Mark McGwire (10/1/63) is a former first baseman who featured for the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals as a 12-time All-Star, going on to coach the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres as well as the Cardinals.
He is best known for breaking the Roger Maris single-season home run record in 1998. McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa were human highlight reels during the late 1990s and early 2000s buy many fans suspected help for a foreign substance in hitting these homers.
Although Sosa and Bonds never officially admitted to using PEDs McGwire did and quietly made his way back into the MLB while Sosa and Bonds are still on the outs (in particular Sosa).
Top Mark McGwire Rookie Cards
We’ve prepared a Mark McGwire rookie card checklist, as well as three popular options and an investment outlook for the next few years.
1985 Mark McGwire Topps RC Team USA RC #401
The base card is the most expensive Mark McGwire rookie card option by a wide margin, although this 1985 Topps card also has a rarer Tiffany edition.
There’s a large Mark McGwire photo on the front (very 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck) picture him with a goofy-ass grin and the bat hung over his right shoulder.
Card Notes: Numbered #401 the back reads “Mark’s 31 Homers in 1984 broke his own USC record. The most feared power-hitter in college ball, he was All-Pacific-10 pick, 1983 & 1984.”
Our Take: This is the McGwire rookie card you want to have if you can afford it… we feel this card could very well double in value at high grades in the next 4 months (buy PSA 10 and 9 grades).
1987 Mark McGwire Topps Tiffany RC #366
With no 1986 card to speak of, the next best thing is the Tiffany version of his 1987 Topps. It’s more affordable than 1985, coming in at roughly $150 for a gem mint version.
Card Info: Numbered #366 the back of the card reads; “Mark batted .302 with 53 HR and 147 RBI in 3 seasons at USC. Played on 1984 U.S. Olympic Team”.
Read More… Barry Bonds Rookie Cards are extremely undervalued
Our Take: A good option for those who can’t afford or can’t get a good deal on the McGwire USA rookie card. Honestly, we like the looks of this card more… we have always been BIG fans of the 87′ Topps wood border!
1987 Mark McGwire Donruss Rated Rookie Card #46
Another SOLID McGwire rookie card and honestly maybe our favorite.
Whenever we see that classic “Rated Rookie” stamp on a card we always smile… brings us back to youthful days long gone but not forgotten.
Posing for the photo before a game, the card shows McGwire with the bat and a super annoyed yet dull look on his face… he seems to be screaming on the inside “get these people out of here so I can go drink my protein drink wink wink”.
The 1987 Mark McGwire Donruss Rated Rookie Card is a gorgeous card that brings back memories of a time more free and easy
Numbered #46 “Of his first 7 major league hits 3 were home runs and 1 was a double… figures as the A’s regular Third Baseman in 87’s after a standout season in Tacoma… Batted .318 with 13 HR and 59 RBI at Tacoma in 86′ to warrant a late seasons call up…”
Must Read: Best Sports Cards To Buy Now and increase your sports card investing ROI
1982 Mark McGwire Anchorage Glacier Pilots Rookie Card
It definitely came out towards the end of the decade, but McGwire’s 1982 Anchorage Glacier Pilots is still a popular choice for collectors.
Card Info: No Number and the back displays a range of stats i.e. 6’5, 215, and reads; “Mark threw a no-hitter against Laramie, Wyoming in American Legion Tournament finals”.
Our Take: A boring card with a boring photo but something about it drags us in and we actually bought a PSA 10 a few weeks ago. We’re not saying you should go out and buy a bunch of McGwire Pilots cards but one for your collection will do nicely with the upcoming doc.
Other Mark McGwire Rookie Cards
This card didn’t quite make our top three but it still may be of interest to some collectors.
1987 Fleer Update #U-76 Mark McGwire RC
This card comes from the set update from Fleer during the 1987 season. McGwire has a big smile on his face and looks to be ready to hit some long bombs.
The blue borders are the first thing that stands out and they immediately catch the eye. Unfortunately, they are also prone to chipping and may make it difficult to find in higher conditions.
Mark McGwire Rookie Card Value
McGwire rookie cards did have a slight uptick upon the release of the ESPN documentary featuring him and Sammy Sosa which is set to drop June 14 entitled “Long Gone Summer” but not nearly the uptick we thought it would have.
If you have a McGwire rookie card and would like us to provide an estimated value of the card please send 2 pictures (at minimum) to email@example.com.
Mark McGwire Rookie Card Checklist
- 1982 Anchorage Glacier Pilots
- 1985 Topps #401 (Team USA Baseball Card)
- 1987 Donruss Rookies #1
- 1987 Classic (Yellow) #121
- 1987 Classic (Yellow) #150
- 1987 Fleer Baseball’s Best Sluggers vs Pitchers #26
- 1987 Fleer Update #U-76
- 1987 Topps Tiffany #366
- 1987 Topps #366
- 1987 Donruss Highlights #27 (Sets Rookie Home Run Record)
- 1987 Donruss Highlights #40 (Equal A’s RBI Marks)
- 1987 Donruss Highlights #46 (Eclipses Jackson’s A’s HR Record)
- 1987 Leaf #46 (Rated Rookie)
- 1987 Donruss #46 (Rated Rookie)
- 1987 Donruss Highlights #54 (Donruss A.L. Rookie of the Year)
- 1988 Topps All-Star Rookie #580
Mark McGwire Rookie Card: Buyers Guide and Investment Outlook
Investment Rating: Buy (3.6 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best Mark “Big Mac” McGwire Rookie Card: 1986 Topps Rookie Card #161
McGwire admitted to using steroids back in 2010, and he hasn’t been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame because of his candor. Likes Bonds we do expect McGwire to eventually make the Hall of Fame… it’s just a question of when.
Although we list McGwire rookie cards as a buy we don’t foresee us buying anytime soon.