By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary
It takes a lot these days to satisfy some collectors, but sometimes some card sales just flat-out surprise.
Rave and Super Rave inserts from the family of Skybox brands in the late 1990s are doing just that.
The 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave Dan Wilson card seen here? Sold for $202.48 recently on eBay. Asking price for a David Ortiz from the same set? A mere $449.99 on eBay right now — same for a Manny Ramirez.
While each of these cards is limited to just 25 copies, there are no autographs or game-used memorabilia swatches to be found. Yet they — and others — are commanding cold, hard cash. Why? Perhaps many of them are tucked away in collections — or others are still in wax not yet found. (In need of a complete Circa Rave checklist or OPG? Click here.)
And when they do surface? It’s apparent that somebody — be it player collectors or set collectors — is wanting them and they know how much longer the odds are now, some 15 years later, of finding another.
But the Wilson is not an anomaly among recently completed eBay auctions, either. This Greg Maddux card from the set? Sold for $237.06. A Neifi Perez from the set? $70. A 1996 Circa Rave Ken Griffey Jr. numbered to 150? Sold for $199.99. A Randy Johnson 1999 Skybox Thunder Circa Super Rave? Sold for $79.95.
A look through data gathered by Beckett Media through the years shows that the trend really isn’t all that new — though Wilson seems a tad high considering his 88 career homers and a .262 average. Here are some sample sales of Rave cards:
— 1996 Circa Rave #65, Derek Jeter, /150 sold for $200 in July 2011.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave #25 Mark McGwire, /25 sold for $150 in July 2010.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave #241 Tony Saunders /25 sold for $140.49 in April 2007.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave #46 Jose Canseco /25 sold for $134.49 in April 2007.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave #220 Jim Edmonds /25 sold for $129 in December 2008.
While the 1998 Super Rave set seems to get a lot of attention, it’s not the only one generating cash for collectors — again, without autograph ink or memorabilia. Three more examples:
— 1997 Circa Rave #23 Ryne Sandberg /150 sold for $87.35 in May 2007.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Rave #2 Derek Jeter /150 sold for $86.35 in August 2011.
— 1996 Circa Rave #73 Mark McGwire /150 sold for $60.79 in December 2008.
And you may think it’s just star power selling these, right? Dan Wilson is not alone.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave #244 Chili Davis /25 sold for $83 in June 2011.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave #34 Henry Rodriguez /25 sold for $59 in December 2008.
— 1998 Circa Thunder Super Rave #66 Kevin Young /25 sold for $59 in December 2008.
And the same $59 amount also was spent on Randy Myers, Eli Marrero and Derek Bell, while a Magglio Ordonez dipped to $58.80.
And there are countless more examples of cards from the various Rave sets showing sales of $20 or more through the years.
Who knows, one (or more) of these might be tucked away in your junk boxes right now.
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.
(In need of a complete Circa Rave checklist or OPG? Click here.)