Im not a huge baseball collector, so I didnt really know what was happening until it was too late. These boxes are literally the hottest thing to chase down not named Judge or Bellinger, and it really isnt those guys driving the price, which might actually be more crazy. There is a story behind it, and it mostly begins and ends with Shohei Otani, a star prospect Japanese player whose WBC card was part of special packs in the box. There are some reports of the boxes being recalled from retail shelves because of issues, and it has made these boxes insanely valuable. Like, so valuable, you start to wonder what might have been had you seen any for sale at the beginning of the ordeal.
Check out these prices:
These are some of the most watched cards on eBay:
Otani is a huge prospect, but international spending caps have made it difficult to predict when he may be posted and sign with a team. Like the players who came before him, the market for their first American cards is white hot. Masahiro Tanaka is the pitcher of most recent memory to generate this type of hype, but lack of real success has had an impact over the years. Same has been said for Darvish and others. Although Darvish hasnt been bad by any means, his values have cooled despite having a good start to the 2017 season.
The issue is more circulation than anything, as limited product and high demand will fuel rage fires in value that no one can predict until it happens. With Otani’s base card topping 200 dollars in some cases, it was only a matter of time before the blaze reached peak intensity on any unopened boxes that remain. With the national convention approaching, things could get even more nuts as more collectors seek out the exclusive cards available only in these products.
Special refractor variations of top prospects have been fetching huge money, with Judge, Bellinger and Maitan all claiming astronomical auction prices as cards are graded and posted for sale. If boxes of this stuff are sitting somewhere in a Target distribution center or Excel Marketing distribution center, eventually to be released, the time to sell is now. If those boxes never see the light of day, this Shohei Otani card could be one of the gems of the 2017 season. Considering the insanity brought on by the young sluggers who have taken the hobby by storm, this situation just blows my mind.