Don’t go nuts: The Rally Squirrel might not be as rare as other 2012 Topps SPs


By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst | Analysis

The 2012 Topps Series 1 base set photo variation short-prints have been some the best selling cards in the hobby during the last 10 days. Topps inserted 22 different variations, including super rare Albert Pujols Angels and Jose Reyes Marlins cards.

But the card that has attracted the most attention has been Skip Schumaker‘s “Rally Squirrel” variation. The first auction for the card ended a little over a week ago at more than $600 and early sales were in the $150-$300 range.  The card has since settled in at $60-$120 and is selling roughly eight to 10 times better than any other short print in the base set, with the exception of the Pujols and Reyes cards.

Should it be? Is the Rally Squirrel and easy pull compared to the other short-printed variations? Our secondary market sales analysis indicates that it is.

Over the past 10 days we have gathered an analyzed roughly 1,200 actual completed sales for the base set variations. For each of the short print variations, we gathered between 40 and 60 sales with the exception of three: The Squirrel, Pujols and Reyes. For the Pujols and Reyes cards, we gathered roughly 15 sales each. We gathered roughly 150 sales for the Squirrel.

It’s no secret that the Pujols and Reyes cards are super short prints. Based on our analysis, they look to be about three to four times tougher pulls compared to the other regular SPs. Compared to the Rally Squirrel, they look to be about 10 times tougher. Based on our information, the Rally Squirrel looks to be about two to three times easier to pull than the other regular short-prints. At first glance, collectors may think that all the hype surrounding the Rally Squirrel led to more people offering the card for sale. However, if that were the case, we would expect to the see a greater variance in the number of the other short-prints offered for sale — but that was not the case.

Our analysis of these 1,200 completed sales confirms the notion that the Pujols and Reyes cards are extremely tough pulls. It also indicates that – compared to the other short prints -the Rally Squirrel seems to be a much easier pull than first thought. If that truly is the case, expect to see the realized auction prices continue to drop.


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  1. Ryan A. 10 February, 2012 at 16:20

    That’ll be very interesting to see. It very well could be easier to pull or maybe more are getting put on eBay due to Yahoo! articles, ESPN features, etc. drawing more collectors pulling the card to sell it. Also it seems to be a more obvious SP in that one can notice it much easier

  2. Brian 10 February, 2012 at 17:06

    Other than the Pujols and Reyes all SPs had the same print run. The Squirrel had more buzz so was found more than the other SPs when opening packs.

  3. brentandbecca 10 February, 2012 at 17:37

    Oh boy oh boy. This article is a tad off in my opinion. Having broken 60 cases and having known of approx 145 more by various case breakers in qty of 5-20, I can tell you almost with 100% certainty that I can clarify this. First to the notion of Pujols & Reyes (at least in hobby cases, as retail seems to have them a bit more often, but who knows how much retail has been busted…tons!). They are by far the two ultra-SP cards. I hit only 1 Reyes and 0 Pujols in 60 cases. Of the other 145 cases, I heard of a combined 6 Reyes and 5 Pujols, so with my 1, that is 12 in about 205 cases. The next 205 may have had 10 or 15 I don’t know, but they are tough. They, like the squirrel, will be seen FAR MORE OFTEN on eBay because it is worth it to list a hot card selling north of $100 than a $5 Mat Latos SP that has nothing special with it. Now, on to the other SP. The squirrel is no more easy than they are to pull. In 60 cases I pulled 128 of them (so slightly more than 2 per case…every case had 2, but 8 cases had 3). There are 20 SP in the set. I made 6 full sets of 20, with 8 extras. I pulled 6 squirrels. I pulled 6-8 of each SP. The other breakers I am aware of pulled results similar, which is basically every 10 cases should yield one of each SP if perfect collation. Plus, the squirrel is the easiest SP to notice…so many folks buying a few packs or boxes may not even notice the other ones or care since they are much cheaper. And again, you will see more of the more expensive cards selling as they are hot—it’s THE card people were looking for, not Ian Kennedy. It’s like saying there are more Cam Newton /199 then there are Colin Kaepernick /199…nope, just Cam is more hot to sell…Others could be holding the other SPs, or keeping them in the PC. For me, rather than selling sets of the SP since the squirrel was so high $, I sold all 6 of mine as singles for $279-$329, then while I did list some other singles of the other SP, I sold sets off eBay of 19 (set minus the squirrel), so again less on eBay. Many of the SP set buyers wanted to wait (smartly) on the squirrel so they didn’t mind not getting it. Sorry this is long and hopefully not confusion. I a writing from my phone, lol. Key point is, hotter items will be listed more often. Many don’t see the value of taking the time to sell a $5-$10 SP.

  4. BrianFleischer 10 February, 2012 at 18:24

    Great points, Brian and Brent.

    Brent – with the amount of cases that you break, I certainly don’t doubt your findings!

    This was far from a scientific study. I just found it interesting that the short prints all lumped together into three groups with very similar sales numbers – the squirrel, the Pujols/Reyes and the rest.

    Maybe “tougher pull” was the wrong phrase to use. Perhaps the angle of the note should have been “more plentiful on the secondary market”…as in the squirrel is 2-3 times more plentiful than any other short prints – Pujols and Reyes excluded.

    Thanks, as always, for contributing to the discussion!

  5. Dan C. 10 February, 2012 at 23:33

    Yeah, common sense says that of course more squirrels hit ebay since they went for 200 bucks apiece the first couple days. They’re also easier to spot, whereas the others might be glanced over.

  6. Chris 11 February, 2012 at 19:00

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a sloppily-reasoned and blatantly false article on this website, ever. Dr. Jim should be embarrassed that his name is attached to such an article.

  7. Phil 14 February, 2012 at 11:00

    I popped 4 hobby boxes and a jumbo and got one short print (Butler). I have opened 5 retail boxes and 4 retail jumbo packs and got one short print (Freeman).

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