When collectors weren’t watching him hit towering home runs during the first April of his major league career, they were apparently buying Aaron Judge baseball cards.
The rookie outfielder has given Yankee fans hope for the future and baseball fans plenty to talk about at the water cooler every morning. He belted ten homers during that first month, which tied him for the American League lead. As of May 3, he was closing in on halfway to the Yankees rookie home run record of 29 set by Joe DiMaggio in 1936. He’s the early favorite to earn Rookie of the Year honors.
And when there’s a hot rookie–especially a Yankee–the card business heats up.
During a 30-day period that ended Saturday, collectors spent $253,117 on 7,223 Aaron Judge cards on eBay alone. That’s an average selling price of $35.04.
Aaron Judge 2013 Bowman Chrome Autos
Those numbers are skewed a bit by the highest of the high-end Judge prospect cards, his 2013 Bowman Chrome prospect autograph with its rainbow of serial-numbered parallels. Several have sold for $1,300 or more. The biggest sales have come in the last week. A Red Refractor parallel numbered to 5 and graded BGS 9 was purchased for $5,100. A BGS 10 Black Label Blue Refractor numbered to 99 went for $4,000 as did a BGS 10 Gold numbered to 50.
If you were willing to “settle for a BGS 9.5 version, you could have owned one for $1,499. An Orange refractor numbered to 25 and also rated 9.5, sold for $1,600. Several other 2013 Bowman Chrome refractor parallels, all carrying high grades, topped $1,000.
Overall Sales Spike
The sheer numbers of Judge cards sold has skyrocketed over the past four weeks. Fewer than 100 Judge cards of any kind sold on eBay most days during the first week and a half of the season. When Judge heated up, so did sales. On Friday, April 28 alone there were 1,133 Judge listings listed as sold. The average price for a Judge autograph card of any kind has now surpassed $91.
Other Aaron Judge Prospect Cards, Autographs and Non-Signed Rookie Cards
None of this means autographed Aaron Judge cards are all out of reach at this point. Ungraded Judge autographs from 2013 Bowman Sterling and 2017 Gypsy Queen Judge autographs can still be found for under $100. His 2014, 2015 and 2016 Bowman Inception autos are available at around $75 as of this writing. Even the higher-end 2017 Topps Tribute Judge autographs have been selling for under $100, although they have begun to dry up and prices are now rising.
His “official” rookie cards, which are being issued this year, are also heating up but Judge has plenty of non-autograph cards that are still available for under $5 including 2017 Opening Day, Gypsy Queen and Heritage.