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.
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.

12 bids - Price: $51.00 - Watchers: 18
Item #172190017141
2011 Bowman Chrome George Springer Auto BGS 9.5/10
6 bids - Price: $15.50 - Watchers: 13
Item #401114070576
2011 Bowman Chrome George Springer Auto
9 bids - Price: $10.49 - Watchers: 12
Item #401114090329
4 bids - Price: $4.25 - Watchers: 9
Item #322096193371
2015 Topps Gypsy Queen GEORGE SPRINGER autograph auto gold SP /25 Astros
2 bids - Price: $5.24 - Watchers: 8
Item #391445517069
2011 Bowman Chrome George Springer Auto Houston Astros
3 bids - Price: $7.38 - Watchers: 8
Item #351723354883
2016 Bowman GEORGE SPRINGER Red Paper Parallel #'d 5/5 ASTROS
3 bids - Price: $1.75 - Watchers: 7
Item #111984890043
1 bids - Price: $2.99 - Watchers: 6
Item #152070670178
2016 Bowman Baseball 1/1 Blank Back. George Springer ASTROS
1 bids - Price: $9.95 - Watchers: 6
Item #201572376569
2016 Topps Museum Collection George Springer Archival Autographs auto Sepia / 5
7 bids - Price: $9.50 - Watchers: 6
Item #252373270454
2016 Topps Museum Collection George Springer Momentous Material Auto Patch / 10
9 bids - Price: $15.50 - Watchers: 5
Item #262412903462
2015 Topps Tribute George Springer Purple Refractor Auto #02/10 Houston Astros
4 bids - Price: $6.50 - Watchers: 5
Item #121973691851
George Springer 2014 Panini Prizm ON CARD Auto Refractor /75
1 bids - Price: $0.99 - Watchers: 5
Item #262415781948
2016 Gypsy Queen George Springer Green Parallel Autograph /99 Houston Astros
2 bids - Price: $3.25 - Watchers: 4
Item #182113656706
BGS 9.5 2010 Bowman Platinum Blue Ref AUTO/PATCH George Springer #d/50 USA
1 bids - Price: $9.99 - Watchers: 4
Item #322095064175
1 bids - Price: $0.99 - Watchers: 4
Item #272230911287