Would Justin Verlander’s second no-no of season have ignited interest in his baseball cards?


By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander flirted with throwing his second no-hitter of the season Tuesday night against the Cleveland Indians, blanking his AL Central rivals before giving up a hit in the eighth and recording the win in a 4-0 victory.

His first no-no came on May 7 against the Blue Jays and it really didn’t generate much heat for his cards at all … it should have — and a second no-no should have propelled him firmly into the elite of MLB arms in many minds if not already there. It would have been his third career no-no — breaking a tie with Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay for the most by an active MLB pitcher. (It’s worth noting that Verlander is the youngest of the three, too.)

Yet the slugger-centric mentality of the hobby might have left this one once again as one for the highlight reels — and not so much for his cards. It wasn’t to be — but I’m optimistic that such dominating showings might help a few collectors latch onto players whom they might not have in the past. You know, back in the days when we were all marveling at tape-measure home runs that turned out to be, um … wind-aided? (Yeah, that’s it … )

Or, perhaps — though I’d not agree — some may feel that he’s already too valuable.

In all, Verlander appears on 3,017 different baseball cards and of those priced in the Beckett.com database they’ll cost you roughly $29,783 (or less) to own. He’s a relatively plentiful signer — 619 of those are autographed cards — and he’s got nearly just as many game-used cards at 526.

But, of course, it would have been his Rookie Cards that collectors would have latched onto — and he’s got 47 of them since there were plenty of card companies making MLB cards in 2005. Of those 47 — only those tagged as RCs — seven command $100 or more with the most-expensive being his Ultimate Collection card, which is limited to just 99 copies and sells for as much as $300.

However, the most serious money comes with one 2005 Bowman Chrome Refractor — not tagged as an RC since it’s an insert card. His Gold Refractor, limited to 50 copies, books for $800. Meanwhile, lesser Refractors sell for $250 (Blue), $150 (X-Fractor) and $120 (standard Refractor). His standard Chrome autograph commands as much as $80 — perhaps that’s a card with room to grow.

Has Verlander  tapped out his cardboard potential? That’s for the buyers to decide, but performances like those we saw on Tuesday night might not make that call so easy to make.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. Ben Roberts 15 June, 2011 at 00:45

    I would say it would have to spark some interest. It would have been his second no-no this year and third of his under-rated career. If I remember correctly this was the fourth time this year he has had a no-hitter at least into the 6th inning. He is a beast and I believe he wins the AL Cy Young award this year. And as far as the lack of hobby love, people need to realize that he is going to have a long, productive and probably dominant career. He IS a power pitcher yes, but he has the smoothest delivery for a power pitcher I have ever seen. You can’t tell whether he is throwing off speed or heat when he throws and the lack of violence in his delivery means very litle torque on his throwing arm.

  2. charles faires 15 June, 2011 at 03:08

    if this guy was on the yankees or the cardnials or any other major media city, he would be a god, but as it is with all sports smaller demigraph areas don’t get there due.detroit use to be, but not in a long time, just look at the NBA champs they get some time and space but what is the media fix on the so called super stars(oh yea they chocked) who named this james guy king james the media, 2 teams 2 failuers, but if they tell it like it is(Chocked 2 times) there would be no sales no money because if they hyped tim ducan or dirk ECT. they would go broke come on Duncan won 4 rings, but nothing is said on ESPN or any of the rags in print after the first week of his team winning I’m just saying

  3. Todd Gack 15 June, 2011 at 08:45

    First thank you for acknowledging his success (even after the snub on the no-no earlier this season). His performance was the lead story on Baseball Tonight, and he’s in the running to start the All-Star game, and perhaps a CY Young award. Detroit is playing good ball, and have 2 of the best players in all of baseball with Verlander and Cabrera. I think that Verlander is in a better position than most players to grow in value and collectibility. He’s on a team that contends, he’s signed long-term, they have money to spend next year, they’re in a division they can compete in every year, and he seems pretty durable. He’s really grown this year as a player and a leader, and with performances like this, and continued national recognition, his cards have room to grow. Hopefully collectors will realize that a player doesn’t have to play in NY, Boston or Philly to be considered a superstar. This guy is loved in Detroit, and as people continue to see him pitch and hear him speak, I think his star will only get brighter!

  4. Nick 15 June, 2011 at 09:19

    Liriano almost threw his second no hitter of the year a few days ago, I feel this article should have been about the both of them.

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