Grand Cards: This Isn't Sadaharu Oh We're Talking About

Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Isn't Sadaharu Oh We're Talking About

Autographs of foreign players are cool. See?

2009 UD Signature Stars #196 Fu-Te Ni Auto

That's cool. Instead of scribbly, illgible signatures of Americans, foreign players offer us a chance to get our scribbly, illegible signature fix in a way that makes us feel worldly and cultured. They're neat.

But are they so neat, that this card pictured above should be selling for $42 with more than two days to go? At some point, the subject of the card needs to be taken into consideration, no? This is Fu-Te Ni, left-handed relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. That will likely remain his role for eternity. He is a good pitcher, who I've come to like a lot, but do you think if he signed his name in english that this card would break $10? $5?

Of course, maybe I'm completely misreading the market for Ni. After all, this is the same player who had an autographed "Pride of the Nation" card from the same set sell for over $350 as mentioned in the Gallery post (Ed- and $366 and $390!). But I can't help but wonder whether people paying such a tidy sum for his signature will be disappointed once they realize that the card is, in fact, of Fu-Te Ni and not somebody awesome.

--Update-- paulsrandomstuff makes an excellent point in the comments, suggesting that country pride may be playing a role. Given the few Taiwanese baseball players that have made the leap to MLB and Ni's relative success in his rookie season. That certainly helps explain the very high cost for the "Pride of the Nation" card, in particular. In light of that, let me extend my apologies to the Taiwanese collectors who are enhancing their enjoyment of the hobby by collecting cards of Mr. Ni. After all, if the card has value to you that's the only thing that matters.


  1. Did you stop to think that the high prices might be paid by collectors from Taiwan who are proud of one of the best players from their country?

    That's generally the reason for cards & memorabilia from Asian players selling at higher levels than you'd otherwise expect.

  2. You know, I didn't think of that and that's an excellent point. That would certainly help explain the generally high prices of Ni Relic cards released last year of him in WBC gear.

    It also gives me a non-Yankee reason to explain the high values (still) of Chien-Ming Wang autographed rookie cards ($70-80 for a 2003 Bowman's Best.

    Thank you very much for pointing out what I am embarrassed to say didn't even cross my mind!