Mike Schmidt (09/27/49) is a retired Philadelphia Phillies legend who was a 12-time All-Star and three-time National League MVP award winner. A Hall of Famer who hit 548 home runs, his RCs are some of the best from the era, even if there aren’t as many options to choose from compared to the present day.
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Here’s a rundown with three of the best Mike Schmidt rookie cards, as well as an investment outlook looking at the next few years and any potential ROI.
Top 3 Mike Schmidt Rookie Cards
Schmidt was a rookie in the early 1970s when there weren’t enough RC options readily available. There is a variation of sorts, but there’s one card that rules the roost in terms of rarity and value.
1973 Mike Schmidt O-Pee-Chee/Topps RC #615
This is the only recognized rookie card featuring Schmidt, released as part of the 1973 Topps set. Schmidt shares the front of the card with John Hilton and future All-Star Ron Cey, and the latter was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1973.
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The ‘73 Topps collection contains the last vintage high series set, and this was released as part of the 5th series (#529 – 669) that year. (Higher cards were rarer.)
The O-Pee-Chee card is an alternative to the Topps card, originally released in Canada. To cater to the French market, the “1973 Rookie Third Basemen” text size has been reduced, making space for a translation underneath.
Only six copies of the Topps Schmidt card have achieved that elusive gem mint grade, and one sold for $15,766 back in 2012. The latest sale of a PSA 10 card was in December 2020, where it smashed the guide price as it went for $174,000.
1972 Mike Schmidt Puerto Rican League Sticker RC #64
Released a year earlier, the 1972 Puerto Rican Winter League Sticker is one of the first collectibles to feature Schmidt. It’s made of especially thin stock, and most were affixed to books in the early 1970s.
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There’s a color image of a stern-looking Schmidt on the front, while the back has a simple black and white Spanish text. Despite the rarity and numerous condition-related issues, the sticker is far cheaper than the Topps RC seen above. A PSA 10 sticker sold in the same 2020 auction for a flat $21,000.
1973 Mike Schmidt Phillies Early Season RC
This card was produced by the Phillies themselves, as they commemorated the beginning of the 1973 season with a black and white release. It’s understated in every sense of the word, aside from a facsimile signature across the bottom. Schmidt is pictured in a great profile shot, with his name found in small text at the bottom.
As well as the Early Season card, there’s also a Late Season issue that follows a similar design. Neither have anything on a blank reverse, although Schmidt is smiling in the latter.
Mike Schmidt Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Mike Schmidt rookie card is the 1973 Topps #615 Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies Rookie Card #615, selling for $5,100 PSA 9 grade via eBay auctions 2/1/2021.
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Schmidt is a great example of a one-team player who has achieved legendary status. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1995 after earning what was at the time the fourth-highest voting percentage ever (96.52%), and is seen as one of the greatest third basemen ever.
“Unlike many others from his era, there’s a real sense of urgency about his card prices, which continue to shoot up when looking at higher grades.”
As we’ve noted above, Schmidt’s RC prices have recently exploded after a number of strong displays at auction late in 2020. The market is beginning to adjust to the average Topps card/league sticker costing far more than it used to.
You could do far worse if you’re looking at HoF players as a long-term investment, although it would have been better if you could pick up a couple of PSA 9s a few years ago. Regardless, Schmidt’s earliest options are some of the better baseball card investments from the early 1970’s and should continue to rise over the next few years.