How Julio Rodriguez’s Trading Card Market was Impacted by Home Run Derby Performance
Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Rodriguez
Had Julio Rodriguez done what he did Monday in the Home Run Derby– hit 81 home runs in a showcase of his power — last year, the results in the collector's market likely would have been markedly different.
But, for the 21-year-old centerfielder relegated to marketing obscurity in Seattle, having a coming out party now seemed to yield different results amongst high-end speculators.
In year's past, before our current recession kicked in and sky-high crypto and card prices ruled, these speculators would be playing a fantasy baseball game by purchasing high-end cards of prospects in their rising moment.
But the highest price of a card bought on eBay during Monday's contest, in which Rodriguez wowed while coming in second place to Juan Soto, was a 2019 Bowman Chrome autographed rookie card that sold for $4,200.
In fact, of the 12 Rodriguez cards that sold for more than $10,000 on eBay, 75 percent of them sold in April and May. The all-time record for a Rodriguez card is the $43,866 a person paid in an Goldin auction sale in February.
— Goldin (@GoldinCo) July 19, 2022
So the question remains: Have greater economic factors changed the game for speculators? Or is it that many of the modern card prices are finally coming down to earth?
The average price of graded Julio Rodriguez Bowman Chrome (all versions) is $193.97, according to eBay analytics, down 19.89 percent in 24 hours. The high week was the last week of April ($369.48). Since then Bitcoin is down 42 percent and the Dow and S&P are down seven percent.
The point being that one can't talk about playing fantasy baseball with cards without considering the macro environmental factors at hand. Rodriguez's timing on Monday night was perfect and it might have been perfect timing for low-end speculators looking to get value.
But at the high end, it seems like not many are willing to pay up as a statement to the market at large.