Those days are long gone, but last night I grabbed my November 1998 issue of Tuff Stuff Magazine off of my book shelf to look up some card values. A few weeks ago, I purchased a bunch of cards from Tromp's Sports Cards that included a pair of Frank Thomas refractors from the 90's.
The first card is this 1997 Chrome "Season's Best Refractors" card:
Although these inserts aren't super rare, they weren't considered easy pulls either. They were inserted into one out of every fifty-four packs, which is close to one per two boxes.
Check out what it booked for in Tuff Stuff back in 1998:
Tuff Stuff's 1998 book value? $45
Beckett's 2014 book value? $12
Tromp's 2014 actual price? $1.40
I'm pretty sure people didn't drop $45 on copies of this Thomas, but it was sort of entertaining to see how much perceived values have changed over the past sixteen years.
The other Frank Thomas I picked up was this 1998 Topps "Mystery Finest Borderless Refractors":
Now these were pretty rare back in the day. Out of the four types of Mystery Finest cards inserted into Topps baseball packs, the borderless refractors were the hardest to pull. Collectors could find them in one out of every eight boxes, which reflected in their popularity and high values back in the day. These days... they're just another insert from another decade.
Tuff Stuff's 1998 book value? $90
Beckett's 2014 book value? $15
Tromp's 2014 actual price? $1.60
While writing this post, I looked at this situation from two different perspectives. It was a little disheartening to see how most card values have plummeted over the past fifteen years... but I also had a little smirk on my face, because patience paid off and I picked these cards up at a fraction of the price.
I wonder what my perspective will be in another sixteen years?
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!