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Of the three candidates who were accepted into the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF), Tim Raine’s candidacy was arguably the most dramatic.
If Raines had not cleared the 75% threshold necessary to enter the HOF in his final year of eligibility, he would have run out of chances to enter due to the controversial 10-year rule.
Furthermore, as a darling of the growing sabermetrics and analytics community, Raines’ candidacy became a stage for debate about the weight that should be placed on using advanced statistics to determine a player’s value and skill.
But now that Raines is finally going to the HOF, the question on the mind of baseball card collectors is, “What happens to the value of my Tim Raine’s baseball cards?” The news is good if you own any of his rookie cards.
At fivecardguys.com, we tracked the online sales of each of the 2017 HOF inductees rookie cards to find out if the Jan. 18 announcement had any impact on the trading price.
Tim Raines has two cards, which can be considered his rookie card: His 1981 Topps Traded rookie card #816, and his 1981 Donruss #538 rookie card.
Of the two, his Topps card is considered the more valuable, and hence more desirable to the collecting community. The Topps #479 Future Stars card is another nice card worth collecting, but because it features two other players we did not track it.
In our tracking we looked at PSA 10 graded cards of the Donruss rookie, and PSA 9 graded cards of the Topps rookie due to a low sample size of PSA 10 graded cards (which is currently on sale for more than $800).
The HOF announcement seems to have had an impact on the selling price of both rookie cards. When comparing the average selling price before and after the announcement the Topps rookie saw a price increase of 33% from $64 to $85, while the Donruss rookie increased by 27% from $122 to $156.
While the increase in average selling price is similar for both cards, the distribution of sale prices after the announcement on Jan. 18 is much different. All Topps cards sold in this period were sold at almost exactly the same price, while the Donruss rookie saw sales from as low as $135 to as high as $200.
This is most likely due to the higher volume of sales of the Donruss rookie as there’s a wider availability of well preserved cards. It is generally harder for buyers and sellers to track what the going price should be when there are more cards on the market.
Bottom line is that while many predicted Tim Raines would make the HOF, the assurance that comes with the induction becoming official has given collectors the comfort to spend that little extra to add his or her card to their collection.
If you already have one of his prized rookies in good condition, consider this a nice time to sell.