Never mind, the mind-boggling contract, as soon as collectors learned that he was on his way to the Big Apple, collectors wondered what the impact would be on Gerrit Cole rookie cards. Playing in the biggest media market for the sport’s most popular franchise can definitely have an impact, but savvy buyers have been picking up his cards for a long time.
While pitchers don’t seem to be as popular as position players, guys with Hall of Fame potential certainly aren’t overlooked. With Cole, there are plenty of options for prospect, rookie and even National Team cards.
Cole grew up a New York Yankees fan in Southern California, thanks to his father, who was a Syracuse native. As an 11-year-old, Cole attended the 2001 World Series and a photo of him carrying a home-made sign appeared in a newspaper.
A heavily scouted high school ace, Cole was originally drafted in the first round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft by the Yankees but decided to attend UCLA where he was a standout on the mound for the Bruins. Eager fans would now have to wait a few years to see him on MLB rookie cards.
When his college career came to a close, the Pittsburgh Pirates made him the first overall selection in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his official MLB debut for Pittsburgh in 2013.
After showing signs of greatness while being a part of an underachieving Buccos club with a criminally low amount of run support, Cole still managed to shine garnering his first all star appearance in 2014, winning 19 games and striking out over 200 batters for the first time in his career.
He eventually took his immense talents to Houston when the Pirates, instead of signing him, made him part of a trade for four Astros players. For two seasons Cole excelled in Houston, as he was selected to the All-Star game twice and became a 20-game winner for the first time while posting a career low ERA and leading the league in strikeouts in 2019.
In January of 2019 Cole was signed to a record $324 million contract for a pitcher by the Yankees, coming full circle with the team that had originally drafted him over ten years ago. In the summer of 2020, he completed a remarkable stretch in which he won 20 games in a row dating back to the previous season.
A fireballer, he regularly reaches over 100 mph on the radar gun and routinely strikes out 250 plus batteries per season. Now playing for the most storied team in baseball history in the biggest market in the world, Cole is finally starting to receive increased hobby attention.
Gerrit Cole first appeared on a baseball card at the age of 19, inside Upper Deck’s USA Baseball set in 2009. The following year, Topps took over the USA Baseball trading card contract and Cole was again featured on cards that are inexpensive today. He also showed up in his first Bowman-branded cards following the draft with Platinum including some auto relics.
His most sought after card arrived two years later when he signed for 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs. As with nearly all of today’s top players, it’s the issue that attracts big bucks for high grade examples.
With Cole in the majors to stay, 2013 marked the arrival of his official rookie cards. There are 15 in all, led by a trio of additional Bowman issues, Draft, Chrome Draft and Chrome. Below, we break down some of the others in three sections–from higher end to mid-level and super cheap.
If you want an overview of the best Gerrit Cole baseball cards, including those prospect and rookie issues, you can consult the current ‘most watched’ auctions on eBay via the real-time list at the bottom of the page.
Yankee Free Agent Tier
This is one of only two RC logo cards signed by Cole. It’s a somewhat odd and generic picture, with the Select signature silver shiny cardstock coupled with the sticker autograph. For a guy who doesn’t have a lot of rookie autos to choose from this would be number one on the list and as of now, all but the highest graded examples are usually available for under $100.
2. 2013 Topps Triple Threads Gerrit Cole #169 Jersey Auto /99
This is a much more aesthetically pleasing choice than card number one on the list but in sheer value it would fall to number two. The card features a picture of a young Cole doning a Pirates cap accompanied by a sticker auto and number of jersey pieces. With the limited number available, finding one isn’t always easy.
3. 2013 Topps Five Star #34 RC #/75
This is a card with no frills but it does feature Cole in his old school Pirates uniform. That coupled with a low production run finds this example in the third spot of the top tier.
1. 2013 Topps Heritage #H596 Gerrit Cole RC-With the increased hobby love for the Heritage brand year over year and the limited number of Cole RCs, this card is borderline high-end, at least for this list. Gem Mint graded examples have been trending toward three figures, but you can get a solid one much cheaper.
2. 2013 Bowman Sterling #33 Gerrit Cole RC
This is mid-level product from Bowman featuring a picture of Cole emerging from the darkness, getting ready to launch one of his hundred mile per hour fastballs toward a helpless hitter. These have been trending upward but are relatively common and within easy reach of a limited investment.
3. 2013 Topps Chrome Update #210A Gerrit Cole RC
The Topps Update line has been one filled with quality rookies over the years and Cole’s edition is no exception. The update card features a horizontal picture of him in mid-release. The Chrome and Chrome Update RCs are usually inexpensive but always have the potential to move north in value if said player gets hot. Of course, you’ll find parallel versions, too, that will cost more.
Pittsburgh Contract Level
In a product plagued with a lack of official MLB logos, Prizm, otherwise wildly popular, suffers a bit in baseball. That being said, this is still Gerrit Cole’s Prizm rookie card. As always, its featuring the classic Prizm style we’ve come to know over the years at a price that’s hard to beat.
2. 2013 Finest #99 Gerrit Cole RC
This is a brand that is very familiar to fans and hobbyists alike and while it’s not flashy, it’s an easy choice for a lower-end Garrett Cole rookie card with a price tag that’s less than you’ll pay for lunch.
3. 2013 Hometown Heroes #137 Gerrit Cole RC
This is the definition of an entry level rookie card. The design is simple and there’s nothing chrome about it. It’s no frills personified but that’s all said and done it’s still one featuring a likely future Hall of Fame that can be had for a few nickels and dimes.
Here’s that look at the 50 most watched Gerrit Cole card auctions right now.