One week til Opening Day and this week for the blog is Matt Kemp Appreciation week. To change it up a little I will start with my one of only two cards I own in my collection. I was a big card collector back in the day and busted boxes week in and week out. That was a very pricey hobby and I finally got out of it for my wallet's sake. So while I enjoy looking at cards and seeing how the market is doing I no longer collect. Except for the two I have I don't ever expect to ever collect cards again but you never know.
The one brand I always collected when I was younger was Bowman Chrome. I always liked the look of them and the rookie card chase within the boxes. I wanted to acquire Matt Kemp's and Clayton Kershaw's rookie cards but I also had to have two things if I was to acquire them. One they had to be the refractor variant. I know I couldn't afford the red, blue, etc but the normal refractor was fine by me as they are numbered to 500. Two, I wanted it either graded 9.5 by BGS ( they have stricter grade requirements compared to PSA ) or one that I thought would receive that grade if I bought it raw ( ungraded ). I always prided myself in having a fairly decent eye so I took my chance on seeing if I could get one on eBay at a decent price and then take it to BGS to get it graded. On my hunt I went.
It was September of 2010 and Matt was not having a good season. The previous ones had shown lots of promise and 2010 was supposed to be the breakout year. It was not. Just like stocks, buy low and sell high is the game. I was watching a few auctions and since there were only 500 made of the card there never was much to chose from. Finally someone put a refractor version up and from my eyes it looked clean, no chips on the corners and it measured out pretty much centered which has always been a problem with Bowman Chrome. The only thing I couldn't really tell was if the surface was really good and the edges where not messed up. The seller wanted $99 for it. I pulled the trigger on it and within the week I had the card. Well off to Frank and Sons I went to drop it off at BGS with the promise that it would be done within the month. I waited anxiously as I hoped my gamble would pay off. 3 weeks after the drop off the grade was available online and I couldn't be more pleased. It received a 9.5 Gem Mint with sub grades of 9.5, 9.5, 9.5 and 9. The 9 was for surface which was one things I was afraid of. The autograph received a 10. I was a proud owner of one of only 27 ( as of today March 25, 2013 ) to have a Gem Mint Refractor of the Bison, Matt Kemp. My favorite player in my favorite card brand.
2011 was finally his break out year and this card skyrocketed in price and though it has settled down a bit the card still goes for $450-$500 on eBay now. Not too bad of an investment. You can't beat 450% profit. I have no intention of selling it but I do like to know the value and to see if I got a good deal or not. This one is definitely one of my best deals. You just never know what you can find on eBay if you are patient and due your research. Hopefully with Matt healthy and all the back up he has in the line-up he can duplicate 2011 if not surpass it.