30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Not Quite Prospecting

When it comes to collecting baseball cards, I collect just about anything and everything.  However there's one particular genre that I typically don't mess around with... and that's prospects.  It's completely outside my realm of knowledge.

Typically I stay away from purchasing cards with the intent to flip them, but back in 2016 I read an article on Christian Yelich that inspired me to track down a few of his autographs:

2015 Museum Collection Archival Autographs #AA-CY

2015 Finest Autographs #FA-CY

2015 Gypsy Queen Autographs #GQA-CY

The article named him one of the most underrated players in the game.  At the time, he was a twenty-four year old rising star who flirted with a .300 batting average and minor power.  However most of the team's fanbase was focused on Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez.

Fast forward to 2018 and Yelich was one RBI and two home runs short of becoming the first National League batter to win the Triple Crown in eighty years.

This has started to draw some attention to his baseball cards, so I decided to dig through some boxes and pull these three autographs out and look up my COMC purchase history.  Here's how much I invested:

Card #12015 Museum Collection Archival Autographs #AA-CY  $5.25
Card #22015 Finest Autographs #FA-CY  $4.38
Card #32015 Gypsy Queen Autographs #GQA-CY  $4.36

Currently all three of these autographs are selling in the $20 to $35 range.  I'm sure the smart move is to either sell these now while he's in the playoff limelight.

That being said... I'm not in the hobby for investment purposes.  I learned my lesson the hard way in the 90's.

These days... I'm a collectorWho knows?  If Yelich continues to win batting titles, maybe one day I'll add him to the list of guys I actively collect.  Until then, I'm content with sitting on these three signatures and this really cool rookie parallel:

2013 Bowman Chrome Mini Red Refractor #318

A few years ago, I picked up a 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini factory set from the wholesaler.  Each set came with 30 colored refractors.  At the time I didn't really know what I had... but after looking through the stack of refractors, Yelich was really the only player of note.  He was also the only parallel I found numbered to ten:

What about you?

Have you ever read about or heard announcers talk about a young prospect... and then immediately go out and try to find some cards of that player?

If so... 

Did it pan out?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. You done made a nice investment there!

  2. I first began collecting in 1981. That summer I read a Sports Illustrated article about 2 young future superstars on the Atlanta Braves. Several hundred Dale Murphy cards and collectibles and a nice array of Bob Horner cards later, I’m still going!!!

  3. I'm sure there have been times when I read or heard about an underrated player/prospect and jumped online to search for his cards..and I do keep an eye out for under-the-radar players, including Yelich. The one Yelich card I had tried to get was the 2010 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor, but it wasn't enough of a priority for me :/

    I did snag that Museum Collection Auto on COMC last year for $3.29. At the time, it was the cheapest card from that set of a player I'd heard of. If I knew he'd be an MVP favorite a year later, I would have bought more of his cards!

  4. By the time I really got into prospecting, Yelich was already an established top tier prospect so I missed the boat on him, even after being a Marlin kept his prices deflated. Plus I namely stick with no-names who've yet to really make a big buzz. A lot of them are Yankees but listing them would take forever so some non-Yankees I've had some interest in would be...
    Walker Buehler, Carson Fulmer, Robbie Erlin, Touki Toussaint and Jose De Leon. To name a few.

  5. Not a big prospector, but I do have a Yelich TTM auto in my collection since 2010. That wasn't intentional though. I like the parallel.

  6. Prospecting has never been my niche. I just don't get the 100 count lots of a single player thing.

  7. I've mentioned it on the blog before, but the only player I ever "invested" in was Rich Hill -- I bought a 2002 Upper Deck rookie of his and intently watched the up and down arrows in my Becketts for months afterward. Hill flamed out (this was well before his revival with the A's/Dodgers in recent years) and thus my prospecting career was over.

  8. I tried prospecting not long after I got back in to collecting but when I focused on Tim Salmon over some kid named Derek Jeter I decided to never do it again. The only young prospects I will pick up now are Mariners and I have no intent on selling them if the player makes it big, by the way... none have.

  9. I don't usually listen to announcers who mention prospects because they are usually pretty mainstream if the guys on TV start talking about them.

    A fun game for me is on MLB Draft Night to immediately go try to snatch up a card (usually an autograph or relic) of the guy the Yankees pick before the Yankee tax drives up the prices of his cards. It's a fun way to get in on the ground floor.

  10. Yelich signed a card for me TTM last year. I've been happy for his success this year!

  11. I tend to avoid prospecting also. I don't do flipping, although it is tempting to dabble in since many cards now go for insane prices. The downside is you could be stuck with a card you don't want ant can't get rid of. The only "prospects" I tend to collect are the guys on my homie teams. I don't seek out new players just because they are the talk of the town for five minutes. It usually has the opposite effect on me. I tend to not even like the player who is the "star of the minute" for his entire career. I'm weird that way, and in many other ways.

  12. Never been into prospecting since I don't care what my stuff is worth. And because it means a lot of recent Bowman cards, which I can't stand.

    I am glad that most prospect cards show up in Bowman because then I don't care if they end up in someone's closet or thrown out if the guy doesn't do anything. I can still complete my sets without some rookie dud staying on my want list forever.

  13. Never has prospected before, but I am definitely interested in how Ohtani does.

  14. dennis - lol. it'd be a great investment if i actually intended on selling them. way too much of a hoarder... i mean collector... to do that.

    baltmoss68 - i had a buddy who was a huge murphy fan back in the day. brings back good memories. as for horner... i just added a card of his to my collection recently. i'll write about it sooner or later

    chris - wow. he has cards from 2010. might need to dig through my older bowman boxes to see if i have any. congratulations on snagging the museum collection for such a great price.

    zippy zappy - looks like you're gonna do pretty well on buehler.

    jasongerman9 - congratulations. i keep telling myself i'm gonna start sending out ttm's. one of these days i'll actually do it.

    robert - pretty sure the last time i built a 100ct. lot of a player it was for marco sturm. pretty sure that's the reason it was the last 100ct. lot i built.

    nick - my rich hill was kevin maas.

    corky - i remember chasing jeter a little. sure wish i had chased him a lot though.

    the lost collector - that's smart. sadly... i never watch mlb draft night. :(

    matt - he still signs ttm? that's good to know. congratulations on getting his autograph

    captkirk42 - i have way more cards in my collection that i'm stuck with... than ones that sell for insane prices ;)

    gca - i don't really bust bowman or chase them either, but a few years ago my buddy sold me a bunch of boxes he had sitting in his garage. it's fun to dig through them every now and then and find the current rising star.

    sumomenkoman - me too. although i'm not putting together "lots" of his. i'm happy whenever i'm able to pull his rookie card from a pack.

  15. I'm always late to every party...including the prospect one! lol
    But I got happy that after *discovering* David Robertson I got a prospect card of him.

  16. The one foul ball I have came off the bat of Christian Yelich. Of course, I have no way to prove that.