Top Performing Baseball Card Auctions: July 2018 – 1990s Edition

Cal Ripken Jr. 1992 Donruss Elite #S2 AU/5000 PSA 10

Sold: July 30, 2018
# of Bids: 1
Final Price: $2,899.99

Ryne Sandberg 1991 Donruss Elite #S1 AU/5000 PSA 10

Sold: July 8, 2018
Price: $2,599

This months list is introduced by Gem Mint examples of two of the most desirable cards from the early 1990s. I say this firmly and with confidence. If you don’t believe me, just ask around. Both of these cards are on the wish lists of many collectors. I will forever be a loyal fan of the earlier years of the always impressive Donruss Elite set. Given the foil borders, high grades are tough to achieve and seeing them both in the same month is an incredibly rare encounter.

Derek Jeter 1999 Ultra Masterpiece #30 PSA 8

Sold: July 15, 2018
# of Bids: 32
Final Price: $1,449.99

Ken Griffey Jr. 1998 Finest The Man Refractors #TM1

Sold: July 3, 2018
# of Bids: 7
Final Price: $810

The list continues with some really interesting outcomes. The Jeter 1/1 was featured in the April 2018 1990s list and at the time was graded a BGS 9 and sold for over 2x its current final value. So either the buyer cracked it out and re-submitted it to PSA, or two copies exist. Either way, the final price is still pretty strong.

The Griffey Finest The Man Refractor sale seems way high. Looking at the bid history, however, things look legitimate. I had no idea this card had this kind of fire power. For a raw card serial numbered to 75, go figure!

irby Puckett 1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs Blue Ink Variation #163 BGS 9

Sold: July 13, 2018
BIN/OBO (Offer Accepted)
Price: $800

Barry Bonds 1998 Donruss Crusade Red Prototype #192

Sold: July 22, 2018
# of Bids: 20
Final Price: $660

The Puckett end price is extraordinary. I knew his signed stuff performed well but I had no idea it had army strength. Now, while this is the rarer blue ink variation, at $800 it still seems incredibly high. It’s a great card though; I’ve always liked his autograph.

The Bonds is an excellent find and the end price is very reasonable. Given the incredibly elusive nature of these bankruptcy examples, I’m surprised the final price wasn’t quite a bit higher. This was a solid buy for the winner as it’s unlikely we’ll see another example anytime soon if ever.

Cal Ripken Jr. 1999 Fleer Tradition Starting 9 #8

Sold: July 26, 2018
# of Bids: 13
Final Price: $611

Hideo Nomo 1997 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 1 #16

Sold: July 8, 2018
# of Bids: 53
Final Price: $576

The Ripken Starting 9 was another shocker. For a card serial numbered to just 9 copies, $600 and change seems like a bargain. Granted, we’ve seen some really heavy hitter Ripken’s surface over the past year and their final values aren’t that much different than this one. It appears as though the $600-700 range is the going rate for Ripken unicorns.

The Nomo sale may seem unusual but you have to remember his market is global, not just here in the western culture. He’s got fans all over Asia and they are some of the most ardent collectors out there. It’s for this reason the end prices for some of the Nomo stuff serial numbered even up to 100 can pull in huge returns. This example is proof of that.

Chipper Jones 1998 Topps Gold Label Class 3 Red Label One to One #27

Sold: July 12, 2018
# of Bids: 20
Final Price: $510.10

Greg Maddux 1998 Donruss Signature Autographs Century #75 PSA 8

Sold: July 2, 2018
Price: $496.96

The Chipper 1/1 is a nice one. I’ve always wished Topps had made the fronts of these One to One’s more distinguishable from the non One to One’s. It sure would make the ID process much more unmistakable. Let’s face it, not everyone thinks of turning their cards over. My guess is that there has had to have been at least some small number of instances where these cards have been sold for way less than they should have because of this little design flaw. However, Topps Gold Label from the 1990s is nice stuff and I’m a big fan of these Red Label parallels regardless of the print run.

Even in a PSA 8 slab, this Greg Maddux brought home many greens, nearly 500 of them. The Century parallels continue to be some of the most collected of their era. The colors, design, holofoil print, and on-card autograph really makes these cards stand out. I’ve always appreciated this set and its many parallels.


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