He’s a 5’11 power-packed ball of energy. A Canadian dynamo who enjoyed a breakout season. Does it mean Tyler O’Neill baseball cards will be good long term play? The weights certainly seem stacked in his favor. Especially when you consider his play on the baseball diamond isn’t just about raw power.
The St. Louis Cardinals outfielder has already captured the imagination of Redbird Nation with his 414 foot walk-off home run on September 22, 2021. The revelation of just how “pumped up” he was took place when his shirt came off at home plate. As it turns out, that’s the result of a lot of hard work and genetics.
Tyler O’Unit with the #walkoff.
You’re going to want to watch to the end. 😉 pic.twitter.com/8pEGN6uRD0
— MLB (@MLB) September 22, 2018
The O’Neill Annals
O’Neill was born June 22, 1995 in Maple Ridge, Canada. His father Terry O’Neill was an Olympic caliber weight lifter. Tyler, as evidenced below, likes to hit the weights, too.
His dad Terry was ripped beyond belief. Terry was named Mr. Canada as the top weight lifter in Canada in 1975.
As it turns out, Tyler O’Neill’s dad was even more jacked than you thought.@toneill21 | @Cardinals pic.twitter.com/9j86otZaMk
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) December 2, 2020
A third round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2013, Tyler O’Neill was nicknamed “Popeye” in the minor leagues for his brute strength, but he’s more than just a masher. He is well known for his speed in addition to his ability to crush a ball and has already won a Gold Glove.
O’Neill earned Southern League MVP honors in 2016 before being traded to the Cardinals in the middle of the 2017 season. He made his major league debut at Wrigley Field on April 20, 2018. Injuries hampered his ability to stick with the big club but by 2020 he was a regular.
2021 was the coming out party. O’Neill has proven with more playing time he can hit for average, distance, swipe bags, and put together an MVP type season on the major league level as well. His 11 home runs in the first four weeks of September pushed the Cardinals to an historic winning streak and a playoff berth.
That means the best might be on the horizon. A popular player who belongs to a franchise with a strong fan base, there are quite a few great buys for O’Neill rookie cards considering his potential and upward mobility.
Tyler O’Neill Prospect and Rookie Cards
O’Neill first appeared inside Leaf Trading Cards products during his draft year of 2013 and has some very limited 2014 Bowman Black autographs that were spread across multiple releases. You can find him on some other minor league issues in 2014 and 2015 but as with most young players, collectors will gravitate toward his 2016 Bowman Chrome prospect autographs and parallel cards. A PSA 10 copy of his Orange Refractor graded PSA 10 and numbered 25/25 netted $1,200 on June 10.
Unfortunately, his autograph is essentially just a cursive version of his initials.
Prices have ticked upward during O’Neill’s late season power surge with a Blue Refractor (#/150) graded PSA 10 reaching $511 and an ungraded Orange Refractor selling recently for $425. However, most of his prospect autographs remain available for much less.
You can also find unsigned O’Neill cards inside 2016 Bowman Draft.
O’Neill’s rookie cards arrived in a multitude of 2018 Topps products, including Heritage, Update and Chrome Update, Archives, Holiday, Big League and Gallery. There are image variations for Heritage (see below) and Update as well as numerous parallels to chase. O’Neill doesn’t have a lot of certified autographs in 2018 products, but there are some.
His 1/1 SuperFractor from Update graded BGS 10 sold for $1,700 on April 2, the highest price paid for any O’Neill card to date (it’s been recently relisted for a much steeper price). However, most ungraded copies of his rookie cards remain available for $1 or less. The average price for an O’Neill rookie card of any kind in the 30 days prior to publishing this article was around $13.
You can check out the most watched Tyler O’Neill baseball card auctions via the live list below and see the current listings ending soon here.