PDA

View Full Version : What do you consider a "rookie card?"


zljones
03-02-2012, 01:40 PM
This has been the subject of much debate and I am sure there have been threads on here before but I would like to revisit this topic, since I had an obession with HOF rookie cards when I first started collecting again. I want to share my criteria for a card being considered a "rookie card" when I am collecting, and also why I only collected rookie cards from post war only.

My criteria is as follows (all these qualifications must be met):

1. must be a rookie card of a rookie player. The card must have been issued either during their first season or issued during their second season. Third season is ok as long as their first season was not a full season examples are Nolan Ryan, Yogi Berra, Bob Feller. If he came to the pros and played a partial or even full season then got sent back to the minors, then I can consider that a rookie card. An example is George Brett or Hank Greenberg.

2. Must be a card from a main producer such as Topps, Goudey, Etc...If I was to collect all the off brands I would go insane and broke. Plus alot of the off brands are ugly cards (in my opinion).

3. If the player even had just two full seasons before the card came out, I do not consider it a rookie card. Examples are Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, or Ralph Kiner. If the player came and sat out a few season such as Dizzy Dean then I can't consider that a rookie card either.

I chose to only do the rookie card thing for post war only for a few reasons:

1. Post war rookies make up some of the coolest cards from post war, especially when you are talking 1950s.

2. Prewar is too hard to pin down rookie cards and they are often way too rare and expensive. I really do not feel like spending tons of money on a card I am not too crazy about, such as a E91 marquard is just ugly. I do not want to chase that card down and pay for a card I really don't like looking at.

3. I have fallen soooo deeply in love with prewar that I cannot limit myself to "rookie cards." Or else I wouldn't enjoy N162, N28, T205, or all the beautiful gum era cards.

This is a silly thread, I know, I just wanted to ramble about it and see what others think a "rookie card" is:p

drc
03-02-2012, 01:55 PM
That sound reasonable to me, except include odd ball issues. Rookie time frame + it's a card. Topps versus Kellogs has nothing to do with rookie era.

The practical collecting problem in football, is many players didn't get a card until several years into their career. Including folks like Joe Montana. Clearly, many collectors count these first cards as rookie cards. But, if you don't buy that definition, that's reasonable. One can refer to them as '1st cards.'

A question I have for you is, what if there was an odd ball card issued the year before the Topps rookie-- and the earlier oddball fits your Major League rookie definition? I never understood how a 1955 Topps card is called a player's rookie card when there is an otherwise legitimate card of the player from 1954.

Yes, there is always gray area and collector choice involved.

zljones
03-02-2012, 02:11 PM
A question I have for you is, what if there was an odd ball card issued the year before the Topps rookie-- and the earlier oddball fits your Major League rookie definition? I never understood how a 1955 Topps card is called a player's rookie card when there is an otherwise legitimate card of the player from 1954.

Yes, there is always gray area and collector choice involved.[/QUOTE]

Ah yes good question. Realistcally the 1954 card would be the true rookie card but if it is uglier to me then I do not buy it. I also have an obession with main sets of cards, usually because I think they are cooler looking to me and they have a sentimental type value to me and they are the national past time of cards. I also stay away from off brand cards for cost control reasons. If a player like Joe Montana does not have a rookie card for years after they began then I simply do not buy it unless I like the card alot. For example I really want a Michael Jordan 86-87 Fleer even though his first season was 84-85. It all depends on the card.

drc
03-02-2012, 02:28 PM
I don't collect rookie cards, so my answer was not from someone about to purchase rookies with my hard earned dollars. Theory and practice are often two different things.

Though I have collected Topps rookie cards in the past, so am not without some practical experience. And this is coupled with my liking of odd ball cards.

Blitzu
03-02-2012, 03:13 PM
I'm pretty simple on what I believe is a rookie card. Basically the first card that was produced in a given year for the player once they reached the professional leagues. I don't think card from the minors, colleges, or others count. For an example I don't believe the 1952 Topps Mantle is his rookie card. It may be his first Topps card, but his true and only rookie is his 1951 bowman. I don't think manufacturer matters. Whoever produces the card first in any given year when that player reaches the pros is their RC. So if two or three companies made cards in the same year then there could be multiple RC's.

That's just me, and how I look at RC cards.

drc
03-02-2012, 03:17 PM
I think I agree with that.

oldjudge
03-02-2012, 08:07 PM
The first issued card of a player. It could be minor league (the Baltimore News Ruth is his rookie card), but it must be a card. What is a card? Ask a person who does not collect baseball cards if what you have is a card. If he says no, it's not a card. Newspaper inserts, magazine or newspaper cut outs, pins, etc are not cards. Production levels don't matter---the Just So Young is his rookie.

Peter_Spaeth
03-02-2012, 08:31 PM
I don't consider the 1914 Ruth to be his rookie card, I would call it a pre-rookie. To me, a rookie card has to be issued as a member of a major league team. I do agree on card definition.

Runscott
03-02-2012, 08:52 PM
I always enjoy the 'Cobb rookie' debate.

E93
03-02-2012, 11:39 PM
I would consider this to be Jackie's rookie, not the '49 Leaf or '49 Bowman.
JimB

http://photos.imageevent.com/jimblumenthal/miscellaneous20thcenturybaseballcard/websize/1947%20Bond%20Bread%20Jackie%20Robinson%20PSA%206. jpg

E93
03-02-2012, 11:41 PM
I would not consider minor league cards like the BN Ruth to be a rookie card. Just my opinion.
JimB

ls7plus
03-03-2012, 04:49 AM
I would not consider minor league cards like the BN Ruth to be a rookie card. Just my opinion.
JimB

It gets to be a little like beauty--its in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the safe deposit box of the collector. IMHO, the 1914 Baltimore News Ruth is his first card, while the M101 is clearly his actual rookie. Considering the disparity in the number of examples in existence, demand seems to be shifting towards higher grade 1916 M101's (PSA 7 for $200,00--PSA 6 for $75,000??? Whoa!). But if you are fortunate enough to have either, I don't think you're going to stay up nights worrying about it. Both cards are enormously significant and will be mainstays of the hobby for many, many years to come. I was just re-reading Green and Kiefer's 1990 book, The Top 100, tonight for the fun of it. Now, these two didn't often hit the nail on the head with regard to predicting cards that would appeciate nicely, but they certainly did with the M101 Ruth, noting that at a top guide price at that time of $1,000, it was "lightning in a bottle." And it will continue to be, although certainly the greatest rate of appreciation has past. My prediction that both the 1914 Baltimore News and the M101 in higher grade (Exmt or better?) will be seven figure cards in the not to distant future is hardly a bold one.

Oh and by the way, Kiner's rookie is in the 1947 Tip Top Bread set, and if anyone has one to sell graded better than good, don't keep it a secret. Mine is an ungraded poor, with writing on the front of the card, the only one I could find in a single card offering in about ten years of searching. This guy was one tremendous, under-appreciated slugger--check out his stats on baseball reference.com, and play with the neutralized batting toy there. His only deficit was that he played just ten years, but it should never have taken so long for him to get into the HOF! What would he command on the free agent market today if he had access to it in the heart of his career?

Thanks for taking the time to read this rant, guys!

Best,

Larry

oldjudge
03-03-2012, 10:20 AM
The M101-4/5 Ruth is one of the most common cards from the set. I think it is tremendously overpriced now. The real bargains are the Collins McCarthy/Boston Store Ruths from the same period. They are much nicer looking cards, very much scarcer, and have much for upside in my opinion.

Leon
03-03-2012, 10:26 AM
The M101-4/5 Ruth is one of the most common cards from the set. I think it is tremendously overpriced now. The real bargains are the Collins McCarthy/Boston Store Ruths from the same period. They are much nicer looking cards, very much scarcer, and have much for upside in my opinion.


What proof do you have that the Ruth is the most common card in the set Sporting News set? That sounds absurd to me.

bcbgcbrcb
03-03-2012, 10:51 AM
Leon:

My guess is that the pop reports show more Ruths graded than any other card in the set. Obviously, being far and away the most valuable, every Ruth card owner is going to have theirs graded (except for those who utterly hate TPG's).

Leon
03-03-2012, 10:55 AM
Leon:

My guess is that the pop reports show more Ruths graded than any other card in the set. Obviously, being far and away the most valuable, every Ruth card owner is going to have theirs graded (except for those who utterly hate TPG's).

No doubt Phil. That being said these things were made in sheets and there is absolutely no proof (I have ever seen) to justify Jay's statement. I was looking for something I don't know as I enjoy learning new stuff.

oldjudge
03-03-2012, 01:05 PM
Leon--First, I said that it is ONE of the most common cards in the set, not the most common card. This is based on my experience collecting the set in the past. While all cards may have originally issued in like quantities my experience tells me that more Ruths were saved and thus more Ruths exist today making it..........one of the most common cards in the set. Even if I never collected the set, common sense would tell me that this was likely the case. If in 1921 a kid found a group of these cards you can be sure that if he didn't keep them all he would most certainly save the Ruth. Over time the Ruths were almost surely saved at a higher rate than most other cards. To call my assertion absurd was----well absurd.

Peter_Spaeth
03-03-2012, 01:25 PM
I think all Jay was saying is that there are a lot of M101 Ruths around compared to other issues. I don't think he meant to imply more were PRODUCED relative to other cards in the set.

Leon
03-03-2012, 01:34 PM
I think all Jay was saying is that there are a lot of M101 Ruths around compared to other issues. I don't think he meant to imply more were PRODUCED relative to other cards in the set.

Yes, my statement was in relation to the number produced not the number saved. I would think there would be a few more Ruth's saved also.