30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saturday Night Five: El Niño

It's been a long time since I've had anything really to cheer for in regards to the San Diego Padres.  I couldn't tell you the last time I actively searched for a card of a Padres player that was on their active roster.  I'll guess it was either Matt Kemp or Derek Norris.  Maybe Manuel MargotWho knows... who cares.

The fact is... that has completely changed.  I'm no longer only looking for Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield, Trevor Hoffman, and other Padres legends.  The past two months, I've also been chasing down cards of Fernando Tatis Jr.

The first Tatis card I purchased actually took place in 2016 at the Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show.  That day I picked up a bunch of Bowman Chrome colored refractors for each.  And one of them happened to be this card:

2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects Purple Refractor #BCP17 (#'d 042/250)

This is a prime example of why I won't pass up bargain priced refractors of prospects.  This particular card even has the 1st Bowman icon that prospectors get excited about.

Tatis has cooled off the past few weeks, but people are still willing to pay a decent dime for this card.  On Tuesday one of these purple refractors sold for $112.50 (+ $3.74 shipping).  That's down from a couple of Sundays ago when another one sold for $143.49 (+ $3.95 shipping).  I'm sure prices will continue to slide as long as Fernando's statistics continue to slide.  But that's okay with me, since I don't intend to sell it.

Next up is the first purchase I made of Tatis, while actively seeking him out:

2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP17

I purchased this on eBay with a BIN price of $59.99 (+ $3.95 shipping).  Normally, I'd never spend this much money on a graded card of a such a young player, but I used the remaining $14.14 from my eBay Buck voucher and the the $27.28 I had left on my first $100 eBay gift card.  After factoring in those two things, I only paid $22.52 for this card.  That's a price I can live with.

A few days after picking up the graded card, I bought this:

2019 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Refractor #SCC-80

My scanner sucks.  I wish you could see how shiny and reflective this card really is.  Topps inserted them into 1:64 2019 Stadium Club packs, which is a reasonably tough pull when you consider that there are 90 different cards in the set.

I found it on eBay and offered the seller $20 (free shipping).  He accepted and the rest is history.  I also grabbed a couple of the base Stadium Club rookie cards at flea market last month for a buck a piece.  I didn't include them in this post since most of you have already seen them.

However here's a different Tatis I purchased from the same vendor (with the Stadium Club rookies), but at a different flea market:

2019 Topps Allen and Ginter #183

He increased his Tatis rookie card prices from a buck to two dollars.  If this was any other vendor, I would have passed.  But it's my buddy and he's hooked me up plenty of times in the past.  I made a few other flea market purchases that day.  Hopefully I'll have that post up in the next week or so.  Stay tuned.

The fifth and final Tatis card I have for you today is my very first Topps Living purchase:

2019 Topps Living #173

This wasn't purchased directly from Topps... it was an eBay purchase.  Found a guy who would sell me three for $21 (free shipping).  I didn't realize until after I accepted his offer that Topps produced over 10,000 copies of this card.  That seems like a super high print run.  Oh well.  It's still a cool card.

One of these days, I'd like to pick up an autograph and memorabilia card of El Niño.  However right now they're a little too pricey.  I'll wait until he has some second year "hits" which should be much more affordable.

Now I know what some of you are thinking.  I'm crazy for going "all in" on a rookie.  Well... I can assure you that from this point out... I'll be sticking to bargain priced rookie cards.  And I complete understand and accept that Tatis could very well be the next Gregg Jefferies.  But in the meantime... I'm gonna soak it up and enjoy watching Tatis and Padres baseball.

What about you?

Do you actively chase rookie cards?  If so, who's your current flavor of the month?

And just in case you thought this post was going to be about the Chris Farley skit, here you go:

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. Unfortunately I'm not too knowledgeable about prospects and rookie so I'm gonna have to toss it up to the next guy.

  2. Tatis is a beast.My dad and I loved watching his dad play as a Met.I need some Tatis Jr in my collection like yesterday!

  3. I'll trust that you know what you're doing. I've never chased rookies, myself.

  4. Awesome for you to have had that purple refractor, and to pay a nickel, yeah. That's why I miss having my dupes boxes here (trust me no where here to put them). They fill up half of my oversize 2 car garage back home. You can bet when ever I am at home and time permits, I'll be digging in those boxes to see who and what else I can scoop out!

  5. I don't chase active rookies. But you nailed some great cards there! Classic Chris Farley.

  6. I wouldn't say I actively chase rookies (I don't have anywhere near the budget for it), but I have found myself welcoming more of them into my binders in the last few years. I don't know if a cheap White Sox card of Tatis Jr. exists, but I'm sure as heck gonna try to find one for my zero-year collection.

  7. I feel old. In the back of my mind I still think of Fernando Tatis as a young player whose rookie card isn't that old.

    But this post is about his son's rookie card! I'm so out of date....

    About your question, I'm not a rookie card chaser (though back in the bubble era I was like everyone else). These days I'm mainly a set builder with a Montreal Expos side project.

  8. I'm all aboard the Tatis Train as well. If you're willing to go the Panini route, you can pickup an autograph that won't break the bank. I recently purchased a 2018 National Treasures auto for $60. A high price, for sure, but half that of what a Topps auto would cost.

  9. zippy zappy - lol. okay buddy.

    big tone - if you like autographs, topps included him in archives a while back. pretty sure his autographs from that set only go for a buck or two

    hackenbush - not sure i know what i'm doing, but i'm having fun figuring it out

    johnnys trading spot - can't wait to see what hidden treasures you find.

    sumomenkoman - miss me some classic chris farley

    nick - he should have a couple of white sox cards in the $1 to $2 range on comc

    sean - don't worry. i remember watching his father too. in fact, i might even have one or two of his rookie cards laying around too

    ketchupman36 - i'm not sure i'm ready to make the jump to panini yet. i think i'd rather just wait it out and see if i can pick up a topps tatis next year for a reasonable price

  10. I could care less about prospects, but found Tatis' Stadium Club single in a quarter box and snagged it while I could. If I get down to a few left for the base set, it would undoubtedly be him, Ohtani, Trout, and Acuna. I also pulled a couple of his base Topps out of my dupes pile for their increased trade value.

  11. I try to pick a few rookies each off-season to target in the following year, didn't really do it this year. But I have been finding lots of Eloy Jimenez cards.
    I have been going after Willians Astudillo cards too, but I don't consider him a rookie/ prospect.

  12. gca - i was stoked to grab them for a buck. a quarter? that's 4x better!

    brian - don't know much about either of these guys... but i have heard of both of these guys. in fact, i'm pretty sure i pulled jimenez out of a chrome pack i picked up this weekend.