Welcome to another edition of Beckett Sports Card Hot/Cold where we take a fun and quick look at what’s hot and what’s not in the worlds of sports cards and sports.
We’re at the point of the summer where status quo is the norm, but only for a short time. Baseball’s playoff drive will start to kick in shortly. As more NFL preseason games take place, we’ll get a better look at what might become of the season’s rookies as well as get an idea on some potential emerging stars. It won’t be long before basketball and hockey pick up, too.
Typically, with the Hot/Cold we look more at the players and sets that are trending upward. This week, we’re going Cold because all three names are among the hobby’s elite.
For starters, there’s Kevin Durant. Things are getting ugly in Brooklyn and there’s lots of uncertainty surrounding his future there. Durant is one of the best players in basketball but injuries and early playoff exits over the past couple of years are taking their toll. Collectors are getting hesitant.
For Mike Trout, time is taking its toll. Like Durant, he’s a future Hall of Famer. The Angels outfielder is one of the top names in the hobby and has been for a decade. But a big part of that was based on where his career numbers might add up. Injuries and short seasons the past few years have slowed those projections. Now it’s looking like Trout is going to be dealing with ongoing back issues and is stuck on a team going nowhere. The reality is, the best days of his career could be over.
It was a similar situation with Ken Griffey Jr. in the 2000s. Early in his career, The Kid was a transcendent player. There was no hyperbole in calling him a generational talent. He was on pace to set some staggering career numbers until injuries started stacking up. Griffey is still a legend. No matter what happens with Trout, he will be, too. But there’s a very real possibility that those lofty career stats many were expecting might not happen. The hobby is starting to react to that, which could make for some softer prices on key cards like his 2011 Topps Update RC.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Make no doubt about it, when he’s playing Fernando Tatis Jr. is one of the most charismatic personalities in baseball. The problem is, he hasn’t played a single game in 2022 and has seen limited action the past couple of years. And now he’s not going to thanks to an 80-game suspension handed down Friday after testing positive for a banned substance. That’s a massive blow to the Padres who are looking to make a World Series push after going all-in at the trade deadline, landing Juan Soto among others. Tatis is still young but it has been a rough few years. We’ve seen glimmers of greatness but this latest setback is going to take some time to overcome hobby-wise. That said, PED’s carry a stink that’s hard to wash out.