To the young people who watched someone barely older than themselves become a teenaged big leaguer, the realization that he is 60 years old will be hard to fathom. “The Kid,” just 18 when the photo for his first baseball card was taken, is approaching his senior years.
The player hits the big six-oh on Wednesday and the Robin Yount rookie card itself is 40 this year, a shining testimony to a young franchise that was looking for a star and let him grow into a Hall of Famer.
Yount and George Brett, both of whom made their debuts during that uncertain time, remain the keys to the 1975 Topps set.
Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers just a year earlier, Yount was thrust into the team’s everyday lineup and despite some early struggles, carved out a 19-year career that saw him win two MVP awards. Like Brett, he’s a member of the 3000 hit club but is also admired for switching seamlessly mid-career from shortstop to center field.
His rookie cards lag behind Brett, but the truth of the matter is that Yount’s are harder to find in higher grade and might be undervalued, especially those found in Canada.
Consider that there are eight PSA 10 graded 1975 Topps Brett rookie cards but only three of Yount. There are 222 Bretts rated 9 but only 197 Yount rookies at that level. While Yount’s rookie card brings $1,100-$1,500 in a ‘9’, Brett rookies typically sell for about $500-600 more.
There are also far more mint Topps Brett mini rookies encapsulated by the major grading companies.
If scarcity and high-grade is what you’re after, it’s hard to beat an O-Pee-Chee Yount. It’s one of the rarest 1970s Baseball Hall of Fame rookie cards in high-grade. PSA has graded just two OPC Yount rookie cards at the ‘9’ level and only one 10, the latter of which is listed online for over $47,000.
An SGC 96 (9) Yount rookie sold Tuesday night for $595.
Topps and OPC Yount rookies in slightly lesser grade are far more affordable, with even near mint examples usually available for $120 or less.
Yount also has a card in the 1975 Hostess baseball card set, which tried to offer a league-wide representation in its 150-card player selection, giving more credence to his early status as a teen star. NM/MT condition singles and panels are easy to find at well under $50.
You can see Yount’s Topps, Topps Mini, OPC and Hostess rookie cards on eBay here.