The pop culture frenzy may have died down, but the 2007 Topps Jeter/Mantle/Bush card will still set you back about what a full box might have cost without all the hubbub.
Like any good media sensation, the 2007 Topps Derek Jeter card enjoyed it’s moment in the sun but prices have come down to a more reasonable level in the last several days.
The card, featuring inserted images of Mickey Mantle and President Bush in the background, reached it’s peak in the middle of last week when some found legitmate buyers in the $300-450 range. Recent eBay sales have pegged it at $25-40, still impressive numbers for a card that would normally be selling for less than a dollar. The craze has kept dealers busy satisfying demand from casual collectors and Yankees fans who don’t normally collect much at all but want one of the cards anyway.
"When the story came out it drove a lot of people crazy," Eric Smith of RookiesHQ.com, a shop and on-line store in Jacksonville, Florida told SportsCollectorsDaily.com. "The joke was that there were 12 million Yankee fans and they were all after the same card."
RookiesHQ sold double the quantity of newly-released Topps cards than it normally would thanks to the Jeter card. The company’s on-line stores at Naxcom.com and Amazon.com sold primarily boxes and packs rather than the individual cards. "We didn’t want to break a lot of boxes just for one card," Smith explained. "We knew the market would readjust once the supply caught up with the demand."
"The publicity was good for the hobby as a whole," Smith said. "It brought attention to cards. Some of our store customers who work at Wal-Mart or Target also said people were clamoring for baseball cards there. Overall, I think it was good. The negative part of it was that a lot of people mistakenly assumed the card had been short printed and paid lots of money for it. Now they’re seeing that they overpaid."
Two insert variations of the Jeter card also continue to attract eBay bidders at a slower, but still steady pace. The ‘copper’ colored version of the card, limited to 56, reached a peak of $1644 on one eBay sale but is now generally selling in the $450-500 range. The gold version has dropped as well but still maintains a $250-300 price tag.
The demand for Topps is steady enough to keep standard retail pack prices at $3 and higher because dealers aren’t able to find wholesale hobby wax boxes at much less than $80.
A unique card or suddenly popular player can drive the modern sports card market much like the stock market. The Jeter card is unique because it’s staying power as a novelty will likely be limited.
“It lasts 7-10 days. The casual collector who helped drive the demand and price upward gets the card and they’re done,” Smith said. “I equate it to the 2001 Tiger Woods card when Upper Deck released it’s golf product. You couldn’t keep it in stock at $100. Upper Deck produced more of the boxes and then everyone had them and the price went down.“
“In 2001, Ichiro drove the market. Japanese collectors wanted his first American card and bought a lot of them. I expect Matsuzka and Red Sox fans will help push the market the same way this year. People just say ‘I want it’ and they get it.”