I returned to card blogging and my fixation on The Hobby in December 2017 and quickly learned about Shohei Ohtani. Basically, the kid has been the talk of this industry and accompanying sport for the entire first six months of 2018. Based on Ohtani’s super hot start with the Angels as both a hitter and a pitcher, Shohei’s cards caught fire with his Topps autographs regularly hitting the $3K mark on the secondary market.
Without a doubt, 2018 Bowman has been the product of the year SO FAR. It’s not even a close race as Topps has absolutely killed it this year. Hobby, Jumbo, Retail, and Mega boxes have been flying off shelves and been scalped at an all-time high. Even Blowout Cards got into the hype by adding a $100,000 “bounty” on the Shohei Ohtani Superfractor for any lucky collector who was lucky enough to pull it.
Here is where John Muheim comes into the picture. The man spent a small fortune on Hobby and Jumbo boxes of ’18 Bowman and happened to find the most-wanted card of Ohtani within 24 hours of two other Shohei Superfractors being pulled (Finest signed & unsigned). Then, still within that tragic 24 hour window, Ohtani hit the disabled list and if you think that’s bad, there’s even more.
On the day when Muheim, a collector for nearly twenty years was due to bask in the hobby glory, beloved TV host and chef, Anthony Bourdain, ends his life by hanging. My Twitter feed, which is 99.9% baseball card related, treated the Ohtani Bowman Superfractor as a foot note on a day when everyone was mourning Bourdain or still arguing over Michael Jordan, Lebron James and a farm animal.
Talk about a punch in the gut. The man essentially had the pull of a lifetime and is overshadowed by two other Ohtani Superfractors pulled less than 24 hours earlier and the likely end of the Shohei Ohtani Hype Machine in 2018. It’s unclear if John will be selling the card or keeping it in his collection but one thing is certain now, you can expect prices of Bowman to hit rock bottom as all the big cards have already been pulled.
Furthermore, considering every single Topps product’s main selling point this year has been Ohtani autographs, don’t expect any more Bowman-like sales figures at least not while the kid is on the DL. Just don’t also expect to see his big autographs from Heritage or Bowman to start hitting bargain bins any time soon at least not until it is proven Shohei Ohtani is delicate and/or injury prone. We still have some time for that tale.
Let’s hope John sold the Super to #VegasDave before Ohtani hit the DL.
One final note: I find it very peculiar that it took over a month of 2018 Bowman-Mania for this Superfractor to be found WHEN all the other big name cards from the brand were pulled within the first two weeks. With so much hype, so many sales, and insane bounties … how did this card remain hidden for so long? Perhaps it was pulled a while ago and kept hush so Topps could move 80% of the product or more?
Just look how quickly collectors found the Ohtani Superfractors in Finest. Both cards were pulled during the first week of its release and no one was buying up Finest on the same level as ’18 Bowman. Look, we already know card companies care little to nothing about collectors and it’s all about the big buck so what’s to say Topps didn’t hold back this card and/or paid to keep its finding a secret for a month?
Nothing would surprise me anymore.