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Waiting on George Springer Rookie Cards

Relevant question: what is the normal hobby reaction to a ball player who is brought to the major leagues and, in his first 40 games mashes 10 home runs while driving in 29 and hitting to a .268/.359/.523 slash line?

A mad dash is made to gobble up his rookie cards, of course.

frontBut that is not always an easy thing to do as the current situation of one George Chelston Springer III illustrates. The stats mentioned above are exactly what the Astros young slugger produced as he has brought a spark of excitement and relevance to the Houston club. However, for all the hype and earned praise the hard-hitting outfielder has garnered, the rush for the hottest George Springer rookie cards has a bit of a road block.

In 2006 Major League Baseball instituted a set of guidelines which dictated what baseball cards could and could not bear the “official” MLB rookie card logo. A player becomes eligible for their official baseball rookie card (designated with the MLB and MLBPA Rookie Card logo) when he makes the 25-man roster for a big league team. Late season call-ups to the 40-man roster are ineligible for the official rookie card designation. However, despite these guidelines, many collectors still regard a player's "true" rookie card as being their first officially licensed prospect card, but rookie cards that are designated as such are meant to follow those guidelines.

front-1So far, all the early Springer cards released have either been inserts or come from prospect sets, which means none have yet carried the rookie card designation. Those will come in future 2014 products. However, many of Springer’s cards are garnering lots of activity in the hobby, especially those depicting Springer as an Astro.

Springer cards started appearing back in 2010 when he was active with USA Baseball. Following the his first round selection in the 2011 draft, other cards followed, including what has been the most sought after Springer card to date, the 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autograph and all its parallels.

Even so, the promise of this young player has led to there being 377 Springer cards as of the date of this writing, according to the folks at Beckett. Interestingly, 40 % of those cards (151) are of the autographed variety. Thus far, without an actual rookie card, Springer has appeared in the following baseball card brands:

  • Bowman Sterling
  • Bowman Platinum
  • Bowman Chrome Draft
  • Topps Heritage Minors
  • Bowman
  • Bowman Draft
  • Donruss Elite Extra Edition
  • Playoff Contenders
  • Topps Pro Debut
  • Bowman Inception

Many of the 377 cards do not show up in price guides as they are parallel versions of other cards and less than 25 copies exist. However, of those actually given a value in the most used price guide, the 2012 Topps Heritage Minors  Springer (card #80) is lowest priced at $0.75. On the other end of the spectrum is the 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autograph Gold Refractor, which is numbered to 50. That card has been valued at $500. And the 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autograph mentioned earlier has the highest listed value for a Springer card without a numbered print run ($100). Interestingly, the 2011 Bowman Sterling Prospect Autograph oonly carries a price guide level of $40.
$_57
So, as mentioned earlier, the slugging Springer has no “rookie" card out yet. Of course, he has appeared in some 2014 sets already as his presence is found in insert sets in from 2014 Bowman and the MLBPA licensed 2014 Panini Prizm. He has two autograph cards check-listed in 2014 In the Game: Past, Present & Future edition. Of course, it is certain that future releases of designated rookie cards will include Springer in a huge way. Indeed, Topps has already announced that collectors will be able to find Springer cards and signatures in the following 2014 products:

  • Allen & Ginter
  • Topps Five Star
  • Triple Threads
  • Topps Updates
  • Bowman Inception
  • Bowman Platinum
  • Topps Finest
  • Topps Chrome
  • Bowman Chrome
  • Topps Supreme
  • Topps High Tek
  • Bowman Sterling
  • Topps Dynasty

So, which George Springer card(s) will you be making a mad dash to collect? Below is a live look at the hottest George Springer cards on eBay. Click inside to check them out in detail.

2011 Bowman Chrome George Springer Refractor /500 RC Auto Autograph Nice
9 bids - Price: $92.73 - Watchers: 25
Item # 321653287169
2014 Topps Five Star George Springer Golden Graphs Auto On-Card #/20
10 bids - Price: $21.72 - Watchers: 15
Item # 301505702111
2014 NATIONAL TREASURES GEORGE SPRINGER & JOSE ABREU JERSEY AUTO BOOK RC 17/25
15 bids - Price: $66.00 - Watchers: 15
Item # 231463136929
2014 Topps Dynasty GEORGE SPRINGER AMAZING 4-COLOR PATCH Autograph #06/10
8 bids - Price: $45.00 - Watchers: 15
Item # 251809097156
GEORGE SPRINGER 2011 LEAF METAL DRAFT ROOKIE AUTO BGS 9.5
8 bids - Price: $16.66 - Watchers: 12
Item # 311269534981
2014 TOPPS SUPREME GEORGE SPRINGER PATCH AUTO 14/25
1 bids - Price: $29.95 - Watchers: 11
Item # 371244225270
2014 Topps Certified Autograph Issue Five Star Golden Graphs George Springer /20
1 bids - Price: $0.99 - Watchers: 11
Item # 221672956458
2014 Topps High Tek George Springer Rookie Autograph #HT-GS AUTO RC
6 bids - Price: $12.50 - Watchers: 10
Item # 271751577378
George Springer RC #42/99 Auto Relic 2014 Panini National Treasures #4 Astros
7 bids - Price: $9.00 - Watchers: 10
Item # 141551972422
2014 NATIONAL TREASURES GEORGE SPRINGER ASTROS ROOKIE AUTO MADE IN USA #D /99
6 bids - Price: $10.00 - Watchers: 10
Item # 261747602359
2014 Immaculate Collection Rookie Inscriptions Auto George Springer 39/99
5 bids - Price: $8.50 - Watchers: 10
Item # 231463418145
2014 National Treasures George Springer Game Used Button RC 2/3
6 bids - Price: $37.00 - Watchers: 10
Item # 191494946970
George Springer 2014 Topps Supreme RC Autograph #1/1 Printing Plate Rare Astros
23 bids - Price: $50.99 - Watchers: 9
Item # 321651178880
GEORGE SPRINGER SUPREME SEPIA PARALLEL AUTO AUTOGRAPH RC CARD SP #/35! ASTROS
3 bids - Price: $9.38 - Watchers: 9
Item # 311268159865
George Springer On Card GOLD Auto Rookie #'d 43/50 2014 Topps Five Star
12 bids - Price: $15.50 - Watchers: 9
Item # 181649174551
GEORGE SPRINGER 2011 PRIME CUTS ASTROS ROOKIE AUTO /249 BGS 9.5
9 bids - Price: $8.50 - Watchers: 9
Item # 311269535115
George Springer 2014 Topps High Tek Autograph RC Card
2 bids - Price: $2.25 - Watchers: 7
Item # 131414869747
2014 BOWMAN INCEPTION GEORGE SPRINGER AUTO/JERSEY #'ED 5/25
5 bids - Price: $8.50 - Watchers: 7
Item # 131411247272
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