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Meet the Tyler Soderstrom super collectors
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While spending time on the injured list in 2021, Turlock native Tyler Soderstrom met up with super collector Adam Seipel and his family at a game, taking a photo alongside his autographed superfractor (Photo courtesy of Adam Seipel @WestShoreCards).

Last month, the Turlock Journal published a story on the sale of a Tyler Soderstrom baseball card that sold for $8,500 – a red, 2020 Bowman Draft Chrome autograph numbered to just five. Since the story published, it remains the most expensive public sale of any of card of the Turlock native and Oakland A’s top prospect to date. At the time, the card was also the rarest Soderstrom Bowman card to surface on public marketplaces, but one anonymous Twitter DM, multiple Instagram messages and countless of texts later, the men with the two largest (and expensive) Soderstrom card collections have come forward.

Adam Seipel of San Ramon and Joey Orozco of Los Angeles are those men, and they are each in the process of completing their rainbows of Soderstrom’s 1st Bowman card out of the 2020 Bowman Draft set. Bowman is a set manufactured by Topps that focusses heavily on baseball prospects, and a player’s 1st Bowman cards are considered the most sought after by collectors, investors and fans.

In last month’s article, it was stated that the only card rarer than the $8.5 thousand card was Soderstrom’s one-of-one superfractor autograph, which has gold trim and is the only one in existence. It was also stated that the card had yet to hit the open market. Well, the reason why searches on eBay and other online marketplaces came up short was because the card never went on the market in the first place.

Two days after the story published, I received a direct message on Twitter from an account without a profile picture and a username with random numbers and letters, which would instantly lead anybody to believe that it was a fake account or a bot. The message included a link to the Instagram profile of @WestShoreCards, and lo and behold, it included multiple photos of the Soderstrom superfractor autographed card. Though the person behind the Twitter account is a mystery that has yet to be solved, it was quickly determined that the man behind West Shore Cards was Seipel, a die-hard A’s fan who collects cards of the organization’s biggest stars and prospects. You may be thinking that Seipel must have paid a literal fortune to acquire the superfractor, but it is far from the truth.

Seipel, like many, was an avid collector of sports cards throughout his childhood. As he grew older and started a family of his own, baseball cards took a back seat. That all changed in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when sports cards had a renaissance. According to eBay, the card market grew by over 140% in domestic sales. Seipel was one of the many who saw his childhood hobby flood his social media channels before he decided to hop back in himself.

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Adam Seipel of San Ramon just needs the red and orange versions of Tyler Soderstrom’s 2020 Bowman Draft autographed card to complete his rainbow. The one-of-one superfractor sits third in line in the middle row, graded a perfect 10 by PSA (Photo courtesy of Adam Seipel @WestShoreCards).

“I told myself, ‘I’m an A’s fan. I was born and raised a fan, so I’m going to collect their cards. That’s going to be my thing.’”

Coincidentally, 2020 also happened to be the year that Soderstrom was drafted in the first round of that year’s MLB Draft, being selected by Oakland with the 26th overall pick. Soderstrom was featured in that winter’s 2020 Bowman Draft set.

Seipel explained that, following the product’s release, he bought into multiple online breaks, which is when collectors buy a specific player or team out of sealed boxes at a lower cost, as opposed to purchasing a full box and keeping all of the cards. Seipel snagged as many A’s breaks as possible, eventually landing on a couple cards of the Turlock High alum.

“I was buying into breaks, and I was obviously trying to land this Soderstrom kid. I’m a high school teacher and strength coach, I’ve coached high school baseball, and when I see a high school kid that’s local, I try to see what’s going on. I watched the film and thought, ‘This kid can be good. That swing is natural,’” Seipel explained. “I knew about his dad (Steve) and thought, ‘The pedigree is there.’ So, I thought to get into his cards just for fun.”

Prior to Christmas, Seipel took a trip to Trader J’s Cards and Comic in Dublin to treat himself to a sealed box for $350. He let his five-year-old son choose his box, and though they wanted to open it right away, his wife told him wait till Christmas morning. On Dec. 25, 2020, he opened the box live on Instagram, and inside sat the Soderstrom superfractor.

“Once I pulled the card, I was shaking,” Seipel said. “I had no clue what to do. I was basically screaming, telling my wife, ‘I got the card! I got the card!’ and she was looking at me like I was crazy… But I calmed down and I just started thinking back. What are the chances? To pull Soderstrom’s superfractor, for it to be the autograph, to be in a box my son picked at my local card shop in Dublin, California? I still can’t believe it.”

With the one-of-one in his possession and the pull being livestreamed for the world to see, Seipel was immediately messaged by numerous collectors and investors with offers to buy the card. Not only has he decided to hold onto it, but he is now on a mission to complete the rainbow, only missing the red refractor featured in last month’s article and the orange version numbered to 25.

“As a lifelong A’s fan, I don’t think there’s a better card to pull,” he said. “Now that I have the big one, I just thought, ‘Well, I have to try to finish the rainbow. This is the hardest card to get, so I have to at least try to find the rest.’”

Watching the livestream in 2020 was Orozco, who has become good friends with the Seipel over social media. While the comments were instantly flooded with congratulatory messages, Orozco’s lighthearted message of “What the F” instantly stood out.

“My guy Joey was outraged,” Seipel said with a large smile. “He has a bigger collection than me and he was chasing that card too. I was cracking up.”

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A’s fan Joey Orozco of Los Angeles poses with his Tyler Soderstrom baseball card collection, which features every autographed and non-autographed version of the 2020 Bowman Draft card, excluding both one-of-one superfractors (Photo courtesy of Joey Orozco @Joey.Orozco ).

Indeed, Orozco’s Soderstrom collection is larger than Seipel’s. In fact, he has every autographed and non-autographed version of the card, excluding both one-of-one superfractors.

“Right when I when I clicked on live, I see the edge of the card he's looking at. It's a superfractor and I saw him pull it live right at that second when I got on the stream. It was crazy,” Orozco said.

Orozco is also an A’s fan, though he has never lived in the Bay Area. He explained that the hottest names in the hobby when he was growing up in the 1980s and 90s were Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.

“Canseco and McGwire were the guys to collect, so they just became my favorite team,” Orozco said. “Now I collect all A's players, I collect all the prospects, but Soderstrom I really liked because he’s basically their best prospect. Before he was even drafted, he was one of the players I was hoping that the A's would draft, I just didn't think he would fall. Once he did, I said, ‘You know what, I'm going to go after all his cards.”

Orozco shows off his collection of Oakland prospects on his own social media, Instagram at @Joey.Orozco and on Twitter at @JoeyOCards.

As he referred to, Soderstrom is quite literally the Athletics’ best prospect as far rankings go. In December, the 21-year-old landed at the top all of A’s prospects lists after a stellar 2022 season that saw him launch 29 home runs and drove in 105 runs while hitting .267 in 505 at-bats between High-A Lansing, Double-A Midland and Triple-A Las Vegas. This year through 14 games with Las Vegas, he is hitting .288 17 hits, four home runs, six walks and 11 RBI.

“I'm always looking at his box scores every day,” Orozco said. “He has started off pretty good, so hopefully he keeps going and gets called up sometime this year.”

Since Soderstrom made his professional debut with the Stockton Ports in 2021, Seipel has also kept a close eye on his development. Soderstrom himself has recognized the support of the San Ramon native, messaging with Seipel regarding the progress of the collection and engaging with his social media posts. While spending time on the injured list in 2021, the Turlocker even met up with Seipel and his family at a game, taking a photo alongside his autographed superfractor.

Since Seipel pulled the card, he has since submitted it to PSA, where it received a perfect 10 grade, skyrocketing its already outrageous value, which has not been set since it has yet to hit the market.

“I love this card and the story behind it and it will always hold a special place in my heart, but I’ll be honest, this is my lottery ticket,” Seipel said. “It’s simple. I’m a husband, father of three, a high school teacher and just an overall regular guy. I’m never going to say never.”

It’s something that Orozco doesn’t blame him for.

“If I were in his position, I’d do the same,” he said. “I basically would hold on to it if I were him. He can get some good money for it, especially if Tyler gets called up and comes out of the gate really hot. It’s a long shot but maybe it ends up with me and I can complete this rainbow.”

As for the non-autographed version of the superfractor, neither Orozco or Seipel have seen it surface, leading them to believe that it’s still in an unopened box, which are currently selling on eBay for $750.

“I know Adam has the autographed one, so I can sleep knowing that somebody has it and is a fan taking good care of it, but every day I’m looking for the regular superfractor. That’s the big one I’m chasing now.”