Few young baseball players in history have generated more hype than right-hander Stephen Strasburg. The sense of anticipation for the Washington Nationals pitcher was so strong in 2010 that a signed Bowman baseball card of his went for $16,043 at online auction. He hadn't even pitched yet.
But just two years later, his future teammate Bryce Harper might have him beat. A seller on eBay is asking a penny shy of $25,000 (or best offer) for Harper's 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP1 "Superfractor" rookie card. Six offers have been made on the card, and all have been declined. The seller got the card, he/she says, just by opening a pack. Dang!
The big difference between this and Strasburg's card (other than about $9,000) is that Harper has not personally signed this one. (The John Hancock on the card is a facsimile.) If an autograph makes a difference to you when it comes to $25,000 baseball cards of guys who haven't yet played in a major-league game, this might be important information.
According to Beckett Baseball editor Chris Olds, an earlier Bryce Harper superfractor from 2010 sold for $12,500 — and it had damage! With that in mind, he could envision this card — which grades at a 9.5 out of 10 — selling for something close to the asking price.
"I could potentially see it selling for that amount when Harper is called up," Olds said. "Overall, it's just a matter of whether there is an interested buyer at that price."
Harper's potential baseball pedigree is unmatched for someone 19 years old, except maybe for Ken Griffey Jr. back in the day. Like a lot of Nats fans, I can't wait to see him promoted from the cold environs of Triple-A Syracuse and playing on major-league fields. I expect to see ... anything. Records broken. Opponents peeved. Nats playoff appearances.
I don't care how many home runs he hits, or how much eye black he draws on his face, or how much light his rookie card refracts, the only player with a baseball card worth that much to me is ... well, nobody.
And if that card did exist for me? It better have Old Hoss Radbourn relaxing in an opium den holding a pipe with an obscenity written on the handle.
Big BLS H/N: Nats Enquirer
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