About the only thing hotter than Kris Bryant cards in March of 2015 was his performance at the plate as he tried to force the Chicago Cubs to keep him on their Major League roster. Alas, the Cubs spoiled Bryant’s coming-out party by demoting him to minor league camp just over a week before Opening Day. Bryant headed to Triple-A despite his nine home runs and .425 batting average during Spring Training. That kind of performance, though, wasn’t forgotten and after his successful return, looking for Kris Bryant cards on eBay quickly became a popular past time in Chicago–and across North America.
With Bryant now in the big leagues to stay, Cubs fans should be able to sit back, relax and enjoy what unfolds for one of the most talented players in baseball.
Let’s take a look some of the more popular and early Bryant cards.
2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph
Topps caused quite a stir with the release of their Bowman Inception product, a set of “nothing but hits,” as Rich Klein termed it. In the follow-up to their initial Inception release the year before, Topps tightened up some of the production issues that dinged the 2013 version and treated collectors to five-card packs featuring four autograph cards and one signed relic piece.
It wasn’t the richness of the offering that got collectors humming, though. Instead, what really stirred emotions — with anger chief among them — was the inclusion of various 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph Kris Bryant issues in packs of 2014 Bowman Inception cards.
Coming on the heels of the spring release of the 2014 Bowman base set, which purported to include short-printed versions of Bryant’s first-ever Chrome autograph cards, the 2014 Inception inserts were a blow to collectors who were already invested in Bryant’s 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Auto. By undercutting their own spring release, Topps engendered a heap of confusion, distrust, and disdain among hobbyists.
Despite this sticky situation, Bryant’s 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos have gained a strong foothold among collectors, and the various parallels trade vigorously on eBay. Blue, Gold, and Red refractors in varying degree of scarcity, are offered for several thousand dollars each.
Bryant’s Bowman Chrome Draft Auto cards have been splattered all over the list of most watched baseball cards on eBay for a long time now.
2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph
While they lag behind their 2013 Draft Auto counterparts in price on the secondary market, the Bryant Prospect Autos have traded vigorously.
With every homer that Bryant hits and every bit of goodwill that his demeanor engenders, some of the ire surrounding 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects, and 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft, melts away as collectors focus on just getting the cards they want.
2013 Leaf Metal Draft Autograph
Once a hot spot for collectors because of the inclusion of Cuban defector Jose Abreu, the 2013 Leaf Metal Draft set has seen renewed interest thanks to Bryant’s rising profile. It’s not MLB licensed but it has several interesting parallels, so don’t be surprised to see continued activity for Bryant’s Leaf Metal Draft issue.
2014 Topps Heritage Minors
It may not carry the financial weight of the two Bowman issues on this list, but Bryant’s 2014 Topps Heritage Minors issue features a classic design and a beaming image that must make Cubs fans smile, too, when they see it. The base card sold well upon release and the wide range of parallels and variations make Topps Heritage a fun challenge for Bryant collectors who want it all. With photo variations, jersey patch cards, multiple available border colors, and even a card featuring the logo from a Bryant hat, Topps Heritage has something to appeal to just about any level of Cubs collector.
Bryant is featured in both the Preferred Grand Stand and Elite insert sets, and, while they are not high-ticket items–nor MLB licensed- the chance to pull the slugger from current packs makes them attractive to some collectors.
Elite and Preferred Bryant issues can be picked up for a smallish investment, with various parallel cards proving a bit tougher.
Bryant first appeared on a baseball card way back in 2009 when as a high school player on the U.S. National Team, he had signed and unsigned cards in the Bowman Aflac set. He then returned in 2012 in Panini’s Team USA sets and Prime Cuts. We got to see him in a pro uniform in 2013 Bowman Sterling. His official Topps rookie cards arrived in the summer of 2015.
Fan Friendliness Bodes Well?
Bryant’s charm goes beyond mere numbers, as he is earning a fan-friendly reputation that should endear him all the more to Cubs supporters in the years to come.
For instance, Bryant made ripples in the collecting world by one-upping a fan’s request for visual authentication of a bat that was up for purchase. When Mike Kennedy tweeted Bryant asking for his opinion of an $850 game-used Bryant bat, the third baseman instead sent Kennedy an autographed, game-used bat for free. No one expects Bryant to maintain that level of interaction with his fans for the long haul, but his willingness to interact with and show appreciation to his supporters is one reason that his cards are so popular right now.
He’s got an exclusive endorsement and trading card autograph deal with Topps–and in 2015, signed a new autograph arrangement for other items with Fanatics, which means collectors can purchase items from his private signings with that company.
Check out our live list of the 100 current ‘most watched’ Kris Bryant cards on eBay below.