1st official Zion rookie card. This will be the hottest cards on the market. 6 autographs and 30 inserts per box. 18 cards per pack, 6 packs per box, 12 boxes per case. $295.00 per box, most over $300.
This is an extremely popular set. If you are thinking of buying them – order presale for the cheapest prices. You can click the link below to buy the cheapest box. Hobby Box – 5 cards per pack, 12 packs per master box (2 mini boxes) comes with 2 autographs per master box. Please make sure you buy 1 master box and not 1 mini box. $150.00 per hobby box.
One of the biggest questions I’ve been getting recently in the baseball card world is which box do I have to buy to get a Ronald Acuna Jr. Rookie card. Bat up is where, bat down is what? Their are so many sets. Collectors see rookie card and they literally don’t know which hobby box to buy and get them. So I decided to fix that. Here are some of the main Ronald Acuna Jr. rookie cards in the great year of 2018.
2018 Topps Update US#250 – This is called the bat up card. If you buy a hobby box you should get at least one of these cards. Popular card because people can actually get these in a box.
There is one year in the prime Junk Wax Era that sticks out compared to any other in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s: 1993. The year contains at least 13 high-value Derek Jeter cards taken from the PWCC 2500 Market Index (https://www.pwccmarketplace.com/market-indices) shown below.
1993 Bowman Derek Jeter #511 PSA 10
1993 Classic Best Derek Jeter #1 PSA 10
1993 Classic Best Greensboro Hornets Derek Jeter #1 PSA 10
1993 Classic C3 Derek Jeter #4 PSA 10
1993 Fleer Procards South Atlantic League All-Star Derek Jeter #21 PSA 10
Derek Jeter’s SP 1993 has become the quintessential 90’s card. The PSA 10 has reached $99,000, before settling back at $76,105 most recently on 8/11/18. Here is a line chart for the 6 sales going back to 2012
Since the PSA 10 is so rare, a sample size of 6 makes it difficult to see the appreciation in price. Therefore, if you take the PSA 9 and graph it, it will show a more liquid rise of value with 155 sales since 2012 on a quarterly basis.
Without going into the charts for packs and boxes of 1993 SP, current prices reach into around $100 a pack and $2,500 for a sealed box. In other words, if you wanted a 93 Jeter Foil at a bargain price the train has left the station.
So what are your other options? You want a Jeter rookie that is scarce and at a reasonable price.
Let’s look into the 2nd most valuable PSA 10 in the same year: 1993 Upper Deck Gold Hologram Derek Jeter #449 card. The important part of this card is the “Gold” part of the description. Back in 1993 when the printing presses were working around the clock, Upper Deck was ahead of its time by creating scarcity with the gold hologram. The gold hologram set was only available at the rate of 1 out of every 15-set case. The regular or silver hologram was available in packs and in the other 14 factory sets in a case.
To put things into perspective, let’s compare the pop reports from PSA.
The most striking thing you will notice is that there is almost twice as many graded SP Foils versus the Upper Deck cards combined. It does make sense when you think of the raw value of the SP Foil being at least $200 and the Upper Deck card raw value being less than $5. People are more likely to grade higher value cards.
The other striking observation is the gem mint rate: SP Foil 0.14%, regular hologram 9.2%, and gold hologram 20.8%. As the rate shows, the perfect foil card is extremely difficult to find. However, the gold hologram has a relatively high rate of perfection. This may be due to the fact it was only released in factory sets. While sealed and packed tightly with 800+ other cards, it may have been insulated from the handling and other pitfalls that conventional cards in packs were exposed to.
Let’s do a basic probability breakdown of how we can manually go about getting the perfect gold hologram, in other words what are the pack odds? If the gold holograms are 1 in 15 sets, you would have a 6.667% chance. If you are lucky enough to find a gold hologram set, we can use the 20.8% gem mint rate to reach our final probability of 1.39% or 1 in every 72.1 sets.
The other side of this bet is the cost. At what point does it cost too much to make it not worth a bet? Taking the market value of $2,115, and carrying over the 1/72.1 odds, you can back into a cost of $29.33 as a fair bet. Please note this does not include other results including a gold hologram PSA 9 or regular hologram PSA 10. It’s not hard to find a sealed set under $30 on eBay excluding shipping. Unfortunately, the shipping is usually high which will decrease the risk/reward.
Jeter comes up for Hall of Fame nomination in 2020. There are many reasons why he should be there along with his former teammates Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina. However, above all that, he was the captain of the team that brought 5 World Series Championships to the most popular team in the nation. Therefore, there is a huge fan base that spans many decades that will always be Mr. November fans.
There are plenty of sealed sets available online, at local card shops, and probably at card shows. It’s important to be patient and have a price in mind that you are willing to pay. Chances are the guy who is selling these sets does not distinguish this from any other junk wax era set.
The 1985 Topps Baseball Set is headlined by the Team USA Mark McGwire card #401, which in a PSA 10 fetches more $750 according to recent sales. There is also a Hall of Fame rookie card of Kirby Puckett #536 and possible future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens #181. However, there is one card that is more valuable in a PSA 10 than every other except the McGwire: the Cal Ripken #30 card.
Entering into his fifth full season, Ripken had already won the Rookie of the Year in ’82 and his first Most Valuable Player award in ’83. He also won a World Series to cap off his 1983 MVP season. So he was well on his way to becoming a household name in baseball by 1985.
When looking at Ripken’s most valuable cards, he is not unlike most of his Hall of Fame counterparts where his rookie card in a PSA 10 is their most valuable card. He actually has 2 different Topps rookie cards, #21 alongside Bobby Bonner & Jeff Schneider in the base and his own #98T in the topps traded set.
If you were to chart his Topps 1980’s cards, you see an odd bump in 1985:
What makes 1985 so special? Why does the value go up 6 to 30 fold compared to his other non-rookie 80’s cards? Let’s pull the pop report:
First off there is not a whole lot of cards graded in total with it currently standing at 898. However, that’s not uncommon for a 4th year star. Gwynn, Sandberg, and Boggs all have a lower total population.
It becomes a little more clear, under 5% of Ripken’s total population is a gem mint, compared to Gwynn(25% / $43 average price) , Sandberg(22% / $35 average price), and Boggs(19% / $30 average price).
While we are on Gem Mint PSA 10 percentages, let’s peak at the top rookies of the set:
The McGwire rookie is valuable for a reason, recent sales show an average of more than $700 with 0.67% being a gem mint of the total population. Roger Clemens, although not a Hall of Famer, has a 1.4% gem mint rate and $389 average price. Meanwhile Puckett is closer to Ripken with a 5% gem mint rate and $255 average price.
Naturally you may think if the base set Ripken card is highly valued, the O-Pee-Chee and Tiffany equivalents would have a higher premium. His O-Pee-Chee PSA 10 averages under $60 with a 16.8% gem mint rate:
While his Tiffany averages under $100 and has a 36.6% PSA 10 gem mint rate:
To make this more interesting, the raw card is extremely available and basically the cost of shipping ($3 or less) on eBay. Would this attract the flippers or “card restoration specialist” to a possible 160x+ return? Or would the increased supply drive the market down to a more normal price?
What makes the base set #30 so valuable?
Most likely a combination of things, the Ironman streak was landmark in many childhoods across America. In the current mindset where giving players a rest day is commonplace; it is difficult to see that record being broken any time soon. The card itself is a nice looking action shot with him looking into the distance after his follow through on the swing. As with anything of value in the baseball card market, the price is driven by supply and demand factors. In this case, it appears the demand for the perfect 1985 Topps Ripken card is outpacing supply.
When you are getting back into cards you realize that getting your cards graded is more important than ever. Gone are the days where an ungraded card will get you top dollar. Collectors now like the comfort that PSA or Beckett graded card gives you.
Now, yes, their has been turmoil recently in the hobby with regards to grading, but it hasn’t slowed people getting their cards graded. Yet…
But how do you figure out which cards to grade or not? Will it greatly increase the value of my card or am I just throwing money away? Also, there is no guarantee that you will get a top grade. PSA 10 or BGS 9.5 are tough to get. If you don’t carefully inspect a card you can get a lower grade which will make the card worth the same as a raw card. I would say 40% of the time you won’t get a PSA 10.
Want to see how I check my cards out to make sure you give yourself the best shot at a PSA 10? Check out this Video!
Make sure you check your corners, centering (front and back), surface issues, and edges. When buying online compare cards to PSA 10 and BGS 9.5 and 10’s. Centering is one of the easier things to check online compared to the other 3 modifiers. If autograph’s are not clean and a little smeared that will affect the grade as well.
Look at the centering left to right, not PSA 10 worthy.
Now getting your cards graded can be expensive and take more than 3 months to get back! During that time a player can get hurt, be in a slump, or do something stupid that will lower their card values. He can also get hot and perform amazingly well which will make his card become more valuable. Well duhh…. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples to see if we should grade a card or not. We are going to figure $15 to get it graded by PSA and $25 for BGS auto card. I’m including shipping both ways. If it’s more for you just add to these numbers. Also eBay fees are 10% and pay pal fees are around 3%.
2019 Topps Series 2 Pete Alonso Rookie Card – Raw prices including shipping goes for $7.00 a card. We would submit this card for $15.00 so our total cost would be $22.00. Now a PSA 10 goes for $64.00 including shipping. Now take out any fees and that will be your profit. If you sell on eBay figure 13%. So in this example you would make a profit of $30.00. A PSA 9 has one sold at $15.00. You are pretty much breaking even. However, you would have had to wait a couple of months to get this card. In this example you would definitely grade this card.
2018 Topps Update Juan Soto Rookie Card – Raw prices including shipping are around $6-7 dollar so we will figure $6.50. A psa 10 goes for $35.00 shipped on average. Total profit would be $5.95. Now this is an average some cards sell for less. Would you wait a couple of months to make $6.00? You are still almost doubling your money so I would say you should grade this card. But if I were you I would get a lot of these cards because some will come back as a PSA 9 where you will lose money or break even around $15.00.
2013 Topps Update Manny Machado #172 – Raw Prices are around $5.00 including shipping. PSA 10 goes for $16.00 shipped. It would cost more to get this graded, then to actually just buy a PSA 10. I would say this is a good deal to just buy a PSA 10. PSA 9, well, it is a nice paper weight.
2018 Bowman Draft Chrome Casey Mize Auto – Raw Prices are around $75 including shipping. A bgs 9.5/auto 10 is around $180.00. I am not even going to do the math. You would definitely do this. But on prospects you should do a quicker turnaround because a couple of bad games may spell doom for a prospects chances. However, a bgs 9/10 will be harder to sell. I think you can still get $100 for this particular card, but their are no solds for it on ebay.
If you are fanatical about condition you may improve the 60% of your cards being graded PSA 10 or BGS 9.5. But always figure the worse case scenario, if I get a PSA 9 can I atleast get my money back? If not what tolerance do you have?
What about vintage cards? I believe you should grade them for two reasons. More often than not it will enhance it’s value and it will let you know if your cards have been altered or are authentic. Many of the alterations that happened to cards are vintage. Yes, it’s starting to creeping in big time for modern cards, but vintage cards is where cards can go from hundreds to thousands when graded a point or two higher. Again, take a look at ebay comps to gauge whether or not the condition of your card validates getting it graded.
When you first start out collecting you realize that autographs and relics (a piece of a bat or jersey from a player) are the norm. Back in my hey day, the early 90’s, they didn’t exist. To get an autograph in a pack of cards would be some crazy feat. It was for dealers who opened up cases and not mere peasants such as myself. Truthfully outside of Upper Deck I don’t ever remember hearing about an autograph in a wax box. Also, chasing the rainbow doesn’t mean wearing your most fanciest hat and joining a pride parade. What am I even talking about? I will get to what that means later on. So after the parade where do you start?
What are all these different inserts, parallels, printing plates, yes the actual printing plates they used to create that cards, mean? I will break it down for you. If you want to be honest I would have thought that a game used bat on a card would be more valuable then an autograph, but the baseball world doesn’t think so. At this point no one even cares about relics, with regards to resale value. Autographs and scarcity is what they truly care about. Autographs with a jersey patch is even better! However, I will start with 2018 Bowman cards. The rest of the brands follow suit more or less.
You can buy bowman cards in packs, blasters (retail only), hobby box, and jumbo boxes. Within these sets they have color coded system which indicates cards scarcity. Which is what collecting the rainbow means. You first have the standard bowman card or what people call paper cards. These are cards that are regular run of the mill cards. Now with these cards they can come in the following colors sky blue, purple, blue, green (retail), sparkle, gold, orange (hobby only), red, platinum, and printing plates. Each of these colors indicate the number of cards produced of each card. If it’s sky blue they made 499 of these. That’s it. No more that 499. Purple 250, Blue 150, Green 99, Gold is 50, Orange is 25, Red is 5, and 1/1 platinum is just that, 1 card was made like that. Now when you have the card in your hand and you see a purple card it will also have the specific card out of /250, so it would say 5/250. This will follow suit for all of the cards. Just a note each year Bowman will change colors slightly or may add colors, even the amount of cards may change a little. But it will always state how many of each card was made on the card.
Next, you will have Bowman Chrome cards these cards will say chrome on them and they have a different feel to them. They are very shiny and look nicer. They have the same color coded system as stated above. However, the chrome cards have a refractor and /499 version as well. The refractor will look shinier, more colors will come off of them when light is directly on them. It will also say refractor on the back of the card.
Now each one of these has an autograph version of the same cards discussed. With the chrome version being worth more money then the paper counter parts. These are the cards that are collectible and more desirable. Some of these cards are extremely expensive especially the top prospects. We are talking about prices in the thousands for players who haven’t played an inning in the majors. Yea that makes sense.
Just to make it fun they also have a mojo and shimmer version of bowman cards. They don’t sell for as much as the solid colors. They usually follow suit and have a blue, purple, orange, red, etc. Some of these cards look real nice. The one to the left is a shimmer and the one to the right is mojo.
The next couple are not from Bowman. Some sets have their own inserts or parallels. Below is a sepia refractor. This is included in Topps Chrome Set.
Below are two jersey patches – Immaculate Collection on the left and Museum Collection on the right.
The next card is an Auto Relic card. It’s an autograph and either a piece of jersey or bat. This is a 2019 Topps Musuem Collection.
Here are two relic cards. One with a bat. The Donruss elite, no logo, looks really nice if you can get over the no logo thing. The one to the right is 2019 Topps Diamond Icon, the boxes are extremely expensive $1,650 for a box! This card has a piece of his cleat!
Hopefully this gives you a good taste of all the different inserts that are out there. Yes, if you are getting back into collecting this is a daunting task. But I think adding these has really pushed collecting and the hobby in general into a much better position from when I was collecting in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Enjoy!
So I was checking out the previous years stadium club cards and thought to myself they look nice, but resale values aren’t great. This wasn’t a deep dive look but just my initial impression. Stupid! I’m so stupid!
I do a daily podcast, click here and subscribe, and I tell people not to buy this set because the reasons I stated previously. Again, stupid, you’re so stupid! I said this just looking at Cardboard Connection and nothing else. I shouldn’t have given an opinion until I at least saw a box opening of it. The next day I quickly reneged on what I said.
Why did I renege? Well that night I watched a box opening on YouTube – Jabs Family (should subscribe to his channel) and when I looked at each base card, the colors and pictures just popped. They looked simply amazing. At the time they were $60-$70 per box and you received 2 auto’s. Not a bad deal. Then I watched a breaker open a case and I fell in love. In my opinion these are the best looking cards I have seen since getting back into the hobby, which was last September.
So what did I do? Immediately, bought 2 boxes of these cards. I may buy more because I would like to collect the set. Following dealers on twitter, which I suggest you all do, I learned that it takes about 3 to 4 boxes to get a complete set. Their are 300 cards to the set this year. Stadium Club is considered the hardest set to get out of a case and the price reflects this. It cost about $60-70 to buy a complete set.
Too be honest I didn’t see any of the inserts, the base cards are the ones that looked great. The base cards have a bunch of variations (Black foil, gold foil, red foil, basically a lot of different foil, as well as Chrome versions of these cards. Also, each insert has an autograph version so they really try to make things as confusing as possible. A Topps staple. Here are some of the inserts you can get in a box of Stadium Club.
The Beam Team you only get 1 in a box.
They look nice but the picture quality isn’t close to what the base cards are.
A new insert, but they are all new to me since it’s the first time I am collecting them is the warp speed insert. Based off of cardboard connection they are going for a 90’s theme.
Another insert is Emperor’s of the Throne. They don’t look terrible either. So enthusiastic. I know.
The case hit Instavision insert will be harder to get. They also come in red, black, orange, and gold parallels. Eh….
Don’t forget about the Box Toppers! They look amazing. Yes I posted a pic above but it’s so good i had to post this picture again. 1 per box and some may be signed.
Awesome, amazing, stupendous. Yeah, you get it I like this set. The pictures are amazing! I think the base set and their autograph’s are the cards to collect. The inserts are okay. I like the look of the Beam Team the best. The price of a hobby box when released was around $60-70, is a great price for a box that guarantees 2 autographs.
When I started to collect I would walk by a local candy store that sold baseball cards. I would try and not by blasters of baseball cards because that’s not how you should flip and/or invest. But my obsession got the best of me. So, I bought a blaster of 2018 Topps Heritage, opened them up, and then realized I have nothing to put these in! What I did was put them right back in the pack and put the packs in the box it came in. Success! Not really. Corner don’t really like that.
So these are the supplies I bought off of Amazon. I used all of these supplies and if I haven’t I will let you know as well. In either case, these worked out really well and protected my cards. They also fit nicely underneath my bed with plenty of room for my cards and blowup dolls. I keep them underneath the guest bed so my wife doesn’t see how much I really bought! It’s just a bunch of old boxes, nothing to see move along.
Top Loaders – Standard – 3″ x 4″ – You need to keep your cards protected and you will need top loaders . This gives you 200 standard thickness top loaders and it also comes with 200 penny sleeves. This is the first thing I bought once I realized I didn’t have anything to protect my cards. More than enough to get you started. Click Here to Purchase.
Storage Boxes – When you start opening wax boxes, you will have a lot of commons as well as cards that you will have in toploaders. You will need a large box to put these in to keep them protected and stored where they are not all over your table. These boxes can hold cards with or without toploaders. Just note if you use them for only top loaders the row at the end won’t be wide enough so you could only fit cards in penny sleeves or just unprotected cards. The box can hold up to 5000 cards. I bought these boxes but this gives you 3 boxes for the same price I paid. Click Here to Purchase.
Top Loaders Boxes – If you are looking for a box that can hold just hold your top loaders I have heard this box is excellent. It holds up to 675 cards in top loaders. I have never bought this, but heard enough good things about this. This particular one comes with 3 boxes and it’s pretty cheap as well. Click Here to Purchase.
Card Savers – If you are looking to submit cards to psa and bgs you will need to put your cards into something else besides top loaders. I typically put my cards in a penny sleeve and then slide it in a card saver. Then you can ship them off to get graded. Click Here to Purchase.
Graded Box Holder – When you start buying cards left and right when you start collecting career, because you have absolutely no will power, you will buy graded cards. I had stacked psa and Beckett graded cards and no place to put them. I had card boxes but they weren’t tall enough. So this is the box I purchased. It holds about 75-80 graded cards, alittle less if they are all Beckett. Click Here to Purchase The next link gives you 3 boxes for the same price, I just haven’t used them but it looks like a great deal Click Here to Purchase – I would buy this one and you won’t have to worry about storing your graded cards for awhile.
Small Set Boxes – If you are looking to sell sets you are going to need smaller boxes that you can ship them in. There are 400 count boxes you can get for $5, but this link gives you a bundle of 50 for less than a $1 per box. If the boxes are too big then just add paper to restrict movement of your cards. Click Here to Purchase.
Team Bags – When selling team sets you should store them in team bags! Wow what a concept. I bought 100 for $5.00 but this is a better deal – 400 for $10.00. My loss is your gain. Click Here to Purchase.
All of these links are affiliate links. I will get a commission everytime you buy something through these links. It doesn’t cost you anything but it puts a little coin in my pocket. All of the money will go to the Buy me more baseball cards fund. Hope you enjoy!