Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What a huge difference 2 years make !

Two years ago I decided to make my Kershaw collection a more important part while I also decided to let my Verlander collection take a back seat. Why you may ask ? Did I know that Kershaw would be awesome in the next two years and Verlander would disappoint after hooking up with a certain someone (or the latter was maybe a coincidence).

Nope, no perfect foresight on my end. It was simply the costs of their cards. Getting my hands on a Verlander Auto or Relic card was way too expensive after he trew a couple of no-hitters. At the same time it felt like I was the only Kershaw collector around as I could get my hands on a cool Kershaw auto for around $25, sometimes even less.

As a result, I was able to have a lot of fun building my Kershaw collection until 6-9 months ago, ending up with 461 different Kershaw cards of which 117 different Auto cards and 105 Relic cards. Although this is still a mere 20% of his total cards (According to the Beckett database) it still feels like a great accomplishment that I have enjoyed a lot.

Although Kershaw remains my most favourite pitchers in the MLB today the prices for his cards have gone through the roof. Even a fairly simply auto card still sets one back at least $50, if not more, while any of the higher-end cards now easily go for $100+. Recent Dynasty auto cards even go for over $200-$250 (vs around $100 for HoF-er Tom Glavine). So out of my league for the moment and I have to face reality and start focus on singles (although even numbered cards have become really expensive). Here's my latest "high-end" Kershaw card, although some will claim it's crap given it's an unlicensed Panini card. I love the Americas Pastime set so I am very happy with this one !

How different is the world now for Verlander cards. I remember his auto's easily go for $100+, his printing plate the same ball-park with me skipping his relic cards as well. In the last few months I started noticing, on the back of a difficult year for Verlander, that his cards dropped off sharply. Printing plates are now like $15-20 while I feel I am often the only bidder for relic cards. Therefore, I have been picking up some Verlander cards. He will probably never be the centerpoint of my collection but I am happy to chase some of his cards for now ! Here are a few I was able to pick up in recent months ! A 2013 Relic card and 2014 Triple Threads printing plate.

I really am a bit disappointed that I have to take a back seat when it comes to chasing Kershaw cards. Luckily I have my Glavine, Blyleven and Rizzo focus as well as my other stuff, including Verlander, continuing.

Any of you ever had this experience with one of your favourite players ?


  1. Nice pickups. I'm sure there's a lot more to it but to me Verlander will always be a classic case of get rich and stop trying.

    As for PCs taking a back seat I've had a few do just that. Especially after I officially started a Luis Torrens PC that resulted in my Cervelli, Jagielo, Kuroda and Betances PCs either being relegated to a second tier (K&B) or just left in the dust waiting to be dismantled (C&J).

  2. I haven't tried to be a serious player collector since low-numbered and one-of-a-kind cards came on the scene. When I chose to collect Gary Carter, I could actually dream of getting all of his cards as long as I could find a way to afford his three rookie cards. And with the likely exception of a few oddball issues here and there, I did get every one of his cards that came out during his playing career.

    A few years ago, I decided to collect a career minor leaguer named Omir Santos who had a few nice moments with the New York Mets. He made it into most of the late season 2009 sets, but I decided it wasn't very fun chasing after 1/1 parallels and printing plates. When he didn't make the team in 2010, I just decided to let it go.

    I give all of you player collectors in this era a lot of credit - it's not something I'd try to do again.

  3. My GOD !! 117 Kershaw autographs? Thought my 20 was a lot per se. Congrats on your new addition and continued hunt for Kershaw cards. Being in LA the prices are even higher or it seems.
    When he does this for the next four years then prices will be just highly unreasonable for autographs.

  4. I recently just removed all cards #'d /10 and lower from my Dave Winfield want lists as they are almost never in my budget. About the only way I can find one for what I'm willing to pay (usually under $10) is when a card has a truly terrible title and description on eBay so that no one else sees it.

    I don't have that issue with my Roberto Kelly or Hensley Meulens collections. As coaches, and virtual unknowns in the hobby, they rarely rate more than a single new card each year, and they almost never get autos or printing plates. Though Meulens got his first auto card in Japan in 2013. It is numbered to 48 and I've only seen one copy hit the market...and it went for over ¥10,000 (over $100US at the time).

    I can't bring myself to collect an active player. Even with a player the caliber of someone like, say Alex Presley, those very limited cards are usually listed for far more than they should be worth on the market. And forget it for someone like Billy Hamilton. Hype alone will drive those cards out of any sensible collector's price range.