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Rookie Cards
Some people collect rookie cards because that's simply what they like to collect. Other folks collect rookie cards cards as an investment. Speculators are those collectors who collect unproven rookie cards, those very young players who have the skills but no track record in the MLB. With the physical grind of the MLB, and the mine field of potential injuries shortening a young career combined with the phenomenal level of competition in the MLB, speculating is not for the feint of heart.

As of 2006 no player is eligible to have a rookie card until he has been placed on a MLB teams 40 man roster, these cards have a logo on the front that say "Rookie Card". Here's where part of the confusion comes in....There were many cards, (formerly known as rookie cards) that were made prior to 2006, of players who have still not yet played in their first MLB games, or just played in their first MLB games in 2006. These earlier cards don't have the rookie logo on them, but most collectors consider the earlier cards the true rookie cards in these cases. This new 2006 rule will undoubtedly confuse a lot of people.

To add a bit more confusion into the equation, there are also what's known as "1st Year Cards". These are cards of players still playing in the minor leagues at the time of the printing of the cards. There's a whole set of "1st Year Cards" in the 2006 Bowman product.

For the most part, rookie cards use to be a players most valuable card, this is still pretty much how it is for vintage cards. However, with the advent of game used cards, autographed cards and the various types of limited print cards, it's definitely not always the case - especially for more current players. For example, a Ryan Howard rookie card compared to a Ryan Howard Autographed Rookie card, compared to a Ryan Howard autographed non-rookie card. (see below)


2003 Topps Pristine
Ryan Howard
Rookie Card
Card Book Value: $6.00-$15.00
Card sells on Ebay for $15-$20

 


2003 Bowman Chrome Draft
Ryan Howard
Rookie Card
Card Book Value: $12.50-$30.00
Card sells on Ebay for $16-$17


2003 Bowman's Best
Ryan Howard
Autographed Rookie Card
Card Book Value: $125-$250
Card sells on Ebay for $280-$350


2006 Topps Allen and Ginter
Ryan Howard
Card Book Value: $50.00-$100.00

As with all cards, rookie card values ride the ups and down of a players career. Ken Griffey Jr's rookie card use to sell easily for $150.00. Similarly, Mark Mcgwire's 1985 Topps USA rookie card once sold for hundreds of dollars, today can be picked up for $5 on Ebay. That being said, many collectors still see beyond the cash value in cards like these, and it's certainly possible for them to increase some in monetary value again.


1989 Upper Deck
Player: Ken Griffey Jr. RC
Card #1
Card Book Value: $15.00-$40.00
Sells on ebay for $18-$30

 


Topps 1985
Player: Mark McGwire RC
Card #401
Card Book Value: $12.50-$30.00
Sells on ebay for $5-$10

Here are just a few Famous Rookie Cards through the decades. Nothing like owning a piece of history, a snap-shot in time...


1938 Goudey Heads Up
Player: Joe DiMaggio XRC
Card #250
Card Book Value:  $2,000.00 $3,500.00


1939 Play Ball
Player: Ted Williams RC
Card #92
Card Book Value: $900.00 $1,500.00


1949 Bowman
Player: Jackie Robinson RC
Card #50
Card Book Value: $700.00 $1,200.00


1949 Bowman
Player: Willie Mays RC
Card #305
Card Book Value:$1,800.00 $2,500.00


1951 Bowman
Player: Mickey Mantle RC
Card #253
Card Book Value: $5,000-$8,000


1955 Topps
Player: Sandy Koufax RC
Card #123
Card Book Value: $700.00 $1,200.00


1960 Topps
Player: C.Yastrzemski RS RC
Card #148
Card Book Value: $150.00 $250.00


1963 Topps
Player: Pete Rose RC
Card #537
Card Book Value:$600.00 $1,000.00

 


1970 Topps
Player: Thurman Munson RC
Card #189
Card Book Value:$60.00 $100.00

 


1979 Topps
Player: Ozzie Smith RC
Card #116
Card Book Value:$30.00 $60.00


1983 Topps
Player: Tony Gwynn RC
Card #482
Card Book Value:$10.00 $25.00


1984 Donruss
Player: Don Mattingly RC
Card #248
Card Book Value:$15.00 $40.00


1993 SP
Player: Derek Jeter FOIL RC
Card #279
Card Book Value:$30.00 $60.00


1997 Fleer
Player: David Arias-Ortiz RC
Card #512
Card Book Value:$40.00 $70.00


2002 Topps Chrome
Player: Joe Mauer RC
Card #622
Card Book Value:
$8.00 $20.00
 


2003 Bowman Chrome
Player: Chien-Ming Wang RC
Card #202
Card Book Value:$5.00 $12.00

 

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