I was going through a few things a couple of weeks ago from when I was younger. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, I was just bored. I found a few baseball scrap books that contained some baseball newspaper clippings, Giants tickets and also a Tuff Stuff price guide from April 2000.
Now I'm actually a big fan of price guides, more specifically Beckett. I enjoy the articles and reviews that accompany them, as well as the occasional interview. The price guide is also used alot but mostly as a checklist more than to see how much my cards are worth.
I have picked up two Becketts this last year. I picked up the first one just to see what had changed in the hobby and to get a good idea of what sets were released in the nine years I was away. The second one I picked up because it included all the sets from 2009 as well as a couple from 2010. I will probably pick up another one towards the end of the year or early 2011.
The point of this post is to show just how much the collecting world had changed since April 2000 til now.
Tuff Stuff is a price guide that covers all the major North American sports but I was only interested in the baseball stuff. The issue I have has Mark McGwire on the front and the issue has articles regarding McGwire's 1985 Topps RC and also a list of the hardest signatures to get from various sports.
I thought the McGwire RC article is very interesting from today's perspective. McGwires exploits on and off the field have been well documented and you either love him or hate him. Sure the guy took steroids during the bulk of his career, including the 1998 season when he hit 70 home runs. At the time it was fairly common knowledge that he was using some sort of performance enhancing substance but this was not really addressed at the time. It was not until a few years later when the fans started to turn against him and other big stars of the time. The article features a sliding scale of McGwires RC from its issue in 1985 right up to 2000. I wont list every year but here's a few below.
1985 - .50
1987 - $12
1990 - $18
1993 - $30
1995 - $8
1998 - $90
2000 - $200
How much is the card worth now? Well I can say its not $200 and will probably never be worth that much ever again, unless its a graded gem mint copy. According to COMC the cards current value is $30 but you can pick one up for $6.
That's a huge decrease in value and I'm sure the people who invested in his RC lost a lot of money and there are probably still a few people oblivious to the fact the card is not as big as it once was and are just sitting on it.
In comparison, I wonder what Strasburgs cards will look like in ten years time? The low numbered cards should hold their value for a long, long time but what about the base and base chromes? Will they still be worth $30/$50? Nope. You could probably get one for less then $10 by next year.
The other part of the guide has a piece on the top ten hardest signatures to get along with a brief write up of why their sigs are tough to get. I'm not familiar with some of the names but I'll list them anyway.
1 - Mark McGwire - Tough because he simply does not sign often.
2 - Patrick Ewing - It says he only really signs for friends and teammates.
3 - Mark Messier - Will only sign through Steiner Sports.
4 - Al Davis - It says he simply does not like signing.
5 - Kevin Garnett - It says he wont sign due to people profiting on his name. He tells fans 'Not now, dog'.
6 - Tiger Woods - It says he has a high amount of security and its tough to get to him.
7 - Eddie Murray - It says he will only sign at conventions.
8 - Scottie Pippin -It says he will pretend to be on a cell phone so he can ignore everyone.
9 - Deion Sanders - It says he doesn't have the time.
10 - Randy Moss - It says hes moody and will walk right past anyone asking for a sig.
Out of the above list I would personally only want two autos. The McGwire and the Woods but the chances of me getting any are slim. Tiger Woods will actually be half a mile from my house when the Ryder cup starts so I may get an opportunity if I happen to run into him though I doubt very much I will.
Have any of you guys gotten an auto from the above list? and I'm talking IP or TTM. I know the list is ten years out of date but I was just curious to see if anything had changed over time. That maybe the players had mellowed out and embraced the fans.
Theres a lot more in this magazine but I'll save that for another time.
One more thing. We need more people to fill out a 2010 A&G casebreak. Either get in touch with me or follow the link for more details.