The Skinny on Early Trevor Story Cards


2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs Trevor Story header

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

The 2016 MLB season has its first out-of-nowhere rookie star. And with that, it’s time for a primer on early Trevor Story cards.

In the winter, it looked like Jose Reyes would be the starting shortstop for the Colorado Rockies. But with Reyes in some major trouble stemming from domestic abuse accusations, there was a hole that needed filling. Enter Story, who had a super spring and earned a spot on Colorado’s Opening Day roster.

The 2011 first round pick has proceeded to hit four home runs in his first three games six home runs in his first four games. Let the Kevin Maas comparisons begin. Or will Story’s story turn out differently? It’s still way too early to tell. If you’re speculating on his cards, it makes things all that much tougher.

With every home run he hits right now, the perception grows and with it, prices. The question is, how long will it last and where do things go from there. Only time is going to sort that out.

Currently, there are no Trevor Story rookie cards. Those start arriving in the summer. However, the shortstop does have prospect cards dating back to 2011.

In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the key Trevor Story cards you can check your stacks for, flip or go out and look for.

The Story of Early Trevor Story Cards

This list represents some of the best Trevor Story cards to come out before his MLB debut. Click here to get a full checklist of Trevor Story cards and price guide access.

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs Trevor Story #TS

This should always be considered the key Trevor Story card. It’s not a rookie in the traditional sense, but in today’s hobby it’s treated as such by many collectors, as are virtually all first Bowman Chrome autographs. Releasing just months after being drafted, it’s got an on-card signature. Refractors are available in lots of colors and quantities, including the crown jewel of Trevor Story cards — the one-of-one Superfractor Autograph. So goes Trevor Story, so goes this card.

Looking for this card? Shop on the Beckett Marketplace and eBay.

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs Trevor Story

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Trevor Story #BDPP84

Not interested in autographs or don’t have the budget for one? That’s fine. 2011 Bowman Draft has a regular Chrome Prospects card as well. And without the signature, it’s a fraction of the price. The Refractor rainbow exists as well. There’s also paper Bowman, but most collectors prefer the Chrome version, which is still relatively inexpensive.

Looking for this card? Shop on the Beckett Marketplace and eBay.

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Trevor Story

2011 Bowman Sterling Prospect Autographs Trevor Story #TS

The 2011 Bowman Sterling Trevor Story autograph doesn’t have the same appeal as Chrome and for a couple of reasons. Bowman Chrome has the brand history behind it that attracts collectors. Bowman Sterling is “on hiatus.” Also, the signature is on  a sticker, which is a turnoff to many. Still, it is an early Trevor Story autograph on a card with the shortstop in his MLB uniform. Like Chrome, there are several Refractors to go with it.

Looking for this card? Shop on the Beckett Marketplace and eBay.

2011 Bowman Sterling Trevor Story Autograph

2011 Bowman Sterling Prospects Trevor Story #24

While the autographed version is tough, the basic 2011 Bowman Sterling Trevor Story Prospects card is legitimately tough. The majority of cards in Sterling are signed, often leaving the base cards and Prospect cards (and their Refractor parallels) to be largely forgotten.

Looking for this card? Shop on the Beckett Marketplace and eBay.

2011 Bowman Sterling Trevor Story

2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Prospects Trevor #P49 /464

Pros: On-card autograph, serial-numbered, part of a product known well by collectors. Cons: No MLB marks. That one drawback means a much cheaper price tag than Chrome. But the lack of Rockies logos doesn’t stand out as much as a lot of others as Story is pictured in his Irving High School gear.

Looking for this card? Shop on eBay.

2011 Elite Extra Edition Trevor Story Autograph

2011 Limited Draft Hits Signatures Trevor Story #18 /299

The story here is similar to that of Elite. Some collectors care about logos, others don’t. It’s a matter of preference. Although not a super premium product, Limited is considered to be a little higher on the scale than Elite. It’s also numbered to a slightly lower amount at 299 copies.

Looking for this card? Shop on eBay.

2011 Limited Trevor Story Autograph

2011 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Trevor Story #RT27

Rookie Ticket Autographs don’t have the same history in baseball as they do football. Besides, the card doesn’t look like much of a ticket on the front anyway. But there is an on-card autograph and a dynamic action shot that makes it stand out, particularly among Story’s other 2011 Panini-produced cards.

Looking for this card? Shop on eBay.

2011 Contenders Trevor Story Autograph

2011 Prime Cuts Prospect Signatures Trevor Story #TS /299

Although Prime Cuts was one of the top 2011 Panini baseball sets as far as initial price tag goes, it doesn’t necessarily transfer over to this particular card. Like Story’s Limited autograph, it’s numbered to 299. However, the signature comes on a sticker and his image is limited to a small corner at the top of the card. If an autograph is your primary interest, this one should offer one of the best prices.

Looking for this card? Shop on eBay.

2011 Prime Cuts Trevor Story Autograph

And one card from (just) after Story’s MLB debut.

2016 Topps Now Trevor Story #4

One of the first cards in the on-demand 2016 Topps Now set, this is the first of many Trevor Story cards to come out following his MLB debut. Available for just one day on the Topps website, it was printed to order. The final tally was 981 cards.

2016 Topps Now 4 Trevor Story

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


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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  1. David Johnson 7 April, 2016 at 09:06

    I ordered some of the Topps Now cards, hopefully they arrive before the end of the Story (i.e. when he starts cooling off).

    • Ryan Cracknell 7 April, 2016 at 10:39

      I just checked with the cataloging team. Because of their non-traditional distribution, they won’t have the RC tag in the database. However, many will still treat these as such.

  2. John 7 April, 2016 at 11:18

    That may be so, but a lot of people look to Beckett as the unofficial official word. Maybe you could do a writeup on the criteria used to determine what is considered an official rookie card, and what is and isn’t considered a base set? I think that the RC designation does have some bearing on the market, and the rules are muddled at best. Until now, I had thought that

    1) the player is on the big league roster and
    2) the card is part of the base set

    were it, without giving any thought to how the set was distributed.

    • Ryan Cracknell 7 April, 2016 at 12:30

      I certainly can look into see where stuff like that is posted.

      The important thing to remember is that the hobby has changed a lot over the years and it’s going to continue to evolve. Getting things to fit a definition is easy. But so much in collecting is about personal preference now too. Personally, I like that there’s a label that I can look to. But at the same time I know there might be more things to target that might not fit that definition. For example, I already have a few Ichiro rookie cards from 2001. But last year I decided to go back and get one of his Japanese “rookies” from 1993. It doesn’t fit the traditional definition of a “rookie card” because it’s from Japan but I hold it in high regard myself. Many do the same now with things like Bowman Chrome autographs. By definition, they’re inserts but they’re still the key cards in the eyes of many collectors.

      I’ll see what I can find as far as having a written definition, though. I agree, it would be helpful (and I’m sure cause for debate).

  3. RJ 7 April, 2016 at 12:23

    LOL, the “official RC” thing is so dumb. If you pulled his cards out of packs 5 years ago, there should be some kind of statute of limitations. And no, no online stuff should ever count as a card, rookie card, or any kind of card.

  4. Eric Patmythes 7 April, 2016 at 15:30

    The non-traditional distribution “write-off” is getting a little tired in the hobby. It was the same excuse with eTopps cards dating back to 2001. It is 2016, not 1990, I mean, geez… let’s get with the times (they are constantly changing)!!! If the card producing company has the licensing rights under MLB rules to put the official MLB RC logo on a card, then said card should be cataloged as an official RC… regardless if the card was packed out, in set-only form, online only, etc.

  5. Eric Patmythes 7 April, 2016 at 15:42

    Non-traditional distribution issue elaborated… The 2012 Topps Mini Bryce Harper is cataloged as an official RC. The 2015 Topps Mini Kris Bryant is not cataloged as an official RC. This is such because in 2012, Topps packed out the Mini cards, but in 2015, they changed to only sell the “Topps Mini” product as a complete set. Both products were offered to the general public as Online Purchase Only. We do look to Beckett as a leader in the marketplace, and often as the be-all-end-all word on such matters… it really is time to embrace the change and follow MLB rules, just like the card companies have to with respect to the RC designation!

    • Ryan Cracknell 7 April, 2016 at 16:23

      Can Beckett do a better job at communicating how RC’s are cataloged? Yes. And that’s something that I’ll look into doing more of. But just changing definitions that have been around for a long time can’t be taken lightly. It doesn’t mean that an evolving hobby should be ignored, but there are lots of things to look at. Where do things like Bowman fit in? As far as acceptance go, I’d say for baseball most people look to those as how we looked at rookie cards in the 1990s. Does that make them RCs? To some. When card companies use the RC tag, is it for cataloging or marketing? Are inserts rookies now? There are lots of points to consider.

      If you as 20 people what is and what isn’t a rookie card, you’re likely to get 15 different answers. At the end of the day, it’s important to buy what you like and makes you happy. That’s more significant than any label in my books.

      Personally, I love rookie cards. But I don’t limit myself to what’s an RC. My latest pickup was a 1984 Fleer Update Roger Clemens. For me, that card is more significant than his RC cards from 1985. As for eTopps, I think they’re some beautiful cards that many overlook now. There are also some very valid points for some of them, particularly with someone like Justin Smoak who has a 2010 eTopps card in an MLB uniform but nothing pack-inserted until 2011. RC or not, if Smoak was a star, that eTopps would be something to look at.

      At the end of the day, I don’t know what will happen with definitions. Will there ever be consensus? It’s doubtful no matter what happens. But we can do our best to look at the bigger issue and be clear about how things are categorized on this end.

  6. Eric Patmythes 7 April, 2016 at 17:20

    Please don’t get me wrong, I agree with most of what you’re saying… and I, personally, collect the same way. At the same time, you said it yourself… if you ask 20 people, you’ll likely get 15 different answers. That, that right there, is the #1 problem… and people do look to Beckett to clarify that. In May of 2005, MLB officially announced to the public ( what is and what is not, an official RC, and forced manufacturers to follow such. That was nearly 11 years ago. It’s not a recent changing of the times, it’s been the standard accepted by MLB and card manufacturers for over a decade now… but Beckett stands steadfast to a 20th century approach that, for the most part follows… it must come in a pack and be the year when he played in MLB! Apply the rules as written, when they’re written and applicable… and there shouldn’t be a need to get 15 different answers to the same question! At the end of the day, people are going to collect what they want to collect and collect what they enjoy. There will be people that want to collect only official RC… those that only want to collect a players first card(s)… those that want both… and anywhere in between. The point is really just this… MLB and the card manufacturers have established for more than a decade what a RC is… why can’t Beckett just follow the same rules? PS – Inserts don’t get the RC logo, so no, they wouldn’t/shouldn’t be considered RC’s!

    • Ryan Cracknell 7 April, 2016 at 17:52

      But that’s the thing — I don’t believe that Beckett has changed their criteria. And even when there is set criteria, something comes along that pushes those limits. Even when things weren’t so complicated, there wasn’t always agreement. Case in point — 1985 Topps Mark McGwire. While the majority had it as a rookie card from day one, there was the MLB argument as it was a USA card. So even though it’s in a base set, comes from a pack, etc, some stand by his 1987 cards as being rookies.

      I like clarity. I like black and white. Unfortunately, rookies will probably always have a grey area.

      As I stated, I’ll look at getting something up on the Beckett criteria. It’s a debate I always enjoy and it’s an important topic.

  7. John Bateman 7 April, 2016 at 20:29

    Great Conversation Guys. Mantle appeared in 1951 Bowman but his 1952 Topps is his rookie. I think,In 1984 /85 Baseball Cards Magazine started calling rookies in Topps Traded Set and Fleer Update xrc “extra rookie cards”. The traditional view was first appearance on a card.

    • Ryan Cracknell 7 April, 2016 at 20:59

      While many people refer to the 1952 Mantle as his rookie, his 1951 Bowman is considered to be it by most in the hobby (including Beckett). It’s a prime example, though, where the RC tag doesn’t always matter given the 1952’s historic significance.

  8. Jason Taylor 8 April, 2016 at 09:30

    Matt Wieters is another example of the eTopps RC thing. That was his first Topps and only official Topps card. I still wonder why he hasn’t signed a Topps deal.

  9. Brian Wagner 12 April, 2016 at 10:54

    Where does his 2011 Casper Ghosts pioneer league card fit into this list? Also is there a book value on this very limited edition card that was only from what I have heard handed out to fans at a Casper Ghosts game in 2011. I have 4 of these, because I attended the game with my wife and kids

    • Ryan Cracknell 12 April, 2016 at 10:58

      It doesn’t appear to be cataloged here. If you have a checklist handy and perhaps a scan of the front and back that you can email to, I can make sure the info gets into the hands of the right folks.

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