You know the story by now about Clayton Kershaw being pulled just 6 outs away from a perfect game. In the more than 200,000 total Major League Baseball games ever played, only 23 perfect games have ever been pitched. There is no assurance that Clayton Kershaw would have made it a full perfect game. That said, the hobby of sports collectors and the fans who love baseball will never know what could have been.
The good news for Clayton Kershaw is that his public statements are about being there to win and to go on to bigger things. And Kershaw does already have a 2014 no-hitter under his belt. What sounds more impressive — throwing a perfect game or raking up your 168th win after 7 innings of perfection?
As a sports fan and collector who loves precious moments, my own opinion was that Kershaw should have been left in. As a pragmatist, it is easy to see why he was pulled – to save that multi-million arm for a long full season to win more games and ultimately to win it all. Modern coaching pulls pitchers early and Kershaw is just not a pitcher that gets left in a game forever.
Kershaw’s career is already one that seems destined for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He has two years of 21 wins and his win-loss percentage is .689. And despite this record, he has only completed 25 games in his career (the last being in 2017) and he has an impressive 2.48 career ERA.
Many of the pitchers who have thrown perfect games have names that by and large have been forgotten about by fans and are completely ignored by collectors. Still, here are just a few of the top pitchers who have thrown games with no hits, no walks and no errors that out a man on the bases — Cy Young, Addie Joss, Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson…
So what are some of Clayton Kershaw’s highest selling cards and items that have ever sold in the sports collectibles hobby?
Goldin sold a 2006 Bowman Draft Chrome Draft Picks (Red Refractors) #DP84 Clayton Kershaw Signed Rookie Card (#4/5) graded BGS MINT 9/BGS 10 on Jan. 30, 2021 for $85,200.00 (Image below by Goldin.co). In the Babe Ruth 100th Anniversary Auction, Goldin also sold a 2008 Clayton Kershaw game-worn, signed and photo-matched jersey from his first MLB game (authenticated by Mei Gray and Steiner) for $33,180.00. The next most expensive card sold was a 2006 Bowman Draft Chrome Orange Refractor “Draft Picks” #DP84 Clayton Kershaw autographed card (#17/25) graded BGS MINT 9/BGS 10 that sold for $12,000.00.
In May of 2019, PWCC sold a 2006 Bowman Chrome Red Refractor Clayton Kershaw Rookie Auto #/5 graded BGS 9.5 for $51,300.00 (Image below by PWCC Marketplace). PWCC’s second highest priced card sold was in 2018 of a 2006 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor Clayton Kershaw RC AUTO /25 BGS 9.5 for $13,989 and its third highest sale was in April 2021 of a 2006 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor Clayton Kershaw ROOKIE RC AUTO /25 BGS 9.5 for $11,640.00.
Heritage also has some high Kershaw lot sales. Their highest was a 2008 Clayton Kershaw Major League Debut Game Worn & Signed Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie Jersey with Photo Match on Aug. 21, 2021 for $66,000.00. They also have two very high-end card sales: the first being a 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Clayton Kershaw (Blue Refractor) #DP84 BGS Pristine 10, Auto 10, #’d 136/150 (on Aug. 22, 2021) for $9,600.00; the second is a 2006 Bowman Chrome Clayton Kershaw Draft Picks Autograph #DP84 BGS Gem Mint 9.5 from July 19, 2018 for $9,000.00. (Image below by Heritage)
The highest sale listed on eBay’s recently sold (and completed removed) items was a Clayton Kershaw 2006 Bowman Chrome 1st Gold Refractor Auto RC 5/50 PSA 10 that was listed for $24,999.99 plus $99.99 shipping. We do not have a formal sale price as it was listed Best Offer Accepted. The next highest lot was a March 6, 2022 sale listed as the classical “investment lot” of 10 cards of the 2008 Topps Update #UH240 graded all as PSA 10 that had a Buy It Now price of $11,999.99 and was listed as “Best Offer Accepted.” And for eBay auctions, a “Probstein123” auction on Feb. 24, 2022 of a 2006 Bowman Chrome XFractor Clayton Kershaw RC Rookie /225 BGS 9.5 w/ 10 AUTO sold for $3,100.00 after 26 bids.
And lastly, this is not the most valuable card but it may represent one of the best images and historical significance — eBay had a March 5, 2022 Clayton Kershaw Sandy Koufax 2016 Topps Tier One Dual Auto 1/25 Bgs 9.5/10 that was listed for $2,499.99 and was classified as Best Offer Accepted.
The COMC.com site currently has 4 Clayton Kershaw cards listed above $1,000 (with 2 of them being above $2,000.00). MySlabs has 16 Kershaw cards at the $1,000+ level — one of which is a Mike Trout Clayton Kershaw 2017 Topps Definitive Collection auto autograph dual patch BGS 9 10 #1/10 for $25,000.00.
Now just imagine this… What would have been the sale price for a Clayton Kershaw game-worn photo-matched jersey for his only perfect game sold for? And so far there is no Topps Now card commemorating the “what could have been…” moment.