In his five-year career, Aaron Judge has quickly established himself as a formidable player, both at the plate and in the field. In his rookie season alone, Judge was named Rookie of the Year and has since broken records set by Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Reggie Jackson. For his talent, he’s become a beloved player and his rookie-season baseball cards are well sought after and highly valued.
Considering that Aaron Judge’s MLB career only started in 2017, his rookie cards are some of the most expensive cards on the market. Recently, a 2013 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Aaron Judge rookie autograph card broke records at auction after selling for a mind-boggling $324,000. Yet, this wasn’t the first time that an Aaron Judge card reached such astronomic values.
If you’re sitting on an Aaron Judge baseball card from his rookie days, you could have a small fortune waiting to be tapped. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the most expensive Aaron Judge rookie cards and explain what makes them so special. If you’re a baseball card collector, you’ll want to know these cards.
An Overview of Aaron Judge and His Baseball Cards
Aaron Judge was drafted by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 2016 but didn’t really break out until his historic rookie season in 2017. That year, Judge set a new rookie home run record with 52 dingers and was unanimously named the American League Rookie of the Year.
The 6’7”, 282-pound slugger has continued to impress in the years since. In 2018, Judge was an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award. He was also in the running for the AL MVP award, ultimately finishing second to Jose Altuve. And, in 2019, Judge became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in a season while also striking out more than 200 times.
While Judge has had some injuries throughout his young career, there’s no denying his talent. He’s one of the best players in the game and is already considered a Yankee legend. It’s only a matter of time before he wins an MVP award and, possibly, a World Series.
The Most Valuable Aaron Judge Rookie Cards
Now that we’ve taken a look at Aaron Judge’s career, let’s dive into some of his most valuable rookie cards. These are the cards that any serious Judge collector needs to have in their collection (see also “Most Collectible Ozzie Smith Cards“). Keep in mind, though, that these are among the most expensive cards in the world!
#5. 2017 Topps Heritage Rookie Card #214
As far as high-value baseball cards go, the 2017 Topps Heritage Rookie Card #214 is a bit of a wild card. It showcases Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin, with Judge on the left and Austin on the right (see also “Jim Bunning: Player Showcase“). The card is laid out horizontally, featuring simple headshots of the two players in their iconic New York Yankees uniforms.
Since its release five years ago, PSA has already graded more than 2,200 copies and the majority have qualified as PSA 10 GEM-MT cards. Yet, there’s still enough variation between each print that some have sold for hundreds of dollars. A quick search through eBay returns dozens of listings, some priced as low as $40 and some priced as high as $900.
#4. Mike Trout and Aaron Judge Topps 2022 Dual Tribute Relic Card
It’s rare for a brand-new card to break through as one of the up-and-coming most valuable pieces but the Mike Trout and Aaron Judge Tops 2022 Dual Tribute Relic card looks set to become a high-value commemorative card over the next few years (see also “Most Valuable Mike Trout Cards“). What makes this card so special, though, isn’t necessarily its dollar-figure value. Instead, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Although it does come with the standard images and stats, these cards also contain a small piece of memorabilia from a legendary game. In this case, the Mike Trout and Aaron Judge Dual Tribute card contains two pieces of both players’ jerseys. So, when you purchase a card, you get to keep a real piece of Aaron Judge’s uniform.
Currently, these cards retail for around $100 on eBay. But we think they are sure to appreciate in value over the next decade.
#3. Aaron Judge 2022 Topps Tribute Triple Bat Jersey Relic /199 Yankees
In the same vein as the card listed above, the Aaron Judge 2022 Topps Tribute Triple Bat Jersey Relic card contains more than just monetary value. This is a card designed and sold specifically for die-hard Aaron Judge fans.
Whereas the Mike Trout and Aaron Judge Dual Tribute card contains a single relic from both players, this Topps Tribute Relic card contains 2 pieces of a game bat and a game-worn jersey from the 2017 Rookie of the Year himself. If you’re looking for a way to commemorate Judge’s career, this is one of the best cards to do it.
Only 199 of these cards were made and they currently retail for around $50 on eBay. Although they are relatively inexpensive, the value stored within them is undeniable, especially for a true Judge fan.
#2. 2013 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Autograph Card 1/1
The 2013 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Autograph Card is, without a doubt, the rarest and most expensive Aaron Judge rookie card. As the name suggests, this is a 1/1 card, meaning that there is only one copy in existence. The card was created as a promotional item and was never intended to be sold. So, how did it end up in the hands of a collector?
The story goes that Topps sent the card to Aaron Judge as a gift and, at some point, Judge signed it and inscribed it with the message “Best Wishes.” The card then made its way into the hands of a private collector. And, in 2020, was put up for auction. At the time, the card was one of the most expensive baseball card ever sold, fetching a staggering $161,130.
The price has since been eclipsed by a recent sale last month, bringing its grand total value to $324,000. Although other high-value cards have taken the Superfracter Autograph 1/1’s spot as the most expensive sports card (see also “Best Magnifying Glass For Sports Cards“). The 2013 Bowman Chrome Superfractor Autograph Card remains one of the most coveted Judge cards of all time.
#1. 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Aaron Judge Rookie Card
If you’re looking for an Aaron Judge rookie card that’s a little more affordable but still highly sought-after, the 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft PSA 10 is a great option. This is the first card in the Bowman Chrome Draft set and, as such, is highly coveted by collectors.
The card features a young Judge in his Yankees uniform, looking ready to do battle. The simple design and clean lines make it a timeless piece that will only become more valuable as time goes on. At the time of writing, a PSA 10 copy of the card is selling for around $4,000 on eBay.
Final Thoughts on the Most Valuable Aaron Judge Baseball Cards
Aaron Judge is one of the best players in the MLB and, as such, his rookie cards are some of the most valuable in the world (see also “Most Valuable Derek Jeter Rookie Cards“). Keep in mind, though, that some cards contain more than monetary value. With a Topps Tribute Relic card, you can own a piece of baseball history once worn or used by Aaron Judge.
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