By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor
Francisco Lindor is one of the top players in baseball. Period. Part of a new generation of shortstops, it looks like you’ll be hearing his name alongside Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Troy Tulowitzki for years to come. While they may not garner the same level of attention (or prices) as some of the game’s other superstars, Francisco Lindor Rookie Cards are still worth a look.
In addition to many prospect cards that came out before his MLB debut and dozens of inserts, Lindor has Rookie Cards in a dozen different sets. Some are basic and very cheap while a couple tread in premium waters.
Want to know which are the best Francisco Lindor Rookie Cards? We’ve counted them all down.
Here’s a full ranking of all of the Francisco Lindor Rookie Cards based on what’s worth the most. Following that is a detailed look at some of his other important early cards that came out before his MLB debut.
Francisco Lindor Rookie Card Countdown
The following is a ranking of the most valuable Francisco Lindor Rookie Cards according to the Beckett Baseball Card price guide and database. Only cards with the RC tag are included in the rankings, not inserts and parallels. Values are available to online price guide subscribers.
12. 2015 Topps Update Francisco Lindor RC #US82
The importance of this card is more where it stands historically versus value. It may be his most widely available Francisco Lindor Rookie Card. This keeps the value down. However, as part of the flagship line it’s going to be the one that’s likely to be identified with. In addition to all the regular parallels, the card is also part of the Sparkle variations checklist, This short print is both tough to find and tough to spot. The only difference is the addition of a twinkle on one of the laces on Lindor’s gloves.
Parallels: No Logo, Rainbow Foil, Gold (/2015), Snow Camo (/99), Black (/64), Pink (/50), Platinum (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
11. 2015 Bowman Chrome Francisco Lindor RC #89
The top Francisco Lindor falls under the Bowman Chrome banner. But this isn’t it. Because so many equate the brand with Prospect Autographs, there isn’t a ton of appeal or value here compared to a lot of Lindor’s other Rookie Cards. Still, the chromium look elevates its appearance somewhat over Topps Update. And it has a rainbow of colorful Refractors to chase as well.
Parallels: Refractors (/499), Purple Refractors (/250), Blue Refractors (/150), Green Refractors (/99), 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)
10. 2015 Topps Heritage ’51 Collection Francisco Lindor RC #75
Done in the style of 1951 Topps Baseball, this card came as part of a premium box set that also has a variety of parallels and autographs. Lindor is featured through the release. His Rookie Card has that vintage look you’d expect from coming in such a product.
Parallels: Mini Black Back, Mini Blue Back, Mini Gold Back, Mini Green Back, Mini Red Back
9. 2015 Bowman’s Best Francisco Lindor RC #3
2015 Bowman’s Best has similar chromium card stock as Bowman Chrome. However, the design has a lot more going on. Some may call it modern, others may think its gaudy. It comes down to preference more than price as it’s very much affordable to all budgets.
Parallels: Refractors, Atomic Refractors, Blue Refractors (/150), Green Refractors (/99), 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)
8. 2015 Topps Triple Threads Francisco Lindor RC #15
This one might be undervalued a little. Triple Threads isn’t cheap and base cards are often overlooked. The card’s construction puts it more on the high-end side. The price tag? Not so much. That said, it’s not the easiest to find given the fact 2015 Topps Triple Threads boxes aren’t cheap and don’t deliver many cards.
Parallels: Amethyst (/354), Emerald (/250), Amber (/125), Gold (/99), Onyx (/50), Sapphire (/25), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Ruby (1/1)
7. 2015 Topps High Tek Francisco Lindor RC #HTFL
2015 Topps High Tek is somewhat confusing. That’s by design. The base card has several variations based on the pattern in the background. Waves is the most common and considered to be Lindor’s Rookie. Five other versions are available in varying amounts with Grid and Diamonds being the rarest. On top of those are more than ten parallels.
Variations: Dots, Pipes, Chain Link, Diamonds, Grid
Parallels: Confetti Diffractor (/99), Sky Rainbow (/79), Gold Rainbow (/35), Clouds Diffractor (/25), Grid Red Orbit (/5), Red Orbit Diffractor (/5), Black Galactic Diffractor (1/1), Black Rainbow (1/1), Grid Black Galactic Diffractor (1/1), Printing Proofs Black (1/1), Printing Proofs Cyan (1/1), Printing Proofs Magenta (1/1), Printing Proofs Yellow (1/1)
6. 2015 Topps Heritage Francisco Lindor RC #717 SP
Available in 2015 Topps Heritage High Number packs, Lindor’s Rookie is a short print. While it adds to the value, Heritage short prints aren’t the toughest in the hobby. The brand is popular with set builders, which expands the card’s audience and strengthens prices versus other Rookie Cards that might be tougher to find. Lindor has both an Action and a Color Swap variation as well.
Parallels: Black and White, Blue Back, Gum Stained Back, Reverse Stock, Mini (/100)
5. 2015 Topps Chrome Francisco Lindor RC #202 SP
Whereas the Heritage short print is still fairly common, the 2015 Topps Chrome Francisco Lindor Rookie Card is relatively tough. The high numbers created quite a fervor when the set was first released, but that has slowed somewhat in the months since.
Parallels: Green Refractors (/99), Gold Refractors (/50), 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)
4. 2015 Immaculate Collection Francisco Lindor RC #118 Auto Jersey /49
The 2015 Immaculate Collection Francisco Lindor has a lot going for it. At 49 copies, it’s tough. It also has a jersey swatch and an autograph. But within those, there are a couple of factors that take it down a notch in the eyes of some collectors. First is the lack of MLB licensing. Many simply prefer not to have logoless cards as they don’t look complete. The signature comes via a sticker, another bit of collector preference. Finally, the swatch is player-worn, not game-used.
Parallels: Rookie Autograph Materials Prime (/99), Rookie Autograph Materials Laundry Tag (/8), Rookie Autograph Materials Button (/6)
3. 2015 Topps Five Star Francisco Lindor RC #FSAFL Autograph
At one time, Five Star was the most expensive baseball set from Topps. But a revamped configuration and new brands changed that. While still very much on the high-end side of things, it does come hard-signed. It’s also still relatively affordable.
Parallels: Gold (/50), Rainbow (/25), Emerald (/5), Five Star (1/1)
2. 2015 Panini National Treasures Francisco Lindor RC #179 Auto Jersey /99
Francisco Lindor has a Rookie Card in National Treasures — sort of. It’s still stuck in redemption limbo. The completed card is expected to have an autograph along with a memorabilia swatch. The redemption status has also led to not a lot surfacing on the secondary market.
Parallels: Rookie Material Signatures Purple (/49), Rookie Material Signatures Gold (/25), Rookie Material Signatures Black (/10), Rookie Material Signatures Green (/5), Rookie Material Signatures Brand Logo Tag Red (1/1), Rookie Material Signatures Laundry Tag Blue (1/1), Rookie Material Signatures Printing Plates Black (1/1), Rookie Material Signatures Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Rookie Material Signatures Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Rookie Material Signatures Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
1. 2015 Topps Dynasty Francisco Lindor RC #APFL1 – APFL5 Auto Patch /10
When it comes to the most valuable Francisco Lindor Rookie Card, there isn’t much question. 2015 Topps Dynasty is at the top of the company’s portfolio. Lindor is featured on five different cards. All are numbered to ten and have an over-sized patch alongside an on-card autograph. The only major difference between each card is the image.
Parallels: Emerald (/5), Red (1/1)
Other Important Early Francisco Lindor Cards
2009-10 Upper Deck USA Baseball Francisco Lindor #USA55
The 2009-10 USA Baseball box set from Upper Deck is the first major card of Lindor. The common features him as a member of the 16U squad. It’s straightforward, but at the same time, significant.
2009-10 Upper Deck USA Baseball 16U National Team Triple Jersey Autographs Francisco Lindor #FL
Lindor’s lone autograph in the box set comes in the form of a signed triple jersey card. While that’s worth noting, so too is the signature itself. Every letter is legible. The shortstop even added his middle initial. Besides the base version, there are a handful of numbered parallels.
2010 Bowman AFLAC Autographs Francisco Lindor
Signed in 2010 while Lindor was still in high school, this card was actually inserted in packs of 2011 Bowman Draft. Usually, the pack-issued cards are serial-numbered so collectors can discern them from the blanks given out at the game. 2011 Bowman Draft was the exception. Topps did offer free PSA grading for the cards shortly after the product came out to help curb counterfeits. That said, collectors should still be very cautious with this card and make sure they buy one that has either been certified professionally or from a dealer they know and trust.
2010 Bowman Chrome 18U USA Baseball Autographs Francisco Lindor #FL
Lindor’s first Bowman Chrome autograph has him as a member of the national team. Despite its debut status, it’s not considered as desirable as the MLB version that came out the following year. The sticker autograph also takes away from the card’s aesthetic appeal.
2010 Topps USA Baseball Autographs Francisco Lindor #A11
After taking over from Upper Deck with the USA Baseball license, Topps issued box sets of their own. Included were several levels of autographs from a large number of players, including Lindor. His basic autograph come hard-signed. It also has a couple of rarer parallels with different color ink.
2010 Topps USA Baseball Triple Jersey Autographs Francisco Lindor #FL /219
Included in the same box sets were signed cards with three jersey swatches. Numbered to 219, it’s not common but it’s not all that rare either. The signature is in the form of a sticker that has been embedded, similar to the swatches.
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs Francisco Lindor #FL
In the traditional definition, this isn’t a rookie card. However, in today’s hobby, the 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Francisco Lindor is treated like one. Even without an RC tag, few will argue that this is the best Francisco Lindor card out there. It’s his first autograph in a MLB uniform. It’s also signed on-card. Several Refractor parallels add both color and rarity.
And, yes, this is Lindor’s second “1st Bowman Chrome Card.” Apparently, Topps didn’t want to count the 2010 USA card even though it has the same notation on the front.
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Francisco Lindor #BDPP53
Autographs can be expensive. If the signed version is too expensive, there’s also the basic Prospect insert that has the same look and large number of Refractors. It’s also available at a fraction of the price.
2011 Bowman Sterling Prospect Autographs Francisco Lindor #FL
If the Bowman Chrome autograph is too expensive but you still want an early Lindor autograph with him in his Cleveland threads, you may want to look at 2011 Bowman Sterling. The set’s not as popular and it has a sticker, but it’s still an autograph.
2011 Bowman Sterling Prospects Francisco Lindor #45
As for unsigned Lindor prospect cards, this 2011 Bowman Sterling insert may be the best. It’s got MLB marks. It’s also somewhat tough to find as Sterling didn’t include many base and Prospect cards in packs. They’re more common in 2011 than they were in later years, but still sparse. As a result, expect this card to cost noticeably more than the basic 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Lindor.
2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Prospects Francisco Lindor #P39 Autograph /557
This is one of a handful of alternatives for collectors who like autographs more than they care about logos. The 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Francisco Lindor comes hard-signed. The base version is also serial-numbered, something that his other 2011 prospect cards can’t say. Extra Edition’s history is quite established, particularly with prospectors.
2011 Leaf Metal Draft Francisco Lindor #FL1 Autograph
Leaf Metal Draft is positioned deliberately to appeal to those who like Bowman Chrome but might not want to spend as much. It starts with the chromium design and its parallel color palette. It’s also signed on-card. Yet, the price tag is significantly smaller. So is the print run. Products like these may seem somewhat common upon first release but in the months that follow, the supply usually dries up quite fast.
2011 Leaf Valiant Draft Francisco Lindor #FL1 Autograph
Whereas the Leaf Metal Draft Francisco Lindor might not have a lot of color for the base version, Valiant Draft does. Based loosely on Donruss Crusades inserts of the late 1990s, the approach is otherwise similar to Metal.
2011 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Francisco Lindor #RT7
Rookie Ticket Autographs are among the most popular modern cards in all of football. There’s not quite the same history in baseball. And for Lindor, the design doesn’t exactly resemble a ticket either. Still, it’s an autograph that’s more affordable than a lot of others. And while it’s not an MLB uniform, he’s still wearing one that has logos. It’s not the same but it’s also not as noticeable.
Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.