Rotisserie Duck

Do Ya' Feel Lucky Punk PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00
Over the last few years, fantasy sports have morphed into a much different enterprise. Oh sure, there's still the die-hard, season-long players like The Old Duck who love being with friends and understand that you can't duplicate the camaraderie of a live auction draft table by playing the game any other way.

First, the Internet allowed people to play fantasy sports remotely and the dreaded "snake" draft became common place on sites like Yahoo, ESPN and the like. Then, real money became the lure with national contests such as the NFBC (National Baseball Championship) running live drafts in Las Vegas and other cities with huge pay-outs for the overall winners. Now, we are inundated with advertising for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), where participants can choose a new team each day (baseball) or week (football) and put up their money against a group of anonymous opponents. As a result, when you tune into satellite radio or look at your favorite fantasy website, a large portion of the advice is geared toward this type of game.

Scribes more knowledgeable than me have written numerous articles about the positives and negatives of DFS and I won't attempt to question their expertise on either side of the issue. One of the reasons is that as an Arizona resident, I'm not allowed to participate in DFS. Why, you ask? Because Arizona is one of only five states that consider this gambling, and therefore, illegal. In fact, residents of these five states can't even go to Nevada and play in the NFBC. Obviously, 45 states consider it legal to "wager" on DFS sites and the basic criteria is that the authorities consider it a game of skill as opposed to a game of chance. This is where the waters become murky and many of my Fantasy Baseball brethren have taken opposite sides in the argument.

With no stake in the discussion, here's my take. I've always thought of DFS participation as akin to going to the race track. You get a program, look over your research and place a wager on an athlete. If that athlete wins, you get paid an amount based on the wagering pool created by every other bet (pari-mutual betting) and the owner of the facility takes a percentage of the pool to cover expenses and make a profit. The "take" at most American tracks is an average of about 20%...DFS sites claim to take 10%. In either case, there is no "game of chance" involved such as a slot machine or a lottery ticket.

An ongoing discussion is the question of DFS being a game of skill. Some people argue that poker is a game of skill and those that feel that way more than likely think it takes more skill than picking horses or ballplayers. We've all known good poker players and bad poker players, but the real difference in the two pursuits is that you get dealt cards in poker before you even make a bet...that makes it different than sports betting. Your opponent may be dealt pocket aces at a Texas Hold'em table but nobody you're competing against in fantasy sports gets dealt Mike Trout or Aaron Rodgers. It seems that from a legal point of view, this may be the difference between a "game of chance" and a "game of skill". Let's not kid ourselves, it's all gambling, but the legal interpretation changes the landscape.

While DFS wagering or poker playing might fall out of my expertise, it is obvious to me that a form of gambling saved the baseball card industry and continues to drive the hobby today. After card manufacturers almost ruined the industry in the late 80's and early 90's by overproducing products and eliminating any type of scarcity, they were forced to reinvent themselves. Their method was to begin including authentic autograph and memorabilia cards randomly into packs. So, theoretically, you could purchase a pack of eight cards for $3 and pull a Derek Jeter autograph card worth $100 or more. Of course, the card companies also had to pay players to sign their signature and/or make game-used uniforms available and those costs increased the price of the product. Today, you can still buy $3 packs, but you can also buy products where you're guaranteed autograph cards. The Topps company recently came out with a product that sells for $125 a pack. Inside, there are only two baseball cards but each of them will have an autograph. The players are random, of course, and there are over 100 subjects in the run. A collector I know recently purchased a case (8 packs) for a little less than $1,000. The 16 autograph cards that were pulled included such players as James Shields, Rick Porcello, Micah Johnson, Raisel Iglesias and Marquis Grissom. The best cards were a Randy Johnson Auto numbered to 5 and a Javier Baez Auto and Uniform Patch numbered to 10. The value of the 16 cards won't be half of the original cost. On the other hand, another collector opened a 24-pack box of cards that cost less than $70 and pulled a Kris Bryant Autograph card serial-numbered to 66 that is worth $400+. If that isn't gambling, what is? Last time I checked, however, buying baseball cards was legal in Arizona...and everywhere else.

As with all endeavors, someone is always willing to push the envelope. Apparently, there is now a phenomenon known as an "online set break." Let's say you own a 250-card set of 1954 Topps cards and over the years, you've had all the cards graded. The grades range from EX 5 to NM 7 with an overall average of 6. The set has a book value of about $10,000 but finding a buyer at that price level might be difficult. In addition, if you tried to sell it on eBay or some other auction site, the fees could be 15% or more. Instead, you agree to break up the set card-by-card and sell shares in the endeavor. Would collectors pay $45 a chance to get one of the random cards from the set? After all, the possibilities include a Hank Aaron Rookie card worth over $2,000, an Ernie Banks RC valued at $750, an Al Kaline RC that books at $450 and cards of Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and others. According to one recent story, the "break" for a set like this sold out in less than an hour. $45 times 250 cards equals $11,250...a nice haul for the owner and individually, a small investment for the collectors. You might end up with Solly Hemus or Rip Repulski for your investment, but you took a shot. How would this stand up to your definition of gambling? Or maybe, even though it is a random drawing, it doesn't qualify as a lottery because every player wins a prize? I'll bet you have an opinion.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 October 2015 08:58
I'll Take Baseball For $1,000 Alex PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 09 October 2015 00:00

Jon Daniels, Jeff Luhnow and the Old Duck. No, the Jeopardy question isn't "Name three baseball executives who are likely to order Lox on a Bagel." It's more like, "Name three baseball executives who are experienced at re-building their teams."

The virtues of playing in a keeper league have been extolled in this space many times. Not only do you get to manage your roster 12 months a year, you also have the opportunity to find strategies that match those of major league teams. The Rangers have gone from a 2014 record of 67-95 to winning their division in 2015...without their best pitcher! The Astros have turned the worst team in baseball (they averaged 104 losses from 2011-2014) into a post-season participant. Now the question is, can Donald's Ducks do something similar?

For those of us who have played Fantasy Baseball for an extended period of time, the old cliché is that listening to someone else talk about their team is BORING! Even the Zen Master of this site reminds all of us at least once a year to be careful about spending too much time on the subject of our own team. The truth, however, is that we can't help ourselves because we take pride in even minimal achievements over the course of a baseball season. Now that you've been warned, here is a summary of the Ducks season with a re-building strategy. The rationalizations for this exercise are as follows...

1) For those of you who actually pay attention, this can be instructive. After having dinner recently with another avid Fantasy player, it became obvious that every time we spend a couple of hours comparing notes, we're both more enlightened about the subject.

2) The guys who play against me in these leagues love reading about my strategy. As George C. Scott (as Gen. Patton) said when he defeated the German tank corps in North Africa, "Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!"

3) After much success of my teams over the years, these same guys also love to hear about my failures.

4) Those of you who have trouble sleeping can just print out this column and keep it on the table at your bedside. Beats the heck out of counting sheep.

Bowling League of Rotisserie Baseball - 12-team, NL-only, 4x4, 23-man rosters (14 hitters, 9 pitchers), $260 budget, maximum of 15 keepers and three Farm players, established 1984.

Donald's Ducks have had great success in this league over the years but went "all in" down the stretch of 2014 to achieve a 2nd place finish. That approach left the cupboard bare and created a very weak keeper list prior to the draft. The Draft Day environment includes two types of inflation...1) the normal percentage allocated to keeper leagues (20%+) and...2) what has affectionately become known as "Duck Inflation", where teams aware of your past success play off your bids to some extent. That makes keeper decisions even more difficult because throwing back a "bubble" player usually means you won't get him back at that price. With those factors in mind, the Ducks kept Ben Revere at $31 and Aroldis Chapman at $24 to complement a few other players like Jason Heyward and Carlos Martinez, who were at more reasonable salaries. All told, however, there were only ten keepers worth rostering.

As always, the draft was challenging and the strategy was to be realistic about the team's chances. The basic approach was two-fold...1) look for solid veterans that wouldn't lose their jobs and 2) make sure they were projected to be on the same MLB team in 2016 (no pending free agents). That way, they could be possible keepers for the following year and would also be decent trade bait for contending teams during the season. The result was $28 for Ryan Zimmerman, $24 for Jonathan Lucroy, $24 for Jayson Werth and $21 for Carl Crawford. Those four players took up about two-thirds of the budget and their lack of performance and/or injuries doomed the squad from day one. The only positive pick-ups were Adeiny Hechavarria and Andrelton Simmons at SS and Trea Turner on the Farm.

Oh, there was more. Archie Bradley (activated from the Farm), started out with a few quality starts, then got hit by a line drive in the head and was never a factor again. The Phillies didn't trade "Rocky" Papelbon until late in the season, so keeper Ken Giles wasn't getting any saves. Tanner Roark (another keeper) lost his rotation spot in Washington and Rafael Montero got hurt while Arismendy Alcantara hit .077 before spending the summer in Iowa.  The Ducks did add Kris Bryant from their Farm in May, but it wasn't going to make up for this mess.

My long-time Fantasy Guru always says that this game requires extreme patience and that has certainly been good advice over the years. Numerous teams of mine have come back and finished strong after getting out of the gate slowly. On some occasions, however, it also pays to be realistic and the 2015 season was one of those exceptions.

Honestly, the Old Duck was already thinking about re-building as early as April. The team wasn't throwing in the towel or making trades, but every move was made with an eye on 2016. The first foray into the free agent pool added Marlins Catcher J.T. Realmuto on April 21 to replace a player sent to the Minors. He'll be 25 next season and a backstop with double-digit homers and steals is a keeper in this league at $10.

In May, Ben Paulsen was added and while he's not really a prospect (28 in October), he did hit 11 home runs in limited playing time, he plays in Colorado and Justin Morneau is a free agent.

By early June, the Ducks began their wheeling and dealing with contending teams. For the last 30 years, fantasy experts have told you to "go for it" if you're in contention. Smart owners understand this concept. Don't get hung up on next year (or the year after) and make aggressive moves. The ones that don't might still own that good-looking prospect, but they may never have a chance to win again...just ask the Washington Nationals. The first two concepts for a re-building team are to look at the minor league players on other rosters as well as players on the DL. The key for the contending team is that they can acquire talent for the pennant chase without giving up current value. And the re-building team can't worry about where they finish this doesn't matter, so don't let your pride get in the way.

The first two deals involved trading Zimmerman and Heyward (on an expiring contract) for minor leaguers Jose Peraza and Corey Seager. Then, once Lucroy came back from the DL in early July, he was swapped for Devin Mesoraco (on the DL and out for the season). In early August, the Ducks put a package together to acquire the injured Matt Adams and then just before the trade deadline, they moved Khris Davis (on an expiring contract) for Pirates prospect Austin Meadows.

Another avenue for stockpiling potential keepers is the FAAB process our league uses after the All-Star break. Each team has a $100 budget and any bid over $10 creates a guaranteed contract for next season with stiff penalties. While the bottom rung teams will never be in the hunt for the likes of Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Reyes, many free agents can be had for $10 or less with the hope that their role changes in 2016. With this strategy, the Ducks added Cody Asche, Nick Swisher, Yonder Alonso and Darnell Sweeney.

Aggressively replacing injured or demoted players can also find you an occasional gem. Yes, the Ducks wasted money on the likes of Yorman Rodriguez and Tyler Cravy but also added Arodys Vizcaino in early July before he was the Braves Closer.

So, how does the Ducks roster look six months before the 2016 season begins?

1B - Matt Adams $12

1B - Ben Paulsen $10

1B - Yonder Alonso $10

3B - Kris Bryant $10

2B - Jose Peraza $10

2B - Danny Espinosa $10

SS - Andrelton Simmons $12

SS - Trea Turner $10

SS - Eugenio Suarez $10

C - J.T. Realmuto $10

C - Devin Mesoraco $11

C - Tom Murphy $10

OF - Nick Swisher $10

OF - Cody Asche $10

OF - Darnell Sweeney $10

OF - Tommy Pham $10

SP - Archie Bradley $7

SP - Jason Hammel $1

SP - Wily Peralta $1

SP - Kyle Hendricks $10

SP - Carlos Martinez $7

SP - Matt Wisler $10

RP - Aroldis Chapman $24

RP - Ken Giles $10

RP - Arodys Vizcaino $10

FARM - Corey Seager

FARM - Austin Meadows

One thing is certain. It will be a lot more fun having 25 choices for 15 spots than it was this past April when only ten keepers could be found. When does the 2016 season start? How about October 13 when the Arizona Fall League schedule begins and Meadows, Turner, Murphy and others will put their skills on display. Come join me behind home plate.

It Still Ain't Over PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 02 October 2015 00:00

Yogi Berra went 4-for-4 one night but when he looked at the box score in the newspaper the next morning, it showed him as 3-for-4. By the time Yogi arrived at the ballpark, he was significantly steamed and located the official scorer to complain. The scorer apologized and told him that it was a typographical error. Yogi's response? "No, it wasn' was a clean single up the middle."

One of the few advantages of being a baseball fan of a certain age is that you have the memories of baseball tucked into a special compartment in your brain. This is especially true of players and games you actually witnessed in person and whenever a record is broken or a milestone is reached, you can bring up those mental snapshots from different decades and enjoy looking at them again. This photo album also emerges when a legendary player passes away and it reminds us to always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.

As a youngster who spent countless days and nights in the bleachers at Fenway Park, I admittedly hated the Yankees. My beloved Red Sox had Ted Williams and a few other decent players like Jim Piersall and Jackie Jensen, but the dreaded Bronx Bombers were a veritable All-Star team. Those old snapshots in my brain include Mickey Mantle hitting the hardest ball I've ever seen, Billy Martin getting his uniform dirty before the 2nd inning, Whitey Ford throwing a pitch that dropped three feet and Ryne Duren (wearing thick glasses) throwing his first warm-up pitch all the way to the backstop at 100 MPH. In the eight seasons from 1952-59, the Yankees won six AL pennants and four World Series titles. The Red Sox were also-rans and the crowds were sometimes thin because if people don't want to come out to the ballpark, nobody's going to stop them.

The most unique Yankee player of the time was Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra. The most interesting aspect for a kid watching the game was that he didn't look like the other ballplayers. At 5' 7" and 185 pounds, he certainly couldn't be described as athletic, but the results of his efforts were always amazing. Even Napoleon had his Watergate, but this player never seemed to strike out or not come through in the clutch. He also didn't look like a matinee idol but it didn't matter if he was ugly, because I never saw anyone hit with their face.

Even the most casual of fans know about Ted Williams and his military service during two wars, but most don't know that a 19-year-old Yogi Berra was on a rocket boat approaching Omaha Beach on D-Day. At that moment, he might have thought that the future ain't what is used to be, but if the world was perfect, it wouldn't be. At that moment, his professional baseball experience consisted of 111 games with Norfolk of the Piedmont League where he had a batting average of .253. Once he made his major league debut on September 22nd, 1946, he was 21 and he had already figured out that you can't think and hit at the same time. Ironically, he passed away exactly 69 years to the day after that first game.

Of course, this column could be filled with famous "Yogi-isms", but you can use your search engine to find those. It would sort of be like Deja Vu all over again. Or you could call the local pizza parlor and tell them to cut your pizza into six slices instead of eight slices because you can't eat eight slices. Or you could just take a two-hour nap from 1:00 to 4:00 before you decide not to answer that anonymous letter. For the rest of our visit, let's pair up in threes and look at the two peripheral items we discuss in this space most stats and baseball cards.

Six Yogi Stats

> In 1948 and 1962, Yogi made the AL All-Star team...he also made the team every year in between.

> Yogi won three AL MVP Awards ('51, '54 and '55)...he also finished 2nd twice ('53 and '56).

> In a seven-year span ('50 to '56), he accumulated WAR (Wins Above Replacement) numbers between 4.5 and those same seven seasons, his OPS was never lower than .819 and was as high as .915.

> In 1950, this infamous bad-ball hitter had 28 home runs and only struck out 12 times...his homers exceeded his strikeouts in four additional seasons during the 50's. For his entire career, he only struck out in 5% of his plate appearances.

> Yogi was not a first ballot Hall of Famer. He received 67.2% of the votes in 1971 before getting 85.6% in 1972 (75% is necessary for election).

> His highest salary was $65,000 in 1957...he hit 24 home runs and had 82 RBI but he was cut to $60,000 the following season.

Six Yogi Baseball Cards

> 1948 Bowman #6 - This tiny black and white card is Yogi's Rookie Card. In Near Mint (NM) condition, it is currently worth $825.

> 1950 Bowman #46 - This time the tiny card is in color and shows him in his catching books for $515.

> 1952 Topps #191 - This iconic set was the beginning of modern baseball cards...Yogi's entry is valued at $1,100.

> 1953 Bowman Color #121 - One of the simplest and most beautiful sets ever, the front has nothing but a spectacular color photograph of the could belong to you for $775.

> 1953 Topps #104 - This set utilized artist's renderings of the players and is unique to the hobby. It even makes Yogi look handsome and has a price tag of $200.

> 1956 Topps #110 - The second of Topps' horizontal sets, it features dual images on the front. The one you see with this article is from my personal collection and books for $150.

Well, that's about it for today. I'd like to visit my favorite restaurant for dinner, but nobody ever goes there anymore because it's too crowded. No matter where I go, my dessert will be pie ala mode, with ice cream.  

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 October 2015 22:53
Rookie Card Investing - Part Deux PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 25 September 2015 00:00

Our last visit took us through the history of rookie cards and the back story of collectors becoming investors in baseball cards. The evidence from 2005 indicates clearly that holding modern rookie cards anticipating the market to boom seems to be a fool's game. Of the 20 or so hot prospects reviewed, only four have shown an increase in value over the last decade despite the fact that many of them have been solid major league players. The logical conclusion is simple. Young baseball players almost never live up to the "hype."    

In today's Internet age, card speculators are checking every available source to find the next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. In essence, they're doing what Fantasy players have done for 30 years...trying to get the edge on the market. From Baseball America's and MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects to Arizona Fall League scouting reports, it's all there for the asking. Let's not forget, however, that our analysis of those 20 prospect cards didn't even include guys in the 2005 top 10 prospect list such as Ian Stewart, Joel Guzman, Casey Kotchman and Andy Marte. You can light your cigar with their cards.

Collectors often ask me whether they should sell or hold a valuable rookie card (often autographed) that they recently pulled from a pack. My advice is always the same...take the money and run. Then sit on the couch throwing cash around while watching Woody Allen's "Take the Money and Run" (1969) or listening to Steve Miller's "Take the Money and Run" (1976). Yes, it could be lousy advice...but not very often.

As our follow up case study, let's see how similar rookie cards have fared in a few other years, comparing their 2010 and 2015 values. Once again, we'll use the Bowman Chrome brand and the examples will be autographed cards ("A").

2006 Bowman Chrome

> Kenji Johjima "A" - $17.50 in '10, $10.50 in '15

> Prince Fielder "A" - $35 in '10, $35 now

> Alex Gordon "A" - $35 then, $21 today

> Justin Upton "A" - $90 in '10, $35 in '15

> Chris Iannetta "A" - $21 in '10, unlisted now ($7 estimate)

> Matt Garza "A" - $17.50 then, unlisted now ($7 estimate)

> Jon Lester "A" - $35 in '10, $35 today

> Jose Bautista "A" - $10.50 in '10, $27.50 now

> Evan Longoria "A" - $200 in '10, $55 in '15

> Clayton Kershaw "A" - $75 in '10, $325 today

For the 2006 year, obviously Bautista and Kershaw are the outliers. In Bautista's case, it took until age 29 for him to explode as an impact player while Kershaw has become the best pitcher in the game. We haven't even mentioned Cody Johnson, Kasey Kiker, Adrian Cardenas, Matt Antonelli and Pedro Beato, who all had '06 autograph rookie cards worth $15 or more in 2010.

2007 Bowman Chrome

> Tim Lincecum "A" - $137.50 in '10, $60 in '15

> Dellin Betances "A" - $21 in '10, $21 in '15

> Fernando Martinez "A" - $45 in '10, $10.50 now

> Jeff Samardzija "A" - $35 in '10, $17.50 today

> Chris Coghlan "A" - $17.50 then, $7 now

> Trevor Cahill "A" - $27.50 in '10, $7 in '15

> Joba Chamberlain "A" - $60 in '10, $8.50 today

> Hunter Pence "A" - $14 then, $27.50 now

If you'd chosen Pence over all the others, you'd be in the chips. If you'd hoarded all nine, no such luck. Unmentioned in this year's class were Wes Hodges, Cedric Hunter, Tim Alderson, Beau Mills and Michael Burgess. In 2010, all of their autograph cards were valued at $10-$20. Arguably the best investment was Todd Frazier's autographed card at $8.50, which now books for $42.50. Two others with slight upticks are Devin Mesoraco and Travis d'Arnaud.

The evidence seems clear, but the thrill of pulling a top prospect's autographed card out of a pack never gets old. Who should you invest in now? There certainly are "usual suspects" and a current baseball publication lists the 10 rookies to watch as Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Joc Pederson, Yasmany Tomas, Jung Ho Kang, Maikel Franco, Chris Heston, Noah Syndergaard and Nathan Karns. Guess we've already forgotten about Joey Gallo, Matt Duffy, Addison Russell, Carlos Rodon and others. As for me, I'll be buying up every Keyser Soze rookie card I can find.

The Rookie Card Commodity Market PDF Print E-mail
Rotisserie Duck
Written by Don Drooker   
Friday, 18 September 2015 00:00

If you're fed up with the volatility of the Dow Jones and the S&P to the point where most of your money is now inside your mattress, maybe your nerves aren't strong enough for baseball card investing. Since the dawn of modern baseball card collecting (early 1950's), fans have been fascinated in the "Rookie Cards" (RC's) of their favorite players. It probably links to that appeal of wanting the "first" of something and serves as a magnet for hobbyists even when the RC isn't that visually appealing. The perfect example is the RC of Pete Rose from the 1963 Topps set. That year, the manufacturer decided to put four rookies on the same card and for famous players like Rose and Willie Stargell, their images are cropped and almost unrecognizable. The 1964 Rose card, however, is something to behold with a beautiful photo and a superimposed image of the "Topps 1963 All-Star Rookie" trophy in the corner. If you wanted one of those '64 beauties in "Near Mint" (NM 7) condition, it would set you back about $275. If, however, you just must have the '63 RC in similar condition, the price would be $1,450.

At a point in the mid-to-late 80's, when the hobby was booming, collectors decided that speculating in cards could be a valuable endeavor. Instead of collecting certain cards, they started investing in the cards instead. And, of course, they believed RC's were their avenue to success. The card companies were more than happy to oblige and turned on the printing presses to full capacity, so every baseball fan could accumulate RC's of the hot prospects of the time. Today, when the Old Duck goes to look at a card collection, he invariably finds a stack with hundreds of the same card...and then another stack...and then another stack. Who are the potential Hall-of-Famers in these stacks? How about Gregg Jefferies from 1988 or Albert Belle from 1989 or John Olerud from 1990 or Carl Everett from 1991? You haven't really experienced the thrill of the chase until you open a box marked "83 Donruss" on the outside and find 200 Candy Maldonado RC's staring you in the face.

In addition to the card companies over-production, another significant factor in the investments of that era is the use of PED's by some of the biggest stars. Despite pundits always saying that fans don't care about steroids, the hobby tells you just the opposite. The value of the RC's of the usual suspects like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez has plummeted in the marketplace. McGwire's RC from the 1985 Topps set was the hottest card in the hobby at one time. The set also includes RC's of Clemens, Kirby Puckett, Dwight Gooden and Eric Davis. In 1998, when McGwire and Sosa were chasing the Home Run record, a case (20 boxes) of '85 Topps was worth $5,000. Earlier this year, one sold on eBay for $1,425.

Despite this background, investors still believe they can beat the system. To accommodate them, in the last 10-15 years, card manufacturers have started digging deeper into the prospect market. No longer do you have to wait for the next phenom to arrive in the majors, now you can buy his card while he's still in the low minors. Miguel Cabrera didn't appear in a Marlins uniform until 2003, but his RC is from the 2000 Topps Traded set. Joey Votto didn't debut with the Reds until 2007, but he has a RC in 2002 Bowman Chrome and 2002 Topps T206. Robinson Cano was the Yankees second baseman at age 22 in 2005, but you can find his RC in a number of 2003 Bowman products.

The reality, however, is that for every Kris Bryant there are dozens of players like Brandon Wood. Rather than looking at anecdotal information, let's do a small case study of the last decade. We'll look at RC's from 2005 and then see what their value was in 2010 and what it is today using the Beckett price guide. To be consistent, we'll use the Bowman Chrome brand as the base and some will be autographed cards ("A").

2005 Bowman Chrome & Chrome Draft

> Ian Kinsler - $7 in '10, $3.50 in '15

> Melky Cabrera - $5.50, now $2

> Chris Young (OF) - $5.50, now $2

> Justin Verlander "A" - $45 in '10, currently at $55

> Matt Kemp "A" - $60 in '10, now $40

> Billy Butler "A" - $60 then, now $10

> Jay Bruce - $8 in '10, now $5.50

> Andrew McCutchen - $5.50 to $8.50

> Jordan Schafer - $5.50 in '10, now $3.50

> Clay Buchholz - $10, now $2

> Troy Tulowitzki - $4, now $7

> Edinson Volquez $8, now $3.50

> Stephen Drew "A" - $35 in '10, now $7

> Jered Weaver "A" - $35, now $17.50

> Ryan Braun "A" - $135, currently $45

> Jacoby Ellsbury "A" - $90, now $42.50

> Colby Rasmus "A" - $60 in '10, $10 in '15

> Ryan Zimmerman "A" - $45, now $27.50

You're probably wondering about all the breakout stars who are missing from our list. What you must realize is that, in essence, we're comparing card values about five years into a career with card values ten years into a career. At five years, collectors had identified the good players and are hoping their careers will escalate to star status. At ten years, the harsh reality has set in and we know that what we see is what we get. Yes, Carlos Gonzalez has gone from $3.50 to $5.50 but a plethora of cards in that category have fallen off the chart altogether. Do you remember Humberto Sanchez or Chuck James?

In a future visit, we'll do the same analysis of RC's from 2006-07 to see if the pattern changes. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you're looking for a Brandon Wood Autographed Rookie Card.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2015 22:30
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