With the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets squaring off in Game 1 of the World Series tonight, there’s plenty of collecting potential for both squads
Why? While there are some young stars and veterans who were once much higher on the radar of collectors in the past, there isn’t one unquestioned hobby power player in the group. You know, one guy whose cardboard will be on the minds of everyone with a championship in hand.
Instead, there are a few players with big potential here … so it’s time for a Buzz List.
NEW YORK METS
Kevin Plawecki — The Mets’ rookie catcher could be a dark horse here. His stats aren’t overwhelming but he does’t have a lot of cards. His first prospect cards are in 2012 and his RCs are from this year. One big play and it’s game on for his cards, which all show him in a Mets uni, unlike others on the two rosters. (Homegrown can equal higher demand.)
Daniel Murphy — This second baseman has been the player to make meteoric moves on cardboard this postseason thanks to a barrage of home runs. It could continue here — or it could finish here. He’s also a free agent after the season, meaning it could really drop off here with Mets fans.
Curtis Granderson — A member of the 2002 Bowman Draft class, he’s been a reliable big-leaguer on some good teams. A title could rekindle some interest in his cards — or give people one more chance to move what they have.
Yoenis Cespedes — A dominating run after his arrival had people talking NL MVP for a few days, but his cards could get some new life with a ring. He’s bounced around a lot so his collecting base is probably fragmented. Staying in New York after a ring could mean a lot here. His earliest cards are in 2009 Bowman brands for the World Baseball Classic, but he has plenty beginning with his MLB arrival in 2012.
Michael Conforto — This former USA Baseball player has a lot of cardboard since his arrival in 2012 and some warm Bowman Mets releases, too. A strong showing here could mean good things for all of those since he’s a rookie. Look for his 2014 Bowman cards and a lot of prospect cards to be of interest with a ring but his RC logo cards to arrive in 2016.
David Wright — Captain America’s career isn’t what it used to be but that might not matter if he finally gets a ring. He’s been a Met for a long time, so there are a lot of potential fans who could latch on here, making his 2002 cards ones to consider.
Matt Harvey — The ace of the team first appeared in 2007 USA Baseball sets when he was still a North Carolina Tarheels pitcher. His autos there might be good values right now compared to his MLB cardboard, which arrived in 2010. He’s a money guy — but there’s always potential for more with dominance in the Series.
Jacob deGrom — He and Bartolo Colon won a team-leading 14 games this season but only one has The Flow. A year ago, he was a hot auto because he didn’t have a lot of certifieds or even cards. Not a lot has changed but he does have some additional cardboard this season from 2014 Bowman brands forward.
Noah Syndergaard — Thor doesn’t quite have the stats but he’s got the nickname and the hair. That might be all that’s needed in New York if the postseason performance is there. Look for his earliest cardboard in 2010 Bowam Draft where he’s found as a Blue Jay. His Mets prospect cards arrived in 2013 Bowman brands.
Steven Matz — This New York product had a 4-0 record with a 2.27 ERA this year. People are watching him. A rookie with those numbers and this kind of spotlight could be good in the short-term, especially with very little cardboard. See Brandon Finnegan last year.
Bartolo Colon — He’s old, he’s chubby, he’s scary with the bat and he can be found in 1995 Bowman. He’s got a lot of cheap cards if people want to collect him — and no other Mets pitcher had more wins this season.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Eric Hosmer — The team’s first baseman has arguably the most potential in the hobby with a good amount of 2008 USA Baseball and other prospect cards predating his MLB card arrivals in 2011.
Ben Zobrist — Remember when statehood marveled at Oakland’s acquiring him? Well, it didn’t amount to much there, but he’s one of only two Royals hitting better than .300 this postseason. His earliest cards can be found in 2004 SP Prospects and Elite Extra Edition with his Rookie Cards arriving in 2006 brands.
Salvador Perez — His four homers this postseason haven’t hurt. He can be found in 2010 Bowman and beyond. Not a ton of previous interest meaning value here, but that means there’s potential.
Alcides Escobar — The MVP of the ALCS can first be found on cards way back in 2006 when he was a Brewers prospect. His Rookie Cards are found in 2009 brands. He doesn’t have a lot of ink, it seems, so there could be more battling here if his successes continue.
Mike Moustakas — Another USA Baseball guy, so we have seen his autos for nearly a decade now. He arrived in Bowman, USA and minor league brands in 2007. There’s plenty to choose from here and he’ll be one of the big names in the Royals end their championship drought.
Alex Gordon — Remember when Gordon owned the hobby with Rookie Cards that weren’t supposed to exist back in 2006? Well, there’s not much comparable now on cardboard when he’s one of the better outfielders in the game. A World Series ring might offer us another glimpse at that early hype.
Lorenzo Cain — Like Escobar, his first cards are as a Bowman Brewer in 2006 as both were part of the Zack Greinke deal. He has very little cardboard — especially ink — compared to other guys here. He could command some strong prices with a dominating showing. Check 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition for a shot at early ink.
Kendrys Morales — He’s hit four homers this postseason, which is tops with Perez. This former Angels slugger has a lot of cards available but not much is in demand. That could change, though some of his 2005 wax might be tougher to find now.
Yordano Ventura — Prospectors have been watching Ventura for a few years now with his cardboard arrival back in 2011. There’s a good amount out there so he’s got potential to be a money-maker.
Edinson Volquez — This 10-year veteran isn’t dominating, but he’s reliable and that could give collectors reasons to check out his cardboard that began arriving when he was a Texas Rangers prospect back in 2005 Bowman brands.
Johnny Cueto — He was acquired this season and he’s been a dominating pitcher this postseason, giving more than past Reds fans reasons to pick up his cards. On the certified autograph front, he’s very available — more in recent years than when his Bowman cards arrived back in 2007.
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