The Beckett Blog


Ubaldo Jimenez remains one of baseball’s bargain-bin players by Chris Olds

There are countless baseball players who, no matter what they do, really don’t grab the attention of many a collector and remain off the radar when it comes to gaining ground on the hobby’s stars.

But after throwing the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history last night, Ubaldo Jimenez will get a little more attention.

For how long? We’ll have to wait and see.

The 26-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic won 15 games for the Rockies last season (while losing 12) and holds a 34-28 record after playing in parts of five seasons. He has a career ERA of 3.70 — which should impress even more considering he plays half of his games in the high-altitude launching pad known as Coors Field.

This year, he’s 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 21 innings.

So, what should collectors consider when looking into his cards? Well, he’s got just 510 total — and 112 of those are the “elusive” autograph. He’s got 43 memorabilia cards and 21 Rookie Cards — so there are a lot of choices to be made.

We’ll examine two worth considering…

THE FIRST CARD
While his Rookie Cards should be relatively easy to track down, a player’s very first minor league cards aren’t always easy finds. Team-released team sets can be tough finds — sometimes only a few hundred sets made — but for now Jimenez’s first card is findable. It comes from the 2002 Casper (Wyo.) Rockies team set made by Grandstand (above).

THE PRICEY CARD
Jimenez’s most-expensive RC is from the 2005 Donruss Signature set (No. 159), a $100 quad autograph card likely because he shares it with Jeff Niemann, Tony (Ramon) Pena and Justin Verlander.

It’s interesting to note that he does not have a Rookie Card made by Topps — just releases by Donruss-Playoff, Fleer and Upper Deck — so there’s no Bowman Chrome Refractor rarity for Chromies to latch onto (as is the norm).

Yes, there will be rare cards commanding more expensive prices than this card, but the real key is whether there will be collectors biting at those high price tags in the wake of the historic no-no en masse. (A quick examination of eBay sales overnight shows that just one card, a graded specimen no less, topped $100, while several $100-plus auctions of rarer cards have been launched.)

Jimenez’s first Bowman card didn’t arrive until 2007 and the Gold Refractor version of that card is just $10, despite there being just 50 copies of the card.

We saw modest short-term gains and interest in Mark Buehrle’s cards last summer after his gem, which was a perfect game, but like Jimenez, he doesn’t really have one key card for collectors to latch on to. (Jimenez does have more high-end autographed choices for collectors, though.)

Having seen a few games in Coors Field in person, it’s easy to consider that many a collector might hesitate to sink a whole lot of cash into a Rockies pitcher — just like fantasy baseball logic.

However, after Saturday night, there is at least one more reason to consider Jimenez.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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[…] logic. However, after Saturday night, there is at least one more reason to consider Jimenez. Ubaldo Jimenez remains one of baseball’s bargain-bin players The Beckett Blog __________________ Shop for Sports Cards and Trading […]

Pingback by Anonymous

i hear ya but i really never go by price guides. i go by completed listings on ebay. i let the people say what its worth. they always say, its only worth only what some1 is willing 2 pay. beckett will catch up. i sell on ebay and have sold alot of his card recently on ebay. just sold 9- 07chromes for 84.00 yesterday. all i can say is it took till he got to 10-1 to get his cards to jump. they are still undervalued compared to alot of prospects. firgue two more games tops and his value will be were it should be. the thing is, i love them but beckett wont be. ebay is your price guide, as the people say what its worth. over time beckett will catch up and his cards will cool down! trust me they havent even caught fire yet!!!!!

Comment by greg greg

my comment was on the message about the gold refractor being 10 dollars! my screen name on ebay is bgsthebest. i have his cards priced at max because if he wins sunday his cards will be fire and im playing the gamble right now!

Comment by greg greg




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