Shaq was one of the most dominant NBA players of all-time and for good reason. He would shove his way to the basket over and over where he would dunk the ball through with a ridiculous amount of force. Defenders were helpless as O’Neal’s combination of size and athleticism was too much for anyone to handle.
Most Popular Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Year Card: 1992 Upper Deck RC (buy on eBay)
Double and triple teams became the norm but even then, O’Neal was able to impose his will on the game. Starting his career in Orlando, O’Neal was a large piece of what was an exciting team that the Magic had built. However, the team could never get over the hump, and eventually, O’Neal would make the move to Los Angeles where he would join forces with a young Kobe Bryant on the Lakers.
Together the two would win three championships in a row before a messy situation sent Shaq to Miami to play with another young shooting guard: Dwyane Wade. Shaq would win his fourth and final championship with Wade in 2006 as they beat Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.
Shaq would finish his career by bouncing around to different teams, offering a large amount of experience on top of the talent that he offered. Some more memorable stints include time alongside Lebron James in Cleveland as well as some time with the Celtics in Boston. O’Neal would be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and has two different numbers retired by the Lakers as well as the Heat. Overall, O’Neal had one of the most successful basketball careers of all-time and still holds many NCAA and NBA records.
Best Three Rookie Cards
With Shaq being such a heralded rookie, there were plenty of cards made to satisfy the demand of the collectors. Investors nowadays may have trouble sifting through all these cards to find which ones have good value, so we have limited it to the best three rookie cards where you can expect to see the best returns.
1992 Shaquille O’Neal Upper Deck RC #1
One of the more iconic Shaq rookie cards, this card uses the unique technique of having multiple images of Shaq put onto the card to show his dunk from start to finish. There are three different images of O’Neal on the card, one while he is still on the ground, one from when he is in the air, and the final one where O’Neal is hanging on the basket.
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With a shorter print run than many other cards of the time and the card be suspectable to wear and tear, this card can be difficult to find in top condition and command a high price when it is.
Thus, investors who can manage to get their hands on a highly graded version of this card should be excited that they are the owners of one of the best possible O’Neal rookie cards.
1992 Shaquille O’Neal Topps Gold Rookie RC #362
On this card, Shaq furiously tries to battle for post position against the Timberwolves while he calls for the ball. He is wearing the white pinstripe jerseys that the Magic wore during this era and by the look on his face, we can tell how badly he wants the ball.
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This card came in two different variations, but it’s the “Topps Gold” card with its gold foil nameplate on the bottom of the card that should have investors excited. The more limited nature of the gold card makes them a better choice for investors who won’t have to worry about an oversupply diluting the price.
1992 Shaquille O’Neal Topps Stadium Club RC #247
This Shaq card shows him corralling a rebound in the white Magic jerseys. Shaq’s defined muscles are clearly visible, and he looks as if he was chiseled out of stone, a far cry from the older Shaq that carried a few extra pounds around his belly that many younger fans may be more familiar with.
This card is a great choice for investors who want to carry a card depicting “The Big Aristotle” in their collection and who believe that Shaq’s larger-than-life personality will help him remain a fan favorite and drive the demand for his cards.
Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card Value
- Most Expensive: The most valuable Shaq Rookie Card sold within the last year on eBay auctions was his 1992 Stadium Club Beam Team Members Only #21
- Most Common on eBay Auctions: 1992 Topps RC #362
Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card: Buyers and Investment Advice
Shaq is one of the largest personalities in all of sport and continues to entertain fans as a host of the show Inside the NBA on TNT. Even fans who may not have seen O’Neal play, or only saw him during his later journeyman days, have developed a love for O’Neal and built a strong bond with him.
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Outside of basketball, O’Neal has come to be known as a savvy businessman and he is often seen on television promoting a new business that he has become a part of. His fame has surpassed the world of athletics and fans are just as likely to see him make a celebrity appearance outside of basketball as he is to be featured during a game.
O’Neal cards would make a great rookie card investment as he continues to be a large part of popular culture and his fame transcends basketball. This means that the value of his cards should continue to increase, and the risk of them dropping is very low. These three options are the absolute best when it comes to O’Neal rookie cards and finding them in good condition means that as an investor you should be very excited.
Investment Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Best Shaq Rookie Card: 1992 Topps Gold Rookie RC #362
Rookie Card Ramblings Ownership: None
What is the most expensive Shaquille O'Neal rookie card?
The most expensive Shaq rookie card is the 1992 Classic 4 Sport Shaquille O'Neal RC.
What is the best Shaquille O Neal's rookie card to invest in??
The best Shaq rookie card in terms of ROI is the 1992 Upper Deck Basketball Shaquille O'Neal RC #1 (in our humble opinion).
What is the second best rookie card to invest in.
The second-rated Shaquille O'Neal rookie card to invest in is the 1992 Topps Gold Shaquille O'Neal RC #362.