Over the course of our 11 plus year existence, we’ve seen A LOT of cards. In many cases, we first saw a superstar’s cards long before they became a household name. As a result, this lends itself to some pretty hilarious completed sales in our historical sales history. Whether these buyers are cardboard Nostradamus’s, or simply happened to pick up a card before it’s value skyrocketed into oblivion, one thing is for sure: they got a crazy good deal!
We received an overwhelming positive response to what we intended to be a one-off posting highlighting some of the better skewed historical sales data. You can read the first installment here. In response to your desire to see more of these great ‘too good to be true’ deals, we’ve decided to make a series of it – highlighting one player per installment.
This time around we’re shining the spotlight on the man that is blowing up the hobby right now with some downright stunning recently completed rookie and prospect card sales. That player is none other than Mike Trout. In an early May 2018 sale that was eye-popping to the card industry, Trout’s 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospect Superfractor Autographed 1/1 sold for $400,000 to famous collector ‘Vegas’ Dave Oancea. That sale, coupled with the fact that Trout is having what many consider to be his best season to date, has sent prices skyrocketing due to strong demand and future speculation.
Trout is just 26 years old, and questions have already been raised if his eight year career in the majors is HOF worthy if he were to retire today. He owns a career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of over 60 games. Babe Ruth sits atop this list with 182.5 games over his 22 year career. Are we witnessing the greatest player to ever play the game of baseball ? That answer lies in the future, so in the meantime lets turn to the past for some laughs.
We showed you this card in the first installment of the series, but as it is the most skewed historical sales data of any Trout card ever on COMC, it’s worth repeating. The most recent comparable sales data shows that BGS 10 Pristine copy of this very card sold for $22,527 on June 3rd. That’s right – nearly 1000x what this card sold for back in March of 2010.
One of these things is not like the other. This BGS 9.5 Gem Mint Trout base auto sold back in October of 2013 for a paltry $464.99. The most recent completed sale of this card saw it fetch $7800.00 at auction. At this point in his career, Trout had won Rookie of the Year honors and was a 2x All Star.
While not nearly as coveted as his 2009 Bowman, 2009 Donruss Elite Trout autographs do garner their fair share of attention in the market. This die-cut beauty sold for $166.27 in June of 2012 in the midst of what would be Trout’s Rookie of the Year season. He smashed 30 bombs that year while posting a career high 49 stolen bases. Recent completed sales of this card have seen it sell for around $1200.00
Admittedly, Topps Pro Debut does not get the love that it rightfully deserves. Prospectors who closely follow minor league players generally gravitate towards a player’s first Bowman card when prospecting a future star. When that player starts to make a name for themselves in the major league, casual collectors often seek that player’s first Topps rookie card. Pro Debut cards fall somewhere in between that range.
This beautiful Gold /50 parallel from 2010 was first put up for sale in March of 2017, where it promptly sold for $31 to one savvy COMC flipper. That opportunistic individual scored a nice pay day just four days later when they sold it to the tune of $438.25. While over 14x profit is an amazing COMC flip, that seller left plenty of money on the table as the most recent completed sale of this card was $1200.00.
Beautiful set design? Check. Great photography? Check. Unique parallels? Check. Stellar crop of rookies? Check! This is just a small fraction of what makes 2011 Topps Update such a great set. Trout headlines a rookie crop that also includes other notable stars such as Jose Altuve, Paul Goldschmidt, JD. Martinez, Anthony Rizzo, and Charlie Blackmon.
We’ve seen two of these gorgeous Hope Diamond parallels numbered to 60 copies sell on COMC. The first sold in June of 2012 for an even then steal of $50. The second copy sold just two months later to a certain COMC employee for $200, who promptly sold the card for the price that they paid for it just a week later. Sorry G, can’t win ’em all!
There haven’t been any recently completed sales of the Hope Diamond parallel, but a raw Black parallel also numbered to 60 copies sold earlier this month for $12,401 at auction.
2013 Topps Heritage borrows it’s set design from the 1964 Topps set and is easily one of the better designed Heritage sets in recent memory. While not a rookie card, 2013 Topps Heritage Mike Trout and Bryce Harper cards often command a premium as the stellar design and photography make them favorites among collectors.
This gold refractor numbered to five copies belonged to a COMC employee who nearly managed to put together the entire 2013 Topps Heritage Mike Trout rainbow:
When that employee decided to piece out and sell their stash, the cornerstone gold refractor numbered to just five copies was sold on COMC for $503.25 in December of 2013. At that point in his career, Trout had been named Rookie of the Year, won two Silver Slugger awards, was elected to two All Star Teams and had finished runner up in MVP voting in back-to-back years.
There have been no recently completed sales of this ultra rare gold refractor. A PSA 10 Gem Mint black refractor numbered to 64 copies recently sold for $1,077. Sorry, Ghumbs. 🙁
Now we want to hear from you! What Trout cards have you reeled in but let slip through your hands? Share your best “What was I thinking?” stories with us!