By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary
His bat is headed to Cooperstown, his baseball cards are headed upward.
That’s the easiest way to sum up Josh Hamilton‘s legendary week, one that saw him hit a record-tying four home runs against Baltimore and five more after that before his lucky bat couldn’t take any more and finally broke on Sunday.
That final blow — at least for that bat — meant the lumber was destined for the Hall of Fame and that even more attention was on his key baseball cards.
“All of his 1999 Rookie Cards were bumped up at least one level, and his 1999 Topps Traded Autograph has quickly become one of the most desirable cards in the hobby,” said Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst Brian Fleischer, who tracks values of cards daily. “Literally overnight, many of his certified autograph cards doubled in value.”
Hamilton has just four Rookie Cards, all made by Topps — Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Topps Traded and Topps Chrome Traded — and all depicting him as a member of the Rays organization, which drafted him with the No. 1 overall pick. His Bowman Chrome RC is the most valuable, often selling for $25 or less. (Need a Hamilton checklist or OPG? Click here.)
According to the Beckett.com database, Hamilton appears on 2,716 baseball cards with a total value of more than $22,900 not including cards too rare to price. He appears on 491 different certified autographs and has 576 different game-used memorabilia cards. While his Rangers cards might be the ones most sought-after by collectors now, his 1999 Topps Traded Autographs card is no slouch, checking in at $400 — $100 more than the night of his historic four-homer game.
“He’s been a solid seller during the early parts of the season,” Fleischer said, “but his four-home run game catapulted him to the top of many collectors’ want lists.”
Hamilton, a Panini America spokesman, most recently has had certified autograph cards in 2012 Topps, Museum Collection and Topps Tribute as well as 2011 Playoff Contenders.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.