Buster Posey Rookie Card Countdown

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The Buster Posey Rookie Card lineup is one that commands a great deal of respect, but they don’t necessarily make a lot of noise as far as massive prices go. In a lot of ways, it’s a lot like how Posey is viewed on and off the field.

The cornerstone of the San Francisco Giants dynasty of the 2010s, if the catcher isn’t universally loved he has to be among the players most universally respected.

After calling it a career, his raw career numbers and stats might not stack up among the game’s legends, but that misses the point. Posey was a leader who came through when it mattered most and excelled at a position where greatness is more complex than just hits and home runs.

Drafted in 2008, Posey was in the majors the following year as a September call-up. After that, he spent 11 full seasons with San Francisco before retiring at the age of 34. It wasn’t a long career Posey left his mark. For starters, he was a winner. By the time he wrapper up his fifth full season with the Giants, the team had won three World Series titles. Other accolades include the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year Award, 2012 NL MVP and seven All-Star selections.

Posey’s first cards arrived in 2008, not long after being drafted. His Rookie Cards are in more than a dozen 2010 products, the first year of Topps’ MLB exclusive deal. The hobby was in a different place at the time, particularly in baseball where premium products were slower to catch on than other sports. As a result, most Buster Posey RCs are readily available and affordable.

Most Valuable Buster Posey Rookie Card Countdown

The following list includes only base cards with the RC tag in the Beckett database. Inserts and parallels have not been taken into consideration here. Highlights of some of his other key cards follow.

13. 2010 Bowman Draft Buster Posey Rookie Card #BDP61

With a separate card in the regular 2010 Bowman set and the focus here shifting towards draft picks, this is a reasonably priced Posey RC. It doesn’t have a lot of flair, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for many, either.

Parallels: Gold, Blue (/399), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Red (1/1)

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12. 2010 Topps Opening Day Buster Posey Rookie Card #207

Opening Day is where a lot of collectors go looking for something on the cheap. Essentially just like the flagship Topps RC with the addition of the Opening Day logo, it is certainly more affordable. That said, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of these available on the secondary market.

Parallels: Blue (/2010), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)

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11. 2010 Topps 206 Buster Posey Rookie Card #193

Honus Wagner this Buster Posey isn’t. Topps has used the original 1909-11 T206 set as inspiration for several releases. For the 2010 Topps 206 set, they go all in with the image filters. It’s certainly a look but not necessarily one that’s authentic retro.

Parallels: Bronze, Mini American Caramel, Mini Old Mill, Mini Piedmont, Mini Polar Bear, Mini Cycle (/99), Mini Carolina Brights (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Black (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)

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10. 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Buster Posey Rookie Card #BDP61

Although there are more than a dozen different base set Buster Posey Rookie Cards, this is the only one boasting “Chrome.” Despite this, prices are still very much affordable. Many collectors will likely notice how much smaller the Refractor rainbow is compared to more recent releases.

Parallels: Refractors, Purple Refractors, Blue Refractors (/199), Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)

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9. 2010 Topps National Chicle Buster Posey Rookie Card #275

2010 Topps National Chicle Baseball is a throwback to the pre-War brand. Beyond the built in history, the one-off product looked to art instead of photos. Posey’s RC is done by Don Higgins.

Posey has a second card in the base set. Number 311 on the checklist, it’s a short print and not considered a true Rookie Card. That said, it’s a nice little side card for those who like a more artful look to their collection.

Parallels: Bazooka Back, National Chicle Back, Umbrella Black Back, Cowhide (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Umbrella Red Back (1/1)

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8. 2010 Bowman Platinum Buster Posey Rookie Card #18

Instead of the traditional “paper” Bowman or Bowman Chrome, the 2010 Bowman Platinum Buster Posey RC takes a foil approach. It’s kind of like a middle ground between the two more common approaches. To that end, the identity is a little different but it also doesn’t stand out a lot in either direction.

Parallels: Refractors (/999), Gold Refractors (/539)

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7. 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter Buster Posey Rookie Card #294

Found in Topps’ fifth Allen & Ginter Baseball release, the tobacco inspiration is still very much apparent in both the base card’s design and its many Mini parallels. For a brand known for some of the weirdest baseball cards each year, the base cards are surprisingly subdued.

Parallels: Mini, Mini Allen & Ginter Back, Mini Black, Mini No Card Number, Mini Bazooka (/25), Silk (/10), Mini Framed Printing Plates Black (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Wood (1/1)

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6. 2010 Bowman Buster Posey Rookie Card #208

The first of several Bowman-themed Buster Posey Rookie Cards out of the gate, this card has a solid photo of the catcher. The layout and design don’t call a lot of attention to themselves, but the black borders pair nicely with the Giants’ colors.

Parallels: Gold, Blue (/520), Orange (/250), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Red (1/1)

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5. 2010 Upper Deck Buster Posey Rookie Card #28

By all appearances, there’s nothing much that stands out as odd or different about Posey’s 2010 Upper Deck Star Rookie. However, the product itself was the source of some controversy. 2010 marked the start of Topps’ MLB exclusive. Upper Deck still had the MLBPA license that covered players. Instead of taking out MLB logos and team marks entirely, they tried hide them a little more naturally through poses and photo selection. The problem is, they can totally be seen. This led lawsuits and Upper Deck agreeing to stop.

Parallels: Gold (/99)

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2010 Upper Deck Buster Posey Rookie Card

4. 2010 Bowman Sterling Buster Posey Rookie Card #23

Good luck finding this card in any sort of quantity. This is one of the toughest Posey RCs to find in any sort of quantity. The year’s premium Bowman offering, base cards take a backseat to the multiple autographs in every pack. Although one of the most valuable Buster Posey Rookie Cards, it’s still somewhat overlooked.

Parallels: Refractors (/199), Gold Refractors (/50), Black Refractors (/25), Purple Refractors (/10), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Red Refractors (1/1)

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2010 Bowman Sterling Buster Posey Rookie Card

3. 2010 Topps Heritage Buster Posey Rookie Card #114

Based on 1961 Topps Baseball, there’s a lot of built in nostalgia with this card. Heritage RCs are typically popular and command higher prices than a lot of other readily available brands. However, without much for Posey in the way of high-end Rookie Cards, this one finds itself near the top of the heap.

Although not exactly a parallel, the card does have a Chrome version as well that’s numbered to 1,961 copies. Refractors (/561) and Black Refractors (/61) are also available.

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2010 Topps Heritage Buster Posey Rookie Card

2. 2010 Topps Buster Posey Rookie Card #2

History and being part of Topps’ flagship line are the major value drivers here. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked that this is a great looking card. The photo, framing and layout all balance nicely. It’s not exactly action-packed, but you do get a sense of Buster Posey the person, which is a big part of his larger popularity.

Parallels: Target, Walmart Black, Gold (/2010), Red (/299), Black (/59), Platinum (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)

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2010 Topps Buster Posey Rookie Card

1. 2010 Finest Buster Posey RC Auto Manufactured Letter Patch #162 /284 (per letter)

Manufactured letter patches were “a thing” in the hobby around this time. The concept doesn’t really fit with traditional Finest sets, but that’s probably easier to realize now as Topps was trying something new back then. Posey has five different letters that can be collected individually or put together to spell his last name. Each letter is numbered to 284 so there are 1,420 total before parallels.

Although not a memorable execution, as the only Buster Posey RC to carry a signature, it gets the nod as being the most valuable.

Parallels: Refractors (/75), Blue Refractors (/25), Gold Refractors (/10), Red Refractors (/5), Purple Refractors (1/1), X-Fractors (1/1)

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2010 Topps Finest Buster Posey Rookie Card Autograph

Additional Key Early Buster Posey Card

The following Buster Posey cards may not carry the traditional RC tag as true Rookie Cards. That said, they still represent important cards of the Giants superstar. A comprehensive checklist of Buster Posey cards is available in the Beckett database.

2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects Buster Posey Autograph #BDPP128

It didn’t take long for Buster Posey’s first MLB cards to arrive after the Giants took him fifth overall in the 2008 draft. First Bowman Chrome autographs are a corner in modern baseball cards. It’s no different for the catch. This is easily one of his most important cards, if not the anchor for all that followed. It does not have an unsigned version.

Parallels: Refractors (/500), X-Fractors (/250), Blue Refractors (/150), Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)

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2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Buster Posey Autograph

2008 Bowman Sterling Prospects Buster Posey Autograph #BSP-BP

Posey has a second 2008 autograph in 2008 Bowman Sterling. While it certainly carries significant value, it’s not nearly as much as his Bowman Chrome counterpart. Part of that is simply the Chrome is king in a lot of eyes. The sticker autograph likely takes away some of the punch for a lot of collectors, too.

Parallels: Refractors (/199), Gold Refractors (/50), Black Refractors (/25), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Red Refractors (1/1)

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2008 Bowman Sterling Buster Posey Autograph

2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Buster Posey Autograph #177 /934

The Elite Extra Edition line has a long history with prospecting. When it debuted, Donruss had full MLB licensing. Even as the company and deals evolved, it kept the focus on young players. In 2008 it meant digging into draft picks similar to Bowman Draft, only without the MLB uniforms or marks.

Parallels: Turn of the Century (/75), Aspirations (/25), Status (/10), Status Gold (/5), Status Black (1/1)
Unsigned Parallels: Aspirations (/150), Status (/75), Status Gold (/25)

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2008 Playoff Contenders Buster Posey Autograph #63

The 2008 Playoff Contenders Baseball Buster Posey is another autograph that’s an alternative for those looking for an early signature from the catcher at a cheaper price. It lacks the trademark ticket-inspired design that have become such an important part of the brand.

Parallels: Playoff Ticket (/199, not signed), Championship Ticket (1/1)

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2008 Prime Cuts Buster Posey Autograph / Auto Memorabilia #108 /249

The 2008 Prime Cuts Buster Posey base card has two different versions, one with an autograph and another with a signature and memorabilia piece. In both cases, the cars are numbered to 249. Three parallels don’t have either of the premium additions.

Parallels (none have autographs or memorabilia): Silver (/25), Gold (/5), Platinum (1/1)

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2010 Bowman Chrome Wrapper Redemption Autographs Buster Posey #WR1

In addition to some exclusive cards not found in regular packs, the 2010 Bowman Chrome Wrapper redemption had five MLB autographs including Posey. With just 100 copies, this is a tough find today and ranks as one of the top Buster Posey cards from his first full season in the majors.

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2010 Bowman Chrome Wrapper Redemption Autographs Buster Posey

2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption Refractor Buster Posey #221

The 2010 Topps Chrome Baseball checklist expanded a little with a special wrapper redemption program. Collectors who sent in 24 hobby wrappers received a pack of three exclusive cards. Posey is one of ten rookies on the 15-card checklist. Others include Giancarlo Stanton and Stephen Strasburg. In addition to the base version there’s a Green Refractor that has 599 copies and a tough autograph that’s numbered to 100. The autograph also has Refractor (/90) and Green Refractor (/10) parallels.

Although the numbering continues on from the base set, the fact that it’s from a promotion means it’s not a Rookie Card in the traditional sense.

Parallels: Green Refractors (/599)

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2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption Refractors Buster Posey

2010 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs Buster Posey #BP

Posey has a handful of signed cards from his rookie season, however the 2010 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs ranks as one of the best. The line has a long history and can always be counted on for on-card signatures.

Posey also appears on a Real One Dual Autographs card alongside Juan Marichal. This one’s particularly scarce, though, with just 25 copies.

Parallels: Red Ink (/61)

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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