Online Auctioneer: Breaking down the latest Internet auction sales

STRASBURG: Kids, just relax on Stephen Strasburg. He might be making his first start, his rookie cards might be just hitting the market, he might have more potential than Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan and the Big Train himself, all combined, if you believe the hype on this kid. Will someone please tell these bidders shucking out thousands of dollars for his rookies that the market for modern cards is still pretty soft, and that young pitchers are volatile? On second thought, SCD readers who are dealers, shovel those Strasburg rookies on to eBay as fast as you can, and take your profit before the great bidder-sphere comes to its collective senses and the market corrects itself. Or (knock on wood) something pops in the kid’s elbow or shoulder. (The knock on wood is aimed at avoiding the injury, not rooting for it.)

   EXHIBITS: Exhibits cards, made at various points in the 20th century (and probably due for the next Topps retro treatment) never hit the eBay Top 10 before this week, when Willie Mays’ classic 1950s issue did just that, on the strength of its PSA 10 Gem Mint grade. In comparison, the other top bid-getters this week included: a 1933 4-on-1 including Babe Ruth, PSA 6 ($999); a 1926-29 Ruth, SGC 30 ($600); a 1921 Ruth ($500); and a 1922 Rogers Hornsby, SGC 50 ($490).

   ANDREW BYNUM: Two years ago, when the Celtics knocked off the Lakers in the Finals, many pundits said it was because of the absence of the injured Andrew Bynum. This time, when the Lakers and Celtics meet for the 12th time in Finals history, Bynum is nicked up but likely to play. Will his (and new teammate Ron Artest’s) presence make the difference? Will Father Time toll his bell for the aching knees of the warrior Kevin Garnett? Bynum is something of a commodity on eBay; this week a pair of gamer kicks sold for $495, and his various 2005-06 Exquisite rookies trade $250-$300. If the kid does turn out to be the X factor that puts L.A. over the top and they win the championship, here’s guessing there will be an upward tick for his legacy – and his rookie-card values.

QUICK QUIZ: Name the Dontrelle Willis item that nailed the highest bid ($43) this week on eBay:
1. Autographed Tristar bat
2. No. 21 Tigers home jersey
3. No. 35 Marlins jersey
4. 2006 Sweet Spot Josh Johnson/Dontrelle Dual Auto
5. 2006 Flair Showcase Lettermen
   If you guessed the Tristar bat, you are correct.

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