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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.

2014 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor GEORGE SPRINGER AUTO Rookie Card SEE DESC.
11 bids - Price: $66.00 - Watchers: 30
Item # 321504207851
George Springer marlins 2014 Topps Chrome Rookie RC Auto BLACK refractor #d/100
16 bids - Price: $112.50 - Watchers: 26
Item # 351157325665
2014 Topps Chrome George Springer Rookie Red Refractor 1/25
9 bids - Price: $35.44 - Watchers: 21
Item # 311068487178
2014 Topps Chrome * George Springer * Auto Rookie Variation Refractor * # GS
8 bids - Price: $21.59 - Watchers: 19
Item # 161406418352
2011 BOWMAN STERLING GEORGE SPRINGER PURPLE REFRACTOR AUTO AUTOGRAPH /10 BGS 9.5
16 bids - Price: $201.50 - Watchers: 16
Item # 390916921536
2014 Topps Finest George Springer Rookie 1/1 Printing Plate #1/1 ASTROS #39
3 bids - Price: $13.38 - Watchers: 13
Item # 291228461927
2014 Topps Chrome #138 SEPIA REFRACTOR George Springer #34/75 ROOKIE
7 bids - Price: $7.45 - Watchers: 12
Item # 131281298457
2014 BOWMAN PLATINUM GEORGE SPRINGER RED AUTO RELIC 6/25 FOUR BREAKS WOW!
5 bids - Price: $26.93 - Watchers: 12
Item # 301295852459
2014 Bowman George Springer Red Ice Autograph Auto /25
7 bids - Price: $59.88 - Watchers: 11
Item # 181505409014
2014 TOPPS CHROME BASEBALL RC #GS GEORGE SPRINGER AUTO AUTOGRAPH REDEMPTION
1 bids - Price: $0.99 - Watchers: 11
Item # 380987029697
GEORGE SPRINGER 2011 Bowman Chrome Auto RC Rookie
2 bids - Price: $50.00 - Watchers: 11
Item # 271589548190
2014 TOPPS CHROME GEORGE SPRINGER AUTO ROOKIE BASE VARIATION REF. REDEMPTION
5 bids - Price: $16.50 - Watchers: 11
Item # 171438282214
2011 Bowman Sterling George Springer RC Auto Mint PSA 9
3 bids - Price: $12.51 - Watchers: 10
Item # 201156505728
2014 Topps Chrome George Springer RC Blue Auto Refractor #/199 Redemption Astros
6 bids - Price: $32.00 - Watchers: 10
Item # 121421764103
2014 Topps Finest Autograph Issue George Springer RC Auto Green Refractor
5 bids - Price: $5.51 - Watchers: 9
Item # 161402847706
Lot of 2014 Topps Finest GEORGE SPRINGER, JONATHAN SCHOOP, KOLTEN WONG
3 bids - Price: $16.50 - Watchers: 9
Item # 121422773744
2014 Topps Finest Baseball George Springer Gold Refractor 30/50 #39
2 bids - Price: $3.25 - Watchers: 9
Item # 301287547246
2011 Bowman Sterling George Springer RC Auto Gem Mint PSA 10
4 bids - Price: $42.02 - Watchers: 9
Item # 371130158987
2014 Topps Finest George Springer Astros Auto Rookie
3 bids - Price: $3.58 - Watchers: 9
Item # 371130411442
About Larry Pauley

Larry Pauley began collecting in the 1960's, opened his first card shop in the KC area during the late 1980's, and today, when not combing flea markets for the next “find,” he runs MLB Memories—a card shop in Nixa, MO, a website at mlbmemories.com, and stores on eBay and Amazon. Track him down @MLBMemories on Twitter or Facebook, or e-mail [email protected].

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