He’s only 25 but if it seems like Madison Bumgarner baseball cards have been around for a while, you’re not seeing things. The 25-year-old San Francisco Giants ace now owns three World Series rings, a 4-0 career Series record with an eye-popping 0.25 earned run average and .528 WHIP.
Bumgarner’s very youthful face first showed up on a rare 2006 Topps Aflac All-American set that featured high school players. After he signed his pro contract with the Giants, the teenage prospect autographed some of them and they were issued with 2008 Bowman products.
In 2007, as he started his climb through the minor leagues, more cards were issued including several with certified autographs. He’s featured on Bowman and Bowman Chrome Draft Picks and Prospects with parallel versions. An autographed Gold Refractor, numbered to 50 and graded 9.5 by Beckett, sold for $400 early Thursday morning. A 2007 Bowman Sterling Prospects sticker auto graded 9.5 sold for $190 while an ungraded example was snapped up for $79. Bumgarner also has 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition autographs and signed cards in a few other products as well.
In 2008, the always coveted Bowman Chrome autographs arrived along with the standard issue Bowman cards. A lot of 98 base cards sold on eBay for a best offer price somewhere near $300 but Bumgarner’s certified autos have been smoking hot in recent days with prices dependent on the quantity of the particular card issued. Among the low serial numbered cards from that issue, the Orange Refractors are numbered to 25 and even before Wednesday night’s heroics had pushed over $1,000. Even those numbered to 500 have cruised past $225 since Sunday. Topps apparently didn’t have many choices for photos in Bumgarner’s minor league days, using the same photo from 2007 to 2008.
In 2010, the ‘official’ Bumgarner rookie cards arrived as he made his MLB debut and began appearing in almost all Topps products. Single base cards can be had for a buck or two and the market will likely settle a bit as 2015 approaches.
The North Carolina native has signed thousands of cards for Topps since 2008 and currently has more than 300 different certified autographed cards according to Beckett Media.
It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but for prospectors, Bumgarner does have a few things going for him. He’s already racked up 67 career wins at age 25, which gives him at least an outside shot at 300 and he’s struck out 896 batters in 952 2/3 innings. That’s a remarkable ratio and would seem to indicate at least 3,000 strikeouts–if not more–could be possible before his career is over. Of course, that yeoman’s effort in the 2014 World Series could come back to haunt him because as is the case with every other athlete, projecting career numbers always comes with the four word caveat: “if he stays healthy”.
Below is a live list of the 20 hottest Madison Bumgarner baseball cards on eBay right now.