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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 George Springer GS Black Plate Autograph RC 1/1 Rookie Astros
8 bids - Price: $31.00 - Watchers: 16
Item # 281475712971
2014 Topps Chrome George Springer /50! Gold..Astros!
3 bids - Price: $8.15 - Watchers: 15
Item # 281475572824
2010 Bowman Chrome USA George Springer Auto Redemption BGS 9.5/10 #56/99
1 bids - Price: $150.00 - Watchers: 12
Item # 141443755233
2014 Triple Threads George Springer Astros Rookie RC Auto 68/100 1 PER CASE !
4 bids - Price: $5.50 - Watchers: 11
Item # 251680934969
GEORGE SPRINGER AUTO JERSEY 2014 Bowman Inception HOUSTON ASTROS Topps Relic
3 bids - Price: $5.50 - Watchers: 11
Item # 351203478740
2014 Topps Update * George Springer * Hope Springs Auto * Astros * Future is Now
5 bids - Price: $6.39 - Watchers: 10
Item # 161455289261
GEORGE SPRINGER 2011 BOWMAN CHROME ROOKIE RC AUTOGRAPH AUTO (BV=$100) FC5112
3 bids - Price: $18.50 - Watchers: 9
Item # 361088116993
2014 Topps Update George Springer Future Is Now Auto 06/25 FNA-GS3. FREE SHIP!
19 bids - Price: $18.50 - Watchers: 8
Item # 331350041793
2014 Topps Update Mini G. U. George Springer 20/25
3 bids - Price: $10.00 - Watchers: 8
Item # 261631870077
2014 Topps Update * George Springer * Black Border RC * # 44/63 * Astros Rookie
5 bids - Price: $10.50 - Watchers: 8
Item # 151446220394
2014 Topps Updates George Springer ROOKIE No Name ERROR? #US-10
4 bids - Price: $3.84 - Watchers: 7
Item # 151446312863
George springer auto
4 bids - Price: $2.26 - Watchers: 7
Item # 171509311644
2011 Bowman Chrome 1st card - GEORGE SPRINGER RC AUTO rookie autograph BCAP-GS
5 bids - Price: $39.24 - Watchers: 7
Item # 251685908673
George Springer Atomic Ref 2/5 RC Auto 2014 Topps Finest Refractor On Card
1 bids - Price: $199.99 - Watchers: 7
Item # 331354761848
2013 ITG Past Present Future George Springer Rookie Autograph Card #PPF-GS2 Auto
3 bids - Price: $1.29 - Watchers: 6
Item # 201200710052
George Springer RC #10 2014 Topps Update Photo Variation!
2 bids - Price: $1.04 - Watchers: 6
Item # 201197782912
11 Card GEORGE SPRINGER 2014 Topps Update Baseball ROOKIE Lot #US-10 - ASTROS
1 bids - Price: $0.99 - Watchers: 5
Item # 390954798602
GEORGE SPRINGER 2014 TOPPS FINEST ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH #RA-GS AUTO RC ASTROS
2 bids - Price: $1.25 - Watchers: 5
Item # 141383683258
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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