The New Rookie Home Run
Beckett Baseball|December 2017

Judge smashes on and off field records.

Dave Sliepka
The New Rookie Home Run

Home Runs sell baseball cards. This is not breaking news. The chase of home run records on the field has always resulted in card sales off it. Speculators dive into the minor leagues and colleges to find the next Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds or Mike Trout. Very often they wind up with stacks of Kevin Maas, Rob Deer or Pete Incaviglia. Investing in home run hitters is an inexact science. When have you seen enough power to jump on board and start collecting that player? Fast starts to a season happen almost every year. The staying power is what’s hard to come by and predict.

“Throughout May and June, Aaron Judge was as hot as any player has has been in years.  His meteoric rise could only be compared to the similar cardboard explosions of Mike Trout, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper,” says Beckett Price Guide Senior Editor Brian Fleischer.  “Seemingly overnight, his key autographed cards jumped hundreds of dollars in the Price Guide.”

Different from those other meteoric superstars, we have another way to track their popularity: Topps Now. The online offered, print on-demand product traced Judge’s record setting season from the start. There were 52 different base cards released throughout the regular season. That’s almost one, every third game. And that does not include the autographed releases, of which there were 33 different. And memorabilia releases, in which there were 11. All of these are by far the most of any single player in 2017 Topps Now releases. It doesn’t take a mathematician to tell you collecting Judge got expensive. If you paid list price and only bought the base cards, you spent almost $520. An autograph or two, and that amount doubles quickly.

This story is from the December 2017 edition of Beckett Baseball.

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This story is from the December 2017 edition of Beckett Baseball.

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