Investment Guide: David Wright Rookie Cards

David Wright - New York Mets

I have to admit that this isn’t a hub I felt I was ever going to write. Not because I don’t believe in the player, just because it didn’t seem like the interest would ever be there for this.

Of course, hitting over 400 for 6 weeks will make people curious.

Just as Derek Jeter’s rookie cards (Check out my hub about Jeter RCs here) are gaining a great deal of interest for the fantastic start he has had this season, so is David Wright of the (thankfully) surprising New York Mets. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to excel in the media capital of the world….

As most players do, David Wright has several official rookie cards that were released years before he broke into the Major Leagues. He has one rookie card in 2001 and six issued in 2002.

2001 UD Prospect Premieres #52 – Value as of 5/16/12 - $12

This card is technically an XRC which is an old term used for rookie cards not issued in a standard set. When this term was first used, it applied to rookie cards found in year-end Traded/Update/Rookie sets issued by Topps, Fleer and Donruss. This particular product was issued without full licensing of the MLBPA. Since these players were all draft picks, they weren’t in the Players Union. They were licensed by Major League Baseball so the pictures show draftees in their team’s Major League uniforms. This makes these cards look much better than any Bowman card which shows players in their minor league uniforms. In any case, this set was issued at year-end, in pack format and was widely distributed and thus available to the general public.

In 2006 when the Mets were marching towards the playoffs, this card jumped up into the $30 range and I think it could certainly move that way again. It’s a brand that only existed for Upper Deck for a few years and some collectors didn’t really pay attention to it but it’s a great looking card and should be a quick mover if Wright continues hitting well. There are no variations for this card.

2002 Bowman 381 – Value as of 5/16/12 - $12

Bowman is called the rookie brand for a reason. Every year collector’s wait for Bowman and Bowman Chrome to collect the most hyped rookies of the year. In 2002 David Wright has rookie cards in all Bowman and Topps products and there are a great many variations for each Bowman brand RC. You might notice that the same picture was used on every Bowman-branded RC and it was also used on the Topps Total card. Bowman is the rookie brand and this is a solid buy at its current $12 value. This card also has room to grow in value like the 2001 Prospect Premieres card.


2002 Bowman's Best #113 – Value as of 5/16/12 - $50

Bowman’s Best is a brand that that has been used on and off for years. This is a particularly nice looking card that also features a piece of game-used bat. At its current $50 value however, I feel this is near its peak price. Regular Wright game-used bat cards are not all that expensive and for all of its high-quality production, Bowman’s Best is not the well-known brand regular Bowman or Bowman Chrome is. There are several more expensive parallels of this card that I would also avoid for the same reasons.


2002 Bowman Chrome #385 – Value as of 5/16/12 - $150.00

Bowman Chrome is the high standard for rookie cards as most of them come with Autographs on them, as does this card. While it shares the same picture with all of the other Bowman brand cards, this card with the autograph and printed on chrome looks much better than most of the other cards. It is already expensive at $150 but in 2006 was double to triple this price and could easily return to that level with Wrights continued success. There are several even more expensive parallels with autographs for this card that feature low numbering. I would stick with this one at this time.


2002 Bowman Heritage #182 – Value as of 5/16/12 - $15.00

Bowman Heritage is not a bad brand but the 2002 version of it looked awful. Based on the 1954 design but with odd-looking semi-painted images on the cards, they just didn’t come across well. Ten years later they still don’t. Of all of the RCs featured here, this is the one I would potentially avoid. It doesn’t look good and still shares the same picture with other Bowman brands. For about the same money you could get any of the other non-auto or memorabilia cards.


2002 Topps Pristine #166 – Value as of 5/16/12 - $30.00

Topps Pristine was a gorgeous brand with super high printing standards on chrome. It is also the only 2002 rookie card of David Wright featuring a different picture than all of the others. There are various parallels to this card but I would stick with this one. At its current $30 value this card has lots of room to move up as it just looks so much better than the other offerings in 2002.


2002 Topps Total #403 – Value as of 5/16/12 - $12.00

This card is the enigma of the group. Topps Total is an absolutely tremendous set (900 cards) so finding any one card is difficult at best. It was also built as a retail product so the pricing for the product was inexpensive. All that being said, it just isn’t a card you see too many of. I would say that collector’s should put this in their collections but don’t expect it to jump in price too much.


Other Information....

Please note that there are a number of minor league cards for David Wright that are not rookie cards no matter what the auction listing might say. The only cards that are considered rookie cards are those listed above. There are many variations for these cards that also are NOT considered rookie cards – they are parallels to the rookie card. That doesn’t make them bad cards – just not rookie cards. In many cases these cards are printed with different color foil or serial numbered, likely both. They are all great cards but they are more expensive than the base rookie cards listed here.


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