By Larry Canale
Did Super Bowl LIII leave you feeling a little “ho-hum”? Or were you giddy about the Patriots’ Bill Belichick-era dynasty? Well, we know from eBay activity that there was no shortage of collectors who were beyond giddy.
The top item on our chart—a 2000 signed Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket card—attracted 63 bids in soaring to $110,000. Its PSA 10 grade propelled the price to an “out-a-sight” level.
A lesser-condition Championship Rookie Ticket card—a BGS 8—had even more bidders join in (78, to be exact) and sold for $61,100. And an ever-so-slightly less-than-perfect Rookie Ticket Brady card had 60 bidders push the price to $25,655.
Not crazy about spending five-figure prices on Brady? Wait a while for the luster of the current Super Bowl ring (his sixth) to wear off. Or settle for “lesser” items just to get the future Hall of Famer into your collection.
Here are five examples of recent items that sold for prices below $1,000 (though they still aren’t “cheap”):
• $860 for a 2000 Bowman signed rookie card (PSA/DNA authenticated, but ungraded).
• $850 for a 2000 Fleer Autographics signed Brady rookie graded BGS 7.5, with a 10 for the sig.
•$850 for a 2000 Press Pass signed rookie card of Brady in his Michigan uniform.
• $845 for a 2000 Score Brady rookie graded PSA 10.
• $750 for a 2000 Leaf Certified Brady rookie graded BGS 9.5.
Enjoy the shopping! Nearly 38,000 Brady items changed hands on eBay in the past three months, but at press time, sellers were offering nearly 49,000 more.
HOCKEY’S HOT, AND HOWE!
Who’s hockey’s all-time most popular player? Wayne Gretzky? Bobby Orr? How about Gordie Howe, the man who would become known as Mr. Hockey? Howe played 26 years in the National Hockey League and six in the World Hockey League, finally retiring after the 1979-80 season. He was 51 years old that season and, amazingly, played in 80 NHL games for the Hartford Whalers, logging 15 goals and 26 assists.
Howe owns more records than we could fit in this space, so we’ll send you to HockeyReference.com to search for his page and stats. However, we will take space here to tout his holy-grail card—his 1951 Parkhurst.
The card showed up in our Top 10 three times during the past year, rising in price on each occasion. In February 2018, a 1951 Parkhurst Howe brought $39,000. In June 2018, another one fetched $46,100. And in November 2018, we reported on one that sold for $47,111. All three were graded PSA 8, so this is a case of comparing apples to apples.
eBay seller Showpieces Sports sold what would qualify as a real treasure for vintage baseball fans: a single-signed Cy Young baseball that brought $34,995.
The autograph on the ball dates to a year before Young’s 1955 death, and as such shows a somewhat shaky signature. However, the ball has been amazingly preserved, with the ink holding up well and the ball’s hide experiencing very little yellowing. BGS evaluated the ball (a Reach Official) and gave it a grade of Mint 9/10. The autograph was authenticated by both PSA/DNA and JSA.
The best part of the listing: a 1954 photograph presented as provenance. It shows two young boys standing next to the great pitcher, who’s seated while holding the ball in his left hand. The charming image also features a collie looking up at Young. As the seller put it in the listing: the dog “locks eyes with Young, clearly longing for a game of fetch that was luckily denied.”
ON THE OUTSIDE
Wondering what finished outside our Top 10 this time out? There was a host of desirable items drawing noteworthy prices, as our “next 10” illustrates:
• $25,100: 2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout XFractor, #141/225, auto (BGS 9.5)
• $25,000: 1996 Topps Mike Piazza Special Olympics #1/1 (BGS 9)
• $25,000: 1998 Playoff Contenders Peyton Manning Rookie Ticket, auto (PSA 9)
• $22,211: 2017 Panini National Treasures Green Patrick Mahomes, #2/15, auto patch (PSA 10)
• $21,100: 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan (PSA 10)
• $20,099: 1999-2000 Upper Deck Ionix Authentics Michael Jordan, #10/23, auto (BGS 9.5, auto 10)
• $20,612: 2017 Panini National Treasures Patrick Mahomes, #1/1, auto patch with NFL shield (PSA 10)
• $20,000: 2006-07 Upper Deck Exquisite Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant Dual Scripted Swatches, #1/5, auto patch (BGS 8.5)
• $19,999: 1920s Ty Cobb signed Louisville Slugger bat (PSA and BGS)
• $18,500: 2000 Upper Deck SP Authentic Tom Brady (PSA 10)
In our last edition, we gave you a look at the Top 20 cards reported in “Online Auctioneer” during 2018. Not surprisingly, our charts featured the big names you’ve come to expect, but it also sampled certain hobby favorites who are forever overshadowed by the Mantles, Ruths, and Jordans of the world.
Here are three examples of “next level down” players who made appearances on our 2018 charts—and whose memorabilia in general has been on the rise in recent years:
• Thurman Munson, the great Yankee catcher from the 1970s. A Gem-Mint PSA 10 specimen of Munson’s rookie card, a 1970 Topps, fetched $26,101 in late 2018. It’s tough to find any card from that era in 10 condition, so this hefty price isn’t surprising. You’ll pay a lot less for a 9-grade Munson rook; two examples sold recently for prices of $1,425 and $1,185.
��� Ken “Snake” Stabler, the lefty gunslinger who starred for the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s. A PSA 10 Stabler rookie card, from Topps’ 1973 set, brought $17,999 in a January 2018 auction. Again, 10s are increasingly hard to find. If you’re a fan of the Snake, look for a 9 and you’ll find more budget-friendly prices. One bidder won a PSA 9 Stabler rookie for $1,125.
• Jerry West, the NBA Hall of Famer who spent his entire career with the Lakers. A PSA 9 version of West’s 1961-62 Fleer rookie checked in at $23,989 in late 2018. In 2016, we reported on two different West rooks that brought prices of $16,500 and $16,000.