Insanity on the Strasburg Doesnt Even Begin To Say How I Feel

I thought the final price of the Strasburg superfractor was absolutely ridiculous. Now, I use the word ridiculous pretty often, but that word means more in that type of situation because there is no way that anyone from the outside wouldn’t think the exact same way. When you think about $16,000 for a modern non-autographed 1/1 of a prospect who has less than a month under his belt, maybe ridiculous doesn’t even begin to describe the real feelings that 99.9% of america would think. Hell, even his base 1/1 with no discernable redeeming value other than the numbering went for close to 5K.

Then you see the price this card is currently at. With over a week left in the auction, the card is already above 20K. Its no longer the cost of a used honda, its more in the range of a new Lexus, bording on a new Mercedes. Granted, the bids on this card may be problem people muckraking the coverage of it, but some of them are probably legit. Yes, this card IS autographed this time, on card at that, but there is no reason why this card should be even close to the price its at with the recent Bowman Chrome previews that were just released. Just wait until the 1/1 autographed Superfractor hits eBay, that will be truly ridiculous in every sense of the word.

Without discussing the careers of Mark Prior and other fireballers who had similar but not equal hype to Strasburg, its not insane to think that this card would reach or surpass the modern card ceiling. In fact, im kind of surprised that Beckett didn’t chase the card, grade it a 9.5 and sell it for the seller under their account like they have so many times before. But to think that this Strasburg card is worth more than any modern card with a modern player on it sold in the last decade or so, makes me kind of queasy. Kobe/Jordan dual auto logoman? Not at this level. Lebron Exquisite rookie with a three color patch? Not even close. Peyton Manning contenders auto? Peanuts compared to Stras. Adrian Peterson Exquisite 1/1? Even Beckett couldn’t help it get to the Strasburg quotient. Joba Chamberlain superfractor? Laughably close, but no cigar.

I have said before that getting into Strasburg for a few hundred bucks is fine, especially if you one of the 10 previous fans of the Washington team. But when you start getting into the thousands or the tens of thousands, you need your head checked. At least the guy who bought the super wasn’t really a hardcore collector, so he really didn’t understand the dynamics. That is probably what is going to happen here too, but that is not an excuse. Getting in on the penthouse level, even for fans, makes absolutely no sense at this type of price, even if you have the money. Go remodel your movie theater or bowling alley in your house instead of throwing your money away. I even think Keith Olbermann has better things to do, and he makes a ton of money.

Bottom line, these bidders may laugh at us for not being in their tax bracket, but we will be the ones laughing when all is said and done.

Bowman Chrome Promises Crazy Money

Hope you bought into 2010 Bowman Chrome this past month before this preview, because prices are going to jump after people see it. I have been talking about the Strasburgmas that is a comin’ for the last few weeks since the big superfractor sale, and this preview confirms the crazy perfect storm on the horizon. I have said that when it comes to the superfractors, the first auto will almost always trump the first card, and in this case, I definitely think it will as well. Because of that fact, as well as another most likely amazing auto checklist, Bowman Chrome should shine as brightly if not brighter than 2010 Bowman.

I hope it does, because when the hype machine gets rolling, its very good for the hobby in general.

Strasburg 1/1 Red Auto Surfaces on EBay

When 2010 Bowman was released, there were three cards that people were chasing above any other. One was the Heyward Superfractor, one was the now infamous Strasburg superfractor, and the other was the Strasburg 1/1 red auto. As of last week, the red 1/1 auto had not surfaced, and people were beginning to wonder how long it would take for it to show up for sale.

Well, its up now with a STAGGERING price, but I guess that is warranted considering that the unsigned Superfractor went for the price of a Honda Accord. I think there are a few points to discuss here when considering a final price, and I am sure all of these points will add up in the mind of the person who ultimately buys this card.

1. The superfractors, despite their ugliness, are the pinnacle of 1/1s in any Bowman product (or Topps product for that matter). Therefore, I would expect someone to want the super more than the 1/1 auto, as stupid as that sounds, simply because it is a superfractor. As an auto collector over a card collector, I would always want the auto first, but the hobby obviously feels differently.

2. Strasburg will have a superfractor auto in 2010 Bowman chrome, which will be worth more than this card, and possibly even the other superfractor. Auto superfractors are higher on the totem pole than non-auto. Since there are rarely non-chrome cards with as much hype as the Strasburg autos in 2010 Bowman, I would expect that the high end prospectors will value the chrome ones more.

3. The price is just asking for more news coverage, but I dont think it will sell even close to that. It will sell above 10K as long as Strasburg does well in his start, but the value of the card will drop come the release of both Topps chrome and Bowman chrome in the next few months due to the Strasburg cards available in those products. For this reason, I would expect this card to either sell off eBay or something similar, mainly because of the ridiculous amount of fees that it will take to get it off the auction block.

Personally, I could not even fathom a reason to invest in a card like this, even if you are rich beyond your wildest dreams. There is just no way that cards like this will continue to be worth as much as you pay, and almost ALWAYS come back on the market for that reason. Its the same reason we were all laughing when the Joba Chamberlain superfractor sold for 7K+.

I guess there are still some crazy rich people out there though, as there is obviously a lot of takers for cards like this.

Getting Aboard The Strasburg Hype Train Will Needlessly Drain Your Bank Account

If you missed Stephen Strasburg’s debut, you may have been one of the only people in the sports world to do so. The hype behind yesterday’s game was so ridiculous that it spilled over into almost every aspect of sports coverage. Not only was MLB network broadcasting the game, but ESPN was giving live updates, and websites were doing trackers. In the hobby, it was similar, as Topps declared it Stephen Strasburg day, offering contests and giveaways related to his debut.

Aside from the massive amounts of coverage, many collectors were waiting on pins and needles to see if their investments were going to pay off, at least temporarily. Even though Strasburg was pitching against the worst team in baseball, he did have a pretty amazing performance with 14 Ks. Pittsburgh has won at least a few games, and the Nationals are almost as terrible. There was actually a good chance that he could pitch one run baseball and end up with the loss (not that record should have anything to do with it). I think people were just hoping that he wouldn’t screw the pooch too badly and get roughed up. I don’t believe anyone was expecting what actually happened though.

Over the last week, his values have gone from ridiculous to insane. I mean, for pitching in a collecting black hole, his cards were already AS expensive as Lincecum, a pitcher who has already done it all for a better team. Then, post-call up, his values went so high that I am continually surprised how much people are willing to pay for cards that have already hit their ceiling. Then when you consider that Strasburg will have his first Chrome auto coming later this year, and people are still paying what they are for the base bowman cards, I start to question the general intelligence of the hobby more so than I already do.

Check out some of these recent sales, and then tell me that the people who are buying these cards are looking at this the right way.

Base Bowman Chrome (NO AUTO) – This is a BASE card. A. BASE. CARD. I cant even explain this. I got mine for 17 dollars only because I had 13 ebay bucks. Now I may have to sell.

Bowman Orange Auto /25 – Cmon. Really? Wow. This is a nice card, sure, but for THAT much? Good lord.

Bowman Orange Auto /25 See previous explanation, then add some shock.

Bowman Base Auto – When was the last time you saw a prospect auto go for this much – even some of the higher number parallels? There cant be THAT many Nationals fans out there that would pay that much for a card with no upside.

Bowman Blue Auto /250 – Paying this much money for a card numbered THAT high is terrible. I really don’t get it, even more so when you see that he will be in EVERY product this year.

Bowman Base Auto BGS 9.5 – Double the price for a 9.5? Since when? It would be one thing if these cards were like the Chrome versions that had a lot of condition problems, I don’t think these had that kind of issue. Seriously though, there is never a reason to pay a 100% premium on a graded card, let alone one that is only a 9.5 and not a 10. What a scam.

Bowman Base Auto – This one broke five hundred? Im going to laugh at this one in a year or two I believe. Some Pujols first year autos don’t go for this much. PUJOLS. ALBERT EFFING PUJOLS.

Again, prospecting is prospecting, but buying at the extreme peak of a players values isnt even worth it for his biggest fans. Washington is a terrible team in a terrible sports city, and people are acting like he is a New York Yankee. His values CANNOT hold, so why waste your money and pay 40% more than you should. Its ridiculousness at its finest.

EDIT: The first Strasburg MCG giveaway card has 55 bids on it. I will laugh if the card from Topps U&H has no differences and is completely indistinguishable. (Thanks to dayf for letting me know that U&H is numbered differently. Everyone will need to spend a ton now to truly complete the base set. Nice job there.)

When it Comes To Hype, Does Harper = Strasburg

The MLB draft is coming up, and there is one particular player that has been focused on more than any other leading up to the National’s second number one pick in as many years. Much like Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper is supposed to be one of those “cant miss” prospects due to his ability to hit for power and average. He has been featured in Sports Illustrated and in just about every baseball publication,and his cards are the only ones to even rival (or sometimes eclipse) the value of Strasburg’s from 2010 Chrome.

Harper was recently slated to be developed as a more valuable outfielder instead of the Catcher most scouts expected him to be drafted as, something that should do a lot for his card values. As a five tool player, he should end up as a combination of Joe Mauer and Evan Longoria, but that is only if he lives up to the massive expectations placed on his head. As of now, the hype machine is a whirling dervish swirling about, and his prices will most likely jump when he is splashed all over every page of every baseball site once again.
The big news should be announced shortly after, as it is likely that he will be included as a USA auto in both Topps Chrome this october and as a featured card in 2010 Bowman Draft Picks. Like Strasburg, his prices are so high that buying now would be completely ludicrous, and after the draft pick is announced, I would laugh at anyone hitting the BINs.
The one drawback to all of this is that unlike former number one picks like Mauer and Longoria, Harper is widely believed to be a hothead with entitlement issues. He also has Scott Boras as his agent, which may lead to some incompatibility issues if things get blown out of proportion. When looking at the production of his future compadres in the bigs, he sure has a lot to live up to, and its going to be interesting to see if he becomes the next Ryan Braun or the next Todd Van Poppel. With the prices that people are paying for his cards, there are going to be a lot of sad pandas out there if something doesnt go the way it is expected to.