Phillies Baseball Card Guide
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies who effectively blew past the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to earn their first World Series appearance in 15 years. Virtually every season, a particular player's performance in the post season has a profound short term effect on the values of his cards. I can remember 2003 when a teenaged Florida Marlin named Miguel Cabrera took the collecting world by storm with a power barrage that pushed his 2000 Topps Traded Autographs from $25 to $200 in a short period of time. Even last year, names like Ellsbury and Pedroia went from being prospector prognostications to household heroes.
I thought it to be appropriate to take a little time to evaluate some of the initial movement on some key Phillies 1st year cards. In my analysis I have assembled data on popular 1st year cards from each player. The change in values represent activity over a two week period (October 1-October 15). As always, I have included shipping costs into median price ranges of these cards. 'Tis an inexact science, but hopefully you will get the overall picture:
1.) Cole Hamels --- 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft #BDP17
- October 1: $12.50-15.00
- October 15: $20.00-25.00
- Hamels distinguished himself on the national stage as a bonafide superstar with his incredible three start stretch against the Brewers and Dodgers. The 24 year old southpaw has compiled a perfect 3-0 record with a 1.23 ERA and 22 K's in 22 IP. Hamels' dominance is reminiscent of last year's postseason hero Josh Beckett's impressive run that vaulted the Boston Red Sox to their second World Series title in 4 years. Hamels' 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft RC is his only true RC. It has a Beckett value of $40 right now and, while cards rarely sell for book value, it is conceivable that Hamels' RC is far from reaching its ascent. Currently, it has increased 60% in Ebay value over the past two weeks.
COLE HAMELS-2006 Topps '52 Chrome RC #1012 1952 & RC w 1952 Phillies Logo
Cole Hamels 2007 TOPPS RC All Star Game Stitches NM-MT
2005 Topps 52 Cole Hamels RC Phillies
2006 Topps 52 #225 Cole Hamels RC!
2.) Chase Utley --- 2001 Bowman Draft #304
October 1: $10.00-12.00
October 15: $15.00-18.00
Utley has not had a stellar postseason, hitting .250 with 1 HR and 5 RBI, though he remains one of Philadelphia's most beloved sons. Utley is one of the few players that MLB fans outside of Philly think of as being the face of the Phillies franchise. His increase in Ebay value over the last two weeks has been at about 50%, largely due to his current popularity within the hobby. It will take a sterling performance by him in the World Series to exceed these values-a feat that is a certain possibility with a player of Utley's caliber.
2001 Bowman Heritage #304 Chase Utley RC Phillies B63728
CHASE UTLEY 2001 BOWMAN HERITAGE RC #304 BCCG 10
2001 Bowman Heritage Chase Utley RC Phillies + (2) Travis Hafner Rc #227
Chase Utley 2001 Bowman Draft Pick RC BDP69
3.) Shane Victorino --- 2003 Bowman Chrome #319
October 1: $1.50-2.50
October 15: $5.00-7.50
Victorino has introduced himself to the national spotlight this postseason with a .281 BA 2 HR and 11 RBI over the last 9 games. Victorino has seemed to have a flare for the dramatic, hitting game changing homeruns and barking at Hideki Kuroda to hit him in the ribs and not the head. Victorino personifies the spirit of Philidelphia as a gritty, unsung hero who plays with a blue collar under his #8 jersey. Shane has many 2003 cards including a variety of autographs that have become increasingly popular with collectors. His 2003 Bowman Chrome card, ironically in a Dodgers uniform, is the card that is the most widely traded right now. Its 300% increase in value since October 1st is a testament to Victorino's newfound popularity.
Contrary to the afore-mentioned trifecta of movers and shakers, there are several Phillies that have not received much change in demand over the last couple of weeks.
Howard's 2003 Bowman Chrome Draft RC's have held steady at $22.50-25.00 each and Bowman's Best autos sell for $150-175 each. Howard has hit .258 in the postseason but, with 0 HR and 3 RBI, Howard's power outage belies his reputation as this season's HR king. Howard will have to accrue some prolific numbers to increase upon these values.
Burrell has several 1999 RC's that are getting little attention online. Burrell has had a solid postseason hitting .300 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. However, all of his power production occurred in a two game stretch against Milwaukee. Another power bump may help Burrell's sales (especially his '99 Topps Traded Auto) as well as his offseason free agent demands.
The reigning N.L. MVP had a lackluster 2008 season, drawing the ire of Phillies nation after he chastised them for being fair weather fans, his lapses in effort landed him in Charlie Manuel's dog house, and his postseason has not been spectacular (.243 2 HR 2 RBI 10 K's in 9 games). That said, Rollins ignites the top of the Phillies lineup and his leadoff HR in game 5 of the NLCS may spark his own hot streak.
2002 Upper Deck Vintage #236 Jimmy Rollins - NM-MT
2002 Upper Deck Ovation #55 Jimmy Rollins - NM-MT
2008 Upper Deck 1st Edition Starquest #SQ48 Jimmy Rollins
2003 Upper Deck Vintage #141 Jimmy Rollins - NM-MT
Werth was my postseason breakout sleeper (apologies to Shane Victorino). Werth is a late bloomer who was red hot in September. His .243 BA with a solo HR and 13 K's did not meet my expectations. As a result, his 1997 Bowman Chrome cards are still less than a buck. Werth has an intriguing blend of speed, power, and size that has just started to show itself. I still like Werth...maybe he can be the Shane Victorino of the World Series.
The National League pennant has been decided and soon the American League will decide whether it will send a postseason denizen or debutante to the Fall Classic. Either way, stay tuned for my A.L. market analysis!