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Monday, May 29, 2006

Huge Upside Potential...

One young player that I think has a huge upside potential is the Dodgers' 3rd Baseman Willy Aybar. He's only 23, he tore up the minors and is showing that he can perform in the majors, and he only has TWO MLB RC cards (he also has an 01 UD minor league Auto that's hot too) , both from 2001 Bowman's Best: One #'d to 2999 RC & One Auto RC. To me, this combo of good play, young age & limited # of RC's is a winner. And to think that I almost sold my auto RC a couple of years ago, and would've only got about $5-10 for it!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Comparison: Ortiz vs Ramirez

I don't understand why David Ortiz's 97 Fleer & Ultra RC's are booking for $30, while Manny Ramirez's 92 Bowman RC is only at $25? Manny is 33 y.o. and has 446 HR, 1972 Hits & a .314 BA, while Ortiz is 30 y.o. with 191 HR, 926 Hits & a .282 BA. It's all because of one good year (last year) when Ortiz hit 47 HR, 148 RBI & .300 BA (and his postseason performance) (even though Manny hit 45 HR, 144 RBI & .292 BA that same year, in the same lineup). If you look at their ages & career accomplishments thus far, Manny's top RC is a bargain (and a keeper). Yes, I know that Manny has had some bad press about wanting to be traded, etc..., but he is a future 500 HR club member and pretty probably a future HOF'er.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Great Pitchers of our Time

It's just amazing when you think about the accomplishments of the 3 great pitchers of our time. Of course we're talking about Clemens (341 wins, 4502 K's, 3.12 ERA), Maddux (323 wins, 3089 K's, 3.02 ERA) & Johnson (268 wins, 4413 K's, 3.15 ERA). The Rocket's top cards are already high priced (84 Fleer Update - $300, 85 Topps Tiffany - $175; other RC's $30-40). But you can still pick Maddux & Johnson's top RC's for relative deals. Maddux's 87 Topps Tiffany is at $25 and 87 Fleer Update Glossy $8 (other RC's from $5 to 10). Johnson's top RC's are 89 Fleer Glossy $25, Topps & Topps Traded Tiffany $40 each (other RC's from $3-15). Understanding that there are some differences in rarity between these 3 guys' top cards, I would say that it still wouldn't hurt to snag a couple Maddux & Johnson top RC's while they're at this price level.

A couple other verteran pitchers that could be creeping into the top tier are Pedro Martinez (202 wins, 2931 K's, 2.72 ERA) and Mike Mussina (230 wins, 2459 K's, 3.62 ERA). Pedro's only real RC is 91 Upper Deck Final Ed. at $8. Mussina's top RCs are 91 Ultra Update $5 & 91 Leaf Gold Rookies $4. I don't know if these card's values will ever jump (because of the year), but I'm thinking about picking up a couple "raw" gem mints if I can find them for good prices.
There are some players' cards that I've been holding onto, waiting for them to achieve their perceived potential, and turn their key cards into hidden gems to sell. I'm not sure if their time has passed or not, but their cards are still sitting in my collection. They are players like Bronson Arroyo, Geoff Jenkins, Carlos Lee, Jose Guillen and others. Looks like Arroyo is having a very decent start this season with his new team, the Reds. He's 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA. His only RC card (95 Topps Traded) books for $8, but can be had on eBay for less. Hopefully now that Jenkins has better bats around him (in Fielder, Weeks, Lee, Hall & Koskie) and the Brewers are actually winning some games, his hobby status will go up. Carlos Lee has been playing solidly, with 15 HR & 39 RBI, and ONLY 18 SO! The other big hitters on this team have more than double that many! I have a ton of Jose Guillen cards so I've been always hoping he'd have a breakout season (and in the hobby). Still waiting… Anyway, we'll see what happens with all these guys the rest of this season.
My general philosophy for baseball card collecting is that there are 2 types of players: Long Term & Short Term. Long term players would be those who consistently put up solid stats from a young age, making it very possible that they will have HOFer career stats (i.e. 500+ HR, 3000+ Hits, 300+ Wins, etc…). Short term players would be those who either put up good to great stats for a few years, or don't start having strong numbers till mid career (or start their MLB career later), making it difficult for them to have HOFer career stats. Personally, I collect long term players, and buy & sell short term players. Of course, other factors to consider are personal contributions to their teams, reputation, team performance, etc. One of my all time favorite players to collect is Andruw Jones. I've been buying his cards since before he became the youngest player to hit 2 HR's in a World Series game back in '96 (breaking Mantle's record). If he stays healthy and plays to a normal retirement age, I think he can hit 500+ HRs & 3000+ hits. In my opinion, it wouldn't hurt to have a Jones 95 Bowman/Bowman's Best RC or two in your collection!