World Series slugger Pablo Sandoval has just one Rookie Card

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

With three home runs in his first three at-bats Wednesday night — two off of reigning AL Cy Young winner and MVP Justin Verlander — in Game 1 of the World Series, San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval just might be on the minds of a few collectors.

He became just the fourth player to homer three times in a World Series game, joining Babe Ruth (who did it twice), Albert Pujols and Reggie Jackson.

Sandoval, who hit .283 with only 12 home runs and 63 RBI this season, appears on 849 cards in the database (click here for a Sandoval checklist or Online Price Guide). Of those, just one is classified as a Rookie Card and 207 of them feature a certified autograph.

His lone RC appears in the 2008 Topps Heritage set (No. 656, $6), while his earliest card was a 2005 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes team set from Grandstand.

His earliest autograph can be found in the 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition product. There, he has six different signed cards with the main autograph a bargain typically selling at $25 or less with 819 copies made. The Aspirations version of that card, limited to just 50 copies, typically has sold for $100 or less. Meanwhile, of course, current eBay asking prices are much higher for the rarer versions.

Oddly, another postseason hero for the Giants, Marco Scutaro, also appears on just one Rookie Card.

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



  1. Jacob Lyons
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Although not technically a rookie card, another card with the “rookie card logo” is the 2008 Topps Red Hot Rookie Redemptions card.

  2. Chitty
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    he hits 12 home runs all season and then last night, all of a sudden, he has super powers. i think he made a visit to melky’s steroid pharmacy lately. there has to be more than just one roid user on that team. pablo and melky injected each other

  3. Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Hmmm. Topps signs an exclusive deal with MLB to be the only baseball card manufacturer, and we are surprised when players have just one rookie card?

  4. RJ
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Not to mention all of his 2006 Bowman Chrome stuff … oh wait, those aren’t rookie cards, even though they were distributed nationally in pack form (?) … still to do this day don’t understand the distinction. And yes, I get that they are technically “prospect” cards due to the numbering, but the Bowman loophole cracks me up. To me, if I buy a pack of cards and pull a guy’s first card out of it, it’s a rookie card.

  5. Jamie Case
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I can’t stand that RC logo garbage . He had a 2006 Bowman Chrome CARD ! RC logo needs to go away as i am tired of getting 27 year old never will be’s in packs .

  6. rick
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    This is the problem with the hobby and collecting. People like RJ! NO, all the bowman insert, refractor so on and so fourth stuff ARE NOT ROOKIE CARDS. But then again what can we expect from people who started collecting in the 2000s and only know a world of auto, jersery, patch, super ninja cards.

  7. chrisolds
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    People can collect whatever they want however they want. The definition of Rookie Card ultimately has not changed — the creation of stuff around it has. The Bowman prospect cards since 2006 are insert cards based on how the sets are built.

  8. RJ
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Uh, Rick ??? I am the one who wrote this:

    “To me, if I buy a pack of cards and pull a guy’s first card out of it, it’s a rookie card.”

    For you to think the whole Bowman loophole thing is OK makes YOU the newbie collector, because that’s a very recent development in trading cards … try 2006, when they created the rookie card logo rule!

    For your information I have been collecting since 1987, and would give my right arm for collecting to go back to the way it was.

    This comment will probably be deleted, but people like YOU who assume things and have no idea what they’re talking about are the problem with the hobby, and this board in particular.

    Enjoy your super ninja cards, whatever those are.

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