30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sports Card Trifecta #25: Jeff Bagwell

Back in December, I was lucky enough to discover an autograph of the greatest hockey player of all-time sitting in a shoebox at the flea market.

1991 Stadium Club #388

Last week, the lucky streak continued.  As I was digging through a box of miscellaneous low end rookie cards in search of a 1991 Stadium Club Jeff Bagwell rookie card for his Sports Card Trifecta, I stumbled across this:

2008-09 Topps Chrome #184 Refractor

I haven't really kept up with basketball for several years now.  But living in the Bay Area, a big chunk of sports radio is currently focused on the Golden State Warriors and the guy who's averaging a triple-double this season.

So when I came across this card, I figured it was probably worth something.  What I didn't realize is that this card is currently fetching more than $250 on eBay.  It's not signed.  It's not embedded with practice worn shorts.  It's just a refractor parallel to his Topps Chrome rookie card, which is obviously in very high demand.

Seriously insane, right?  I'm probably going to ship this card off to PSA and eventually sell it.  Who knows... maybe the lucky streak will continue and it'll return a 10.

I also found a handful of his other rookie cards... as well as a few James Harden rookies... sitting in penny sleeves.  Sometimes I regret dumping so much money into basketball back when I re-entered the hobby.  But every now and then, I dig up a hidden treasure.  I'm wondering if I have anymore  Westbrooks or Hardens sitting at my parent's house.

As you can see... I eventually found the Bagwell in the same box.  Things have a funny way of balancing themselves out in our hobby.  The Westbrook was a nice find, but when you factor in how much I probably spent trying to pull this Bagwell from a pack, I'm probably still in the red.

Anyone else ever spend $3 to $5 per pack in hopes of pulling this card back in the early 90's?

At one point, 1991 Stadium Club baseball was the hottest product around and these Bagwells were selling in the $8 to $15 range.  These days you can find a copy for under $2 and I'm guessing there are more than a few sitting in dime boxes and quarter bins around the country.  You just need to dig for them.

2014 Topps Tier One Acclaimed Autographs #AA-JB

Out of the two Bagwell autograph sitting in my collection, this is my favorite.  I've always enjoyed this particular set design and the on-card signatures.  Plus in addition to being in my Bagwell Sports Card Trifecta, it's also featured in my Prime Numbers PC.  The downside?  I paid top dollar ($28.58 + $3.50 shipping) back in 2014.  At the time he didn't have a lot of autographs floating around the hobby.

2003 Playoff Absolute Tools of the Trade #TT-17

I have a handful of memorabilia cards featuring Bagwell, but none of them are rare or truly breathtaking.  I decided to use this card for my trifecta, because of the simple design.  However... maybe one day I'll go out and upgrade this card.

Well there ya have it.  Another hidden gem... another Sports Card Trifecta... and another question for you guys...

What are some of the coolest hidden gems you've discovered while digging through your collection?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. I haven't found any gems like that in my collection, but what an absolute find! I, too, hope it comes back a 10. Great find, great post!

  2. I have a lot of miscellaneous cards in boxes but I doubt there's anything like yours. The Westbrook is a nice looking card besides it's value. So's the Bagwell auto. Love the on-card.

  3. Damn dude. Crazy how basketball rookies have really become valuable. I know a lot of the basic Steph ones sell well.

  4. I don't recall finding any "hidden gems" but I do remember not buying very much Stadium Club in 1991 because I thought that was way too expensive (says the guy that just dropped $100 on a box of 2017 Topps jumbos).

  5. Hollllyyyyyy geeeeeeeezzzz that RUSS!! As you know, I JUST bought the regular version of that card and it did cost me a pretty penny. Soooooo jealous!!

  6. I will forever regret not collecting the NBA from 2006-12. Not only because I missed a lot of good games, but I missed out on cards like these that I'll never be able to afford. I can't justify spending $250 on a card when my normal monthly card budget is about $35. I now consider that break my biggest regret in the hobby, and I have since I came to my senses and came back to the NBA in 2012. As for my greatest similar find? Well...back in 2004 I found an old dealer who wanted to retire...just wanted to be done with everything. So I was able to complete 5 1970s NBA sets from him and got to within 5 or so cards from every Topps set from 1975-81, plus 1986-87 Fleer which I am only 4 cards short of now and have been since 05. In my own stash? I found a parallel of a Lebron James rookie card in my duplicate stash, now having looked at my base cards from the set since they were new.

    1. Last sentence should read "not having looked at..."

  7. I went back through my childhood cards and realized I had an unopened box of 1981 Fleer in there that I had forgotten about. Nice surprise. Thanks for sharing your find!

  8. I never put much of anything newer than 1980 in my basic star card binders until I realized that Joe Montana from 1981 was selling for $100+. Figured he shouldn't be in the box with the rest of the set.

  9. I always find stuff in my old Bowman, or Minor League sets. I usually put them together, box them, and set them in a closet for another day. Most recent cool find was in the 2011 Heritage Minor League set, I found a Trout RC red tint parallel. Pretty excited to find it.

  10. super cool finds.

    i'm actually going to start digging through some of my old baseball singles boxes next week and am hoping to find some cool items...might even have that Bagwell in there, or maybe a Mike Trout!

  11. I actually have a post about this topic due to go up next week...

  12. I liked the part about balancing out, isn't that the truth. For every great score there seems to be an overpayment, but the balance effect is nice. Congratulations!

  13. peter k steinberg - thanks. as soon as i figure out this psa submission thing, i'll do it. stay tuned

    hackenbush - i doubt i'll ever stumble across like this again either. i might have a few westbrook and harden autos sitting at my parents house, but if i do, i guarantee they're not in penny sleeves.

    the lost collector - i know. i dug up my stephs last year. i should have dumped them then. they've come down a lot since they peaked

    swing and a pop-up - i don't even want to think about how much i spent on packs of 1990 leaf, 1991 stadium club, and 1992 fleer ultra. i'd get depressed.

    chris p - lol. it's payback. i've been jealous of all of the awesome cards you've featured on your blog for years now.

    billy kingsley - wow... those are some awesome sets you've built. and that lebron parallel is a fantastic find. i'm bummed that i missed out on the 2003/04 year. but that's the way the ball bounces sometimes.

    sumomenkoman - nice. a few years ago, i bought four boxes of 1981 fleer and built that set. i probably spent 5 times the cost of just going out and buying the set. but it was a blast. 81 fleer was the first set my parents ever bought me.

    gca - the 1981 topps montana is such an iconic card. it's still super popular here in the bay area.

    snorting bull - wow. that's a stellar find. i've already gone back and looked for trout rookies. sadly... i didn't find any.

    cardboardhogs - good luck buddy! hope you find a nice stack of trouts.

    zippy zappy - looking forward to it

    steve @ 1975baseballcards.com - honestly... i'm well into the red. but finds like these make me feel better ;)