Analyzing A 2016 Baseball Card

I have spent the past few days on eBay, looking at Jose Canseco baseball cards produced in 2015 and this year. I have seen a lot that I would consider “filler” and not worth picking up but this particular card (below) has caught my eye. It comes from Topps’ Tribute brand and features an early-year Canseco photograph, what appears to be an on-card signature, a late 90s’-style design and front and center serial numbering.

My only nit-pick for this card is that it celebrates Canseco’s ‘Ageless Accolade’ of his 1988 MVP season but features a photo of Jose from 1986 or 1987. However, only a Canseco nut would know the following worthless trivia. I don’t know how a casual fan would react to pulling this card of a still hated, very controversial figure. One thing that is unfortunate and Topps is mostly to blame, it is now a $25 card.

Years ago, this card would have booked for more than double that price but with the flood of Canseco autographs that have hit the market the past 3 years, to me … this is at best a card I would pay no more than $10 dollars for and that would be only for the neat design and aesthetics of the card and not the autograph itself. Simply put, Jose has destroyed the value of his autograph.

For a die-hard Jose Canseco fan, that’s actually a good thing because it saves you money in the long run but for the casual fan, it only brings Jose’s total worth down even more. Back in the early-90s when pack-inserted autographs hit the market (thank you, Upper Deck), $20 dollars would fetch the lowliest of journeymen not a former superstar, Rookie of the Year, and Most Valuable Player.

I haven’t quite started collecting Jose Canseco again but I am adding this card to my wish list of cards that I will eventually pick up on my journey of Jose hunting, which began in 1990 and somehow still keeps going 26 years after my first card hit my collection. To me, design trumps gimmicks and this card is about as eye-popping as a design as I have seen in a long time.



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