The Best Nomar Mazara Pre-Rookie Cards

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2012 Bowman Chrome Nomara Mazara Superfractor

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

Trevor Story isn’t the only breakout rookie early in the 2016 baseball season. Nomar Mazara made his debut in grand fashion with the Texas Rangers on April 10. At the age of just 20, he went 3-4 with a home run to kick off his career. He’s remained one of the team’s top hitters thus far. But what about Nomar Mazara rookie cards?

His first pack-inserted MLB card is slated for 2016 Topps Stadium Club. But we live in a very different hobby world than we had 20 years ago. Even without traditional rookie cards, there are plenty of Nomar Mazara cards out there already. Here are the best of the earliest.

Nomar Mazara Cards: The Early Years

Here are some of the best Nomar Mazara cards the came out before his MLB debut.

2012 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs Nomar Mazara #NM

2012 Bowman Chrome Nomar Mazara Autograph

Usually when a player gets their first Bowman Chrome autograph, they have a regular Prospect insert as well. Nomar Mazara is the exception. And in the grand scheme of things, it makes this card more important than it already is. It’s an insert so it’s not a Nomar Mazara rookie card. But in the modern hobby, it’s easily his most significant card. This is his only 2012 issue that has Mazara in a Rangers uniform. He wouldn’t appear on another MLB card until 2014.

And in case you want the ultimate version of the card, someone has the 2012 Bowman Chrome Nomar Mazara Superfractor autograph listed on eBay for $14,999.95 (or best offer).

Parallels: Refractor (/500), Blue Refractor (/150), Blue Wave Refractor (/50), Gold Refractor (/50), Orange Refractor (/25), Purple Refractors (/10), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractor (1/1)

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2012 Leaf Memories Originals Nomar Mazara #551 /99

2012 Leaf Memories Originals Nomar Mazara

Leaf went all-in with Mazara in 2012, including him in several of their products. Of those this is his only non-autograph. If the design looks familiar, it was intentional. The 2012 Leaf Memories Originals were released as an expansion of sorts to 1990 Leaf Baseball. The base version has just 99 copies so it’s not an overly common card.

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

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2012 Leaf Memories Originals Autographs Nomar Mazara #NM1 /25

2012 Leaf Memories Originals Nomar Mazara Autograph

Not much is different about the autographed version of the base card other than the addition of the signed sticker on the front, the numbering on the back and the serial number. This is another tough card with only the regular autograph that’s numbered to 25 and four one-of-one Printing Plates.

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

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2012 Leaf Metal Draft Autographs Nomar Mazara #NM1

2012 Leaf Metal Draft Nomar Mazara Autograph

This card has pretty much all the same elements as Mazara’s Bowman Chrome autograph other than the MLB uniform and marks. But for those not concerned about licensing, it comes with both a small price tag and print run.

Parallels: Prismatic (/99), Prismatic Blue (/25), Prismatic Pink (/25), Prismatic Purple (/25), Prismatic Green (/10), Prismatic Red (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Prismatic Gold (1/1)

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2012 Leaf Ultimate Draft Autographs Nomar Mazara #NM1

2012 Leaf Ultimate Nomar Mazara Autograph

The 2012 Leaf Ultimate Draft Nomar Mazara autograph is designed to have the look and feel of a premium card. At the same time, it’s much more concerned with white space and simplicity. Mazara also appears on Ultimate’s Big Sticks and Heading to the Show autographed insert checklists. Both of these have a similar assortment of parallels as the base autograph.

Parallels: Silver (/25), Gold (/10), Red (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Purple (1/1)

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2012 Leaf Valiant Draft Autographs Nomar Mazara #NM1

2012 Leaf Valiant Nomar Mazara Autograph

Modeled after the Donruss Crusades inserts of the 1990s (and resurrected by Panini with 2012-13 Crusade Basketball), the 2012 Leaf Valiant Nomar Mazara autograph has more color and flash than his other cards from the company.

Parallels: Orange (/99), Blue (/25), Purple (/25), Yellow (/10), Black (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Purple (1/1)

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2012 Onyx Platinum Prospects Nomar Mazara #PP28 /500

2012 Onyx Platinum Prospects Nomar Mazara

Onyx Authenticated is known more for their memorabilia offerings than their cards. That might be one of the big reasons why this card is easy to overlook. Numbered to 500 copies on the back, there aren’t a lot of them out there. Still, given the fact that virtually all of Mazara’s other early cards are autographed, this is one of his cheapest from 2012.

Parallels: Limited Edition Silver Series (/100)

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Nomar Mazara Rookie Cards and Highlights

2016 Topps Now Nomar Mazara #12

12 Nomar Mazara

The first Nomar Mazara card to release after his MLB debut came in 2016 Topps Now Baseball. Available on the Topps website for one day only, the on-demand card has a print run of 1,427. It is very specific highlighting his memorable first game with the Rangers. While the card won’t carry the RC tag in the Beckett database given its distribution, it’s still carries a lot of significance and shouldn’t be overlooked. Mazara also appears on #47 in the set. The second time around the print run was a much smaller 468 copies.

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Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.

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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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4 comments

  1. David Johnson 6 May, 2016 at 15:08

    Can you explain why the book value for his 2014 Bowman Chrome Mini Factory Set Yellow Refractor (#’d to 25) is higher than the Blue Refractor (#’d to 20) from the same set. It makes no sense to me, since they are from the same set, for the blue one with a lower print run to be less valuable than the yellow one.

    • Ryan Cracknell 6 May, 2016 at 16:52

      Honestly, not sure. Pricing isn’t my area and that set is a couple years old now. When it was compiled initially likely that for whatever reason Yellows were selling higher. Factor may be that Blue Refractors are in other products and Yellow not so much so some may be more willing to pay a bit of a premium for something with a comparable print run.

  2. Jonathan 6 May, 2016 at 17:31

    I always laugh at the “pre-rookie” label. It’s like Topps thinks collectors are dumb enough to chase “first” cards twice. They need to change the rule for RCs. Seriously. This guy’s out there playing ball and getting paid for signing cards, but his “rookie” cards aren’t available yet.

  3. Richard 6 May, 2016 at 18:30

    Pricing on low numbered sets are always going to be subject to certain market forces. All it takes is for a couple of guys to be chasing a set to drive things far up. Likewise, once those guys have what they need, and additional cards will sell for a smaller amount.

    I witness this all the time when I’m chasing cards.
    Sometimes the first card will go nuts because a family member is bidding on it, etc.

    As to the RC thing, you can blame upper deck for rules changes. For years Bowman was the “home of the RC” because they signed players individually. Upper Deck did not, getting the rights to images only via the players association contracts. This meant most of their products had few rookie cards and lower demand.

    Pre-rookie is still problematic for many.
    You have the prospect cards, which come via products like Bowman. You have the Team USA cards, World Classic cards, etc. that can be an insert or their own products. And you have the minor league stuff that companies like Leaf put out.

    Some products have demand only while no “rc” is out there. Others, like Team USA, have a large enough fan base that they keep value.

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