Giants World Series Victory Leads to Baseball Card Boom in San Francisco
According to Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Giants first World Series victory in 56 years has led to a gigantic leap in sales for bay area hobby shops and cards stores. Giants cards have become hot commodities, with an elusive 2010 Topps team set and Buster Posey leading the way.
In the seven weeks since Giants closer Brian Wilson struck out Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz to win the 2010 World Series, Jordan Lee, the owner of "What's on Second" in San Mateo, estimates that sales have increased 300 percent.
Lee sees a steady flow of customers both young and old seeking cards featuring Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and other big names from the 2010 champs. Due to an overwhelming demand, Lee has yet to receive the Giants most coveted cardboard, that being a 27-card "World Series Champions" 2010 San Francisco Giants team set that was recently produced by Topps.
Another bay area hobby shop in Belmont called "Peninsula Sports Cards" run by T.J. Grenier said that in year's past he usually orders a half-dozen commemorative sets, this year he has ordered 1,000. The store has only received 200 from Topps since the set debuted on December 3rd, with those going directly to customers that pre-ordered the set, the next 100 to 150 will go directly to pre-orders as well.
Grenier recently found an addition 60 from another distributor, with each $14.95 set selling out the second they hit the sales floor. The age of those seeking Giants cards ranges from 5 to 85, with the majority being adult kids.
"Our customers are mainly adult kids - that's the best way to put it," Grenier said. "A lot of them are just collecting and know (the Series title) is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. They remember when the Giants lost in '62."
"I think a lot of the parents collected as kids, had a lot of fun with it and want their kids to have those memories."
Many people are beginning to see the investment potential of pieces of rectangular cardboard featuring their favorite players once again. Buster Posey is by far the hottest card in the bay area, with the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year's rookie cards going for $12-$15 a piece, which is a giant boost from the $2-$3 they were selling for when the young catcher was first called up.
According to Grenier, outside of Posey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Brian Wilson round out the top 5 hottest sellers from the 2010 Giants trading card library. Another interesting trend has been the resurgence of once worthless cards in Grenier's shop, led by Edgar Renteria. Renteria's Game 5 three run home run changed everything for the aging short stops trading cards.
"Renteria was one guy I could never get rid of before, until he was World Series MVP," said Lee of What's on Second? "Suddenly, everyone wanted him."