Yordan Alvarez Rookie Card Primer
It’s not like the Houston Astros needed another big bat. But they still managed to get one with Yordan Alvarez. Following his monster start, not only has interest in his early cards risen but Yordan Alvarez Rookie Card anticipation is building. And for good reason. And while the wait for his first RC might be a ways off, there’s a good amount to choose from already thanks to cards in minor league and other prospect-driven sets.
When to Expect the First Yordan Alvarez Rookie Card
Once Yordan Alvarez made his Astros debut in the first half of June, he became eligible for cards in MLB base sets. However, it looks like collectors will have to wait until 2020 to get a Yordan Alvarez Rookie Card outside of prospect-driven releases.
In the early part of the season, debuting players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Pete Alonso got the Topps RC logo on their Topps Now cards. Yordan Alvarez doesn’t have this logo. In its place is a “Call-Up” notation, signifying a cut-off date agreed upon by MLB, MLBPA and the card makers. This signals that Alvarez won’t have Rookie Cards in late-season sets. Instead, expect the first in 2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball early in the new year.
If this is the case, don’t be surprised if Topps and Panini continue to produce cards of the slugger. They’ll just be inserts or cards found in prospect sets instead of main base sets.
Key Early Yordan Alvarez Cards
Collectors have lots of Yordan Alvarez cards to choose from. These are some of the highlights from his early cards. A full Yordan Alvarez baseball card checklist can be found in the Beckett Baseball Card Database.
2018 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs Yordan Alvarez #CPA-YA
Of all the early Yordan Alvarez cards, the 2018 Bowman Chrome autograph is the biggest. In fact, even once his last Rookie Card comes out, this is still the card most will gravitate towards. Found in packs of 2018 Bowman Chrome, it’s his first autograph in a MLB uniform. Unlike most Prospect Autograph subjects, Alvarez doesn’t have an unsigned version of his card. He does have a couple of other inserts in the product as well as some tough autograph versions, but none come close to the popularity of this one.
Parallels: Refractors (/499), Purple Refractors (/250), Blue Refractors (/150), Blue Mojo Refractors (/150), Atomic Refractors (/100), Green Refractors (/99), Green Atomic Refractors (/99), Green Shimmer Refractors (/99), Gold Refractors (/50), Gold Shimmer Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Orange Shimmer Refractors (/25), Orange Shimmer Refractors (/25), Canary Yellow Shimmer Refractors (/10), Red Refractors (/5), Red Shimmer Refractors (/5), Black Mojo Refractors (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)
2018 Bowman’s Best Best of 2018 Autographs Yordan Alvarez #B18-YA
The Bowman Chrome autograph too expensive? The 2018 Bowman’s Best Best of 2018 Yordan Alvarez is a more affordable alternative. It’s still got all the MLB marks and a hard signature. However, collectors as a whole gravitate more towards Chrome. The design here is more flashy and the Refractor rainbow isn’t quite as big.
Parallels: Refractors, Green Refractors (/99), Gold Refractors (/50), Atomic Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/10), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)
2018 Elite Extra Edition Autographs Yordan Alvarez #124
Panini included Yordan Alvarez signatures in a couple of places on the 2018 Elite Extra Edition checklist. The first is what’s essentially an autographed version from the base set. That means foil stock as the foundation and colorful parallels — some that are die cut — to go with it. These rank among the more affordable early Yordan Alvarez autographs.
Parallels: Aspirations Purple (/100), Status Die Cut Red (/75), Aspirations Blue (/50), Emerald (/25), Status Die Cut Emerald (/25), Aspirations Tie Dye (/10), Tie Dye (/10), Status Die Cut Tie Dye (/5), Aspirations Gold (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Status Die Cut Gold (1/1)
2018 Elite Extra Edition Future Threads Silhouette Autographs Gold Yordan Alvarez #33 /99
Also in 2018 Elite Extra Edition is the Future Threads Silhouette Autograph. Numbered to 99, it adds memorabilia to the mix with the popular Panini Silhouette layout. Already a parallel of sorts to go with unsigned Future Threads cards, this one doesn’t have a lot of parallels.
Parallels: Red (/49), Purple (/25), Blue (/10), Emerald (/5), Holo Silver (1/1)
2018 Grandstand Texas League Top Prospects Yordan Alvarez
If you’re familiar with local minor league cards, you probably know the drill. Outside of the local market they’re sold in, they’re tough to find. Thankfully, the online marketplace makes that a little easier, but not by a lot. Other than extremely low serial numbered cards, this is one of the hardest early Yordan Alvarez cards to find.
2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Prospect Ticket Autographs Yordan Alvarez #2
Contenders autographs have a rich history in the hobby. However, it’s mainly in football but it’s growing in other sports as Panini continues to develop the line. Although it’s not serial numbered, the base version of this card is tough to find. In fact, you may have an easier time locating some of the parallels.
Parallels: Draft Ticket (/99), Cracked Ice (/23), Playoff Ticket (/15), Championship Ticket (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
2018 Topps Heritage Minors Real One Autographs Yordan Alvarez #ROA-YA
It doesn’t really matter much anymore whether a Heritage autograph comes from the main MLB release or an earlier Minors version. For key players, all are popular. Coming in with an on-card signature, the design is based on 1969 Topps Baseball. This is the anchor for both the 2018 Heritage Minors set and the corresponding MLB release. With minor league sets getting smaller print runs, parallels are somewhat limited.
Parallels: Blue (/99), Black (/50), Team Color Change (/25), Red (1/1)
2019 Topps Now Yordan Alvarez #351
Yordan Alvarez’s first card of his MLB career came out the day after his Astros debut as part of the print-on-demand 2019 Topps Now Baseball. Not only does it commemorate his first game, but his first home run as well. The card sold 2,241 copies in 24 hours. It also got the autograph treatment with another card (plus parallels) that were sold separately. Alvarez has had several other Topps Now cards since.