Perspective on 2010 Bowman and Stephen Strasburg autograph

I’m not going to tell you how to spend your money. But if you’re hunting for a 2010 Bowman Stephen Strasburg autograph card, you’re probably best off just buying the single on eBay.

Now doubt there has been much written and said about the hottest card in the hobby — the 2010 Bowman Stephen Strasburg insert autograph. To date, the basic autograph will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 with the serial numbered parallel cards going for more depending on scarcity.

The reason this card and product pique my interest today is I went to my local shop  — first time I’d been there in about two weeks — and packs of this stuff are still flying off the shelf. Did I mention they cost almost twice as much as they did when they arrived in stores earlier this month?

The primary draw, of course, is the Strasburg autograph. In recent days we’ve seen national write-ups on the rarest Strasburg card — the 2010 Bowman Chrome Superfractor. That card isn’t even signed, but it is the ONLY one and at the moment is fetching about $17,000 — or the price of several modest vehicles.

The attention of that card, coupled with the draw of the Strasburg autographs, continues to fuel this product. Regular packs are more than $5, and boxes are about $120. Jumbo boxes — the favorite for many because they contain three autographs as opposed to the single autograph that is in the regular box — run more than $215.

There is  no shortage of “good” cards in this product. You’ve got a Jason Heyward “rookie” chrome autograph card, several decent chrome autographs, and of course the first chrome card (not autographed) of phenom Bryce Harper. Trust me, I know this is a good product. Probably the best basic Bowman product in a decade.

But it still boggles my mind that a basic product is still flying off shelves at such inflated prices. I understand the desire for the other cards in the set. The Strasburg Chrome pictured above was high on my want list, but it can be had for about $20. The Heyward Chrome autograph runs about $70, but it is probably worth mentioning it is his third Chrome card and second such autograph. The Harper runs between $15 and $20 and likely will decrease by the end of the year, assuming Topps includes him as the primary draw in its Bowman Draft set. And every other “good” autograph can be had for $30 or less.

I’ve been in this hobby long enough to know that basic logic has no place in this hobby. And that’s not an insult to anyone. I’ve had my fair share of questionable moves as well.

But with the prices on the hobby version of this product continuing to escalate, I just don’t see how anyone other than distributors and card shops are winning here. Don’t mistake that to mean that no one is doing well with this — I’m sure some case busters are doing just fine, and some boxes have revealed some awesome pulls.

But if the basic Strasburg is the object of your desire, then you might want to stop for a second and do your math. The basic Strasburg autograph is seeded at a rate of almost 1 in 7 cases. Not boxes. Cases.

If you’re in the market for the Strasburg (or any of the other cards) and have a desire to buy just a box (either regular or jumbo) to take a chance, I can understand that. But if you’re buying multiple boxes from an already opened case hoping to pull one of the Strasburg autographs, it may be more economical for you just to buy the single. The card will cost you about the same price of three basic boxes.

4 Responses to “Perspective on 2010 Bowman and Stephen Strasburg autograph”

  1. I am totally cool with my basic strasburg “non-auto” auto. Its a nice looking card on its own, and was had for the price of one severely damaged bowman box.

  2. That has always been my strategy, BUY SINGLES!!! A friend of mine bought a box of Jumbos a couple of weeks ago for $165, all he got was ONE Bowman Base Strasburg, he could’ve gotten 8-12 off ebay with that cash, maybe even mixed it up and gotten some chrome.

    ANYWAY, for those of you trying to score a Strasburg auto out of Retail, unless Topps “Changed” the list, the best auto you can get is a D. Tate. I was reading the Check list off of a Wal-Mart box blaster and it doesnt even mention Chrome Autos being available. Best we can hope for is a Harper or Strasburg Orange refractor. AND even then we have to pray it’s not all jacked up because looks like the Smarties at Topps Packed retail Chrome inserts and Chrome base FACE TO FACE. To the Graders, good luck finding a Gem Mint!

    • Yeah, there are only crap autos avail in retail Bowman. Not chrome autos …and surely ZERO chance at pulling a Strasburg auto. Get that thinking ou tof your head.

  3. anthony Says:

    amen to that brothers, you can pull the card but chances of a 9.5 er is not easy….so you are wayyyyy better off buying on ebay. but it is fun opening packs and pulling that shit lol !

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