The Beckett Blog


Bryce Harper’s first game-used jersey as pro hits auction block by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Plenty has been written about 18-year-old baseball prospect Bryce Harper and plenty has been sold featuring Harper, too.

But until now he’s never had any officially licensed MLB trading cards or game-used MLB memorabilia for the deep-pocketed investors to latch on to.

What’s new? No, it’s not a Bowman baseball card bearing the Washington Nationals logo beside his name — we’ll get that in 2011 — but we’ve got the next-closest thing.

Harper’s first jersey worn in a game as a professional — a Nationals home jersey from his Arizona Fall League debut on Oct. 20 — has hit the auction block at MLB.com and already is commanding attention.

The jersey sits at just $2,535 after 36 bids, a relative bargain so far — though the auction does not close until next Sunday, Nov. 21.

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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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The hobby’s biggest story in years gets bigger — Stephen Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS | COMMENTARY

Anyone who doubts Stephen Strasburg‘s place in the hobby in 2010 hasn’t been paying attention to the stat sheets.

You know, his numbers on the field — and the sales of his baseball cards.

However, the biggest story in baseball in years got a little bit bigger on Friday morning as a Washington Nationals official said the highly touted hard-throwing right-handed rookie likely needs Tommy John surgery — ligament replacement in his right elbow. That means we may not see him on an MLB mound until 2012.

Cynics saw Strasburg’s high level of success on the field and predicted a downfall eventually — though one has to wonder where that particularly came from as he has been absolutely dominant in college and the minor leagues before becoming the spectacle of all spectacles in the big leagues this season. You can’t argue with his numbers — they were there and had been enough to justify his being the No. 1 pick, which came with a hefty $15-million record-setting contract.

However, one can never predict injuries — and the cynics got what they wanted; a quick downfall this season, an end to the biggest story MLB has had — especially when reflected on cardboard — in years. Some say Strasburg’s arrival challenges the impact of the arrivals of Ichiro Suzuki and Albert Pujols in 2001, but I’d say it might surpass them both and go even further back.

Now what, though? Let’s assess Strasburg’s performance as we look forward …


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First look: 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Stephen Strasburg Autograph by Chris Olds

Topps is apparently taking a different  approach with what could be the biggest Chrome autograph card in recent years — if not ever — as it teased the card image for Stephen Strasburg‘s 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft RC on Thursday.

Interestingly, it doesn’t feature an action photo — instead a curtain call from his big-league debut game on June 8.

That’s a move that might make some collectors cringe but is perhaps one that will stand out among the countless cards Strasburg has this season.

Does it help or hurt a card like this? Thoughts on this move? Let us know in the comments and take the poll below.

FOR A GALLERY OF IMAGES FROM THE SET, LOOK AFTER THE JUMP.

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Topps confirms Stephen Strasburg autograph quantity in Tribute by Chris Olds

They aren’t immensely rare, after all.

Topps confirmed the quantity of Stephen Strasburg autographs in this year’s Tribute set on Wednesday, announcing that there are, indeed, 500 autographed cards of the Washington Nationals rookie to be found in the high-end product. The number was what Beckett estimated at the time of the product’s arrival.

However, there is a slight wrinkle to this year’s Tribute redemptions for the highly touted rookie. As many collectors have noticed, the redemptions don’t state which version of the four parallels the recipients will receive.

Topps said Wednesday that there are 250 copies of the single-piece Relic as well as the dual and that the redemptions will be randomly fulfilled.

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First Strasburg National Topps Heritage card sells for $869 in charity fund-raiser by Chris Olds

Update: The card sold for $869.

The first copy of the 2010 Topps Heritage National Sports Collectors Convention card of Washington Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg has hit the auction block benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes foundation.

The card, No. 1/999, is available on eBay right now.

The other 998 copies of the card will be available during limited times at the Topps booth during the NSCC, which starts next week in Baltimore, Md. There is a limit of one card per person per day if they open packs of cards at the company’s booth during the show.

The winner also will receive a VIP Pass to the National, which includes 12 free VIP celebrity star autographs, all promotional cards given to VIPs as well as entrance into the private VIP Party among other benefits.

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.



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.