Chasing Rookies in 2023

BarJack34

Veteran
Transactions
72
5.00 star(s)
Hello friends,

I am struggling, like many collectors/investors, with today’s rookie hype.

So much to discuss just from that statement. So, what I want to focus on is, what to chase?

We already have to contend with a giant pool of “can’t miss prospects” that will have many cards long before they make it to the league. Then we have the previous year’s call-ups who will be getting their first rookie card, and finally, we have the guys who come out of nowhere and tear it up out of the gate.

Now we have all of these players, from all of these groups commanding top dollar because no one wants to miss the next Griffey, Trout, Ohtani… De La Cruz?

Now, let's add to this money sink, parallels and inserts. By the time every card maker and brand of card is released, with every combination, you’re looking at hundreds of different first rookie cards.

Now, I know this isn't news to the people in this club, in fact, it’s you specifically that I want to have the discussion with. What do you chase?

Tell me which cards you value, collect, invest or flip. Do you care about rookies anymore?

My two cents? For now (subject to change) I’m chasing Topps base of the rookies that are performing well and that I like. I’m actively trading for rookies who are part of insert sets, and I’m keeping pulls of rookies I think may still increase in value, but selling any I think are overvalued.

I wonder, 20 years from now, what current rookie turned hall of famer’s card will be his grail card? Is it going to be anything close to what we think it is now?

Cheers,
John
 
Hi John, Thanks for the food for thought on this beautiful lazy Sunday morning.

I always say that everyone is in this hobby for different reasons, that everyone collects differently, and that there is no right or wrong way as long as you are enjoying what you are doing.

I too often question why rookies are so valued. In the end, it is just the way it is. So be it. If that is what someone likes and wants to collect, great. I don't consider myself a rookie collector, but I sure am going to want a nice Elly de la Cruz in 2024. I am just not going to lose my mind or empty my wallet for one. If someone gets their enjoyment chasing parallels of the hot player of the moment, that's exactly what they should do.

In the end, I think that what gives people the most joy in this hobby is to find what you like to collect and often that is not what everyone else is chasing. To me, these are niche projects - like cards of everyone who has ever played for the Hartford Yard Goats (AA Rockies affiliate) and 2021 Topps Japan edition parallels - and I certainly love collecting all cards of my three favorite players of the past 10 years - David Ortiz, Mookie Betts and David Ortiz as well as finishing insert sets I like. I am slowly working on vintage sets with the goal of someday finishing 1961. Vintage collecting is such a different style of collecting and to me equally fun, requiring lots of patience. I like collecting prospects too, particularly since I see a lot of AA games and come to like following players I see, not just Yard Goats. All of it is good if it is what you like.

What I also love is getting cards to other people who want certain cards more than I want them. It is one thing to collect or to see this as an investment or simply as something that makes life a little more exciting for yourself, but it always appears to me that the engagement with others is what makes this all the more fun and keeps someone involved. I get a rush from seeing other people finishing sets they are putting together or getting players of cards they collect as much as I do when I see someone has a card for trade from one of the insert sets I am working on.

It looks and sounds to me like you are having fun, involved in different aspects of the hobby -- collecting/trading/investing/selling. Keep doing it, stop doing something when you find you are not interested in some part of it anymore, and keep finding new things that interest you. Enjoy!
 
Hi John, Thanks for the food for thought on this beautiful lazy Sunday morning.

I always say that everyone is in this hobby for different reasons, that everyone collects differently, and that there is no right or wrong way as long as you are enjoying what you are doing.

I too often question why rookies are so valued. In the end, it is just the way it is. So be it. If that is what someone likes and wants to collect, great. I don't consider myself a rookie collector, but I sure am going to want a nice Elly de la Cruz in 2024. I am just not going to lose my mind or empty my wallet for one. If someone gets their enjoyment chasing parallels of the hot player of the moment, that's exactly what they should do.

In the end, I think that what gives people the most joy in this hobby is to find what you like to collect and often that is not what everyone else is chasing. To me, these are niche projects - like cards of everyone who has ever played for the Hartford Yard Goats (AA Rockies affiliate) and 2021 Topps Japan edition parallels - and I certainly love collecting all cards of my three favorite players of the past 10 years - David Ortiz, Mookie Betts and David Ortiz as well as finishing insert sets I like. I am slowly working on vintage sets with the goal of someday finishing 1961. Vintage collecting is such a different style of collecting and to me equally fun, requiring lots of patience. I like collecting prospects too, particularly since I see a lot of AA games and come to like following players I see, not just Yard Goats. All of it is good if it is what you like.

What I also love is getting cards to other people who want certain cards more than I want them. It is one thing to collect or to see this as an investment or simply as something that makes life a little more exciting for yourself, but it always appears to me that the engagement with others is what makes this all the more fun and keeps someone involved. I get a rush from seeing other people finishing sets they are putting together or getting players of cards they collect as much as I do when I see someone has a card for trade from one of the insert sets I am working on.

It looks and sounds to me like you are having fun, involved in different aspects of the hobby -- collecting/trading/investing/selling. Keep doing it, stop doing something when you find you are not interested in some part of it anymore, and keep finding new things that interest you. Enjoy!
Larry,
Thanks for the well thought response.

As I get back into collecting I find I'm adapting and changing as I go, so you touched on a lot of points that are important to me as well.

Cheers,
John
 
Hi John,

Nice topic. Me personally, I’ll always be looking for my favorite Tigers, that won’t change. However, when it comes to rookies I try to get a few of each of the key ones. To put away, because you never know. Some base, some nicer inserts. Sticking with Topps. The guys that come out of no where I usually miss the bus on and have to trade not in my favor. Elly being a good example. Although not as bad because his RC won’t be until next year.

To your point of which ones to collect is tough. Using Trout as an example, his update card demands a hefty premium while his bowman platinum can be had for $20. I still can’t figure that one out.

At the end of the day, collect what appeals to you and you’ll always be satisfied.


Happy trading,

John
 
Last edited:
Hi John,

Nice topic. Me personally, I’ll always be looking for my favorite Tigers, that won’t change. However, when it comes to rookies I try to get a few of each of the key ones. To put away, because you never know. Some base, some nicer inserts. Sticking with Topps. The guys that come out of no where I usually miss the buss in and have to trade not in my favor. Elly being a good example. Although no as bad because his RC won’t be until next year.

To your point of which ones to collect is tough. Using Trout as an example, his update card demand a hefty premium while his bowman platinum can be had for $20. I still can’t figure that one out.

At the end of the day, collect what appeals to you and you’ll always be satisfied.


Happy trading,

John
It sounds like we have a similar approach.

What really got me thinking recently were the rookie inserts in Finest and the new chrome inserts featuring some stud rookies. Both can be expensive if you don't pull them, but so is stacking up on 3-4 lower end inserts and parallels.

It will be interesting to see what has value, and what doesn't in the future.

Like your Trout example, if Carroll is on HOF track 8 years from now, what is his big card? Bowman 1st, SP, 1/5 or that cool insert?

Thanks for responding.
Cheers,
John
 
Looking at guys with 2023 rookie cards, other than guys I am collecting - Triston Casas, Brayan Bello, Masataka Yoshida and Ezequiel Tovar -- Rutschman is the one that stands out to me. I think he can put together a long successful career for what could be a top team for many years. I will definitely be holding onto a few of his RCs and would love to have a nice parallel.
 
Looking at guys with 2023 rookie cards, other than guys I am collecting - Triston Casas, Brayan Bello, Masataka Yoshida and Ezequiel Tovar -- Rutschman is the one that stands out to me. I think he can put together a long successful career for what could be a top team for many years. I will definitely be holding onto a few of his RCs and would love to have a nice parallel.
So this is one of the cards I'm talking about. Expensive short print now. Assuming he's at least Posey/Mauer good, is this sought after?Screenshot_20230730_223900_eBay.jpg
 
Back
Top