Where’s the limit for the 2002 Bowman Chrome Joe Mauer rookie?

I’ll admit this, I had not been following the 2002 Bowman Chrome Joe Mauer autographed rookie since I acquired one about two years ago. After getting my copy, I figured the “pressure” was off, so there was no need to continue watching auctions on eBay. And then out of the blue last week I did a quick check and saw that raw copies were selling for nearly $250. That’s a whole lot more than what I paid for mine.

But this morning, a day after the Twins and Joe Mauer reportedly agreed to an eight-year $184 million contract extension, I am left wondering what the limit is for this card. Some will argue that the card would have a greater potential if Mauer moved to a larger market team, such as the Yankees or Red Sox. And I understand that argument. But I feel like Mauer is of a different breed. He’s already proven to be one of the best offensive catchers in the history of the game, and could very well end up being at the top of a list that includes Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench and Ivan Rodriguez. Mauer’s three batting titles and MVP award at the toughest position on the field, all before age 27, are huge accomplishments. Add to this that Mauer is a homegrown talent — he literally was born in Minnesota — and I feel the makings are there for a sustained level of success in terms of cardboard.

So without sounding like I just crowned him as the greatest player ever — I assure you, I do no feel that way — where do you think this card will top out, both long-term and short-term?

What has my mind spinning is that David Wright’s Bowman Chrome rookie from the same year once was SELLING at levels more than $500; and the same with Ryan Howard’s 2003 Bowman’s Best. Maybe the Mauer card is just starting draw the attention that it deserves, or perhaps it’s just peaking now.

5 Responses to “Where’s the limit for the 2002 Bowman Chrome Joe Mauer rookie?”

  1. Apologizing in advance for a sort of off-topic question, but…

    Are chrome cards typically the better value? I’m still very much a newcomer to modern card collecting.

    My newbie opinion is that this is a temporary spike in price because Mauer’s extension is a positive thing and is on everyone’s mind. Once the news settles down, so should the price.

    But if he keeps producing at this high level, then who knows, right?

    • yeah, Bowman Chrome rookies (especially is they are signed and certified) are the best of the modern collecting era. However, cases exist where a player can have another card before actually having a Bowman Chrome card. BUT even in these cases, Bowman Chrome signed cards (even if a second year card) still carry a lot of weight in the hobby. Example: Prince Fielder. Fielder has cards in 2002 (Minor league Upper Deck Prospects Plus) and then other “real” rookies in 2005 sets. His first Bowman Chrome card is 2006, and it is signed. The card still sells for $50-plus. A common Fielder autograph from more recent years can be had for about $20, so you see there is a premium there.

      • Cool, man. Thanks for the info.

        I’m starting to figure out that Bowman is where you want to go for the high-dollar cards. Looking forward to the 2010 boxes. Strasburg FTW!

      • Bowman is pretty hit and miss; in fact it’s more miss than hit. It’s been pretty watered down in recent years with cards that just don’t matter to some people. BUT to each his own. If there is a player you’re looking for, buying singles might be the best way to go with Bowman Chrome products; busting box after box can be a pain. Usually there is one autograph per box on the Bowman Chrome product, and there are usually about 15 or 20 duds, and maybe one or two stars in the making on the autograph checklist. In other words, the odds at pulling something you want may not justify the price. Example: Colby Rasmus’ 2005 Bowman Chrome rookie. The card can be had for like $50; a box of 2005 would cost you $200-plus in some places.

      • Yeah, that makes sense re: singles. As a Cardinals fan, I would love a Colby Rasmus RC, but $50 is a bit much for me at this point.

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