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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MLB Stat Milestones - Do They Make An Impact on RC Values?

It's very difficult to predict the impact a stat milestone will have on a player's RC values. You'd think it would push their cards up, but look at Rafael Palmeiro; he had 569 HR & 3020 Hits, yet his RC cards never budged (87 Donruss $5, 87 Topps Tiffany $15). Maybe it had something to do with the steroid accusations he faced at the end of his career? Will that mean that Barry Bonds & Sammy Sosa RC cards will also endure a similar stagnant status when they reach their milestones? Greg Maddux, who has 334 Wins & 3179 K's, hasn't received a boost in his RC cards either. His prices have been pretty flat for as long as I can remember.

For those of us still valuing what players achieve over the long haul, here's a list of players who are on the verge of reaching career milestones this season. Next to their name is their milestone, current stat (as of 4/17) and their magic number.
  • Barry Bonds (756 HR) - 737 HR --> 19
  • Sammy Sosa (600 HR) - 591 HR --> 9
  • Ken Griffey Jr. (600 HR) - 563 HR --> 37
  • Frank Thomas (500 HR) - 488 HR --> 12
  • Jim Thome (500 HR) - 474 HR --> 26
  • Alex Rodriguez (500 HR) - 471 HR --> 29
  • Manny Ramirez (500 HR) - 470 HR --> 30
  • Todd Helton (300 HR) - 287 HR --> 13
  • Ivan Rodriguez (300 HR) - 280 HR --> 20
  • Craig Biggio (3000 Hits) - 2944 Hits --> 56
Of these players, the ones that I like as investments are ARod & Manny Ramirez. In addition to reaching this great milestone, both players are still young, they have career BA over .300, and they have a good chance of reaching the 3000 hits mark.

On the broader market, what seems to drive prices up is a player's performance in the shorter term. David Ortiz has hit so many key HR's in the past couple of years, and his RC values have increased to extraordinary heights, even though he probably won't reach 500 HRs in his career. I guess its just all about personal collecting preference.

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