Hobby Musings: How will new Baseball Hall of Famers affect the market? – Headlined by Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class was announced last week. While the achievement is the pinnacle of a player’s on-field career, it also yields a boon in the memorabilia world. Whether it’s an increase in trading cards values or increased signing fees at memorabilia shows, the benefit to a player is undeniable. To find out more about how the new Hall of Famers will impact the trading card and memorabilia world, I had the chance to catch up with Beckett’s Ryan Cracknell. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: Ryan, with the new 2019 Baseball HOF class being announced, what has been the hobby reaction to the new class?
RC: Like any year, there’s going to be renewed interest in players. For some, like Mariano Rivera, it’s a given so it’s more of a culmination. But for the surprises and borderline players, it can be a bit of an added boost.
KS: Out of all the new HOFers, which one has generated the most excitement and new sales among fans?
RC: It’s still early to determine specific trends, but you have to look at Rivera, not so much for getting in but doing so with 100 percent of the vote. There’s a lot of significance in that. Combine that with him being a Yankee and his legacy, both in baseball and in the hobby, should be elevated.
KS: On the flip side, which one has seen the least spike in his cards and memorabilia?
RC: Again, it’s too early. Are Mike Mussina Rookie Cards rare yet?
KS: A lot of the new Hall of Famers had long waits to get elected. What do you think is the hobby market difference for a Hall of Famer like Mariano Rivera who gets in on the first ballot as opposed to someone like Edgar Martinez who had to wait a decade to get in?
RC: I don’t think so. Once you’re in, you’re in. When players are active, there are different tiers as far as popularity goes. It’s the same with the Hall of Fame. Babe Ruth and Goose Gossage both have plaques in Cooperstown so they’re legends. But they’re definitely viewed differently in collecting circles.
KS: Roy Halladay’s election is a bittersweet note because of his untimely death. How has his election affected his hobby market?
RC: Roy Halladay was overlooked for a long time. Hopefully, this will remind fans and collectors how good he was, even if traditional stats don’t translate. What’s also interesting is that starting with Halladay, within the next few years we’re going to see more Hall of Famers with post-Junk Wax Era Rookie Cards. So it’ll be interesting to see not only how the smaller print runs of the late ’90s impact things. I wouldn’t be surprised if it triggers more of an interest in some key inserts and parallels.
KS: One of the notable things about this Hall of Fame class is the relative affordability of its rookie cards for the most part. If a collector was looking to pick up their rookies graded or ungraded, which ones would you recommend?
RC: All of them! It’s not an expensive or difficult project. For this class, the 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera is the obvious choice as a standout. It’s his lone RC, it comes from a popular set and he’s wearing khakis. That has to be a first for a Hall of Fame Rookie Card! Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian, but I’m also partial to the 1981 O-Pee-Chee Harold Baines.
KS: In the long run, which new Hall of Famer’s card and memorabilia market do you think will benefit the most by his HOF induction?
RC: Mariano Rivera, 100 percent.
KS: Looking ahead to next year, Derek Jeter is the biggest name who will become eligible for the Hall. Already a popular figure in the hobby, how do you think his likely election will affect his card market?
RC: There’ll be more interest but I’m not sure if there’ll be a widespread spike in prices. His election is a forgone conclusion. It wouldn’t shock me if we see record prices in the months ahead for top-condition copies of his 1993 SP Rookie Card, but that’s probably going to happen no matter what. I expect similar things for some of his tough early parallels and inserts like Certified Mirror Golds — if they even come up for sale.
For more from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.
Hobby Musings: How will new Baseball Hall of Famers affect the market?
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