Many times over the past two and a half years I have commented the best part of the One Million Cubs Project has been meeting so many other collectors, both on social media and in person. While most of the trades conducted for Cubs baseball cards are completed through the mail, a few occur in person.
My most recent in-person trade was put on hold for a little bit due to COVID-19 and the shelter in place that swept the nation throughout most of April and May. Frank in Milwaukee had reached out wanting to meet up as he filled up a 3,200 count box of Cubs cards. He went to school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and was going to make a trip over with his wife. We set up a meeting point for this past Saturday morning and swapped more than 3,000 cards.
Frank had been out of collecting for about two decades so had some holes to fill in from the late-1990’s into the 2010’s. I was able to help out with filling some needs out of Allen & Ginter and Topps Heritage from a couple years ago during my case buying days.
He had given me some estimates on the years that were Cubs cards, and it was everything I love about a bulk trade. Sure, a lot of the junk wax era, which still gives me good memories of being a kid collector in the early 1990’s. But, he also had some old stuff…like a really old card.
Bill Jurges had a 17-year big league career after making his MLB debut with the Chicago Cubs on May 4, 1931. Jurges was a three-time All Star. He was a Cubs All Star in 1937 and his other two appearances came with the New York Giants. Frank had this 1934 Goudey Bill Jurges in the trade.
On top of the box was a Topps Pop Up Rick Sutcliffe. These were really cool, but are easily damaged. Fortunately, this “Red Baron” piece is in excellent condition.
As I dug through the box I unearthed a stack of 1982 Fleer Cubs cards. I wonder if there are any Lee Smith rookie cards within this pile? Oh, yeah. Not just one….fifteen Fleer Lee Smith rookies.
Along with the Jurges Goudey card, there were some other Cubs cards from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Also here: five 1956 Topps cards: Bob Speake, Gene Baker, Jim Davis, Warren Hacker, and Harry Chiti.
I’ve never seen this Cubs sticker, and it’s immediately my favorite Cubs sticker design. I may have to track down more and use these on binders. Apparently this is from a Fleer Grand Slam set. Obviously it’s from the 1980’s, but not certain on the exact year or set it came from.
Finally, my favorite card of the bunch…and there was over 3,200 Cubs baseball cards in this box. Even better than a 1934 Goudey, or 15 Lee Smith rookie cards. I am into art, and who would have thought 1988 Topps would look like a piece of art. But this Shawon Dunston O-Pee-Chee sure does. Amazing. The front and back of this card melt together.
But look at the back…it’s like the front of the card never happened. This is an absolute beauty of a card.
This was a great trade with Frank, and we’ll be doing this again. Always fun to meet Twitter followers in person, and now as we emerge from quarantine hopefully I can do some more in-person trading this summer.
Over the last couple months there has been a lot of reflection. With additional time at home, we begin cleaning out basements and closets stumbling upon mementos from our childhoods. There has also been much talk in the trading card hobby recently that we are heading into junk wax era 2.0, and the hobby is as hot and popular as it was in the early 1990’s.
Neither are true, in my opinion. While we are seeing a gigantic increase in the hobby’s popularity, I do not believe it will result in another junk wax era. Will prices sharply decrease on many cards? Yes, and that has always been the case. Nothing new. Is the hobby as hot as it was in 1991? Not even close. Not until you can find baseball cards in every business on Main Street will see the hobby where it was in the early 90’s.
With that, I wanted to share my time as a kid collecting in the junk wax era. For some, you may have been my age (late 30’s) during the baseball card boom of the late 80’s and early 90’s. For others, you may not have been born, thus not experiencing first hand what life was like when baseball cards were a hot topic in mainstream newspapers and magazines. A time your small town barber sold packs of Topps baseball cards, and small cities with a population of 10,000 residents were host to two or three local card shops.
I was an 80’s kid…and a 90’s kid. Born in 1982, I was able to experience the latter part of the decade as a youngster and caught the baseball card craze in 1989 when I was seven years old. Then, my formative years all occurred in the 90’s. I grew up with Bart Simpson, became a teenager when grunge was on its way out, and boy bands were on their way in. I entered high school when “The Freshmen” was a hit by Verve Pipe and graduated to Vitamin C’s “Graduation Song.”
And all through that, I collected baseball cards (and football cards and basketball cards). This is my baseball card story as an 80’s and 90’s kid.
Where It All Began
Couponing was a craze in the 1980’s. My dad worked days at Case IH, and my mom stayed home with me before I was school age. She was a member of a coupon club, and had filing cabinets filled with various coupons. We lived in a tiny house about 800 square feet. My dad was building a house we would move into when I was six years old. These were the only two houses I knew until I left for college. There was “home,” and the “little house.” By 1989, baseball cards became big business and we had moved from the “little house” to the bigger house.
One company teamed up with Topps in 1989 and when you collected a certain amount of UPC codes from that company’s products, you could redeem them for a 1989 Topps team set of your choice. If memory serves correctly, it was General Mills. I likely devoured a couple bowls of Franken Berry and Boo Berry each day to get the requisite UPC codes for my Topps baseball card set. I chose the Chicago Cubs team set, of course.
Remember when you had to not only collect a dozen UPC codes, but THEN wait an entire six to eight weeks for delivery of your prize? That was eternity for a seven-year old kid. And I didn’t make enough allowance to buy 35-cent packs of 1989 Topps to piece meal a Cubs set together for myself. Alas, the two month wait was finally over, and I still vividly recall that summer day when a box arrived with my name on it.
It was a warm sunny weekday in Annawan, Illinois. It seemed like I had made a thousand trips to our hometown post office with no Topps baseball cards awaiting for me. But on this day…there was a yellow slip in our PO box. Could this be? Will we turn this yellow slip over to Shirley, our long time postmaster, and she will grab a box for me that includes Cubs baseball cards?
Indeed. Mom handed over the yellow slip to Shirley, and she retrieved a package. It was for me. I raced outside to our boat of a car – a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis – and ripped open that package. There it was. A complete set of 1989 Topps Chicago Cubs baseball cards. Mom was right behind me, and fired up that gas guzzling boat of a car and steered it across the street to the State Bank of Annawan drive through. I remember waiting in line at the bank drive through and flipping through my new baseball cards – Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace with a gold cup (sweet!), Manny Trillo, Angel Salazar, some future star named Mike Harkey, and this is weird. A card with the guy in a college baseball uniform. He’s not a Cub, I thought. Apparently he was a #1 draft pick by the Cubs. This is pretty cool, I thought, and so my love of the 1989 Topps Ty Griffin baseball card began.
Playing With Baseball Cards
“Are you playing with your baseball cards?” My dad would ask me this question throughout my childhood, and it was a running joke as my baseball card collecting continued into adulthood. By the time I was in my 30’s, I would still get out a box of cards when visiting my parents and spread them on the living room floor like I did with those 1989 Topps Cubs cards almost 30 years prior. Instead of recklessly flipping through them and organizing by names, or batting average, or making card fort…I was sorting them carefully and numerically or by team.
My dad passed away in 2016. As he battled lung cancer he had a couple near-term wishes – to watch the Chicago Cubs win a World Series and to see the new home my wife and I were building and would move into. He was missed that World Series celebration by 68 days, and we moved into our new house 86 days after his passing. To take my mind off his death, when I returned home from the hospital I went to my local card shop and bought a hobby box of 2016 Allen & Ginter.
Growing Up in a Rural Illinois Farm Town
Growing up in a small town is special. From an early age I could hop on my bicycle and ride all over our small town. We played backyard football in a lot next to the water tower. Some sandlot baseball on a huge lot of grass that at one time decades before was where the high school building sat. If we weren’t home in time for dinner, our parents could make one or two phone calls and find us. Word spread faster among residents in a small town than a viral Facebook post today.
The local IGA grocery store was just two blocks away from my house. It was located “uptown.” We didn’t have a “downtown” in Annawan. Why it was uptown, I do not know. But I can tell you it was literally uphill from my house. Once we reached the crest of the sidewalk a half block away, we would catch a lot of speed on our bikes heading into my front yard. One time, while riding an old 10-speed, the handle bars came off midway through my downhill cruise. Fortunately, I only suffered from some scraped knees and elbows.
Packs of baseball cards were 35 cents in 1989, but there was a new set called Upper Deck that was released that year. It was $1 per pack. A DOLLAR! I could get three packs of Topps cards for that price. Upper Deck was too pricey for a seven-year old, so I never had the popular Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card from the set. Packs of Upper Deck were so popular and high end they were not on sale with the rest of the cards in the candy aisle. You had to ask the cashier to grab them from the back.
I think baseball cards were often shop lifted from my small town grocery store, because everytime we walked down the candy aisle and looked at what packs of cards were available, Beatrice behind the register would watch us like a hawk. It’s funny that 10 years later I would be in Beatrice’s position at that same grocery store as a high schooler…watching kids in the candy aisle like a hawk.
There Used to be Card Shops Everywhere
We didn’t have a baseball card shop in my hometown of 800 residents, but the town next door five miles away had one. The “big cities” 10 miles each direction had several. To the south was Kewanee, complete with a Hardee’s and McDonald’s on each side of town…and it had a Wal-Mart. Kewanee also had three card shops. In the other direction, Geneseo had a couple card shops. Six card shops within 10 miles of my rural hometown. Today, you have to drive about 40 miles to find one card shop in that area.
Hart’s Cards was my go-to card shop. It was located in Geneseo, Illinois, and it also had a much longer staying power than the other five shops. Hart’s Cards lasted through the 1990’s, as it became a hot spot for beanie baby sales along with trading cards. By the time I was regularly visiting card shops, I was mainly into Shaq and basketball cards.
Today you are hard pressed to find many card shows. Madison, Wisconsin and the surrounding “suburbs” has roughly 500,000 people. We have one card shop, and about eight or nine card shows per year. Growing up in the cornfields in northern Illinois you could find card shows within a 30-minute drive every weekend. Even in my small town, we would have card shows at the local community center. It was an old rectangular building with a concrete floor. You could rent the building for an entire day for about $20.
And Card Shows Every Weekend
One of these card shows at my local community center was the first time I laid eyes on a 1986 Topps Traded Bobby Bonilla card. Bobby Bonilla…the superstar for the Pittsburgh Pirates who would beat up my beloved Cubs played in Chicago?! I was dumbfounded. Why did the White Sox get rid of him, I often wondered. I couldn’t afford the $3 price tag on that Bonilla card, so it was one of the first purchases I made when I returned to baseball card collecting in the late 90’s.
Another card show memory was taking a trip to Kewanee to the Knights of Columbus Hall. Cubs first round pick and top prospect Earl Cunningham was appearing to sign autographs. We piled into the Carpenter family station wagon with a small group of boys to buy baseball cards and meet a future Cubs superstar. I had a 1990 Score baseball card signed by Cunningham in bright blue sharpie. It was the prized piece of my collection for several years, but then it became lost and still today I look all over for a 1990 Score Cunningham signed in blue sharpie.
The Carpenters were great friends as a kid. We traded baseball cards, played tackle football in their backyard, and had walnut fights (ouch). Brandon had an awesome collection of Larry Johnson basketball cards and Barry Sanders football cards. Whenever I sort through my cards and find an LJ, it takes me back to those days. Brandon and I still trade all these years later. And yes, I send him my LJ’s and Barry’s.
Whenever I find a box of 1989 Topps, my initial reaction is: “oh, God…more 1989 Topps,” but when I start flipping through those cards they instantly take me back to Friday night’s watching Full House, Perfect Strangers, and Family Matters as I sort through my stash of cards. Or scraping up 35 cents in loose change from around the house and riding my bike to IGA to buy another pack of cards.
They may be junk today, but the memories are grand. While worthless pieces of Topps, Donruss, and Fleer cardboard now, it’s a representation of collecting in a care-free world. Trading cards and eating penny candy with your friends. Priceless.
It has been a disappointing few months for baseball fans. First, Major League Baseball decided to eliminate 42 minor league baseball teams. Now, as sports organizations begin to move forward following COVID shut downs, MLB owners and players are in a dispute. No start date has been set as we are just a couple days away from June 1.
Now, we are getting reports of teams releasing hundreds of minor league players across the league. J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reported the Chicago Cubs released 28 minor league baseball players this week.
Carlos Asuaje Dario Beltre Jhonny Bethencourt Bryan Brickhouse Charcer Burks Roberto Caro Adam Choplick Noel Cuevas Oscar De La Cruz Emilio Ferrebus Wladimir Galindo Brian Glowicki Fauris Guerrero Zach Hedges Chad Hockin Corban Joseph David Masters Marcus Mastrobuoni Zach Mort Jordan Patterson Jordan Procychen Luke Reynolds Ian Rice Caleb Simpson Jake Stinnett Brock Stewart Ben Taylor Matt Tenuta
Among the names on the list were formerly highly touted prospects like Oscar De La Cruz and Jake Stinnett. Others were long-time organization guys like Charcer Burks and Wladimir Galindo. Others like Brock Stewart, Carlos Asuaje, and Jordan Patterson were guys with big league experience that the Cubs took flyers on.
It’s a shame to see these names typed out like that. There is more than just a name behind those 28 lines of text. Those are 28 men that now find themselves without a job in the game they love. My hope is all 28 men land somewhere else in the game of baseball soon.
I have met a handful of the players released by the Cubs this week. Carlos Asuaje took a moment to sign a baseball for me as he walked down the path between the performance center and Sloan Park before a spring training game in late February.
That same day Brock Stewart also stopped to sign a ball. Stewart is a Normal, Illinois native who stayed in town to play collegiate baseball at Illinois State before beginning his pro baseball career. Stewart pitched in a handful of MLB games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays between 2016 and 2019.
Over on the back fields where the minor league players went through workouts, Dario Beltre signed a baseball. Beltre has bounced around the minor leagues for different organizations since 2010.
The Cubs signed him this past January after a couple seasons playing in double-A with the Mobile BayBears.
Jordan Patterson signed with the Cubs in February. He had a cup of coffee with the Colorado Rockies in 2016. MLB.com ranked Patterson as the Rockies’ 13th best prospect in 2017.
What is really eye opening is the downhill slide of Oscar De La Cruz. He was the Cubs number one prospect by MLB.com in 2017. He was ranked 10th in 2018, and fell to 22nd in the 2019 list.
Charcer Burks was a guy that seemed like a Cubs lifer. He was never a top prospect in the organization, but seemed to excel at every level. He steady ascent up the Cubs minor league ladder reminds me of David Bote. Unfortunately, Burks won’t get to that next level in Chicago like Bote did.
It’s a sad day in baseball as we see not only these 28 players lose their jobs, but similar lists being released by other MLB teams. Best of luck, and hopefully these guys can bounce back soon.
That’s my poor attempt at mixing in some Street Fighter into my blog. One of my friends has one of those arcades that has all games on it. So, we have Street Fighter tournaments. E. Honda is my go-to, but from friend Adam has some crazy Street Fighter skill and always kicks my butt.
Anyway, this post has nothing to do with Street Fighter, but it does have to do with the second round of 2020 Bowman box breaks. Last week, I found some boxes of Bowman as a Target was being stocked, and these were my initial hits from 2020 Bowman.
I had a hunch that stores would start getting restocked today. Most of the retail stores in my area are restocked on Thursday or Friday. So, I made a quick run and sure enough….SEVEN blaster boxes of 2020 Bowman stared at me.
Someone had already been in the store as half of the display had been taken, but the seven boxes remaining had some nice hits. Just look at what came in the very first blaster box I opened.
Overall, this was another fun Bowman break. You can’t beat the price of a $19.99 blaster box of this product. And…it’s such a fun break. I may hop around this weekend in search of more, especially since my Wal-Mart pre-orders were cancelled.
Baseball cards are hot, and in many cases selling for a lot of money. You can make money selling baseball cards, but it’s not as easy as buying a pack and striking it rich. There are many different ways to go about selling baseball cards for profit. It is not one size fits all. Not every method will work for you. Find a niche and you can make it work. This article will go into detail on how I have been able to make money selling baseball cards.
Large Work, Small Margins
If you want to make money selling baseball cards, do not expect to get rich quick. It must be fun for you, and worth your time. I have collected baseball cards since 1988, and began selling cards online shortly after eBay was invented in the mid-1990’s. A few people make a lot of money and many people lose money trying to flip baseball cards. It takes a lot of work, and the margins are often small.
This article will explain how I have made money selling baseball cards, but there are many others who make money by doing it differently. There are high end buyers and sellers. Some buy raw cards and submit to PSA or Beckett for grading hoping for gem mint 10’s. Others buy collections and part them out. There are also box breakers who can make big profits. Find your niche, practice, and get comfortable.
In the past I have tried a few different methods. In 2015, I began buying cases of products. Initially, I started with Topps Heritage Minors because it was a cheap entry into case breaking. Sportlots and eBay were my main platforms to sell. Eventually, I scaled up and in 2016 and 2017 I was breaking cases.
Buying Boxes/Cases & Selling Singles
Here is one method I made money selling baseball cards. Remember, this was also in 2016 and 2017 and the prices of hobby boxes was significantly less than what we are seeing in 2020. For example, my case of 2017 Bowman cost me $797. Cases of 2020 Bowman are selling for $3,000 on Blowout Cards. So…I would not advise buying a case of 2020 Bowman and expect to make money.
When I was buying cases and listing on Sportlots, I always received the case on or the day after release day. I would pre-list a certain amount of base cards to get ahead of the game (because those cards are guaranteed). Once all boxes were opened, I would sort and list as soon as possible. Hits would be listed on eBay, while all singles and inserts went to Sportlots.
The key to making money was getting the base cards listed as soon as the checklist was released on Sportlots, and opening and listing the cards as soon as I had busted open the boxes. I was making 35% of my case cost back just selling base cards. Topps Heritage was a great money maker, and Allen & Ginter was both a profit and loss. One year A&G was a big money maker, while the next year was a big loss. I never tried the Sportlots case strategy with flagship Topps, but it seems it could be a profit even today.
Again, my experience breaking cases and selling on Sportlots is based on 2016 and 2017 numbers. I do not think it is sustainable with many products in 2020, most notably Bowman (which was even a big loser for me in 2017 at $800 a case). The key to all this is doing your homework.
Study the Baseball Card Market
Before I really immersed myself in the baseball card hobby, I was buying garbage boxes from Blowout Cards and other online card retailers. During the holidays, the online retailers will have big sales on non-selling products. There are some real gems to be found, while most are big duds. I found myself buying the duds many times.
Often I have opened up the forums to find a thread about the enormous popularity of a certain player or product. It also helps me to find which prospects to buy or sell, products that could be or are hot, or even how the retail segment of the hobby works.
Do your homework, like with anything. Immerse yourself in the Blowout Forums if you want to make money selling baseball cards. Treat it like you would your newspaper (remember those things?). Read it every day.
Many of you will say, “I never find deals like that.” Keep looking. I peruse Craigslist for my local market as well as surrounding cities regularly. Even doing so, I only find a great collection about once a year. And I could probably find many more if I had the room to add and looked a little bit further.
So, how do I decide if it’s a good fit? A lot of it is just knowing the hobby. By immersing myself heavily the past five years I can get a good gauge on return by looking through a little bit of a collection. The key is for the collection to have some heavy hitters that will take a nice chunk of the total cost on the flip.
What I mean by that is the cream off the top. A few things that will sell for 10-20% of the total investment of the collection. The above Craigslist collection had a couple items that sold for $100 and a set that sold for $200. That was almost $500 of the $900 purchase price. Not to mention there were/are a thousand cards that sell between $1 and $20.
PWE means plain white envelope and is an amazing part of the hobby these days. As a buyer, if I am looking for a $1 card, I am not going to pay $1 plus $3 or $4 for shipping in a bubble mailer. But…I’ll pay $2 or $3 if it is shipped in a PWE. As a seller, I have thousands and thousands of baseball cards that could sell for $2 or $3 shipped in a PWE. But nobody is going to pay $5-6 for those same cards.
I have scaled up my eBay Store since COVID-19 hit us. Ebay began offering 50,000 free buy it now listings for store owners for March through July. With the extra time, I have listed hundreds more items at no additional cost.
If you open an eBay Store, it’s also a good addition to have benefits for volume buyers. I offer 10% off purchases of three or more cards from my store. This incites buyers to pick up additional cards, and you can up the margin per card sold by saving on postage costs.
Since tweeting about making money selling baseball cards several days ago, I had many people email and direct message me with questions. I am always willing to help out and answer any questions you may have on this or any other topic.
One of the hits he sent was from 2018 Topps. It’s Kyle Hendricks and numbered 3/50. These red parallels really pop, and I typically don’t miss them while sorting like I have the Independence Day and camo parallels.
Nearly 20 years ago it was a rarity to find a jersey relic in a pack. Now they are really common, so it’s neat to find the older fabric swatches. This one is from 2001 SP Game Used Edition. A nice blue pinstripe on the Mark Grace jersey patch.
Let’s continue talking jersey relics. Here’s my guy – Javier Baez from 2018 Topps. I’m a big fan of jersey relic designs. They make or break the relic card. Some designs are just boring and do not do any justice to a piece of fabric.
But this Baez is designed well with the action photo of Javy on the far left, the tilted Cubs logo at upper center of the card, and Javier Baez and Chicago Cubs printed along a red stripe above the piece of gray jersey.
More hits including a piece of jersey from Carl Edwards Jr. It is from 2015 Bowman Inception, has a blue pinstripe down the center AND is autographed.
Another Carl Edwards Jr. autograph and this is from 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots. A rookie autograph!
That was my rude awakening to the baseball card flip life. I tried doing just that with both Topps Fire and Bowman Platinum. It didn’t work out so well. Can you flip them upon release for profit? Yes…but the profit is minimal. We are talking like $5 after fees and postage. It’s better to just buy what you want and open the product. Still, I think the cards are unique. It’s definitely a much different design than other releases throughout the year. Take a look at this Anthony Rizzo purple parallel numbered 50/99.
A couple cards from the higher end products. These have really thick stock. Another Anthony Rizzo card and it’s from 2018 Topps Tribute.
From Topps Triple Threads it’s Ryno! This card is also from 2018. I can never get enough Ryne Sandberg cards.
Finally, probably my favorite card of the box. Can you believe that? I like the following card more than a Javier Baez hit? I’m a sucker for Cubs history.
Gene Hermanski played for the Chicago Cubs from 1951 to 1953. He played a total of nine seasons in the big leagues with other stops with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Gene was a great through the mail signer long after his playing days. Sadly, he passed away in 2010.
This year’s product was delayed due to COVID, and today (May 22, 2020) is the official release date, though blaster boxes began showing up at retail earlier this week. I made a run to a couple of my Target stores on Wednesday and neither store had been stocked by the vendor. But…on Thursday afternoon I found five blaster boxes!
Before I get to the box breaks, here’s why I think Bowman retail is a better buy than Bowman hobby boxes. For those that don’t closely follow the hobby, retail is only sold in stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, while hobby is only available online and at baseball card hobby shops. Sometimes hobby shops will sell the retail boxes, but hobby boxes are not available in retail stores.
First things first I need to show off the Cubs baseball cards. I pulled four Kris Bryant base cards in the five blaster boxes. That’s the thing with blaster boxes…sometimes you get a run. That run can be really good, or not so good. Blaster boxes come in cases of 16 boxes, and the collation tends to run the same, so when you open a pack and see a certain player you will likely see the same base cards within that pack.
The Cubs checklist in 2020 Bowman saw nothing surprising with the same run of players we come to expect: Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are the veterans in the set. Nico Hoerner, Adbert Alzolay, and Robel Garcia are the rookies in the base set. Cubs prospects in the set are Brailyn Marquez, Aramis Ademan, Miguel Amaya, and Brennen Davis.
Since there are only 100 cards in the veteran checklist, I am satisfied with the five Cubs selections. We’ve seen the four prospects in previous Bowman releases so it would have been nice to see a 1st Bowman card of a prospect. I was also disappointed that Bowman used the exact same picture of Brennen Davis as they used for his Bowman Draft card.
In all, 18 Cubs cards were added from these five blaster boxes. It was a nice mix of paper base, chrome and even an Adbert Alzolay insert card. Now, let’s get to the hits.
Luis Robert is a Rookie AND Prospect
When Topps released the 2020 Bowman checklist at the beginning of the week one thing was quickly noticed. Luis Robert appeared twice. He had a rookie card logo in the veteran base set (despite not having played in a MLB game), and a prospect card.
Sure enough, Topps did not make a typo on the checklist. Luis Robert does in fact have a rookie card and a prospect card in the same 2020 Bowman set.
2020 Bowman Rookies
The 2020 Bowman rookie class is pretty impressive with the aforementioned Luis Robert. Also in the set are Yordan Alvarez, Bo Bichette, and Gavin Lux.
Aristedes Aquino had a hot run during the end of the 2019 MLB season and he also has a rookie card in this set along with Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner mentioned above.
2020 Bowman Inserts
Bowman always has some good insert sets. In recent years they have chromed up past designs and put current players on them. This year commemorates the 1990 Bowman set and includes players like Pete Alonso.
Another set is Spanning the Globe. Luis Robert is here representing Cuba. I pulled two of these cards and they quickly sold on eBay.
You have read this far and are probably wondering….did I pull any Jasson Dominguez? The answer is no. Not a single card in the five blaster boxes. As I mentioned before sometimes you get a decent run with the collation and other times not. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the Dominguez run in my boxes.
However, I did pull three serial numbered cards out five blasters, and I consider that a win. I also pulled a Bobby Witt Jr. chrome and it sold a few hours after listing for $15, so that’s another win. I pulled a purple paper parallel of Twins prospect pitcher Jordan Balazovic numbered 26/250. That’s a lot P’s. Prospect pitcher purple paper parallel. Say that quickly five times.
Another paper parallel is from Indians rookie pitcher Logan Allen. The green is numbered 74/99.
My final hit came from the Bowman Scouts Top 100 insert set. This is my favorite insert from Bowman each year. It’s a 100-card set that features the top 100 prospects in baseball. Atlanta Braves pitcher Kyle Muller is ranked the 68th top prospect and this card is numbered 6/99.
2020 Bowman For Sale
I’ll be taking a look around the area this weekend in search of more Bowman retail cards. If you are interested in any of the cards, check out my eBay Store. When you buy three or more items from my store you receive an automatic 10% discount at checkout.
Every year since Major League Baseball initiated the amateur draft in 1966 there have been big hits and awful misses. What if teams could have a do-over. Revisionist history if you will.
First off, the baseball draft has several different layers. You have a mix of high school seniors, junior college players, and division I underclassmen that have the leverage to not sign and return to school (or go to college for high school seniors). So, signability is a big concern and why you will find big name superstars in previous draft logs toward the bottom.
In this instance, both Kris Bryant and Aaron Judge were drafted in 2010 out of high school and both players went off to college. Bryant was drafted in the 18th round by the Toronto Blue Jays while Judge was selected in the 31st round by the Oakland Athletics.
Up until recently only big market teams with a lot of money to spend could snag the “can’t miss” prospects, which is why you saw the Minnesota Twins draft Joe Mauer in 2001 over pitching sensation Mark Prior who signed with the Cubs as the second overall pick. And unlike the football and basketball drafts, teams don’t draft for needs at the big league level.
With all that said, let’s get to the 2010 MLB Redraft based on WAR ten years later. This is a black and white exercise not taking into account signability, or what front offices were thinking at the time. I am basing this purely on big league WAR using Baseball Reference. Also, this only includes players that signed with their drafting team. Bryant and Judge will not appear on this list as they did not sign in the 2010 MLB Draft.
1. Washington Nationals – Chris Sale (P)
This selection could have gone a number of ways, and in 2010 the Washington Nationals would have drafted Bryce Harper number one overall 1,000 times out 1,000 times. Surprisingly, with all of the Harper hype for more than a decade he does not have the highest MLB WAR. That belongs to pitcher Chris Sale, who was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox 13th overall and owns a 45.3 career WAR heading into the 2020 season.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates – Manny Machado (SS)
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted pitcher Jameson Taillon second overall in the actual 2010 draft. Manny Machado was taken one pick later at number three by the Baltimore Orioles. Machado has racked up a 36.7 WAR.
3. Baltimore Orioles – Andrelton Simmons (SS)
Baltimore still gets its future shortstop in our redraft with Machado off the board. Andrelton Simmons was a steal for the Atlanta Braves with the 70th overall pick in the second round. His career WAR (36.3) is less than a half point behind the Orioles original pick, Machado.
4. Kansas City Royals – Jacob deGrom (P)
Here’s where things get really interesting. The Royals drafted shortstop Christian Colon in this slot who did make it to MLB, but has just a 1.5 career WAR. Meanwhile, the New York Mets snagged deGrom in the 9th round at 272 overall. The Mets ace has tallied a 35.5 career WAR.
5. Cleveland Indians – Christian Yelich (OF)
Christian Yelich has really exploded the past couple seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. A trade sent Yelich to Milwaukee from his original team, Miami Marlins. The Marlins drafted Yelich in the first round of this draft 23rd overall. Drew Pomeranz was the Indians original pick, and he has had a respectable big league career and will appear later in this redraft.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks – Bryce Harper (OF)
The original first overall pick is off the board. Harper and Yelich actually have the exact same WAR (31.8), but in my redraft I placed Yelich ahead because of his performances in 2018 and 2019. This is quite the upgrade for Arizona, who originally drafted Barret Loux with this pick in 2010. Loux has been out of organized professional baseball since 2015 when he peaked with the Cubs’ AAA team in Iowa.
7. New York Mets – Kevin Kiermaier (OF)
Mets can’t go wrong in 2010 or 2020 with their draft pick at number seven. Matt Harvey was the team’s original selection ten years ago and has had a nice career, though what could have been without his injuries? Kiermaier is the steal of the 2010 MLB Draft as the Tampa Bay Rays snagged him in the 31st round with pick 941, and his 25.7 career WAR ranks him seventh in this draft.
8. Houston Astros – Adam Eaton (OF)
Another steal from the 2010 MLB Draft as the Arizona Diamondbacks took Adam Eaton with the 571st overall pick in the 19th round. It would have been a nice makeup for drafting Loux in the first round, but Eaton (19.3 career WAR) only spent two seasons with the Diamondbacks before he was sent to the Chicago White Sox in a three-team deal that landed Mark Trumbo in Arizona. The Astros drafted Delino DeShields with this pick and he has a 5.3 career WAR, which would put him just outside the first round in this redraft.
9. San Diego Padres – J.T. Realmuto (C)
The best catcher from the 2010 MLB Draft is off the board at the ninth overall pick in our redraft. J.T. Realmuto was taken in the third round with the 104th overall pick by the Miami Marlins. The Padres originally drafted a pitcher that never made the show. Karsten Whitson was taken in 2010 by the Padres and did not sign. Whitson went on to the University of Florida and was drafted in the 37th round of the 2013 draft by the Washington Nationals and did not sign. He then signed with the Boston Red Sox as an 11th round pick in 2014. He only registered four appearances in professional baseball with the Lowell Spinners in 2014. Realmuto has a 18.4 career WAR ranking him as the best catcher in this draft to date, slightly above our next pick.
10. Oakland Athletics – Yasmani Grandal (C)
A run on catchers in the 2010 MLB Redraft. Yasmani Grandal is off the board with the Oakland Athletics. Grandal (17.3 WAR) was originally taken two slots later by the Cincinnati Reds in 2010. Oakland’s original pick was outfielder Michael Choice, who has a negative WAR of -2.0.
11. Toronto Blue Jays – Noah Syndergaard (P)
The Blue Jays still get their man in pitching ace Noah Syndergaard. Do they keep him this time around. Syndergaard (15.7 WAR) was originally drafted by Toronto in the supplemental first round by Toronto (38th overall). Toronto sent Syndergaard to the New York Mets after the 2012 season in a trade that was highlighted by R.A. Dickey going to the Blue Jays. Deck McGuire was the original pick by the Blue Jays at number 11. While he did make it to the big leagues, McGuire has only appeared in nine games at the MLB level.
12. Cincinnati Reds – Kole Calhoun (OF)
Cincinnati misses out on their original pick from 2010, Yasmani Grandal. In the redraft they get an outfielder in Kole Calhoun. Calhoun was taken in the 8th round (264th overall) by the Los Angeles Angels and has compiled a 15.7 career WAR.
13. Chicago White Sox – James Paxton (P)
The White Sox outdid themselves with their selection in 2010…Chris Sale. Sale, as seen above, has compiled the highest WAR from the 2010 draft class to date. In our redraft the White Sox still get a pitcher in James Paxton. Paxton’s 13.3 career WAR ranks fourth among pitchers in this draft class. He was originally taken 132nd overall by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round.
14. Milwaukee Brewers – Whit Merrifield (OF)
Doesn’t Whit Merrifield fit in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He’s like the definition of a solid player you think of from a small market team like the “Brew Crew.” Part of that is likely because he’s been with the small market Kansas City Royals organization after being selected 269th overall in the ninth round and has a 13.3 career WAR. Dylan Covey was the original selection here, and did not sign. He was later drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round of the 2013 draft and has only appeared in four big league games to this point.
15. Texas Rangers – Corey Dickerson (OF)
This pick in 2010 was a supplemental choice for the Texas Rangers for failing to sign 2009 first rounder Matt Purke. Texas didn’t fare any better with this selection taking Jake Skole, a high school centerfielder from Georgia. Skole bounced around the minor leagues topping out in AA, and has been out of organized baseball since 2016. Dickerson was taken 260th overall in the 8th round by the Colorado Rockies. The outfielder has a 13.0 WAR.
16. Chicago Cubs – Joc Pederson (OF)
This one hurts. The Cubs drafted pitcher Hayden Simpson with the 16th overall pick in 2010 out of Southern Arkansas University. He only played two seasons in the Cubs organization (and organized baseball) and did not even reach AA. Joc Pederson was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round with the 352nd overall pick and has been a solid contributor for the team compiling a 10.9 WAR.
17. Tampa Bay Rays – Drew Pomeranz (P)
Drew Pomeranz is off the board after originally being taken with the fifth overall pick by the Cleveland Indians. Pomeranz has a 10.8 WAR while bouncing around MLB in nine seasons. He has pitched for the Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres (twice), Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Francisco Giants. Tampa Bay originally selected Josh Sale with this pick, and he has not been called up to the big leagues to date.
18. Los Angeles Angels – Eddie Rosario (OF)
Eddie Rosario was drafted 135th overall in the fourth round by the Minnesota Twins. He has compiled a 10.7 career WAR with the team. The Angels originally drafted a pitcher with this pick: Kaleb Cowart. Cowart did make it to the big leagues with the Angels, albeit as a converted infielder.
19. Houston Astros – Matt Harvey (P)
Not a bad pick here at #19 for the Houston Astros. Originally, Houston drafted pitcher Mike Foltynewicz. He has had a decent career at the big league level compiling a 4.9 WAR. Harvey has battled injury, but has still racked up a 10.3 WAR.
20. Boston Red Sox – Nicholas Castellanos (OF)
Are you as surprised as me seeing Nicholas Castellanos so far down in this redraft? I was shocked that Castellanos’ career WAR with the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs is only 9.7. Over the next few seasons I can see this number increasing quite a bit. Kolbrin Vitek was the original selection here by the Red Sox. He lasted only four seasons reaching AA. Vitek has been out of baseball since 2013.
21. Minnesota Twins – Drew Smyly (P)
As surprised as I was to see Castellanos rank down at 20th among career WAR numbers from this draft class, I was equally surprised that Drew Smyly ranked this high. The pitcher has a 9.2 WAR and was originally drafted in the second round – 68th overall. Minnesota’s actual pick here was Alex Wimmers. Wimmers has had a cup of coffee appearing in two big league games.
22. Texas Rangers – Aaron Sanchez (P)
Boy, did the Texas Rangers have a rough 2010 draft. With two of the first 22 picks neither of their selections made it to the big leagues. It was Jake Skole taken 15th overall, and now catcher Kellin Deglan with the 22nd pick. In the redraft they pair outfielder Corey Dickerson with pitcher Aaron Sanchez, who was originally taken by the Blue Jays with the 34th overall pick and has a 8.9 WAR.
23. Miami Marlins – Jedd Gyorko (2B/3B)
The Marlins take a “L” in the redraft getting Jedd Gyorko (8.9 WAR) instead of their original pick, Christian Yelich. In the redraft Yelich is long gone having been picked fifth overall. Gyorko has had a decent career after being selected in the second round with the 59th overall pick by the Padres in 2010.
24. San Francisco Giants – Robbie Ray (P)
A great pick here as Robbie Ray could be a steal at #24. He has compiled a 8.8 WAR to this point, but has really broken out the past couple seasons. Ray was taken with the 356th overall pick in the 12th round by the Nationals in 2010. Gary Brown was the original pick by the Giants and has only appeared in seven games at the big league level.
25. St. Louis Cardinals – Evan Gattis (C/DH)
If the redraft is revisited in a couple years, it’s highly likely that Evan Gattis drops further down this list. He announced his retirement from professional baseball this past October. Gattis was drafted 704th overall in the 23rd round by the Atlanta Braves and between the Braves and Astros compiled a 8.5 career WAR. The Cardinals drafted 3rd baseman Zack Cox in this spot and he never made it to “the show.”
26. Colorado Rockies – Jameson Taillon (P)
Taillon fell from the top of the first round to near the bottom here at 26. The pitcher has a 8.2 WAR with his original team the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kyle Parker was drafted in this spot by the Rockies and has appeared in 64 career games with a -1.6 WAR.
27. Philadelphia Phillies – Adam Duvall (OF)
Adam Duvall has had a nice career for the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves. The outfielder has a 6.7 career WAR after being taken in the 11th round with the 347th overall pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2010. Philadelphia’s original pick was pitcher Jesse Biddle. The lefty has thrown in 69 MLB games to date.
28. Los Angeles Dodgers – Mark Canha (1B)
The 2010 MLB Draft was not ripe for top flight first baseman. The first one in our redraft comes in at #28, Mark Canha. Canha has a 6.1 WAR with the Oakland Athletics. He was originally taken 227th overall in the 7th round by the Miami Marlins. The Dodgers originally drafted high school pitcher Zach Lee in this spot. While Lee has made it to the MLB level, he’s only appeared in four games.
29. Los Angeles Angels – Alex Claudio (RP)
It’s a relief pitcher spot as Alex Claudio (6.0 WAR) is off the board in the redraft. Claudio was taken in the 27th round (826th overall) by the Texas Rangers, and served as the closer for parts of the 2017 season (11 saves). Cam Bedrosian was the Angels pick in 2010. Ironically, he also did some fill-in closing during the 2017 season with 6 saves for the Angels. Bedrosian has a 0.9 career WAR.
30. Los Angeles Angels – Addison Reed (RP)
With back-to-back picks the Angels are shoring up their bullpen in the redraft. Reed has matched Claudio with a 6.0 career WAR, but Reed served as a top closer early in his career. Reed had 40 saves for the White Sox in 2014 and followed that with 32 saves for the 2015 Diamondbacks. He was released by the Twins in 2019 after missing time with an injury and has not logged any big league innings since the 2018 season. Chevy Clarke, the Angels’ pick here in 2010, never reached the big leagues.
31. Tampa Bay Rays – Taijuan Walker (P)
Taijuan Walker suffered some setbacks after starting 29, 25, and 28 games from 2015 through 2016 for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018 and only appeared in four games during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Walker was taken 43rd overall by the Mariners in 2010, and re-signed with the team that picked him this past spring. The Rays drafted a high school catcher from Indiana, Justin O’Conner, with this pick in 2010. He has not yet reached the big leagues.
32. New York Yankees – Sam Dyson (RP)
With the last pick before the supplemental first round, the Yankees picked a high school pitcher named Cito Culver. Culver peaked in AAA never making the next call up to the big leagues. He has played in the independent leagues the past two seasons. Sam Dyson was taken with the 126th overall pick by the Toronto Blue Jays and has a 5.6 career WAR. What a draft for the Blue Jays in 2010 having selected three players that rank in the top 32 in career WAR as of 2020.
Earlier this year Topps released a retail exclusive series 1 “pack” of baseball cards inside collectible tins. They became extremely popular upon release and people were scooping them up trying to flip for a quick buck.
Topps Tins Baseball Cards
2020 Topps Series One featured six different Major League Baseball players on the front of the comemmorative tins: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Pete Alonso, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout. Topps Tins did not appeal to me for one main reason: NO CUBS! While I am a sucker for the flip life, buying hot retail items accepting to double your money is mostly not a wise endeavor.
Does it work for Bowman Mega Boxes or Prizm basketball (or really any retail basketball right now)? Yes. But, over the past couple years we have seen hot retail items such as Bowman Platinum, Topps Fire, and now Topps Tins. I have been burned on the Platinum and Fire, and now I buy to rip…not to flip.
That is the second reason i chose to stay away from Topps Tins in 2020. While the tins remain collectible because of the players featured on the front as well as some exclusive cards found only in the tins, my thought process is that it’s Topps Series One. Series One is historically a terrible sealed resale product and almost always goes at discount prices by the end of the year. I also thought back to 2017 when Topps released a boxed set commemorating the Chicago Cubs World Series win the year prior. Boxes were sold at retail for around $15, and a year later I was finding them at card shows for $3 per box. The boxes were massively overproduced.
It was nice to receive the Pete Alonso tin in a mailday. While not a Cubs player, it made for great protection of the Cubs baseball cards sent by Coach Ripley.
The tin protected such Cubs cards as this 2020 Topps Heritage Chrome Kris Bryant numbered 595/999.
Another new addition to the Cubs collection from 2020 Topps Heritage is this jersey relic of Willson Contreras.
I absolutely love the design of this jersey relic. While I dislike plain jersey swatches, they do look awesome if the design is right. And the design is excellent in 2020 Topps Heritage.
More newbies for my collection and this one is from Donruss. 2020 Donruss blue foil Kyle Schwarber.
Sticking to the color blue and Kyle Schwarber here’s a 2020 Gypsy Queen numbered 86/250.
Another parallel from 2020 Gypsy Queen. Jon Lester no name plate on front.
Topps Gold rookies are lovely. This from 2015 Topps and it’s Jorge Soler numbered 605/2015.
When I look at pictures I’m always focusing on backgrounds. When I look at this 2018 Topps Glove Work Addison Russell insert I can’t help but focus on several different people in the stands. Let’s look…
Mizzou Dad – just standing there without a care in the world. Hands to his side enjoying a ball game.
Baby Blue Cubby Head – The headless fan with the bright light blue vintage Cubs logo shirt. It’s essentially the focal point of this photo. My eyes are directed to that shirt evertime I look at this card.
Just Do It Guy – Shades, Nike “Just Do It” shirt, gold chains. This fan exudes cool.
Nacho, Nacho Man – Oh, that look on his face. This is not going to end well for Nacho Man. This may be the last frame before that dude is wearing nacho cheese on his chest.
Laughing Millennial – What’s this kid in the front row doing? Is he watching Youtube videos? Does he even know he’s at a baseball game?
Man, I love great crowd shots. Oh yeah, pretty cool play being made by Russell…where ever the baseball might be.
Many of the trades that take place in the One Million Cubs Project originate on Twitter. It was actually the last place I expected to find such a great hobby trading community.
Initially, I felt trading on Twitter would be difficult since it is largely anonymous whereas Facebook has your life attached to your profile. I still trade on Facebook occasionally. Most of the deals are made with trade partners that date back a few years.
John is one such trader that I met through a hobby group on Facebook. He was seeking to trade for Carlton Fisk baseball cards. Any and all Fisk cards much like me and my Cubs trades. I want Cubs cards – any and all of them.
We have been discussing a trade the past couple months and I had been tracking down not only Fisk cards, but also other players he personally collects such as Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, and Paul Konerko.
He sent an awesome box of Cubs baseball cards and many of the hits inside are cards I get so giddy when finding in a quarter or dollar box at a card show. Names like Gary Scott, Jose Cueto, Bobby Hill, and more.
Cole Liniak is another name from the past. He was a highly touted prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization during the late 1990’s. He was ranked as the 9th best prospect in the Boston organization in 1997 and 1999, and was ranked the sixth best prospect ahead of the 1998 season. Liniak was traded to the Cubs in 1999 for Rod Beck and played parts of two seasons in Chicago.
Is this an eBay 1/1? I kid, of course. That’s my biggest ebay pet peeve next to “non-auto” and “set break” listings. This is a green parallel of the 2018 Bowman Draft Alex Lange numbered 99/99.
Allen and Ginter should be released this summer if product releases are back on schedule. The mini framed relics from this set are among my favorites.
Jersey relics are boring, but A&G does it right with the mini frames like this Tyler Colvin from 2011.
When I was really into through the mail (TTM) autographs about 10 years ago, Bob Addis was one of my successes. I began a side venture online broadcasting high school sporting events and needed the money to get things off the ground.
Much of my card and autograph collection was sold including many of my autographs. Glad I could get another Bob Addis signed Topps Archives card back I to my collection.
This Gabby Hartnett card really pops with the color purple and die cut into a sort of trophy shape. The card is also a low serial number, 38/50.
Ryan Harvey was a big Cubs prospect in the early 2000’s, but never did make it to Wrigley Field. By this time in 2003, autographs and relics were becoming more common in products. This Harvey 2003 Bowman Sterling is both autograph and relic.
How about a 2002 Donruss Elite Carlos Zambrano rookie card numbered 1155/1500.
Another rookie card and more recent. This is an image variation of Albert Almora’s 2016 Topps Update.
A card that is potentially new to my collection as I don’t recall seeing this one in the last. It’s simply an RBI card likely from 1991 of Lance Dickson.
Dickson was the Cubs top pitching prospect and only appeared in three games at the big league level.
This is also a new card to the collection. Pat Cline was supposed to be the next star catcher for the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in several products in the late 1990’s. This particular card is a 1998 Donruss Silver Press Proof. These were limited to a press run of 1,500 cards.
This was a great trade acquiring some new Cubs cards and a blast from the past flipping through some of these names.