Monday, September 10, 2012

Baseball Rookie Cards: The Confusion

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 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 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?         

1 comment:

  1. I believe that a lot of the problem comes from the MLB assoc. It has set rules that the card companies have to follow. Recently Major League Baseball has added a "RC" card logo to cards and banned cards of players that have not yet appeared in a Major League game from being in the base set. To get around this, the card companies have started making insert prospect cards to make things even more confusing. The card company is not allowed to put the RC logo on these cards unless the player has appeared in a major league game. So we either need to get MLB to let the card companies put prospects in the base set or get the card companies to wait until a player has played in the majors to make a card of him. I'm all for the second option - just wait until they have actually played in the majors.