The Dodgers are in prime position to make a deep playoff run, and we all know what that means for the biggest story in sports cards this year. Even though he has had his struggles since his explosion early in the year, he still has put up a VERY nice season and has shown he has tremendous potential across the board.
Collectors have cooled a bit on his cards, but its like saying the blue flame has only become red hot. Puig is still the best thing in cards, as it stands, and though he has only a few examples of licensed live autographs, I would guess it wont be long before more show up.
Here are some of the first live cards:
Compared with value from some of the others:
Can you imagine what might happen? Dodgers get to the world series and Puig lights it up? It would be incredible for sales, something that I feel is definitely needed across the board no matter the circumstance. National attention on sports cards is always beneficial, as a rising tide lifts all boats. Trout and Harper really provided a nice lift last year, and their autographs are easily carrying some of the weight this year. Puig has been the main focus, but a tent pole at the center of a product only goes so far. Luckily for us, the Dodgers are continuing to play extremely well, and we can only hope Puig continues to rake in the post season.
The difference now is that I think people are starting to see that he is human. He was pulled from a game for lack of preparation, and he has a wild child reputation already built into his value. That never works out well in the long run, but we can all hope that tenure breeds maturity. I dont think it has hurt his value all that much. Bryce Harper had a similar situation last year, in terms of his reputation, but he was never a person that came into a game lacking understanding of how to win. Collectors still put huge money behind his cards, although his reckless play has come into question on a few occasions.
For our sake, I hope everything works out for Puig. I want him to win, and I want him to continue his rise to superstardom. You should too – as its clear that the more superstars that grace sports card products, the better it is for everyone. Stores can make more money and stay open longer, card companies can make more money and (hopefully) make better investments in their inventory, and most of all, new collectors will join the ranks as the situation gains more attention.
The only question is whether or not this is sustainable long term. That answer isnt available right now.