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Chris Sale rookie cards are getting a lot of attention after being traded to the Boston Red Sox.  Boston fans are excited about the upcoming season and many believe that Sale was the missing link to another World Series run.  Chris Sale rookie cards make great investments and are very affordable at their current levels.  Don’t expect prices of his cards to stay at these levels as he will be getting a lot more television time playing for the Sox.  The lefty has posted some amazing numbers over the years and will be the ace of the Red Sox staff.  Many have compared Chris Sale to Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw.

Now is the perfect time to start buying his baseball cards before they get too expensive.  Here is a breakdown of some of the best Chris Sale rookie cards and condition issues that buyers should be aware of.

Autographed Chris Sale Rookie Cards Chrome

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Chris Sale Rookie Cards #BDPP92

This is one of Sale’s top rookie card cards.  These cards currently sell for around $75 graded in gem mint 10 conditions. These cards typically grade very well, but surface scratches and poor centering can sometimes be an issue.  The base cards are not rare, but refractor and autographed inserts are much more limited and sell for premium prices.

Autographed versions of these cards bring $175-$200 while individually numbered colored refractors and sell for over $1,000.  In a recent Ebay auction, a signed orange refractor sold for over $1,000. The base cards are a safer play selling for $6 – $7 ungraded, while refractors sell for around double that at $10-$12.

2011 Bowman Platinum Chris Sale #35 Rookie

These undervalued Chris Sale rookie cards sell for only $2-$3 ungraded.  Part of the reason is that they were produced in 2011 instead of 2010, so it is not his first card.  These unique foil cards are not limited and have some condition flaws that buyers should be aware of.  These cards were produced with a thin card stock that tends to flake.  They are brittle and white chipped corners and edges are common flaws with these baseball cards.  The back of these cards should also be checked closely as they have the same issues, but are commonly overlooked.

A range of color parallel cards do exist but are not numbered as some of his other rookie cards.  Gem 10 versions of these cards are selling well at $20-$25.  They are still very affordable rookies and should be considered as a definite buy in the right condition.

2011 Bowman Rookie Chris Sale #220

Topps did a great job with these black bordered cards.  The photography is amazing, especially with the Chris Sale rookie.  The card shows Sale dropping down with his iconic side-arm release about to unleash a 90+ mile an hour fastball.  These Chris Sale baseball cards are only worth $2-$3 ungraded.  Gem mint 10 versions of these cards should be purchased quickly at the right prices.  The black borders that surround the card make them extremely hard to find in perfect condition.  White corners and flakey edges are common flaws that easily devalue these cards.

These cards remind many of the 1971 Topps cards that sell for premium prices in top condition.  They make great investments and collectors should spend the extra money for high graded cards.

2011 Topps Chris Sale Rookie #65

These white bordered cards typically grade high.  They are normally well centered and have a high gloss finish that protects the surface from scratching.  These Topps Chris Sale rookies fetch $2-$3 ungraded and investors that are willing to buy lots can buy them even cheaper.  When it comes to return on your investment these Chris Sale rookie cards maybe the best of the lot.  Gem mint 10 cards sell for $15-$20, which is not a bad markup on a $2 investment.  It’s not the rarest or most expensive of his baseball cards, but still a quality investment for the price.

2010 Bowman Sterling Chris Sale Autographed Rookie #C8

This chromium card is outstanding.  An on-card autograph of the Red Sox southpaw makes it a quality investment.  These rare gems are getting harder and harder to find for under $50.  They typically grade well, but surface scratches are sometimes an issue.  The backs of these cards should be closely checked for hard to see surface creases.

Colored refractors do exist and sell for a little more than the base autograph.  In a recent Ebay auction, a Gem MT 10 black refractor sold for $125.

2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects RC Autograph

Another cool looking card that sells for over $50 ungraded.  Gem mint 10 copies sell for over $100 but are much harder to find due to thin card stock.  These cards bring above average grades but perfect cards are not as easy to find as many believe.  A nice addition to any collection.

2010 Elite Extra Edition Chris Sale Autograph RC Status Gold

This card may be his rarest rookie and it comes with an on-card signature.  Only 5 of these cards exist and each is individually numbered.  These cards are only for serious investors as they sell for over $2,000 graded in perfect condition.

Chris Sale Autograph Baseball Card

Chris Sale Autographed Baseball Cards as Investments

Over the year’s rookie cards have become the dominant focus of baseball card collections.  This may change in the years to come as autographed cards are becoming just as popular.  We have already discussed some of Chris Sale’s autographed rookie cards, but he as a few other cards that are not rookies that are worth looking at.   

Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini have included Chris Sale autographs in many of their new releases.  Some of them are numbered and even come with a game-used jersey swatch.  These unique baseball cards are worth picking up at the right levels.  Buying these Chris Sale autographs for under $30 is a good idea. Card Condition should always be considered when making a purchase and with autographed cards, the quality of the signature is just as important.

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Alan Karpuch

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

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