Why Stephen Strasburg Rookie Cards Are Cool Again

michael eisnerCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2011

VIERA, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait during Spring Training Photo Day at Space Coast Stadium on February 25, 2011 in Viera, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

For those of you who were caught up in "Strasmania" last summer, you might remember just how scorching hot anything bearing Stephen Strasburg's likeness was.

And then the house of cards, so to speak, came tumbling down because of two damning words that every pitcher dreads: Tommy John.

Much like the stock market, rookie cards of true superstars should be purchased for long-term enjoyment and potential gains, as opposed to those of flash-in-the-pan prospects, which should be sold as soon as their first swing or pitch in The Show has concluded.

Case in point: Strasburg.

Since the whole world and their fathers began hoarding rookie cards in the late-1980s, the hobby has had more than its fair share of the Gregg Jeffries and Ben McDonalds of the world. Up until recently, there were very few high-end rookie cards of prospects to dabble in, so the risk versus reward really depended on how many cards you bought and not how much each individual card set you back. It was quantity versus quality.

But the collecting world had never seen a player the likes of Strasburg before.

Now that Strasmania has taken off again—due in large part to Strasburg's triumphant return to the mound last week when he reportedly touched 98 on the radar gun and whiffed four in fewer than two innings—it might be a good time to pick up a rookie card or two of the ace hurler.

With so many different rookie cards to choose from, you really can't go wrong. My suggestion is to purchase mid-range certified autograph Strasburg rookie cards such as his 2010 Bowman Sterling, which currently sells in the $100 range. Running a close second is Strasburg's 2010 Bowman Chrome certified autograph rookie card, which might set you back $125. Had he not injured himself, these cards would have sold for $250-300 each.

If you're working with a budget, try the 2010 Topps Million Card Giveaway rookie card, which is not autographed, but is extremely limited. The card was only available through Topps' Million Card Giveaway promotion which ended in 2010, and could only be obtained by entering a code which randomly unlocked the card.

No matter how you slice it (bad Tommy John joke), Strasburg is on the comeback trail and so are his cards.

Happy collecting.

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