Kris Bryant: Buy or Sell?

 

 A little less than a year ago today I was screaming “Buy!” on Kris Bryant cards.  Typically, I wait until the hype dissolves around a young prospect yet to hit the majors.  This usually happens after said prospect gets his first month or so in at the major league level.  But with Bryant I went a different route….

In this day and age super prospects, phenoms, sure things or whatever you want to call them, already have max value built in to their first major card release.  Basically, what this means is that you will rarely see their card values jump above their IPO so to speak.  Kris Bryant cards, in some ways, defied this logic. 

Don’t get me wrong, Bryant came out with a very hefty price tag, but as we have seen throughout spring training this season, his cards still had jet fuel left in the tank.  This was based on two things:

A) His play throughout spring training was epic.  He crushed the ball and basically started where he left off last season.  

B) He was the center of a large controversy that became a national conversation in the baseball world.  The controversy centered around prospects and service time. The conversation only added hype, as just about every pundit and baseball personality confirmed his ability every single day.  You could barely watch a game where the Bryant topic wasn’t at least covered.

Two caveats two go along with the above points:

1) The ball travels in the Arizona air much better than anywhere other than Colorado.

2) All point B did was expose Bryant to more casual baseball fans and non-collectors.  This is great for those holding a card, bad for collectors looking to buy.  The market just got flooded with unknowledgable “fans” and neophyte collectors looking to sock away an “investment” and making bids and purchases based on what they see currently.  It becomes the Wild West.

Those of us who understand the sports card industry know that there is a small chance Bryant’s cards could reach Trout-like RC dollars.  However, we also know that it most likely won’t happen.  

Kris Bryant could be the greatest Cub ever, but the market is about to be smothered with another round of his autographs and “rookie cards”.  Plus, besides Mike Trout,  find me a player that was an uber prospect prior to their first major league inning, who actually saw their card prices rise after settling in to a Major League roll?  This only stabilizes value, if not causing it to drop like a rock.  

Wait it out buyers! Unless you are in to buying high and selling low, which is the opposite of sane, wait this one out.

If Kris Bryant goes on to hit over .300 and club over 30 HR’s this season, while leading the Cubs to the World Series, than I will eat my hat, as his card prices might stay at current levels or rise even, but that’s a tall order.

My prediction? We will see prices similar to last year (which were still high, but not like now) when his cards first hit the hobby by years end. 

This is all my opinion of course, the cards could always go up, the question is a matter of upside vs. down, history tells us downside usually wins in situations like this.

The Art of Set Building….



I apologize if you stumbled across this post hoping to learn the art of building a Hollywood set. That is not what this little post is about.

No, today we are talking about building a sports card set.  What is even more disappointing is that I am not a set builder myself.  I don’t collect to build sets and really have only attempted to build a few late seventies Topps baseball sets, which I imagine takes on a slightly different tact than building a set from a present day release.

So my post today is really a question, or a series of questions, for the set builders out there.  

First off, where do you typically find the cards for your sets? Do you buy them on eBay in lots? Do you trade for them? What about sites like http://www.COMC.com?  

Also, I’d like to know what sets are the thorn in your side, and which sets are easiest to assemble.  What about cost? Are there sets that cost you more than others?

Add your tips in the comments.  Maybe I will compile a post of all the tips I get and publish it in a spot for all to see. Any little tidbit is welcome, and hopefully we can all learn something about the lost art of set building……at least the non-Hollywood version.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and happy collecting.

-HC

The Definition Of A Vintage Card

A few years back, on a now defunct blog, I posed the question, “What is a vintage baseball card?” A better way of putting it might have been, “What year do you draw your vintage cutoff line?”

My vintage collection is as recent as 1972. For one reason or another I have always made 1972 my cutoff for vintage cards. That being said, any year up to 1990 could be construed as vintage by many.

I looked at a few things when I tried to figure this out….72t049willie-mays

1) Age – Straight up age was a factor. Seeing how I started this vintage collection around 2000, it did not seem right to consider 1989 vintage, for crying out loud it wasn’t that long ago (back in 2000)

2) Availability – This is a funny one. Anybody could argue that some cards post 1972 are more scarce than those 1972 and older.  I went with the average.  Look around and you will see that cards manufactured after 1972 start to become more available as the years climb.

3) Needed a cutoff – Okay so this is weak but I needed a cutoff.  The compulsive side of me couldn’t just use a three or four year window to make a round about cutoff. I needed the exact year and ’72 was old enough and scarce enough to fit the bill.

Anyhow, I get a good laugh when I see a lot of 1992 fleer cards listed on eBay and the seller considers them vintage.

What about you? What are your requirements for vintage? What is vintage to you?