Top Playoff Rookie Cards to Collect
It’s time to celebrate, baseball fans, as we’re now in the thick of October – when mere men transform into legends, with their postseason heroics living through eternity. The playing days of legends like Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, and Kirk Gibson may be long gone, but don’t worry: a new breed of ballers has stepped up. As the 2023 Divisional Round goes into full swing, it’s the prime time to spotlight those who are most likely to come through with the money on the line and their Rookie Cards. Check out our list of the best players in the Divisional Round by position and their must-have Rookie Cards.
2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks #BCA-AR Austin Riley Auto RC
Gunnar Henderson’s making waves as the hottest name on the block, but Austin Riley’s been holding the hot corner for longer. At just 26, the 2015 first-round pick boasts over 30 homers in his last three seasons and earned All-Star honors in the previous two. And hey, this features recency bias. In Game 2 against Philadelphia, the hammering third baseman knocked a crucial go-ahead bomb in the bottom of the eighth, propelling Atlanta to a tight 5-4 victory and knotting the series at one. Despite the Braves’ season ending on a sour note, Riley provided one of the postseason’s most important highlights.
2020 Topps Series 1 Yordan Alvarez RC
Alvarez goes beast mode come October, earning ALCS MVP in 2021 and playing an integral role in Houston’s World Series triumph last season. In the first two games in the Astros’ 2023 ALDS series against the Twins – the two teams split – the 26-year-old and two-time All-Star homered three times, including two homers in the Stros’ 6-4 Game 1 victory. He almost singlehandedly brought the ‘Stros back in Game 2 of their ALCS series vs. the Rangers’ smackin’ two dingers in a 5-4 loss. H-Tine always has a chance to bring a title to Harris County with Alvarez in the lineup. Look out! This series isn’t over.
2014 Bowman Sterling #17 Mookie Betts RC
Betts may hold down right field for the Dodgers, but we’ve reserved that spot for another special talent and are confident in his ability to master center field if called upon. The Dodgers’ star is eyeing a top 2 finish in the NL MVP race— and is no stranger to the postseason rodeo, having snagged two titles, one in 2018, the same year he snagged the AL MVP, and again in 2020. Although the Dodgers find themselves done in 2023, Betts enjoyed a fantastic campaign.
2018 Topps Diamond Icons #AC-RA Ronald Acuña Jr. Auto /25 RC
It’s between Acuña Jr. and Mookie Betts for the NL MVP Award, and as of now, the Braves’ right fielder is the odds-on favorite. Shoutout to Fanatics Sportsbook. He’s the first player with a 40-70 season and is looking to get in the mix after an injury precluded him from participating in Atlanta’s 2020 World Series victory. The 2023 season is over for Acuña Jr. and the Braves, but it was a good run while it lasted.
2013 Bowman Draft Chrome #7 Sonny Gray #7 RC
Among pitchers this season, only Gerrit Cole (7.4), Blake Snell (6.1), and Logan Webb (5.6) surpassed Gray in bWAR, and notably, none are on playoff-bound teams. Demonstrating exemplary skill on the mound, Gray led all qualified pitchers in both FIP (2.83) and HR/9 (0.4), consistently delivering performances of at least five innings with three or fewer runs in 25 of his 32 starts. He gives the Twins a chance in every outing. It would’ve been something if he could’ve helped take down the Astros.
Top Postseason Stars x RCs Pt. 1
Top Playoff Rookie Cards to Collect