Bidding on Cuba’s Yoennis Cespedes heats up with collectors, too

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Get out your World Baseball Classic prospect cards from various 2009 Topps brands … there’s some hunting to do.

It’s time to be looking for the cards of Yoennis Cespedes, a 26-year-old Cuban who is on the verge of potentially signing a sizable contract with an MLB club soon. But before the bidding heats up on the international free-agent-to-be, the bidding has picked up elsewhere … on eBay.

Topps, which had the WBC card rights in 2009, made 44 cards of the outfielder — 21 of those being memorabilia cards and all but four of those cards being serial-numbered. Of those not too rare to price, they have had a typical average value of $4.35 and a total value of $191.50 — but that seems to maybe be changing fast based on some auctions. (Previously, that was a card that typically sells for $12 or less.)

Cespedes did not sign any autographs for Topps, so most attention will gravitate to his rarer Refractors and more appealing game-used cards. Could that Blue Refractor auction be an eBay anomaly or a single hungry bidder? Or could it be reflective of a short-term gain? Who knows, but if he signs with, say, the Yankees, one definitely could imagine more interest than what there is right now.

Right now, there aren’t that many Cespedes cards on the auction site. In recent completed auctions, more than 30 of his cards have sold, including a $40 sale of his 2009 Bowman Chrome WBC Prospects Gold Refractor (above). It previously has sold for $25 or less and is his most-expensive card — see his full checklist on

His toughest non-1/1 cards likely come from Triple Threads where no more than 36 copies of any one card were made.

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

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  1. chrisolds 12 November, 2011 at 14:06

    His age isn’t going to be a problem to many if he’s a 30-30 player. Would he hit 500 homers? Nah.

  2. Josh 13 November, 2011 at 18:49

    What’s the endgame for a collector? If you’re interested in buying cards that retain or increase in value, it seems silly to buy cards of a player who will be forgotten within 5 years after he retires. By that, I mean, it makes sense to avoid guys who have no shot at the hall of fame.

  3. Matt 14 November, 2011 at 09:19

    just checked my 2009 Topps Chrome, I have his ’09 World Baseball Classic refractor #196/199. wonder what it’s worth now?

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