Matt Cain flirted with a perfect game before he actually threw one when he tossed 9 innings of 1 hit baseball (with no walks) against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 13. Fast forward 2 months later and one of the games most consistent pitchers made San Francisco (and MLB) history when he threw a perfect game against the Houston Astros on June 13, 2012.
Seems like everyone wants a piece of the perfect game, I’ve even heard of a bat company making exactly 2012 replica bats with Matt Cain’s face on them to re-sell. I’m sure the streets after home games will be filled with guys selling bootleg Matt Cain Perfect Game items for the rest of the season too. And for as long as eBay has been around – Perfect Games/No Hitters have always been when savvy sellers unload cards to collectors. Human nature is somewhat tilted towards buying things that are hot (or in demand) and not buying things that are cold (or out of demand). This is obviously the reverse logic if you’re trying to save money, but the sellers who part with Cain’s cards during his perfect game “Honeymoon” period, are often taking advantage of a short term boost in demand/price.
You can see by the graph and price data from eBay over the last 6 months, Cain’s 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks rookie card wasn’t selling at super high prices despite having an All-Star like season before the perfect game. However, once he threw the perfect game on June 13th, his cards took off like a rocket, peaking at around $26 dollars … or over $20 dollars more than most were selling for pre-prefect game.
Naturally a card that isn’t all that particularly rare selling for $15+ dollars starts to draw more sellers to the market. At the same time, buyers excitement for a perfect game diminishes as the news cycle rolls over (which included a compelling NBA Finals match-up between LeBron James and Kevin Durant). Matt Cain’s 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks RC has now established a very healthy downtrend on eBay, and I expect this card to fall back into the $5 – $7 range here soon.
I expect more collectors will recognize Matt Cain cards because of his perfect game, and he is having a very good career, but collectors could ignore his cards much like they were before the perfection as time passes.
Day Of Perfect Game
After Perfect Game
Mixture of Buy It Now and Auction Data. Shipping is NOT Counted. This was for raw (or un-graded) copies of Matt Cain’s
2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks #BDP25 rookie card sold on from January 1 – 6/18/2012