Stephen Strasburg Rookie Card Sells for $20,000: The Art of Buying and Selling Rookie Cards

The baseball rookie card market is akin to the stock market. It may be somewhat easy to find the card, but getting out of it at the right time is crucial. The recent sale of a 1 of 1 Stephen Strasburg rookie card for nearly $20,000 with fees is a rare occurrence, but there are plenty of people speculating and making money on hot rookie cards. There are plenty of people losing money, too!

1989 Topps Gregg Jefferies Rookie Card

I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody...

The heady days of the late 80s ushered in a brand new era of rookie card craziness. The 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr rookie card and the 1989 Topps Gregg Jefferies rookie cards were fetching $5 or more straight out of the package. Both were hailed as sure-fire Hall of Famers and true stars. Jefferies had a respectable career, but today 10 of his rookie cards and $5 will maybe buy you a pizza. A high quality frozen pizza. Griffey speculators fared very well early on and aren’t suffering mightily even today. Timing is everything. Even now, Strasburg sits on the disabled list and awaits serious arm surgery. Will he be as effective? How will this affect prices of his rookie cards?

Everyone is an armchair manager and likes to think they can predict the success of a big leaguer. Be careful. Three words: Todd Van Poppel. Only you can decide what level of profit you are comfortable with and deciding when to buy or sell rookie cards. Baseball is a game of numbers and one of these numbers should include your bank balance. Generally, cards pop out of packs for minimal investments. If you pull a rare insert or parallel card – even better! Conventional wisdom says sell upon the first big season of the player’s career. Pocket and reinvest the profits. You just never know what is around the next inning. Some people are born gamblers. If you see Gregg Jefferies be sure to say “hello”.