Big news hit the hobby world this week with the announcement that Topps will be going public this year. Topps will merge with Mudrick Capital, a special purpose acquistion company, and values Topps at $1.3 billion. This is not the first time Topps will be a publicly traded company. Topps first went public in 1972 before going private in 1984. Going private was short-lived, as Topps went public again in 1987 and was traded until 2007. Topps goes public, here’s a look at the history of Topps stock.
History of Topps Company
Topps was founded in 1938 by brothers Abram, Ira, Joseph, and Phillip Shorin. The initial focus of the company was chewing gum. The company’s first foray into trading cards came along in 1950 when Topps wanted to boost gum sales by packaging picture cards of early television star William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy.
The first baseball cards came along one year later in 1951. Known as red backs and blue backs, the two sets contained 52 yards like a standard deck of playing cards. Fast forward another year and the first Topps baseball card set came along with the 407-card 1952 Topps set. It was full steam ahead with trading cards.
Topps Goes Public for the First Time (1972)
By 1972, Topps goes public for the first time. The initial offering of 435,000 shares of common stock went live in June. The issue price was set at $17.50 per share and quickly investors bid that price up to $22.37. Quoted in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader on June 17, 1972, White, Weld, and Company attributed the success due to “the company’s steady earnings record.”
Topps earnings for fiscal year 1971 was reported as $33.8 million. During fiscal year 1972, the company reported net sales at $36.4 million. Throughout the 1970’s the trading card market cooled from initially going public. Topps posted a $9 million loss in 1979 that hampered stock prices. The stock traded as low as $2.50 per share in early 1980, but bounced back to $4.50 on September 29, 1980.
Beginning of a Baseball Card Boom
Fleer and Donruss entered the baseball card market in 1981. There were court proceedings regarding antitrust laws, but Topps came out victorious. A federal appeals court ruled Topps did not violate antitrust laws by signing players to exclusive contracts. The victory marked another rise in stock prices on August 26, 1981 to $5.75 a share.
In 1982, Topps stock surged. The stock closed on January 4, 1982 at $5.00 per share. Nearly six months later, it traded at $8.88 per share at the close of business on June 29, 1982. At the end of August, Topps shares had doubled since the beginning of the year closing at $10.00 per share on August 26, 1982. As the year closed out, Topps was trading above $21 per share.
In an acquisition that would lead to Topps being privately held for the first time in 12 years, the company was being purchased by an investor group led by Forstmann Little for $94.5 million. According to an article in the Scranton Times-Tribune on November 18, 1983, it would be business as usual for employees at Topps. This will close the first chapter on the history of Topps stock.
Topps Goes Public…Again (1987)
Just a few short years later Topps would go public again in May 1987. This time around, Topps would issue 4.5 million shares of stock with an expected initial price between $15 and $18 per share. Topps showed revenues of $147 million in 1986 mainly attributed to baseball cards along with an increasing demand in non-sports trading cards such as E.T. and Rambo cards.
The first of two stock splits occurred in 1989. Topps declared a 3-for-2 common stock split that gave shareholders one additional share for each two shares held. At this time, Topps was also issuing a 10 cents per share quarterly dividend.
Baseball Card Boom is About to Burst
Junk wax era is a term coined for this era in trading cards. This graphic from 1991 shows the massive increase in sales for the company during this time.
Even though the trading card bubble did not burst until the early-to-mid 1990’s, some within the hobby expected to see a crash. Angelo Cataldi, a sports talk radio host and former newspaper reporter in Philadelphia, told the Detroit Free Press in 1990: “The market is glutted with product. People think that if they hold on for a long time these cards will have enormous value. But tens of millions of these cards are on the market right now. It’s just not a good investment.”
During the fiscal year that ended in March 1991, Topps reported net sales of $290 million. That would be the height and hard times were coming just like Angelo Cataldi had predicted. Shares traded at $8 in January 1993, down from almost $16 during the fourth quarter of 1992. The company stopped issuing dividends in 1993 after a dismal earnings report. Moving further into the 1990’s, the Major League Baseball and National Hockey League lockouts plagued the industry even more.
The Late 1990’s Resurgence
At the end of the decade there would be a bounce. Interest in trading cards could have shown growth from the resurgence in baseball during the summer of 1998, but moreso the popularity in Pokemon as reported in the October 26, 1999 edition of the Baltimore Sun.
Topps would continue to be traded publicly until 2007, when Michael Eisner’s Torante Company partnered with Madison Dearborn Partners to acquire the company, and it went private. Topps generated $326.7 million in sales during its 2006 fiscal year. By comparison, Beckett reports Topps had sales of $567 million in 2020.
What are your thoughts on Topps going public? What will the next History of Topps Stock look like?
There has to be a way to bulk list items on eBay. It’s a thought that has crossed my mind many times since eBay discontinued its Turbo Lister application. So, how can you bulk list items on eBay, and make more money selling baseball cards?
eBay File Exchange is the follow up to Turbo Lister. It’s not as simple as the old Turbo Lister tool, but if you can figure it out and acquaint yourself with using it, it will save you a lot of time and fill your eBay store in no time.
In the past year I have attempted to use eBay file exchange a couple times. Both attempts were a miserable failure. As I sat on the couch and listed card after card I continued to think there just has to be a much simpler way. There is and it’s eBay file exchange.
This time around I put more effort into the process and did my due diligence reading the file exchange guide. This helped tremendously, but I was still receiving many errors when attempting to upload my test listings.
How Do I Bulk List Items on eBay?
Thanks to social media, I made a call out asking for help on Twitter. Kris (@GM3AMP88) came to the rescue via direct message and we talked through it. He sent me his template and I gave it a spin. Success!
Before I passed the knowledge to you I wanted to make sure I uploaded multiple times and expedited the process. The first couple tries were pretty clunky and slow especially when it came to uploading photos. Now, I have a good process in place and will pass along the knowledge so you can bulk list items on eBay. This is not perfect nor the quickest, but should help you immensely in listing items in bulk at a much faster pace.
Before we start, you will need to sign up for file exchange. It is a very simple process, and to do this click on the “Help” tab on the eBay home page. This can also be done in the eBay app by going to “Help” and searching “file exchange.”
To get the most insight on how eBay file exchange works, read through the eBay File Exchange instruction guide. There are also numerical guides for categories that will be needed (more on that in a bit).
Use This Template to Bulk List Items on eBay
There are a few different templates that you can use within the eBay File Exchange page. To simplify things, I have included the template I use to bulk list items on eBay.
Once you have the template, let’s take a look at the fields. My template has a few rows of items to show you which fields are necessary to successfully upload to eBay. For this exercise we will just be adding items to list on eBay. Column A should read, “ADD,” to add your listing. Column C is the next necessary field. This will vary depending on the item you list and it is numerical, so you will need to cross check the eBay numerical category guide. You can download that category guide below.
My template is filled out with “213,” which is the sports trading card – baseball cards category. The next required field is title, which is self explanatory. Column I is Condition ID, which is also numerical. I default most of my trading card conditions to “very good.” Condition ID “4000” is very good. You can find the numerical values in the guide below.
Columns J and K are also simple, just listing out the quantity and price. Manufacturer is the next column, so Topps, Panini, Leaf, Upper Deck, etc. Column O is “single,” for single card. Column P is for professionally graded if that is the case. If your card is raw, you can use “Not Professionally Grade.” Column Q is simply the sport. Since I am listing raw cards, Column S is “ungraded.” Column T is simply original or reprint. Column U is the year of the card.
Uploading Pictures Using Image Shack
Column V is league, and for this example I am listing baseball cards so it will be MLB. Images are always tricky when it comes to listings. Column AM is important as this is how you will upload the image for your listing. You will need an online photo host, and not all hosting sites will work with eBay. I use Image Shack, and you can play around with it on a free trial basis. If you get comfortable with eBay File Exchange and see that it is worth a subscription, an Image Shack annual subscription is only $18 per year. Important: when linking from Image Shack, make sure you use “Direct,” for the link. Using “Link” will not upload your picture.
Column AN is “NONE” for no gallery being used. Column AO is your description. I use a default description for my bulk listings with pertinent information. The key information will be found in the title. This is just my preference, and obviously this is at your discretion. Column AP is the format of your listing, which can be auction or buy it now. This template is using buy it now, “FixedPrice” for my eBay Store. Column AQ is “GTC” for Good ‘Til Cancelled because it is being uploaded as a fixed price listing in my eBay Store. Columns AR and AS will simply be your ZIP code.
Shipping is another field(s) that will be your preference. All (or most) of my items I list with free shipping. This makes the bulk listing easy as everything is just listed as 0. I have all of the fields filled out in the event something in the future changes where I begin to charge shipping. These columns are set up to economy, standard, and express. Again, since I offer free shipping I have simply left the fields as “0” for cost.
Uploading Your Spreadsheet to eBay
Once you have your file ready to upload, go back to the eBay file exchange page. On the menu to the left, click on upload files.
Next, you will upload your selected file.
It takes a very short amount of time for eBay to upload your listings. My recommendation is start by running a test template with two or three listings. After eBay uploads the listings it will provide you with a download report showing any errors. You can find this by clicking on the “View Upload Results” link. Now you are ready to bulk list items on eBay.
If you have any questions or need a further explanation on how to bulk list items on eBay, please feel free to comment here or reach out via email or Twitter.
Why is the 1991 Topps Don Zimmer baseball card selling for $10 to $20 on eBay? A card featuring a manager from one of the most over produced baseball card sets of all time? Most collectors wouldn’t pay a penny for this card. For the record, my rate on cards like this is a half penny.
Here we are in 2021, and just like that another head scratching surge on pricing from a random trading card. The Allen & Ginter Egg card is so yesterday, what’s today’s hot seller? It’s a 1991 Topps Don Zimmer, apparently.
How did we get here? That’s what I am trying to find out, and it seems nobody really knows. We’ve seen this in the past most famously with the 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe. The sales are true, and in the past I’ve sold about a dozen of them for $5 to $10 each. The 1989 Donruss Alex Madrid is another random favorite that often catches a couple bucks on eBay.
Why Is the 1991 Topps Don Zimmer Selling?
So, why is this 1991 Topps Don Zimmer selling for $10 to $20? It’s a hobby mystery with only rumors, speculation, and potentially tall tales….until now. There were two comments possibly explaining the mystery behind the 1991 Topps Don Zimmer baseball card surge.
First, somebody mentioned a 1991 Topps Desert Shield card recently sold for around $15, which is market rate for one of these rare cards. Maybe others, not knowing what they had, thought any and all 1991 Topps Don Zimmer cards were worth $15. With the massive amount of new collectors in the hobby this could be plausible.
And then when I originally published this blog post, some comments dropped some information that might explain the mystery. It’s origin story comes from a popular podcast. It’s called the F**KFACE Podcast.
“We need to pick a (expletive) baseball card that is going to be the object of our focus,” The F**KFACE podcast said in a February episode. As podcast hosts Geoff, Gavin, and Andrew discussed picking a particular Don Zimmer card they wanted to find a manager common. The Desert Shield Don Zimmer card is also mentioned in the episode.
Essentially, the goal of the F**KFACE podcast is to get the 1991 Topps Don Zimmer baseball card to the top of the Ebay watch lists and Cardboard Connection hot list.
Topps Project 70 has really appealed to me since it’s release on Wednesday. The project, which will boast a total of 1,020 cards, is now one week and nine cards into its run. Below is my Topps Project 70 rankings for wek one.
We have seen a little bit of everything from artists such as Ermsy and Ben Baller to rapper Snoop Dogg.
A couple cards I love, and a couple cards are just so-so in my opinion. What’s great about this project, and art in general, is what one style a person loves another may hate. And we have seen this already in just three days. Here are my Topps Project 70 rankings.
At first glance, the 1990 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Bobby Hundreds was by far my least favorite. It seemed so tired and lazy. But…then I read Hundreds’ take on the project and how he will interpret cards throughout the series. He was a collector like many of us in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and fell in love with error cards. Hundreds placed several errors on this card. Can you pick them out? Now I can’t wait until his next release as I try to pinpoint the errors.
3) Francisco Lindor by Keith Shore
Keith Shore’s name became synonymous with Project 2020 after his Ken Griffey Jr. card sold 99,000 copies. It’s now thought of as the card that crashed Project 2020’s momentum and crazy market prices. I really like Shore’s art, and this Lindor styled in the 1985 Topps design immediately reminded me of the iconic Dwight “Doc” Gooden rookie card from that set. This is also the first Topps card featuring Lindor as a New York Met.
It’s nice to see Tommy LaSorda get some cardboard love after his recent passing. The card is designed in the style of 2021 Topps. It almost looks like a playing card, and I like the large Dodgers logo in the upper left corner. Unlike the actual 2021 Topps cards, the name plate is readable.
6) Babe Ruth by DJ Skee
Over time this card might stick near the top. Done by DJ Skee in the style of 2018 Topps it’s a great contrast with Babe Ruth on a current Topps design. The backdrop of Yankee Stadium and career statistics are an excellent touch and I like the caps in the bottom right corner.
7) Derek Jeter by New York Nico
It’s a fairly bland card using the 1961 Topps design which is one of my favorite vintage offerings. I like the rookie star, but overall it’s a boring card in my opinion.
8) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by JK5
A lot going on here. When card art takes Topps Fire and puts it on steroids. This card is a bit overwhelming for me, and horizontal cards are my least favorite cards in existence. So, 1956 Topps, the design used here just doesn’t do it for me. This card could be a bottom 10% card once this series wraps up.
9) Ronald Acuna by Snoop Dogg
Like many others I was really excited to see what Snoop Dogg would offer in this project. Even though it ranks last of the nine cards released during the first week, I do appreciate the work. But I would appreciate it far more as an album cover other than a baseball card. This card may be the most divisive card of the release along with Bobby Hundreds’ Ken Griffey Jr. Some love it. Some hate it. As a work of art I enjoy it more than the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ranked higher, but as a baseball card I just can’t get behind this one.
One day before Project 70 released I would have never thought I would be this interested. I am looking forward to seeing the different takes on cards throughout the series, especially what else Bobby Hundreds does with his error cards, which Cubs cards will be released, and what other artists will be offering up.
Project 2020 by Topps was a smashing success. Topps collaborated with artists to give their interpretations on 20 different iconic baseball cards. It was such a success that the company unveiled Project 70 celebrating the 70th anniversary of Topps baseball cards. This time around there will be far more artists and far more cards to interpret. Once the final card from this project is released the checklist will total 1,020 cards.
The first three artists of Project 70 are familiar names as both Ben Baller and Ermsy gained a following from their contributions within Project 2020. Ben Baller even did a Topps Chrome collaboration that was sold online. The third artist, DJ Skee, has an impressive music resume and is known as the first DJ to discover and play the music Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Kendrick Lamar on the radio.
Babe Ruth, Mookie Betts, and Fernando Tatis Jr. are the first players to grace a Topps Project 70 card.
Card 1 – Mookie Betts by Ben Baller
Card number one is Mookie Betts by Ben Baller. The 1988 Topps design is something that has grown on me over the years. Still, it’s my least favorite design of the decade, probably because it’s not over used like the more popular designs of the 1980’s. The image of Betts is a bit quirky, almost like he’s directing traffic or wishing a fly ball stays in fair territory. The backdrop with the Hollywood sign is a great touch. Dodgers is prominently displayed on the top of the card and Mookie Betts is clearly spelled out in the bottom corner. Ben Baller even puts his own trademark in the bottom right corner.
Card 2 – Fernando Tatis Jr. by Ermsy
Card number two is my favorite, likely because I have become a big fan of Ermsy’s artwork. Ermsy does Fernando Tatis Jr. in the 1955 Topps design. What I like most about this piece is Fernando’s face stretched across the card. It looks like his outstretched nose and lips wrap around the left arm of Tatis in the foreground image. The name plate, position, and team names at the bottom perfectly contrast with the artwork. While I’m only buying Chicago Cubs cards that may be released in this project, I was tempted to place an order for this card.
Card 3 – Babe Ruth by DJ Skee
The third card Topps Project 70 baseball card is Babe Ruth by DJ Skee. There’s a lot to digest with this card. First, it’s the legend from the early 20th century on a 2018 Topps design. That is one of my favorite things about rehashing old designs, or retired/deceased players. New players on old designs, and legendary Hall of Famers on new designs. The career statistics are a great touch, and how about the New York backdrop in the background.
Overall, I am a big fan of the Topps Project 70 baseball cards. I grew tired very quickly of Project 2020, and had very limited interest because the checklist was set at the beginning and it was the same 20 cards over and over. With Project 70, it’s a surprise as Topps is holding back the checklist. This will drive me to the Topps website on a daily basis to check out the latest three cards released…and my hopes that one of them is a Chicago Cubs baseball card.
Baseball cards are extremely hot right now. And we are still weeks away from Spring Training and Opening Day. The market is only going to rise further on baseball cards in 2021. Do you want to get in on the craze at an extremely low cost buy in? Find cheap baseball card prices in the One Million Cubs Project eBay Store.
I have you covered. My eBay Store is loaded with singles for only 99 cents with FREE shipping. Not only that – if you buy three or more cards you’ll receive an automatic 10% discount at checkout. See a whole bunch of cards you want to buy at these low prices? If you stack 50 or more cards you will receive 20% off at checkout.
I’m not talking about commons from the “junk wax” era. These are Hall of Famers, superstars, rookie cards, and hot top prospects. Take a look at my variation listings for 2019 Bowman Chrome.
Bowman Prospects Baseball Cards
Or how about the sought after Bowman Mega Box “Mojo” refractors? More than 100 are available for about two dollars a piece with free shipping. Note: Fernando Tatis Jr. is not listed for sale and shown for stock image purposes only.
Oddball cards are well stocked. These cards were inserted into Baseball Cards Magazine in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Find more in my eBay Store at cheap baseball card prices.
You might even find some hot young superstars for 99 cents such as Ronald Acuna Jr.
Take a stroll through my eBay Store and the 99 Cents Singles category boasting more than 1,000 listings that includes around 3,000 cards total at those cheap baseball card prices. Don’t forget about those volume discounts!
Perusing the Blowout Forums one day I stumbled upon a thread about a new trading card set from Parkside Cards. The set is titled Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues with a checklist of the 15 black baseball players drafted in 2020.
To honor those men from 100 years ago, and before Jackie Robinson bravely shattered the color barrier, we have taken the fifteen men selected in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft that would have been forbidden from playing then and placed them in appropriate Negro Leagues uniforms.
Once I saw these cards, and that two Chicago Cubs draft picks were on the checklist I ordered immediately. The Cubs drafted Ed Howard with their first round pick, and Jordan Nwogu in the third round of the MLB Draft.
The price tag on these sets is $39.99 plus shipping and tax, which came out to about $50. You will receive the complete 15-card base set plus one autograph. There are also randomly inserted foil cards.
As I opened the box, the first card on top was one for my Cubs collection: Ed Howard. Howard is card number one in the set and is pictured wearing a Chicago American Giants uniform.
Card nine in the set is the second Cubs draft pick, Jordan Nwogu. The 88th overall pick is pictured in a Leland Giants uniform, a team that was founded in 1901.
Four of the 15 players featured in the set were drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. Jordan Walker was the team’s first rounder, picked 21st overall. Walker is pictured in an Atlanta Black Crackers uniform.
Oddly enough, the Black Crackers were originally known as the Atlanta Cubs upon their founding in 1919. Jordan Walker is a Georgia native from Stone Mountain.
The Cardinals drafted Masyn Winn with the 54th overall pick and he is seen here wearing a St. Louis Stars uniform.
Tink Hence is a great baseball name, though “Tink” is just a nickname. His given name is Markevian. Hence was taken with the 63rd overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. He’s wearing a St. Louis Giants uniform, one of the founding members of the Negro National League in 1920.
Finally, Leonard Charles Jones IV, or L.V. for short, is the fourth Cardinal on the checklist. Taken with the 152nd overall pick, Jones is sporting the uniform of the barnstorming Kansas City Monarchs.
From the New York Mets, Isaiah Greene is wearing the uniform of the Brooklyn Royal Giants.
Baron Radcliff was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s matched up with the Philadelphia Stars for his baseball card.
The Newark Eagles were formed in 1936, but had a few different iterations in the Negro Leagues. The Eagles were formed out of the consolidation of the Newark Dodgers and Brooklyn Eagles.
Thirteen years later, the franchise moved to Houston where it lasted for two years before moving to New Orleans. They are being represented by Astros draft pick Zachary Daniels.
Hopefully Zavier Warren has a much longer baseball career than the organization he represents on this card – Milwaukee Bears. The Bears joined the Negro National League in 1923 and folded part way through the season.
Another franchise that did not last long, though longer than Milwaukee, was the Washington Potomacs. Sammy Infante, a Washington Nationals draft pick, represents the Potomacs. This team was formed in 1923, but moved to Wilmington, Delaware just a few years later before closing up shop.
Carson Tucker is the second highest draft pick in this set after being taken with the 23rd pick by the Cleveland Indians. Howard is the highest pick at 16th overall. Tucker is wearing the uniform of the Cleveland Buckeyes.
Mackenzie Wainwright was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. His uniform on this card represents the Cincinnati Tigers, who shared Crosley Field with the Reds for four years in the 1930’s.
Alerick Soularie was taken with the 59th overall pick by the Minnesota Twins. He’s wearing a Seattle Stealheads uniform, a team with a short, but interesting history. The Stealheads, also known as the Steelers, were founded by Abe Saperstein. Yes, the same Abe Saperstein that founded the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Steelheads drew players from the Harlem Globetrotters baseball team and played in the West Coast Negro Baseball Association in 1946. That league lasted only three months.
Soulairie was also the foil card I received in a separate envelope in my package. There are three variant foil sets in blue, gold, and purple. Here is the Alerick Soulairie blue foil.
Werner Blakely was taken 111th overall by the Los Angeles Angels. He sports a Philadelphia Royal Giants uniform. The Royal Giants were a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles and even traveled to Japan twice (1927 and 1932).
The Angels draft pick was also my autograph hit. The bright blue sharpie really pops on these cards. According to Parkside’s website, the blue autographs are limited to just 69 copies.
All in all, I give this set an A+ for creativity, history, design, and eye appeal. Since base sets are limited to just 1,500 I would buy one fast before they sell out.
Much like the initial sighting of a Robin signals the first sign of spring, so to does the release of Topps baseball cards. Topps Series One is scheduled to hit stores on February 10. The long awaited checklist was released today. The Topps checklist is jam packed with rookie baseball cards of up and coming stars. Here is your definitive guide to 2021 Topps rookie baseball cards.
This year is much different than any other season because of the Covid-shortened season in 2020. Opening Day was delayed and that meant players making their debut would not get a rookie card in Topps Update. Many former hot prospects climbed the ladder and made their big league debut in 2020.
As many anticipated in the hobby the rookie checklist in 2021 is very strong. If you are unfamiliar with prospects and young players, here is a guide to help you identify the hot rookies this year.
The prospect rankings used in this article are from MLB Pipeline. Since the Top 30 team rankings have yet to be published, I will use team rankings for 2020. In some cases a player had already exhausted his prospect status when MLB Pipeline updated their rankings in the middle of 2020, so I had to go back and use the 2019 ranking. Examples of the latter include Deivi Garcia, Alec Bohm, and Jo Adell.
Before I break down the prospects by team, let’s take a look at the amount of top prospects with a rookie card in 2021 Topps Series One. A total of TWENTY rookies in this product are ranked in the Top 100 prospects in baseball, or were just ahead of their big league debut. That is a tremendous amount of top prospects in a single Topps set.
Top 100 Prospects
Twenty rookies in the 2021 Topps Series One set are currently ranked in the Top 100 prospects in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, or were ranked just before debuting. For a further breakdown check out MLB Pipeline for rankings and scouting reports.
#5 ranked prospect (2019) – JO ADELL – Angels Jo Adell was one of baseball’s hottest prospects recently. He made his big league debut in 2020 and struggled, but remains one of the game’s more promising players.
#10 ranked prospect (2021) – NATE PEARSON – Blue Jays Pearson ranks as one the top pitching prospects and debuted for the Toronto Blue Jays last season. Pearson broke into the top 10 in MLB Pipeline’s most updated prospect rankings heading into the 2021 season.
#11 ranked prospect (2021) – CASEY MIZE – Tigers The number one overall draft pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft: Casey Mize. His much anticipated debut for the Detroit Tigers took place in the shortened 2020 season.
#12 ranked prospect (2021) – CRISTIAN PACHE – Braves Pache made his big league debut with the Atlanta Braves at the age of 21 on August 21, 2020. Pache turned 22 this past November. The outfielder only appeared in two games and went 1-for-4 at the plate in Atlanta.
#13 ranked prospect (2021) – DYLAN CARLSON – Cardinals Carlson launched three home runs as a rookie in 2020. The outfielder also landed seven doubles, but hit just .200 as a big league freshman.
#15 ranked prospect (2021) – SIXTO SANCHEZ – Marlins Sixto Sanchez came up with the Philadelphia Phillies before a trade to Miami. Sanchez not only spent time in the big leagues with the Marlins, he even logged postseason innings in the MLB Playoffs. The 22-year old pitcher went 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA last year in 39 innings.
#18 ranked prospect (2021) – IAN ANDERSON – Braves Another Braves prospect that hit the show in 2020 was right handed pitcher Ian Anderson. Anderson was brilliant as a rookie going 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.
#19 ranked prospect (2021) – LUIS PATINO – Padres Now with the Tampa Bay Rays as a piece in the Blake Snell trade, Patino broke into the top 20 prospects this year. Patino appeared 11 games, with one start, for the Padres in 2020. He struck out 21 batters in 17.1 innings.
#23 ranked prospect (2021) – JOEY BART – Giants The heir apparent behind the plate to Buster Posey is Joey Bart. His highly anticipated debut in San Francisco occurred on August 20, 2020. He hit .233 in 103 at bats, but struck out 41 times.
#24 ranked prospect (2021) – TARIK SKUBAL – Tigers Skubal was hit hard in his first MLB season. He logged 32 innings with a 5.63 ERA. Skubal did have a 37K/11BB rate in his eight games – seven as a starter.
#34 ranked prospect (2019) – ALEC BOHM – Phillies Bohm was the Phillies’ third overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Making his big league debut on August 13, 2020, Bohm appeared in 44 games for the Phillies. The corner infielder looked impressive on the big stage sporting a .338/.400/.481 slash line, 4 home runs, 23 RBI while drawing 16 walks and striking out 36 times.
#40 ranked prospect (2021) – NICK MADRIGAL – White Sox Madrigal will provide hits and he proved that in his rookie season. The Oregon State product hit .340 in 29 games, and only struck out seven times in 103 at bats.
#42 ranked prospect (2021) – SPENCER HOWARD – Phillies Howard pitched 24.1 innings in 2020 and sported a 1-2 win-loss record with a 5.92 ERA. The second round draft pick out of Cal Poly debuted on August 9, 2020.
#51 ranked prospect (2021) – TRISTON MCKENZIE – Indians Triston McKenzie was very impressive in his rookie campaign. The Indians hurler started eight games with a 3.24 ERA. McKenzie struck out 42 while walking just nine batters in 33.1 innings.
#57 ranked prospect (2021) – KEIBERT RUIZ – Dodgers The future backstop of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Keibert Ruiz. Ruiz had just turned 22 when he made his Dodgers debut. The catcher appeared in two games and went 2-for-8 at the plate and hit his first big league home run.
#62 ranked prospect (2019) – DEIVI GARCIA – Yankees Garcia was quite impressive as a Yankees starting pitcher in his debut. He is still 21 years old (turns 22 on May 19). In six starts last season, Garcia went 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA and struck out 33 batters while walking only six.
#77 ranked prospect (2021) – RYAN MOUNTCASTLE – Orioles Mountcastle launched five home runs his rookie season. The outfielder/first baseman appeared in 35 games and hit .333 while drawing 11 walks to his 30 strikeouts.
#91 ranked prospect (2019) – LUIS GARCIA – Nationals 2020 was the year of Luis Garcia much like the NBA of the 1990’s with Charles Smith. Three, that’s right, THREE, players by the name of Luis Garcia appeared in the MLB during 2020. Two of them made their debuts. This particular Luis Garcia is a shortstop for the Washington Nationals. Garcia just turned 20 when he debuted on August 14, 2020. Over the course of his 40 games, the youngster hit .276 in 134 at bats.
#91 ranked prospect (2021) – DANE DUNNING – White Sox Now with the Texas Rangers, Dane Dunning’s rookie card will have him as a member of the Chicago White Sox. Dunning landed in Chicago a few years ago in the Adam Eaton trade and made his first big league appearance on August 19, 2020. Dunning sports a spotless 2-0 win-loss record with a 3.97 ERA.
#93 ranked prospect (2021) – BOBBY DALBEC– Red Sox In only 23 games as a rookie Bobby Dalbec hit eight home runs. This will be Dalbec’s age 25 season coming off his rookie season shortened by Covid in which he slashed .263/.359/.600.
#95 ranked prospect (2021) – TYLER STEPHENSON – Reds Stephenson, a catcher, hit .294 in his brief time as a Cincinnati Reds rookie. He did hit a pair of home runs in the eight games he appeared.
Organization Prospect Rankings
For those outside of baseball’s top 100 prospects, here we take a look where each rookie falls in their respective organizations. Again, based on when they lost prospect status we will use either 2019 or 2021 MLB Pipeline rankings.
Arizona Diamondbacks Daulton Varsho – #5 Diamondbacks prospect in 2019 Humberto Mejia – #30 Diamondbacks prospect in 2021
Atlanta Braves See top prospects
Baltimore Orioles See top prospects
Boston Red Sox See top prospects
Chicago White Sox Codi Heuer – #23 White Sox prospect in 2019
Cleveland Indians Daniel Johnson – #18 Indians prospect in 2020
Colorado Rockies Ryan Castellani – #15 Rockies prospect in 2019
Detroit Tigers Isaac Paredes – #6 Tigers prospect in 2020 Beau Burrows – #15 Tigers prospect in 2020
Houston Astros Cristian Javier – #9 Astros prospect in 2019 Brandon Bielak – #10 Astros prospect in 2019 Blake Taylor – unranked
Kansas City Royals Brady Singer – #2 Royals prospect in 2019 Kris Bubic – #6 Royals prospect in 2019 Nick Heath – #28 Royals prospect in 2021 Edward Olivares – unranked
Los Angeles Angels See top prospects
Los Angeles Dodgers Mitch White – #9 Dodgers prospect in 2020
Miami Marlins Jesus Sanchez – #5 Marlins prospect in 2020 Monte Harrison – #10 Marlins prospect in 2020 Nick Neidert – #11 Marlins prospect in 2020 Eddy Alvarez – unranked
Milwaukee Brewers No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One
Minnesota Twins No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One
New York Yankees Albert Abreu – #12 Yankees prospect in 2020
New York Mets Andres Gimenez – #3 Mets prospect in 2019 David Peterson – #7 Mets prospect in 2019
Oakland Athletics James Kaprielian – #12 Athletics prospect in 2020
Philadelphia Phillies See top prospects
Pittsburgh Pirates No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One
San Diego Padres See top prospects
San Francisco Giants Chadwick Tromp – unranked
Seatte Mariners Evan White – #4 Mariners prospect in 2019
St. Louis Cardinals Kodi Whitley – #14 Cardinals prospect in 2020
Tampa Bay Rays No rookies in 2021 Topps Series One
Texas Rangers Leody Taveras – #4 Rangers prospect in 2020 Anderson Tejeda – #8 Rangers prospect in 2020
Toronto Blue Jays Santiago Espinal – unranked
Washington Nationals See top prospects
FULL 2021 Topps Series One ROOKIE Checklist
#10 Daulton Varsho Arizona Diamondbacks
#12 Joey Bart San Francisco Giants
#25 Sixto Sanchez Miami Marlins
#26 Bobby Dalbec Boston Red Sox
#32 Edward Olivares Kansas City Royals
#41 Deivi Garcia New York Yankees
#43 Jo Adell Angels
#53 Andres Gimenez New York Mets
#65 Isaac Paredes Detroit Tigers
#78 David Peterson New York Mets
#88 Albert Abreu New York Yankees
#92 Tarik Skubal Detroit Tigers
#103 Daniel Johnson Cleveland Indians
#113 Nate Pearson Toronto Blue Jays
#122 Nick Heath Kansas City Royals
#123 Beau Burrows Detroit Tigers
#126 Monte Harrison Miami Marlins
#139 Humberto Mejia Arizona Diamondbacks
#143 Ryan Mountcastle Baltimore Orioles
#144 Anderson Tejeda Texas Rangers
#145 Kodi Whitley St. Louis Cardinals
#151 Evan White Seattle Mariners
#153 Tyler Stephenson Cincinnati Reds
#167 James Kaprielian Oakland Athletics
#169 Brady Singer Kansas City Royals
#177 Ryan Castellani Colorado Rockies
#183 Cristian Javier Houston Astros
#187 Cristian Pache Atlanta Braves
#193 Brandon Bielak Houston Astros
#197 Nick Madrigal Chicago White Sox
#205 Luis Patiño San Diego Padres
#221 Chadwick Tromp San Francisco Giants
#228 Blake Taylor Houston Astros
#231 Dane Dunning Chicago White Sox
#238 Kris Bubic Kansas City Royals
#239 Ian Anderson Atlanta Braves
#243 Santiago Espinal Toronto Blue Jays
#244 Spencer Howard Philadelphia Phillies
#256 Keibert Ruiz Los Angeles Dodgers
#264 Leody Taveras Texas Rangers
#269 Jesus Sanchez Miami Marlins
#270 Mitch White Los Angeles Dodgers
#277 Alec Bohm Philadelphia Phillies
#285 Dylan Carlson St. Louis Cardinals
#298 Luis Garcia Washington Nationals
#311 Codi Heuer Chicago White Sox
#319 Triston McKenzie Cleveland Indians
#321 Casey Mize Detroit Tigers
#324 Nick Neidert Miami Marlins
#326 Eddy Alvarez Miami Marlins
What’s my grade for the rookie class of 2021 Topps? A+. This is a dynamic rookie class with plenty of talented baseball cards to chase. The only unfortunate part, for me, is that there are zero Chicago Cubs rookie cards.
Dave Portnoy has taken Barstool Sports to the moon. And what he has done during the COVID-19 pandemic to help small businesses has been amazing. Seven years ago Topps put a trading card of Dave Portnoy in their annual Allen & Ginter baseball card sets. Barstool’s Dave Portnoy’s baseball card sales are skyrocketing.
Who is Dave Portnoy? What is Barstool Sports? And why are Dave Portnoy baseball cards selling for outrageous prices?
The Barstool Sports Story
Portnoy launched Barstool Sports in 2003 in a print format that was distributed in the Boston area. It went to an online blog format in 2007. Since its inception, Barstool has covered print, blogs, podcasts, and has a 24-hour Sirius XM channel, Barstool Radio 85.
Calling himself, “El Presidente,” Portnoy has a huge following and fans of Barstool Sports are known as “Stoolies.” One of the most popular segments is Portnoy’s pizza reviews. A few quotes coined by Portnoy originated in these reviews such as “One bite….everybody knows the rules,” and “Alright, Frankie.” There’s even an app where you can review pizzas and view videos of Portnoy’s reviews. One of my favorite pizza spots in Madison, Wisconsin, Salvatore’s Tomato Pies, was reviewed in 2019.
The Barstool Fund
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Portnoy and Barstool formed the Barstool Fund. As of this writing, the Barstool Fund has raised almost $30 MILLION to support small businesses across America. You can donate to the Barstool Fund and you can also purchase merchandise where 100% of the net proceeds benefit small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
With Barstool’s growing popularity, Topps included Dave Portnoy in its 2014 Allen & Ginter set with a regular base card along with jersey relics and autographs. Another Barstool blogger, Kevin Clancy (KFC), was included in the set.
Barstool’s Dave Portnoy’s Baseball Card Sales
One night last week I pulled out a random monster box of baseball cards to sort through and pull any valuable cards. One row of cards was from the 2014 Allen & Ginter set, and I stumbled upon a couple Dave Portnoy cards. Thinking I could sell them for a dollar, I set them aside. Later on, I decided to check eBay comps to see if they might sell for a little more…like $5.
I was correct the Portnoy cards would sell…but I was way off on price. Barstool’s Dave Portnoy’s baseball card sales sales were averaging around $100. A base card. $100. You read that correctly. Then, I tweeted out my shock and dismay over the Dave Portnoy card market which led collectors everywhere to pull out their common boxes from seven years ago.
Here’s a PSA to folks opening up Allen & Ginter and get upset because they pulled an autograph from a blogger they’ve never heard of. Even the random jersey relic cards are selling in the hundreds.
Since this was all revealed recently and collectors are scouring through old boxes, many Portnoy cards have hit eBay and the sold prices are dropping to an average of about $50 for the base card. Still…many of these cards have been tossed aside like a junk wax 1988 Donruss Paul Noce.
There is a market for everything out there, and Dave Portnoy Allen & Ginter sales was certainly the hobby shocker of the month for me.
Near the end of 2020 eBay announced a new shipping option in the trading cards category. With the constant increases in USPS postage prices many trading cards are not worth it to sell because shipping along in a bubble mailer with tracking can now run close to $3.50. Buyers do not want to pay $5 for a $1 card.
By sending cards in a standard plain white envelope (PWE) sellers can move low dollar cards and cut shipping expenses down from $3.00 to $3.50 to a $0.55 stamp. This in turn can save buyers money spending $1.50 to $2 on a card instead of $5.
One of the biggest obstacles for many eBay sellers in offering PWE as an option is the lack of tracking. An unscrupulous buyer could claim they never received the envelope and receive a refund due to no tracking. This is a semi-rare occurrence and personally my average before December 2020 was one non-receipt claim for every 1,000 PWE shipped. It was well worth the extra sales and chalk it up as a cost of doing business.
When will eBay be rolling out this PWE with tracking option? It appeared to go live for the first time the morning of January 25, 2021. I monitored it throughout the day as it was glitching at first and not allowing me to actually select the standard envelope option. Other eBay users commented that it was not available on their end.
By the afternoon it seemed to be working out. Here’s how it works. When you list an item and reach the shipping options, under package details use the drop down box (it is typically defaulted to first class package), and look for eBay Standard Envelope for Trading Cards up to $20.
After you select that option and back out it will show you the shipping cost and tracking included. I have seen two different costs associated with the standard envelope option. One was $0.71, while the listing used here for reference shows $0.91.
Once saved, I previewed the listing for this 1973 Topps Ronnie Shanklin football card. In the listing under shipping it shows eBay Standard Envelope.
To this point, it is not allowing me to select eBay Standard Envelope on existing listings. The option has only been available when I create a new listing. In my experiment to try the standard envelope with tracking it would only allow me to select this as a shipping option, but once at the actual shipping screen it was not available. Some of the main questions still exist regarding this upcoming shipping format namely how will the tracking labels look and what size will they be? We should soon find out. Stay tuned…