Great Mickey Mantle opportunity this week on Collectable

Welcome to Sports Cards Insider for January 18th, 2022 – FREE version.

Each week we give you the scoop on undervalued, mispriced and hidden gems in Alternative Investing.

Podcast

Last week, Horacio sat down with Ryan Stuczynski, founder of Gemrate, the site dedicated to grading trends and analytics. Gemrate gives sports card investors an edge because they’re the first to know about upcoming trends in the grading market. Worth a listen.

And I’m trying out something new this week based on feedback from our Discord fam (thank you). I’ll highlight which card sectors I’m most bullish on; check in regularly if you’d like. I’ll note when something changes.

This week looks like this:

  • All soccer especially vintage
  • Vintage basketball
  • Vintage football
  • Hockey except for ultra blue chip
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Modern basketball

Sports Cards in 2022

Sports cards seem to have found a bottom on fractional markets, but we won’t know for sure for a couple of weeks.

All stats come from assets trading on secondary markets at Otis, Collectable, and Rally

We highlighted the golf index in last week’s issue suspecting it might be breaking out a bit. It’s, predictably, slightly down seven days on.

Last Week in Sports Cards

Fractional secondary markets

Finally some leadership from the tier one sports – football, baseball, and basketball – with all three positive week over week. Overall pretty quiet the last few days.

All stats come from assets trading on the secondary markets at Otis, Collectable, and Rally

All six asset classes were up for the week for the third time in a row at Alt.

Indices taken from OnlyAlts

More positive results from CardLadder as long as you’re sticking with high-end cards and avoiding wrestling.

Courtesy CardLadder. These are monthly returns.

There were a few items of note at last week’s liquid auction at OnlyAlt:There are a couple of days left in the January OnlyAlt Liquid Auction. They’re slowly climbing up the value chain to offer some lower-blue-chip cards, which is a point in the right direction. Nice to see some (lower-graded) vintage stuff there — a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays and 1979 Topps Wayne Gretzky feature alongside a 1979 Panini Diego Maradona and 1958 Topps Jim Brown. Keep an eye on the Maradona and Brown and snatch them up anywhere below $3,500 or so.

The Maradona card finished at $3,651 while Jimmy Brown ended at $3,050. I hope one of you picked it up.

It’s worth noting that OnlyAlt are stocking their auctions themselves via eBay purchases. It’s impossible to know for sure, but it’s also possible they’re making up the demand side of the marketplace as well, snapping up cards that are set to hammer for too low a price. Will be interesting to see how many, if any, of these cards show up on eBay.

This Week

Assets dropping on marketplaces

Three IPOs this week – one from Rally and two from Collectable.

Still alive at the Australian Open, unlike Novak Djokovic

Naomi Osaka 2018 SI for Kids PSA 9

Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps PSA 7

  • Market Cap: $299k
  • Inferred Value: $315k
  • Date: 1/18/22 on Collectable
  • Our View: [INSIDERS ONLY]

Jordan | Kobe | LeBron | Magic 2007 Upper Deck Black Quad Auto /10 BGS 7

  • Market Cap: $121,500
  • Inferred Value: $60,000
  • Date: 1/19/22 on Collectable
  • Our View: [INSIDERS ONLY]

Auctions

Wilt Chamberlain rookie at Heritage

Three massive auctions right now at Heritage (ends in nine days), Goldin (ends in 18 days), and PWCC (ends in four days).

Let’s check in on Heritage’s Winter Sports Card Auction. Here’s what we highlighted last week and continue to keep an eye on:

Nine days to go…

Moving on to Goldin’s Winter Elite auction, it’s dominated at the top end by LeBron James, who has 136 total items in the auction and whose cards currently make up six of the top 11 top lots (by highest bid).

Modern basketball overall makes up nearly half the auction with 681 total lots. Top athletes after LeBron include Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady.

Jesse Owens on sale at Goldin

There’s not a lot I’ll be watching with this auction, but here are a couple of notable items:

  • 1937 Ogden’s Limited Jesse Owens. Goldin sold an identical copy for $32k just a couple of weeks ago, another for $13k in May 2021, and another in March 2021 for $39,600. That’s fully half the eight PSA 9s in circulation sold via one auction house in the last ten months.
  • The hobby’s highest-graded set of 1980-81 Topps basketball cards (Bird, Johnson rookie) is available for the first time in forever. It comes with loads of add-ons including an uncut sheet of cards, team pin-ups, and an unopened wax pack. Someone is unloading a lifetime’s passion project. This should go for well over $1m.
  • All I could find out (after an embarrassing amount of time spent researching it, and it was in the lot listing anyway) about the 1957 Balas Futebol Pele is that it’s very rare. There’s one copy with SGC and one other with PSA and that’s it. Similar-ish cards have gone for around $200k, but this one is already at $234k.
Will I break $1m?

Onto the PWCC Premier auction before I run out of steam.

  • PWCC and Goldin have nearly identical 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady BGS 8 cards on offer. PWCC’s copy, which ends sooner, is up to $650k while Goldin’s trails slightly at $540k. There’s a BGS 8.5 graded copy at Collectable with a market cap of $1.8m, down from an IPO of over $2.1m.
  • Keep an eye on the 2009 Topps Chrome Stephen Curry refractor. Curry cards are up 40% over the last couple of months. CardLadder values it at $156k, and it’s already up to $180k at auction.
  • There’s a slightly faded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 7 that’s currently set at $180k. Collectable is IPO’ing a nicer PSA 7 this week for $299k.
  • One more Pele then no more. Keep an eye on this 1958 Alifabolaget SGC 7.5 Pele rookie. This exact card sold for $145k at Goldin in April 2021. It’s up to $140k now. It will probably go for somewhere between $150k and $250k; where exactly it ends up could tell us a lot about both the market for Pele and the relative value of SGC to PSA for vintage soccer.

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Author

Wyatt Cavalier

Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

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