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Wall Street is piling into trading cards as prices soar

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  • +1 Wonder how much the Mantle and Nolan Ryan(Koosman on same card) rookie cards are worth now?
  • Repent! The End is Near!
  • Hi @carew388
    I use eBay for a proxy of what the general public is willing to spend on a given item at the present time. Note: I'm a buyer/seller since May, 1997; so I have a bit of bias with what I see/know at the site.
    This list is for Ryan. But, scroll down a tiny bit and find the Koosman, same card, too.
    I set this search list to "sold" auctions. The list will continue to populate as sold auctions close.
    'Course, not unlike collectible coins..........condition, condition, condition, eh?
    Enjoy.
  • I reacquired some sets from my childhood around 1990-1991. I remember the 1968 Ryan rookie card worth $1200 being sold for $12.00 by a fill-in salesperson! Just a few years ago, the media was bemoaning the waning interest in baseball cards because the collectors were aging out, but with meager interest rates and inflated stock values the unloved has become the dearly loved !
  • @catch22 : Thanks for the list. I checked out Brett Farve Sports Illustrated issue & was heart broken. What I thought was worth $35, turns out to be less than $5.

    Stay warm & safe, Derf
  • The card market is crazy right now. I was a collector years ago and held on to some stuff. I sold a few things recently for crazy profits including a Peyton Manning card I bought for $20 and sold for over $400.
  • Repent! Repent! The End is Near!
  • Maybe the end of this soon:
    Ken Goldin has sold sports trading cards for four decades. What happened earlier this month still shocked him.
    In early February, a Michael Jordan rookie basketball card in pristine condition sold for a record $738,000 at an auction run by Goldin's company. The kicker? The exact same item went for nearly $215,000 just weeks before.
  • Only $738K? Check out Mickey Mantle.
  • True, but just like with stocks, its the time and return on investment, not just end value. To get a 343% return on investment on a Jordan card in just a few weeks sounds a bit too much like the Game Stop mania. The Mantle card apparently went from $2.8 million in April of 2018: https://cbssports.com/mlb/news/a-mickey-mantle-baseball-card-sold-for-2-8-million-reportedly-by-a-former-nfl-lineman/ to $5.2 million in January, 2021, a crazy number yes but an investor seeking to profit off mania would've gotten a better return on Jordan.
  • edited February 20
    OK, so let me see if I understand this correctly. A small piece of cardboard with the picture of a dead baseball player is believed to be worth 215,000 small pieces of green paper with the picture of a dead president. But then a few weeks later it's decided that it's actually worth 738,000 small pieces of green paper with the picture of a dead president.

    At the same time some of us have accumulated a fairly large number of small pieces of green paper with the picture of a dead president, but no one, especially banks, is interested in compensating us to borrow any more of those small pieces of green paper, as they already have so many of those that they don't really want any more.

    However companies of questionable value and dubious future are interested in borrowing more of those small pieces of green paper, possibly because they believe that they will never need to return them anyway. And many people are happy to loan these companies small pieces of green paper, but not to loan them small pieces of cardboard with the picture of a dead baseball player.

    An observer from another planet might reasonably conclude that these small pieces of green paper are actually pretty close to worthless, and that the people of this large North American land mass are evidently delusional, if not insane.

  • Instead of little green pieces of paper you could also see it as lines of code stored in hard drives and in "the cloud," virtual zeroes and ones moving from one drive to another or sometimes probably within the same drive. That's how weird money has become.
  • "When fiat [regular] currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn't look elsewhere. Bitcoin is almost as BS as fiat money. The key word is 'almost'."
    From a current MFO post: "Musk trashes cash / defends bitcoin purchase"
  • Well cash is also zeroes and ones in our bank accounts, etc., just different zeroes and ones from Bitcoin.
  • Ignoring the representational nature of the commodity, isn't the real question the actual value of any of this stuff?

    If no one other than companies of questionable value and dubious future will compensate us to borrow those small pieces of green paper, then what are they actually worth?

    Not much, it would seem, except perhaps to purchase shares of a stock that may very well become all but worthless when some seemingly random event triggers the next disastrous market decline.

    Am I missing something here?
  • edited February 20
    Hi @Old_Joe
    Your write beginning with "OK, so let me see if I understand this correctly." covers investing and money in proper form. Well, done; well written.
    If you haven't, you should visit the Ebay link I placed. It is set for closed/sold items for the Nolan Ryan card, but you may clear that and type whatever you want to discover.
    There must be something you're curious about. Keep in mind, that the site isn't going to have the fully, insane priced high end stuff, but lots of interesting discoveries are there.
  • @Old_Joe: I thought you were making a fortune on passion fruit juice futures. Where’s Joe D when you need a hero? The baseball cards I remember from my childhood were all scuffed up from tossing them in playground competitions the object of which was to win other cards.
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