What were the top trending players and sports cards this week according to SlabStox?
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No. 1: LeBron James 2003 Topps Chrome Rookie Refractor PSA 8
NEW VALUE: $6,900
PREVIOUS VALUE: $7,100 (10/20/22)
6-MONTH ROI: -2.82%
PSA 8 POP: 110
Analysis: Don’t look now but the Lakers are on a mini-run. They have won five of their last six including big wins against the Suns, Thunder and Timberwolves. While a lot of this run could be accredited to Anthony Davis and his scoring prowess, we will talk about LeBron. LeBron missed 13 straight games at the worst time for the Lakers, but returned with eight games left (three of which they’ve already played). Getting one of the greatest basketball players of all-time back for the race to the last playoff spots helps tremendously. In fact, it has already paid dividends. LeBron helped propel the Lakers to a 12-point win over the Timberwolves, the team directly behind them in the standings. Only one game separates the Lakers in the 8th seed and the Clippers in the 6th seed. If they can pick that up and stay out of the play-in tournament, a Lakers run becomes much more realistic. It should also help LeBron’s card market. In the last six months, hsi 2003 Topps Chrome RC Refractor PSA 8 is basically even, having only increased 3%. IF they stay out of the play-in and IF they have a healthy LeBron and AD for a 7-game series, we imagine not many teams will want to face them.
No. 2: Justin Verlander 2005 Topps Gold Rookie PSA 10
New Value: $1,269
PREVIOUS VALUE: $2,600 (8/25/22)
1-YEAR ROI: -51.19%
PSA 10 POP: 34
Analysis: The Mets season has started off poorly on and off-the-field. On-the-field, they lost three straight games to the Brewers where they gave up 26 runs and scored 6. Off the field, they lost Justin Verlander before the year even began, as he’s now on the injured list. While an injury to one of your aces for any amount of time is bad, this injury to Verlander feels worse due to the poor performances of Carlos Carrasco and Max Scherzer to start the year. If Verlander can’t come back and right the ship, it could be a long season in Queens. As for Verlander cards, those have been performing as well as the Mets have. In the last year, his 2005 Topps Gold /2005 PSA 10 decreased 51% with the most recent sale on 3/24/23 setting a new yearly low by over $700.
No. 3: Aaron Judge 2017 Topps Chrome Catching Rookie Refractor PSA 9
NEW VALUE: $138
PREVIOUS VALUE: $77 (2/5/23)
1-YEAR ROI: +79.63%
PSA 9 POP: 181
Analysis: Only three players in MLB history have followed up a 60 home run season with a 50 home run season. Those players are Babe Ruth, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire. Aaron Judge is looking to become the fourth, and so far, so good. In three games this year, Judge has two home runs putting him on pace for 108 home runs! While he won’t hit that mark, it’s nice to see him playing well even after signing a significant contract. This hot start has his card market moving back up after last year’s record sales. In the last two months, his 2017 Topps Chrome Refractor RC PSA 9 increased 80%.
No. 4: Jamie Vardy 2019 Panini Prizm Kaboom! PSA 9
NEW VALUE: $108
PREVIOUS VALUE: $193 (10/4/20)
ALL-TIME ROI: -44.16%
PSA 10 POP: 12
Analysis: Back in the 2015-16 Premier League season, Leicester City was the bell of the ball having won the league in only their second year since promotion. Fast forward to today, and Leicester City is currently just one spot from the bottom of the table, meaning there is a good chance of relegation with only 9 games to go. Things have gotten so bad that they sacked their manager Brendan Rodgers on Sunday. This season hasn’t just been tough on management though, as there have been plenty of players, ranging from Youri Tielemans to Jamie Vardy, that have had disappointing years. The only player on the roster that has cards tracked by Card Ladder currently is Jamie Vardy. The 36-year-old has only played in the starting XI 39% of the time this year. Overall, he has only played in 51% of the total minutes played by Leicester this year. Those down minutes have contributed to his lowest goal contributions (goals + assists) in a season for his career. It has also contributed to a drop in his market. His 2019 Prizm Kaboom! PSA 9 decreased 44% since its first sale, and the last sale set a new low for this card. If Leicester City is to avoid relegation, they will likely need a bit more from the entire team including their former star Jamie Vardy.
No. 5: 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Cryptocurrency PSA 10
NEW VALUE: $96
PREVIOUS VALUE: $28 (12/25/18)
ALL-TIME ROI: +242.86%
PSA 10 POP: 990
Analysis: Even after having lived through the card market boom of 2020-2021, it’s still hard sometimes to appreciate how absurd it really was. Stimulus checks combined with endless amounts of time led people to make some of the most (hindsight 20/20) mind-boggling purchases the card market has ever seen. Perhaps no card better represents this than the 2018 Allen & Ginter Cryptocurrency card. This card, especially as a PSA 10, is the perfect marriage of multiple different 2020-2021 interests culminating into a wild spending spree. While this card is still in the positive all-time (+243%), from its peak it is a different story. One person decided to buy this card for $1,250 on 10/29/21. Since that point, this card has decreased in value by 92%. It’s likely painful to look back on if you are the person that made that purchase. For the rest of us, it’s a fascinating study on not getting caught up in the moment when buying cards.