Ichiro Suzuki (10/22/1973) made his MLB Debut on 4/2/2001 at the age of 27 years old against the Oakland Athletics and went 2 for 5 on the day.
Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Year Stats: 157 G | .350 BA | 8 HR | 69 RBI | 56 SB
His first year in the majors may have been his best as he batted a mind-blowing .350, won the AL MVP, and Rookie of the Year (the only other player to win both the MVP and ROY was Fred Lynn in 1975).
He played most of his MLB career with the Seattle Mariners and made the playoffs twice (once with the Mariners and once with the Yankees).
Imagine how sick his MLB career numbers would have been having he entered the league at the age of 19 instead of 27.
Having said that he still had a total of 3,089 hits and 1,420 runs during his 19 year MLB career. His career average was a sick .311 (what was this guy eating for breakfast?!).
HIS BEST CARDS
Let’s check out the top Suzuki rookie cards for investment purposes.
2001 Ichiro Suzuki SP Authentic RC /1250 #91
The Ichiro SP Authentic RC is our top pick when it comes to Ichiro rookie cards in terms of ROI (not to mention the card design is on point).
Numbered #91 only 1,250 of these cards were printed. The name reads “Ichiro” which is printed at the center bottom with the SP Authentic logo slabbed on the middle right hand side. The word “FUTURE WATCH” is printed at the top center.
The photo depicts Ichiro hurling the ball back into the infield while decked out in the dark blue Mariners jersey with a gold/yellow-looking asterisk in the backdrop.
2001 Ichiro Suzuki SPx Signed Jersey Patch Auto RC #150
The 2001 Ichiro SPx Signed Jersey card is another heavy-hitting Suzuki rookie card that is right up there with the SP Auth in terms of ROI and comes with a hefty price tag.
Numbered #150 the card provides a game-worn patch placed in the dead center of the card and a Suzuki autograph just below the patch.
Top Investment: Albert Pujols Rookie Card
His name is just below the auto to the left and the SP Logo is depicted towards the top right corner.
The photo of Ichiro is simple in nature as it shows Ichiro removing his batting gloves after a slap gap double.
2001 Ichiro Suzuki Bowman Chrome Refractor RC #351
Bowman is appearing on our list and hitting hard with the 2001 Bowman Chrome Refractor rookie card.
This Bowman card is the only Ichiro rookie card on our list that depicts him at the plate ready to slap one down the third baseline. Numbered #351 his name is printed at the bottom of the card in yellow ink with Seattle Marines underneath and his position (OF) behind his name. The Bowman Chrome RC is placed in the top right-hand corner.
SOLID CARD and a SOLID ROI.
2001 Ichiro Suzuki Topps/Topps Chrome Traded RC #726/#T266
Please note the 2001 Topps Ichiro Suzuki rookie card and the 2001 Topps Chrome Traded Suzuki RC are pretty much the same cards besides a few slight differences.
The Ichiro Topps rookie card is an ideal pick for collectors looking to profit from Ichiro rookie cards without spending an arm and a leg.
Numbered #726 the card shows Suzuki tossing the baseball around in what looks like pregame warm-ups.
His name is printed at the bottom of the Topps card just off-center to the right while the Seattle Mariners logo is depicted in the bottom left-hand corner and the words “rookie card” are shown in gold above his name. The Topps 50th Year Logo is gold in color and is placed in the top left-hand corner.
The simple nature of the card is what we really dig (but not so simple it’s boring… yes it walks that tight line).
2001 Ichiro Suzuki Upper Deck Victory RC #564
The final Suzuki rookie card on our list is from Upper Deck and is numbered #564.
Ichiro is running like he is being chased by the BIG BAD Wolf in what we imagine is a successful stolen base attempt… SAFE! The look on his face is priceless and shows just how hard Ichiro played the game.
The word “Rookie 2001” is placed towards the bottom of the card in big, white, bold letters while his name is placed in the bottom left-hand corner along with his position (OF). The word victory is slabbed in the top right-hand corner in red (not really sure what the word Victory being shown is all about but we bet a reader will enlighten us in the comments section.
Another budget-friendly Suzuki rookie card that won’t cost an arm and a leg (even at high grades).
Other Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Cards To Consider
While this card didn’t quite make our list of the top five mentioned above, it’s still a strong option worth looking at for many investors.
2000 Ichiro Suzuki Upper Deck Ovation #41
This card shown above is another Ichiro Suzuki rookie card that should be of interest to investors.
It has an exciting design with baseball seams on either side of an image of Ichiro, who is mid-swing.
This one pictured above is a Japanese version which helps the value even more and makes it more of a collector’s item and a stronger investment.
Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Ichiro Suzuki RCs are the 2001 SP Authentic RC /1250 #91 and the 2001 SPX Patch Jersey Auto RPA RC.
“Ichiro rookie cards seem to be a tad undervalued based on his career numbers which are absolutely mind-numbing (at the age of 42 he batted .291!)”
- 1993 BBM Japan Ichiro Suzuki RC #239
- 1997 Cardwon Time People Ichiro Suzuki RC
- 2001 Victory Ichiro Suzuki RC #564
- 2001 Topps Traded Albert Pujols Ichiro Suzuki RC #T99
- 2001 Topps Chrome Traded Ichiro Suzuki RC #T266
- 2001 Topps RC #726
- 2001 ETopps Refractor Ichiro Suzuki RC #4661
- 2001 Fleer Tradition Ichiro Suzuki RC #452
- 2001 Fleer Authority Ichiro Suzuki RC #101
- 2001 Fleer Premium Ichiro Suzuki RC #231
- 2001 Fleer Platinum Ichiro Suzuki RC #511
- 2001 Fleer Focus Ichiro Suzuki RC #247
- 2001 Fleer Futures RC /2499 #230
- 2001 Fleer Legacy Auto Ichiro Suzuki RC #101
- 2001 Upper Deck Ichiro Suzuki RC #271
- 2001 Upper Deck Vintage Ichiro Suzuki RC #346
- 2001 UDA Jumbo Limited Edition Ichiro Suzuki RC #/2001
- 2001 Bowman Chrome Refractor Ichiro Suzuki RC #351
- 2001 Bowman Draft Picks Ichiro Suzuki RC #84
- 2001 Bowman Rookie Card Set Break Ichiro Suzuki RC #BDP84
- 2001 Bowman’s Best Ichiro Suzuki RC #162
- 2001 Donruss Ichiro Suzuki RC #R104
- 2001 Donruss Class of 2001 Rookie Team Ichiro Suzuki RC #RT7
- 2002 Topps All-star Rookie 2001 Ichiro Suzuki RC #225
As we alluded to earlier, we feel Ichiro’s rookie cards are somewhat undervalued based on how great of a career this guy had.
- Investment Rating: Strong Buy (4.7 out of 5)
- Risk Anaylsis: Low Risk/Moderate to High Return
- Ownership Disclosure: None
- Top Ichiro Rookie Card: 2001 SP Authentic RC #91
Maybe the fact that he didn’t have much playoff success, combined with not entering the league until age 27 has hurt the overall value.
Whatever the case we feel, buying a few Suzuki rookie cards is smart. If you have a large budget opt for the SP Authentic or the SPx Signed Jersey cards. If you have a smaller budget, consider the 2001 Topps RC #726 (no matter the card try to buy a high grade i.e. PSA 10, PSA 9, SGC 10, or BGS 9.5).