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Edgar Martinez is a former professional baseball player and coach. He had a tremendous career with the Seattle Mariners. His performances earned his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.
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Martinez was born into a Puerto Rican family and fell in love with baseball after watching Roberto Clemente in the 1971 World Series. However, he was not a sought-after prospect.
Many scouts saw him play because he played with his cousin Carmelo Martinez, but they were not impressed with Edgar. As a result, he was not drafted.
However, his semi-professional team recommended that he try out for the Seattle Mariners. After a long night working in the factory, he almost missed the tryout, but they liked what they saw and signed him to a contract on December 12th, 1982.
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After several years in the minor leagues, Edgar Martinez made his MLB debut on September 12, 1987. He went on to play 13 games that season, batting .372.
In 1992, Martinez made his first all-star team and led the league in batting average. Unfortunately, the next two years of his career were hindered by injuries.
However, once he returned healthily, Martinez made six more all-star teams from 1995 to 2003. Martinez won the Silver Slugger Award 5 times from 1992 to 2003.
When Martinez retired in 2004, he had seven all-star appearances, five Silver Slugger awards, and two batting championships.
Additionally, he is one of 18 MLB players to record a battering average of .300, an on-base percentage of .400, and a slugging percentage of .500 in 5000 or more plate appearances.
Top Rookie Cards
Like most players of his era, Edgar Martinez does not have as many rookie cards as players today. However, he played late enough to have a few notable rookie cards for us to look at.
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We will be looking at our three favorite Edgar Martinez rookie cards. These are some attractive investment options, and one of them has a pretty fun story attached to it.
1988 Fleer Edgar Martinez RC #378
The first Edgar Martinez rookie card we will look at today is from Fleer. Fleer is a respected trading card company in the world of sports, so it should not be a surprise to see one of their cards at the top of our list.
This card holds decent value as it is the most sought-after Edgar Martinez rookie card. It features Martinez in his while Mariners uniform while sitting in the dugout. There is a blue background with a white border.
This card stands out because it comes with an autograph across the front. The autograph was written in a blue sharpie. The back of the card features Martinez’s stats throughout his career in the minor leagues from 1983 to 1987.
1988 Donruss Rookies Edgar Martinez #36
We mentioned above that one of the Edgar Martinez rookie cards we would be looking at has an interesting story attached to it. Well, here is the card. You might think this looks like an ordinary card, and while that is true, it has one grievous error.
This is an Edgar Martinez rookie card, but it does not feature Edgar Martinez. The player you are looking at is Edwin Nunez, a reliever for the Mariners at the time.
Both players had large bushy mustaches at the time, and as a result, there was some confusion. Neither player was prominent or highly regarded at the time, so it is somewhat understandable that they made this mistake.
After all, they did not have Google to look up what every player looked like. Still, it is a pretty bad mistake. Since this card has a unique story, it is an exciting investment option.
1989 Score Edgar Martinez RC #637
The final rookie card we are looking at today is from Score. Here you can see Martinez swing the bat in his grey Mariners uniform. His name and team are written across the bottom, and you can see the year and Score logo at the top of the card.
The back of the card has a long blurb about his background as a player and his minor-league success. This card is a solid option for investing in a low-cost card.
Edgar Martinez Rookie Card Value
The 1988 Fleer card can be purchased for less than $10 if it is not graded. However, when it is in perfect condition, it can sell for over $500.
Ungraded copies of the other two cards also sell for a few dollars. However, near-mint copies of the 1989 Scorecard sell for more than the 1988 Donruss card. This is likely because the Donruss card has an error. Near-mint copies of the Donruss card sell for over $10, whereas the Scorecard sells for over $30 in perfect condition.
Despite being retired for over 15 years, we believe Edgar Martinez’s cards are solid investment options. He was an elite player, but his cards have not reached the value of other elite baseball players.
However, the fact that Martinez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame indicates that the value of his cards could rise in the coming years. Edgar Martinez also had his number 11 retired by the Mariners, which should contribute to the value of his rookie cards.
Even if they do not rise in value, they are low-risk options that can be purchased for cheap prices. Even the near-mint copies are relatively inexpensive.
- Investment Rating: Solid Buy (3.7 out of 5)
- Risk / Return Analysis: Low Risk / Medium Return
- Ownership Disclosure: None