As the All-Star break approaches, it’s only natural as a collector to take stock in what you’ve witnessed in the first half and forecast what you might see moving forward. Up to this point, 2021 has brought us incredible pitching, massive injuries that have decimated teams, offensive surges, huge prospect call-ups, and a few “sticky” situations.
The second half will likely be more of the same, and cards are going to fluctuate because of it. If you’ve been watching the market you’ve already realized there’s a noticeable dip in the market. And, if you follow market cycles of any sort, that can only mean one thing: buy. In the paragraphs that follow, I will show you five players that, if bought relatively soon, can give you a chance at some profit in both the short and long term. The links attached to each player’s name will let you see current buying opportunities.
Mookie Betts – 2014 Topps Chrome Update: $330
Betts is undeniably one of the best players of our generation. He is an incredible athlete, who is a rare blend of pure hitter and power along with highlight reel defense. Oh yeah, and he’s even a professional bowler.
Yes, Betts got off to a bit of a slow start for his standards, but I don’t think any reasonable person has changed their long term expectations on the Dodgers outfielder. Despite that, his card values have dropped a bit, most notably his Topps Chrome Update cards are down 30% over the last 30 days. I don’t suggest you wait another 30 days to buy, as it is only a matter of time before collectors come to their senses and pile back on one of the game’s best players.
Juan Soto – 2016 Topps Chrome Update: $250
Juan Soto is coming off a tough 2020, he’s been battling back from injuries, and his team is fighting for second place in the division. Couple that with the overall market decline, and you’ll notice that his cards are down 50% in the past 50 days; now is the time to buy.
We all know how incredible he can be at the plate. In last year’s shortened season, he posted a 202 wRC+, a feat only achieved by Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire in the last 30 years. Despite his power numbers being down to this point in the season, he’s someone whose cards you should be buying any time they dip, like Apple stock. My guess is that his play rebounds in the second half and so do the value of his cards. If you can get your hands on his cards, do it now. I mean, he’s Juan Soto.
Will Smith – Bowman Chrome Auto: $160
I am not a huge fan of projecting the value of catchers when it comes to either fantasy or cards. That being said, I have two of them on this list – Will Smith and Gary Sanchez. Smith is fun to watch, a top three catcher in my opinion, and I think he only gets better.
He has improved his framing and positioning behind the plate, which is great, but offense is what sells sports cards. Rest assured, this man can hit. My hunch is that Will Smith’s “clutch factor” goes a long way for the Dodgers in the playoffs this year. This is a slightly more long-term flip; think buy now and look to sell in three to four months as the Dodgers approach the playoffs.
Sandy Koufax – 1955 Topps PSA 5: $2,100
We are turning back the clock for this card. Sandy’s 1955 PSA graded cards are down an average of 33.1% across all grades. The good thing about cards like Sandy’s is, they have a consistent history to follow. If we look at each dip in the market, we see one Hall of Famer dip more than the rest. Usually, that is due to a big collector getting out of the hobby.
I am not certain that this is what is driving Koufax’s cards down, but he is a card that is worth the investment and, most likely, worth a long-term hold. If Juan Soto is Apple stock, Koufax is a mutual fund. If you are looking for a safe investment, graded Koufax cards are a good place to put your money.
Gary Sanchez – Topps Chrome Rookie: $70
Just like the others in this article, Gary’s cards have seen a downward trend. For example, his 2016 PSA 10 Topps Chrome rookie card is down 22.9% in the last 90 days. This could be solely from Gary slumping early in the season, or the Yankees struggling overall, but if we look at the last 15 days this same card has risen 28.5%.
Yes, in early June Gary’s card was down 51.4%! Gary’s cards seem to be coming out of the cellar, and his offensive resurgence is the reason. The Bronx Bombers would love for Gary to continue his hot streak, they need all the help they can get. If he does continue his great play, and the Yankees somehow find a way to make the playoffs, buying him now could be a great play. Monitor him closely.