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Why your rookie card might not be a rookie card...

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  • Why your rookie card might not be a rookie card...

    Rookie cards. We all treasure them...the first card of a player wearing a Major League uniform. Until 2006. In 2006, things changed...a player had to have Major League experience to have a rookie card. It was part of the reforms made to the hobby by the MLBPA. Most helped card collecting. But this was uncalled for. The confusion that has ensued ever since has broken a few hearts, caused a few scams, and just got people asking "is this his REAL rookie card?"

    In 2001, Upper Deck released a set called Future Gems. It featured no MLB players, but rather draft picks and very young prospects in Major League uniforms. Well, this got the ball rolling. The MLBPA was angry with Upper Deck, and started complaining about the set. I'm not sure what they threatened to do if UD didn't dial it back, but it would've hurt UD. So, what happened was that the "Future Gems" cards were deemed XRC's like the Topps Traded and Donruss Rookies sets of the 1980's. The two further Future Gems sets were also premium issues. The MLBPA (Players' Union) came to an agreement with the card companies in 2003 that no all-prospect sets would be produced. Topps and Upper Deck managed to get around the XRC designation by mixing prospects in with update sets in the case of Upper Deck and in with both Bowman and Topps Traded sets in the case of Topps. That satisfied everyone in the hobby. But not in the MLBPA.

    In 2005, they said Topps and Bowman could no longer call its prospects "rookies" because they didn't have sufficient Major League time. Topps countered by calling the cards "first year cards." But the MLBPA was determined to extinguish early rookie cards. So in 2006, they A) blocked everything that wasn't an insert set from containing a guy who hadn't had sufficient playing time and B) demanded that all 2005 and 2006 rookies, even if they had prior rookie cards, have the new logo on them. Those with two "rookie cards" have the second MLBPA RC referred to as a (RC), or "parenth-RC." There are some guys that did have true rookie cards in 2006-2007, though.

    But Topps countered with their Bowman brands and released prospects that were considered inserts. Bizarrely, these aren't considered ANYTHING. They should, I guess, be considered XRC's. However, there is currently no hobby designation for them. Because they sell like rookie cards and are treated like them by the average hobbyist, I generally go with the definition "Hobbyist Rookie Card" for most of these cards (guys like Tyler Clippard and Kendry Morales would be exempted for prior cards...although Hunter Pence and Yovani Gallardo had Donruss cards, these cards portrayed them in Minor League uniforms, and the cards seemingly go for the same amount of money). To compound matters however, when a guy gets his MLBPA rookie card and has no prior card aside from the Bowman...that's considered a true rookie card, not a Parenth-RC! Alex Gordon, Carlos Gomez, and Alejandro de Aza are three examples of this. Yet, all three of those guys' 2006 Bowman-type cards sell for more than their "rookie cards," and their 2007 cards are not widely accepted as rookie cards or viewed that way by the average hobbyist. Hopefully, the Bowman-type cards will be given XRC designations to clear up the confusion, but that's nowhere in sight as of now.

    All I can say is that I do not approve of the changes made forcibly to the hobby (in fact, I don't know ANYONE who does), but will do my best to explain them. They're likely to stay around...the MLBPA's catch phrase about the logos branded so ugly on 2006-and-later cards is "You don't have a rookie card until we say you do." If you want a list of who has true rookie cards that are also first year cards...hobbyist rookie cards, if you will...and who doesn't, then please, feel free to PM me or ask on this thread.
    "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
    -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

  • #2
    List of TRUE 2006-2007 Rookie Cards.

    I changed my mind. Here is a list, and I will update this as new rookie cards come out, of all the players who received a true rookie card from 2006-2007 printed to date. The 2006 list is complete, the 2007 list is now complete.

    From 2006:
    -Jeremy Accardo
    -Eliezer Alfonzo
    -Robert Andino
    -Chris Barnwell
    -Phil Barzilla
    -Jonah Bayliss
    -Jason Bergmann
    -Kurt Birkins
    -Craig Breslow
    -Chris Britton
    -Fabio Castro
    -Jason Childers
    -Roy Corcoran
    -Tim Corcoran
    -Manny Corpas
    -Chris Coste
    -Chris Demaria
    -Joey Devine
    -Melvin Dorta
    -Brandon Fahey
    -Emiliano Fruto
    -Jeff Fulchino
    -Luis Figueroa
    -Ron Flores
    -Alejandro Freire
    -Anderson Garcia
    -Alex Gordon*
    -Sean Green
    -Charlie Haeger
    -Jack Hannahan
    -Craig Hansen
    -Brandon Harper
    -Jeff Harris
    -Chris Heintz
    -James Hoey
    -Norris Hopper
    -Jon Huber
    -Chris Iannetta
    -Joe Inglett
    -Casey Janssen
    -Kenji Johjima
    -Jim Johnson
    -Adam Jones
    -Ryan Jorgensen
    -Jeff Karstens
    -Josh Kinney
    -Shane Komine
    -Jon Lester
    -Boone Logan
    -Carlos Marmol
    -Carlos Martinez
    -Juan Mateo
    -Cory Morris
    -Peter Moylan
    -Edward Mujica
    -Brian Myrow
    -Mike Napoli
    -Pat Neshek
    -Mike O'Connor
    -Eric O'Flaherty
    -Ryan O'Malley
    -Henry Owens
    -Mike Pelfrey
    -Rafael Perez
    -Josh Rabe
    -Sendy Rleal
    -Ryan Roberts
    -Brian Rogers
    -Jae Kuk Ryu
    -Takashi Saito
    -Danny Sandoval
    -Chris Schroder
    -Josh Sharpless
    -James Shields
    -Matt Smith
    -Alay Soler
    -Steve Stemle
    -Jordan Tata
    -Ty Taubenheim
    -Ryan Theriot
    -Mike Thompson
    -Carlos Villaneuva
    -Reggie Willits
    -Brian Wilson
    *=Not intended for release

    2007 (NOTE: I'm only including guys NOT included in the 2006 Bowman type sets):
    -Tony Abreu
    -Drew Anderson (Of the Brewers)
    -Alberto Arias
    -Brian Barden
    -Chris Basak
    -Joe Bisenius
    -Dallas Braden
    -Ryan Braun (the pitcher for the Royals)
    -Matthew Brown
    -Brian Buscher
    -Kevin Cameron
    -Brett Campbell
    -Andy Cannizaro
    -Brett Carroll
    -Alexi Casilla
    -Jack Cassel
    -Troy Cate
    -Andy Cavazos
    -Joba Chamberlain
    -Rocky Cherry
    -Darren Clarke
    -Alvin Colina
    -John Danks
    -Dewon Day
    -Jordan De Jong
    -Julio DePaula
    -Elijah Dukes
    -Terry Evans
    -Jesus Flores
    -Jake Fox
    -Andy Gonzalez
    -Tim Gradoville
    -Lee Gronkiewicz
    -Juan Gutierrez
    -Marcus Gwyn
    -Devern Hansack
    -Eric Hull
    -Kei Igawa
    -Akinori Iwamura
    -Masumi Kuwata
    -Aaron Laffey
    -John Lannan
    -Juan Lara
    -Jensen Lewis
    -Tim Lincecum
    -Jesse Litsch
    -Kevin Mahar
    -Mitch Maier
    -Jay Marshall
    -Daisuke Matsuzaka
    -Zach McClellan
    -Travis Metcalf
    -Andrew Miller
    -Gustavo Molina
    -Brandon Morrow
    -A.J. Murray
    -Neal Musser
    -Hideki Okajima
    -Jailen Peguero
    -Juan Perez
    -Mike Rabelo
    -Edwar Ramirez
    -Clay Rapada
    -Jose A. Reyes
    -Mark Reynolds
    -Danny Richar
    -Connor Robertson
    -Guillermo Rodriguez
    -Ryan Rowland-Smith
    -Brad Salmon
    -Angel Sanchez
    -Romulo Sanchez
    -Mike Schultz
    -Doug Slaten
    -Joakim Soria
    -Levale Speigner
    -Chris Stewart
    -Ian Stewart
    -Eric Stults
    -Rick Vanden Hurk
    -Jamie Vermilyea
    -Ehren Wassermann
    -Tommy Watkins
    -Sean White
    -Ross Wolf
    -Chase Wright
    -Shane Youman
    -Mike Zagurski
    -Mauro Zarate

    2008 (NOTE, THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!):
    -Jonathan Albaladejo
    -Brian Barton
    -Brian Bass
    -Nick Blackburn
    -Jerry Blevins
    -Randor Bierd
    -Emilio Bonifacio
    -Willie Collazo
    -Dave Davidson
    -Nick Evans
    -Kosuke Fukudome
    -Kazuo Fukumori
    -Armando Galarraga
    -Alberto Gonzalez
    -Ryan Hanigan
    -Fernando Hernandez
    -Stephen Holm
    -Ian Kennedy
    -Masahide Kobayashi
    -Hiroki Kuroda
    -Tim Lahey
    -Justin Maxwell
    -Kyle McClellan
    -Evan Meek
    -Jonathan Meloan
    -Colt Morton
    -Carlos Muniz
    -Bill Murphy
    -Josh Newman
    -Darren O'Day
    -Heath Phillips
    -Alexei Ramirez
    -Mitch Stetter
    -Ramon Troncoso
    -Matt Tupman
    -Eugenio Velez
    -Rico Washington
    -Bill White
    -Wesley Wright
    -Yasuhiko Yabuta
    Last edited by Dalkowski110; 07-27-2008, 06:47 PM.
    "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
    -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

    Comment


    • #3
      Cool explanation, I never knew any of that.
      Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        No problem! I also made a minor update to the list.
        "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
        -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

        Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

        Comment


        • #5
          Fixed some errors, list now conforms with Beckett list!
          "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
          -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

          Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

          Comment


          • #6
            Some new rules to recognize and organize prospect cards...

            Exactly what the title says. I came terms that my multi-tieried "Hobbyist Rookie Card" system will never come to be accepted by the mainstream for reasons that are two-fold...
            1) Collectors posessing valuable rookie cards would suddenly find themselves in posession of what are tantamount to XRC's and...
            2) The MLBPA would still never recognize it.

            After spending two months analyzing the market for rookie cards, pre-rookie cards, Bowman type cards, whatever, I think I finally found a system that would jive with the MLBPA's regs yet at the same time still recognize the first card of a player in an MLB uniform. With the recent decision that 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition was a Major League issue (which horrified the MLBPA and I can guarantee you that they're not just sitting on their posteriors) and the cards "could" be considered XRC's within the next 6 months, this makes things a bit easier (initially I had no idea what I would do with '07 Donruss EEE). So as to save myself about fifty paragraphs of writing, I think I'll give an example of my new system, THEN explain it. The player in question is 2006 number one overall draft pick Luke Hochevar.

            -2006 Bowman Sterling Luke Hochevar FYC
            -2007 Bowman Chrome Luke Hochevar PROS-1
            -2007 Bowman Heritage Luke Hochevar PROS-1
            -2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Luke Hochevar PROS-1 or XRC (?)
            -2007 Bowman Draft Luke Hochevar PROS-1A
            -2008 Topps Luke Hochevar MLBPA RC

            Initial reaction: "What the heck IS all that alphabet soup??? And why did you have to go about adding numbers to it???" Well, this is the sad truth when it comes to categorizing the Bowman and Donruss prospect cards...it's gonna be complex. So, let's get the ball rolling...

            "-2006 Bowman Sterling Luke Hochevar FYC"

            This means that 2006 Bowman Sterling is Luke Hochevar's First Year Card, or FYC. A First Year Card has for all intents and purposes displaced a rookie card as well, a rookie card.

            "-2007 Bowman Chrome Luke Hochevar PROS-1"

            After an FYC, a prospect who has still not played an inning in the Major Leagues can have Prospect Cards after an FYC, abbreviated as "PROS." Because a player will usually have multiple prospect cards that decline in value as the years pass inbetween his FYC and MLBPA RC, I found a need to number these cards. A "PROS-1" is a player's first prospect card after receiving an FYC. It is produced in the year immediately after the FYC UNLESS there is a delay of one year or more (i.e. Hunter Pence's FYC is 2004, but his PROS-1 is 2006) where no card is produced. However, there are subdivisions of "PROS" that go even further beyond the numbering system...

            "-2007 Bowman Draft Luke Hochevar PROS-1A"

            Okay, so what does "PROS-1A" mean? That means it's the second card produced for the same marketing niche during the same year by the same company. Right now, the Bowman type prospects are the only cards that have "PROS-1A" or even in some cases "PROS-1B." So, now I'm sure you're wondering why his 2007 Bowman Heritage is also a PROS-1 and not a PROS-1A if I haven't put you to sleep yet. That's because Bowman Heritage was marketed significantly different enough than Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft to warrant a seperate designation.

            An XRC as currently designated by Beckett, if it enters the marketplace during the same time as the various PROS and FYC cards floating around, will go for about the same amount of money an FYC will go for. If Donruss Elite Extra Edition is classified as an XRC as is looking likely, this fits right in.

            Then, finally, you have the MLBPA RC. In Hochevar's case, it's a true rookie card, but not an FYC. Oddly enough, until a player gets an MLBPA RC, he can keep having PROS cards. Example...

            -2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Hunter Pence FYC/RC
            -2006 Bowman Chrome Hunter Pence PROS-1
            -2006 Bowman Draft Hunter Pence PROS-1A
            -2007 Bowman Chrome Hunter Pence PROS-2
            -2007 Bowman Draft Hunter Pence MLBPA (RC)

            Here we have an example of a guy whose FYC is also technically his RC. However, said RC was not an MLBPA RC. Thus, he's allowed to have PROS cards inbetween his RC and MLBPA (RC). But what about a player who has both an FYC and an MLBPA RC in the same card year?

            -2007 Bowman Chrome Tim Lincecum FYC
            -2007 Bowman Chrome Tim Lincecum FYC/MLBPA RC

            I could list a few other cards, but don't believe it's necessary. In Lincecum's case (as well as that of Joba Chamberlain, who has quite a few more cards), it doesn't matter that he has both a non-MLBPA FYC and an MLBPA FYC. They're still both FYC's. This should also demonstrate that if a player has no Bowman type FYC/PROS card or Upper Deck (remember Prospect Premieres?) or Donruss XRC, and just has Minor League cards, then his MLBPA RC is also his FYC. I hope I haven't put you to sleep by now and hope this clears a few things up.

            BTW, in the time since I've written this, I've gotten questions from a few members asking about certain cards and their designations. However, what all these questions really boil down to are "can an MLB prospect card made before 2006 as an MLB issue still count as a prospect card?" and "how far back in years does your system go?" In short, the answers are respectively "yes" and "1962." Why 1962? Because 1962 Topps featured the grandfather of today's prospect cards: the muti-player rookie card. Some of these cards featured players who never made the Majors (i.e. Steve Dalkowski) or repeatedly featured guys for several years (i.e. Lou Piniella). The latter is what three people asked about, so I'll answer it. Lou Piniella's card chart goes like this...

            -1964 Topps RC/FYC
            -1968 Topps PROS-1
            -1969 Topps PROS-2

            In 1970, Lou Piniella finally got his first card without any other players on it. Before 2005, the FYC/PROS system operates like this. Until a player plays his first MLB season (in lieu of an MLBPA-sanctioned "rookie card") and/or ceases being featured on multiplayer prospect cards, he can have PROS cards. One more modern example of that might be David Wright. Let's take a look at him...
            -2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres XRC/FYC
            -2002 Bowman RC
            -2003 [various sets] PROS-1
            -2004 [various sets] PROS-2

            And 2005 is Wright's first full MLB season.

            But what about a Minor Leaguer who retires prior to 2006 or never makes the Majors? Well, Ryan Anderson was a really hyped prospect with the Mariners and had several cards.

            -1998 Bowman RC/FYC
            -1999 Bowman PROS-1
            -2000 Bowman PROS-2
            -2001 Bowman PROS-3
            -2002 Bowman PROS-4
            -2003 Topps Total PROS-5 (!!!)

            He doesn't have any cards after that.

            What about Philip Hughes and other players "bridging the gap"? They had some regular issue cards in 2005 that weren't Bowman inserts. Well, here we go with Hughes...

            -2004 Topps Traded FYC/RC (he had others, but bear with me)
            -2005 Topps Traded PROS-1
            -2006 Bowman Draft PROS-2
            -2007 Topps MLBPA RC

            I hope this clears up any questions people may have had.
            Last edited by Dalkowski110; 02-19-2008, 11:49 PM.
            "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
            -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

            Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

            Comment


            • #7
              Whats this in the Becketts book saying that 297A Alex Gordon (RC) Full $1,000? are you serious? Cause I just bought the complete set of 06' topps i'm itching to open it and see if i have this card i'd go crazy!!!
              trusted traders: Rockhound,xholdourownx,Drillbit,Tebow15

              Comment


              • #8
                "I just bought the complete set of 06' topps i'm itching to open it and see if i have this card i'd go crazy!!!"

                You don't have it. The few put out only came in Wal-Mart series 1 retail boxes. Incidentally, the '06 Gordon is NOT a (RC) or "parenth-RC." Gordon's first year card was 2006, thus making it a true rookie card, or FYC.
                "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

                Comment


                • #9
                  yup i'm pissed i dont have it lol....i didnt even get one of his cards in the complete set? What's up with that? However I did get a lot of rookie cards in this set....Are they real rookies or what?
                  trusted traders: Rockhound,xholdourownx,Drillbit,Tebow15

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "However I did get a lot of rookie cards in this set....Are they real rookies or what?"

                    If they're not on the 2006 list I have up, then they're not true rookie cards, or "first year cards."
                    "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                    -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                    Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Baseball Card Rookies

                      Well we can always keep it simple and stick to the vintage rookie cards and to 1980's and early 1990's and most cards there are always rookie cards
                      Baseball cards, sports cards & My Baseball Card Space website are my favorite hobbies.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mybaseballcardspace
                        Well we can always keep it simple and stick to the vintage rookie cards and to 1980's and early 1990's and most cards there are always rookie cards
                        Huh? Seriously, I don't understand...
                        "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                        -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                        Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

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                        • #13
                          So if i have cards thet are prospect & first year cards they are'nt worth anything? im just curious i did'nt buy them just to make money on them

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                          • #14
                            No, you misunderstood. The first year cards of 2006-now are selling for what true rookie cards sold for before 2006. The prospect cards (inbetween the first year cards and MLBPA rookie cards if a player has them) tend to not go for as much as FYC's, but more than non-FYC MLBPA rookie cards.
                            "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                            -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                            Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

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                            • #15
                              love your RC designation system and thorough explanation. of course it would be nice if they'd never put us in this disturbingly complex situation, but... way to make lemonade outta lemons.

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