Bryce Harper Rookie Card set for 2012 Topps Series 2


Update: For additional info on this card and others from Topps, click here.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Before he had his second big-league at bat, the plans for Bryce Harper‘s Rookie Card were announced.

Topps confirmed on Saturday night that Harper’s Rookie Card will appear in 2012 Topps Series 2, which arrives on June 6. (Need a Harper checklist or OPG? Click here.) We’ll have more details on this as it becomes available.

Since his arrival on cardboard in 2009, Harper has appeared on 248 different cards with a total value topping $28,600 for those not too rare to price. However, none are cataloged as Rookie Cards.

Your Assessment: Bryce Harper's MLB debut

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His rarest and most sought-after cards have commanded some big prices in online auctions, while others are awaiting their prospective buyers … if they are out there.

His most-valuable card priced by Beckett Media is his 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs Gold Refractors #BCP111B, which is limited to just 50 copies and has sold for as much as $2,200.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. Nick Tegeler 28 April, 2012 at 23:28

    I saw the highlights from his performance tonight and he looked good for his first MLB debut. I am looking forward to his rookie cards.

  2. Matt 29 April, 2012 at 12:49

    I was siting in right field and watched him gun down a runner from right to home plate. He has a cannon!

  3. Greg 29 April, 2012 at 13:16

    if this is his “official rookie” then what makes it a “rookie card” compared to the ones out now? what the main difference if any? any help would be appreciated.

  4. Dan 29 April, 2012 at 18:22

    He’s playing MLB and he’s 19 years old? I’d have been impressed if he’d struck out three times.

  5. James B. Anama 29 April, 2012 at 19:26

    Not impressed. Two years ago, some 20 year old kid made his major league debut and drove in 6 runs, setting a new MLB record. That was impressive. Yes, he has defensive issues, attention lapses, and so forth and so on, but he is still young. Nobody can match Starlin Castro’s debut.


    JayBee Anama

  6. Jeff 29 April, 2012 at 19:27

    He was 1 for 3 with a double and sac fly. He would of had the game winning RBI but the closer blew the save for Strasburg. Plus Harper gunned-down a runner at home but catcher dropped the ball. THIS GUY CAN PLAY BALL!

  7. steve-o 29 April, 2012 at 22:01

    yeah……I’d say he is done !! Seriously……isn’t he going to be able to vote in a year & drink in the next 4 years ????? Its over……he is past his prime….sell all your auto’s……cheap and fast…..and dont hold on to those series 2 Topps cards too long

  8. JEFF 30 April, 2012 at 04:07



  9. Matthew 30 April, 2012 at 08:30

    “However, none are cataloged as Rookie Cards.”

    Biggest joke in the industry. Why does Beckett continue to prop up this nonsense? Really — I’m serious. Everyone knows what a joke the official Rookie Card Logo is — why does Beckett continue to act like it matters?

  10. chrisolds 30 April, 2012 at 09:40

    Matthew: Insert cards have NEVER been classified as Rookie Cards and all of the Bowman sets are broken into base sets and prospect sets, making all of the prospect cards insert cards. Simple as that.

  11. Matthew 30 April, 2012 at 10:24

    Chris, I appreciate your giving the official Beckett explanation, but no one — I repeat, no one actually considers or treats the prospect card as simply an insert card. Every collector I know treats those cards as defacto rookie cards. The fact that Beckett puts together cover stories hyping all of the Bryce insert cards before he has an official card proves my point. The whole end-around by Topps and the whole as a whole to circumvent the Rookie Card Logo rule is a joke.

    Putting aside the semantic argument, I still see no reason for the facade to continue. I stand by every word I wrote five months ago:

  12. Richard 30 April, 2012 at 11:11

    The concept of rookie card is ever evolving, at least the guide’s idea of what is.

    There is the official explanation and there is the real explanation of why the rookie card
    logo was invented. Truthfully, its about money. To gain the logo one must be licensed
    by MLB. This came into being mostly because of Upper Deck’s complaint that they had a
    license, by Topps kept being the “home of the rookie card” because of the way that they
    signed players directly rather than use the MLBPA license. The problem for Upper Deck is
    that MLPBA does not grant the use of images of players who are not members and MLBPA
    only allows players that are in the Bigs to joins, to avoid having the license pool money
    be diluted.

    Beckett abides by this because they need to keep MLB happy, they allow Beckett to use
    images, and to keep one of their prime advertisers happy. I’m guessing Upper Deck has
    not been foolish enough to bounce a check with Beckett.

    Topps is happy with the current paradigm because it allows them two bites from the apple.
    They get the fans excited to buy the “first” card and then the “rookie” card. Used to be it
    was always one and the same, but there you go.

  13. chrisolds 30 April, 2012 at 11:46

    Christian: Trout is 0-for-7 so far this year … and was pretty bad last year. So far, Harper’s winning — albeit a very small sample size.

    Matthew: Insert issues have never been considered RCs by most people in the hobby (for years), long before the 2006 logo creation.

  14. chrisolds 30 April, 2012 at 11:49

    Sorry, Richard: It’s about what the cards are and how they fall into products, not “keeping MLB happy.” I personally don’t like it, but the sets changed in 2006 and the tag use remains as it has been — the standard for the hobby that was set long ago.

  15. Bobby 30 April, 2012 at 12:05

    It’s all about first appearances on cards now and limited prints. The “RC” hardly means anything now with college cards, non license cards, and etc. I just like cool & different photos Topps uses.

    Stop all stick auto’s too. They are so impersonal.

  16. Matthew 30 April, 2012 at 12:05

    Okay, Chris, with all due respect, clearly you and I inhabit alternate realities. Most other collectors and dealers I encounter treat and refer to these cards as rookie cards. The fact that the staff at Beckett doesn’t probably preserves the illusion that the standard they think they have set for the hobby is the common usage in public. Go onto eBay and search “Bryce Harper rookie card” — you currently return 1,504 listings. Given that the “hobby standard” is that he doesn’t have a rookie card yet, I find this result awfully puzzling — at least by your logic.

    The notion of “standard” only applies when everyone in the hobby actually follows it.

  17. chrisolds 30 April, 2012 at 12:10

    Bobby: First cards are definitely more sought after than RCs are these days. THAT trend hasn’t let up.

    Matthew: You’ll also see RC slapped on draft picks cards left and right on online auctions — and they are not. Topps and MLBPA are, without a doubt, trying to double-market debut cards to the masses … the ones they make in Bowman years before a debut and the ones that are available during and just after a year of debut. The tagging hasn’t changed here.

  18. Ed 30 April, 2012 at 12:14

    Nearly 250 cards and just getting a rookie card designation? To quote Derrick Coleman, “whoop-de-damn-doo”.

    Now I understand not counting collegiate/unlicensed cards like a Team USA set or TriSTAR, etc. — but the moment that one of the big companies (or THE company, when talking about current baseball products) prints a card with a MLB team logo on it, in the same format as their base set (regardless of whatever silly numbering scheme is used to pacify MLB) — it becomes that player’s rookie card in the eyes of the majority of collectors.

    Or maybe we should revert to the ’80s and resurrect the XRC tags?

  19. Matthew 30 April, 2012 at 12:32

    Ed, thank you for illustrating my point. I accidentally buried my point in a rhetorical question I shouldn’t have bothered to ask. So, to rephrase: why are we acting like the fact that Harper’s first “official” RC hasn’t been issued yet is a huge deal? Insert cards are ubiquitous and plentiful, and carry a Major League logos and team designations on them. Once that has taken place, they are for all practical purposes MLB cards. At that point, the idea that the Rookie Card Logo has any meaning is just a poorly designed artificial construct that carries very little actual meaning. As a Phillies collector, am I eagerly awaiting Freddy Galvis’s official RC — no, because I already have his 2008 Bowman Prospects card.

  20. chrisolds 30 April, 2012 at 12:41

    Matthew: Not every card with a RC logo slapped on it is a Rookie Card, either. It is what it is — the hobby/tagging definition and even the practices of the card companies are not the same.

  21. Richard 30 April, 2012 at 17:07

    I still remember when we had FTC, FSC, FDC
    First Topps Card, First Score Card, First Donruss card, etc.

    I can live with the logo, if only it were properly applied every time. (As you noted.)
    Consumers should not have to deal with (RC) vs RC issue. The stupid logo was supposed
    to ensure that.

    Personally, I like the USA cards that come in the packs vs the box sets.
    And the auto’d AFLAC cards are also pretty awesome, provided care is made to ensure
    that you can tell the ones from packs vs what was given to players vs unscrupulously
    signed cards from the game that happen to look the same damn way.

    At times I think the card makers are very naive at best, lazy at worst.
    Autographed cards should always have an immediate obvious difference between
    themselves and their non-auto’d cousins. An embossed stamp is sadly too easily faked
    and thus not enough. This lesson should have been learned back in 1992, let alone 2012.

    My personal rules for RC’s are quite simple.

    1) Authorized by the player and any logos displayed must be likewise authorized.

    2) Signed to a contract in the sport and active in the sport.
    Retired guys can’t get rookie cards especially decades after they have played.

    3) Available to the general public. This means its not a stadium only issue or family only
    issue, or likewise exclusive issue.

    4) Comes in a pack or issued in the same year as ones that come in a pack.
    So your card in a factory set is a RC only if there was an opportunity to get it in a pack.

    5) No RC fitting the above standards issued in a prior Season/Year. Sports that cross years
    can have it as long as the issue reflects the same season. I.E. If one came out in 2011 and
    the season is a 2011/12 product its still a RC.

  22. charles faires 30 April, 2012 at 17:29

    i not sure what to make of all this, i look at a bowman chrome first card and i see a player in a yankees uniform, with a yankees log somewhere on the card, and its states first card bowman, i know by definition because theres no RC. this is not an offical RC. but i think that the only reason this became a issue was because card companys were trying to get the leg up on hot rookies that came up late in the fall. this RC thing seems like its not needed anymore because of limted liecensing know.

  23. Michael Chase 30 April, 2012 at 19:15

    Man I love how people who have never worked for Beckett a day in their lives seem to know an awfully lot about the company. Do Beckett employees go on your website, bash you and then tell you how your company is run?

    ….I didn’t think so.

    To me, and I speak for solely myself. The card posted above is Bryce Harpers first rookie card. Prospect cards are not rookie cards. The RC logo is a good thing. This card looks great.

  24. charles faires 1 May, 2012 at 09:16

    Mr. Chase, slow down, this is just talk, we all know the rules for RC. doesn’t mean we have to agree with them. thats why this is a forum. i do understand your passion, i too am guilty of having a strong apinion at times.just saying

  25. john 10 May, 2012 at 21:35

    I doubt that anyone posting here played in the major leagues let alone made a debut at 19yrs old. Getting a hit off a major league pitcher and getting a run home, almost threw a guy out from 300ft when the runner has to run 90ft is impressive to anybody, even more at age 19. That is a fact, not an opinion.

  26. JEREMY 11 May, 2012 at 11:50

    How would this even be considered a RC? His first card after becoming a pro was 2011. He also has a 2010 Bowman Chrome card, and a 2008 Upper Deck card. Although, I will say this is his best looking card for sure.

  27. chrisolds 11 May, 2012 at 12:30

    All previous sets are insert cards based on how the products are configured. Insert cards do not get RC tags.

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