June 18, 2010

Why Strasburg collectors should be wary

Remember when Joba Chamberlain was good, or at least was supposed to be good. Joba came up to the Yankees in 2007 and struck out 34 guys in 24 relief appearances. He was the Yankees (supplemental) first round draft pick in 2006.

The 24-year-old was rocketed through the minors. In 2007, his hype was at an all-time high.

His 2007 Bowman Chrome autograph initially sold for $5,000. Stephen Strasburg blew that out of the water, but those chasing Strasburg’s cards could learn a lesson from Mr. Chamberlain.

The superfractor would likely not sell for the same type of money now. In fact, most of 2007 autos can be had for under $100 - often times close to $20.

He couldn’t be had for that kind of money three years ago. Then, it was considered a steal.

That’s not to say his cards won’t ever be worth more money again. Chamberlain is still a work in progress for New York and could eventually become the Yankees closer when Mariano Rivera retires. However, relievers are never worth as much as money as closers in the secondary market.

This year Chamberlain isn’t doing great. Entering Thursday, he’s 1-3 with a 4.76 ERA, 32 strikeouts, eight walks in 28 1/3 innings.

Can Joba ever make it back?


  1. What if he's as good as Clemens, Maddox, Glavine, or Johnson? I have storage boxes full of those guys, some really great cards and couldn't get a single Strasburg Auto Refractor for all of them. He would have to have a career 400 wins, 5000K's to justify these prices. Which can only be achieved by 20+ years of damn good pitching.

  2. I think there is a different buzz about Strasburg that I could only compare to Valenzuela and Gooden but both of those came after they reached the majors, his buzz was before (now he is in the Tiger Woods, Lebron James territory)

  3. I say no. Joba the Frog Prince has turned back into a toad, and even if he has some kind of miracle turnaround and becomes a legit star for the rest of his career, his cards would be lucky to double current eBay closing prices.

    To some extent, the pinstripes magnify any good performance, and self-inflates. A Yankees prospect is often anointed way too early to be the next coming of Ron Guidry or Don Mattingly. The same guys often end up leaving for other teams, and then practically go into witness protection. Just ask Melky Cabrera, who's gone on to Kevin Maas purgatory in Atlanta.