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Buying a Barry Bonds rookie card can be a profitable endeavor if you know what to look for.  There are various kinds of Barry Bonds rookies that are worth buying.  The Giants slugger will always be remembered as one of the baseball’s all-time great power hitters.  Bonds finished his career as baseball’s all-time home run king.   Even though steroid allegations surround Bond’s effort, collectors as well as investors have not stopped buying his baseball cards.  Bonds was most often compared to his god father, Willie Mays.  Some of the best Barry Bonds rookie cards are those graded in Mint or better condition.  In some cases these RC cards are very hard to find in above average condition.  All of these factors have a great impact on the value of Barry Bonds rookie cards.  Here is a list that GMA Grading has compiled of some of the very best Barry Bonds cards and what to watch out for before making a purchase.

Top Barry Bonds Rookie Cards

1986 Topps Traded #11T

These cards are some of the more popular baseball cards on our list.  Topps did a great job included Barry in the ’86 Traded set.  These cards have a few issues that are worth discussing when it comes to condition.  First of all, many of these cards were printed off-center.  Centering can have a major effect on the value of these baseball cards.  Chipping or flaking of the borders on these cards is also very common.  The 1986 Topps cards were printed with a black border which shows almost every flaw that exists.  These flaws stand out during the grading process.  All of these factors should be looked at before a purchase is made.  These great baseball cards are currently selling for $5 ungraded and $15-$20 in Mint 9 condition.  In some cases Gem MT 10 versions have sold for more than $150.

1987 Donruss Rookie #361

This is another great Barry Bonds card that has a ton of potential.  The value of these cards is not just in the player but in the condition the card is in. These condition sensitive cards are very hard to find in premium condition.  Part of the reason is the poor card stock that they were printed on and the black borders that surround Bond’s photo.  These cards are also very hard to find well centered. All of these factors make the 1987 Donruss rookie card a great investment in Mint 9 condition or better.  These cards can be purchased for around $15-$20 in Mint 9 condition and sell for around $125-$150 in Gem MT 10 condition.

1987 Fleer Barry Bonds Rookie Card #604

This is one of the most expensive Barry Bonds rookie cards.  These cards are very popular with collectors and come in two different versions.  The first version is the base card which was inserted in packs as well as factory sets.  The second is the Glossy version.  The glossy cards were never distributed in packs and are believed to be much scarcer than the base cards.  Centering is a major issue when it comes to the condition of these great rookie cards.  Most Fleer baseball cards produced in the 80’s were poorly cut direct from the factory.  Gem MT 10 versions sell for $150-$175 while mint 9 cards tend to sell right above the $20 range. These cards make great investments.

Barry Bonds rookie card Fleer

1987 Topps Barry Bonds Rookie Card #320

These are some of the most common Bonds rookie cards.  These cards are not scarce but still make reasonable investments.  These cards can be purchased online for around $3-$4 ungraded.  Many of these cards have corner issues and centering problems much like some of the other Barry Bonds cards we have discussed. Gem MT 10 versions of these cards can be purchased for $40-$50 while mint 9 versions sell for around $10.

Rarest Barry Bonds Baseball Cards

1993 Finest Refractor #103

This is surely one of Barry Bonds most valuable cards.  This epic card is ultra rare.  Only 241 of these Barry Bonds baseball cards were produced in 1993.  These incredible cards are very hard to find centered which is why Mint 9 cards sell for over $500 on Ebay.  Gem mint 10 cards have sold for over $1500.  A cool looking card and one of his rarest for sure.  A must have card for any serious Barry Bonds collector.

1987 Donruss Opening Day Barry Bonds Rookie Error Card (Johnny Ray) #163

The only way to get these cards were in factory sets.  They were never released in packs.  The error is labeled as Barry Bonds, but has a picture of Johnny Ray, Bond’s teammate. This rare Barry Bonds cards maybe worth a small fortune in the years to come.  It has all the factors that a card needs to become a coveted collectible.  It is super scarce, unique, and a rookie card. What else can you ask for.  Currently Mint 9 versions of these cards sell for around $700-$800.  Gem mint 10 versions are almost impossible to find and sell for $2,500 to $5,000.

Barry Bonds baseball card error

Barry Bonds Autograph Cards

Barry Bonds autograph cards have become premium investments.  Topps and Upper Deck have included Barry Bonds autograph cards in many of their products.  Barry Bonds autograph cards sell for hundreds of dollars especially if they are numbered.  Autograph Barry Bonds baseballs are also very valuable.  Beware of fake autographs as they are very common in today’s hobby.

The value of  Bonds rookie cards and sports memorabilia will continue to rise.  He is one of those players that people love or love to hate.  Either way it brings publicity and attention to his baseball cards and collectibles.  He has become one of the most talked about players in major league baseball history.  This is one of the main reasons why Barry Bonds  cards make great investments.

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Alan Karpuch

Owner of GMA Grading Inc. Over 20 years experience in the sports card industry.

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