2015 TOPPS DANIEL MURPHY
A few weeks back I bowed out of an online auction for this card when the price hit $10. By the time the virtual hammer fell, the price stood at just over $25 with shipping.
One magic word: sparkle.
Back in 2011, Topps celebrated its 60th anniversary in the baseball-card business by producing all manner of diamond-themed cards. The offerings ranged from Hope diamond and cognac diamond parallels, to die-cut diamond redemption cards, from diamond-embedded cards (which contained actual diamond chips), to a diamond-anniversary ring (which contained no actual diamonds, natch).
Topps had a few more tricks up its sleeve that year, and one that took collectors by surprise was the inclusion of 60 diamond “sparkle” cards in both series 1 and series 2. These cards were identical to their base-set counterparts, except for a prominent glint of light that was added digitally to the obverse photo.
No one knew how many of each card had been produced, although those who were paying attention ventured that 60 was a smart guess.
The company revived this variant in 2014, and brought it back again this year. Which brings us back to this Daniel Murphy card.
If you look closely at the back of his helmet, you will see a little burst of light, which is absent from the regular version of the card.
And it is this discreet sparkle that pushes the price of the card two decimals to the right of where you might expect it to be in the natural order of things…