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One of the most marketable players in baseball, Justin Verlander has made no plans to retire as of yet.
Verlander was the AL Rookie of the Year and won a World Series in 2017 with the Astros.
His cards were already relatively expensive to begin with as he was the second overall pick in 2004, although prices really took off as he hit the ground running with multiple record-breaking displays.
Here are 10 of the greatest Justin Verlander cards of all time, with an eye on any that have the potential to produce a good ROI in the future.
10 Greatest Justin Verlander Cards of All-Time
This list of the greatest Justin Verlander cards is dominated by RCs, and you’ll find nothing post-2010.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, starting back in 2003.
#10. 2003 Justin Verlander Upper Deck USA Baseball XRC (/250)
The first card to make the list is an XRC which was released a couple of years before the others.
It’s contained in a 27-card set which features the US National Baseball team, as Verlander pitched for the USA in 2003 and helped them to win a silver medal in the Pan American Games.
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(The result was one of the reasons why he was the second overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers.)
Along with an image of the pitcher and a Team USA logo, there’s a large auto along the bottom.
#9. 2005 Justin Verlander Bowman Heritage RC #220
The first Verlander RC to make the list is found in 2005 Bowman Heritage sets.
The design is based on the 1951 Bowman collection, so there’s a simple profile shot of the player, along with a plain black-and-white name tag at the bottom. A ‘Bowman Heritage First Year’ logo can be found in the top left corner.
Compared to many of the others on this list, it’s an affordable entry-level Verlander RC, even when looking at gem mint graded copies.
It’s likely to shoot up in price when he inevitably retires.
#8. 2005 Justin Verlander Bowman Sterling RC #BS-JV
On paper, the 2005 Bowman Sterling Verlander card has it all. Authentic player-worn memorabilia, and a large certified autograph at the bottom.
However, it’s often disregarded in favor of more popular RC options, and that’s reflected in the overall asking price.
It’s slightly cluttered, while the lack of a serial number is another explanation for lower values.
The image of Verlander is tiny, and the same goes for the jersey patch. It might not be the most popular card, but it’s another decent entry-level investment piece.
#7. 2006 Justin Verlander Topps ’52 Signatures RC #52S-JV
Another RC that is meant to evoke memories of the past, the 2006 Topps ‘52 collection celebrates their most prestigious set.
In practice, this means that Verlander is included in a large profile shot, looking off-camera with his glove clasped in his hands.
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It has a similar name tag to the ‘52 Topps set, with one major difference. Unlike Mickey Mantle and co, the autograph is hand-signed, instead of being a facsimile copy.
The crisp golden background also gives it the appearance of being a parallel, even if it’s only a base card.
Prices are slowly creeping up by this point, and it should be seen as a mid-level Verlander RC.
#6. 2005 Justin Verlander SP Authentic RC #137
All 2005 SP Update Series cards are autographed and serial-numbered to 185 copies, and this Verlander RC is no different.
While it might not be the rarest RC with a signature attached, it’s still pricey when looking at gem mint graded copies.
It’s another worth keeping an eye on with retirement looming.
#5. 2006 Justin Verlander Topps Chrome RC #309
Topps dominates the top five, and where better to start than Verlander’s 2006 Chrome RC?
If you take a closer look, you’ll see that it’s the same image as the one used in the 2006 Topps ’52 Signatures set, although it’s zoomed out.
This allows for a clear view of the fields in the background, while it has a vintage RC logo at the bottom.
As with any Topps Chrome Baseball card, colored refractor parallels are exceptionally expensive.
The Red Refractor seems to offer the best balance of value and affordability, numbered to 90 copies.
2006 Justin Verlander Topps Chrome Parallels: Refractors, X-Fractor, Blue, Black (/549), Red (/90), Superfractor (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
#4. 2005 Justin Verlander Topps RC #677
This early Verlander Topps RC was released as part of a subset for “2005 First Year” players, the majority of which were drafted the season before.
The card features a simple profile shot of the player, along with a large ‘Draft Pick’ logo at the top. (You’ll also find a small chrome sentence celebrating; “54 Years of Collecting” for the company.)
It’s arguably the pick of the bunch when looking at base cards, and there are also colored parallels, including a gold version numbered to the year of release.
2005 Justin Verlander Topps Parallels: 1st Edition (HTA only), Gold (/2005), Black (/54)
#3. 2006 Justin Verlander Topps RC #641
Don’t let the lack of an auto put you off the 2006 Topps Chrome RC if you’re looking for affordable Verlander cards.
It might not be wrapped in chrome, but it’s a flagship Verlander rookie with graded versions that sell for a fraction of the price compared to the cards seen above and below.
The card also shares the same image as the Topps Chrome release from the same year.)
2006 Justin Verlander Topps Chrome Parallels: Refractor, X-Fractor, Blue Refractor, Black Refractor (/549), Red Refractor (/90), Superfractor (1/1), Printing Plates (1/1)
#2. 2005 Justin Verlander Topps Chrome RC #242
Let’s list the facts.
This is a 2005 Verlander RC, with auto on the bottom, boosted by the power of the Topps brand, and it’s wrapped in a sleek chrome finish.
It’s a wonder this card didn’t take the top spot, and it’s a great contender for potential ROI in the future.
Parallel versions aren’t as plentiful as they would be with a modern release, so there are numbered black, red, and gold refractors, as well as base versions limited to 500 copies.
2005 Justin Verlander Topps Chrome Parallels: Refractors (/500), Black Refractors (/200), Red X-fractors (/25), Gold Superfractors (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
#1A. 2005 Justin Verlander Bowman Chrome RC #331
Rather than Topps, it’s Verlander’s 2005 Bowman Chrome RC which takes the number one spot on this list.
Bowman Chrome autos tend to be preferred by collectors who are interested in modern rookie and prospect cards.
The base card is reasonably valuable if it’s a graded gem mint copy, but the real money is found within numbered refractor parallels.
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2005 Justin Verlander Bowman Chrome Parallels: Refractors (/500), X-fractors (/225), Blue Refractors (/150), Gold Refractors (/50), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)
#1. 2005 Justin Verlander Upper Deck Update Autograph RC /75 #180
Good luck getting your hands on this baby. We could barely find a photo, more less obtain the actual card for our portfolio.
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Justin Verlander Baseball Card Value
10 Greatest Justin Verlander Cards: Summary
Verlander was always destined to be a star, and his top cards are priced accordingly.
In that respect, it’s hard to look past the 2005-06 releases, especially if you’re basing his ‘greatest’ cards solely on the potential for profit in the future.
There will always be cards with lower print runs released in later years, but history suggests that it’s better to stick with the tried and tested formula of securing future HoF RCs before they take off for good.
He’s considered to be a lock for the Hall of Fame, if and when he decides to retire sometime over the next decade.
The pitcher has won it all over the years and added a second Cy Young award in 2019 to his impressive legacy. He also missed the 2020 season following injury, which is another reason why his cards are cheaper than they could be.
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Verlander will be back in the mix soon enough, and it’ll serve as another reminder for investors and collectors.
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