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Old 05-20-2017, 02:29 AM
trdcrdkid's Avatar
trdcrdkid trdcrdkid is offline
David Kathman
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Chicago, IL
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Default Pat Neshek baseball card collection in Wall Street Journal

I don't remember seeing this posted here, but I apologize if it was and I missed it. Last Friday's (May 12) edition of the Wall Street Journal had an article about Phillies reliever Pat Neshek and his baseball card collection. He has the top-rated 1970 Topps set in the PSA registry, and the 8th-rated 1951 Bowman set, among other things. I've provided a link to the article below, but since I think you need a subscription to read it, I also pasted in the text below.

The Journeyman Reliever With the Hall-of-Fame Baseball-Card Collection

Pat Neshek of the Philadelphia Phillies boasts a collection worth seven figures, with a specialty in collecting complete sets

By Michael Salfino
Updated May 11, 2017 5:07 p.m. ET

Phillies relief pitcher Pat Neshek is on his sixth team in 11 years. He’s never had more than six saves in a season. But his baseball-card collection by most accounts leads the league—and could be Hall of Fame caliber.

The 36-year-old side-armer has parlayed some of his $24 million in career earnings into a card collection worth well into seven figures. It includes a Mickey Mantle 1951 rookie card now worth $200,000, and a Willie Mays rookie card from the same year valued at almost $60,000.

But Neshek’s speciality is building complete sets, meaning he collects all of the cards issued by a manufacturer in a given year. His 1951 Bowman set is graded eighth-best in the world, for example, but his true prize is a 1970 Topps set—a total of 720 cards—in near-mint condition, graded as number-one in the world, according to Professional Sports Authenticator, a third-party grading service. “I’m at a 9.6 (average grade with perfect being 10.0) and the next closest is like 8.8,” Neshek said.

Given the set has no peer, it is difficult to value, but likely would fetch six figures, based on the valuations of lower-graded sets from that year.

The market for many newer cards crashed in the mid-to-late 1990s, but the market for the vintage cards—meaning produced before 1971—has remained largely robust. Thus Neshek sees his collection as an investment first and foremost, and advises fellow major leaguers on which high-dollar cards are likely to appreciate in value over time.

Most important, he says: picking cards with high grades, which are increasingly rare.

That said, his most prized card is worth exactly $2.84 according to It is a beatup 1951 card of former Yankee pitcher Vic Raschi, the first vintage card that Neshek collected as a kid in Brooklyn Park, a Minneapolis suburb.

“My dad bought a bunch of cards on a business trip that were all dinged up and drawn on for maybe a quarter each and my brothers and I had a baseball card draft. ‘I’m taking this Hank Aaron with a mustache that someone drew on him!’” Neshek recalled. “I picked the Raschi and am keeping it forever.”

Many players collect memorabilia pieces for keepsakes or as a modest investments, but “players collecting complete sets is very rare,” says David Hunt of Hunt Auctions, the official auctioneer at Major League Baseball’s All-Star FanFest.

Neshek says he loves learning about baseball history by studying the statistics, cartoons and biographies on the backs of the cards. He says many major leaguers are well versed in baseball history via collecting baseball cards and other memorabilia like autographs, jerseys, hats and, in the case of his Phillies teammate Howie Kendrick, 1960s bobble-head dolls.

Neshek is constantly adding to his collection, which he secures in a safe but looks at regularly. His latest quest is to replace the cards of Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Roberto Clemente in his 1970 set with perfectly-graded versions. One problem: only one of each is known to exist.

But the joy of the hobby is constantly improving the collection. He buys cards in online auctions and says, “I love getting a card in the mail and replacing the old 9 with a new 10.”

What does he do with the old 9? Sell it?

“Nah. I build another set.”
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:03 AM
dzolot dzolot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NY Tri state area
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Very cool - thanks for posting. Articles like this from a leading global periodical are so important to the hobby.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:15 AM
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KingFisk KingFisk is offline
C@rl P@rk
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Posts: 549

I love this, especially now that he is a Phillie. Guess he wasn't the one who paid crazy money for that Reggie Jackson 1970 PSA at Mile High last year.

Last edited by KingFisk; 05-20-2017 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Poor reading comprehension
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:32 PM
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JustinD JustinD is offline
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Location: Birmingham, Mi
Posts: 1,267

Neshek always reminds me of the crack the code contest as he was the answer.
- Justin D.

Player collecting - Lance Parrish, Jim Davenport, John Norlander.

Successful B/S/T with - Highstep74, Northviewcats, pencil1974, T2069bk, tjenkins, wilkiebaby11, baez578, Bocabirdman, maddux31, Leon, Just-Collect, bigfish, quinnsryche...and a whole bunch more, I stopped keeping track, lol.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:10 PM
JohnnyFinance7 JohnnyFinance7 is offline
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Great article. Thank you for posting.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:37 PM
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Beansballcardblog Beansballcardblog is offline
Kin K.
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 263

Neshek also sat down with the guys from Beckett Radio on Monday and recorded an episode with the guys from Beckett Radio.

You can listen to it here. Just thought I'd share it with you all.
Collecting open-wheel/Indianapolis 500 related racing (attempting the T36 Auto Drivers set), T206 (all Scoops Carey & Woodie Thornton), 1955 All-American football and WVU related.

My card blog: I Feel Like a Collector Again

My Collector Focus page.

Successful purchases from dnanln, pre1960sets, jp1216 & sebie43; ROAKs received from CW & LuckyLarry
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