Are you hunting for Mark McGwire’s rookie cards? Mark McGwire was once an unparalleled hitting machine in the game of baseball. He was the American League Rookie of the 1980s at Oakland Athletics, where he led them to a championship. Back then, people used to show up early for games to witness him play.
However, his career path changed for the worse when it was revealed that many of the players from back then were using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). This came out innocently after a reporter spotted a bottle of androstenone in McGwire’s locker. After that incident, drug testing started in 2003. McGwire retired after the ’01 season, so he never technically came up with a failed test. That was until his former teammate Jose Canseco, in a tell-all book, said that he used to inject McGwire himself, and then everything went sour.
After this incident, two things happened. One, McGwire, who once seemed destined for legendary status enshrinement, is now an outcast when it comes to this kind of recognition. Two, his sports card values also took a severe dip. But this does not mean that he also has no cards of any value. Even cheap Mark McGwire’s rookie cards can still bring a decent price as long as they’re in good condition.
Valuable Mark McGwire Rookie Cards to Consider
But before you purchase any cards, remember the collectibles market can change a lot. So, when getting Mark McGwire rookie cards, do your research. Another consideration to keep in mind is that when searching for these cards, it may not be easy to find a common baseline on the price. Why? People now put cards up for sale through sites such as eBay, where they will severely undervalue or quote extremely high prices. Are you ready to learn about the most valuable Mark McGwire rookie cards you can buy? Let’s dive in.
1) 1987 Donruss Rookies Mark McGwire #401
This 1987 Donruss Mark McGwire rookie card is known among baseball fans as rare to find, especially in good condition. The card was made to commemorate the memory of McGwire’s rookie season. He wears the Athletics baseball cap and jersey in it. He is in a swinging stance with his bat. He could be playing a real game or just faking for the camera.
Nevertheless, by 1987, he was just maintaining that rookie title. He hit 33 home runs and earned himself a place on the American League All-Star Team. Graded as 9.5 by Beckett Grading Services, this card has great future possibilities, and a clean one can cost up to $500.
2) 1987 Mark McGwire Rookie Card by Efdot #17
You should also consider investing in the 1987 Mark McGwire rookie card made by Efdot. The price can go as high as $356 while in good condition and has a 9.5 grade. Efdot created a unique design for this card by using a black and white dot pattern not only for the border but for McGwire himself, too. It features McGwire’s backswing, shown on the top right, making the card more special.
It is classified as the eighteenth-rarest card from among the first 184 Topps Project 2020 cards. Why? There are only 1,456 printed copies of this card, making it even more rare to find. The first player released among Efdot’s Topps cards was McGwire.
3) Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire Rookie Card #401
This 1985 Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire RC is an instant classic worth adding to your collection. This 1984 USA Olympic team member base card features a smooth finish, with only 35 PSA-graded 10 copies.
Usually, it’s a scarce Mark McGwire rookie card since Topps only released a few copies. This makes it an incredibly precious piece for any collector. It has also had its fair share of high prices, costing up to $30k.
4) Mark McGwire Rookie Card Glossy #U-76
Fleer produced this rookie card. In 1923, the company started making sports cards, and baseball was among the first cards. But in 2005, Upper Deck Company acquired it. This card features McGwire in his element. It appears as if he was posing for this picture from the look of it.
You can see him holding his bat dressed in the Oakland Athletics uniform as well as a cap. The bleachers behind him are where the spectators will soon watch the game as he performs tricks with his bat. Moreover, this Fleer Mark McGwire Rookie card, rated PSA 10 and autographed by him, is a must-have for any card collector. It can fetch up to $1,999.
5) Modesto Chong A’s Incorrect Spelling #17
Mark McGwire played in the minors before playing for the Oakland A’s, which is the case for most players who play in major leagues. But McGwire’s tenure with the Modesto A’s resulted in one of the player’s most sought-after cards. But hey, it’s not because of its aesthetics or accuracy.
1985 Chong Modesto A’s card is one of McGwire’s biggest cards, and they had a spelling mistake on the name. Instead of writing his name as “McGwire,” it was written as “McGuire.” Because of this error, this has become one of the most desired top baseball cards among collectors. With a grade of PSA 10, it can cost up to $100.
6) Huntsville Stars Mark McGwire Rookie RC #33
Made to celebrate the memory of McGwire’s rookie season. In it, he is wearing the Athletics baseball cap and jersey. He is standing, holding his bat in a swinging position. It seems like he is playing a real game. It had to be 1986 when he retained his rookie status after playing 18 games.
His success as a rookie was because of his three years at USC and during the 1984 United States Olympic team. It felt like McGwire came to the games ready-made. It is a highly valuable card with a grade of 10 from PSA.
7) 1993 Topps Finest Refractor Mark McGwire #92
This was the time when card companies really liked to do some funky things with their products. All of them had all kinds of glossy effects with colors, and some were bright enough to be seen from afar.
Collectors are really into such a card, as it looks unique. 1993 was the first year when Topps produced this kind of card. It can sell for up to $2,000 in mint condition. So, be ready to secure this attention-grabbing card today!
8) Mark McGwire Topps 1988 All-Star Cup Athletics #580
Another Mark McGwire rookie card that is little known by collectors but a worthy investment. 1988 Topps Mark McGwire All-Star Cup rookie is the classic card of this year. It’s super rare when in good condition and great looking.
This rookie card shows McGwire posing for a photo. He is wearing his Oakland Athletics jersey while clenching on his bat. He also looks relatively young here. It’s graded PSA 10 and can cost up to $999.
9) Topps High Tek Mark McGwire Red Orbit Diffractor #9
It’s a 2018 Topps card, rated 9.5 by Beckett Grading Services. It features his autograph and an old picture of him. In this photograph, he is wearing St. Louis Cardinals attire. From the look of things, it appears like McGwire had just swung his bat at a ball. Furthermore, it seems like the photograph was taken anywhere between 1997–2001. It can cost up to $895.
10) Pop 8 Mark McGwire Rookie RC #1
Still looking for a Mark McGwire rookie card that’s worthy? Check out this 1982 one. This was the time when the world of baseball did not have any knowledge whatsoever about McGwire — long before his first season in ’87. Come to think of it, maybe the Anchorage Glacier company wanted to inform us of how far the athlete had come.
From his rookie year, it became evident that McGwire must have been quite the player even during college baseball. As earlier mentioned, he also played with the 1984 US Olympic team. This card has a rating of 9.5 from Beckett Grading Services and can go as high as $915.
11) 1982 Anchorage Glacier Pilots Mark McGwire
This is another great card showing McGwire at his young age. You can easily guess it is from the early 1980s because he has that John Denver-style haircut underneath his cap. Then you might wonder whether, during this time, he knew he would be a household name as a rookie. Here, he is wearing the Anchorage Glacier Pilots uniform.
This is not even a Minor League card because the Anchorage Glacier Pilots are part of a collegiate summer league. McGwire played there between his seasons at USC. It is an excellent card to own today. With a grade of PSA 8, it can cost at least $115.
McGwire had an astonishing career. This baseball legend appeared in over 1,900 MLB regular season and postseason games. McGwire ended with the 11th-highest number of home runs and 7th-best slugging percentage. He also touched baseball fans’ hearts with his home run chases, and they can look back and smile because of the happiness they felt when watching him play. Without any doubt, if he gets into the Hall of Fame someday, then Mark McGwire’s rookie cards will be worth even more than they currently are.