Sunday, November 19, 2017

2018 "Modern Baseball Era" Hall-of-Fame Ballot

     On December 10th, the Modern Baseball Era committee will convene to vote on 9 players and 1 executive, including: Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant and Alan Trammell.  Here is the link:

   The Modern Baseball Era committe is 1 of 4 era committees (Golden Days, Modern Baseball, Today's Game, Early Baseball) designed to give players and other baseball personnel that have been retired for more than 15 years another look at the Hall of Fame once they're no longer eligible to be looked at on the regular BBWAA ballot.

     The Modern Baseball Era committee consists of 16 member with each member being allowed up to 4 votes on the 10-person ballot.  In order to be elected, a player or ballot member must receive at least 75% of the committee votes--at least 12 out of the 16 possible. 

     The normal BBWAA hall-of-fame ballot results will be announced in the beginning of January 2018.

2017 MVP Award Winners: J.Altuve & G.Stanton

     Congratulations to the 2017 MVP Award Winners.  The official announcement was made on Thursday, November 16th. 

     The A.L. award went to Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros with 405 points.  Runner-ups for the award include Aaron Judge NYY with 279 points and Jose Ramirez CLE with 237 points.

     The N.L. award went to Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins with 302 points.  Runner-ups for the award include Joey Votto CIN with 300 points and Paul Goldschmidt ARI with 239 points.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 Cy Young Award Winners: C.Kluber & M.Scherzer

     Congratulations to the 2017 Cy Young Award Winners.  The official announcement was made on Wednesday, November 15th.

     The A.L. award went to Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians with 204 points.  Runner-ups for the award include Chris Sale BOS with 126 points and Luis Severino NYY with 73 points.

     The N.L. award went to Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals with 201 points.  Runner-ups for the award include Clayton Kershaw LAD with 126 points and Stephen Strasburg WAS with 81 points.

2017 Rookie of the Year Award Winners: C.Bellinger & A.Judge

     Congratulations to the 2017 Rookie of the Year Award Winners.  The official announcement was made on Monday, November 13th.

The N.L. Award went to Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers with 150 points.  Runner-ups for the award include Paul DeJong STL with 56 points and Josh Bell PIT with 32 points.

     The A.L. Award went to Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees with 150 points.  Runner-ups for the Award include Andrew Benintendi BOS with 75 points and Trey Mancini BAL with 31 points.

2001 Topps Traded #T157: A.J. Hinch, Kansas City Royals, C

     Considering only the number of games played (117/350=33.4%), A.J. Hinch spent more than a 1/3 of his playing career between 1998-2004 as a Kansas City Royal in 2001-2002.  As a long-time fan of the Royals team, I couldn't help but notice the 2017 World Series Champion Manager in a Royals uniform while upgrading my 2001 Topps baseball card set.  I just notice an error on this card.  He was born in Iowa, not Texas.

Premium Pricing for 1966-1967 Topps 7th Series High Numbers

     With only 26 missing cards away from the 1967 Topps set and 30 missing cards away from the 1966 Topps set, one might think that I'm pretty much already there.  Normally, I would tend to agree.  Just overpay for a few cards and the sets are complete, right?  It's not that simple with these two sets.

     The high numbers that I'm referring to are 1966 Topps #523-598 and 1967 Topps #534-609.  My gauge for low-end pricing of late-'50s to early-'70s common cards is about 20% of BV (but even lower for stars).  This means that I would expect to be able to find a $15.00 BV card online for $3.00 at the low end.  It's not guaranteed, but the concept basically holds true for low-grade cards from this era.

     However, this is not true for high-number cards from the '67T and '66T sets.  Not all $15.00 BV cards are created equal in the '67T set.  Low-number '67s with a $15.00 BV can generally be found for under $3.00 (20% BV), but good luck trying to find a high-number '67 with a $15.00 BV for under $3.00 (20% BV).

     My experience has been that the pricing in Beckett is understated for high-number '67T and '66T.  The pricing that would make the high-numbers more accurate in the guides for high-numbers are:
*1967 Topps: 2x BV
*1966 Topps: 1.5x BV

     What this means is that when you're looking at the Beckett Price Guide and it says that a 1967 Topps high number card #534-609 is worth $15.00, it should really say $30.00 (2x BV), which means that you can expect to pay no less than $6.00 (20% BV) regardless of the condition.  For a 1966 Topps high-number card #523-598 valued at $15.00, it should really say $22.50 (1.5x BV), and you should expect to pay no less than $4.50 (20% BV) regardless of condition.

     This is the math I've developed from my experience purchasing the lowest-grade cards possible.  Very rarely do I get luckier than what's stated above.  I don't have these issued with any other high-numbers from the '50s, '60s, or '70s.  However low-end pricing online seems to rise towards 25% BV after the early-'70s, and drops to 10%-15% BV in the early to mid-'50s (not including '51T, which is way undervalued in the guides).   

Friday, November 17, 2017

How to Cut (or Not Cut) your Wax Box Bottoms

     I would not feel like my 1986-1991 Topps baseball card sets were complete if they did not include the 8-16 card Wax Box Bottom sets.

     Today, I received 6 uncut panels of 1989 Topps Wax Box Bottoms in the mail.  Although they were uncut, one of the panels had been trimmed around the border just a little to closely.

     Although I like to purchase my Wax Box Bottom cards uncut, I am guilty of cutting every single one of them into individual cards.  I actually wouldn't mind purchasing cut cards if I trusted the cutting ability of the people I was buying the cards from. 

     My main point is that I think a thin strip of border should be left around all four sides in you're going to cut them.  That way they'll be no question whether too much of the card has been cut off already.  If you cut the entire border off, people are not going to be able to tell how good your cutting skills are through an online picture, and will probably shy away from purchasing your Wax Box Cards. 

     Finding Wax Box Bottoms in top condition can be difficult, since this is the surface of a wax box that gets the most abused.  Out of a single panel, you might get 1 or 2 good cards.  The rest will probably be creased or scuffed.  In many cases, they'll have a wavy cut from someone that had no business holding a pair of scissors.

     At first, it may seem instinctive to cut off the entire border around the card.  Once have, you'll probably start questioning yourself if you did it right.  Then you'll keep cutting, and cutting, and cutting until you know you've messed up the card.  The only way to really tell if the card hasn't been cut up too badly is to leave a little bit of the black border around the edges.

     The 1987 Topps Wax Bottom cards shown above have all been cut in the manner I described with a little piece of the black border remaining.  The 1988 Topps Wax Bottom cards have also been cut in the manner I described, but the black border only exists between the 4 cards of this set with a white border around the exterior of the 4 four cards.  That leaves 2 black borders, and 2 white borders around each of the '88s.

      Of all the Wax Box Bottoms sets, the 1987 set is the only one that doesn't measure the 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" size.  It is also the only set that doesn't contain 16 cards.