Hobby Musings: 2018 baseball season doesn’t disappoint in card market

Hobby Musings: 2018 baseball season doesn’t disappoint in card market

Hobby Musings: 2018 baseball season doesn’t disappoint in card marketAnother Red Sox Series title closed out the 2018 MLB season. Full of exciting highlights and successful newcomers, it was also another successful year for baseball cards. Led by Angels P/OF Shohei Ohtani, collectors once again made baseball a hot commodity throughout the year. Helping to fuel that demand was Topps, who once again held the exclusive for MLB-licensed trading cards. Even with the season over, there are still plenty of baseball releases left on the calendar this year. To recap the year that was in baseball cards, as well as explain what’s coming, I had the chance to catch up with Susan Lulgjuraj. The following interview was conducted via email.

KS:  With the World Series over, what does Topps have planned to commemorate the Red Sox’s World Series title?Hobby Musings: 2018 baseball season doesn’t disappoint in card market
SL: The TOPPS NOW World Series team sets came out for pre-sale just moments after the Boston Red Sox won the championship. The team sets come in three configurations: autograph set, Collector’s Edition, and team base set. There is a set for any collector, and they make a great gift. The sets, “while supplies last,“ will be on sale through the holiday shopping season.

KS: As someone who works in the card production business and is a hobbyist as well, which player do you think got the biggest immediate boost in card popularity based on his World Series performance?
SL: Generally, the Red Sox as a whole received more notice. They already have popular players such as Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers. It probably gave some of the other players more exposure.

KS: Looking at this season as a whole, who was the trading card MVP in the baseball market?
SL: Shohei Ohtani is the most popular player on cards for the 2018 season so far. He came to the United States as a highly touted two-way player and didn’t disappoint. He had impressive pitching performances while also hitting for power. His popularity translated immediately onto cards.

Hobby Musings: 2018 baseball season doesn’t disappoint in card marketKS: We saw Ohtani’s Bowman autographed superfractor sell for over $180,000. Did that number surprise you and what do you think it says about the overall market for modern trading cards?
SL: I think trading cards are gaining in popularity every day with former collectors and new fans who want to get into the hobby. The hobby continues to grow and get stronger. We see that every day as more and more people enter the hobby.

KS: Ohtani wasn’t the only big rookie to hit the scene this year as Ronald Acuna and Miguel Andujar also made their marks alongside other newcomers. Who is your pick for baseball card Rookie of the Year?
SL: It’s hard to go against what Ohtani did this year even with his injury. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen a player who can hit and pitch the way he does. We have seen pitchers who are good hitters, but never something like this. The sheer magnitude of his offensive performance can’t be denied.

KS: As we sit here today, who is the most popular player in the baseball card market?
SL: Many of the most popular players in the baseball card world are also the most popular in baseball. You can consider Hobby Musings: 2018 baseball season doesn’t disappoint in card marketplayers such as Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuna Jr., Gleyber Torres, etc. But the great thing is that list could go on and on because there are so many different players that resonate with baseball fans.

KS: Out of all of Topps’ baseball card releases this season, which one seemed to resonate most with collectors?
SL: You can’t deny the joy you get from opening the first pack of the season whenever Topps Baseball Series 1 hits the shelves.

KS: Baseball season may be over, but there are still new releases coming for collectors to add to their collections with. Can you tell me a little more about what is coming up in the baseball release calendar?
SL: With just two months left, Topps has about seven more baseball products coming out with the ever-popular Triple Threads, Dynasty, and Bowman Draft and Bowman’s Best. We’re excited for the great releases because we think collectors are going to love them.

KS: Is there anything else coming soon from Topps that collectors should be keeping an eye on? (Can ignore this question if nothing of note for baseball or other product categories)
SL: We have some new things coming to Topps.com. We can’t release details just yet, but keep an eye on the website.

For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.

Hobby Musings: 2018 baseball season doesn’t disappoint in card market
Kelsey Schroyer