowman Color Bob Feller SGC 96 (Absolute Mint) $12 995
1916 Boston Store Card Babe Ruth $9 100
1910 American Caramel E90-2 Honus Wagner PSA 5 $7 709
1966 Topps Bobby Orr Rookie Card KSA 9 $5 350
I could fire up hundreds of examples of the greatest players and rarest artifacts in sports going for considerably less than this item of Stephen Strasburg. While it doesn't have the mystique and value of a T206 Honus Wagner, you could buy a new Toyota for the price. If you are a jock, you could score a midrange Mantle rookie and a Babe Ruth signed baseball and still be able to afford beers for all your buddies. This is a can't-win hype price that only 6 Cy Young awards will be able to sustain. But it brings a thought.
When you purchase something solely because you can't stand to lose an auction, you have made a poor investment. The value of this sucker will drop dramatically the first time this kid surrenders a grand slam. While sports cards CAN make decent ways to make money, go with established hall-of-famers and age. All it takes is one monumental screw-up to make your cardboard worthless. Just ask those people who paid $25 000 for Tiffany Barry Bonds Rookies or $500 for Eric Lindros. Never drop major coin on a guy who has been retired for less than 5 years because retirement creates a spike and then fall in values. The 5-10 year post-retirement period is gold because you have time to figure out if the guy is going to get busted for roids and interest has waned until the time where people get all nostalgic and it shoots up again. Buy low, sell high is the rule with the little cardboard stock certificates of sport. A few pointers for free from me.
Stephen Strasburg could become a great pitcher but like those before him will likely have a few good years and then trash his Rotator cuff. Few players attain the type of longevity to make their cardboard art worth a bundle in the long term.
Don't buy the hype and superinvest in unproven talent lest I write a blog calling you a sucker. Wise up kids.
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 21:34