April 2019 Spring Premium Auction - Rare & High-Grade Cards You Won't Find Anywhere Else
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/5/2019
Still just 28 years old, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is just five hits short of reaching the 1,000 hit milestone and just 11 home runs short of reaching 200. Last season he led the National League with 38 clouts. The year before that he paced the senior circuit with 43 doubles. In the two seasons before that, he again led the NL with 41 and 42 home runs and led all of baseball with 133 and 130 RBI. In each of these last four seasons he earned the Silver Slugger award as the league's best-hitting third baseman, and in each season of his 6-year career he has won the league's Gold Glove award. No third baseman has ever started his career with as much success as Arenado, not Mike Schmidt, not George Brett, not even Brooks Robinson. His closest contemporary comparison at the plate is Mike Trout, while at third base he stands alone as the best in the game.

Offered here is Arenado's most desirable rookie card in the form of his 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Orange Refractor Autograph. Limited to just 25 serial-numbered copies produced, this one is numbered 19/25 and has been graded BGS 9.5 Gem Mint. With only a single copy on record at PSA, the offered card ranks as one of 13 to make the Gem Mint grade at Beckett, with none graded higher from 29 submissions. To answer a question posed by our consignor, the total population of 30 copies on record at the combined grading firms of a card limited to only 25 copies produced reflects the reality that modern card collectors often try to re-grade cards they believe should or could have graded higher. The 2010 Bowman Chrome issue is rather infamous for its centering issues on comparable cards from the likes of Christian Yelich and Gary Sanchez, and with zero Arenado Orange Refractor copies ever graded BGS 10 pristine and 14 graded BGS 9 Mint, we can therefore assume that at least one or two of the 13 Gems on record were graded twice in a calculated gamble to realize the first-ever Pristine 10, while more than a few of the 14 Mint 9s on record were likely graded multiple times in an effort to realize Gem. Regardless of the exact numbers, no more than 25 copies were produced, and no more than a dozen others have been distinguished as Gem Mint.

A maxim in the high-dollar modern card market is that orange is the gold standard, meaning that a player's first-year Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor Autograph card is almost always regarded as that player's best card. Some might point out that 1/1 Superfractors and Red or Purple Refractors numbered to 5 or 10 are better cards, but the truth is that those cards are simply too rare to ever consistently establish a market precense. With print runs numbered to 25, however, Orange Refractors of the game's best players tend to come and go with just enough frequency so as to establish trending prices and relatively accurate measures of demand. Sales of Arenado's 2010 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor Autograph in BGS 9.5 Gem Mint condition have fluctuated between $8,000 and $12,000 over the last few years. Though a considerable investment, any prices paid in this range are a steal when compared to the $186,580 recently realized for Mike Trout's 2009 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor in the same BGS 9.5 Gem Mint grade. When all is said and done, Trout may indeed prove to be the greatest player of all-time, and he may not—he's still never realized a 200-hit season, and he's only topped 100 RBI twice. Arenado, however, seems a better bet to become the game's greatest-ever third baseman. Get his best card now while you still can.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $11,584
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Sunday, May 5, 2019.
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