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Demand rises for Jason Collins’ certified autographs

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

Simply put, there is now more demand for his autographs.

On Monday, NBA veteran Jason Collins became the first active player in a major American sport to announce that he’s gay, and since that time his limited number of certified autographs has skyrocketed — at least relatively speaking — as they have gone from unsold online auction fodder to as much as $100 on eBay.

In particular demand are his 2001-02 SPx autos, which have gone from unsold auctions at $1 to consistent sellers at $20 or so — and more for the rarer Spectrum verison.

Will the demand sustain itself? It’s not likely, though if the NBA veteran signs with another team and plays next season there could be continued additional interest.

Also helping is that Collins has just nine certified autographs among his 227 total cards (checklist and OPG). All but one one of his autos comes from his rookie season in 2001-02 and most typically sold for $10 or far less before his announcement in Sports Illustrated.

Collins hasn’t appeared on any NBA cards since 2009-10 when he appeared in SP Game Used and Exquisite Collection from Upper Deck.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

What do you predict for Jason Collins cards?

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9 Comments

Trey

Gotta say that Panini’s doing something wrong if they never produced a card of Jason Collins in the three years that they’ve had an NBA license. Regardless of the fact that he’s a role player, there’s no excuse for producing as many sets as they do each year and just simply not putting him in at least one of their sets. The same goes for all the role players in the NBA that I’d bet they ignore.

Posted May 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

You can bet that once he signs, he’ll be signing cards. If they think he’ll sell wax, he’ll be in there — unless he doesn’t want to sign.

Posted May 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink
Joe Cecil

I mean regardless of his sexuality if hes an NBA stat producer he should for sure be on wax, now I am not a B-Ball stat guy so I wouldnt know, but seriously our world is hilarious. Only in this day and age could you come out say your gay and have it spark so much interest in the media that people start paying more for his wax. I give it maybe a month, maybe less that and his mem market will go right back down. Lets face it if your not a stat producer your a wax nobody and if your a wax nobody who happens to spark some media coverage your mem value goes up and then right back down when the next big story hits. I do have to say that being the first pro athlete/ african american, at that to come out and announce being homo-sexual is a huge step in the equality ladder so congrats to him for standing up for his and others beliefs.

Posted May 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink
David Brewer

im passing bro

Posted May 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink
Richard Gobis

Great points Trey.No excuse for excluding role players from their sets,if your in the NBA you should be on a card…all big four sports for that matter.To me being a pro athlete is the hardest thing to do,I would love to be the 12th player on a team…your in the NBA.You here all the time how surreal it is for players to see themselves on a card.Give every player the same respect.

Posted May 3, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink
Robert Braxton

I’m going to be politically-incorrect here and say, ‘I’m not interested in his cards’, however, frankly, I wasn’t interested in them before. I have to say this issue isn’t going to affect me until an accomplished star ‘comes out’.
No offense to Jason Collins (because I applaud him for living honestly), but he’s just not very interesting (except to those who relate to his now acknowledged challenge in life).
@Joe Cecil, I don’t think it’s a ‘belief’ issue; he’s simply acknowledging who he is. THAT deserves praise, I agree. As for ‘equality’ (that’s a topic for another board, however), that minority is already equal, in that if you’re not a star and your story isn’t relatable to A LOT of fans, then your cards aren’t going to gain any momentum, at all.
I.e. if your base set cards aren’t gaining, then it’s temporary pseudo-interest at best.
I’m sure many sports fans are now wondering when a bona-fide star is going to ‘come out’ now, but frankly, I’m losing interest in that (so far) non-story, plus, I seriously doubt it’s going to happen anytime soon.
After all, if the odds of making it to the highest league in the world is 1-in-a-million, then being a STAR in that league must be 1-in-a-hundred-million.

Posted May 3, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink
J.R.

I completely understand the major spike in interest for his cards, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t naive. In fact, this is one of the few times you, the collecting masses, should actually feel good about a spike in interest.

Think about it… What are the other reasons for a major spike? Athlete dies, then anyone who has any type of autograph card or low numbered card throws it up on ebay, with the word RIP in the title. What the RIP really stands for is Rake In Profits, because they don’t care about the athlete’s death, just the fact that there will be more interest in owning a card of that player for a bit. Think about what Pat Tillman, Steve Bechler, or Junior Seau’s cards did right after they passed.

Next reason, athlete is sensationalized. Did they kill a person? Commit another major crime? Are they on trial? Will they be in jail for a while? Well then, shoot! Put their stuff on ebay quick! I mean, come on, it’s not like O.J. Simpson, or Lenny Dykstra, or any number of other athletes can sign while they are in jail, right?

There is even a bit of added interest when an athlete has a spectacular flame out. People want to own a copy of what could have been, as a sort of precautionary tale. Brien Taylor, Greg Oden, and Rick Ankiel all saw a bit of a boost, actually, right after they flamed out.

There are only two examples I can think of that an athlete’s cards take a jump for GOOD reasons. The first is their play on the field. Maybe they have a breakout season or break or make a run at a major record. They could hit a game winning shot (Sundiata Gaines, anyone?) or have one great game in a big moment.

The second example is that a player does something remarkable off the field, and this is the one we hear of least! No, it’s not remarkable being gay. It’s just his life. Same thing as him being black, tall, or whatever other adjectives are appropriate. But it is remarkable that he has chosen, albeit it late in his career, to come out while he is still playing professionally.

I cannot imagine the slurs and insults that Jackie Robinson endured from stadium to stadium, but what Jason Collins has done has put himself in somewhat of the same position. There are millions of gay men and women out there, many of whom aspire to play sports at the highest level. What Collins has done, to me, is inspired anyone out there who feels like being gay is holding them back from giving everything they have to chase that dream, or that the ridicule they may face might not be worth it to chase that dream. Collins has opened a door.

Something like that should be celebrated, and then, hopefully,. years down the road, not matter one single bit. There have been gay players in locker rooms for years. Hopefully this can move the conversation away from “Is he or isn’t he?” to much more important issues like player safety, health, and long term care.

Posted May 3, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink
Card Opionator

Let’s get real here. In the last four seasons, he has averaged UNDER 2 points, UNDER 2 rebounds per game, in 10 minutes per game. If Panini didn’t make cards of his, I think they made the right call. If you bought a product that had one auto per, and pulled him? Pissed! He is the definition of a common.

Posted May 3, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink
Trey

Card Opionator,
I’m talking about a base card. From what I remember, when Upper Deck had an NBA license they included almost everyone in their flagship set that was issued in two series.

With sets that include one auto per, obviously someone who averages less that 2 points per games isn’t going to be included on the auto card.

Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

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