BRANDON JACKSON: Ryan Grant goes down for the season, and all of a sudden Brandon Jackson is handed the keys to the running back position for what many pundits feel is the highest-flying offense in the National Football League. The 2007 second-round pick out of Nebraska has already seen a spike in his cards – and if he runs amok (as many fantasy football team owners hope) this is just a taste of what’s to come. Tops this week included a 2007 Leaf Limited Auto Logo Patch rookie for $350, and Exquisite Auto Patch for $130, and an SP Auto Patch for $100 even. He follows in the steps of no-names who suddenly were collector darlings, like Dorsey Levens (who Mel Kiper Jr. called “the most overrated pick” of the 1994 draft even though he was taken all the way down in the 5th round), Ahman Green and Grant himself.
SCHMIDT HAPPENS: Hey, file this one under the “heroes of the pre-Steroid Era gaining momentum” department: a 1973 O-Pee-Chee Mike Schmidt rookie, graded PSA 10, closed for $4,452 this week on eBay. In the end, guys like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and even A-Rod will likely be embraced by collectors and Cooperstown alike. But that will take a decade, if not longer. In the meantime, guys like Robin Yount, George Brett, Schmidt and their contemporaries can only gain traction in the rookie-card marketplace – even in this awful economy.
CUBAN FLAMETHROWER: Back to flavors of the week with Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, whom the Reds brought up for their late-season playoff surge. His electric, triple-digit mph pitches earned him the second-highest contract ($30.25 million) behind the Yankees’ big 2002 mistake Jose Contreras. Chapman’s 2009 rookies are blasting through the roof, at least for a relief pitcher. Sellers are asking $3,000-plus for the 2009 Donruss Elite Die-Cut rookie, and his BGS 9.5 version from 2010 Bowman Chrome Red Refractor closed this week at $1,775. The gold refractor is trading at $550 graded BGS 9.5. Many others are trading up over $100.
QUICK QUIZ: Name the Arian Foster that sold on eBay for the top bid ($322): 1. 2009 Bowman Sterling Refractor Auto rookie; 2. 2009 Bowman Gold Refractor Auto rookie; 3. 2009 Upper Deck Draft Bronze Auto; 4. 2009 Bowman Sterling Black Refractor Auto rookie; 5. 2009 Bowman Draft Auto Patch.
If you know that all that glitters isn’t gold, you probably picked the Sterling Black Refractor. You would be right
1. $14,500: 1952 Topps Joe Nuxhall, PSA 9
2. 9,000: 1938 Babe Ruth ball, PSA/DNA
3. 8,370: 1984 Athens Olympics baseball gold
4. 8,250: 1996-97 EX-2000 Kobe Bryant
Essential Credentials, BGS 9.5
5. 8,214: 1963 Topps Pete Rose, PSA 9
6. 7,499: 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, SGC 10
7. 7,300: 1904 original Senators photos from
T206 photographer Carl Horner
8. 5,300: 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle, PSA 8
9. 4,999: 1952 Topps Frank Campos Black
Star, PSA 6
10. 4,200: 2008 Allen & Ginter Babe Ruth auto,