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Aaron Judge is Proof the Trading Card Hobby is Thriving

The more dingers that Aaron Judge hits, the more valuable his cards. Just wait until he breaks Roger Maris’s AL home run record.

The trading card hobby has been in a slump, much like the rest of the world’s markets. It’s even prompted statements like “the hobby is dead.” Well, there’s one player whose value has increased exponentially over the last year, and it proves that statement flat-out false.

That player is New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge

As of this writing, Judge is one home run short of matching Roger Maris’s American League home run record of 61. It’s not a matter of if he becomes the new AL home run king, but when. The Yankees are also first place in the AL East and poised to make a deep playoff run behind the MVP favorite.

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Judge, like every player in the hobby, had his cards reach peak value during the pandemic. His current values have since surpassed that. During the pandemic, Judge’s 2017 Topps Chrome rookie PSA 10 reached a peak of $200. Today, that same card consistently goes for $300. That’s after it survived a low of $69 right before the 2022 season began. All of his rookie cards, from different sets and variations, have experienced a similar growth.

If the 30 year-old continues this performance and wins the MVP and World Series, it will be the best individual season we’ve seen in some time. The last player to win MVP and the World Series in the same season was Boston’s Mookie Betts in 2018. But no player has won MVP, led the majors in home runs, and won a World Series in the same year since Mike Schmidt in 1980 with the Phillies. And he only hit 48 home runs that season. All of that and more is on the line for Judge in 2022.

Let’s say Judge pulls this off. He would be one of — if not the most — sought-after current players for collectors and investors in the hobby. Especially if the Yankees can keep him despite his impending free agency. Home runs and MVPs are the biggest drivers of a baseball player’s value. Add a World Series title, and you’re one of the greats in the hobby. If Judge continues to hit 40-plus round-trippers a season and the Yankees continue to win in the AL East, his values will continue to rise as he cements himself as one of the game’s greats.

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