Editor’s note: Look for more from the Aflac High School All-American High School Baseball Classic in the coming days on Beckett.com and for more be sure to check out upcoming issues of Beckett Sports Card Monthly and Beckett Baseball.
By Edward Lewis
SAN DIEGO – As 40 Aflac High School All-Americans scribbled their names onto more than 5,000 brand new Topps baseball cards, Chris Holmes, Topps’ Senior Baseball Brand Manager, was asked a question.
“How much do you think Bryce Harper’s card will go for?”
Holmes turned his head, flattened his lips, thought about it for a few seconds, and said, “I’ll say more than the others.”
Harper’s a YouTube sensation. He’s been dubbed the LeBron James of baseball, been featured in Sports Illustrated and Beckett Baseball, been called the “Chosen One”, and now he may have just produced one of the most sought-after baseball cards on this planet at the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic festivities in San Diego.
One Topps employee estimated Harper’s Aflac All-American card, which was developed in less than four days in San Diego, will go for $500 “out the gate.” And even though these autographed cards aren’t allowed to be inserted into packs until the player gets drafted and signs a contract with Topps – which could be more than a year from now – Holmes is confident these cards will be in high demand.
“We’ll hand some cards out at the game,” Holmes said, “and this year the game starts at 5 p.m., and by maybe 6 p.m. – definitely by 9 p.m. – they’ll be on eBay.”
Harper already has a Team USA autograph patch card selling for around $1,000 on eBay, which, by the way, he thinks is ridiculous.
“If I was somebody and I was looking at a Bryce Harper card, I wouldn’t buy it. No shot,” Harper said. “I’d go out and buy me a nice dinner or something cool. A thousand dollars for a Bryce Harper card? No way. Maybe for a Josh Hamilton or a Derek Jeter, but Bryce Harper? No shot.”
But that’s the going rate for a 16-year-old who can hit 570-foot bombs and throw 96 mph.
But Harper, who said all the autograph sessions and requests have been “brutal” since his instant fame two months ago, said he doesn’t mind. “Being able to just be like a big leaguer and have your own cards and stuff; that just doesn’t happen to most 15- and 16-year-old kids.”
But Harper isn’t like most 15- and 16-year-olds.
No, Harper’s the “Chosen One” with a baseball card value that matches the hype.