Finally, the hobby has a hot player whose rookie card was produced in the 1990s. What does that mean? For one, you won’t have to sort through a mountain of data just to determine which card is the best one to own. It won’t be a “1 of 1” and it won’t cost you a week’s pay. There are only four real Josh Hamilton rookie cards–all from 1999.
Hamilton rookies picked up steam after his four home run night last week. He has Topps Traded, Topps Chrome Traded, Bowman and Bowman Chrome first year cards picturing as a member of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization, before his life and career began to spiral out of control (talk about a guy whose appearance has changed since high school).
His 1999 Topps Traded autographed rookie cards have been bringing $450-500; more for the lucky few who manage to have one graded at a ’10’ level. Regular edition Hamilton rookie cards are selling briskly for $15-30 each. A PSA 9 Bowman Chrome standard issue brought $50 recently.
Hamilton rookie cards are hot and it’s fun to see a player make that hobby breakthrough, not to mention what it does to local hobby shops and dedicated eBay sellers. If you’re looking to get in on the action before a Hall of Fame career really takes off, though, you may want to temper your enthusiasm. There’s a reason his rookie card is almost vintage.
Hamilton turns 31 years old this month. His long climb back from drug and alcohol addiction is a great story but his late start may prevent him from reaching the lofty milestones associated with Hall of Fame players.
He’s hit 136 home runs so far in his career and put together only a few full seasons because of injury. Even if he averages 30 homers per season until age 39, he’ll finish with about 400, and that’s assuming no further setbacks. Solid, but not necessarily Cooperstown worthy.
The same goes for his hit total. At best, he may wind up with 2,100-2,200 hits. Again, short of Hall of Fame type numbers.
If he can somehow win a triple crown this year or add a couple of World Series titles to his credit between now and retirement, his profile could change. He’s still young enough to where there’s probably still room for some growth, but at this point, it’s probably best to avoid buying Hamilton rookie cards during a bull market and respect baseball history by the numbers. Not surprisingly, eBay listings have exploded over the last week. Click here to check out current bid levels.