Thursday, October 10, 2013

Neshek in 2013 Topps Update!

Pat Neshek will be #US306 in Topps' 2013 Update set. This makes me happy. Get your toploaders ready.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Finally Completed My First Set

I finally willed myself enough to complete an entire set...1999 Upper Deck MVP! (Main Set only)

Why were there no balloons and fireworks? Why does my wife not celebrate too?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Race to the Bottom - Hunter Pence's 2006 Bowman Draft Future's Game Prospects Gold #18

Hunter Pence just inked a nice deal with the SF Giants, so let's pick on him and look at one of his earlier cards: 2006 Bowman Draft Future's Game Prospects Gold #18.

Jumping over to, we find 32 of these cards available, with the lowest price of $2.85.

Over at, we find 35 of these cards available, with the lowest price of $0.70.

This a great example of arbitrage and how the baseball card market is inherently inefficient, and it is also a great example of a "race to the bottom" from the sellers.

On COMC, the five lowest-priced of these cards at $0.70, $0.71, $0.83, $0.84, $0.90 - a difference of only $0.20.

On, a similar pattern: $2.85, $2.89, $2.90, $2.99, $3.00 - a difference of $0.15!

The sellers have reason to collude and try to raise the price of the cards, but because the market is so open with an unlimited number of potential sellers who are obviously more than willing to undercut the prevailing lowest price the sellers will never be able to eradicate this downward pressure on the price.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Terms and Conditions of

Has anyone else noticed this discrepancy in the Terms and Conditions for

"The Zistle Website, including but not limited to all text, graphics, logos, icons, images, data, graphs, audio, videos, computer programs and other material and information contained on, or utilized in the provision of, the Zistle Website is the property of Zistle, its participants, suppliers and/or its licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents or other proprietary rights."

And later:

"All information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages, or any other materials whatsoever, whether posted or transmitted to Zistle or the Zistle Website, shall be collectively referred to as the “Content.” The submitting user retains ownership of Content."

Doesn't this mean that Zistle is both at once trying to claim they own everything on the site (so we should presume all information uploaded), but also claiming that they do not own information submitted by users?

And they can't claim ownership of most of the text on the site because that text isn't copyrightable because most is just data with no creative element. 

My favorite line of the Terms is this one: "Zistle respects the intellectual property rights of others, and requires that the people who use the Zistle Website do the same." To me, it seems that nobody in the hobby ever has or ever will respect the intellectual property rights of ball players' control of their likeness because if we did then we would be paying them royalties everytime we shared a picture of their face/likeness.

Just my thoughts...

Bastardization of the Rookie Card, A Year(ish) Later

About a year ago I posted "Bastardization of the Rookie Card," the gist of it was this:

"I present to you a basic analysis of four rookies that debuted in 2011: Eric Hosmer, Brandon Crawford, Jemile Weeks, and Mike Trout.

Hosmer debuted on May 6, 2011. Crawford debuted on May 27, 2011. Weeks debuted on June 7, 2011. Trout debuted on July 8, 2011. 

Which player had the most cards debuted in his RC-year? (RC-year is defined as the year a player's rookie card debuted even if different than the player's debut year).

Did you guess Weeks? You should have. Although Weeks debuted a month after Hosmer and a month before Trout, Weeks' Rookie Card wasn't released until 2012, and Topps included his Rookie Card in their Bowman, Series Two, Allen and Ginter, Archives, Chrome, Gypsy Queen, Heritage, and Mini sets, and there were at least 127 different Jemile Weeks baseball cards produced by Topps in 2012 (includes inserts, parallels, etc.).

Trout, who you might have heard about, had 33 cards produced in his RC-year, and was included in only three sets: Bowman, Finest, and Topps Update. I guess Topps thought the market for Weeks rookie cards would be a bit more lucrative than Trout rookie cards.
Hosmer and Crawford debuted exactly three weeks apart, yet Hosmer had 66 different cards in his RC-year while Crawford had only 14, the least of all four players."

How did those guys do this year - was Topps' RC print run prescient of future greatness? In order of least number of cards printed to most:

  • Crawford: .252 BA // .681 OPS // 2.5 WAR
  • Trout: .324 BA // .987 OPS // 9.1 WAR
  • Hosmer: .319 BA // .802 OPS // 3.6 WAR
  • Weeks:  .275 BA // .745 OPS //  WAR N/A*
Weeks had 4 at-bats for the A's in 2013. The stats shown are his 2013 AAA stats.

Good try, Topps. :-(

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Neshek Anomaly

One of these things is not like the other...

# Available# SoldLow (Current)High (Sold)
#64 - Brian Wilson184$0.50 $1.73
#376 - Steve Cishek144$0.48 $1.01
#344 - Andrew Bailey144$0.48 $0.87
#227 - Jason Motte133$0.48 $0.83
#393 - Pat Neshek019N/A $1.50

These are current sales stats from for five relief pitchers in the 2013 Topps Heritage Main Set. 

Neshek is only in this one 2013 Topps set (after being neglected in 2012). So, you say, there is unusually high demand because of this neglect. No, that doesn't hold, because look at these stats:

# Available# SoldLow (Current)High (Sold)
#US204 - Brian Wilson311$1.01 $1.55
#US135 - Grant Balfour1312$0.45 $1.55
#US113 - Chris Perez263$0.45 $0.64
#US208 - Javier Lopez1110$0.45 $1.78
#US212 - Pat Neshek117$1.00 $2.24
These are current sales stats from for five relief pitchers in the 2011 Topps Update Main Set, the last set Neshek was in before 2013 Topps Heritage. 

A popular player with high demand that isn't being addressed by the card manufacturers - this is the "Neshek Anomaly." Neshek has a huge draw because of his generous autograph policy, so his cards are much more valuable on the secondary market than are the cards of other relievers (even those with more publicity than Neshek).

His cards have a draw to a niche market that is attuned to the hobby. So why don't Topps (and Panini!) create more Neshek cards? 

I would guess that Topps/Panini don't see him as a strong 'value-added' player - but that is a terrible presumption because he is an incredibly strong value-added player to any given set. 

The Neshek Anomaly is alive and well. Expect more on it. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yu Darvish RC #660 Gold Sparkle Graded

Finally got my Topps 2012 Yu Darvish RC #660 Gold Sparkle back from BGS: 9.5! It's up for sale on COMC - I put it up about 10 minutes ago and have already received an offer on it.

Although a 10 would have been great, I cannot argue with the evaluation, side-to-side centering is bad once it's noticed: