The Rookie Cards

My baseball card collection centers around two things. Cards of anyone who have EVER played for the Cincinnati Reds and autographs. However, any good baseball card collector knows and appreciates the significance of rookie cards. They are usually the most highly sought base card of a given player and that is often reflected by their “book value”. “Book values” mean nothing to me as I rarely sell cards and because nothing sells at book, but the pull of the RC still inspires me to acquire cards of guys I wouldn’t otherwise collect. Here are some rookie cards I have, I want, and I’m never going to get.

Got It:

1985 Topps Tiffany Eric Davis #627 PRO Gem-Mt


Sure it’s a less reputable grader but when I saw it on eBay I had to get it. Eric Davis is my favorite player and you can’t let something of that nature go. Especially because I didn’t even have an ungraded Tiffany RC at the time.

1991 Upper Deck Jeff Bagwell RC # 755


Being born and raised in the Houston area this is an essential card to my collection. Like most of my RCs this one is ungraded, but looking at eBay, I just might have to pick up a graded one soon. I saw BCCG 10s for under $10.

1992 Topps Manny Ramirez RC # 156


Here’s a card from way back when Manny Ramirez actually looked like a baseball player. I’m not much of a Manny fan due to his attitude. Leaving game 4 of the 2009 NLCS to shower early was kind of the last straw. But that aside, I can’t argue against the fact that he’s a great ballplayer so it’s pretty important for me to own this card.

1993 Topps Gold Derek Jeter # 98 AND 1993 Topps Derek Jeter #98


Ok, so a second ago I had this card in the Lost It category… I even published it like that. Well found it! I thought I traded this but apparently not. I’m pretty stoked. I’ve had this card for ages and it’s one of my favorite cards. I prefer the Gold over the base even though with RCs some people prefer the non-parallels.

1985 Fleer Kirby Puckett # 286


I forgot I owned this until I dug into my collection for this post. This an awesome RC and it’s ridiculous I’d forget owning such a card. I was a big collector of Kirby when I was young but that collection has long died out.

1986 Topps Traded Barry Bonds XRC # 11T


First of all, on behalf of baseball fans everywhere I apologize Mr. Bonds. You had the twilight of you career destroyed due to your steroid usage. But players who committed the same crime are still heroes to fans everywhere. It doesn’t make any sense to me either.

1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Jr. # 41T


Another card I thought I lost… Hooray! Turns out I had a box of rookie cards that I completely forgot about. This is my only Griffey RC and it’s a great cheap alternative to the 1989 Upper Deck RC.

1968 Topps Lou Piniella RC # 16


I’m not a fan of the Cubs and by extension not a fan of Sweet Lou right now. Except there’s one thing… This fella managed Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo and the rest of the 1990 Reds to the World Series Championship. So when I saw the chance to pick this up the other day I jumped on it.

1997 Bowman Roy Halladay RC # 308


This is a card I pulled from a pack in 1997 and I quickly learned I needed to keep track of it. He turned into an ace and though the card hasn’t really appreciated in value it’s always been a cool card to me.

1995 Bowman Scott Rolen Foil RC # 271 PSA 9


This one hasn’t even arrived in the mail, but it’s definitely an essential card to my collection. Even before he found his way to the Reds it was a card I wanted but Ryan is the big Rolen collector so I wasn’t too compelled to go out and get one.

1990 Topps Frank Thomas RC #414


1990 Topps was one of the first products I got my hands on when I started collecting baseball cards. The NNOF (No Name On Front) variation of this card made it even more appealing back then, but I never acquired it until recently. In fact it’s still in the mail. But now I’m working on getting a graded version. For some interesting info on the NNOF variation go here. I also have the 1990 Bowman # 320

Ok that’s enough of what I have. Not too impressive. So there are some cards I really want to add to that and probably will within the next year.

Will Get It:

1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. #1


I would already own this but I’m holding out for a steal on a graded copy. This is my most coveted RC. Sure there are other RCs I’d have to choose over it because I could sell them and buy ten of this one. But all that common sense aside this is the one that I think of most often. (I’m not the only one who thinks this card is essential.)

1992 Topps Traded Nomar Garciaparra # 39T


I used to collect Nomar and still have a decent little collection of his cards. However it’s quite incomplete without this card. I still remember all the hype around it when it was seemingly discovered out of nowhere at the time Nomar really arrived. I should own it by this time next year.

1994 SP Alex Rodriguez # 15


Of these cards this will probably be the last one I get. I’d like to hold out for a graded one but they’re pretty expensive. A-Rod has done a lot to hurt his legacy. But I can’t help but be a fan of this card. Did you see his Jeter buttgrab?

Lost It:

1993 Bowman Derek Jeter # 511


I remember opening a pack of 1993 Bowman in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Conroe, TX. I pulled the Derek Jeter and an Albie Lopez. I also remember sitting in my friend’s room, trading this card away. All I remember getting in return was a Vladimir Guerrero IP autographed card. At least I remember part of what I got. I won’t whine and say I was a little kid who was taken advantage of. If I’m really thaaaaat worried about it I can go buy it again. Someday I will.

Luckily that list is short. Unluckily I love that card. So I guess there’s only one thing to mention. You can’t talk about rookie cards without mentioning this card. It is…

The Holy Grail:

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle # 311


Unless I win the lottery, it’s pretty safe to say that I’ll never own this card. I don’t play the lottery. So I don’t think it’s happening for me. But this is the holy grail of rookie cards.

Hopefully by this time next year I’ll have improved my RC collection. And to those of you who are saying “Why don’t you just go get some of those cards on eBay already?” well I have a couple other projects going on. I can’t afford to go after everything I want. Maybe I’ll write about those projects in the near future.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. Two of the cards he produced artwork of are cards that I mentioned in my blog on Rookie Cards. Neither of which are cards I own sadly. One is, of course, Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps card […]

  2. […] bears mentioning that since the last time I mentioned Frank Thomas I was able to obtain a 1990 Topps rookie card of his, BCCG graded out at a […]

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