Michael Jordan (2/17/1963) was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 3rd overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft out of the University of North Carolina and is one of the most celebrated players in the history of the sport.
From Space Jam to Air Jordans, he transcended the sport to become an icon across the globe… Keep reading to learn which Michael Jordan Rookie cards you should be buying! MJ is larger than life and is the most popular sports player to transcend pop culture.
Michael Jordan Rookie Year Stats: 28.2 points per game, 5.9 assits, and 6.5 rebounds… needless to say the Bull knew they had something very special.
Michael Jordan is arguably the most famous basketballer of all time and a massive part of ‘90s pop culture. His career numbers are even more amazing, averaging 30.1 points per game to go along with 6 NBA Championship Rings and 5 league MVPs!
So, we all know Jordan is the GOAT and always will be no matter what these LeBron fanboys say… But are his rookie cards a good buy… They are not just a good buy, they are a GREAT, MUST HAVE buy.
Other Must-Have GOAT’S (aka Greatest Of All Time)
The only issue with Michael Jordan RCs is the price. If you want a Jordan RC at a high grade (i.e. PSA 10, PSA 9, BGS 9.5) you are going to be paying through the nose. We’re talking more money than a brand-new BMW in some cases.
Everyday investors would be wise to look at lower grades but don’t drop below PSA 6 (read PSA Grading or Beckett Grading or SGC Grading for more info).
On the other hand, if you are in the position to purchase a high-grade Michael Jordan RC… DO IT as they are one of the top investments in the sports card hobby.
With that in mind, here are some of the best Michael Jordan rookie cards for investment purposes.
This is the most popular MJ rookie card, as well as one of the easiest to find on the market.
The 1986-87 Fleer edition highlights Jordan as he’s about to hit a slam dunk in his Chicago Bulls kit.
The ’68 Fleer Jordan RC is another familiar image for anyone with a passing interest in the sport, and it really is a great-looking card. However, the back is quite basic, showing key stats from his first two seasons in the NBA.
Prices have jumped since the mid-2010s, with an 8.5 likely to set you back by at least $3,500 at auction.
It’s an average 200% increase over the past five years, which explains the surge in popularity.
It’ll probably take a fight if you’re aiming to win one (keep an eye on Fleer Michael Jordan rookie cards which are PSA 10/BGS 9.5 if you’re going to buy it), even if it isn’t the rarest card available for purchase.
The ‘perfect’ version sold for $100,000, and there are only a few graded as mint found in the entire world.
It’s seen as the best Jordan rookie card for collectors, so it could be worth considering from an investment point of view.
We’ll begin with an entry-level card that has one of the most iconic images in sport on the front. It features Jordan stretching for a slam dunk, with a Nike logo in the lower-left corner, and is a MUST for beginner Jordan collectors.
This promo card is larger than normal, with no text spoiling the picture. It was the perfect way to show off his skills, and a great way to market Air Jordans. The back of the card is filled with his early stats, as well as career highlights up to that point.
If you take the time to check them out, it’s clear he was always destined for greatness. Typically, it’s difficult to find perfect cards because of the larger size. You should expect to pay at least $900 for a mint condition version, and it’ll always be popular as a piece of sports memorabilia.
This is a 1986 sticker that has Jordan dribbling past New Jersey’s Otis Birdsong, flashing his tongue in an image that takes up the majority of the card.
His name and team are displayed on the left-hand side, and Jordan is wearing his iconic Chicago Bulls kit.
The back features a large paragraph talking about Jordan’s early achievements, instead of the usual list of statistics.
A PSA 10 grade can take it up into the thousands price-wise because most stickers have already had the back removed in years gone by.
Needless to say, a peeled sticker is almost worthless, even if MJ is displayed on the front. If you don’t mind stickers, this could be a valuable investment if prices continue to rise at current trends.
You won’t see a true MJ autograph rookie card at auction very often but when you do it’s worth putting a bid on these babies as they are worth their weight in gold.
We want this card more than any other card on earth… besides maybe the T206 Honus Wagner
Just be sure it’s a true Michael Jordan autograph and not a reprint.
If you have any questions about a Jordan auto rookie card please email us at info@goldcardauctions with the link to the card before you place a bid.
The 1984-85 Star card is one of the most expensive Jordan rookie cards, and a 9 will cost upwards of $10,000. You can pick up lower-rated copies for roughly $3,000, which is still a serious chunk of change for most card collectors and investors.
Another great-looking card, the front is red and white and features Jordan in the thick of the action after a rebound. There’s a large, red border, with a team logo at the bottom left and player information on the right.
However, unauthorized prints were made using the original plates in the 1990s, leading to fakes that were hard to identify. Auction houses claim to be able to tell the difference, with Heritage saying:
“Small variations were soon discovered, allowing experts to determine which cards were the genuine article, and which were the 1990s knock-offs.” Of course, it can make some investors and collectors nervous, but they do sell easily.
Another rare card, the 1985 Interlake can cost upwards of $3,000 for a mint version. It’s bigger than the norm at 5″ x 7″, featuring Jordan dribbling in his white Chicago Bulls jersey.
He has his tongue out in a signature pose, which always makes it more interesting for potential collectors. It’s not a licensed NBA card, which does lessen the value slightly.
They were produced by the Interlake Youth Incentive Program and the Boy Scouts of America in Chicago, with both logos visible on the front.
The card shows MJ’s name and his team, as well as his height and position. This version is blank at the back, which is a bit of a shame. The Interlake card is still a popular collectible, with multiple bids at almost every auction.
Numbered #7, the card shows an awe-inspiring photo of Jordan with a basketball in the classic red Chicago Bulls jersey.
The ’85 Jordan card is a pretty rare rookie card you won’t find up for auction very often and when you do it should be AT an affordable price.
The Michael Jordan Star Gatorade Slam Dunk rookie card has a gorgeous green border that clashes well with the Bulls Red Jersey.
The reverse of the card reads “Since entering the league as the third overall last June, Jordan has been a prime attraction and focus of attention… His hang time says Bulls assistant coach Fred Carter is better than Ray Guys Punts… a fixture in highlight films in each NBA city the Bulls visit… able to ignite and inspire teammates with his backboard shaking windmill dunks“.
Michael Jordan Rookie Card Checklist
- 1984 Star Company Michael Jordan XRC #101
- 1985 Nike Promo Michael Jordan #2
- 1985 Star Basketball Michael Jordan RC Rookie #117
- 1985 Michael Jordan Star Gatorade Slam Dunk RC Rookie #7
- 1986 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan #8
- 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan RC #57
Best Michael Jordan Basketball Cards
This is the holy grail of non-Michael Jordan rookie cards. Not only does it have a sick emerald green backdrop (or ruby red depending on the version) but the image of Jordan with the ball flaming is the DRIP!
Related: Best Kobe Bryant Rookie Cards
This card is DRIP x100… one of our white whales… email us now if you have and want to sell. The card is numbered #23 and recently sold for a mind-blowing $121,000! If you’re lucky, you might see this card once in your life, let alone have the chance to acquire it yourself.
While there isn’t a true Michael Jordan Upper Deck Rookie Card per se the 2004/05 Upper Deck Signatures is still a great piece of Jordan memorabilia to look out for.
The border is grey, with an image of Jordan taking a shot on the right-hand side. The signature itself is directly in the middle of the card, along with Chicago Bulls and Upper Deck logos.
One of our favorite MJ Autos? 2004 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Finite Signatures Bulls HOF AUTO #FS-MF
This is BY FAR our favourite Jordan non-rookie card. The reverse confirms that the player signed the card in the presence of a UD rep, and there’s also a close-up of the image found on the front.
A 9.5 will easily sell for over $10,000. Signed cards are always desirable for collectors, so it could be another solid investment option.
A sick Michael Jordan Topps Chrome card with a cool blue border. Numbered #139, the card shows Jordan battling a defender while attempting to make a layup (we’re assuming the ball went in).
The reverse of the card shows his vital stats and simply reads “Mike is the first ever to win four MVP NBA Finals Awards“.
This is one badass-looking card… the color scheme is simply gorgeous as the black and red have always been and always will be the unique colors of the Chicago Bulls (what a great team name and the colors are just an added bonus).
Numbered #9, the card features MJ with the ball in an all-black Chicago Bulls uniform that blends perfectly with the all-black backdrop and the words “Noyz Boyz” in red… one word: DRIP!
2004 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Diamond Pro Sigs #PS-MJ
WHOA! Here is a big boy MJ rookie card that is not meant for collectors with weaker bank accounts.
The 2004 UD Michael Jordan Diamond Pro Sigs is numbered #PS-MJ and shows Jordan shooting a layup type shot with his autograph being the highlight of the card.
Top Card Investments Next 5 Years
The reverse of the card reads “Congratulations! You have received a card personally autographed by Michael Jordan“.
A great non-rookie Jordan card to add to your sports card investment portfolio… It will cost you well into the 4 digits, however.
This is a HYPER-RARE GAME USED DUAL JERSEY AUTO Michael Jordan card.
The Michael Jordan Winning Materials Rookie Card #MJA1 will go for slightly less than the SUPER-RARE GAME USED SHOE PATCH AUTOGRAPH Michael Jordan card shown above.
Michael Jordan Rookie Card North Carolina
MJ rookie cards with the North Carolina Tar Heels are not a great investment option… BUT… if you are huge Jordan FANBOY and just have to have them… go ahead and buy a couple as we don’t see the value going down by any means.
Michael Jordan North Carolina Stats: 101 G | 17.7 PPG | 5.0 RBG | 1.8 APG | 54.0% shooting |
Below are all of the Michael Jordan basketball cards we could find with him wearing a North Carolina Tar Heels jersey.
2010 Michael Jordan Upper Deck North Carolina UNC #170
A crisp MJ Tar Heels basketball card showing Jordan shooting a free-throw with a gorgeous NC Blue backdrop.
2013 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Black UNC Logo Patch Signatures Autograph #LS-MJ
Another high-end Jordan college card highlighting the North Carolina Tar Heels logo. The card shows a small picture of Jordan in the top right-hand corner while the NC logo steals the show by taking up the majority of the card space.
Michael must have a lot of love for his alma mater letting them put him on the bench and calling on the NC logo
All jokes aside this is a pretty cool card and one we wouldn’t mind owning.
2011 Michael Jordan SP Authentic North Carolina Tar Heels #1
SP Authentic cards usually command big dollars but this card can be had on the super cheap… were talking maybe less than $100 for high grades!
2010 Michael Jordan SP Authentic Holo F/X North Carolina #23
Another SP Authentic Jordan basketball card (holo). We’re not a fan of this Jordan NC card and would rather have the 2011 SP.
1989 Michael Jordan North Carolina Collegiate Collection Coca-Cola #18
Coca-Cola briefly got into the card sponsoring game in 1989 and they couldn’t resist teaming up with Jordan to create the ’89 North Carolina MJ Collegiate Collection card.
2010 Upper Deck North Carolina Michael Jordan NCAA All American #111
Jordan was no stranger to being named an NCAA All-American and this card highlights that achievement.
2010 Michael Jordan Upper Deck UNC #43
Another Upper Deck Michael Jordan North Carolina basketball card that shows MJ dribbling the ball down the court while deciding to pass the ball or drive to the hoop for an easy layup.
Michael Jordan Star Rookie Card?
When you hear the above term in regards to an MJ rookie card the person is most likely referring to the 1984-85 Star Company #101 Michael Jordan.
The card features MJ coming down with a rebound and will cost well over $5,000 for a card graded 8+ (BGS or PSA).
We don’t own this card and are not looking to purchase one anytime soon, BUT it wouldn’t make for a bad investment option overall.
Why MJ Rookie Cards Are Such a Good Investment?
MJ cards are highly sought after for a number of reasons. His star power is legendary, and most of his fans are old enough to have large amounts of disposable income.
His rookie cards are especially valuable, which makes sense considering nobody knew he would go on to be a 5x MVP and a 6x NBA champion. His legacy continues to live on, and people love picking up a piece of sporting history.
Jordan rookie cards have outperformed the stock market by a wide margin over the last 10 years
Jordan also came through at a time when manufacturers only made one version of a rookie card, so the market isn’t completely oversaturated.
They’re also incredibly easy to sell, given the huge demand for his memorabilia at auction. As always, much depends on the condition of the card, and whether it’s been graded professionally.
Michael Jordan Rookie Card – Baseball
He had a short and mediocre baseball career, but boy did the card companies take advantage of his mid-life crisis to create some pretty sweet Michael Jordan Baseball Cards.
Below are some of the better MJ Baseball Cards worth adding to your collection. Please note these cards will not increase in value anywhere near as quickly as Jordan’s rookie cards but they are a decent buy as anything Jordan will increase your cards’ ROI.
1995 Michael Jordan UD Collectors Choice SE Gold Signature Signed RC #238
Were not big into Michael Jordan baseball cards but this one has some legit Jordan DRIP!
The card features Jordan patrolling the outfield while strutting around in a classic black White Sox jersey. He may not have played worth a lick but he can rock the hell of the White Sox jersey for sure.
On top of Jordan looking legit in the black White Sox jersey, the card also features a luxurious gold border which really has some pop to it… If the autograph was real this card would be a monster!
Numbered #238 the reverse of the card reads “Many people dismissed Jordan’s attempt to play baseball as a pipe dream, but the former basketball player persevered and proved them wrong. Though he batted .202 at Class AA Birmingham, Jordan hit .260 in the season’s final month and placed fifth in the Southern League with 30 stolen bases“.
1991 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Baseball #SP1 SP Rookie
Upper Deck produced the first MJ baseball card in 1991 and this card has a super short-print. MJ was simply taking batting practice at the time while still playing for the Chicago Bulls and he was not under contract with the White Sox as of yet.
Numbered #SP1, the reverse of the card reads “On July 25, 1990, before the White Sox entertained the Cleveland Indians, Sox fans had the opportunity to see what #23 – the man is simply known as “Michael” – could do with the baseball bat. Jordan impressed everyone with two homers, one going into the upper deck“.
1994 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Electric Diamond White Sox #19 (buy on eBay)
This is a minor league MJ card showing the star playing ball for the Birmingham Barons. This isn’t a very sought after card and you can still could get it in good condition at a very reasonable price.
Related: Charles Barkley Rookie Cards
Numbered #19, the reverse reads; “Both an offensive and defensive terror in basketball, Michael Jordan takes his incredible athletic talent and broad smile out of the hardwood courts and into the green cathedrals of baseball. He has played the game before as a junior varsity pitcher of Emsley A. Laney in high school in Wilmington, NC. “Air Jordan” has faced major league pitching twice before his 1994 spring training audition with the Chicago White Sox”.
How to grade an MJ rookie card?
If you are unsure which grading service to use please read PSA Grading vs Beckett Grading vs SGC Grading.
Update December 2020: All three grading services are taking strides to decrease the amount of time it takes to get a card graded. BUT, if we had a high-end Michael Jordan rookie card worth tens of thousands we would choose PSA.
Are Michael Jordan Rookie Cards The Best Investment in the Hobby?
It’s hard to see MJ cards going south any time soon. In fact, they’ve risen notably in recent years, and the trend is likely to continue.
A pristine copy of the 1986-87 Fleer card sold for $100,000 back in 2011, highlighting just how valuable MJ rookie cards can be at the very top of the game.
This also sparked further growth for lower-rated Jordan cards in the next few years, leading to today’s valuations.
At this rate, it would take a massive controversy to derail the Michael Jordan hype train… all aboard!!!
You’ll also have to watch out for counterfeit cards, so be wary if a price or deal seems too good to be true… We will get into that below.
Authentic Michael Jordan Rookie Card (Fleer Fakes)
Should I be worried about buying a fake Jordan rookie card?
A major problem with some Michael Jordan rookie cards is forgeries, in particular the 1986 Fleer rookie card.
What is the best way to avoid being caught out by these fakes?
THE FLEER LOGO.
The first thing you will want to do is inspect that logo. On an authentic Jordan Fleer rookie card, the yellow arrow will be a darker shade, almost a golden colour. If this is not the case with the card your thinking about buying… Run… RUN away fast from the purchase and don’t think twice. Take a look below to see the difference for yourself.
If you inspect the Fleer logo and are still on the fence in regards to authenticity please email us a picture of the card and we will take a look at it. Email us at email@example.com.
Michael Jordan Rookie Card Reprint Tips (Fleer)
- Check the Fleer Logo
- Look at the seller’s online reputation (very helpful)
- Get a magnifying glass and inspect the text box at the bottom of the card (it should feature cleanly printed text with clear transitions)
- Check the eyes of the Chicago Bulls logo on the back (they should show white around the pupil… if they blend together around the pupils… Houston we have a problem)
- Finally, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will triple-check it for you
Michael Card Rookie Card Value
We (GoldCardAuctions) believe MJ rookie cards will only continue to rise in value over the years as he is a cultural icon, larger than life, and beloved among all.
Pro-Tip: do not buy Michael Jordan rookie cards on Craigslist as many listings are a scam.
Email us an image of your MJ rookie card for a price estimate… send the email to email@example.com and we will try to get back to you within 48 hours (may be longer based on the workload).
If you would like advice in regards to buying an MJ RC please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Many Michael Jordan Rookie Cards Are There
The best way to determine how many MJ RCs exist at a certain grade is by visiting PSACARDS.com.
For example, you can visit www.psacard.com/cardfacts/basketball-cards/1986-fleer/michael-jordan to see that there are currently 317 PSA 10 graded 1986 Fleer Jordan rookie cards.
What is the most expensive Michael Jordan rookie card?
The 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Card is the most expensive MJ rookie card selling for $420,000 (SGC 10) in August 2020.
Michael Jordan Rookie Card: Buyers Guide and Investment Outlook
The value of MJ rookie cards has skyrocketed over the last few years, in particular, the 1986 Fleer card. Add that to the fact that Jordan is a living legend, and his rookie cards are reflective of his status as one of the best ever.
Investment Rating: Strongest Buy Possible (5 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best Michael Jordan Rookie Card: 1986 MJ Fleer RC
One could make a solid case that a high-end MJ Rookie Card is a better future investment than gold, real estate, and even stocks (sorry Microsoft).
You only have to look to the ridiculous amount of accolades he’s received over the years to understand his impact on the sport, and why collectors are always interested in his memorabilia.
“If you can snag a Jordan rookie card for a reasonable fee it should be a great investment for the future”
Prices for Michael Jordan cards are high, but they’ve continued to increase in recent years due to factors like the era in which they were released, nostalgia for the late ‘80s and ‘90s, and his sheer popularity with the general public.
For now, there are no signs that the bubble is about to burst, while there are also other MJ cards that we didn’t have space to list above (if you feel we left one out please DM us on the GCA Facebook Page).
The same goes for non-rookie cards, like the 1997-98 PMG Jordan. The Precious Metal Gems card recently blew past the 1986-87 Fleer version and sold at auction for an eye-watering price of $350,100.
MJ cards are less volatile than cryptocurrencies, and demand always seems to outweigh supply.
If you’re looking to invest in sports cards, you can never go wrong buying a Michael Jordan rookie card – just be prepared to spend some coin to do so.