Baseball Cards General, Rookies, Upper Deck

Jim Thome Rookie Cards – A Bargain?

April 18, 2012

1991 Upper Deck Jim ThomeJim Thome currently sits 8th on the major league baseball all-time home run list. And he’ll be moving up another notch shortly. With 604 homers he needs just six more to pass Sammy Sosa. Consider that Thome swatted 15 just last year in a mere 277 at-bats.

And look at the names above Thome’s on the all-time list: Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Griffey Jr., A-Rod, and Sosa. Pretty impressive list, no? And of those that have not been implicated in any illegal performance enhancers, you have just four: Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Griffey Jr. And Thome has not been implicated, at least credibly, to my knowledge.

Some of the names that Thome leads on the all-time list? How about Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Lou Gehrig, and Stan Musial. All of them Hall of Famers.

So, looking at the above, you might think a pristine condition graded Jim Thome Rookie Card would set you back several hundred bucks, right? Nope. Not even a hundred.

A recent check of completed sales on eBay shows that a BGS 10 Pristine 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition Jim Thome, #17F, sold for a mere $60 recently. Let’s take a look at a similar rookie card from one of Thome’s peers. Ken Griffey Jr. played in the same era as Thome, and his Upper Deck rookie came out two years before Thome’s (granted it was UD’s first set ever). So, what’s the price of a recently completed sale of a BGS 10 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr., #1? Oh, how about $961?!! That’s a $901 difference for those of you counting at home.

So, is Thome’s rookie card a bargain, selling for around $60 in pristine condition? All depends how you look at it. Baseball cards, like any other market, is just a matter of supply and demand. And Thome doesn’t have near the marketability that Griffey Jr. has or had. But, if I’m a Cleveland Indian fan, which I’m not, I’m thinking that the going price for this card is pretty good. I mean, look at the company he is in on the all-time list.

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