After a successful freshman campaign and a dominant sophomore season at the University of Oklahoma, the agile big man was clearly ready to enter the NBA. His arrival into professional basketball was met with eager anticipation by the throngs of collectors anxious to get their hands on a Blake Griffin rookie card. Yet some top draft picks turn out to be more hype than high flyer.
In the summer of 2009, the Los Angeles Clippers drafted Griffin with the 1st overall pick, but sadly, he suffered a kneecap injury in the very last preseason game leading up the 2009-10 season. While the injury kept the young star from displaying his skills to the fans for another year, it had little adverse affect on the popularity of his 26 different rookie cards, which were quickly swooped up and put for sale. Griffin had flashed brilliance and some were willing to wait.
From the exotic and very limited ‘Crown Royale’ autographed card- currently fetching upwards of $300 on eBay- to the more traditional and attainable Upper Deck First Edition #177- going for around $5, collectors everywhere are now putting Griffin’s likeness in the main display case.
The reasoning behind the popularity and rising value of Blake Griffin rookie cards is plain to see. He is a tall, well-built 21-year old with amazing athletic abilities. While in college Griffin was slightly dazed when he bumped his head on the backboard while dunking from the baseline. His first full season is turning into a one man highlight reel and the Clippers are no longer an L.A. afterthought.
Griffin was the face of Panini’s entry into the basketball card market and he has been kept busy signing hundreds of cards for insertion into the company’s products. Among the most popular is his 2009-10 National Treasures auto patch card. Numbered to 99 and aesthetically pleasing, it’s been selling for $2500 and up when graded.
Another reason is his soft-spoken and polite nature. Griffin was home-schooled until he entered the eighth grade, perhaps an explanation for his general shyness and modesty during interviews while at Oklahoma. To this point, the basketball public has seen nothing but good things from Griffin, as he appears to be able to handle himself as well off of the court as he does on it. Unlike the Kevin Garnetts and Kenyon Martins of this World, Griffin seems predisposed to respect his opponent, even if he may at times embarrass them.
Perhaps the most profitable factor in the value of Blake Griffin rookie cards in that he works and lives in the Los Angeles area. Not only is Griffin a superstar, he is a superstar in a city where the number one export is superstars.
It is no secret to anyone who follows basketball that the Clippers have lived in the mighty shadow cast down by the success of the Los Angeles Lakers, but if anyone is capable of moving the Clipper franchise out of the dark recesses of squalor and into the bright lights of success and popularity, it is Griffin.
There are Rookies and Stars signed cards, Leaf Limited, Threads and others. High end non-signed cards like his Exquisite (# to 225) have proven popular, too.
The ‘holy grail’ of Blake Griffin rookie cards is his National Treasures Logoman autograph 1 of 1. Pulled by a Sacramento, Ca. collector, the card is now being offered with a Buy it Now price of $32,032 (an ode to Griffin’s jersey number). 29 lesser offers have been declined with the seller stating he would automatically reject any offer under $15,000.
There are plenty of signed Griffin rookie cards that won’t cost you anywhere near that much, though. In fact, several have sold for less than $200 and it’s not hard to predict a bright future for cards of that realm, especially when you consider the rapidly growing level of interest from all sectors of the trading card market. There are currently over 800 Griffin rookie cards on eBay, spanning all price levels.
Some may squawk about any modern card–autographed or not–selling for thousands of dollars, but such is the market for extremely limited, signed rookie cards. There are buyers out there. The best opportunities may lie in the lesser appreciated signed cards from a potential mega star in the making.