I originally wasn't planning on submitting a post for the fourth Blog Bat Around hosted by Dinged Corners as I couldn't think of any decent ideas but after receiving an encouraging email from Patricia on Sunday I decided I would take a quick crack at it. So here I am on a Wednesday night scurrying to get this up in time, but I don't feel bad as a lot of people do the bat arounds at the last minute it seems. Here's are the questions Dinged Corners has asked:
Which baseball card or set do you believe will be valuable in ten years? In other words, no matter what happens with the player(s) or industry going forward--injury, steroid accusations, drugs, gambling charges, the demise or ascendancy of Topps, Donruss and Upper Deck--what single card or set from baseball cards past or present do you believe is an absolute BUY and HOLD?
It's ironic what has transpired over the last couple days because when I first saw this question last week the first player that popped into my head was A-Rod.
Or maybe A-Roid, A-R*d, or FRod as he is being called now. Since I brought up the subject and haven't commented on it yet, here's how I feel about all this. I was surprised, but not shocked by the Rodriguez admission. At this point, I wouldn't be shocked if Ken Griffey, Jr. was found to have used performance enhancers at some point as well. I think it is safe to say, a majority of players took performance enhancers from 1998-2004. It should not come as a shock. In fact, I would be more shocked if it didn't happen. Here's the deal. There is a LOT of money to be made in professional sports. By the players, trainers and agents and everybody is looking for ANY edge or advantage they can get. This has been true since the dawn of professional sports. Steroids and crude performance enhancers have been around since at least the 1970s and advanced performance enhancers have been around since the 90s and will probably still be around as manufacturers look for new ways to beat the testing. There are two ways to go on this. Just let everybody use what they want at their own risk or rigorous mandatory olympic style testing for whatever list of substances you want to ban. And update the list and tests yearly. And by the way, baseball isn't the only sport with a drug problem. It's just that baseball holds a special place in America and it's statistical integrity is a big part of the game. Alright, I've ranted on that enough. Putting all that aside let's look at A-Rod's career and why I think his card will be THE card to have.
There can be little doubt after Bonds and after Griffey, whose age and injuries have prevented him from putting up the career stats he could have, Alex Rodriguez is the greatest player of our generation, if not the best baseball player of all time. Let's take a look at the stats.
Going into 2009, A-Rod has 2,404 hits, 553 HR, and a .306 lifetime BA. He is 33 years old. His stats at this point in their respective careers compare favorably to Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Mel Ott, Jimmy Foxx, Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, and Rogers Hornsby. Assuming he stays healthy, and is able to finish the remaining nine years on his contract with the Yankees, and is able to maintain his career per season averages, he will retire at 42 with roughly over 4,000 hits and 940 home runs. Performance enhanced or no, and we have reason to believe only his three years in Texas were, and those three years are not even as good as his monster MVP 2007 season in New York, A-Rod should be a lock for the Hall of Fame as well as a more legitimate heir to the all time home run throne. I believe that when it is all said and done, Rodriguez may be considered the best baseball player of all time and this leads me to think that his baseball cards will become highly coveted.
Therefore, I am predicting that ten years from now, when A-Rod will be close to retirement his cards will be worth quite a bit, and if he goes into the Hall and as a more legitimate all time home run leader, his cards will go up even more, perhaps more than any other cards from the 90s.
Everyone knows Alex Rodriguez's most coveted card is 1994 SP #15 which already books for $140 in Tuff Stuff. If A-Rod takes the home run crown and makes the Hall, I could see the card at least tripling in price and becoming THE card of the 90s.