Few things elicit the adrenaline rush of snagging a legend’s rookie card. The player’s innocence, his untapped potential, and the invariably youthful image all combine to make rookie cards extremely collectible. Plus, everyone loves firsts.

Rookie cards of superstars are especially coveted. Jackie Robinson first appeared on 1948-49 Leaf and Hank Aaron debuted on a 1954 Topps. Roberto Clemente’s first baseball card was also a Topps, printed a year later in 1955.

Collectors have various reasons for obtaining rookie cards. One, no doubt, is an untarnished love of the game or adoration for a particular player, but in recent years, a major motivation has been pure speculation. Some people deliberately invest in the rookie cards of unproven players, hoping they will become stars one day and that their card will skyrocket in value. The most dramatic example of this occurred in the summer of 2010 with the escalation of prices for Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s cards. Before Strasburg had thrown his first major-league pitch, his cards were selling on eBay for thousands of dollars.

Rookie cards tend to be a player’s most valuable baseball cards, but that isn’t always the case. For example, Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps card is widely considered more sought-after than his 1951 Bowman rookie card. Nor is Babe Ruth’s 1915 M101-5 Sporting News rookie card his most desired. In recent years, the historical preoccupation among collectors for rookie cards has been further eroded by the advent of specialty cards, such as game-used-jersey or game-used-bat cards, as well as autographed cards.

Some stars never had rookie cards. Lou Gehrig, for one, debuted in the big leagues in 1923 but did not have a baseball card until a 1932 U.S. Caramel card. Some collectors consider a player’s first card his rookie card—for them, that ’32 U.S. Caramel is Gehrig’s rookie card—while others believe a player’s rookie card must be released during his first season.

In 2006 there was a minor clamor to standardize what constituted a rookie card—card companies complied. Now, no player is eligible to have a rookie card until he is a member of his team’s 40-man roster (as a footnote, a player can still be in the minor leagues and on a 40-man roster at the same time). Once a player achieves this milestone, his first card is given a rookie logo on the front. As for minor league players, they get “first year cards” which mark a player’s pro debut, albeit in the minors.


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Recent News: Rookie Baseball Cards

Source: Google News

Willie Mays rookie card worth $175000 stolen from Rob Schneider's Encino-area home
LA Daily News, July 28th

Actor Rob Schneider, right, and his wife Patricia pose on arrival at the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra's Lifetime Achievement Award Honor of German composer Hans Zimmer on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing ...Read more

Watch: Sean Mannion's virtual rookie card for St. Louis Rams
OregonLive.com, July 27th

Sean Mannion is ready to take his game from the Pac-12 to the NFL's NFC West Division. After being selected in the third round, No. 89 overall, by the Rams in the 2015 NFL draft, Mannion has been preparing for his professional football debut. He'll...Read more

Watch: Marcus Mariota's virtual NFL rookie card for Tennessee Titans
OregonLive.com, July 27th

After being selected No. 2 overall by the Titans in the 2015 NFL draft, Mariota has been under the spotlight as fans, coaches and the media get ready for his professional football debut. If you had any doubt about his popularity before, recent reports...Read more

Watch Jameis Winston's virtual NFL rookie card
AL.com, July 21st

Winston points out in the NFL "virtual rookie card" that the first four letters of his last name are W-I-N-S. The former Hueytown High School star also proudly answers when asked to name the greatest athlete of all-time: "Bo Jackson of Bessemer...Read more

Watch Sammie Coates' virtual NFL rookie card
AL.com, July 21st

That's hard to top, and statistically, it's impossible to beat. The former Leroy High School and Auburn wide receiver is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers and shared some insights in his NFL "virtual rookie card," such as describing his playing style as...Read more

Virtual Rookie Card: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman
Yahoo Sports, July 20th

Virtual Rookie Card: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman Now watching Paused Up next. 1:35.. Virtual Rookie Card: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman. Breshad Perriman describes his fashion style and which accessory he ...Read more

Virtual Rookie Card: Jacksonville Jaguars running back TJ Yeldon
Yahoo Sports, July 20th

Virtual Rookie Card: Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon Now watching Paused Up next. 1:22.. Virtual Rookie Card: Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon. Find out everything you've ever wanted to know about T.J. Yeldon...Read more

Monday Funday Caption Thread: Rookie Card Edition
Mile High Hockey, July 20th

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead. Forgot username? We'll email it to you. If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead. Forgot password?...Read more