Buy Professionally Graded Barry Bonds Rookie Cards on eBay
With 22 action-packed seasons in MLB, Barry Bonds (07/24/64) is one of the best players in recent memory. He won a record seven NL MVP awards, eight Gold Glove awards, a record 12 Silver Slugger awards, and made 14 All-Star selections along the way.
From 1922 to 1928 in the American League and from 1924 to 1929 in the National League, an MVP award was given to
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Barry Bonds Rookie Year Stats: 113 games | .223 average | 16 homers | 48 RBIs
Of course, that’s only one side of the story, as controversy seemed to follow the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants left fielder throughout the years, especially due to allegations of PED use.
Here’s a rundown with the three best Barry Bonds rookie cards that money can buy, along with investment advice as he waits for an invite into the Hall of Fame.
Top Barry Bonds Rookie Cards
There are a number of Bonds RCs that were released between 1986 and ‘87, split between different manufacturers and regions. We’ve identified a trio of his most popular RCs from the mid-1980s, seen as some of the best options overall.
1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Barry Bonds RC #11T (buy on eBay)
The first card to make the list was released in 1986, back when Bonds was just a rookie with his entire career ahead of him. It’s one of the pricier options overall, thought to have a print run of roughly 5,000. (It sounds high, but it’s actually minuscule for the time period.)
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The black, white, and yellow design matches his Pirates uniform, with Bonds found in a posed photo with a bat laid over his left shoulder. The black corners are susceptible to chipping and wear, while the Tiffany cards are upgraded versions of the company’s sets from 1984 through 1991.
1987 O-Pee-Chee OPC Barry Bonds RC #320 (buy on eBay)
As the Canadian counterpart to the regular 1987 Topps, the O-Pee-Chee is one of his best RCs. It features an image of Bonds after a successful hit, watching the ball as it sails through the sky.
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There’s an old Pirates logo, while the border has a unique wood effect. Of course, this makes it prone to more issues than a simple white version, so mint grades are worth a significant price tag. You’ll find an OPC logo on the bottom left corner.
1986 Fleer Update Barry Bonds RC #U-14 (buy on eBay)
The next card we’re looking at is definitely a product of the time. A mix of blue and yellow for the border and Bonds’ name tag is a strange design choice, but it works. There’s a tiny Fleer logo in the background, with an image of the player stepping up to the plate in a batting cage. It’s the most affordable option of the three cards to make the list, which is possibly due to a high print run.
Even gem mint editions won’t cost too much, although they will receive lots of bids when a copy comes up at auction.
Barry Bonds Rookie Card Checklist
- 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany #11T
- 1987 Topps Traded #320
- 1986 Topps Traded Rookie Card #11T
- 1986 Donruss Rookies #11
- 1987 Donruss Opening Day RC #163
- 1986 Fleer Update #14
- 1987 O-Pee-Chee RC #320
- 1987 Leaf Rookie Pirates #219
- 1987 Classic Travel Update Green Back Rookie #113
- 1987 Fleer Hottest Stars Rookie Card #5
- 1987 Fleer Glossy #604
- 1987 Toys “R” Us Rookies #4
Barry Bonds Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Barry Bonds rookie card is his 1987 O-Pee-Chee OPC Rookie Card #320 in high grades.
As far as the most common Bonds RC up for auction on eBay?… the 1986 Topps Traded takes that cake in that regard.
Barry Bonds Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide & Investment Outlook
If you’re looking at the numbers alone, it’s surprising to find that Bonds’ best rookie cards are worth little in the grand scheme of things. They were released during the height of the junk wax era, but he still holds some of the most important MLB batting records of all-time.
For example, he hit the most home runs in a single season (73), beat Hank Aaron to the record of career home runs with 762, he went 13 consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs, he holds the highest slugging percentage in a World Series (1.294), and Bonds’ seven MVP awards are the most for any individual player in the history of the sport.
So, why are his cards so cheap? In a word; steroids.
Allegations about their use to reach his superhuman numbers were rife, culminating in a federal investigation, which never amounted to anything in the long run. However, it has impeded his progress in terms of making it into the Hall of Fame, as he was named on just 60.7% of ballots in his eighth year of eligibility, well below the 75% which is required for induction. It’s also only a slight increase from 59.1% he achieved in 2019.
He needs a significant jump within the next two years if he wants any chance of being picked on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. An HoF entry would see prices rising rapidly, even if some collectors aren’t impressed with the allegations Bonds has faced over the years.
Regardless, nostalgia will play a part in his RC values over the next decade, and he holds multiple records, even if there’s an asterisk next to his name