Sets Revisited: Grading the 2017 Topps Chrome Rookie Autograph Class

Welcome to Sets Revisited, a series where we take a look at sets of years past. This time around, we’re setting the way back machine to the Summer of 2017 to evaluate one of the hottest baseball sets in the last few years. The perfect storm of Aaron Judge in the East and Cody Bellinger in the West set the hobby ablaze. Long time collectors and new collectors returning the hobby simply could not get enough of these two sluggers. With a strong supporting rookie class, 2017 Topps Chrome was the highly anticipated pinnacle of the 2017 baseball season for Topps. Although Topps continued to release sets well into the off season, nothing quite captured the magic of 2017 Topps Chrome.

Do you have a set that is near and dear to your heart and want to write about it? We’re always looking for guest writers on the COMC Blog to share their passion for cards! Send an email to Staff@COMC.com and we’d be more than happy to chat about your blog ideas!

Please note that any price speculation, player or card evaluations in this blog are the opinions of the writer – James Good  in this case, and do not reflect the same views as COMC as a company.

The A Class – aka The Money Cards

It should really be no surprise to see this group of players leading the pack as the rookie autograph cream of the crop. While Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger went back and forth in the popularity contest while each running away with their respective league’s Rookie of the Year crowns, Alex Bregman and Andrew Benintendi quietly put together campaigns that would have put them in the running for those awards in most seasons. Meanwhile, Yoan Moncada and Ian Happ showed strong promise

Judge and Bellinger autos will set you back quite a few dollars, but both have the early makings of becoming iconic cards in the industry. If they’re anything like their fellow mega stars of the game (Giancarlo Stanton & Bryce Harper come to mind), their value should rise steadily for years to come.  Benintendi, Bregman and Moncada are all more economical investment options, and could yield higher returns overall than the big two, but at a slower rate. Happ remains the wild card of the group, but has all the makings of a star and plays for a big market team, hence deserving a spot in the A Class.

 

The B Class – aka The Investment Group

I’v dubbed the next ten best cards of the 2017 Topps Chrome Rookie Auto class as ‘The Investment Group’ because several of these players have a chance to break out huge over the next several years and join the ranks of standout 2017 rookies above. Trey Mancini came into the season with a buzz and did not disappoint. His stock could rise substantially in Baltimore with the speculative departure of Manny Machado. Mitch Haniger flew under the radar for the Seattle Mariners in 2017, and despite injuries produced a stat line similar to Bregman. It wasn’t until he cranked out 10 home runs in April 2018 that his hobby stock rose significantly and the price of his ’17 Topps Chrome Auto rose from $4 to $15.

Yuli Guerriel‘s age (32) played a factor in his hobby value, but like Bregman, did have a huge spotlight shined on him (both positively and negatively) as the Astros claimed World Series glory. Teoscar Hernandez only played 26 games last year, but did hit 8 homers for Toronto after being traded in a deal that saw Francisco Liriano head to Houston. The price of his rookie auto has steadily risen ever since and his base auto is currently sold out at time of writing.

Matt Olson generated his fair share of hobby buzz by smashing 24 homers in under 60 games, but his value has tapered off in 2018 with a slow start. Josh Hader has increased his stock dramatically as a dynamic reliever who is an absolute strikeout machine. It’s likely that a large amount of Hader autos can still be found in $3 and $5 boxes at your local card shows – scoop them up because the kid is young and can deal! Hype for Alex Reyes is starting to generate as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. He is the Cardinals top-rated prospect. Tyler Austin, David Dahl, and Ryon Healy round out the group with similar long term investment potential as the rest of the B Class, but they’ve yet to put it all together at the big league level for a sustained period of time yet. Of the three, Healy has shown above average defense and pop in his bat playing for the Seattle Mariners as their everyday first basemen. Any of these three players can get hot in an instant and when they do, their chrome starts shining a lot brighter!

The C Class – aka High Risk, High Reward

Rookie Chrome Autos for starting pitchers tend to be somewhat polarizing in the hobby – they’re either very hot or very tepid. Highly touted pitching prospects often dominate Bowman prospecting speculation, yet fail to produce similar hype initially once they reach Topps Chrome. For that reason, I’ve dubbed this class as high risk, high reward.

The C Class is rounded out by two starting pitchers who have each shown that they deserve a spot in their team’s starting rotation, but have yet to show collectors a reason to invest with urgency. Luke Weaver and Carson Fulmer have all the makings of top-of-the-rotation pitchers, but are still developing at the big league level. Jessie Winker, Lewis Brinson, Bradley Zimmer, Hunter Dozier and Franklin Barreto have yet to really make a splash in the majors, but they show all the tools to be solid everyday players. Unfortunately, in an industry that is constantly chasing the next big thing, they’ll each have to step it up to gain recognition in the hobby beyond the local scale.

The D Class – A Couple of These Guys Will Prove Everyone Wrong

*Record scratch* *Freeze Frame*
Dansby Swanson: “Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up here in the D Class….”

I know that this is going to generate some buzz, and a lot of people are going to disagree with my assessment. I hope that I end up being wrong, because I fully expect at least two or more of these guys to put together great big league careers. I expect that a few of these guys certainly won’t stay in the $5 price range either. But for right now, this is where Dansby Swanson belongs. He has all the potential to be a B+ or even an A- player years from now, but he has a long road to redemption. To say that his career up to this point hasn’t gone the way that him and a lot of speculative prospectors would have hoped would be an understatement. With all the young talent that is flowing in Atlanta, Dansby is going to struggle to regain his footing in the hobby as players like Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies pass him by.Although he has shown flashes of brilliance at times this season, he is currently a bottom of the order hitter on a team stacked with younger, and wildly more popular talent.

Of the rest of the players in this group, I’d like to highlight Jorge Alfaro, Chad Pinder, and Hunter Renfroe as the three most likely candidates to break out of this group. Pinder has also shown to be adept with the bat – cranking out 15 home runs in 2017 but striking out around 30% of the time.

The F Class – Available in Bulk on COMC!

I’m not going to say anything bad about this group of players. Every Topps Chrome rookie auto checklist is rounded out by a crop of guys who simply aren’t buzz worthy in the hobby. Some of these guys will have decent careers or fit niche roles very well throughout their career. However, for now they will forever be the ‘hits’ that could have been. For every Aaron Judge auto pulled from a pack of chrome with excitement, there is a Joe Jimenez or Reynaldo Lopez auto hit elsewhere with little fanfare.

The good news is that if one of these players do happen to break out, a feeding frenzy of flipping (say that one three times fast!) will happen because these players are all available in bulk on the COMC Marketplace! For the sake of optimism, I’ll take Rob Gsellman and Pat Valaika as my two candidates who could shift the market with a single performance.

Overall as a whole, I’m going to give the 2017 Topps Chrome Rookie Autograph class a collective grade of B+ This set has some serious potential to go down as one of the best in Topps Chrome history. Featuring two of the games most popular players with bright careers ahead, and several others with the ability to reach that level, this wasn’t a product where collectors were only chasing one big name. I highly enjoyed ripping my case of 2017 Topps Chrome in a hotel room while vacationing in North Carolina. Hitting a purple Judge auto at the height of his popularity will always be one of my favorite hobby moments, and the reason why this set is near and dear to my heart.

Memorial Day 2018 – Reduced Customer Service 5/28/18

In observance of Memorial Day, our Customer Service Team will be operating on a very limited schedule on Monday, May 28th. Our team will be unavailable to answer phone calls throughout Memorial Day. Phone support will return to our normal 9am-5pm PST schedule on Tuesday, May 29th.

If you need to contact us over the holiday, please email us at staff@comc.com or leave a voicemail message at 1-800-517-3540.

We are forever grateful to those who have served our great country, past or present. Your sacrifice will never go unremembered. Thank you.

5 Great “It Sold for WHAT?!?” Cards in COMC History

Over the course of our 11 plus year existence, we’ve seen A LOT of cards. When we say a lot of cards, we mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 52 million and climbing at the time of writing. As you can imagine, we’ve seen our fair share of iconic cards, especially cards that didn’t gain notoriety until many years after we first saw them. This can lend itself to some pretty hilarious historical pricing data when some of these cards sell years or even a decade before they peak in value.

That being said, we’ve scoured some historical sales to find some of the best “It Sold for WHAT?!” examples in COMC’s history:

2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Prospects Chrome – Refractor Autograph #BDPP89 – Mike Trout /500

As the legend of Mike Trout continues to grow, so do the value of his 2009 Bowman cards. This particular card was listed for sale on February 19th, 2010 and sold almost two weeks later for a fraction of what it’s worth today. These cards are so desirable that we’ve never seen a copy of this card consigned since. BGS 9 versions of this same card have recently sold for $7000.00.

2000 Playoff Contenders – [Base] Rookie Autograph #144 – Tom Brady [BGS MINT 9]

We have seen our fair share of this coveted Tom Brady rookie card over the years. This BGS 9 version was sold back in June of 2013 for a paltry $1254.00. Recent sales of this card with an equal grade have recently sold in excess of $10,000.

2013-14 Panini Prizm – Autographs – Target Red Prizms #33 – Giannis Antetokounmpo /49 [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

Before earning his nickname ‘The Greek Freak’ and becoming the NBA mega star that he is today, Giannis  Antetokounmpo’s rookie cards could be had for a fraction of what they’re worth now. This beautiful Red Prizm RC autograph sold for just $256 back in October of 2016. A Non-graded version of this card recently sold for over $1,700.

1986-87 Fleer – [Base] #57 – Michael Jordan [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

We’ve seen just two BGS 9.5 graded copies of perhaps the most iconic basketball card ever printed sold on the COMC Marketplace. The most recent took place in 2016 and sold for over $11,000, but it is the first sale that makes this card earn a spot on our list.  In the summer of 2013, a BGS 9.5 Michael Jordan RC was had by a buyer for just over $4,000.00. Talk about a good return-on-investment!

2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Draft Picks Chrome – Gold Refractor #BDPP19 – Aaron Judge /50

In hindsight, a 6’7″ power-hitting Yankees prospect flying under the radar just seems silly, but it’s safe to say that Aaron Judge cards sold at pedestrian prices until #AllRise took baseball by storm last year.  Not one, but TWO of these gorgeous gold refractors sold for right around $30 in 2014. This card can’t be had for under $1,000 just four years later.

If you happen to have sold one of these cards, just remember time heals all wounds. It also increased the value of your card exponentially. If you’ve sold a card on COMC that you’ve regretted years later when a player’s stock rose significantly, we want to hear about it! Share your best “What was I thinking?” stories with us!

#Cardstock Volume 5 – The Hobby Darlings

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here.

This time around, we’re highlighting six of the games younger players who we’ve aptly referred to as ‘The Hobby Darlings’. These players are favorites among collectors and already command top dollar in the market. Whether it be through stellar play to start their 2018 campaign or they’re simply a big name bat in a big town, you can’t deny these players potential both on the field and in the hobby. The sky truly is the limit.

COMC Office Pack Battle League Update #3

pack battle

Introduction

The COMC Office Pack Battle League is now 1/3rd of the way through it’s inaugural season and we’ve had a major shake up in the standings! With six weeks down and 12 weeks to go, a lot has happened over the last two weeks!

If you’re not familiar with our scoring system or the rules of our league, you can read our introductory blog here. If you’ve missed some updates and want to catch up on how we got to our current standings, you can read all pack battle league updates here.

Gerrit Cole continues to be the runaway MVP of 2018 Topps Opening Day, claiming his 3rd appearance in six weeks atop the strikeout leader board.

Current Standings

In the overall league standings through six weeks, Sean made a huge run from 13th all the way to the top spot, adding 9 points to his total over the last two weeks. While the middle of the pack is 7th through 15th is only separated by 3 points, the top of the leader board is beginning to define itself a little clearer. Jade, James and Bryson also put up strong efforts of five points each, substantially improving their positions on the leader board.

Home Run King Standings:

James came out the winner of a four-way tie at the top of the Home Run King standings with a third place performance in Week 5 and a first place tie in week 6.  He now leads the field with 9 points, with Kevin and Sean close behind at 7.

Hit King Standings:

Kevin and Jade sit a top the Hit King leader board with five points each. The rest of the field is tightly behind them, as 10 teams are currently sitting at three points. Any of those teams can claim the top spot with a strong showing.

Strikeout King Standings:

Jeremy came out the victor in our previous tie at the top, claiming the top spot in overall strikeout points with six. With four teams on his heels  at five points, strikeouts has been one of the most exciting categories to watch as the season progresses. League Managers have found pitchers found in 2018 Topps Opening Day to be somewhat polarizing. Cards like Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, and Max Scherzer can single handedly carry a team to points in this column. Not pulling one of these players from their weekly two packs can often spell a middle of the road performance.

Week 5 Results (April 26th  – May 2nd )

Sean began his run to the top in week 5, fielding a team of Aaron Judge (hr), Wil Myers (hr), Joe Mauer (hits), Francisco Lindor (hits), Gerrit Cole (K’s) and Sean Manaea (K’s). With Lindor exploding for 12 hits, and Cole doing what he does and leading the week in strikeouts, Sean was able to add five points to his total. Brian took HR category for the week with the duo of Gary Sanchez (3) and Nelson Cruz (2) hitting a combine five homers.

HR Points:  Brian (3), Steve (2), James (1), Angela (1), Kevin (1)
Hits Points: Dylan (2), Sean (2), James (1)
K’s Points: Sean (3), Grant (2), Jade (1), Dieter (1), Angela (1), Brian (1)

Week 6 Results (May 3rd – 9th)

It was a clean sweep for Texas state players on our player of the week board, as Nomar Mazara came out of nowhere to put up the best HR week we’ve seen so far. George Springer‘s six-hit performance catapulted him to a 15-hit performance and Gerrit Cole remained untouchable in an Astros uniform.

While hits and k’s were pretty cut and dry categories, with Jade taking hits with 28 total thanks to Springer and Lindor and Bryson taking K’s with 25 total on the arms of Carlos Carrasco (14) and Luis Severino (11). The home runs category produced three teams earning top points with five home runs each, while six teams nabbed 3rd place points with three homers each.

HR Points:  James (3), Sean (3), Kevin (3), Jeremy (2), Bob (1), Jade (1), Tad (1), Jeff (1), David (1), Grant (1)
Hits Points: Jade (3), Bryson (2), Angela (1)
K’s Points: Bryson (3), Jeremy (2), Tim (1)

Whew, that was a crazy two weeks. That’s going to do it for this time around for the Pack Battle League. We’ll be back in two weeks to break down all the Week 7 & 8 action.

Toronto Spring Expo Prize Wheel & Second Chance Drawing Winners

We had such a fantastic time at the 2018 Toronto Spring Expo last weekend! Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to chat, participated in our contests and giveaways, and dropped off their consignment submissions. We want to especially thank all those who set up at the show and participated in making our partner program a success by wearing COMC-branded apparel throughout the show.

Now it’s time to announce the winners of our Prize Wheel and Second Chance Store Credit Drawings:

Toronto Spring Expo Prize Wheel Drawing Results

Grand Prize Winner:
A-S – 2017 Canada Post Hockey Night Heroes Autographed Bobby Orr Stamp – DaKidder

Runner-Up Winners:
A-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck #468 Mitch Marner RC – WOOKIE111
2-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck #451 Patrik Laine RC – Jedione
2-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck NHL Firsts #NF-23 Auston Matthews Achievement – CardsFromTheZotel
3-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck UD Game Jersey Patch #GJ-MH MIke Hoffman #/15 – Bobby42cards
3-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Compendium Blue #900 Auston Matthews – NewYork
4-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck SP Game Used All-Stars Skills Fabrics #AS-CP Carey Price – Lhmez
4-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #7 Auston Matthews – Bruins1724
5-S – 2015-16 Upper Deck MVP NHL Territories Autograph #NT-JG Johnny Gaudreau – ogrund
5-H – 2017-18 MVP Bright Futures #BF-51 Auston Matthews Achievement – don711
6-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #1 Connor McDavid – illeagle81
6-H – 2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Rainbow Color Wheel #155 William Nylander – canadianfletch
7-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #47 Connor McDavid – Ryan87
7-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Instant Impressions #II-21 Auston Matthews Achievement – Coach665
8-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #48 Mathew Barzal – hockeygoalie31
8-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Number Crunchers #NC-23 Connor McDavid Achievement – Flyers27
9-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #3 Nico Hischier – buddyraccoon
9-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Overtime Optimum Performance #OP-20 Wayne Gretzky – deniset
10-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #32 Brock Boeser – kpclancy
10-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP Rinkleaders #RL-0 Wayne Gretzky Achievement – 19duker19

To claim your prize, you must contact staff@comc.com with your name and username before June 29, 2018 @ 23:59:59 PDT.

Second Chance Store Credit Draw Winners.

If these accounts holders purchased store credit between April 29, 2018 and May 8, 2018, they will win matching store credit up to $100.00:

k_northrup
bailey5
joshmerrick
jjs31
Kevin17

Check Out Your Grades! – April BGS Grading Returns

The winds of change are blowing! Last month, we published out 2018 Spring BGS Service Update which included the news that we’re rolling out a new 3 week expedited service. The early results are in, and this service is quite popular among COMC users!

Did you know that you can submit any item in your inventory manager via the actions menu to BGS for grading or to COMC for our weekly Condition Review? Not only will your cards be graded within three or six weeks, but they’ll have a chance to be showcased in our monthly blog series!

Without further ado, our favorite BGS returns for the month of April: