30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chronicles of Cardfoolery #6: Wannabe Rookie Cards

What's your definition of a baseball player's rookie card?  Is it the player's first appearance on a trading card?  Does it have to be part of a widely distributed product?  Does he have to be wearing his MLB uniform?

These are questions that I'm still pondering after thirty plus years in this hobby.  But one thing is for certain.  These two cards aren't rookie cards:

        1995 UC3 #101                            1996 Select Certified #100

Most collectors will tell you that Chipper's rookie cards are his 1991 MLB issues, while Jeter's rookie cards are his 1993 MLB issues.  Others will say it's their 1990 and 1992 draft pick cards.

But I'm pretty certain, most of us will agree that these two cards are NOT their rookie cards.  Yet Pinnacle clearly printed ROOKIE on them.


But enough is enough.  Today... I'm declaring shenanigans!  Shenanigans!   Shenanigans!   Shenanigans!

It's bad enough that there are already too many ways to define a rookie card, but the fact that there are wannabe rookie cards floating around our hobby is just too much.

I apologize for my little hissy fit... but I'm just wondering how many people have been duped into thinking they were purchasing a rookie card, when they're really purchasing a third year issue.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

9 comments:

  1. I look at it as a player's first appearance in a mainstream set...Topps, UD, etc. I don't consider unlicensed brands true RCs. That's just me though.

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    1. That's the definition I grew up using and still use.

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  2. I personally don't like it that a certain magazine defines what a Rookie Card is or isn't. Who anointed them as the Noah Webster of the sportscard industry, anyway? Also, I fully understand how folks can get duped by purchasing a Jones or Jeter-thinking they have a 'Rookie Card', when, by Becket's definition, they don't. Technically, they do have a 'rookie's card'. That is why I think we need to drop the term Rookie Card from our lexicon and just go with 'first card'-or whatever. Besides, RC's are really not the 'must have' card anymore. It's the jersey or auto from the first releases of them on cardboard. Just my two cents.

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    1. You make a great point... rookie cards definitely have lost their luster to an extent... which I think is sort of sad. I grew up in an era where rookie cards dominated, so if collectors dropped the term Rookie Card, I'd be devastated.

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  3. There's a South Park reference for just about everything, which is fantastic.

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    1. Lol. Very true. Shenanigans is definitely my "go to". I've used it a couple of times now.

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  4. I am with The Lost Collector, the first time that a player appears on a main set is their rookie card. Baseball makes it so difficult due to the length a player can be in the minors before hit the big leagues and getting their first cards. It does not help with multiple minor league sets being released, a player can have a handful of minor league cards before they ever play for the parent club.

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    1. It's the same definition I use as well. But since you brought up the minor league issue... do you think a player should be pictured in his MLB uniform on his rookie card? Or will any appearance (ex. minor league) in a mainstream set work?

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  5. You mean a 2010 Michael Young in a top loader marked ROOKIE isn't really a rookie card? Kidding, as my oldest son recycled a bunch of my old top loaders and stucka bunch of Rangers in them. He doesen't care...so I guess I don't either!

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