Hottest Shohei Ohtani Baseball Cards on eBay as Angels Sensation Soars

Could he not just be as good as advertised… but maybe better?

The fascinating arrival and performance of a big league unicorn from Japan who has led baseball historians to the record books has spearheaded a stampede of collectors and dealers searching for Shohei Ohtani baseball cards.   

His dual abilities as a pitcher and hitter are simply something no living fan of Major League baseball has witnessed.  Ohtani is giving us a chance to experience what those who watched Babe Ruth were seeing more than 100 years ago.

In fact, when he made his start as a pitcher on April 26 of this year, Ohtani became first person to start as a MLB home run leader since Ruth (with 19 HR on June 13, 1921).

“He’s a very dynamic hitter,” said Detroit Tigers’ manager A.J. Hinch after Ohtani belted two homers against his pitchers. “It’s must-see-TV type. You can feel the intensity in the crowd. He’s doing his thing. And he’s a very talented player. And he’s doing remarkable things on both sides of the ball at the highest level in the world.”

Dual Threat on Display

The list of “firsts” and eye-popping stats from Ohtani’s arrival is endless.  A few highlights:

The first first player in 99 years to win two games and hit three homers in the first ten games of a season.
The first player to earn a win in one game, then homer in a start as a non-pitcher in his next game since Ruth in 1921.
The first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle
The first Japanese-born player to participate in the MLB Home Run Derby

…and that’s just a sampling.

Ohtani Rookie Cards

If you’re more of a casual buyer, the Shohei Otahni rookie card search can be super confusing. As is the case with most current players, there are a lot of them to choose from–63 in all, according to Beckett’s database. 

Topps and Panini produce dozens of different products each year and obviously both makers tried to get Ohtani into as many sets as they could during his rookie season.  There are some basic staples, though.

Ohtani’s first regular issue Topps card (#700) arrived in 2018 Topps Series 2. The flagship Ohtani rookie is plentiful today and an ungraded copy won’t cost you much at all.  There are plenty of colored parallels to chase if you want.  The 1/1 Topps Superfractor created quite a buzz in September of 2018 when it sold for over $184,000. 

There was a photo variation (see image below) of the regular Series 2 rookie card in the complete boxed sets you could buy in stores, too. 

It’s another inexpensive option that’s more limited than the regular rookie card.

The Topps Angels factory team sets, which also contains a flagship-style card, is another option that’s very budget-friendly (and you get Mike Trout, too).

The Topps Chrome Ohtani (#150) and Chrome Update (#32), which featured a new photo, are two other standard issue options. The Chrome Superfractor, graded BGS 9.5, sold for $190,000 on May 27.

Other low cost Ohtani rookies include Bowman (#49); Bowman Platinum (#34); Bowman’s Best (#1); Heritage (#600); Gypsy Queen (#89); Topps Gallery (#116); Big League (#141), Topps Archives (#50); Topps Fire (#150) and Allen & Ginter (#50).  Topps Opening Day (#200) was among his earliest pack-pulled cards, with a photo from the news conference at which the Angels announced his signing.

Topps also cranked out some online exclusives, including another photo from that news conference for its NOW Off-Season set.  A total of more than 17,000 were ordered, so it’s also among the low cost options.  The 1/1 autographed Topps NOW card printed to commemorate his first MLB homer and carrying an inscription sold not long afterward for $9,500. 

There are also a couple of fun Moment of the Week cards featuring Ohtani and Ruth you can snare for just a couple of bucks.

Panini’s deal with the MLBPAproduced numerous cards that won’t cost as much as some of their Topps counterparts including Donruss, Donruss Optic, Diamond Kings, Contenders and Prizm.  Their Illusions issue is among the best looking Ohtani rookie cards of all.

Ohtani’s first American baseball card issue was actually in 2017 Bowman Chrome, which depicted him as a member of Japan’s team in the World Baseball Classic and was only available in Mega Boxes sold at Target. The 1/1 Black Refractor from that issue, graded BGS 9.5, sold for $12,995 three years ago.

Ordinary copies vary depending on grade, but very nice examples and some parallel versions can be had for well under $1,000.

Ohtani Autographed Rookie Cards

Ohtani’s autograph is more of a scribble, but that hasn’t stopped collectors from chasing his signed rookie cards.

Unlike most prospects who are in the minor leagues when their autographed cards appear in Bowman Chrome products, Ohtani’s Bowman Chrome autograph is actually a rookie card showing him in his big league uniform and it’s among the most sought after of his autographed rookie cards.  On June 6, one of the five Red Refractor versions (BGS 9.5) sold for $56,716 in an eBay auction.

His first signed cards were in 2018 Topps Heritage.  The Red Ink auto version numbered 1 of 69 was pulled by collector/Phillies relief pitcher Pat Neshek.  It sold for $6,101 not long after it was pulled from a pack. 

There were many more issued as the 2018 season played out.  Among the higher end autographed Ohtani rookie cards are in Topps Diamond Icons, which are numbered to 25 and Topps Dynasty (seven different cards, all numbered to 10).

Panini’s autograph deal pushed Ohtani autographs into high-end products like National Treasures, Immaculate and Flawless Baseball.

So which is the best Ohtani rookie card?  It’s a tough (and often subjective) call, depending on whether you like autographed cards, extremely low serial numbers or just prefer the best looking cards that capture his historic arrival in the major leagues. 

The 2017 Bowman Chrome and its various parallels got Ohtani-mania off the ground in US collecting circles but the best answer–at least right now–seems to be all of them.  If Ohtani continues to stay healthy and productive at the plate and on the mound, he will be among the most talked about players of the 21st century–and a player with appeal on at least two continents.

You can monitor the 75 most watched auctions for Shohei Ohtani rookie cards on eBay anytime via the real-time list below.

2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani RC Rookie AUTO Angels PSA 10 GEM MINT

76 bids – Price: $3,600.00 – Watchers: 124

Item #363436678117

2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani RC Auto – BGS 8.5/10 Auto

49 bids – Price: $1,084.00 – Watchers: 118

Item #284335657524

SHOHEI OHTANI BGS 9.5 2018 TOPPS CHROME UPDATE ORANGE REFRACTOR ROOKIE AUTO /25

80 bids – Price: $1,250.00 – Watchers: 109

Item #184891193226

2018 TOPPS CHROME SHOHEI OHTANI RED REFRACTOR AUTO ROOKIE #D 4/5 BGS 9.5 / 10

58 bids – Price: $15,100.00 – Watchers: 105

Item #393400691847

2018 Topps Chrome Sapphire SHOHEI OHTANI RC ROOKIE Auto BGS 9.5/10 True Gem +

39 bids – Price: $5,655.00 – Watchers: 101

Item #324671423937

2018 Exquisite Collection ’09-10 Rookie Tribute Shohei Ohtani RC AUTO ANGELS

29 bids – Price: $444.00 – Watchers: 96

Item #144074973117

2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani ROOKIE RC AUTO #BCRASO BGS 9 MINT

62 bids – Price: $1,075.00 – Watchers: 90

Item #224498780589

2018 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC /150 BGS 9.5 w/ 10 AUTO

34 bids – Price: $7,100.00 – Watchers: 86

Item #373617337076

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #150 PSA 10 GEM Angels O308

38 bids – Price: $182.50 – Watchers: 79

Item #124776425579

2018 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC AUTO /150 BGS 9.5 w/ 10

35 bids – Price: $7,100.00 – Watchers: 79

Item #363437630543

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #150 Graded PSA 10 Gem Mint

20 bids – Price: $155.50 – Watchers: 77

Item #265197155666

2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box Purple Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC /250 PSA 10

25 bids – Price: $760.00 – Watchers: 75

Item #384226016745

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #150 Graded PSA 10 Gem Mint

27 bids – Price: $338.33 – Watchers: 66

Item #144075728968

2018 National Treasures Shohei Ohtani Jumbo Material Book Auto RC /99 – BGS 8.5

18 bids – Price: $430.00 – Watchers: 65

Item #284335871197

2018 Topps Finest Red Wave Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC AUTO 4/5 BGS 9.5 w/ 10

32 bids – Price: $5,001.00 – Watchers: 65

Item #363436677037

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Auto RRS-SO PACK FRESH MINT

43 bids – Price: $562.00 – Watchers: 61

Item #384220886343

2018 Bowman Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #49 PSA 10 Angels O251

22 bids – Price: $81.00 – Watchers: 61

Item #124774963617

2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC Rookie BGS 10 PRISTINE

32 bids – Price: $327.22 – Watchers: 60

Item #384226010399

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Bowman Chrome National Prism Refractor RC Rookie BGS 10

24 bids – Price: $205.50 – Watchers: 59

Item #154495916747

2018 Topps Shohei Ohtani PSA 10 Gem Mint Rookie RC #700 Investor Lot of 10 MVP

44 bids – Price: $1,200.00 – Watchers: 58

Item #124771087625

2018 Heritage Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #600 PSA 10 Gem Mint Angels

33 bids – Price: $97.00 – Watchers: 56

Item #255016211925

SHOHEI OHTANI RC 2018 TOPPS UPDATE GOLD ROOKIE SP /2018 ANGELS RARE

16 bids – Price: $66.00 – Watchers: 55

Item #184889722465

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Bowman Rookie Card #49 PSA Graded 10 GEM Mint Angels!

38 bids – Price: $145.50 – Watchers: 54

Item #174803332207

2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC Rookie BGS 10 PRISTINE

30 bids – Price: $299.00 – Watchers: 54

Item #373617421007

shohei ohtani rookie card psa 10 bowman Chrome #1 Gem Mint

29 bids – Price: $435.00 – Watchers: 52

Item #294227228195

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Refractor Rookie Card RC #150 FCR 10 Angels N983

9 bids – Price: $81.00 – Watchers: 52

Item #124774317794

2018 Topps Update Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #US1 Angels PSA 10 (19) O206

28 bids – Price: $102.50 – Watchers: 51

Item #373617201807

SHOHEI OHTANI PSA 10 2018 TOPPS CHROME #150 PITCHING PINK REFRACTOR ROOKIE 4531

38 bids – Price: $335.00 – Watchers: 51

Item #184888150430

2014 BBM 1st Version Art Of Auto Shohei Ohtani ROOKIE RC #WB1 PSA 10 GEM MINT

20 bids – Price: $515.00 – Watchers: 51

Item #224498780558

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Refractor RC #150 BGS 9.5 TRUE GEM Angels

20 bids – Price: $212.00 – Watchers: 50

Item #363435474217

2018 Topps Heritage Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #600 PSA 10 Gem Mint O122

24 bids – Price: $105.50 – Watchers: 50

Item #373616358378

2018 Topps Finest Shohei Ohtani RC Rookie AUTO BGS 9.5 w/ 10 ” HIGH END ”

37 bids – Price: $1,950.00 – Watchers: 50

Item #384225917576

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Prism Refractor Rookie #150 BGS 10 PRISTINE O308

24 bids – Price: $610.00 – Watchers: 49

Item #373618476254

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Negative Refractor SP Rookie Rc #150 Nice Card

27 bids – Price: $83.00 – Watchers: 48

Item #324676206448

2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC Rookie BGS 10 PRISTINE

32 bids – Price: $338.33 – Watchers: 48

Item #384226017407

2018 Topps Silver Pack ’83 Chrome Gold Refractor Shohei Ohtani RC /50 PSA 9

16 bids – Price: $58.66 – Watchers: 47

Item #384226046422

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Bowman Chrome Sterling RC Rookie Refractor SGC 10 Gem Mint

23 bids – Price: $75.00 – Watchers: 46

Item #393394423031

Shohei Ohtani RC 2018 Topps Series 2 PHOTO VARIATION Rookie Short Print SP #700

16 bids – Price: $73.00 – Watchers: 45

Item #274834716483

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #150 BGS 9.5 GEM MINT Angels O308

23 bids – Price: $91.00 – Watchers: 45

Item #124776425621

2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box Shohei Otani (Ohtani) Mojo Refractor Rookie Card

17 bids – Price: $203.50 – Watchers: 45

Item #164914721152

2018 Topps Base Set Photo Variations #700 Shohei Ohtani Hand on Helmet ROOKIE RC

9 bids – Price: $224.50 – Watchers: 44

Item #133788607914

2018 Topps Update Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #US1 PSA 10 Angels O181

21 bids – Price: $88.00 – Watchers: 44

Item #373617192802

2018 Topps Update Photo Variations #US1 Shohei Ohtani Batting ROOKIE RC ANGELS

26 bids – Price: $493.00 – Watchers: 43

Item #133788607887

2018 Topps Heritage Shohei Ohtani RC Chrome #/999 Angels Rookie #600

18 bids – Price: $51.00 – Watchers: 43

Item #363435970887

SHOHEI OHTANI 2018 TOPPS UPDATE SERIES US1 RC ROOKIE BLACK 62/67 LA ANGELS

13 bids – Price: $207.50 – Watchers: 43

Item #274836621164

Lot of 10 2018 Topps Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards RC #700

20 bids – Price: $96.56 – Watchers: 42

Item #203488771503

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Topps Chrome Update Pink Refractor Rookie cards Angels

17 bids – Price: $43.00 – Watchers: 42

Item #324676228964

2019 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani XFractor Refractor Rookie Card RC FCR 9 N983

22 bids – Price: $138.17 – Watchers: 42

Item #124774307023

2018 Topps Series 2 Shohei Ohtani RC #700 Base PSA 10 Gem Mint Card Pitching

19 bids – Price: $57.00 – Watchers: 42

Item #203496361883

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Pink Refractor Rookie Card RC #150 Angels

9 bids – Price: $51.00 – Watchers: 42

Item #164916465086

2018 Bowman Chrome National Convention Gold Prism Refractors Shohei Ohtani /50

25 bids – Price: $182.50 – Watchers: 41

Item #284336820824

BJ 2018 Topps Heritage Chrome Refractor Rookie RC #600 Shohei Ohtani Angels

10 bids – Price: $56.00 – Watchers: 40

Item #194203409339

2018 TOPPS CHROME SHOHEI OHTANI ROOKIE CARD 10 LOT #150 RC ANGELS [MJ]

26 bids – Price: $306.01 – Watchers: 40

Item #265197776984

2018 Bowman #49 SHOHEI OHTANI Rookie Card – 🇯🇵💎 PSA 10 💎🇯🇵

28 bids – Price: $102.50 – Watchers: 39

Item #274830692272

2018 Topps Heritage Chrome Purple Refractors Shohei Ohtani ROOKIE RC ANGELS

14 bids – Price: $48.00 – Watchers: 39

Item #144074972821

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #150 PSA 10 Angels O539

13 bids – Price: $51.00 – Watchers: 39

Item #124778673111

2018 Topps Shohei Ohtani #700 PSA 10 Gem Mint RC Rookie Card Angels MLB 1 700 Mt

19 bids – Price: $152.50 – Watchers: 38

Item #265194294508

SHOHEI OHTANI 2018 Bowman’s Best Rookie RC Autograph BGS 9.5 Gem Mint – ANGELS

39 bids – Price: $1,586.00 – Watchers: 38

Item #384224545737

Lot of 2 2018 Bowman Gold #49 Shohei Ohtani 9/50, 41/50 ROOKIE RC ANGELS

33 bids – Price: $265.00 – Watchers: 38

Item #133788606172

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for over 35 years and a collector for even longer than that, he’s usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected]om.

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