Your Turn (BSCM Rookies Issue): If you could own only one RC, what would it be?



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Give or take an anomaly here and there, did you know that there are a mere 148,003 Rookie Cards cataloged on alone?

We’re sure you did, and that number will stand for a whole day or two until the next new product arrives — but that’s not what we’re here for today. We’re here to ask you a simple question for the upcoming Rookies Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly: 

If you could only own a single Rookie Card — just one — what would it be?

Tell us in the comments below and be sure to include your name and location. We’ll run a selection of the best replies in the issue.

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


Tens of millions of cards available for sale in the
Beckett Marketplace!

Get up-to-date pricing for your favorite sports cards with a
Beckett OPG Subscription


  1. Jason Guthrie 10 September, 2012 at 11:00

    I’ve wanted to the Michael Jordan rookie card for years! I used to live in Illinois and was the biggest Bulls fan. I remember always collecting Jordan cards with the hopes of them being worth big bucks later in my life. I was never able to get my hands on his true RC though. To this day, I’m still working on a way to get my hands on it.

  2. Dano Laurel 10 September, 2012 at 11:03

    The rookie card that stands out to me is the Ken Griffey Jr. – 1989 Upper Deck rookie card. Yes- there are other, more valuable cards, but that one arrived at the perfect moment into my collecting. Mesmerized by it in 3rd grade, it still eludes me today. Why? It seems so accessible, but wanting a Gem Mint 10 is what I’d want and it hasn’t been the perfect moment, yet.

  3. Greg 10 September, 2012 at 11:03

    1979 Topps Ozzie Smith. I wanted one so desperately as a kid. When I got back into collecting as an adult, I was able to find an affordable one on eBay that was in decent shape. It’s not all that high-dollar, but it’s the crown jewel of my collection. I wanted that card for dang near two decades before I finally got it!

  4. Chris Vannoy 10 September, 2012 at 11:12

    If I could own only 1 RC, it would be the Julius Peppers 2002 Contenders Auto RC. I have always wanted that card.

  5. Brant Parsons 10 September, 2012 at 11:17

    The Rickey Henderson rookie card. He was my favorite player growing up and I remember being a kid and not having the few bucks to buy it.

  6. Butch D'Amato 10 September, 2012 at 11:22

    The one Rookie Card I would cherish is Mickey Mantles’. I Basically grew up watching Mickey play center field for the Yankees. Once I started doing card shows I had the pleasure of meeting my Hero while growing up. He was very accomodating with pictures and shaking hands. This took place at Sturbridge Ma. in the 90’s.
    I also admired Ted Williams, even though he was a Red Sox. He had a sweet swing. Rocky Colavito was another person I had the pleasure of chatting with at a Card show, also at Sturbridge Ma.
    But the Mick is the one Rookie Card I would want..
    Chris thanks for letting me express my opinion.

  7. Jim Jordan 10 September, 2012 at 11:39

    I agree with Jason: Michael Jordan……followed closely by Joe Montana and Walter Payton (I once owned those but sold them in my card shop ownership days-ugh!).

  8. David Johnson 10 September, 2012 at 12:04

    Tough choice as there is a ton of vintage to chose from. However I am going to have to go with the 1998 Ultra Masterpiece #214 Fred Taylor. The card is a true 1/1 rookie year card and it shows him in his Gators uniform.

  9. Kevin 10 September, 2012 at 12:56

    1984 Fleer Update Kirby Puckett.

    As a kid in Minnesota in the ’80s Puckett was the man. He was a larger than life guy on the field and really connected with fans. The fact he brought the town two World Series didn’t hurt. He has several rookies but the ’84 Fleer Update is my pick. It is his best card by far and was so out my reach as a kid it still makes me smile every time I see it in my collection.

  10. Bryon 10 September, 2012 at 13:37

    Easy answer would be Mantle or Jordan, but my favorite player growing up was Ryne Sandberg so I would have to say his 1983 Topps RC.

    St Paul, MN

  11. Tim Shepler 10 September, 2012 at 14:41

    If I could only own 1 rookie card it would be the one I don’t have. 1975 Topps George Brett. He is my favorite player and I own almost everyone of his playing time cards but this one. It is my chase card. I know that I could go on eBay and buy one right now but I want to go to a shop and see it and buy it or maybe even at the National next year.

  12. EmDan 10 September, 2012 at 15:04

    I would really love to have the 1973 Mike Schmidt – I have all of his other Topps cards from 1974 on, but, his rookie from 1973 was always too expensive for me. I have always been a fan of his. He persevered in a tough baseball town and, plus, after I wrote a letter to him congratulating him on his 500th home run, he was kind enough to write me back and send me an autographed card, which has always been one of the highlights of my collection!
    Suzanne from Ballwin, Missouri

  13. Jason 10 September, 2012 at 16:09

    My twin daughters middle names are Robinson and Paige so my ideal rookie cards would be 1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige.
    True pioneers to the game, which is why my daughters were given their names.

  14. bill johnson 10 September, 2012 at 16:10

    being a mets fan the 69 topps nolan ryan. the design on those cards were beautiful. one day ill have one.

  15. Randall 10 September, 2012 at 16:25

    Ernie Banks or Hank Aaron. So close, I don’t know which one would be number one on my list and which one would be number two.

  16. Mike 10 September, 2012 at 16:44

    I am a rookie collector and am lucky enough to own many of the rookies I love. I am missing some and in order of what I’d like are: Aaron – Mantle – Gretzky – Jordan – Lemieux – Bradshaw. I’ll get them at some point! I waited 25 years to get my 63 Rose… I’m patient! :)

  17. Josh 10 September, 2012 at 16:55

    1986 Topps Traded Will Clark. Big money card when I was in 3rd grade. My aunt bought me one, left on my kitchen table; parents spilled coffee all over it. Fast foward to 2005 and I picked up 3 copies of it for 1.00. Still to this day, looking at that card puts a smile on my face!

  18. Artimus 10 September, 2012 at 19:25

    For me, it’s anything Drew Brees. I’m a long time Saints fan, so I’m accustomed to losing. Not only did he bring a Lombardi trophy to the Saints, but he’s become a pillar of the community in New Orleans.

  19. Kent Ritchie 10 September, 2012 at 20:10

    I would want the 1963 Topps Pete Rose only because I need the Ken McMullen for my Brewers rookie card collection.

  20. josh 10 September, 2012 at 20:15

    For me it would be Peyton Manning’s 1998 Sp Authentic rc. I have collected for years and that has always been my holy Grail.

  21. Ed 10 September, 2012 at 22:09

    ONLY ONE..?..1980 Topps “Rookie Card”
    Larry Bird-Julius Irving-Magic Johnson.
    Come on now…3 “Rookie Cards” in ONE…..ONE card….Top that !!

  22. Steve W. 10 September, 2012 at 22:16

    A Gem Mint 1957 Topps Brooks Robinson RC – always been one of the tops on my list. He looks so young with a big smile on his face – you have to wonder if he knew how bright of a future was ahead of him!

  23. afff 11 September, 2012 at 02:03

    i would choose a graded 10 mantle rc or jordan rc, can’t make up my mind.

    now if it came down to a card you have owned or still do own, i would say the gretzky rc i had when i was young and traded it away to a buddy just because i wanted to try and get all of the cards in the set. Needless to say that i didn’t know what i had at the time

    ok, it would be a graded 10 1958-59 Topps Bobby Hull rc because i’m a Blackhawks fan

  24. Chuck Dupree 11 September, 2012 at 08:33

    Nolan Ryan and the awesome thing is I just bought one this past week been wanting it for over 20 years got a steal of a price from Heroes Sports Cards in Broadview IL.

  25. Jason Taylor 11 September, 2012 at 10:24

    I’d go with the best vintage Oriole RC ever, Brooks Robinson. The man was a hero both on and off the field, a true HOFer.

  26. kevin wood 11 September, 2012 at 10:34

    The toughest enforcer to ever skate in the NHL, Mr. Tiger Williams. Sure loved the way he would shoot his stick like a gun whenever he scored.

  27. A.J. Kaiser (Northern Virginia) 12 September, 2012 at 10:01

    My dream rookie card would be of Sandy Koufax. Mr. Koufax is one of the best baseball players of all time, and my favorite player of all time. Owning a 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax in my collection, even one graded by BVG, would be a dream for me.

  28. Thommy Selden 12 September, 2012 at 23:33

    For me it would have to be the 1948 Robinson RC, he’s such an iconic player, and I’ve always loved this card.
    -Thommy Selden, Los Angeles

  29. Merovius 13 September, 2012 at 08:09

    Ive been skating since I was 3 years old in my back yard. Grew up watching “The Great One” and still skate on Sundays at 34 yrs old. Got to see him skate with my team at MSG when I lived on the upper west side of Manhattan. He had an uncanny knack for knowing where to be, the puck just showed up on his stick.

    Hands down and easily the most under rated RC of all time:

    1979-80 OPC Wayne Gretzky RC.

    In a BGS Pristine 10 please :)

  30. Chris H 13 September, 2012 at 13:34

    If I could own only one RC it would have to be a 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady AU RC. Being a huge Patriots fan it is THE Patriot card to own!

  31. Coimbre21 13 September, 2012 at 17:33

    1960 Topps Venezuelan Carl Yastrzemski . . . looks nearly identical to the US version, just much, much harder to find. My Yaz collection would not be complete without it.

Leave a reply

We use cookies to help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience. By navigating the site, you agree to the use of cookies to collect information. Read our Cookie Policy.
Accept & Close