Football, Basketball and hockey cards all have obvious and distinguished rookie cards. You can tell which are which, what rookie year counts for the player, and the word rookie means something on them. However, the same cannot be said for baseball cards in my opinion.
The three cards above are obvious rookie cards from their respected sports from the right years. However, baseball throws around the words rookie, prospect and use different years with those words. It makes it very frustrating especially for newbies.
Now whether you are a seasoned veteran of collecting or a newbie..it can get very confusing in telling what is what. To me a rookie card is the first time the player is on card board in a base card set. So by looking at the 3 years worth or Bryce Harper...I would call the 2012 Topps Chrome the rookie card. The other two I consider inserts. Which is what the Beckett calls it. So the rookie card logo works than right...no...you can still get cards with the rookie card logo that are not real rookies. I am confused just typing this!!!
Some collectors, to clear up some confusion, call all three rookie cards. I cannot agree with them. There used to be an easier time with baseball rookie cards. They used to be in the base set only once and one year (except some exclusions like Barry Bonds -86,87 and a couple others) and called rookies. Bowman and Bowman Chrome used to include these type of prospect/rookie cards in their base card sets so they were considered real rookies. So it wasn't hard to figure out. Now they are in multiple years, products, and inserts. And most call them all rookie cards.
In my opinion the "rookie card" of baseball needs to be fixed. I do like the rookie card logo. I say if you want to make a prospect card of a player, instead of making a whole insert series on it, you put the prospect card of the player into the base set and put the rookie logo on it. And only produce the card that once as a rookie. You can still use the prospect name, but just put the rookie logo on it and it would officially be his rookie card. Do not use prospect or the rookie card logo the following year even if the player doesn't make it to the majors. JUST ONCE. He was already on cardboard as a rookie. This will help the baseball card hobby and also help newbie collectors as well know that they actually have the rookie card of that player.
Rookie card issues is the biggest reason I stepped away some from baseball card collecting. You buy the products, it has the rookie card logo on it, then you get the newest issue of Beckett and its not a rookie. Completely frustrating!!! I always think to myself, "YES!! that so and so player is doing great!! Glad I got his rookie"..only to find out I didn't..grrrr.
So please just make one rookie/prospect card of the player and I believe it will clear up a lot of confusion on the rookie card front. That would bring me back to the baseball card hobby and possibly fix the rookie card issues.
What do you guys think of my idea? Do you have a better one? Or do you like whats in place already?