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Friday, August 27, 2010


... . . I hate being right.  

  Back in June I wrote an entry about sports card investments, and poor ones especially.

  The main example was a transaction where someone purchased a rare Stephen Strasburg card for $16, 400. I extolled the young man's finer qualities, but that the force he used to pitch 100 miles per hour would damage his arm.  I also pointed out the amazing items from other Hall of Fame athletes that retain and increase in value, and that hype purchases often work out poorly. Excitement and competitiveness drives prices into the stratosphere.
  This is something I've seen time and again. You see, my dirty little secret is that I am sports card obsessed.

  Myself and friends have made and lost fortunes off of cardboard. In my case, I wind up with collections that are worth several times what I paid and some greedy girlfriend or room mate relieves me of my stash. I'll admit that I have a large collection again and I enjoy it. Sometimes I even share with the like-minded.
  I've also witnessed friends win and lose in the cardboard stock market. I've seen them buy overprinted "special" cards for enormous sums and lose thousands and win with graded, proven talent and pulling rookies from packs. We began meticulously studying cards long before they got into vogue in the late eighties and can spot any condition variable and I am an expert.

  I have no idea what forced me to discover the subtle variations when I was a kid and retain them; but that ability and the one that seems to know the best time to sell are nerd skills I have. If I started with money, i would be far wealthier in a short period of time. But since I was poor as a kid I discovered cards. This is something that doesn't matter to most people, but I'm very good at it.

  With this market knowledge and that of Stephen Strasburg's probability of trashing his arm, I came to the conclusion that spending $16, 400 on an oversaturated rookie phenom's cardboard image was a very bad idea. He has too hard of a throw and too awkward a style to risk the cost of a car on.

  I was absolutely ripped on for stating that this Bowman Strasburg was the next  Topps Tiffany Barry Bonds.

  And I was correct.

  Stephen Strasburg hurt his shoulder some time back, after only a few starts. Even though he was limited afterward by his team, he tore his Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his elbow. Badly. I have damaged this ligament doing stupid things and it doesn't tickle. This kid is screwed for roughly 2 years because he's scheduled for Tommy John surgery. Poor kid. I feel bad for him because he seems like a cool kid.

  Buy his cards in 8 months.

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