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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Pitching Highlights of the Week
  • On 3/7, the D-Rays' Jeff Niemann got his 1st Spring win, out-dueling young Phillies ace Cole Hamels. Niemann went 3 innings, allowing 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 BB & had 2 K's. He got his 2nd win on 3/15, leading his team over the Yankees 7-2, allowing just 1 run off of 6 hits, with 0 BB & 1 K in 4 IP. Niemann's 05 Bowman Sterling Auto/Jsy RC has been selling in the $6-11 TAC range for the past 6 months, through February. One sold on 3/9 for $12.01, possibly signaling an increasing level of hobby interest in this future ace. His 05 Bowman Chrome Auto RC is averaging around $10 TAC this month.
  • On 3/10, the Red Sox & Mets tied 1-1, with Johan Santana & Jon Lester both tossing gems for their respective teams. Santana went 4 innings, allowing 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 BB with 4 K's. Lester also went 4 innings and allowed 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB with 5 K's. Santana was really hot in the hobby last month, with his 00 Bowman's Best RC #'d 2999 averaging $97.06 TAC, and his Finest RC #'d 3000 at $125.06. So far in March, his cards have cooled down some, with his BB RC at $77.68, and Finest RC at $61.24. Lester's 06 Bowman Sterling Auto/Jsy RC has been selling in the mid $20's range, and his Ref version #'d 199 in mid $50's. I saw one of his 06 Bowman Chrome Ref Auto RC #'d 500 sell for $40.70 TAC earlier this week.
  • On 3/11, Seattle's Felix Hernandez tossed 5 shut-out innings against the Rockies, but his relievers blew their 1-0 lead in the 7th, and they ended up losing 4-1. Hernandez's 04 Bowman Chrome Auto RC jumped to $106.40 last month, up from $76.09 in January. It's the first time that card has had a monthly average TAC over $100 since August '07. His 04 Bowman's Best Auto RC has been hovering in the $40-55 range since last June. The first March sale that I saw, on 3/15, went for $78 TAC. Fluke or new price point?
  • On 3/15, Roy Oswalt pitched six perfect innings, leading the Astros to a 15-6 win over the Braves. In those 6 innings, he didn't allow a single hit, run or walk, and fanned 7 batters. Oswalt's 00 SPx RC #'d 1600 averaged $105.74 in February, down from a monthly average high of $122.83 back in July '07. After his performance this week, you can bet that collectors will be jumping all over his best rookie card, driving it's value back up to previous levels (or higher).

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