What Would You Do With $350 Grand?

23 10 2009

Would you spend it on trading cards?

After the 2008 season, Evan Longoria was on top of the Hobby world. In just 122 games, Evan crushed 27 home runs, won the Rookie of the Year, and helped the lowly Tampa Bay Rays reach the World Series.

In 2009, Evan was able to play a full season but his numbers didn’t look much different from the year prior. Yes, 33 home runs and 113 RBI equates to a great offensive season but nothing like what many who spent thousands on his cards expected.

Unfortunately, no one told this crazy eBay seller who tried to sell a “Rainbow” of Evan’s most-desired card, 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects, for a measly $350,000 dollars. Oh, he also wanted $200 for shipping.

The entire lot included:

Base Card
Refractor #’d to 500
Xfractor #’d to 250
Blue Refractor #’d to 150
Gold Refractor #’d to 50
Orange Refractor #’d to 25
Red Refractor #’d to 5

For the record, the Red Refractor is one card an Evan Longoria fan could chase down for years but the rest are not that rare and can be found on eBay many times throughout the year. As for the prices, looking at eBay’s completed auctions, you can find all those cards for:

Prices in bold completed, italics currently available

Base Card – $180
Refractor – $149
Xfractor – $599
Blue Refractor – $417
Gold Refractor – no current sales
Orange Refractor – $700+
Red Refractor – no current sales

Now, I’m no math wiz but unless the Red and Gold Refractors sell for A LOT of money, I just don’t see the entire lot being even remotely close to what the seller was asking for. Furthermore, it should be noted that the “Holy Grail” of Evan Longoria cards, the Superfractor, wasn’t on the list.

I’m willing to bet that even if the 1/1 Superfractor and all four printing plates were included (making it a real rainbow), it still wouldn’t hit a lot more than ten thousand dollars. Yes, that’s an insane price but not completely unheard of in these days of prospecting and “high-end” collectors.

Worth the hype?


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28 responses

23 10 2009
Paul

I’m not entirely sure what I’d do with $350,000 of “play” money, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be going to baseball cards. Certainly not modern ones.

23 10 2009
John H

The guy has 100% feedback but does anyone find it odd how the scans vary in size and quality? It almost looks like they’re taken from other auctions and pieced together.

23 10 2009
RobertS.

$350,000 – half would go to buy a new house in full and the other half would go to my retirement account because I don’t expect the government’s Social Security to amount to much when I retire.

24 10 2009
Ricky

Honestly, even if Pujols had a rainbow back in ’01, I’m not sure even HIS versions of the cards would fetch in that much.. I mean, for 350K on 7 cards that’s the most expensive one at ~100K, with a $50K avg per card.. Those are insane numbers..

And agreed with Longoria.. It’s not the HR and RBI totals that hurt him – it’s the AVG, he only hit .281 this year – and improvement over .272 last year.. Even with 35+HR and 110+RBI, those just aren’t superstar numbers.. Throw in the fact that you K’ed 140 times this year as well, and frankly it’s not even that special.. I’m not really dissing him, but at the beginning of this year, I just thought he was more of an insane superstar.. I remember he hit really good against the Sox in the ALCS last year, and that added to it.. But then I checked out his stats one day and was like hmmm.. But he does have a pretty solid fan-base and popularity adding to his fan base and that makes a big difference..

24 10 2009
gritz76

Porn and a candy bar.

24 10 2009
jumper48

They actually have a poorly designed generic website claiming to be sports cards dealers.

It looks like they buy up wholesale and closeout items to sell, they have postings on a couple of different auction sites. I am going to guess it is a mom & pop outfit selling whatever they can get a hold of out of their house and for some reason decided to try and retire off of selling cards at unreal prices.

24 10 2009
Thomas

No prospector is buying Longoria, No prospector has bought Longoria in the past year and a half.

24 10 2009
Tom Hall

I would purchase 70,000 Donruss wax boxes from 1988.

24 10 2009
jl

WIth 350.000 just on baseball cards, you would have to be crazy not to buy a 1952 Mantle rookie at Mint and have enought left over for Ruth, Cobb, or Some Auto of a HOF. $350.000 is alot to be asking for a modern era card, even if it is rare, but it is a pipe dream for me, if this guy selling the card is reading this, give me some of the stuff your smoking.

24 10 2009
Joe from the D

With $350K, I’d buy Olds some acting lessons, Gellman some Triple Threads, UD & Donini some business ethics classes and Beckett a clue.

And Mario the Andrew Miller 2007 Finest Superfractor.

24 10 2009
Jacob

If I had 350k, I would pay off my debt (mortgage, car, etc.) and invest a big portion of it. I would also have to spend some on cards. I would like to have a MJ and Lebron James auto and a Mantle rookie would be nice to. That is how I would treat myself.

24 10 2009
Mario A.

Joe,
Andrew is pitching in the AFL right now and stinking it up. Pretty sure that card would sell for $100 dollars today.😦

24 10 2009
Joe from the D

Well, if he’s sucking that bad now, that card should turn up sooner or later, eh?

DONT LOSE HOPE!! lol

24 10 2009
Tim

My favorite part: “Make a best offer. I might even except it!”

Accept my friend, ACCEPT!

24 10 2009
Dave

I noticed this auction a few days ago. I can’t imagine that the seller really thought he would get $350,000. I think that this guy, and sellers like him, put up these astronomically high numbers to get attention – and in this case, it worked. A bunch of people noticed the auction, including the #1 sports card blog on the net. With all of the attention, the guy is bound to get some pretty high offers – nowhere near $350,000, but still more than he would have otherwise received.

As for Evan Longoria, his statistics were up across the board this year. Mario said “Yes, 33 home runs and 113 RBI equates to a great offensive season but nothing like what many who spent thousands on his cards expected.” I’d have to ask, what were these people expecting? Those are great numbers, and amazing from a second-year player.

To Ricky – it’s 2009 – do you seriously still consider batting average to be a legitimate measure of how good a hitter someone is? If so, I urge you to google the phrases “sabermetrics” and “Bill James” as quickly as possible. That said, what’s wrong with a .281 batting average?

Finally, if you look closely at Longoria’s 2009 numbers, you’ll see that the months of June and July (and somewhat August) were awful for him. This coincided with a nasty hamstring injury that he sustained. Before the injury, and after the injury, he was clearly producing at a superstar pace. Assuming that he remains injury free in 2010, I could easily see him doing the following:

.390 OBP
.600 SLG
.300 BA
40 HR
130 RBI
Gold Glove at 3B

Also, if anyone is curious, my Longoria collection is now up to 284 different cards, including 43 autographs! I have the base auto, the refractor auto, and the Xfractor auto from 2006 Bowman DP&P, but unless Longoria slumps badly, I’ll probably never be able to afford the other variations.

24 10 2009
mfw13

I’d do all the remodeling projects on our house that we’ve always talked about but never had the money to do and then would spend the rest travelling around the world.

Probably wouldn’t spend more than a few thousand of it on cards…

24 10 2009
Justin

Every single Bowman Scout autograph would finally be mine!

Actually…I have thought about this. Year ago I got a 25,000 dollar bonus for reenlisting in the AIr Force. I ended up buying two autographs with that: a Mac Speedie signed index card, a Mickey Mantle signed index card (certified) and a Roger Maris Rookie. The rest went into my savings.

Now? I would get a Ty Cobb or Tris Speaker signed indec card, Maris autograph, and I would finish my Indians Team Set collection. The rest would be saved. And I am not sure if I am kidding on the Bowman scout cards…

24 10 2009
R-

Pay off my house and buy my wife a new car.

24 10 2009
Ricky

To Ricky – it’s 2009 – do you seriously still consider batting average to be a legitimate measure of how good a hitter someone is?

Ummm yes a batting average is a pretty good indicator, and if a hitter is 20-30 points BELOW 300, that’s saying alot.. That’s a pretty ridiculous statement.. If it was a pitcher’s W-L column, then no, not so great of a measure – but a BA, c’mon man.

24 10 2009
Hoiles

Does one realize that it would take the real Evan Longoria a good half a season or so of baseball (assuming he still makes pre-arbitration salary) to buy these cards of himself?

24 10 2009
Madyankees

Rainbows are kinda dumb to me because you are essentially paying to buy the same card only with a different color border. Over-rated and irritating for set collectors

25 10 2009
Dave

Ricky, to help educate you:

“Sabermetrics has taken several long-held pieces of conventional wisdom about baseball and turned them on their heads. Take batting averages. For years most people understood the batting average—how many hits a player has in his at bats—to be the best way of evaluating hitters. But statistical research proved it isn’t. That’s because every time a batter steps to the plate, there are two possible outcomes: he makes an out or he gets on base. Batting average is incomplete because it does not address the walk. The game is only over after each team makes 27 outs, so the most important job for any ball player is not to make an out and put runners on base.

The batting average treats every hit as equally valuable. Anyone who has ever watched baseball can you tell you that a double is more valuable than a single, and a home run is more valuable than either. But according to batting average, a player who gets 100 singles is the same as a player with 50 homers and 50 doubles. It’s obvious that the second player has done a lot more to help his team.

Rather than rely on batting average to evaluate hitters, sabermetrics espouses on-base percentage and slugging percentage. On-base percentage is a more complete version of batting average: it measures the rate players avoid making outs—the percentage of time they either get a hit or walk. Slugging percentage weighs every type of hit—home run, triple, double and single—differently, thus allowing players who have more extra base hits to be valued appropriately.

One of the most common new-school ways of evaluating players is a simple combination of on-base percentage and slugging percentage, called on-base plus slugging, or OPS. The higher the OPS, the better the hitter. OPS isn’t perfect, but it is a much better measure of a hitter than a simple batting average.”

Source: What is sabermetrics and why do baseball teams care so much about it?

25 10 2009
Toriihunter

I would buy 2 cases each of my favorite products every year. As you can imagine this will keep me happy for a LONG time

25 10 2009
Nick

I would buy $340,000 worth of cards… and $10,000 for the bottles of wine I’ll be drinking when I open them.

25 10 2009
Zack

Buy an 2008 Albert Pujols Sweet Spot Auto card and as many Topps Sterling’s i can buy with the rest of the money

25 10 2009
Ricky

Ricky, to help educate you:

Well, this doesn’t educate me.. I kno all about the benefit of looking at stats like OPS and WHIP as opposed to AVG and W-L.. In this case tho, your argument doesn’t really help Longoria.. He was an abysmal 76th in batting in 09, and his OBP is not much better at 53th.. He gained a little ground in OPS at 32nd – but still let’s be honest, those are still not superstar numbers.. And as important as OBP, SLG, and OPS are vs. AVG – batting average is still an important number, I don’t care how you slice it – especially when he’s a .277 hitter.. He’d have so many more hits if he was even just a .300 hitter, which would add to all his other stats and his team’s W-L record.. Until he’s doing that, he’s no superstar.. And I’m not taking away from his collectibility status – cuz he’s a superstar when it comes to popularity among collectors..

25 10 2009
Chris

Tom Hall: Quantcast

I would purchase 70,000 Donruss wax boxes from 1988.

Okay Tom, what would you do with the remaining $280,000

26 10 2009
Tim H

If I had 350 grand the first thing I would honestly do is make sure “Wax Heaven” would have the financial backing it needs for years to come because it’s that important to the hobby world. Secondly I would secure my children’s future for college. Finally i would buy some tickets/rent a skybox to a pro ballgame and have my son’s birthday party at a pro stadium because that’s what he wants.

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