‘Million Dollar Question’ – Better Card To Invest In: 1968 Topps Johnny Bench OR Nolan Ryan??
I am not really one for making large investments in baseball cards. I have tagged myself as a ‘budget collector’ but I am not naïve enough to say that I would not mind owning a few more ‘valuable’ baseball cards that have the potential to remain valuable in the future regardless of what direction the present hobby takes.
Amazingly, there are a lot of rookie cards of the players that I admired as a kid that can be had relatively inexpensively. Rookie cards of guys like Wade Boggs, Andre Dawson, Tony Gwynn, Dale Murphy, Eddie Murray, and more can be regularly had for well under twenty dollars if shopped right.
And then there are the guys that are highly coveted but well out of my price range – Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, and Rod Carew.
If I had a big stack of disposable cash, I would surely invest in some of these great rookie cards. They are cards that I have drooled over for more than 25 years and the intrinsic value that they would offer me and my collection would outweigh the hefty price tag.
That leads me to tonight’s Million Dollar Question – Which Card Would Be The Better Card To Invest In: 1968 Topps Johnny Bench OR Nolan Ryan??
Let’s take the dollar impact out of the equation.
Let’s say that you had a gift certificate that was redeemable for either (1) a 1968 Topps Johnny Bench rookie card or (2) a 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan rookie card.
Which one would you choose?
For me, I don’t think you can go wrong with choosing either of them. But, since this is a question with two choices, I feel that having to make a choice in either direction is mandatory.
Two Hall of Famers – One great question!!!!
On one hand, with Bench you have arguably the greatest catcher of all-time, a 2-time MVP, a 2-time World Series champion, and a member of the All-Century Team. With Ryan you have a 300-game winner, the all-time leader in career strikeouts, the major league leader in no-hitters thrown, and a World Series champion.
But whose card would you rather have??
For me, the choice is a lot easier than what I expected it would be. And you may be a little surprised with my choice…
For as much as I truly value and acknowledge the greatness of Johnny Bench, I would easily choose the Nolan Ryan rookie card.
For me, he is the more historic player, and if you know me and my passion for Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine”, this is tough to admit. Ryan’s career spanned two generations and for as much as Johnny dominated the sport on both offense and defense, Nolan Ryan offered more noteworthy individual highlights with his 7 no-hitters, 300+ wins, and 5,000+ strikeouts.
If I was to invest in a card of this magnitude, it would have to be in one that tells a bigger, more grand story. I can see in 10-15 years guys my age sharing stories of watching a specific Nolan Ryan moment or moments, whereas with Bench, I think that might not be the case.
I would choose the 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan card!!