Los Angeles Dodgers superstar pitcher Clayton Kershaw continues to be one of the top pitchers of his generation. His list of career accomplishments checks all the boxes to be a current superstar but the accolades also put him in the category of becoming one of the all-time greats.
The nine time National League All Star, three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and 2020 World Series champion has done it all on the diamond.
He’s led the National League in wins three times, paced baseball in earned run average five times and was the NL strikeout leader three different seasons.
Gold glove? Check. He won the award in 2011. Pitching triple crown? Check. Kershaw achieved that honor in 2011. No hitter? Check. He completed that task on June 18th, 2014. NL MVP Award? Check. He was named the most valuable player in 2014.
The big lefty just surpassed the 200 career win milestone and is approaching the 3,000 career strikeout milestone.
Still in his mid 30s, Kershaw should have a few really good years left to continue to add to his impressive career totals and with the Dodgers being perennial contenders, possibly capture another World Series title.
In our latest Better Than a Box, we pit four Kershaw cards up against a box of the upcoming Finest Baseball hobby box.
Collectors far and wide love the Topps Finest style and technology, there’s no debate there. 2023 Finest Baseball will offer two autographs per master box with 5 cards per pack and 12 packs. It’s stepping up to the plate at around $270–a pricey roll of the dice.
We lay out four Kershaw cards from our usual array: a rookie card, autograph card, serial numbered card and relic card to show what you can own for the same price of the unknown pile that rests inside the Finest box.
The Rookie Card
The first card up as we toe the rubber on the Kershaw collection is a PSA 10 2008 Allen & Ginter rookie. The old timey, classic Ginter cards have been a hit with collectors since their rebirth in the early 2000s. The youthful Kershaw is shown in an artistic format with the old school MLB rookie card logo.
For right around $80 (sometimes less), this PSA 10 RC of the best pitcher of the era is a strong foundation.
The Autograph Card
The autograph card of choice is a beautiful early pre-rookie Kershaw issue from way back in 2006. It’s from the Tristar Prospects Farm Hands autograph set. You have to love the play on words. This one has all of the official Dodgers logos and insignias present so you’re not buying some ugly looking knockoff.
This sticker auto features a young, fresh-faced Kershaw back in his Gulf Coast League days on a clean design. Best of all, it can sometimes be had for $100 or less, but even at a slightly higher price, it’s a steal considering the cost of his other early autos.
The Game Used Card
The game used card for our collection runs to the mound from the 2014 National Treasures set. Dating to the year of his third Cy Young and no-hitter season, the ultra-high end product offers a classy Kershaw game used jersey card. It’s a classic image of him, with the steely eyed concentration in full bloom as he gets ready to delivered. Numbered to just 99 copies in a top tier product, this is a great addition to our growing CK collection.
Even though it’s a non-MLB licensed card, we’ll take it for what’s generally a pretty modest investment.
The Serial Numbered Card
The final card in our hot lot is the serial numbered card, this one from Kershaw’s Triple Crown season and one that commemorates Topps’ 60th anniversary. It’s the Gold version of the ’60 Years of Topps’ set, numbered to the year of issue–2011. Best of all, the back includes the awesome biographical note that Kershaw is the great nephew of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto.
At around 15 bucks, it rounds out a solid quartet of Kershaw cards. You can take your chances with a new box of Topps Finest baseball or you can get the four bangers of a sure thing from a sure fire Hall of Famer.