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Game 14: Shohei + Trout Card /3, Jackson Holliday, Jeremy Peña, Dylan Crews
Weekly Roundup 8/7/23-8/13/23
Many of you may remember the final pitch of the World Baseball Classic. That pitch was thrown by Shohei Ohtani to his Angels teammate Mike Trout. Ultimately, Ohtani struck Trout out and Japan won the WBC.
In one of the coolest hobby updates in some time, Mike Trout picked up three Topps Now “Moments” cards depicting that final pitch, signed them, and then had Ohtani do the same. Trout then numbered the cards /3. He kept one card for himself, gave one to Ohtani, and one to Ohtani’s beloved interpreter.
In addition to the general awesomeness of the story, it’s pretty amazing that Trout can basically print hundreds of thousands of dollars in a second. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely any of these three cards will ever go up for sale for decades, if ever.
In other news, big congrats to Ethan Roberts!! Ethan is a relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs who had season ending Tommy John Surgery last year. While recuperating, Roberts got back into the collecting game. However, this time around, his focus was on his own card. Specifically, he wanted to complete his 2022 Topps Update Rookie Chrome Auto rainbow (rainbow meaning each refractor color in the collection). Since Roberts didn’t sign tons of cards, his rainbow was smaller than usual. I’m glad to share that on Friday, August 11th, Ethan completed his rainbow.
Trivia Question of the Week
Who are the two pitchers in baseball history to throw a perfect game and hit a grand slam?
Sales: Shoehei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani cards continue to break records at a pace similar to the records Ohtani achieves at the mound and plate. This PSA 9 2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Rookie Gold Auto /50 set an all-time high, selling for $18,077 on eBay. In May of 2022, the card sold for $6,300. Not a bad return on investment!
2023 Bowman Sterling Baseball – August 16th
2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Baseball – August 16th
2023 Panini Immaculate Baseball – August 23rd
Trending Up, Trending Down
Trending Up: Jackson Holliday [+33.23%]
Well friends, on July 30th we covered Jackson Holliday as our Prospect of the Week, discussing his tear through the minors. Holliday has maintained his impressive year so far, slashing .333/.457/.538. As impressive, if not more so, is that Holliday barely has more strikeouts (81) this year than walks (72).
Trending down: Jeremy Peña [-17.28%]
Peña, like Holliday, is a familiar face to the Stealing Home faithful, but for a less positive reason as he was the player whose card value decreased most significantly in the 6/25 edition of the weekly update. We showed the precipitous drop off between Peña’s 2022 and 2023 campaign through that point:
Well... it seems there are some Peña collectors who have perhaps started to lose faith as his numbers continued to deteriorate over the subsequent 7 weeks. Peña, who hit 20 HR in 2022, has hit one in July and August combined.
SGC’s 2023 Topps Chrome special continues, with SGC grading each card for $9.
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Prospect of the Week: Dylan Crews
Nationals, OF, Age 21, ETA 2024
Dylan Crews was taken 2nd overall in the 2023 draft by Washington and signed for $9m – the second highest bonus in MLB history. Crews spent his college career in Baton Rouge as an LSU Tiger where he earned the National Freshman of the Year award in 2021 followed by a co-SEC player of the year award in 2022. In 2023, Crews led the Tigers to the College World Series championship and won the SEC player of the year award outright after batting .426/.567/.713 for an insane 1.280 OPS.
In his debut on August 3rd for the FCL Nationals, Crews went 3-for-3 with a double. Crews was promoted to Low-A Fredericksburg Nationals where, after 2 quiet games, Crews went 4-for-5 with a grand slam. Through just seven games in the minors, Crews is batting .333/.353/.606.
Topps will likely release Crews’ 1st Bowman in next year’s Bowman Draft.
Prospect Scouting Grades:
Hit: 70 | Power: 60 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 65
Trivia Answer of the Week
Don Larsen and Felix Hernandez!
While the feat itself is pretty remarkable, both contain amazing stories…
April 22, 1956 – New York Yankees Pitcher Don Larsen hits a grand slam off Frank Sullivan of the Boston Red Sox, NY winning 13-6.
October 8, 1956 – Game 5 of the World Series, Don Larsen threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Yankee Stadium.
… a perfect game in the World Series and a grand slam IN THE SAME YEAR?!
June 23, 2008 – Mariners Pitcher Félix Hernández hit a grand slam off two-time Cy Young Award winner, Johan Santana. Santana had only allowed one grand slam home un in >1400 innings pitched, up until that game!
August 15, 2012 – Seattle Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández pitched the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history and the first in Mariners' franchise history.
This week, Félix was inducted into the Mariner’s Hall of Fame!