Major League Baseball’s post-season always serves as a potential stage for breakout stars. While fans may be more interested in their own team for the first six months of the season, the stage narrows in October. What’s playing out in Chicago has had dealers and collectors digging into boxes in search of Javier Baez rookie cards.
The 23-year-old Baez has made it hard for Cubs manager Joe Maddon to keep him off the field. His home run off Johnny Cueto in Game 1 of the NLDS proved to be the winning (and only) run. In Game 4, Báez delivered the go-ahead single in the 9th inning. He has eight hits in the five-game series. His defense may have been even better.
Saturday night, Baez was back in the spotlight after joining a short list of players who have stolen home in a post-season game. He’s athletic, young and exciting and those qualities usually translate into popularity among fans and collectors. The fact that he’s cut down on his once bothersome strikeout rate has probably boosted his chances for long term success.
Baez first appeared on the Bowman AFLAC All-American cards in 2010, where autograph (# to 200) and regular issue cards introduced the young high schooler from Puerto Rico to the hobby.
His prospect cards arrived in 2011 with the usual array of Bowman Chrome autographs and low serial numbered parallels now generating significant interest. A Gold Refractor parallel numbered to 50 sold October 7 for $440. A Blue parallel, numbered to 150, recently sold for $340.
His official rookie cards date to the 2015 season when Baez made his big league debut. Most of his standard issue (non-autographed) rookie cards can still be had for a dollar or two—less in quantity. Many of his autographed cards numbered to 50 or more remain very affordable. His 1/1 Topps Chrome Superfractor sold back in July for $1,500.
On eBay, over 700 Baez listings sold between Wednesday and Saturday.
You can see the current ‘most watched’ Javier Baez prospect and rookie cards via the real-time list below.