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.)

This Is What Boredom Does To A Football Collector

Last week, we had the first product of 2009 hit the shelves, which usually would be a happy day. However, this product is PRE draft and is only put out to cash in on something that many football collectors can identify with – BOREDOM.

2009 Sage is basically the brother of press poop, and this unlicensed product is the first in the brown wave of ugly cards with ugly foil stickers. For college collectors, this product is a wet dream because many of those people couldnt care less about which pro team they are on. For other people, this is a boring attempt to cure the boredom of a lack of affordable products since SPA in December. I hate these cards, and I cant understand the people who bust this shit because they want autos of the 2009 players before the draft even happens. Why couldnt you wait? No, instead, lets pay 30+ dollars for an auto of Mark Sanchez who may not even be a first rounder. Fucking ridiculous. Add in the fact that they will be paying triple to quadruple the value for cards that will bottom out as soon as a real product hits the shelves, and you see what I mean. Hell, even the college collectors, whom this product SHOULD be made for, wont even buy yet on the big guys. Why should they?

I know, I know, people will never learn. Its like they think this year’s products will be different. They think that SAGE will hold its value for the first time EVER, and they will be able to cash in. Sure, why not.

This is pretty fucking easy: Dont be stupid, dont be that guy, dont buy this crap, and wait for the draft. There are a lot of question marks this year, and you could easily get screwed by buying this early. Its like having a baseball fantasy draft in february, you can only get hurt by not waiting.