Mike Trout Rookie Cards: An In-Depth Look
Mike Trout is a phenomenon. His extraordinary play on the field is not only impressive but its a once in a lifetime occurrence. In the era of social media, one can observe this prodigy consistently put up numbers only comparable to the likes of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams or Mickey Mantle.
As a matter of fact, many of today’s baseball minds are beginning to ponder this one question, “Is Mike Trout the greatest ever to play the game of baseball?”
Mike is the son of former MLB Pitcher, Steve Trout. He was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in 2009 just shy of his 18th birthday, he was the 25th pick of the 1st round. He debuted on July 8, 2011, and to date, his accomplishments are:
Rookie of the Year Honors | 8x All-Star | 3x MVP | 2x All-Star MVP | 6x Silver Slugger | 1x Defensive Player of the Year.
His hobby impact has collectors in a frenzy. All of his rookie cards have gone through the roof in the last year as collectors anticipated Trout would be tipping the scales into legendary status. His most prominent one, the Topps Update has seen a 900% increase in the last year! In August of 2018 you could’ve picked one up for around $110.00-$150.00 in a PSA 10, that same card today is selling for $1,000.00!
ROOKIE CARDS OF CURRENT GREAT
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2011 Bowman Chrome, Card No. 175 shop ebay
This black-bordered beauty has a great design and features a great action photo of Mike Trout. One negative for these is due to the chrome technology this years Bowman Chrome suffered from a condition known as the “Bends.” This is when a card comes out of a pack and is bowed to such an extent that only three of the corners will touch a flat surface. An easy fix is to put them in a penny sleeve than a top loader and in time they will flatten themselves out. Due to the bends in the card, however, if purchasing a raw one, be on the lookout for creases in the front or back of the card.
Parallels include: Refractors 1:4 packs. Blue Refractors serial #d/150. Gold Refractors 1:94 packs (hobby only), serial #d/50. Orange Refractors 1:198 packs (hobby only) serial #d/25 and Red Refractors #d/5.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for around $180.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) sell between $260.00-$285.00 and a graded Gem Mt copy (10) sells in the $550.00-$750.00 range.
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft, Card No. 101 shop ebay
Very similar to the Bowman Chrome brand this one offers a very similar card design. This one shows a fantastic photo of Trout stepping into one and although the card back seems identical in design at first glance it does offer different verbiage for player commentary. Like the Bowman Chrome, this one too has a tendency to “bend” so be mindful of that.
Parallels include lots of Refractors: Base Ref. 1:4 packs. Purple Ref. 1:4 packs estimated. Blue 1:41 #d/199. Gold 1:162 #d/50. Orange 1:324 #d/25. Red 1:1620 #d/5. Superfractors 1:7410 #d/1 and finally Gold Canary Diamond 1:7410 #d/1.
As of the date of this post raw copies of the base card can be purchased for around $168.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) sell between $125.00-$150.00 and Gem Mt copies (10’s) sell in the $275.00-$350.00 range.
2011 Bowman Draft, Card No. 101 shop ebay
This set is the parent of the Bowman Chrome Draft which we just looked at. Identical in every way minus the chrome technology. These are typically nicknamed “Bowman Paper” or “Paper” versions which means no chrome just straight cardboard. These black-bordered beauties are prone to chip along the edges and corners due to the border color and thin paper stock. Mint copies are hard to find especially in raw form.
Parallels include: Gold 1: per box. Blue 1:17 packs #d/499. Red 1:7410 packs #d/1.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be had for $74.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) sell between $80.00-$120.00 and Gem Mt copies (10’s) sell in the $250.00-$280.00 range.
2011 Bowman Sterling, Card No. 22 shop ebay
Only 50 cards in this set and card number 22 houses an official rookie card of our featured All-Star. Semi decent card design front and back, nothing to really complain about, maybe a portrait photo would’ve worked better but all in all, this is a great card for any PC. The card has a shiny veneer finish in front so it is susceptible to scratches so handle with care. The real beauty with this lies in the parallels but they come with a hefty price.
Parallels include what else, refractors: Regular refractors 1:8 packs. Gold 1:31 packs #d/50. Black 1:61 #d/25. Purple 1:152 #d/10. Red 1:1509 #d/1 and Gold Canary Diamond 1:1509 packs #d/1.
As of the date of this post raw copies of the base card can be had for around $620.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) sell between $400.00-$435.00 which makes this a much better value than purchasing a raw one, in my opinion of course. Gem Mint copies (10’s) are selling in the $900.00-$1,000.00 range.
2011 Topps Finest, Card No. 94 shop ebay
A stat I failed to mention earlier is Trout’s ability to steal bases. He has tons of speed and currently sits with 197 career stolen bases. For that reason, I appreciate the card photo used in the Finest offering but that’s about it for me, overall card design is okay at best. Also, no protective film that can traditionally be found in the Finest brand therefore, these are susceptible to scratches due to its mirror-like chrome technology.
Parallel Refractors include: Regular refractor #d/549. Purple 1:182 packs #d/5. Red 1:18 packs #d/25. Gold 1:9 #d/50. Orange 1:5 #d/99. Green 1:3 #d/199. X-Fractors 1:2 #d/299. Die Cuts 1:41 #d/10. Superfractors 1:410 #d/1. Gold Canary Diamond 1:414 #d/1.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for around $105.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) sell between $85.00-$105.00 and Gem Mint copies (10’s) sell in the $310.00- $325.00 range.
2011 Playoff Contenders, Card No. 17 shop ebay
I have a lot of heartburn with this card for two reasons. It’s a 50 card set that only contains one rookie card, this one right here. Also, Playoff Contenders, Baseball was laid to rest in 2008, then out of nowhere, they release this set in 2011. This leads me to believe the set was created specifically just to profit from the Mike Trout hobby buzz.
Moreover, guidelines set by industry standards state that official rookie cards must be licensed by both the MLB and the MLPA. This does not have the MLB license therefore, you don’t see any team emblems and names on the uniform. They can’t even mention the word Angels. Hobby publications branded this one with the RC identifier but those who know better, know that this is not a true blue RC.
Overall, I think its a very nice card design but there sure is a lot of black on that card front which would make finding mint copies difficult.
Randomly inserted parallels include: Crystal Collection #d/299. Playoff Ticket #d/99. Artist’s Proof #d/49. 1st Day Proof #d/10. Championship Ticket #d/1.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for around $30.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) sell between $52.00-$70.00 and Gem Mt copies (10’s) sell in the $110.00- $125.00 range.
2011 Prime Cuts, Card No. 37 shop ebay
More of the same with this Panini offering. No license, no logos, not a pure rookie card. However, it is a very nice card overall. I real modern-day attempt at a vintage look. Print run on these is /99 so it makes them challenging to find. Surprisingly, there are no parallels with this one, what you see here is what you get. As I share current values I sure do hope you’re sitting down.
As of the date of this post raw copies are selling for around $2,300.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) have no recent sales activity but on June 9, 2019 a Gem Mint PSA 10 sold for $9,999.00 respectively.
2011 Topps Update, Card No. US175 shop ebay
Last but definitely not least. Here is la crème de la crème. Yes, boys and girls, it’s the best of the best. This card is in very high demand, there are plenty of them out there which is what scares me a bit. Professional Sports Authenticators Population Report shows that 6,271 of them have been graded by them alone. Let’s just say there is a print run of 10,000 is there enough supply to meet demand? At the moment no, there isn’t. Demand continues to sore and so do card prices.
This card has the potential of becoming the next cultural icon. This one here can become pure Americana if it hasn’t already. Is this the next 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle or the modern-day 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr? Only time will tell.
Parallels Include: Gold 1:3 packs #d/2011. Black 1:58 packs #d/60. Hope Diamond Anniversary 1:68 #d/60. Diamond Anniversary 1:4 packs. Cognac Diamond Anniversary 1:3 packs. Gold Canary Diamond #d/1. Platinum #d/1. Target Red Border. Wal-Mart Blue Border. Diamond Anniversary Authentic Diamond #d/1.
As of the date of this post raw copies of the base rookie sell for around $400.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) sell between $330.00-$400.00 and Gem Mint copies (10’s) sell in the $585.00-$1,000.00 range.
Happy Collecting Collectors,
Learn. Collect. Enjoy.