A glance at the stat sheet in 2013 or ’14 wouldn’t have sent collectors scurrying to buy Nolan Arenado rookie cards. Those who did are being rewarded by a player who is now one of the top all-around players in baseball.
The Colorado Rockies star has already pocketed four Gold Gloves in four seasons, becoming the first third baseman to ever accomplish such a feat. His offensive skills are now just as impressive. After a breakout year in 2015, Arenado led the NL in RBI and tied for the home run title in 2016. He belted 83 homers and drove in 263 runs in those two seasons. One ESPN senior writer even has already tabbed Arenado as a future member of the 2041 Hall of Fame baseball class.
A California native, Arenado was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft, choosing to sign rather than play college baseball at Arizona State. Arenado made his big league debut in a game at Arizona in April of 2013.
Like most current players, Arenado began appearing on cards as a minor leaguer. He has autographs in 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition that are typically available for under $100 as of this writing. As is often the case with current players, Arenado’s 2010 Bowman Chrome rookie autos represent the most active market, especially the low serial numbered parallels graded at the higher end of the scale.
“Official” Nolan Arenado rookie cards hit the market after he made his MLB debut in 2013–and there are several. He’s got a 2013 Topps Triple Threads auto relic that’s numbered to 99 and will likely hold up well over the long run with an on-card signature. You’ll find him in several base sets including Bowman Sterling, Heritage High Number (a red ink autograph version numbered to 10 recently sold for $1,000) and Topps Update (even parallel versions require only a modest investment).
Recent Past and Future
With his new status as one of baseball’s best players, Arenado’s autographed cards in higher-end Topps products from 2014 and beyond have seen fairly strong sales numbers. However, there would appear to be room for significant growth should he continue to play at a high level and attract even more national attention. Over 3,100 Arenado card listings sold during a recent three-month period on eBay with the average price at just under $22.
For a complete list of the most watched Nolan Arenado cards, see the live list below.