Just as his career seems to be undervalued, so is the first baseball card of one of the most popular players of the last 50 years. The 1977 Topps Dale Murphy rookie card is still extremely affordable, despite his status as one of the most accomplished players of the 1980s. It’s also very popular with collectors who remember his MVP seasons as they unfolded on “The Superstation”, Atlanta’s WTBS, which carried nearly every Braves game of Murphy’s career to an international cable audience.
He’s clearly the star of the four-player card that was #476 in the 660-card set. And yes, he’s on a “Rookie Catchers” card. Long-time fans recall that was his position at the time. Murphy had made his Atlanta debut behind the plate in 1976 and was still seeing most of his action there or at first base as the decade came to a close.
Murphy’s rookie card remains generally affordable. Ungraded, near mint examples can usually be had for under $25. Graded NM/MT copies might cost you $35-$45 while PSA 9 (mint) Murphy rookies have now pushed consistently north of $100. Rare gem mint 10s may reach $1,000 before long.
Along with Andre Dawson and Bruce Sutter, it’s among the better rookie cards in the 660-card 1977 Topps set.
Murphy’s “Other” Rookie Card
Murphy is also on an odd list: players who appeared more than once on a multi-player rookie card.
In 1978, Topps put Murphy on a Rookie Catchers card again. On this one, he’s joined by Bo Diaz, Lance Parrish, and Ernie Whitt. Some fans may think it’s Murphy’s actual rookie card, but it’s simply a second-year issue. While it carries a slight premium, partly because it’s Parrish’s rookie card, it’s an easy score for a very small investment.
From Catcher To Outfield
Does The Hall Of Fame Await?
While Murphy isn’t a Hall of Famer and may face long odds of eventually getting there, he remains one of the most beloved baseball players of an entire era . He’ll go down as one of the best and most popular to ever don a Braves jersey. He’ll undoubtedly be remembered with names like Chipper Jones, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine even though he never did win a World Series ring with Atlanta. Hank Aaron might always be in his own stratosphere and still attached more so to Milwaukee teams. Murphy still has a place in the heart of many baseball fans across the nation.
Baines: .289/.356/.465, 384 HRs
Murphy: .265/.346/.469 , 398 HRs