Thursday, July 9, 2009

What a difference a year can make.

Last year at this time I was selling one of my favorite rookie cards of all time, the guy was the reigning AL MVP, it hurt to part with any of his cards let alone his "best" rookie. But I did what I had to do and sold the card on ebay thinking that I'd never have a chance to own that card again, just like the Ryan Howard Bowman's Best RC's I can't afford anymore. I had two and sold them too, thinking I might be able to get them again down the road but given their popularity I don't see being able to get them again any time soon. The card I sold last year was a 1994 SP Alex Rodrguez BGS 9, I paid $300 for it at a card show, which I think is still a record for me on any single item at a show. I had that card for about 2 years before I sold it on ebay for about $375, a nice 20% profit. But I wasn't happy, I really thought I was making a mistake, I mean this guy was the fastest to 500 Homers ever, plays for the most collectible team on earth and above all of that he was clean. In an era of roid monsters like Bonds and McGwire, Alex's progression seemed natural, he went from 36 to 23 to 42 homers over his first three years, not a staggering explosion like Brady Anderson going from 16 to 50.

Alex seemed like a bastion of purity, like Albert Pujols seems right now. I feel the same way about Pujols as I did A-Rod last year. I guess I'm just being naive, he probably juices, everyone probably does, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg probably stick each other with needles in the ass like Canceco and McGwire used to (I'm being facetious obviously). Who can you trust? As soon as a guy hits 25 homers before the all star break it makes me question him a bit, but I'm giving Pujols the benefit of the doubt. Rodriguez doesn't have that anymore, he's a cheater, Shoeless Joe is probably more innocent than Rodriguez.

Back to the 1994 SP RC I sold. As I said before I never thought I'd get another one. Now up until last week I didn't think I'd ever want another one, I honestly don't care for Rodriguez anymore, but ebay changed my mind on owning the card again. The card that I sold only a year ago had plummeted, I bought a copy for only $132.5o with shipping. Just about 35% of what it was selling for early last year.

Why did I buy the card if I hate A-Rod? I don't know, I guess I realize that he's the lesser of two evils and when he breaks Bonds' record, which I think he will, this card will be $400 again. Even if he only hits 30 home runs per year for the next 7 years he will shatter the record (his average for 162 games is 44 and he'll be 40 in seven years so this seems like a sure thing). The only thing that can hurt him is a Nomar like string of injuries. Will that happen? I don't know but I think it's a good risk to take, since I doubt there will be many collectors 50 years from now who will know or care how he got record (they probably won't care at the time he breaks the record either). No, they won't care, just like they don't care that Ty Cobb is an admitted murderer, Mickey Mantle was a drunk and a womanizer, Pete Rose gambled on baseball or Joe Jackson threw a world series, their cards still sell extremely well. So as sad as it is people, outside of Hall of Fame voters, won't care that Rodriguez cheated to break the record that Barry Bonds cheated to take away from Hank, they'll just care that he broke it.

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