Wilt Chamberlain 1961 Fleer PSA 9

Welcome to Sports Cards Insider for February 10th, 2022 – FREE edition.

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

As a reminder, here’s my view on sports cards sectors for 2022:

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

Podcast

As a sports cards fan, you might enjoy this recent episode; a chat with Pixel Hall of Fame creator Keenan Wells.

Keenan is a classically-trained artist who produces pixelated sports cards for ESPN, Nike, the NBA, and Major League Soccer. He also recently collaborated with Rally on a series of trading cards that blend nostalgia with a modern, digital-style art.

Sports Cards in 2022

Sports cards on fractional platforms have ticked back up slightly in 2022 to poke their head above water since the beginning of last year. Is it possible we’ve found a bottom?

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

Last Week in Sports Cards

Fractional secondary markets

Pretty good other than soccer cards, which had a sizeable dip with decent volume. Football cards did well going into the Super Bowl and off the back of Tom Brady’s retirement, and wrestling cards jumped nearly 25% for no obvious reason I can tell. 🤷

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

Two-thirds of card categories were up last week on Alt’s index with only Hockey and Pokemon in the red. Soccer is trying to come up for air on the 90d view, but it’s struggling.

Indices taken from OnlyAlts

More strength from the football category over at CardLadder as the index there was up over 13%, while golf went a bit crazy. It looks like golf may have been down to one big sale, but it’s hard to tell. CardLadder has also added an entertainment index., which includes Marvel, Star Wars, etc. Not sports cards but worth noting.

Courtesy CardLadder. These are monthly returns.

Auctions

The second most expensive soccer card of all-time
  • 1937 Ogden’s Jesse Owens – finished at $22k. Notable because Goldin has auctioned off 50% of the cards in circulation in the last year for between $12k and $32k (just a month or so ago).
  • 1957 Balas Pele – finished at $486k. I’d never seen this card and there aren’t any good comps for it. Feels very high even for Pele.
  • 1981 Topps Basketball complete set + other goodies – finished at $1.44m. I thought it would go over $1m, but the lot crushed it. Super pleased for whoever was forced to sell this.

Other results…

Tom Brady’s 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket card graded BGS 8 made the biggest waves when it sold for $1.4m. This sale — and others over the last few weeks — helps push the ceiling for elite Tom Brady cards over $5m.

Most of the other top lots were LeBron James cards including two each of his 2003 – 04 UD Exquisite Collection ($1.6m and $1.4m) and 2003 – 04 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors ($900k and $792k).

A 2019 -20 Panini NT Zion /99 went for $594k, and no one can really figure out why. This is one of the less-inflammatory reactions on Twitter:

Otherwise, it was pretty tame. Most big names sold in line with expectations while a couple was slightly off.

This Week

Assets dropping on marketplaces

Three vintage sports cards IPO this week from Collectable.

Wilt didn’t like being called Wilt the Stilt

Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps PSA 7

  • Market Cap: $299k
  • Inferred Value: $336k
  • Date: 2/9/22 on Collectable
  • Our View: [INSIDERS ONLY]

Wilt Chamberlain 1961 Fleer PSA 9

  • Market Cap: $320k
  • Inferred Value: $349k
  • Date: 2/10/22 on Collectable
  • Our View: [INSIDERS ONLY]

1955 Topps #123 PSA 8 Sandy Koufax

  • Market Cap: $40k
  • Inferred Value: $32k
  • Date: 2/12/22 on Collectable
  • Our View: [INSIDERS ONLY]

Auctions

Memory Lane’s Winter Rarities auction has a few gems as well as a fair few lots that could tell us where the market is going.

Will someone pay $250k for me?

The first notable lot is a 1916 Babe Ruth Sporting News rookie card. It’s graded SGC 5.5, which isn’t that far below a PSA 7 currently available on Collectable for $3.7m. I would expect it to finish between $800k and $1m.

The 1957 Topps PSA 8 Bill Russell lot will give us a good feel for where the vintage basketball market is going (recall I’m bullish on this one). The last sale in December 2021 was $229k, also via Memory Lane. I think this will beat the previous result. Let’s see if I’m right.

Likewise, look for this 1948 Bowman George Mikan to break $100k. If this Bob Cousy rookie breaks $50k, we’re in vintage basketball bull territory. If it tops $60k, watch out.

One germane to fractional investors, an unopened box of 1986 Fleer basketball is currently up to $120k. Market caps on Rally and Collectable are $165k and $250k, respectively.

Leland’s has a pop-up auction this week in the run-up to the Super Bowl this weekend. Lot 1 is the receiving glove Antonio Brown threw into the stands during his very costly and super bizarre meltdown in the 2022 season. Here’s the incident.

For me, auctioning the glove feels like piling on a guy with obvious mental health issues. No thanks.

Not strictly sports cards, but since they’re Zoolander Hot right now…

Yet another Tom Brady ticket is up for sale, and this one is currently at less than $3k. It’s graded PSA 9 and comes from the game in September 2001 when Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe (and went on to lose).

A collection of 24 different Super Bowl ticket stubs is currently at $442, which feels about right. Despite all the hype right now about tickets, stubs from a variety of Super Bowls don’t seem that valuable or collectible to me unless the specific game itself was notable.

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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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