Sports Trading Card Price Tracker We talk a lot about price movement of single cards and sports trading card boxes on The Sports Card Show Podcast. Each month we'll pick some hot items in the sports card world and monitor the price action over the month. Sometimes we make prediction on if the price is going to go up or down.
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August 28, 2012 (Updated May 2014)

Michael Jordan has just two hobby acknowledged rookie cards. In the 1984-85 Star Company Basketball set he has card #101, often referred to as a XRC. At the time, Star was a limited set that was distributed by the 'Team Bag' instead of the traditional pack. During the mid-1980's Topps, Fleer and other small card companies were not making basketball cards.

In 1986-87 Fleer did release a set after Jordan had been in the league for a couple years. The 1986-87 Fleer is considered a rookie card though, card #57 in the set. Both the 84-85 Star and 86-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie cards are very condition sensitive. The cards feature red borders which are very prone to chipping on the edges or corners. In addition, centering was a big issue for the NBA cards back in those days. The printing technology was not as advanced as it is today, clearly, so imperfections on the surface of the card can happen just because the process didn't produce mint cards for the most part.

1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan RC PSA -> Cards on eBay
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan RC PSA 10
Seller: mnmiracle2004

14,000+ Fleer Jordan RC Cards Have Been Graded by PSA.... Only 189 PSA GEM MINT 10's
In about the late 1980's, the value of sports cards started to rise and both Jordan RC's from Fleer and Star started to become hot collectible items and potential investments. This led to a rise in the counterfeiting of both cards. The 84-85 Star card is notorious for being faked, but the 1986-87 Fleer has a ton of bootleg versions as well. Companies like PSA: Collectors Universe - and BGS: Beckett Grading Services will authenticate and professionally grade cards which helped establish a true market for real deal Michael Jordan rookie cards. In total, PSA has graded over 14,000 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Cards. Only 189 of them have been graded the top score - PSA 10.

May 2014 Update: Prices From February 2014 - May 2014
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 - $12,000 (PWCC)*
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 - $10,300
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 - $10,200.99
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 - $10,102
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 - $9,999.99

*This card was sold by Pre War Card Collector (PWCC). This seller tends to get a tad bit more because of their high profile eBay account.

20 of the 148 PSA 10's Have Been on eBay From: August 23, 2011 - August 23, 2012
Below is a snapshot of a 12 month span of the sales of PSA 10 Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Cards on eBay. There were no sales of a PSA 10 86-87 Fleer Jordan RC in the month of August 2011, so keep that in mind. In total, 20 of the 148 PSA 10 graded Fleer Jordan RC's have shown up on eBay in the last 12 months from August 23, 2011 - August 23, 2012.  Also note that some of them could be the same one being re-sold or re-listed, but this price data should give you a general idea of a value for a PSA 10 Jordan rookie.

1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Price Graph

Michael Jordan PSA 10 Fleer Rookie Facts:
  • As of May 31, 2014 - only 189 1986-87 Fleer Jordan RC's have been graded PSA 10
  • Sometimes the ones in the 'old PSA holders' sell for slightly more
  • Over 14,000 copies of the Jordan card have been graded by PSA, there are a lot out there.
  • Many of these cards are also sold at large - national card shows
  • Auction houses like Huggins & Scott & Heritage Auctions are known to get these from time to time
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Manny Machado was the top prospect in the Baltimore Orioles system before he was called up to the Major Leagues on August 9, 2012.  We take a look at the price of his 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph Refractor prospect card. Each card in the graph data points is graded by BGS - Beckett Grading Services and received a 9.5 Gem Mint score. The "autograph grade" was also a 10 for each card in the data series. At the very beginning of the MiLB season you could have gotten one of these cards for $98.00 (April 1. 2012). Shortly after Machado was called up to the big leagues the price elevated to as high as $258.00 for this card.

Card Set: 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft
Card: Manny Machado Autograph Refractor
Serial Numbered: #/500
Graded: BGS 9.5 (With 10 Autograph Score)

2010 Bowman Chrome Manny Machado Draft BGS 9.5

Manny Machado Price Graph
As soon as word got out that Machado had gotten called up to the Major League team the value for his cards shot up in value. Collectors starting scooping up the buy it nows on eBay and also sellers got on the ball and started listing the ones they had stacked away and put them up for sale. Machado got off to a decent start with the Orioles so it helped give his cards that extra boost. The #3 overall pick in the 2010 Draft, collectors have been sitting on Machado cards for a few years waiting for this time. Will his cards continue to rise? Or, will you be able to buy in at a cheaper price after the season ends?

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The San Francisco Bay Area, and Northern California in general, is a part of the world that can embrace athletes the rest of the sporting world has written off. Some examples in the past might be the Raiders team and made it to the Super Bowl with Rich Gannon, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and other "older" players. Barry Bonds was hated and often booed across the entire country, but still draws cheers from fans to this day in San Francisco. Vlade Divac was re-born in Sacramento, Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross are superstars.
2005 Playoff Contenders Alex Smith Rookie Autograph #/401

That being said, the fans around here can go from being "some of the best in the league" to booing & trashing the players on talk-radio ... especially when you don't win.

You could throw Alex Smith, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, and former #1 pick in 2005, into the list of players fans were booing for most of his career. The 49ers themselves have tried to replace Alex Smith several times, they even drafted young quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2011. Not to mention during the current off-season, after Alex Smith finally has a great season, (which led the 49ers all the way to the NFC championship game) the 49ers were rumored as one of the teams trying to sign Peyton Manning. Coach Jim Harbaugh downplayed the issue after Manning signed with Denver, but one thing is for certain, Alex Smith's career has been a wild ride!

Speaking of wild rides, you can bet with the ups/downs Alex Smith has experienced in the past year - one of his best rookie cards has been going up/down right with him. Smith has tons of rookie cards, but I found some really nice data on his 2005 Playoff Contenders RC #106 - which has a stated print run of 401 copies. This time last year (July 2011) collectors weren't paying much attention to Alex Smith, and most San Francisco 49ers fans had given up on the 7 year pro. Being the #1 pick, Even as the 49ers were winning games, the lack of big numbers from Smith kept most collectors away.

Then this little thing called the NFL Playoffs started

The rise in this price graph is not nearly as impressive as the data actually is if you include all the Buy-It-Now cards that were sold. Many eBay sellers were moving these during the December - January months as the 49ers marched through the playoffs for Buy-it-Now prices similar to the ones you see in the month of January. This data below only includes auctions with multiple bids ... so the volume of cards sold during the NFL Playoff months was much greater.
2005 Playoff Contenders Alex Smith RC Price Graph

This graph shows how quickly your cards can go up in the NFL if your team starts winning games. This graph also shows how important it is to remember as collectors - you can always wait until the hype wears off to buy the cards at a lower price. Even if the 49ers had went on to win the Super Bowl, his cards would have certainly cooled off a bit during the off-season. Buying cards during the heat of the playoff run is always exciting .... but being able to sell the card for that price ($200) is going to be difficult now unless Alex Smith can win a Super Bowl.

Buying in at today's price of $75 - $80 really can't get you hurt too bad considering the same card was selling for $25 - $40 when everyone thought he sucked. Additionally, if you are a collector who never really sells your cards, you can see selling this card during the hype would have been a great idea because you could have bought one back later at a much lower price. You'll want to keep this in mind as we are on the cusp of the 2012 NFL season

Here Is The Raw eBay Data

7/10/2011 --  $37.00
7/21/2011 --  $35.35
8/9/2011 --  $35.00
8/29/2011 --  $24.50
9/3/2011 --  $27.00
9/19/2011 --  $27.00
10/2/2011 --  $39.99
10/11/2011 --  $51.48
10/18/2011 --  $69.74
10/19/2011 --  $61.00
10/30/2011 --  $78.00
10/31/2011 --  $63.69
11/6/2011 --  $90.00
11/7/2011 --  $76.01
11/19/2011 --  $72.00
11/20/2011 --  $79.00
11/21/2011 --  $69.01
12/4/2011 --  $68.00
12/7/2011 --  $65.96
12/7/2011 --  $70.00
12/10/2011 --  $76.75
12/18/2011 --  $58.00
1/14/2012 --  $69.95
1/15/2012 --  $89.88
1/15/2012 --  $131.32
1/15/2012 --  $202.50
1/17/2012 --  $147.50
1/19/2012 --  $122.57
1/21/2012 --  $125.73
1/23/2012 --  $76.00
1/24/2012 --  $85.77
1/30/2012 --  $82.13
3/15/2012 --  $86.00
3/27/2012 --  $89.00
4/9/2012 --  $112.50
7/1/2012 --  $72.67

Current Contenders Cards on eBay
{module 532}
Who's The Next "Alex Smith???"
2010 Topps Chrome Sam Bradford RC Card 2010 Press Pass Colt McCoy Card Kevin Kolb Bowman RC Card
Can Sam Bradford Bounce Back? Is Colt McCoy Done? Is Kevin Kolb The Real Deal?

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{module 60}