The Sealed Report is a bi-monthly overview of the market for unopened sports packs and boxes. Long-time industry pro Leighton Sheldon of Vintage Breaks and Just Collect will provide insight on what’s hot and what’s not, highlight recent sales of unopened product and tips on participating in one of the hobby’s hottest and most popular realms.
Opening Day for Major League Baseball is at our doorsteps and the arrival is heating a new, yet familiar baseball product. Also on the HOT list is a product that once paved the way for the way you collect rookie cards today. With Spring in the air, the gridiron has cooled off and a football product hits our COLD list.
2022 Topps First Edition 1st Series baseball is sizzling right now. First Edition boxes were pre-sold first to 582 Montgomery Club members and were only available online. The pre-sale price was a relatively hefty $350 per box, but right now, one will set you back around $500. Each black and white box contains 24 packs with 10 cards per pack.
The cards mimic the base flagship set but there is a “1st Edition” foil stamp on each card. As most collectors know, the flagship Topps rookie cards are always sought after by collectors but the limited production is sparking a pre-season rush for 1st Edition first rookies. Say that ten times fast.
Sure, the excitement of the season is a factor in what’s driving prices of these boxes up but it’s the rookie card of Wander Franco that is making values soar here.
First Edition #215 is selling for $130 to $150 right now. On March 31, a copy sold for $147.50 with 19 bids. That’s just the base 1st Edition. Expect an increase in price if you want to buy a Franco rookie parallel.
Another hot product? Boxes of 1984 Donruss Baseball. The search for Wander Franco rookies is reminiscent of when Don Mattingly helped jumpstart the rookie card craze back in 1984. If not for Donnie Baseball, rookie card chasing wouldn’t be what it is today.
Mattingly Donruss rookies in high grade have seen a big spike in prices. In fact, a PSA 10 sold for $4,591 in March. About a year ago a PSA 10 was around $2,700. A sealed wax box of 36 packs will cost you around $700 to $800 today with individual packs at around $25 each. You’ve got a 1-in-44 chance of landing a Mattingly in a single pack and with 540 cards per box, you’ve got a fair—though not guaranteed– shot at landing at least one Mattingly, but of course there are some Hall of Famers on the checklist, too.
Is Wander rookie chasing bringing older collectors back to their youth when they were looking for Donnie Baseball? One thing is certain 38 years later– ’84 Donruss boxes are in demand.
2019 NFL products are ICE COLD. Much like the changing of the sports seasons has driven up baseball products, NFL talk has cooled which makes football products dip a tad. However the real reason for 2019 products not selling well today is the less than stellar draft class. You have Kyler Murray as the top rookie card to chase but after a poor showing against the Rams in the playoffs (40.9 rating!) and some chatter about his maturity and leadership, is he worth investing in now? Collector confidence seems to be a little uneasy, at least for now.
The rest of the rookies in the draft certainly have not been setting the league on fire. Daniel Jones – Dwayne Haskins – T. J. Hockenson – are any of them worthy of interest? I don’t wish failure on any of them; I hope they make the Hall of Fame, but the lack of depth in the class seems to have collectors backing off. Right now, the only cards worth chasing in 2019 are probably Deebo Samuel and DK Metcalf and both of their teams seem to have quarterback issues right now.
RECENT UNOPENED RESULTS
*1975 Topps Baseball Rack Pack Box $83,701
*1979-80 Topps Vending Box (Fritsch Vault) $30,736
*1959 Topps Baseball Cello Pack PSA 7 $1,388
DID YOU KNOW?
My all-time favorite baseball player is Don Mattingly (man, I am excited about seeing 1984 Donruss on the HOT list!). As a big Yankees fan I’m sad that Mattingly never won a ring having retired just before the Core Four went on a run. However, I’m still pumped that my team won a handful of rings. So much so that I was at the 1996 World Series and I own the seat I sat in while at the game! How I obtained that seat is a story for a future edition of The Sealed Report.