Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 3/15/12

Alex Gordon’s rookie card was the hottest in all of baseball. It sold for as much as $2,550. Here’s my first question. Who is Alex Gordon?

Is he the Second Coming of George Brett? Did I miss that on the ESPN ticker? If he is, please don’t tell George Brett. I don’t think he’ll take it well. Gordon has a lifetime batting average of .262 for the Kansas City Royals. Why are people paying couture handbag pricing for a piece of cardboard?

No. 297 in Topps’ 2006 set was worth apparently the price of a Vespa because it frankly should have never been produced in the first place. In part to reduce confusion in the marketplace, the Major League Baseball Players Association ruled that card manufacturers could make rookie cards only of players who either made the 25-man roster or played in a major league game the season before. For the 2006 season, Gordon didn’t qualify either way. After he led Nebraska into the College World Series, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft didn’t sign his contract until late September of that year.

“At the last second, we realized we had made a mistake, so we pulled the cards, destroyed them by cutting out the photo and then destroyed the plates,” said Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi in 2006.

Still, a fan named Jeremy Troutman pulled five of Gordon’s cards on a shopping trip in his hometown of Wichita. I think at the same time that year, I pulled five of Todd Pratt’s cards. Troutman sold all five of his cards to different collectors for a total of $5,761.79. My Todd Pratt cards aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

Although Topps destroyed the plates, Topps now believes a little under 100 of the Gordon cards got out. Apparently, most were traced to Wal-Marts across the country. Here I was being a Target snob.

Jason Mauk purchased one of the cards from a wholesaler for $1000. He then put it up on eBay and sold it for $1,425. Mauk claims almost 100 people put his auction on their watch list. He had never seen that happen before. Did I mention that was five Todd Pratt cards I pulled?

The last major error of this magnitude in the trading card industry happened in 1989. A Fleer card featuring Billy Ripken was released carrying an obscenity clearly written on the knob of the bat Ripken was holding. Ironically, my dad and I got this card several times. Fleer’s attempted cover-up created more than six versions of that card. We had two. The original remained the hottest property, selling for hundreds of dollars at the time. However, due to the extremely soft market, that card can now be had for $5.

I personally always thought Cal did it.

Gordon error card went through the roof, because of his potential. In his first full season as a pro, Gordon batted .326 with 6 home runs and 12 RBI with the Wranglers – a Royals’ minor league affiliate. Up with the big club now, he’s since cooled off. However, he’s definitely got potential.

Like the Ripken card, other versions of the Gordon card have emerged. One version has the photo missing so it just includes the thin card borders. It has been selling in the $30 to $50 range. There is one on eBay right now.

Frankly, it’s just creepy. A full Gordon card that just has his name on the front and a blank on the back has sold in the $100 to $200 range.

Before you go spend your tax refund on an Alex Gordon rookie card, take a breath. He too has now fallen victim to the soft market. It looks like the last fully intact version went for $300 bucks, a far cry from the thousands Jeremy Troutman pulled in a couple of years earlier.

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