The Beckett Blog


Rippin’ Retail: 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball blasters vs. value packs by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds as he busts into a 2010 Bowman Chrome Blaster Box and two Value Packs of the same in this latest Rippin’ Retail video.

What will he find inside? Watch and find out …



Bryce Harper Superfractor sale confirmed at $12,500 by Chris Olds

The season started with a high-profile SuperFractor sale from 2010 Bowman and it’s winding down with one as well.

The Bryce Harper USA Baseball 1/1 from the overwhelmingly popular prospecting line has sold and was confirmed as a $12,500 purchase on eBay, emulating the other high-profile Washington Nationals sale of earlier this year — the $21,403 Stephen Strasburg.

This time, though, the card took a little more time on the auction block before actually selling — it was listed five times, according to original owner Earnest Clinton — before it was purchased by Aaron Marcus of Long Island, N.Y.

“I am not going to sell the card, as I want it for my personal collection,” Marcus said on Tuesday. “I might consider selling some of the other Bryces that I own someday, though.”

Among the other cards of the 17-year-old Nationals prospect in his collection are Refractors of a couple different rare shades.

“I also own Bryce’s Bowman Chrome USA Red Refractor (numbered out of five) as a BGS 9.5,” he said, “as well an Orange Refractor (numbered out of 25).”

So what was it that attracted him to the Harper?

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Topps fills in 2010 Bowman Draft Picks autograph checklist — but there’s no Bryce Harper … yet by Chris Olds
September 15, 2010, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, MLB, Topps, USA Baseball | Tags: , , , , , ,

When Topps released its 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects preliminary checklist recently, it appeared that “The Home of the Rookie Card” was populated by one not-so-popular player named TBD — To Be Determined.

While TBD still exists in its lineup, the lone fully licensed manufacturer of Major League Baseball cards released an updated version of the checklist for the always anticipated prospect-laden product, helping soothe the concerns of prospectors buying in bulk, hoping to bank on the big-name prospects with the most promise inside those heavily broken mylar wrappers.

While the biggest name of them all — Bryce Harper — is still nowhere to be found — not even on an Aflac autograph as he has apparently not yet signed — Topps has confirmed the following players for Bowman Draft as Chrome Autograph Prospects:
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Stephen Strasburg 1/1 Red autograph card sells for $17,000 by Chris Olds

The premiere Stephen Strasburg card from 2010 Bowman — his 1/1 Red autograph — sold for $17,000 (not including any additional fees) after 10 bids Wednesday evening in an auction that ran for a good portion of this month with Huggins and Scott.

The Silver Spring, Md.-based company’s auction of the card opened at $9,000 after it was found by a collector in Florida who initially opted for an eBay auction that ended with plenty of bad bids.

The card jumped from $12,000 to $17,000 on its final day, prompting overtime in the auction. It had been set to end at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time but ended at 11:30 p.m. Eastern as interested bidders were allowed extra time if they remained interested if a bid was placed late.

The card came up short of the highest price paid for a Strasburg card from 2010 Bowman, though this card’s status as a 1/1 autograph clearly trumps the other card.

The Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman has been sold twice since it was discovered — on eBay for $16,403 and to Razor Entertainment’s Brian Gray for $21,403.

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.



Strasburg 1/1 Red autograph set to hit auction block with Huggins and Scott by Chris Olds

The premiere Stephen Strasburg card from 2010 Bowman — his 1/1 Red autograph — will hit the auction block on Wednesday as part of Huggins and Scott‘s worldwide sports memorabilia catalog auction that runs through July 28.

Also on the block is an uncut sheet of 1954 Topps baseball cards — which includes a Hank Aaron Rookie Card — but the most talked-about card in the Silver Spring, Md.-based company’s auction of more than 800 lots is the Strasburg, which was found by a collector in Florida who initially opted for an eBay auction that ended with plenty of bad bids.

That card will start with an opening bid of $9,000.

Huggins and Scott cited rapid growth in the last year, which has prompted he company to double the frequency of its catalog auctions. It is now offering up to six auctions a year — the next to come in September.

“Our upcoming July auction will produce an industry stir as the company offers unique and rare items such as the Strasburg 1-of-1 and the 1954 Topps uncut sheet,” said the company’s head writer, Kevin Heffner. “But the company has many great items slated for our September sale, with many items to be displayed at The National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore this August.”

The Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman has been sold twice since it was discovered — on eBay for $16,403 and to Razor Entertainment’s Brian Gray for $21,403.



Strasburg SuperFractor buyer: “Negativity has driven me out” by Chris Olds

See two previous interviews with Robert J. Power here (the card’s sale) and here (discussing why he sold).

By Chris Olds | COMMENTARY

Stephen Strasburg probably never intended to be a polarizing figure in sports. By nearly all accounts, he’s a confident, quiet superstar in the making – and the results of his first five big-league games reinforce that.

Although the 21-year-old Washington Nationals pitcher sports just a 2-2 record, he’s got a 2.27 ERA and 48 strikeouts in his first 30 or so innings of work – good for second place in the history books for the start of an MLB career. By all accounts, this is Major League Baseball’s dream story – a highly successful college power pitcher arrives in a big-market baseball town that’s had little success on the field and becomes the talk of a nation; a “national treasure” as Sports Illustrated screamed from its cover.

But among the collecting community, where many have watched thousands of dollars in Strasburg cards sold – and even more money spent on boxes and packs of 2010 Bowman baseball cards — where Strasburg made his big-league cardboard debut — the story of the year resonates quite differently, particularly online.

Strasburg’s cards have generated resentment, hatred and vast conspiracy theories.

As well as harassment.

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EXCLUSIVE: Accountant says harassment, negativity prompted sale of Strasburg SuperFractor by Chris Olds

Robert J. Power discusses his decision to sell the Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor with Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds Tuesday afternoon in Dallas after he completed the transaction.

See the previous video about the sale by clicking here.

Click here for Chris Olds’ commentary on the Strasburg card.



What does the future hold for the Bryce Harper SuperFractor? by Chris Olds

The Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman seems to be getting all of the attention these days — and rightly so when it has generated sales of $16,400 and $25,000 — but there’s one other SuperFractor in the product that could give it a run for its prospecting money.

That’s the Bryce Harper card.

While Strasburg is the talk of the town in Washington, D.C., the 17-year-old Harper is the player who might be doing the same in a year or two.

And his SuperFractor was found by Ernest Clinton, a long-time collector from Hopewell Junction, N.Y.

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Signed Stephen Strasburg 1/1 baseball card heads to Auction House by Chris Olds

The Red 1/1 autograph of Stephen Strasburg from 2010 Bowman struck out on eBay and is now headed to an auction house.

Huggins & Scott Auctions, which is based in Silver Spring, Md., is working out a deal with the owner of the rare card to sell it in an upcoming auction, according to a story on NBCWashington.com.

The card neared the $1 million mark on eBay but the auction was halted during the weekend as the owner realized that bogus bids were piling up.

Once the deal to sell is signed, the bidding will start at $9,000 and run through the latter half of July.

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.



So, have you landed an Allen & Ginter Strasburg card yet? by Chris Olds

Update: At least one copy of the card has been found — a collector pulled one from a box at Odyssey Cards & Comics in Katy, Texas. By 2:45 p.m., there were just three on eBay.

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball | COMMENTARY

There’s no question which cards would be hottest out of the gates as the fifth installment of Topps‘ popular Allen & Ginter baseball card set officially arrives today.

It’s the last-second addition of a Stephen Strasburg mini card — and a redemption card for an autograph.

Both were expected to be short-printed cards, at least the autograph, with the mini card being at least as tough to find as any of the other 350-plus one-per-pack inserts are. (Ever try building that set out of packs? It takes work.)

But, as it turns out, the mini is proving to be a much tougher find.

How tough?

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Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor re-sells for $25,000 by Chris Olds

The Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman has set yet another sales record.

The card sold for $25,000 after 75 bids on eBay Monday evening as Robert J. Power, opted to sell the card in the wake of the publicity that the since-removed 1/1 Red autograph generated on the auction block. (The Red autograph, the only card that can presently top the SuperFractor in significance, neared $1 million in bad bids before it the auction was ended this past weekend.)

Power’s auction ended Monday, topping the previous mark of $16,304 he paid for the card before Strasburg made his MLB debut earlier this month. The new sale sets a record for a SuperFractor.

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Guest Commentary: What might Topps have in store for Bryce Harper and Bowman? by Chris Olds

By Steven Judd | For Beckett Baseball

I feel like I just spent a weekend in Las Vegas — you know the kind of trip where you sleep three hours over a span of 72.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a great experience … the excitement … the rush … the thrills … the non-stop buzz … crazy good like IHOP at 3:30 in the morning.

Just when I thought the trip was over, one recent Wednesday night it peaked over the top, again with the first major league start of the one, the only Stephen Strasburg. It all came rushing back like a frenzy of piranhas at a Labor Day cookout at the local lake.

I had meant to write about some general, not-as-riveting subject, but I just cannot resist. I am once again drawn into the spectacle that 2010 Bowman. My mind is racing as we continue to see secondary prices rise on hobby and HTA jumbo boxes, due partly to the perceived lack of product available in retail channels.

It is the perfect storm of hype, supply-demand and an iconic hobby brand. When this kind of product reaches this level of insanity everyone pays attention. Everyone. This particular release has reached well beyond the circle of the prospectors. It is hobby-wide and global in its magnetic effect.

At this point, I am pondering the tactical checklist planning for all Bowman releases through the end of 2011. We know at this point there will be a Strasburg Chrome autograph card in 2010 Bowman Chrome, which could be enough to send that product to the stratosphere.

The real big question will be how Topps handles Bryce Harper as far as when he will go into other Bowman checklists and how (regular card, autograph card, Relic card in Sterling). I wonder how far they will go to fully leverage the potential value his name can bring any Bowman-branded product.

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Strasburg SuperFractor owner tries for “Hail Mary” in wake of Red 1/1 auction by Chris Olds

Update: The reserve has been met, so the card will likely sell a second time unless he cancels the auction.

Robert J. Power, the owner of the Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman, confirmed to Beckett Media on Tuesday morning that it is, indeed, his card and his auction legitimately on eBay.

While it may appear that he’s working on a quick flip of the card that has gotten him national attention, including an interview on ESPN’s “First Take,” Power said his intention wasn’t that at all. He said the attention that the Strasburg 1/1 Red autograph auction is getting (after 103 bids, it’s presently at $36,100)  prompted his decision.

“That is my auction,” he said Tuesday of the SuperFractor offering. “I saw what the Red auto 1/1 is going for, so I thought I’d throw up a Hail Mary.

“My reserve price most likely won’t be met,  so it won’t sell.  I am actually hoping to keep the card, it will be worth more in the future, but $35,000 for the Red Auto kind of blew me away.”

The SuperFractor sat at $15,800 after 41 bids Tuesday morning.

It’s worth noting that the Red auction does not require pre-approved bidders, which, in the case of a high-profile card such as this, can  increase the likelihood of a non-sale.

Strasburg’s next start is Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals (29-42).

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.



It’s deja vu all over again: Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Red 1/1 autograph surpasses $100,000 by Chris Olds

Update: As of 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 22, the bidding sat at $26,845 (80 bids). By Wednesday, it had topped $100,000 — most likely because of bad bids. By June 27, the auction had been canceled.

Yogi Berra would be proud.

It’s deja vu all over again as another one-of-a-kind baseball card of Washington Nationals sensation Stephen Strasburg has been re-listed on eBay and is already in brand-new-car territory.

Previously posted on the auction site with a Buy It Now price of $50,000, the 2010 Bowman Strasburg Red autograph card — only one copy made printed and signed with that color border — is sitting at $16,000 after 47 bids after the BIN option was eliminated. And there is more than a week remaining in the auction of the card discovered by a collector in Melbourne, Fla.

It’s the lone card in the product that could trump the already famous $16,403 SuperFractor purchased by accountant Robert J. Power late last month.

The SuperFractor had previously been listed on eBay with a $20,000 Buy It Now pricetag but it did not sell at that price in mid-May.The SuperFractor sale set a record for that type of card.

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.



Stephen Strasburg keeps on racking up the strikeouts … by Chris Olds

The 1990s Nike commercial that insisted that “chicks dig the long ball” featured Atlanta’s Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine obsessing about Mark McGwire‘s mammoth home runs.

But none of those stars did what Stephen Strasburg did on Friday night against Chicago.

He set a new MLB record for the most strikeouts in his first three games. With his 10 strikeouts against the White Sox, the already highly touted right-hander upped his total to 32 for the season. He left after seven innings, trailing 1-0 but ultimately only defeated by a conservative pitch count. He walked zero in the start.

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EXCLUSIVE — Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor buyer: “A card like this is just what the industry needs” by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball

Plenty has been written about the Stephen Strasburg SuperFractor from 2010 Bowman that sold for $16,403 recently, and plenty has been said about the hobby in the wake of the behemoth of a popular baseball card product that created it.

And all of that was well before Strasburg’s dominating MLB debut.

We’ve heard from Leo Kim, the finder of the Strasburg, the lucky person who beat the one in 1,210,000 odds of finding the card. And, on Tuesday, Beckett Media learned a bit about the buyer of the card, Robert J. Power, a 37-year-old accountant from Michigan who purchased the card last month.

“A card like this is just what the industry needs,” said Power, who talked about his collecting past, his reasoning for buying the card — and even his wife’s reaction to making a pretty substantial purchase — in this exclusive Q&A with Beckett.

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Stephen Strasburg baseball cards — the hottest thing in the hobby by Chris Olds

There’s no question that Stephen Strasburg is the hottest thing in baseball — and baseball cards — right now.

And as we head into the weekend with Strasburg’s second big-league start scheduled for Sunday, we’ve whipped up some statistics about Strasburg’s baseball cards.

Check it out …



***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (6-11) Contest No. 2 — A Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman baseball card by Chris Olds

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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