Here's a look at some of the rookie cards that experienced big increases or decreases toward the end of the '07 regular season:
- 99 Topps Traded Alfonso Soriano Auto - Soriano had his ups & downs this season, but ended hot in September. For the month, he hit .320 with 14 HR (42% of his season total) & 27 RBI (39% of his season total). His 99 TT Auto was averaging around $103 TAC during that time, and I thought it would shoot up even higher when he continued to tear it up in the post-season. Boy was I wrong. As the Cubs got swept out of the NLDS by the D-Backs, Soriano hit a terrible .143 BA with 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 extra base hits & 4 K's. As a result, that same rookie year auto fell to an average price of $71.50 TAC in October (the last sale I saw went for $66.99 on 10/14). This off-season is probably a good time to buy Soriano's key cards, as they will surely go back up when he gets back on track in '08.
- 99 Topps Traded Carlos Pena Auto - Carlos Pena was one of the only bright spots in the D-Rays' offense this season. He deservedly won the Comeback Player of the Year award, after hitting an amazing 46 HR & 121 RBI. His 99 TT Auto was on fire late in the season, selling in the $55-60 TAC range through mid September. Then, it suddenly dropped down to the $18-30 range, for no apparent reason. He finished the season strong, hitting .318 with 13 HR & 29 RBI for the month, so I'm not sure why his hobby interest fell through the floor like that. My guess is that either collectors are viewing him as a one-season wonder, or, at 29-year-of-age, they'd rather focus their buying on some of the younger up-and-comers. I'm thinking that if he can show the same level of play in '08, at least some of the buyers out there will help to re-elevate his hobby stature.
- 00 Bowman John Lackey Auto - Lackey had a great season, going 19-9 with a 3.01 ERA (both career bests). Then came the post-season. Before the ALDS series with the Red Sox started, I remember hearing the TV commentator say that Lackey has never had much luck against Boston. I was thinking, "Nah, he'll do just fine. He's coming off of a career-season, so he should be able to hold his own against Josh Beckett." I guess I had too much faith in the Angels. After getting beat in game 1, 4-0, Lackey's 00 Bowman Auto immediately dropped from averaging $36 TAC in September, down to the low $20's. I think that because there was that known roadblock for Lackey (the Red Sox), he really needed to show that he could beat them in order to justify his star status in the hobby. When he failed to do so, that was pretty much it for him (at least until next season). If you want to pick up some his cards, now might be a good time to buy. Personally, I'm not a Lackey collector.