Sunday, November 06, 2005

Value Judgements
How much am I going to pay for certified autographs cards of today's breakout stars including Travis Hafner, Adam Dunn, Miguel Cabrera, Jason Bay, Bobby Crosby, Johan Santana, David Wright, et al.

What casual speculations can I make about these 'young stars' and where they will end up in their careers, so that I can evaluate their personal value?

Except for probably for Dunn, Cabrera, Wright and Santana, the other guys are not young enough to get an opportunity to put up milestone numbers or at least be on a Hall of Fame track. On the other hand, these guys are pretty good young players and if they stay healthy, they will enjoy relatively long careers.

In 10 years, will be I be happy that I bought a Santana certified autograph? How many wins will I assume he accumulates, so that I don't feel like such a dolt for buying to the hype right now? What if my sure things flame out? Will their certified autographs be worth anything then?

On the side, how much am I willing to pay for certified autographs of past and present superstars? I want to collect items that have some long term mainstream value, even if I’m only truly collecting for myself.

There is an idea to add 'instant bling' cards to my collection and picking certified autographs of superstars will add instant value to brag about perhaps. Instead of gambling on picking up unopened boxes of cards, there is always satisfaction in getting the card I want, instead of being one of the people who would rather bust a box, than pick up single cards.

For example:
1.) Kobe Bryant certified autograph card - see previous posts

2.) 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Albert Pujols auto - I have the opportunity, why not pick a nice certified autograph card of his?

3.) Lebron James certified autograph card - see previous posts

4.) 2005 Prime Cuts III Biography Willie Mays auto - his autographs on these nice cards look like a signature instead of an autograph signed [on a cut material?].

5.) 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Mike Piazza auto - was a superstar, but career has slowed down to where he may have more time and may not be as elusive to sign for pay as far as card companies are concerned.

6.) Alex Rodriguez certified autograph - maybe baseball's Kobe Bryant and a guy whose autographs I always want for my collection, though I already have several. I'm always looking for nicer ARod autographs, though on cards it maybe good enough to see him slack off on the quality as long as it is certified by a card company.

7.) 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Mike Schmidt auto - $35-40 for the best looking certified autograph cards in the planet, though I'd rather pick up a single-signed baseball for about twice as much.

8.) Derek Jeter certified autograph card - 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot

9.) Peyton Manning certified autograph - 2005 Upper Deck Potraits 8x10 or 2003 Upper Deck Sweet Spot auto

10.) Eli Manning certified autograph - 2005 Upper Deck Portraits 8x10; maybe get into his bandwagon as a future star.

11.) Brett Favre certified autograph - 8x10 or mini-helmet

12.) Michael Vick certified autograph - 8x10 or mini-helmet; one great injury away from being mediocre perhaps - but still a young rising star.

There are things I think about:
I think I have to temper my enthusiasm for picking up certified autograph cards of Bryant, James, Pujols, Rodriguez and Jeter. These players are still in their prime, but have signed so many cards already. They will likely continue to have deals with card companies, where they sign newer cards. Each new trading card product is the opportunity for the release of certified autograph card featuring these players.

Barring some kind of individual dominance [coupled with a dynasty - Bryant and Jeter not included], there will be more opportunities to pick up certified autographs of these players, where the values won't shoot up.

Also, if I have to spend $100-$200 on an autograph of a current superstar, I would much rather try and find something that is not a card. Maybe that isn't possible, but this is where the autograph collector in me shows up and not necessarily the trading card collector. More and more certified autographs are on stickers and not on the actual card. I typically prefer autographs signed on the actual card, unless it is on a unique cut material [or just a white surface as opposed to a holographic sticker or clear cut label]. I'd rather much have something like a baseball, mini-helmet or an 8x10, rather than what would be an oddball size autograph item with regard to how much I might be willing to spend.

Bowman AFLAC - sent my redemption card out
Donruss/Playoff Zenith - returned my damaged cards

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