Beckett Game Notes: NBA MVPs, Pujols, Brady and Major Hockey Auction
by Beckett Media
May 19, 2005
Collectors Like Their MVPs Young
According to the July issue of Beckett Basketball, if you want to improve your stock in the collectibles
market, you better do it before your 30th birthday. Last week, the Suns' Steve Nash became the seventh player
past the age of 30 to be named MVP for the first time. Unfortunately for him, players who don't take off early
in their careers have a tendency to lose impact among memorabilia collectors. The average price of key Rookie
Cards for players who won the award for the first time in their 20s is $325.67. For players who won the award
for the first time after age 30, that number drops to $51.67.
"The Rookie Cards of players who won their first MVP award past the age of 30 tend to be less than six times
as valuable as those of guys who won the award in their 20s," says Beckett Basketball editor David Lee.
"Now, there are some extenuating circumstances that inflate those numbers, like the scarcity of sets. Still,
it's clear that the older winners - and we're talking about some all-time greats here - just don't have that intrigue
of what they'll do in the future. Their careers have long been mapped out."
Key Rookie Cards For First-Time MVP Award Winners Over 30
Julius Erving - 1972-73 Topps #195 ($200)
Charles Barkley - 1986-87 Fleer #7 ($20)
Hakeem Olajuwon - 1986-87 Fleer #82 ($20)
David Robinson - 1989-90 Hoops #38 ($10)
Karl Malone - 1986-87 Fleer #68 ($50)
Steve Nash - 1996-97 Finest #75 ($10)
First-Time MVP Award Winners Under 30
Bill Russell -- 1957-58 Topps #77 ($1,000)
Bob Petit - 1957-58 Topps #24 ($150)
Bob Cousy - 1957-58 Topps #17 ($400)
Oscar Robertson - 1961-62 Fleer #36 ($400)
Wilt Chamberlain - 1961-62 Fleer #8 ($900)
Wes Unseld - 1969-70 Topps #56 ($50)
Willis Reed - 1969-70 Topps #60 ($50)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 1969-70 Topps #25 ($400)
Dave Cowens - 1971-72 Topps #47 ($40)
Bob McAdoo - 1973-74 Topps #135 ($20)
Moses Malone - 1975-76 Topps #254 ($35)
Larry Bird - 1980-81 Topps #6 ($300)
Magic Johnson - 1980-81 Topps #6 ($300)
Michael Jordan - 1986-87 Fleer #57 ($800)
Shaquille O'Neal - 1992-93 Upper Deck #1 ($40)
Allen Iverson - 1996-97 Topps Chrome #171 ($60)
Tim Duncan - 1997-98 Topps Chrome $115 ($40)
Kevin Garnett - 1995-96 Finest #115 ($70)
Pujols: Red Hot
Beckett Baseball list of the top five sales of graded cards over the last year show that Cardinals' slugger
Albert Pujols is as hot off the field as on:
1. 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Barry Bonds BGS 10 - $25,100 March '05
The only one out of 688 submitted to receive a BGS 10. Slabbed in October of 2004, this card took a little over
two months to reach the secondary market.
2. 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols BGS 9.5 -- $15,500 Jan '05
3. 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols PSA 10 - $12,600 Jan '05
One over zealous buyer purchased both cards listed above in the same calendar month, talk about some deep pockets.
4. 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols BGS 9.5 -- $12,100 May '05
5. 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols BGS 9.5 -- $11,000 June '05
When is $11,000 a bargain? Possibly now, when you compare the hefty sales figures above.
Invest in Brady
Patriot's QB Tom Brady's top Rookie Card has moved up or down in price 16 times since it was first listed in the
January 2001 issue of Beckett Football. At $800, it is one of the most valuable modern era base cards in existence. It
doesn't feature an autograph or a jersey swatch, but it's part of a historically significant product - SP Authentic.
January 2001 - $30
December 2001 - $60
January 2002 - $125
February 2002 - $135
March 2002 - $175
September 2002 - $150
November 2002 - $175
December 2002 - $150
February 2004 - $200
March 2004 - $300
April 2004 - $350
June 2004 - $400
July 2004 - $425
November 2004 - $450
March 2005 - $750
April 2005 - $800
Hockey Lockout Doesn't Discourage Collectors
The NHL lockout may have curtailed hockey card production for 2004-05, but it hasn't diminished the passion of
hockey card collectors, or their willingness to spend big bucks to own a piece of their favorite players. The
editors of Beckett Hockey have tracked a number of record-breaking sales over the past few months, but none more
eye-opening than a card featuring swatches cut from jerseys worn by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux that sold
recently for $7,100, the highest price ever achieved for this type of collectible.
The card, issued as part of the 2004-05 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection, featured small NHL logo patches cut from
the backs of jerseys actually worn in game action by Gretzky and Lemieux. Although "game-used" cards
(collectibles that feature a swatch cut from a jersey, stick, glove or pads worn by a player in an NHL game) are
fairly common in today's highly competitive - and creative - marketplace, the fact that this is the only such card
in existence played a key factor in the success of the early-May auction.
"The final sale price really took us by surprise," says Al Muir, editor of Beckett Hockey. "Both Wayne
and Mario have legions of devoted collectors, so any time a truly unique concept featuring either player - let alone
both - hits the market, there's fierce competition to be the guy who can say, 'Yeah, I'm the one that has that card.'"
About Beckett Media
Based in Dallas, Beckett Media LP, an Apprise Media company, is the leading publisher of sports and specialty market
collectible products in the U.S. Beckett operates Beckett.com (www.beckett.com), the leading online destination for sports collectible enthusiasts, and is the premier publisher of monthly sports
collectibles magazines. Beckett, considered the world's most trusted source in collecting, currently publishes 14
magazines. Its flagship title is the popular Beckett Baseball magazine. The company also operates Beckett Grading
Services, the award-winning third-party professional sports card grading service. The company was founded in 1984
by Dr. James Beckett.
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