I apologize if I'm writing about my confusion over and over again, but sometimes it takes a couple of posts for me to get it.
Yesterday, I was digging up some cards for a handful of card packages that went out this afternoon. Most of it was set-collecting stuff, so I was whipping through the backs of cards staring at number after number, barely looking at the fronts. It's time-consuming, but I don't mind at all.
As I shuffled through some 2015 Topps doubles down in the basement, I came up with a few needs for others and I brought them upstairs and put them on the desk.
It was only then that I realized a particular card that I had in the tiny stack.
OMG, it's the young king of the World Champions! The third base talent who (*gasp*) smiled as he prepared to record the final out of the World Series!
This is Kris Bryant's base card from 2015 Topps, Series 2. I was a little surprised the person whose want list I was looking at didn't have the card already, given circumstances I won't reveal so the person receiving it is at least slightly surprised by its arrival.
The fact that he didn't have it set off my curiosity, and since I don't sell cards, I decided to look up the going rate for this card.
Limiting my ebay search to single, ungraded versions of Bryant's card #616, no minis, gold parallels, foil parallels, variation photos, pinks, blah, blah, blah, here are the BIN prices:
$9.99, $12.50, $15.00, $17,00, $19.99, $19.99, $50.00.
Or you can buy eight of them for 100 bucks.
Heading over to COMC, here are the prices:
$11.47, $13.25, $14.25, $14.64, $15.00, $15.20, $15.93, $17.25, $17.64, $20.22, $22.25, $49.92, $50.00.
And one trip to Sportlots:
$15.00, $15.99, $18.00, $22.50, $25.00.
I admit I was kind of stunned. I didn't know such a frenzy was going on under my nose in the hobby. This is a base card, right?
The Series 2 cards immediately before and after Bryant in the set, #615, Carlos Sanchez and #617, Terrance Gore, go for 54 cents to $1.75 and 38 cents to $2.75, respectively, on COMC, so there's no rarity of Series 2 cards.
This can only be one thing. It is sellers capitalizing on the demand for a young World Series champion on a team that hadn't won a title in a century, even though this card has got to be as plentiful as any other card in the set. That is one thing that still blows my mind about card purchasers -- how a price can skyrocket for a card that was made in equal numbers to every other card, a card just as plentiful as any other. And yet people must buy it. I get everything about "supply and demand" but this always seemed weird to me.
I don't know how I ended up with my version of Bryant's #616 card, but I'm glad it landed in my collection before the 2016 World Series.
I have sympathy for those who are still looking for it to complete their 2015 set. It shouldn't be that difficult. They shouldn't have to pay $12 for a regular base card.
So I took the card of Bryant, put it in the stack with all the other cards I was sending, and shipped it off, treating it as nothing more special than any other card in the package. Because really, it isn't.
I had a #616 card of Kris Bryant. There is no reason to hang on to another one.
If I needed the cash, sure, I'd give selling a try. But I'd feel a little weird doing it. In my brain I'd be thinking "this card can't be more than a dollar!"
But that's the hobby sometimes. It's strange and weird and wonderful.