Aaron Judge’s rookie cards are hotter than a billy goat with a blowtorch. Judge is turning into a Yankee legend before our very eyes, and his rookie cards are a must-have long-term alternative investment.
Baseball is one of the oldest sports in North America, and it has one of the largest fanbases. As a result, stars and their trading cards are very valuable. Today, Aaron Judge is one of the biggest stars in baseball. Playing for the New York Yankees, he is famous even among people who are not fans of baseball.
Standing at 6 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 282 pounds, it should not be a surprise to anyone that Aaron Judge developed into one of the best players in the MLB. However, he was not always expected to be a superstar. He had a decent pedigree coming out of college but was still only drafted 32nd overall in 2013 by the New York Yankees.
After getting drafted, Judge spent several years in the minor leagues before making his debut in 2016. However, he only appeared in 27 games, and as a result, his official rookie season was in 2017. When Judge became a full-time player in 2017, he exploded into the league.
Aaron Judge had a record-setting season in 2017. He was the American League Rookie of the Year, was named an all-star, won the Home Run Derby, and finished second in American League Most Valuable Player voting.
Since then, Judge has only further advanced his position as one of the best sluggers and defensive players in the world. He has been an all-star four times (2017, 2018, 2021, and 2022), and in one of the two seasons he was not an all-star was nearly knocked out completely by injuries.
With all that in mind, we are going to look at some of Aaron Judge’s most valuable rookie cards.
Top 10 Aaron Judge Rookie Card Investments
If you are looking to invest in sports trading cards for the first time, you need to understand that certain types of cards are more valuable than others. Notably, rookie cards are among the most valuable cards for almost every player in every sport.
So, while there are some valuable Aaron Judge cards for his seasons after 2017, we are going to focus on his rookie cards today. Here are 10 of the most valuable Aaron Judge rookie cards for you to invest in.
10. 2017 Topps Triple Threads #RPAAJ RC
Another thing to consider when you are looking at cards to purchase is the company they are made by. Some cards are more valuable simply because they are made by a more prestigious trading card company. Notably, Topps is one of the top trading card companies in the world. As a result, they will make several appearances on our list.
This first card is an interesting investment option and one we expect to rise in price as Judge continues his career. It is unique in that it is a horizontal card, breaking the trend of the typical vertical format.
The card features an image of Judge on the left side of the card with his autograph written in blue ink beneath it. On the right side of the card, you can see a patch of Judge’s uniform. It is a game-worn patch, making the card more valuable. The back of the card features information about his career in the minor leagues.
While the signature and patch increase the value of this card significantly, there is one other factor to consider. This card is rare, and as a result, its value has risen significantly. Only 99 copies were printed, and even fewer received high grades.
If you can get your hands on a mint condition copy of this card, we expect its value to increase exponentially in the coming years. As of September 2022, there is a BGS 9.5 rated copy for sale on eBay for $5000.
9. 2017 Aaron Judge Panini Chronicles Auto RC
Panini is another company with a lot of money in the game when it comes to sports trading cards. Their Chronicles collection is one that is highly anticipated every year. In 2017, it included an Aaron Judge rookie card.
Chronicles cards are unique because they include large texts with words that look like headlines and excerpts from the newspaper. It would not be strange if they were kept to the back of the card, but the excerpts are featured on the front and the back.
On the front, the text is to the left of an image of Judge. Then, Aaron Judge’s autograph is written across the bottom of the card in blue ink. The autograph is certified and guaranteed by Panini.
Currently, you can purchase a sealed, perfectly rated copy of this card for $700 on eBay. While it is not as valuable as the card above, it is a more interesting investment option.
When you go to invest in a card, you should not look at the most expensive options. Instead, you should look for cheaper cards you expect to rise in price. $700 is much more affordable than $5000, and we still expect this card to rise in value significantly in the coming years.
8. 2017 Aaron Judge Topps Finest Auto RC #FA-AJ
Getting back to Topps, we have another extremely valuable card. This card can be purchased in PSA 10 condition for $7500. However, while it is not a cheap option, it is still a card we expect to increase in price.
The card itself follows a traditional trading card design. It features an image of Judge swinging his bat in the middle of the card. Below the image is Judge’s autograph in blue ink.
Additionally, there are several logos on the front of the card. The top left corner has the rookie card logo, and across from it is the Topps Finest logo. The bottom of the card features Judge’s name, team, and position. Most people also enjoy the colorful design in the background.
Interestingly, the back of the card does not feature a summary of Aaron Judge’s minor league experience like most cards. Instead, it has a congratulatory message for the buyer for having received such a great card.
7. 2017 Aaron Judge Topps Chrome Update Refractor Auto RC
You should not be surprised to see Topps at this point. Topps is a great company that produces incredible cards. Here we have the 2017 Topps Chrome Refractor.
This card features Judge as he goes to catch a fly ball. The Topps Chrome logo is in the top left corner, with the rookie card logo just below it. You can see the Yankees’ logo at the bottom of the card.
Although it does not have a unique design, it is rising in price. It most recently sold for $404 in late September, and that is a 16.57% increase over sales from 30 days earlier. So, prices are rising, and you will want to purchase a copy of this card soon if you want to make an investment.
6. 2017 Aaron Judge Topps Heritage Real One Auto #AJ
Sticking with Topps for one more card before we move on to a few other brands, we have the 2017 Topps Heritage Real One Aaron Judge rookie card. This card is a good option, but it is still rather expensive. Currently, you can purchase a PSA 10 copy on eBay for $2650.
While that price is high, it is important to remember that not many cards receive PSA 10 grades. Most cards do not even receive mint ratings. As a result, when cards in great condition come along, they are sold for a lot of money.
This card is different from many cards because it does not have an action shot. most cards feature the player in an action shot during a game. However, this card features a standard pre-season headshot of Aaron judge. he has a bat over his shoulder and is smiling for the camera.
The center of the card features Judge’s autograph in blue ink. Autographs always increase the value of cards.
On the back of the card, there is a blurb detailing Judge’s brief stint with the Yankees in 2016. It tells buyers that Judge hit a home run in his first at-bat in the major leagues. Additionally, it features his minor league stats going back to 2014.
5. 2017 Aaron Judge Donruss Optic Red Retro Rated Rookie Auto RC #AJ
If you do not want to purchase a Topps card, you can look at the Donruss Rated Rookie collection from Panini. This collection is one that is anticipated every year, and as a result, the stars that come out of each pack have very valuable cards.
The card has a simple design with a white border followed by a thinner black border on the inside. You can see an image of Judge in the center of the card as he looks on at a ball he recently hit.
Below the image of Judge is his autograph written in black ink. Additionally, there are two logos on the front of the card. The top left corner has the Rated Rookie logo, whereas the bottom left corner has the Optic logo.
If you turn the card over, you can see Judge’s physical characteristics and position listed. The only characteristics listed are his height and weight.
If you want a card that has not exploded in price, you can purchase this one. A PSA 10 copy can be purchased on eBay for $255. While that is certainly still expensive, it is much more affordable for average people compared to other cards.
4. 2017 Aaron Judge Bowman Chrome Refractor Auto RC #CRA-AJ
Bowman is a company we have not discussed yet, but do not worry, they are among the best trading card companies in the industry. They consistently produce high-quality sports trading cards year after year. While we are looking at an Aaron Judge rookie card, they also produce high-end cards in football, basketball, and other sports.
This card comes from the 2017 collection and features a light blue border that is a little cloudy. The center of the card features a full-size picture of Aaron Judge as he gets ready for a pitch.
You can see logos in three of the four corners of the card. The top right corner features the Chrome logo, the bottom right the rookie card logo, and you can see the Yankees logo in the bottom left corner. His name is written between the rookie card and Yankees logos.
On the back of the card, you can see three briefings from Bowman. The first features his resume which outlines what happened in his MLB debut the previous year. Additionally, it discusses his minor league career.
Below that is the skills section which discusses Judge’s best skills as a baseball player. Finally, the up close briefing has a fun fact for readers to learn about Judge and where he fits in Yankees’ history.
This card is another extremely valuable one because not many copies were printed. Bowman only printed 499 copies, and as a result, each of them is extremely valuable. The ones in great condition sell for even more. A PSA 10 copy is currently for sale on eBay for $2225.
3. 2017 Aaron Judge Topps Silver Pack Chrome Auto RC #87A-AJ
The last card from 2017 on our list is one from Topps. We could not help but go back to Topps. Their cards are fantastic, and we could not leave this one off our list of the best investment options.
Here you have the Silver Chrome Aaron Judge rookie card from Topps. It has a bronze border and a shimmering blue background behind the image of Judge. In the picture of Judge, he is getting ready for a pitch.
However, the star on the front of the card is the autograph that runs over Judge’s legs. It is in blue ink and is 100% certified by Topps.
The bottom of the card features Judge’s name in front of a red box, as well as the Topps logo in the bottom left corner.
If you turn over to the back of the card, you will see a congratulatory message from Topps.
While the autograph adds tremendous value, there is another factor driving up the price of the card. This card we only printed 199 times, and as a result, any copy you can get your hands on is valuable.
Currently, you can purchase a BGS 9.5 copy on eBay for $2000.
2. 2017 Aaron Judge Topps 1987 Birch/Ash Wood RC Auto #AJU
This card will not often appear at auctions, but when it does, we suggest making a bid, and a strong bid at that. The legendary 1987 Topps design combined with a Judge autograph makes this our second overall pick and should have a superior ROI over the long term. Plus, when you add the rarity of the card at high grades, you have a must-own card.
1. 2013 Aaron Judge Bowman Chrome Rookie Auto #BCAAJ
Here we have a card that is very similar to the previous version, but it is cheaper, making it a more appealing option for investors.
This card from Bowman features Judge as he looks to the right side of the card. He is getting ready for a pitch. The image of Judge is faded towards the bottom of the card, but it gets clearer as you get higher and higher. In the faded section, you can see Judge’s autograph written in blue ink.
The back of the card is in the same style as the other Bowman card we looked at. It has three briefings for you to look at. Each of those briefings looks at Judge’s college career and how he projects as a player.
As one of the first Aaron Judge rookie cards printed, it is no surprise that it is a good investment option. Currently, it can be bought on eBay for just under $1100 in BGS 9.5 condition. However, we expect it to rise in price in the coming years.
When it comes to investing in rookie cards, it is best to purchase them before the player becomes a star. Once they are a star player, it is difficult to purchase their cards for a reasonable price.
As you can see from many of the cards above, many Aaron Judge rookie cards are already incredibly expensive. However, we expect all of these cards to increase in value as Judge continues his incredible career. If you can afford some of the cheaper options, we highly recommend investing.
Aaron Judge might be 30 years old which is passed the prime for players in most sports, but that is not the case in baseball. Players can stay elite for a long, and as a result, we expect Judge to continue his spectacular career, which should in turn increase the value of his cards.
Another thing going for Judge is the fact that he plays for the New York Yankees. Not only are they the most popular baseball team, but they are a very good team. So, Judge’s card will increase in value simply because he is a member of the Yankees, but they could also increase if they win the World Series.
No trading card investment is a guarantee, but you can usually trust in the star players. There are not many bigger stars in baseball than Aaron Judge, so if you want to invest in baseball cards, his cards are a good place to start.