Posted by: Chris | April 3, 2010

Rookie Cards Are Meaningless Now

With the new 2010 Topps Pro Debut set just realesed, the card collecting universe is in awe at this wonderful product put out by the exclusive MiLB card company, Topps. But with these new minor league cards out, as well as cards from products like Bowman DPP, this leaves me with a few questions.

For one, what will these products do for rookie cards that can be found in traditional packs of Topps and Upper Deck? I mean, when Bowman DPP came out, it pretty much destroyed any real value in these rookie cards, but now that Topps is using the same design as it’s flagship and throwing minor league players and logos on them, what’s the need for a rookie card now adays? Why don’t they just insert these minor league cards into packs and be done with the RC logo’d cards?

This makes me think back to the 50’s and 60’s when a player’s rookie card was the first one put out by Topps. It didn’t have any intrusive RC pictures or symbols, you had to check to see if the player had any stats on the back to know if it was a rookie card or not, (The way it should be) Now adays, cards are being produced of player’s before they even step foot on a professional ballpark and their are so many different cards that are labeled as “rookie” or “prospect” that it’s impossible to tell which one is a player’s true rookie card, and which ones are “XRC’s” Who’s to say my 2008 Topps Jeff Samardzija RC is worth more then his 2007 BPP RC? The 2008 card has the official RC logo, right? So why isn’t it his true RC? My earliest Samardzija card is from 2006 Tristar, so why isn’t that one his official RC?

This whole mess is probably one of the biggest reasons why alot of collectors stopped collecting in the 90’s. Thier were tons of companies producing products and they all had their own RC logo or writing, which lead to alot of confusion over which cards were better rookie cards. The MLBP did a good job in 2006 when they made all card companies use the same standerd RC logo, which cleared up alot of confusion, but now that Upper Deck has no license, both Topps and UD have gone back to using whatever RC logo they please, bringing all the frustration back that occured in the 90’s.

So while all these collectors are going nuts over Topp’s newest minor league release, I’ll be sitting here, marveling at my 2010 Topps rookie cards of player’s like Tyler Colvin and Madison Bumgarner, because in my mind, these cards are their true rookie cards.



  1. I think issue here is about minor league cards and major league cards. I think the 2010 Jason Heyward Topps baseball card will have some intrinsic value – 10 years from now. BECAUSE IT WILL BE RECOGNIZED AS HIS ONLY ROOKIE CARD.

    However, what will dilute the value to a degree is the different amount of sets Topps will put out.

    If Topps would limit the releases, then the higher priced sets or brands (Finest etc…) maybe just seen as extra rookie cards or something.

    In 1982 Topps Fleer and Donruss made Cal Ripken rookie cards – These cards probably should be worth more than they are but they would be worth nothing if there was a Finest Set, Tribute, Unique, Leaf, Ultra, (and the 15 different sets that UD used to put out).

  2. Did I miss something? Haven’t rookie cards been a muddled mess for a while now?

    I don’t see how the minor league Topps cards can make it any worse.

  3. Thats what im saying Paul. Ever since the mid 90s hit with about 6 companies producing billions of products, they all had their own RC logo or script and it was so confusing. When the market got cleaned up a little and it was just Donruss UD Fleer and Topps, Bowman DPP made it worse again.

    I’m saying that back in the 50s, 60s even 70s and 80s a player had 1 maybe 2 RCs and that card became the players most valueble card. Now adays, theirs no price difference between, say, a Nomar RC and a Nomar card that came out a year after his rookie season, wereas a players RC from the 70s for example is worth more then his second year card (considering they were a star player)

  4. 1.) I agree it is a mess, but I don’t think people who collect only Major League Baseball cards will even care about Topps Pro Debut.

    2.) Pro Debut is a niche, token product to satisfy the needs of Major League Baseball for their official baseball card company [Topps] to make a baseball card product for the minor leagues.

    2.) If you didn’t pay attention to Tristar before, then you don’t need to bother with Topps Pro Debut, unless you actually collect minor league cards of your favorite team.

    3.) There is still an official Major League Baseball Players Association Rookie Card logo – but while both Upper Deck and Topps are essentially licensed by the PA, only Topps is really allowed to use an official MLBPA RC logo.

  5. I do collect minor league cards of my favorite team, the Cubs and am a fan of the Tristar products in the past, mainly because they had Samardzija in them.

    Even though, like you said, their is still an official RC logo, it really doesn’t mean much these days with products like Pro debut and DPP coming out.

  6. What makes the Topps flagship brand rookie cards worthless as opposed to being the ‘end all’ rookie cards [that everyone has to have in their collection] is the autographs / parallels.

    For casual collectors or even just a fan of the team [who walks into a card ship], maybe a flagship brand rookie card is the best way to go because it should be inexpensive.

    However, collectors these days want something autographed or shiny.

    By the end of the year, a hot rookie may have 10-15 certified autograph cards with the official RC card logo slapped on, even though they are inserts.

    Having those certified autograph cards out with the official RC card logo slapped on, creates more confusion rather than clarity and marginalizes the basic, unsigned rookie cards from a flagship brand.

  7. This have to be the best site ever.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: