CREAM RISES — The L.A. Dodgers’ win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 World Series showed us again that the cream usually rises to the top. In this case, it means MVP Corey Seager, who smacked two homers, drove in five runs, scored seven and hit .400 in the six-game series.
In honor of Seager’s command performance, here’s a look at post-World Series prices paid at eBay for notable items:
• $2,125 on 32 bids for a lot of three Seager-signed 2012 Bowman Chrome rookie cards. All three were Refractor variations (two of them Blue, with print runs of 150). And all were graded BGS 9.5 with a 10 for the sigs.
• $1,525 on 41 bids for a single 2012 Bowman Chrome signed Gold Refractor card, this one graded BGS 9.
• $565 on 19 bids for a 2017 Topps Museum Collection autographed Seager card, one of only 50 produced. It was ungraded.
Fellow Dodgers stars Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts were equally impactful in the World Series. Kershaw showed his “ace” stuff, winning both of his starts and registering a sparkling 2.31 ERA and 0.857 WHIP. On eBay, top Kershaw collectibles drew these prices in the days following the Fall Classic:
● $4,350 on 36 bids for a 2006 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Kershaw rookie. The card, graded BGS 9.5, is one of only 150 printed.
● $2,276 on 57 bids for a 2006 Bowman Chrome Kershaw rookie graded PSA 10.
● $1,325 on four bids for a 2015 Heritage Dual Autograph card featuring photos and sigs of both Kershaw and Sandy Koufax. Marked #1 of 25, the card was graded PSA 9.
Betts, like Seager, homered twice in the World Series while batting .269 with five runs scored. Among the post-Series prices paid for Betts items:
● $13,211 on 35 bids for a 2014 Bowman Chrome signed Gold Refractor rookie card of Betts. One of only 50 made, the card was graded BGS 9.5
● $13,100 on 36 bids for, yes, another BGS 9.5 example of the same autographed card.
● $7,600 on 41 bids for a 2014 Betts-autographed Bowman Black card graded PSA 10. The card was numbered 41/99.
Baseballs signed by one of the three Dodgers stars here are selling for $200 to $400, depending on condition and authentication.
LEGENDS LIVE ON — No matter how much football we watch every year, we just won’t find a player as dominant as Jim Brown. The Cleveland Browns legend brutalized opposing NFL defenses between 1957 and 1965, rushing for 12,312 yards (averaging 5.2 yards per carry) and gaining another 2,499 through the air. Combined, he scored 126 touchdowns and, for good measure, threw for three more.
Brown retired at age 30, when he was still at the peak of his powers. But NFL fans and football history buffs won’t ever forget him. In fact, pop onto YouTube if you want a Brown refresher; you can spend hours looking at highlight films.
Likewise, collectors won’t forget Brown. Just the opposite. In recent online auctions at eBay, a number of impressive items changed hands. The biggest prices paid, of course, were for his first card. Within the space of six weeks, we saw three 1958 Topps rookie cards of Brown—all graded PSA 8—sell for a range of prices: $26,079 on 113 bids; $19,200 on 64 bids; and $18,500 on 31 bids.
We also saw several PSA 7-graded Brown rookies sell for prices between $6,850 (29 bids) and $10,100 (49 bids).
Brown’s second-year card is far more budget-friendly, as you’d expect. One example graded PSA 9 Mint got away for $3,658 on 40 bids.
Then there’s his popular 1964 Philadelphia Gum Co. card, well known in the hobby because the fullback’s beloved Cadillac appears in the background. A PSA 9 specimen of that issue recently sold for $1,240.
DB DEPTH IN FOOTBALL HEAVEN — We recently mourned the loss of an impressive list of baseball players who died in 2020. Last month, the passing of former football great Herb Adderley reminded us that the NFL lost an equally impressive list of players this year, among them Gale Sayers and Fred Dean. We’ll take a closer look at collectibles tied to those luminaries next time in this space. For now, we’ll pay tribute to what would be an All-Star defensive backfield: cornerback Adderley; fellow Hall of Famers Willie Wood and Larry Wilson, both safeties; and cornerback Ken Riley, whose exclusion from the Hall of Fame is mysterious, if not stupefying.
Riley spent his entire career for the Bengals and rarely missed a contest, playing in 207 games in 15 seasons. He logged an amazing 65 interceptions, returning five for touchdowns, and recovered 18 fumbles. Only four players ever picked off more passes than Riley, and all four are in the Hall (Paul Krause, Emlen Tunnell, Rod Woodson and Dick “Night Train” Lane).
Riley’s oversight among Hall of Fame voters mirrors his place in the collectibles market: He’s perennially undervalued. You can pick up his rookie card, a 1973 Topps, for less than $10, ungraded. (It rarely shows up as a graded card.)
Actually, Cardinal great Larry Wilson—despite his HOF status and impressive stats (52 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries and seven touchdowns in 13 seasons)—is also undervalued. You can pick up his rookie card, from Topps’ 1963 set, for $90 to $110 in 8-grade condition. Post Cereal put out a Wilson card a year earlier (1962). A rarity today, the card is nonetheless budget-friendly, as we saw in a September auction when one sold for $15.
Adderley played for the two franchises that claim to be “America’s Team”—the Packers and the Cowboys. He picked off 48 passes and returned seven for TDs, and also recovered 14 fumbles and returned two kickoffs for TDs. Adderley’s rookie card is a 1964 Philadelphia Gum Co. issue that sells for upwards of $200 if in 9 grade. In 7 or 8 grade, it can be had for $30 to $75.
Willie Wood, like his Packer teammate, intercepted 48 passes, returning two for touchdowns. He also recovered 16 fumbles and returned two punts for TDs. Recent examples of Wood’s rookie card, from Topps’ 1963 set, sold on eBay for $175 (graded BVG 8) and $95 (PSA 7.5)
Items autographed by Adderley and Wood go for a variety of prices: $25 to $50 for photos or cards; $150 to $200 for footballs; and $250 to $350 for mini-helmets and jerseys.
TOP 10 CHART
1. $140,100 on 79 bids: 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeBron James Limited Logos, #44/75, auto patch (BGS 8.5)
2. $70,000 on 1 bid: 2017 Panini National Treasures Patrick Mahomes II, #23/25, auto patch (ungraded)
3. $57,971 on 54 bids: 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (PSA 5)
4. $55,100 on 40 bids: 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle (PSA 8)
5. $53,300 on 75 bids: 2003-04 Topps Chrome LeBron James Refractor (PSA 10)
6. $40,730 on 36 bids: 2009-10 Topps Chrome Stephen Curry Refractor, #26/500 (PSA 9, auto 9)
7. $40,400 on 68 bids: 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Rookie Ticket, auto (BGS 9)
8. $36,500 on 85 bids: 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Rookie Ticket, auto (BGS 9)
9. $36,355 on 64 bids: 2003-04 Topps Chrome LeBron James Black Refractor, #198/500 (PSA 9)
10.$33,100 on 69 bids: 2013-14 Panini Prizm Giannis Antetokounmpo Silver Prizm (PSA 10)