From The “I Should Have Sold This When It Was Still Worth Something” Files

Posted: October 14, 2012 by Crackin' Wax in Tales From The Binder
Tags: , , , ,
It’s just another one of those facets of card collecting commonplace to those that tear into hobby boxes and cases. Yes, the chances are you WILL find one card in your hobby box that will bring immediate value to your collection and/or pocket book. When coming across these cardboard jewels, the hard part is deciding whether to flip or hold.

Again, this dilemma is something that’s not unfamiliar with many collectors. Making the decision of whether to flip or to hold more difficult is the effect of PEDs that STILL remains a problem in the Majors. Sure, you could do your best to predict (read “guess”) who juices and who’s clean, but who could have predicted two years ago that Ryan Braun would have been accused as a juicer?

There is also the immediate allure of the words “case hit”–a card so rare that it only pops up once per case. These cards oftentimes will pull the most value thru sales and trades because of their rarity, their subjects, and their card types. Also, the value of these (and most) cards is typically highest within the first week of product launch. These case hits, however, do not escape the same devaluation over time that most modern day cards endure. The exception, of course, applies to the seemingly sure-fire Hall of Famers. Pull a case hit of Derek Jeter this year and, in all likelihood, the value of that card will increase exponentially the day he is officially elected into the Hall.

2008 Moments & Milestones Alex Rodriguez 500 Career Home Runs Yankee Stadium Wall Relic Case Hit – click to enlarge

Pull a case hit of A-Rod and, well, prepare to be disappointed. That’s exactly what I did and am now doing. In 2008, I purchased a new hobby box of Moments & Milestones–a product I had never ripped before. I was very curious about the set at the time and was well aware of the scarce and then-very-talked-about A-Rod Wall Relic. To my utter surprise, I actually pulled the case hit out of the one and only box of M&M I ever purchased. Realizing the significance of owning a piece of the old Yankee Stadium embedded within a card commemorating a difficult feat accomplished by who I had at the time assumed was a sure-fire Hall of Famer, I decided to hold onto that sucker and tuck it away deep within my personal collection. It would be a point of pride, showing it to friends and family less familiar with trading cards–after all, they are much more easily impressed by cards like this than us Joe Collectors.

Fast forward to Sunday October 14 2012. The Yankees are once again in the playoffs. Derek Jeter has broken his ankle. The team has lost the first game against the Tigers in the ALCS. Alex Rodriguez is being booed by Yankee fans (which makes this Twins fan all tingly inside). While his “maturity” has improved, his performance has become a liability. Most importantly, he is doing more to hurt his team than he is to help his team. From the trading card industry’s standpoint, his popularity and value may be slipping significantly. Case in point, the day that I pulled that A-Rod relic, eBay had many of them listed for well over $100 each with a few sellers asking for–and getting–hundreds for an individual card. Today, you can find the same card listed on eBay as a Buy It Now for as low as just under $9 with free shipping.

Sure, its monetary value has plummeted over the last few years–perhaps due to allegations of PED usage, perhaps due to his recent poor performance, perhaps because Moments & Milestones is not a very popular set–and maybe I could have made a little coin by flipping it, but I still find it to be an intriguing and important piece in my personal collection. The significance of the embedded piece of the historic and now nonexistent old Yankee Stadium is not lost on me, nor is the significance of having pulled a rare case hit out of a random hobby box.

  1. There are other tingly Twins fans as well, fyi ;-)

  2. I’ll buy it off you for 1 cent and free shipping.

  3. Jeff says:

    2 cents and I’ll pay for the stamp. :D

  4. jumper48 says:

    I know the pain, back in 2006 I pulled a Bowman Chrome Matt Leinart RC Blue Refractor Auto #/75. I was offered $275 right there in the card shop and turned it down. That is one that I wish I could go back to and take the money and let someone else regret paying $275 for the card.

  5. @SWLVguy says:

    3 cents and put it im my sase;)

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