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HOF and GOAT cards after rookie year

JolleyWrencherJolleyWrencher Posts: 596 ✭✭✭

It seems hit and miss that a players 2nd/3rd+ year cards climb in value until they seem to age considerably. Nowadays the inserts become valuable but I'm just thinking about base cards.

Only recently have I looked at vintage cards. I've seen little movement on 2nd year Kobe/Shaq/Lebron cards as I assume they're too recent but it's hard to understand the market after the recent bubble. Nolan Ryan, Pete Rose, and older players seem to rise marginally over time but maybe that's just accounting for inflation? Possibly it's just the mass production of wax where the demand is much lower than the supply of quality cards and base cards after the late 80s will likely not climb in our lifetime, if ever.

Curious if the people who have collected for decades have any good advice for the novice/rookie collectors on when they should consider picking up or letting go of the cards.

Also, is your opinion that this is the same regardless of the sport or do some sports seem to have an abundance of HOF players whose cards just never take off and only rise because the entire set is climbing with age?


  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 6,206 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, you need to decide who you are first.

    Are you a collector or an investor?

    If you are a collector, then base it around your favorite players. I believe you are fond of Bo Jackson, as are many people. So go after it! Set some goals - every card, a registry set, graded or not and the grade you want, etc.

    If you are an investor, you need to put a lot of time, effort and energy into it. There are so many different ways to approach it if you want to try to ‘make money in cards’ but recognize that, as with any investment, there is a significant risk for entering into things too quickly and without having done enough research.

    These boards are a good place to solicit advice but it’s really only a starting point.

    Good luck!

    Curious about the rare, mysterious and beautiful 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos?


  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,136 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bid on a Puckett card the other day, it was nowhere near his rookie year and went for crazy money, then I saw it was the only 10.
    Most of his cards in a 10 go for $30-50.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 24,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like what Tim has said Jesse.

    It's such a complicated issue with no one answer providing the "be all end all."

    If "how well" a card performs is an issue? Then you've added a lot more work to your hobby IMO.

    If you look at some HOFers, you'll see that some are way more popular than others - even from the same year as rookies like Brett vs Yount.

    I've been collecting for over 30 yrs and am one of the more "oddball" collectors in that one of my main focuses is vintage BB board games.

    This is just my opinion but I believe one may have way more fun if the main focus is collecting what really appeals to you and secondarily - if the item(s) appreciates? Yahtzee!

    Best of luck buddy.

  • sayheywyosayheywyo Posts: 440 ✭✭✭

    Huge difference between collector and investor. I'm a collector that splashes/swims around in the shallow end..... you know vintage PSA 5-7 mainly. The joy to me was the hunt and finding a card in the wild at a show, flea market, yard sale or antique store and sending it in to get graded. Anyone can buy a vintage card already graded.........

    In the mid 90's the best advice I got from the investor aspect was to buy "blue chip" HOFer (Mays, Mantle, Aaron...) PSA 8 in the 1950's, PSA 9 in the 1960's, PSA 10 1970 on with the exception of 1971. T206 in PSA 5-6 and 1933 Goudey PSA 6-7 and forget about anything else.

    My opinion as a collector---- collect what you like and like what you collect.

  • 82FootballWaxMemorys82FootballWaxMemorys Posts: 1,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 8, 2023 12:21PM

    2nd year (1952) Mantle appears to be doing pretty well.

    @sayheywyo said:
    In the mid 90's the best advice I got from the investor aspect was to buy "blue chip" HOFer (Mays, Mantle, Aaron...) PSA 8 in the 1950's, PSA 9 in the 1960's, PSA 10 1970 on with the exception of 1971. T206 in PSA 5-6 and 1933 Goudey PSA 6-7 and forget about anything else.

    Hope it's OK i'm going to revamp for modern day and only for Baseball:

    PSA 6+ (Nice centered 2,3,4,5s for Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Robinson) in the 1950's, PSA 8+ in the 1960's (7+ for 1962), PSA 9 or 10 depending on year and player 1970 on with the exception of 1971 where it's 7+. T206 in PSA 3+ (seek nicely centered 2 as well) and 1933 Goudey PSA 4+ (Ruth, Gehrig and similar PSA1+) and forget about anything Junk Wax unless you have special memories of the player or card.

    Above paragraph does not apply if you have true wealth

    Unless otherwise specified my posts represent only my opinion, not fact.

  • EstilEstil Posts: 6,846 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 10, 2023 2:49AM

    How about this one...a card from right before his goat year? :blush:

    Dimes: 54S, 53P, 50P+S, 49S, 45D+S, 44S, 43D, 41S, 40D+S, 39D+S, 38D+S, 37D+S, 36S, 35D+S, all 16-34's
    Quarters: 61D, 52S, 47S, 46S, 40S, 39S, 38S, 37D+S, 36D+S, 35D, 34D, 32D+S
    74 Topps: 37,38,46,47,48,138,151,193,210,214,223,241,256,264,268,277,289,316,435,552,570,577,592,602,610,654,655
    1997 Finest silver: 115, 135, 139, 145, 310
    1995 Ultra Gold Medallion Sets: Golden Prospects, HR Kings, On-Base Leaders, Power Plus, RBI Kings, Rising Stars
  • jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My observation after decades of collecting is that the majority of value and appreciation will always be in the players top RC. That could be in an “only” RC issue like the 1981 Topps Joe Montana RC, or the “preferred” issue like the 1992 Stadium Club Beam Team Shaquille O’Neal RC from which Shaq had tons of different RCs to choose. It isn’t until the value of the key RC becomes unobtainable for most that you see collectors begin to flood to the next best thing, which is typically a 2nd/3rd year card for the “only” RC players, or alternative RCs for the “preferred” RC players. This was most recently illustrated by the crazy run up in Jordan’s 1987 and 1988 Fleer basketball cards. However, once collectors began to settle for lower grade 1986 Fleer Jordan’s as the preferred and iconic card (which has a massive supply in low grade), the market on 1987 and 1988 Fleer Jordan’s quickly softened. In contrast, the 1951 Bowman and 1952 Topps Mantles continue to climb with their limited supply, which is why his post RC issues gain value too. Net, collect the best RC and only move to later year issues if they are limited in supply.

    Of course, if you are a player collector then collect them all. The key is always to collect what you enjoy and then the investment doesn’t matter.

  • JolleyWrencherJolleyWrencher Posts: 596 ✭✭✭

    I appreciate the advice. My childhood collection was purely for the love of sports and the enjoyment of the game. My adult collection has been buying mainly what I like.

    My uncle is more of an investment collector, although I don't think he has sold anything in his life, but he gets rookie cards of all 1st round draft picks when released and then goes back to get any he missed once he sees them perform consistently in the post season.

    My questions are geared towards the investment side since my kids will get what I keep. I've feared buying $15k cards because I'm not sure how quickly they can sell in the future if there's not many people willing to make large (I know $15k is probably a joke to some) investments.

    My Bo collecting days never seem to end but I'm beginning to learn about, get my hands on, and form ideas about the vintage world and figured I would seek investments of more affordable 2nd year cards if they are likely to jump (statistically speaking) in 30-40 years. Granted nobody has a crystal ball but I imagine 2nd year cards during wax will not jump to the levels of 2nd year vintage cards.

    In the world of inserts, a rookie insert seems to make the base rookies worth much less and likely makes 2nd year base cards not something worth investing in. The last thing I want to do is have 1000+ cards to overwhelm my kids with as we all know the feeling people have when they don't know what do with a big collection of potential valuables.

  • mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 1,021 ✭✭✭✭

    I never considered selling my cards when i started as a kid and even after adulthood, I had the idea of value in the back of my head, but I was really hoping my boys would take an interest and then I could pass the cards on to them. In my childhood, that was a fantasy that never materialized (getting an old collection passed down to me), even though In had older brother, cousins, uncles, etc. Nobody in my family either collected at all or saved what they collected as a kid.

    I pumped a fair amount of money into my collection over the years, but it was all about what I liked. If I wanted a Banks RC, I got one. However, I may have overlooked picking up the Aaron RC for the same set for whatever reason. I have some great cards and I have some regrettable gaps too.

    These last few years, I have really started to put thought into what I may do with my collection. You can't take it with you and burdening relatives who have no interest or knowledge is dumb, unless you absolutely don't care about what happens to it and want to keep your stuff until you die with it.

    I continue to buy what I like and fits within the constraints of what I feel comfortable spending. I could close some of those gaps by shelling out huge $ for cards I never bought, but it makes no sense at this point. I missed the boat and spending that kind of money is dumb to me, especially if any appreciation may be lost if my relatives don't take advantage.

    That said, I have a lot of stuff that I love that isn't worth much to the rest of the world. That is what brought me a lot of the joy in collecting and I wouldn't do it differently. Even now, when I pick up the occasional lot of "junk" cards, I strip it of any star players, Dodgers and anything else I want to keep and dump the commons. I don't care if they are 50 cent cards, I can't leave behind any "good" cards.

    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
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