30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Little Engine That Could

I learned a long time ago that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.  But I'm human and that's pretty much what I did when I started collecting Jose Altuve a few years ago.  It's no secret that he's one of the shortest players in baseball and as a fellow vertically challenged human being... I was naturally drawn to his cards.

Things escalated after the 2015 season when he collected 200 hits for the second year in a row, won his 2nd stolen base title, and his first Gold Glove Award.  That's when I actively started targeting his cards on eBay.  Every year, Topps floods the hobby with his signature... which is good news to budget collectors.  You can pick up on-card signatures of him for $15 to $30 on a regular basis.

Autographed Card: 2016 Topps Five Star Autograph #FSA-JA

There are three different Altuve signatures in my collection that could be considered my favorite depending on my mood.  Today, I decided to go with this Five Star card, because it features a bold signature on a light background.

Memorabilia Card:  2016 Topps Tribute Stamp of Approval Relic #SOA-JA

While Altuve autographs tend to be reasonably priced, his memorabilia cards are not.  That's why I currently only have five memorabilia cards and one manufactured relic sitting in my collection.  I like that Topps added the MLB hologram to this card, so you can trace when and where Altuve wore this jersey.

Rookie Card: 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP137

Back in early July... right at the start of Altuve's insane month... I finally added his rookie card to my collection and wrapped up my 16th Baseball Card Trifecta.  I'm still looking to add his 2011 Topps Update rookie card to the collection.  However I decided to target this card first, because it's a year older and about 1/2 the price.

2017 has truly been a special year for Altuve.  I'd hate to jinx him... but he's currently on pace to have his 4th straight 200 hit season.  He also has a solid shot at this year's American League MVP Award.  And if the Astros (who have now won 4 of their last 5 games) can work out their issues... there's an outside chance they can walk away as the 2017 World Series Champions.

Honestly... it's a win/lose situation for me.  If he does accomplish these major feats... I'll be happy for him.  However I'm sure demand will raise his card values.  On the other hand, I'd be totally bummed if he didn't at least reach 200 hits.  And since there aren't any Athletics in the running for AL MVP and they're out of the playoff hunt... Altuve has my support.

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. He's a great player. However, his 5 Hour Energy commercial is very annoying.

  2. Isn't It crazy how Topps RC's are now more expensive than a First Year Bowman?When did that happen?

  3. Altuve is one of my favorites. Watching him is kinda like watching a throwback to the late 19th century.

  4. Nice cards Fuji! Congrats on hitting 16 trifectas!

  5. Altuve is sooooo good. The Astros locking him up long term a few years back is one of the all time steals in the modern era.

  6. Nice trifecta. As an NL fan I don't see much of Altuve. In a way I guess it could make sense that relic cards could be more scarce than signed cards though Topps can obviously dictate their respective numbers.

  7. I am just impressed by his numbers this season. Seems to be in a league of his own when it comes to average. Reminds me of 1995 when Tony Gwynn hit .368 and won the batting title by more than 20 points over Piazza.

  8. Altuve is absolutely amazing to watch play. He's such a grinder type player and has developed some power over past few seasons. Watching him play out his career should be a lot of fun for years to come.

  9. I just recently tracked down the boxes from my case of 2011 Topps Update that I never finished collating. I've got a few Altuves if you want to work out a trade. I heard there's another card from that set going for a decent amount of money. ;)

  10. Every time I see Altuve's stats I'm amazed - how can a little guy put up such big numbers? If he isn't the AL MVP this year I'll be shocked.

    Those are three great cards, especially the Five Star auto. I was looking through my COMC history for my most recent post and saw that I had bought two 2011 Chrome Altuve RCs for $0.63 each. I really should have held on to those...and my Aaron Judge...and my Mike Trout...

  11. He's one of the cooler players. Interesting to see how his auto has evolved from the regular name into what looks like "Gumml" now...

  12. Jose Altuve is awesome! I have assorted autographed baseball on display on a shelf above my desk. All but two have a New York Mets connection. Jose Altuve is one of the two that does not.

  13. the lost collector - 100% agree

    tony - not sure. but the way he's playing... i probably should just plop down the $$$ before it continues to go up.

    nick - totally. it's sad... but i usually check out his stats before the a's or padres box score.

    reds card collector - thanks! i've had a lot of fun. still have a few more i haven't published yet.

    matthew scott - i know. i hope he's like gwynn and stays with them his entire career. but i guess we're years away from ever knowing

    hackenbush - i don't watch a lot of astros games either, but i'm always on mlb.com looking for highlights involving him. plus... i'll go watch the astros play the a's at least once a year

    forestrydave - he's cooled off a little as of late... but is still over 30 points ahead of avisail

    collecting cutch - yeah... just hit #20 yesterday or the day before

    offy - haven't traded in awhile... but if you let me know what you're looking for i might be able to dig up some trade bait

    chris - lol. i know, right? i think we all have that one guy we should have held onto

    gca - i'm not sure when he switched it... but i don't own a single autograph that looks like the on on his bowman chrome card. all of mine say "gumml"

    paul hadsall - who's the other non-met?

    1. I haven't traded in a while either. As the players that I collected have retired, I haven't really found new players that have caught my interest. I still pick up new Piazzas and Big Papis when I see them, but my main focus as of late has been the great WWE sets that Topps has been doing. I would rather see one of these go to you instead of a random buyer on eBay, so we can try and work something out.