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David “Big Papi” Ortiz (11/18/75) is a former designated hitter and first baseman who played for 20 seasons (16 with the Boston Red Sox and 4 with the Minnesota Twins) until his retirement in 2016.
Article Summary: We’ve sifted through recent auction data to bring you a list with three of the best David Ortiz/Arias rookie cards to keep an eye out for.
David Ortiz Rookie Year Stats: 86 games, 9 homers, .277 batting average, .817 ops, and 46 RBIs.
He won the World Series three times, had 541 total homers, a lifetime average of .286, and is a 10-time All-Star and a World Series MVP… needless to say, this guy should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Ortiz is currently ranked 17th in the all-time MLB Home Runs list and is a 7-time silver slugger. The number of home runs could have been even higher, had he not spent five difficult years with the Minnesota Twins during his early career.
A clutch hitter with incredible power, Ortiz’s legacy was tainted slightly by accusations of steroid abuse, but he’s still one of the biggest names in the business and helped the Red Sox to their first World Series Championship in 86 years in 2004.
Let us check out his top-rated rookie cards from an ROI standpoint. We also prepared a buyer’s guide and investment outlook to give you a better idea of whether his cards are a worthy investment and worth your dime.
1997 David Arias Ortiz Fleer Tiffany RC #512
One of the best-known misprints of all time, the 1997 Fleer incorrectly names the player as ‘David Arias’. (It’s his real surname, but he prefers to go by Ortiz.) The image shows him staring down the camera, with the bat in hand.
This along with the standard non-tiffany Ortiz rookie cards are our favorite for investment purposes and own around a dozen of them combined (and are looking to buy more when the price is right).
His most popular card in terms of bids, a PSA 10 (Read: PSA Grading or Beckett Grading or SGC Grading) will easily sell for $150. There’s also a rarer Tiffany parallel which is even more valuable. The quote on the back reads;
“One of the most feared sluggers in all of minor-league baseball last season, David’s eight intentional walks ranked third among Single-A players. The Twins are looking for his potent bat to eventually inflict damage in the Metrodome.”
1997 David Ortiz Fleer Ultra RC #518
As with the other Fleer card listed above, the Ultra lists him as ‘David Arias’. Along with being produced on higher quality card stock compared to the normal Fleer, it comes with Gold Medallion and Platinum Medallion parallels.
“As well as being rarer, the Gold and Platinum versions also have a different image on the front, as Ortiz props the bat over his shoulders.”
The reverse doesn’t concern itself with player info, opting for a list of batting stats, as well as another, different image of Ortiz in motion.
1997 David Oritz Donruss Signature Series Autograph /3900 RC
He might have missed the autograph box at the bottom with his signature, but at least the 1997 Donruss manages to get his name right. The image features Ortiz primed and ready to swing, with a colored background.
Along with 3,900 red base cards, there are parallel versions including Millennium Green (1,000) and Century Blue (100). The quote on the reverse reads;
Trending: Best Justin Herbert RC To Buy Now
“A powerful left-handed hitter, David raced through the Twins system in 1997, beginning in Class-A Fort Myers and ending up on the Twins roster in September. After being called up, David batted .327in 15 games, which should give him a shot at the Twins’ first base job in ‘98. He hit .320 with 54 extra-base hits and 93 RBIs in Class-A Midwest League play”.
MUST HAVE GOATS
David Ortiz Rookie Card Checklist
Here’s a checklist with Ortiz’s rookie cards from 1997, along with a rare prospect option.
- 1997 Best David Ortiz #74
- 1997 Donruss Signatures Millenium Marks /1000 RC
- 1997 Best Florida State League Top Prospects #12
- 1997 Donruss Signature Series Autograph /3900 #94
- 1997 Flair Showcase Row 2 Wave of the Future RC #11
- 1997 Fleer #512 (David Arias)
- 1997 Fleer Ultra #518 (David Arias)
- 1997 Fort Myers Miracle #22
David Ortiz Prospect cards
- 1996 Best Midwest League All-Stars David Arias #2
David Ortiz Rookie Card Value
The most expensive David Ortiz rookie card is the 1997 David Arias Ortiz Fleer Tiffany RC #512 and the 1997 Ultra RC #518.
Ortiz was great until his final year in which he slugged a mind-blowing 38 homer runs and batted .315 top go along with 127 RBIs… that is truly amazing as most great ballplayers fail at the end of their career and lose face to an extent (NOT ORTIZ!)
If you would like us to provide an estimate of your David Ortiz rookie card please email us as many pictures as you can to firstname.lastname@example.org (the more pictures the better).
David Ortiz Rookie Card: Buyers Guide and Investment Outlook
[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”0oqvs57cfy” question=”Do you think David Ortiz was on the “JUICE”?” opened=”1″]Steroid accusations[/wpdiscuz-feedback] are one likely cause for prices being slightly lower than they could be, but he’s still a World Series MVP, and he’s the current holder of a number of different Red Sox records. It also means that there’s good scope for improvement in the future.
Investment Rating: Buy (4.5 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best David Ortiz Rookie Card: 1997 Ultra RC #518 (BUY ON EBAY)
His personal life is interesting, which should help to keep prices high. For example, Ortiz was shot in the torso following an alleged case of mistaken identity while at a bar in the Dominican Republic in 2019, so it’s not a stretch to say that he’s lucky to be alive.
Trending: Best Roger Clemens Rookie Cards[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”i7oz9xxs8h” question=”Do you think David Ortiz is a first ballot Hall of Famer?” opened=”0″]David Ortiz Hall of Fame eligibility[/wpdiscuz-feedback] will be in 2022 and is an absolute lock to get in that year in our opinion and we would be stunned if he isn’t voted in (maybe even unanimously).
On a different note, he gave a passionate speech in Boston after they suffered a terrorist attack in 2013, which is one of many reasons why he’s so respected so highly. No self-respecting collector should miss out on owning a Big Papi rookie card or five!