Since late July and a resurgence that took him to the precipice of a home run milestone achieved by only three other players in history, Albert Pujols rookie cards have gained a new measure of new appreciation.
With career numbers that have made him a lock as a first ballot Hall of Famer, collectors and investors began buying the player who stands fourth on baseball’s all-time home run list and third on the RBI leaders list behind only Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. In fact, with a strong finish, there’s still a chance Pujols could pass Ruth before his regular season career ends on October 3.
In the last four weeks, collectors have spent about $750,000 on over 2,300 Pujols rookie cards on eBay alone. In all, more than $1 million worth of single Pujols cards have changed hands in that time. Six rookie cards have sold for $15,000 or more.
In the last quarter, PSA 9 copies of Pujols’ 2001 Topps Traded rookie card have increased nearly 150% to about $483, according to CardLadder. The Topps Chrome rookie is up, too, but not as much. The average price for PSA 9s is now about $625, up 35.87%.
His Bowman rookie card in the same grade is up nearly 138% to $330.
Pujols has been around long enough to have autographed Upper Deck rookie cards and his 2001 SPx autos have climbed about 85% in the last three months to nearly $2,500.
His last season hadn’t exactly been a storybook ride. In June, he hit just .158 with no homers in limited playing time. However, his appearance in the All-Star Home Run Derby put a fresh focus on his career and not long afterward, the 42-year-old began taking a dip in the fountain of youth, helping the Cardinals begin to build a sizeable lead in the National League Central.
It was during a stretch just after the break that Pujols began a serious run at 700. He hit three in July, then exploded for a .361 average and eight homers in August, putting him in position to make a run at the milestone that seemed improbable earlier in the summer.
An eBay spokesman told SC Daily that sales of Pujols trading cards increased nearly 210% from Friday, Sept. 9 to Tuesday, Sept. 12 as he began closing in on 700.
Sales for his 2001 rookie cards have increased nearly 110% year over year from July 19-September 19 over 2021 numbers.
Sales for all Pujols trading cards increased over 115% YoY on eBay.
Two of the biggest all-time sales of Pujols cards there have come since August.
Top Sales for Albert Pujols Trading Cards on eBay
- 2001 Topps Chrome Traded #T247 Retrofactor Rookie RC PSA 10 PMJ– sold August 2022 – $35,041
- 2001 Bowman Chrome Rookie Refractor Autograph BGS 9 / Auto 10 RC – sold September 2022 – $27,601
- 2001 Bowman Chrome Refractor #340 RC /500 Auto Autograph BGS 9 Mint– sold May 2021 – $27,378
- 2001 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autograph #340 /500 BGS 9 MINT – sold May 2021 – $26,430
- 2001 Bowman Chrome Refractor Rookie Autograph #340 /500 PSA 9 MINT – sold June 2021 – $25,527