A Collector’s Dilemma—What To Do About A-Rod?

Posted: September 23, 2015 by Crackin' Wax in Topps
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

On a day where anyone who has ever called themselves a fan of baseball is remembering Yogi Berra, I came across the above pictured 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones Alex Rodriguez 500 Career Home Runs Yankee Stadium Wall relic. I remember the day that I pulled that card. I purchased a box of 08 M&M just as I was getting back into collecting. Who knows what possessed me to purchase that particular product. It certainly wasn’t making a good case for the hobby. Nonetheless, I tore through it not expecting much. In the end, in just the one box of 08 M&M that I purchased, I ended up pulling the case hit—the A-Rod Yankee wall relic in question. Even in that moment, I was torn. On one hand, it’s a card of a player that I dislike more than any other currently active player. On the other hand, there is an actual piece of history that I can respect embedded into said card. What in the world should I do with it? Begrudgingly display it? Trade it for something with less significant importance that I might enjoy more? Sit on it and hope that it gains value? I did none of that. Instead, I stuck it in a one-touch, stashed it away and all but forgot about it. As far as its value is concerned, another copy of it recently sold on eBay for $2.99 plus $3.00 shipping. Here I am now once again contemplating what to do with it. That’s not the only card that’s giving me this dilemma, however.


About a year before I pulled that A-Rod relic, I found this Barry Bonds rookie card stashed away in my childhood collection. Granted, it’s not the much more rare 1986 “rookie” card, but the one that I have is from his rookie season. It seemed to be in decent shape, so I decided to get it graded. After it came back with an okay grade, it went out of sight and out of mind. Bonds is another guy that I am not very fond of. The only reason I’d display it at all is because I pulled it when I was a kid. This card is also another that did not retain value, even slabbed and graded. The same card with a Beckett grade of 8.5 recently went for $4.99 plus $2.89 shipping on eBay. Being that I’m not a fan of the guy, am barely a fan of the card, and it has lost a lot of value over the years, I’m stuck with the same dilemma. At least this is a relatively cheap dilemma. Some dilemmas, however, are costly.


Back around the same time when I was getting back into collecting, I came up with a grand scheme to get on eTopps (a portfolio-based online-only style of collecting that I actually kind of miss), buy what I thought at the time would retain the most value, hold onto it for a while, and then sell. Boy, was that a dumb idea. No wonder we cut up all of our credit cards! This still-sealed, never-opened box of shiny cardboard set me back $77 and, from what I can tell, hasn’t sold on eBay for a while. If I were to break the seal and sell each card individually, I wouldn’t recoup even half the money I spent. Obviously, I misjudged the strength of the product, and perhaps the hobby as a whole. These aren’t cards that I ever really wanted and, like the A-Rod relic and Bonds rookie, they have lost much of their value. What does a guy do with cards like these? Well, here’s ONE idea…

These cards, on the other hand, will not suffer the same fate.


  1. n1tefox says:

    There a Chipper in the eTopps set?

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