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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 George Springer Topps Finest rookie auto red refractor 9/25 Pristine 10!
6 bids - Price: $31.00 - Watchers: 17
Item # 281506350485
2014 Topps Supreme, SUPREME SCOPE RC Auto Relic 9/40, George Springer, ASTROS
8 bids - Price: $12.50 - Watchers: 12
Item # 271681887759
GEORGE SPRINGER 2011 BOWMAN CHROME ASTROS ROOKIE AUTO AUTOGRAPH
10 bids - Price: $43.00 - Watchers: 12
Item # 201225392723
2014 Topps Supreme, Auto RC /35, George Springer, ASTROS
4 bids - Price: $8.15 - Watchers: 11
Item # 281508274980
2014 PANINI CLASSICS GEORGE SPRINGER ROOKIE JERSEY AUTOGRAPH RC AUTO #048/299
6 bids - Price: $11.50 - Watchers: 10
Item # 201225461930
2014 Topps Finest BLUE REFRACTOR Rookie AUTO #RA-GS George Springer RC /125
18 bids - Price: $22.00 - Watchers: 10
Item # 141481019661
2014 Topps Finest George Springer Autograph Rookie Astros Auto Smudges
3 bids - Price: $2.49 - Watchers: 10
Item # 131358664757
2013 Bowman Inception AUTO RELIC JERSEY #AR-GS George Springer Mint! Astros
4 bids - Price: $9.50 - Watchers: 9
Item # 141481015124
George Springer Oscar Taveras Gregory Polanco 07/99 Jersey Triples 2014 Classics
7 bids - Price: $15.50 - Watchers: 8
Item # 311182716690
George Springer Matt Barnes 2011 contenders dual rookie rc autograph auto #/94
8 bids - Price: $6.10 - Watchers: 8
Item # 311187144521
2014 Finest George Springer Astros RC Rookie AUTO BGS 9.5 Gem Mint w/ 10
1 bids - Price: $0.99 - Watchers: 8
Item # 361128946214
2011 Bowman Sterling Prospects AUTO #BSP-GS George Springer RC Mint! Astros
14 bids - Price: $16.05 - Watchers: 7
Item # 131357362875
George Springer 2014 Topps Supreme Rookie Auto 30/50
1 bids - Price: $4.99 - Watchers: 7
Item # 331391442131
GEORGE SPRINGER 2014 TOPPS CHROME RC VARIATION AUTO HOUSTON ASTROS
3 bids - Price: $10.50 - Watchers: 7
Item # 321597402969
2014 Finest Blue Refractor George Springer RC Rookie 12/125 BGS 9.5 w/ 10 AUTO
2 bids - Price: $1.04 - Watchers: 7
Item # 381066142759
2014 TOPPS TRIPLE THREADS GEORGE SPRINGER RC AUTO SP /100 ASTROS!
2 bids - Price: $5.50 - Watchers: 6
Item # 121497044703
GEORGE SPRINGER ROOKIE RC AUTOGRAPH Card - 2012 Bowman Sterling - Astros
5 bids - Price: $11.15 - Watchers: 5
Item # 381059078259
2014 Bowman Inception PINK AUTO RELIC JERSEY #AR-GS George Springer /50 Mint!
20 bids - Price: $18.26 - Watchers: 5
Item # 141481012494
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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