Most Interesting Auctions: September 2018 – Editor’s Choice

Javier Baez 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs Superfractors #JBA PSA 9

Sold: Sep 08, 2018
BIN/OBO (Offer Accepted)
Price: $22,500

Derek Jeter 2000 SP Authentic Buybacks #65

Sold: Sep 23, 2018
# of Bids: 57
Final Price: $11,099


The Javier Baez Superfractor is significant both in sale and in coverage. It seems like as more notable Superfractors hit the market, the less they're covered. This one felt like it just sorta sold and that was that. No coverage of the incredible closing price was mentioned anywhere beyond the auction itself, and this here blog post. I even surveyed a group on Facebook and people seemed to be fairly ho-hum about it, which I found to be quite interesting. 8 years ago, sales like this would catch the attention of network media and the blogosphere. These days, it looks as if this sorta thing has become the norm. That said, I still think this makes a nice introduction to the list. Numbers are always relative.

This Derek Jeter Buyback was released in a time when Buybacks still had meaning and collectibility. Back in 2000, when you'd pull a Buyback, it was always of a super hot player or near HOFer. These days, Buybacks are about as common as refractors and you're more likely to pull a John Olerud or Marquis Grissom than a Cal Ripken Jr. or Derek Jeter. Gone are the days when Buybacks were celebrated as highly elusive chase cards. This particular sale is significant not only because it's a Buyback from the 2000 block and serial numbered to just 5 copied, but it's of Derek Jeter's most famous rookie card - 1993 SP.


Derek Jeter 2000 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Game Jersey Autograph Gold #DJ PSA 9 (1/2)
Sold: Sep 11, 2018 | # of Bids: 29 | Final Price: $3,650

Derek Jeter 2000 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Game Jersey Autograph Gold #DJ BGS 9.5 (2/2)
Sold: Sep 11, 2018 | # of Bids: 53 | Final Price: $5,988.55

Mike Trout 2018 Topps '83 Topps Silver Pack Chrome Autographs Superfractors #2

Sold: Sep 22, 2018
# of Bids: 38
Final Price: $4,605


Now I know I have a rule of no more than 2 cards of any one player in each of these lists but this Derek Jeter pair is worth mentioning. They are the only two examples in the print run of just two cards and were sold by the same seller. It was fun watching which would outperform the other. I thought they'd come in closer in value but the BGS 9.5 brought over $2k more than the PSA 9. Regardless, however, this early low-serial numbered pair constitutes the entire print run of this particular card so I thought it was worth noting.

The story behind this Mike Trout Superfractor was covered in a podcast. Here's the abridged versions: Vegas Dave buys the 2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Superfractor for $400k. The seller of this card takes note and lists this card for $150k (a price nobody took seriously). After a week or so, the seller reduced it and reduced it again, then finally decided to list it auction style. The result, an earthly price tag. I actually thought this wouldn't surpass around $2500. While I was wrong, that valuation was certainly more accurate than the initial asking price. It doesn't appear Topps used a sticker for this autograph, and for that I'm glad.


Yadier Molina 2004 Topps Heritage Chrome Black Refractors #THC99 BGS 8

Sold: Sep 30, 2018
BIN/OBO (Offer Accepted)
Price: $375


The Frank Thomas 2016 Topps Tribute Superfractor is one I just plain like design-wise. I wasn't the buyer but was an entertained observer. Given the amount of stuff that's made and signed by Thomas each year, I think $500 was high but I do admire the release and the design of these cards. And, no sticker auto.

Yadier Molina, man what a great player. This 2004 Topps Heritage Black Refractor closed at what at this very time in history seems like small potatoes. Fast forward 10 years and some of us will likely wish we paid more attention to boutique Molina cards like this one.


Travis Lee 1998 Donruss Preferred Precious Metals #29

Sold: Sep 16, 2018
BIN/OBO (Offer Accepted)
Price: $175

Alex Rodriguez 1999 Upper Deck Encore Driving Forces FX Gold #D5

Sold: Sep 18, 2018
# of Bids: 14
Final Price: $153.50


1997 and 1998 Donruss Precious Metals continue to gain momentum with each passing year. As set collectors enter the market and player collectors close in on their cards, these two sets are poised to continue growing in popularity. The use of authentic metals in these cards was incredibly innovative for the time. That, along with the plastic outer cases, notable rosters, and unicorn category scarcity make these highly desirable additions to any collection.

By 1999, Upper Deck, as well as other companies, were still trying to juggle the then new concepts of embedding relics into cards. While all cards can't have relics, those sets that didn't still needed to possess a degree of desirability. Since by the end of the 1990s, the chase for non-relic cards had slowed a bit, sets like 1999 Upper Deck Encore Driving Forces Gold weren't likely to carry the same collectibility as say one featuring pieces of bats and jerseys. Mind you, this was 1999, not 2018 so the GU embed thing was still very new. I personally think, in some way, that that's why it took so long for sets like this one to catch on. After the dust settles and people can see again, the desire for simpler things is reinstated. What I mean by this is that after people get utterly sick of seeing GU embedded cards, they may revisit hindsight and remember when cards were interesting by their very design alone and not whether or not it had an autograph or piece of [fill in the black]. The bidder activity and end price of this Alex Rodriguez showcases that paradigm shift perfectly.


Mark Appel 2014 Bowman Red Autograph #PAMA

Sold: Sep 16, 2018
# of Bids: 3
Final Price: $76.99

Matt Harvey 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Gold Refractors #BDPP84 BGS 9.5

Sold: Sep 22, 2018
# of Bids: 7
Final Price: $12.50


This Mark Appel card is a mystery. I searched everywhere for a record of its existence in price guides and online references and came up short. All I know is it's from 2014 Bowman, it's a Red signed parallel and it's a 1/1. I actually considered bidding on this card on the premise of its mystery alone but there has to be some limits. I figured its archive potential is better served here in this list anyway.

There was a time when Matt Harvey stuff sold for good money. That time was pre or during the 2015 World Series. After the Mets lost and Harvey was eventually released, some might've consider that a good time to buy. This Gold Refractor is a nice example of good buys during good times to buy. This was another one I considered picking up and in retrospect, seeing the price here again, I should have gone ahead and grabbed it. Oh well. There are always other cards to chase.

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