Barry Bonds (7/24/64) was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 6th overall pick in the 1985 MLB June Amateur Draft and is one of the best-known left fielders of all time, playing for the Pirates and the Giants over 22 seasons.
A 14-time All-Star, his stats, and numbers are legendary among baseball fans. Bonds was the home run king, he’s the all-time leader in walks, and owns a career 1.051 OPS.
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Looking at the stats below it’s no wonder Barry Bonds rookie cards are valued in the thousands (actually they should be worth more but we will get to that later). His last few seasons in the league were actually some of his best.
Barry Bonds Final Season Stats: 126 games | .276 avg. | 28 HR | 66 RBIs | 5 SB | 1.045
Barry Bonds Rookie Year Stats: 113 games | .223 avg. | 16 HR | 48 RBIs | 36 SB | .746 OPS
Unfortunately in November of 2007, Barry Bonds was indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in regards to the BALCO investigation (Barry Bonds RCs sank in value). The case against Bonds stated he lied under oath about his alleged use of steroids. Now everyone in baseball knew this Bonds was a juicer BUT so were a lot of other players at the time.
Despite controversies regarding steroid use, his rookie cards are still some of the more popular in the hobby, and the Giants actually retired his number 25 shirt following his retirement (many close to the organization predicted this would never happen).
Cool Fact: Bonds was originally drafted by the San Fransico Giants with the 39th pick in the 2nd round of the 1982 MBL Draft. Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 2nd round of the 1982 MLB June Amateur Draft from Junipero Serra HS (San Mateo, CA)
We’ve listed his best rookie cards to look out for, as well as providing an investment outlook for the near future.
The 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Barry Bonds Rookie Card is one of the most undervalued cards in all of sport and would be worth triple the amount (maybe more) if he had not allegedly used PEDs.
This is one of the most recognizable cards in the hobby as it features an image of Bonds with a bat in hand, the classic 1980’s Pirates cap (who doesn’t love this hat), with a crisp black, white and yellow motif to fit his Pirates jersey.
Topps Tiffany versions were sold in a limited number, offering collectors higher quality cards compared to the base version. As with many of the others on this list, a gem mint version will easily sell for four figures.
They should be a good investment considering they were going for $400 dollars just over a decade ago. When he breaks into the Baseball Hall of Fame (and he eventually will) this card will pop.
Pretty much the same exact card as the above except more of them were produced.
The card has the exact same bright, bold yellow “Pirates” lettering across the top is instantly recognizable to collectors.
Bonds’ Topps Tiffany card has a wood effect along the border, with an image of the player after a clean hit. The reverse has detailed stats about his ‘85/’86 seasons, as well as mentioning that he majored in Criminal Justice.
It’s another interesting option if you’re looking at cheaper Bonds rookie cards, although gem mint versions have picked up in value over recent years. A PSA 10 version is showing a good trajectory in the mid to long-term.
Vintage O-Pee-Chee cards are often desirable, and Bonds’ 1987 version is no different. The image shows Bonds smashing a shot into the sky, with a Pittsburgh Pirates logo prominently featured.
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O-Pee-Chee released Canadian alternatives to many popular Topps cards (Pete Alonso Topps Polar Bear Card), and this one is the most expensive Bonds rookie card that wasn’t released in error. The border makes it especially difficult to find this card in pristine condition, which is one of the main reasons why it’s so expensive at higher grades.
Another Bonds rookie card with that retro Pirates baseball cap (it somewhat resembles a conductor hat but we love it!).
The card also features another close-up picture of Barry which makes us wonder if he was vain enough to ask for these in some of his early rookie card photo shoots.
1986 Barry Bonds Donruss Rookies RC #11
Another close-up head-shot of Bonds on one of his early cards… image that 😉
The card is numbered #11 and again features what we are now calling the Pirates conductors hat… maybe he requested to wear this as well! Either way a nice Barry Bonds rookie card at an affordable price.
1987 Barry Bonds Classic Travel Update Green Back RC #113
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We’ll start off with an affordable card, that has a great image and an eye-catching border. The 1987 Classic Travel Update features Bonds in mid-sprint, and as you might have guessed from the name, the back is green. You’ll also find basic stats on the reverse, along with five classic baseball questions.
Of the two versions to look out for, the Green Back is notably more valuable than the Yellow Back. A gem mint version of the latter is worth roughly $40, while the Green can go for over $400.
1987 Barry Bonds Fleer Hottest Stars Rookie Card #5
This Bonds rookie card is rather unique looking as it shows Bonds with a canary yellow batting hat on while looking off into the distance with a somewhat dazed look on his face.
The card is numbered #5 and the back simply shows his stats to go along with his vital statistics (i.e. height, weight).
1987 Donruss Opening Day (Dark Jersey-Johnny Ray) Barry Bonds Error Card #163
Here is one of the better-known error baseball cards ever printed (by mistake). Donruss produced the Opening Day set featuring players from their first game of the 1987 season.
However, an error is the main reason why this card is one of the most expensive Bonds rookie options, as the image actually shows Johnny Ray on the front.
The mistake was discovered fairly quickly, so it’s one of the rarest available on our list. It’s also pricey, as a PSA 9 will go into the 4 figures. If you’re only after gem mint, three PSA 10s (read PSA vs BGS) sold in 2018 for between $3,400 and $4,000.
The prices are slightly inflated, but it’s hard to find a better-known error card. It’s ironic that the most expensive Barry Bonds card doesn’t actually feature the player, but that is typical when you’re looking at high-end error cards. It’s likely to remain as his most valuable rookie card for the foreseeable future, even if it’s just for the story.
Barry Bonds Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Barry Bonds rookie card is the 1987 O-Pee-Chee Barry Bonds rookie card #320 followed by the 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Barry Bonds RC #11T.
Even with Barry not being in the Baseball Hall of Fame, his rookie cards are still increasing in value at a decent rate. Like any card, the exact price will depend on a variety of factors. If you have a Bonds rookie card and would like an estimate on how much the card might be worth please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (include card photos).
Barry Bond’s most typical baseball card up for auction on eBay (on average) is the 1987 Topps Barry Bonds RC #320 and the 1986 Barry Bonds Topps Traded RC #11.
Barry Bonds Baseball Card Price Guide
Here we will keep an updated price guide to reflect the average value of his top 5 rookie cards. Please note we will only use PSA as BGS can greatly differ based on sub-grades.
The average value will be based on the last 10 sales unless otherwise noted.
If you’re a big Barry Bonds baseball card investor you may want to bookmark this page for quick access.
1986 Topps Traded Tiffany #11T
- PSA 10: $16,000
- PSA 9: $825.00
1986 Topps Traded #11T
- PSA 10: $823
- PSA 9: $38
1987 Topps Tiffany #320
- PSA 10: $1040
- PSA 9: $66
Key Barry Bonds Baseball Cards
- 1993 Topps Finest All Star Refractor Barry Bonds Giants #103
- 1996 Select Certified Mirror Barry Bonds #31
- 1996 Pinnacle Select Certified Barry Bonds Giants Mirror Gold #31
- 1999 Barry Bonds Fleer Skybox EX E-X Essential Credentials #24
- 1999 Barry Bonds Skybox Molten Metal Fusion Titanium #22F
- 2016 Panini Flawless Greats Sapphire Barry Bonds #2
- 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Barry Bonds Autograph #GQA-BB
Barry Bonds Rookie Card Checklist
- 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Barry Bonds RC #11T
- 1986 Topps Traded Rookie Card Barry Bonds RC #11T
- 1986 Donruss Rookies Barry Bonds RC #11
- 1986 Fleer Update Barry Bonds RC #14
- 1987 Topps Traded Barry Bonds RC #320
- 1987 O-Pee-Chee Barry Bonds RC #320
- 1987 Leaf Rookie Pirates Barry Bonds RC #219
- 1987 Classic Travel Update Green Back Rookie Barry Bonds RC #113
- 1987 Fleer Hottest Stars Barry Bonds RC #5
- 1987 Fleer Glossy Barry Bonds RC #604
- 1987 Barry Bonds Donruss Opening Day Barry Bonds RC #163 (error/correct)
- 1987 Toys “R” Us Rookies Barry Bonds RC #4
Barry Bonds Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide and Investment Outlook
Bonds’ rookie cards are always going to be collectible, especially as we start to look back on his career through a nostalgic lens. Problems from the past tend to fade away in time, and he’s still well-liked.
Investment Rating: Buy (4.8 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best Barry Bonds Rookie Card: 1986 Topps Tiffany RC
While his rookie cards do hail from the junk wax era, there are still a number of diamonds amongst the rough, especially when you look at some of the rarer options available. It’s important to consider the Hall of Fame issues that have impacted his career post-MLB. However, support for Bonds’ claim has increased every year following his retirement, and it seems likely that he will eventually find his way into the Hall of Fame.
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Bonds will always be an icon and would be considered the best player to ever step up to the plate of not for the PED issue.
As the years pass fans, the media and even the MLB are seemingly becoming more empathic in regards to the steroids era. We believe Barry Bonds will eventually be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and his rookie cards are one of the best investments in the hobby.
How much is a Barry Bonds baseball card worth?
A Barry Bonds baseball card can be worth a few hundred or tens of thousands of dollars depending on the card and grade. Email email@example.com to receive a free estimated value of your Barry Bonds baseball card.
What Barry Bonds cards are worth money?
The Barry Bonds cards worth the most money are the 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany #11T, 1987 O-Pee-Chee RC #320, and the ultra-rare 1998 Donruss Crusade Red Barry Bonds Call To Arms /25 baseball card.
What Mark McGwire baseball cards are worth money?
The most expensive Mark McGwire baseball card worth the most money is the 1985 Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire rookie card.