Pedro Martínez (10/25/71) is one of the most dominant pitchers to ever play in Major League Baseball. He featured for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and the Philadelphia Phillies respectively from 1992 to 2009.
He’s a three-time Cy Young Award winner and an eight-time All-Star who’s best known for his time with the Red Sox. Martínez won the World Series in 2004 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2015.
Here’s everything you need to know about his rookie cards, with a full checklist, three great options, prices, and an investment report for the next few years.
Best Pedro Martínez Rookie Cards
We’ve looked at recent auction data to bring you a list with three of the most popular Pedro Martínez rookie cards.
1991 Pedro Martinez Upper Deck Final Edition Rookie Card #2F (buy on eBay)
The most popular Pedro Martínez rookie card option by a fair margin, the 1991 UD Final Edition is a white-bordered card with a profile image of the player. At just $25 for a PSA 10 grade it’s a steal, and there’s little chance of making a loss. His first Major League Baseball card, it’s overproduced, which is the main reason why it’s so cheap. The quote located on the reverse has extensive info about his prospect years;
“As if Ramon Martinez was not formidable enough for the Dodgers, Los Angeles also has his younger brother Pedro speeding through their farm system. Pedro signed as a free agent in 1988 and pitched two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He came to the United States for the first time in 1990 and went 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 77 innings at Rookie-level Great Falls. Pedro, 5 feet, 11 inches and 150 pounds, is expected to throw harder than Ramon once he fills out. He started the 1991 season at Class-A Bakersfield and went 8-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 61 innings as California League managers named him the best pitching prospect and possessor of the best fastball. He then went to Double-A San Antonio where he was 4-4 with a 2.08 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 48 innings at mid-season. Texas League managers named him best pitching prospect as well”.
Related: Invest in the Best Christian Yelich Rookie Cards
1992 Pedro Martinez Leaf Gold Rookies #3 (buy on eBay)
Part of a 24-card insert set honoring 1992’s most promising newcomers, a gem mint version of the 1992 Leaf Gold Rookie will sell for twice as much as a copy of the UD Final with the same grade. It’s an action card showing Martínez ready to pitch, and the quote on the back reads;
“Pedro made a rapid progression through the Dodgers’ minor league system in ‘91, having success on three levels. The Dodgers see him as an integral part of their pitching for years to come along with his brother, Ramon. Pedro’s 18 combined wins at Bakersfield, San Antonio and Albuquerque were tops in the Dodgers farm system in ‘91 as were his 192 strikeouts. At Great Falls in ‘90 Pedro was named to the Pioneer Lg. All Star team.”
1992 Pedro Martinez Bowman Rookie Card #82 (buy on eBay)
Another card with a solid action shot, the 1992 Bowman is seen as Martínez’s ‘true’ rookie card. Despite the fact, it’s still cheaper than the Leaf card listed above, with a PSA 10 grade recently selling for just under $50. Despite being a second-year card, it’s part of one of the most popular sets from the 1990’s. The reverse has a simple quote which notes;
“Pedro made his Professional Baseball debut at Santo Domingo in 1988. He pitched at Bakersfield, San Antonio and Albuquerque in 1991”.
Related: Invest in the Best Yasiel Puig Rookie Cards
Pedro Martínez Rookie Card Checklist
Here’s a checklist containing Martínez’s rookie/prospect cards from 1989 to 1992.
- 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition Pedro Martinez RC #2F
- 1992 Bowman Pedro Martinez #82
- 1992 Donruss Rookies #69
- 1992 Fleer Excel #110
- 1992 Leaf Gold Rookies #3
- 1992 SkyBox AAA #5
- 1992 Upper Deck #18
- 1992 Upper Deck Gold Hologram #18
Pedro Martínez Minor League Checklist:
- 1989 ProCards Charleston Rainbows #992
- 1990 Team Issue Wichita Wranglers Rocks Dugout #15
- 1990 Great Falls Dodgers Sports Pro #12
- 1991 Bakersfield Dodgers Cal League #32
- 1991 Classic III #T55
- 1991 Classic/Best #355
- 1991 California League All-Stars #2
- 1991 ProCards San Antonio Missions #2971
- 1991 ProCards Tomorrow’s Heroes #24
Pedro Martínez Rookie Card Values
As one of the best pitchers of all time, you’d think Martínez’s cards would be slightly more expensive, especially compared to similar players like Greg Maddux. They’ve held steadily, but they haven’t risen by much over the last decade or so.
If you would like an estimated value for any of his cards please email pictures to email@example.com (allow up to 72 hours for a response as we are currently swamped with requests).
Martínez was a key member of the team that won the Red Sox’ first World Series Championship in 86 years, which should have helped to inflate the average price of his rookie cards. For some idea of how big he was back in the day, the six-year contract he signed in 1997 was worth $75m, making him the highest-paid player in baseball at the time.
He battled with injuries towards the latter stages of his career, but still put up impressive numbers as one of only four retired pitchers with at least 3,000 strikeouts and fewer than 1,000 walks in history.
A smaller stature never seemed to impede him, while his physicality and imposing nature caused trouble for anyone forced to go up against the pitcher. Charity work in the Dominican Republic has also helped to ensure that he remains well-liked in recent years.
Despite having fewer rookie options than usual, Martínez’s cards are plentiful and affordable. However, it does mean that there isn’t much scope for prices to rise in the short-term, so they’re not the best investment if you’re hoping to make a quick buck or two.
They’re a solid long-term investment, especially as we get closer to the 30th anniversary of their release dates. It’s worth remembering, they’re unlikely to fall by any significant margin, but they’ve hardly gone up in the last decade or so.
4 out of 10