The eight-time All-Star signed a 12-year deal in 2019 worth $426m. It’s the most expensive contract in the history of North American sports, although Canelo Álvarez’s $365m DAZN fee is worth more per year.
After dominating the minor leagues, Trout has gone on to become a living legend at the age of 28. He’s been named as the AL MVP three times, (2014, 2016, and 2019) and it’s hard to find a more exciting set of rookie cards to collect.
We’ve prepared a checklist with both his prospect and rookie cards, as well as listing some of the best ones to look out for. You’ll also find a detailed investment outlook below, so here’s everything you need to know about Trout RCs.
Rookie Card Checklist
As well as his 2011 rookie cards, we’ve listed his 2009-2010 prospects as they’re some of his most popular options from the early days.
- 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects #BDPP89 Autograph
- 2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects #MT Autograph
- 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #57 Autograph – #/495
2010 Prospect Cards
- 2010 Bowman Platinum Prospects #PP5
- 2010 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autograph Refractor #MT
- 2010 Topps Pro Debut #181
2011 Rookie Cards
- 2011 Bowman Chrome #175
- 2011 Bowman Draft #101
- 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft #101
- 2011 Bowman Sterling #22
- 2011 Playoff Contenders #17
- 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts #37 – #/99
- 2011 Topps Finest #94
- 2011 Topps Heritage Minors #44
- 2011 Topps Update #US175
Many of the cards we’ve listed above have a range of different parallels, and most will raise the price significantly.
The Best Mike Trout Rookie Cards
We’ve listed some of the most popular Trout rookie cards below, including a couple of prospects that were too good to skip.
There’s a lack of affordable options given his popularity, but we’ve also mentioned a couple of entry-level cards that won’t break the bank.
2011 Mike Trout Topps Update #US175 (shop for this card on eBay)
Seen as Trout’s flagship rookie card, the 2011 Topps update isn’t the most exciting option on our list. There’s no sign of a signature and it’s reasonably plain, but a PSA 9 will still sell for over $1,000. That should give you some indication of just how popular his rookie cards are.
The front image features Trout after a successful swing, and there’s an RC logo in the bottom right corner. The back has minor league stats, and mentions that numerous “scouts had Mike at the top of their prospect checklists at the time of his promotion to the Angels”.
The rarer versions are where the big bucks are found, such as the Red Border or the Hope Diamond edition. Despite the wide availability of the base card, it’s a safe investment, and it’s more affordable than many of the other options.
You can try to pull this card by buying a 2011 Topps Update Box.
2011 Mike Trout Topps Finest #94
A great action card, the 2011 Topps Finest features Trout in full sprint, with interesting background design and an RC logo on the front. The reverse notes that he’s “the youngest-ever Topps Minor League Player of the Year”. Nowadays, they’d struggle to fit all of his accolades onto the back of the card.
There’s no sign of a signature, but that means that the base version is relatively cheap, and a decent copy currently sells for under $150. Gem mint versions have increased in price across the board, regularly going for over $500. (It’s a large bump considering they were selling for roughly $120 in 2016.)
It’s affordable compared to the majority of his 2011 cards, and the design helps it to stand out from the crowd.
2009 Mike Trout Bowman Sterling Prospects #MT Autograph (buy this card on eBay)
The first of his prospects to make our list, this one is often seen as the lesser of the two Trout autograph cards released in 2009. One of the main reasons is a sticker signature, although it’s still an impressive sight when all is said and done.
This white and blue card features an image of Trout after a successful hit, with his red shirt and helmet contrasting well against the background. There’s heaps of detail on the front, while the backquote talks about how Trout “developed a friendship with fellow prospect Randal Grichuk long before the two became back-to-back Angels picks in the 2009 draft”.
A gem mint version of the 2009 Bowman Sterling Trout card is currently valued at anywhere between $3,000-$4,000 depending on the condition of the signature and the sticker.
2011 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome #175
Another popular card at auction, the 2011 Bowman Chrome features Trout primed to swing, with a shot of the crowd in the background. There’s also an RC logo found on the top right corner, but there are no other notable features on the front.
The reverse is packed with information. It lists his resume, skills, and the evolution of his game, highlighting his “game-changing speed in outfield and on bags”. You’ll be able to grab a BGS 9.5 for roughly $250, while an 8.5 is $150. However, a gem mint edition typically sells for over $800.
Expect to pay 2.5x that amount if you’re aiming to add the rare refractor version to your personal collection.
2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects #BDPP89 Autograph
By far the most expensive Trout card on the market, parallels of the 2009 Bowman Prospects version have recently sold for over $16,000. The second of the signed versions from 2019, it features a full-length image of the player as he prepares to swing the bat.
The signature isn’t a sticker, while the blue background makes it stand out compared to the 2011 versions. Like the card listed directly above, the back lists Trout’s resume and skills, and notes that his father also played professional baseball.
As with the majority of Trout rookie cards, they’ve rapidly increased in price over the last five years. However, few can match this rate of acceleration.
Take the recorded PSA 10 prices for the blue version. One sold for $3,057 in 2016, while the price went up to $9,750 just a year later. By 2018, they were averaging $17,000. This went up to $20k in 2019, with the most expensive being $22,102 midway through last year. It’s a massive leap, marking it as one to look out for if the price is right.
2011 Mike Trout Topps Heritage Minors #44
Considering the cost of most of the cards we’ve already discussed, it’s nice to hear that there is an option if you don’t want to spend four figures. The 2011 Topps Heritage Minors features Trout ready to swing, while the card notes his team as the Arkansas Travelers.
The wood-effect background isn’t the nicest to look at, but the reverse does help to make up for it. As well as a drawing and his minor league batting stats, it notes that he’s been likened to the legendary “Mickey Mantle for his swing”.
PSA 9s regularly sell for $60-$70, so it’s the easiest way to own a piece of baseball history at a fraction of the cost of most of the others.
Mike Trout Rookie Card Value (Most Valuable)
- 2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Rookie Card Refractor Auto #BDPP89
- 2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Rookie Card Refractor Auto #BDPP89
- 2009 Bowman Sterling Mike Trout Rookie Card Black Refractor Autograph
Mike Trout Rookie Card Investment Outlook
As we’ve mentioned, Trout dominated during his prospect days, and went on to fulfill his potential as one of the best in the world. While the “Millville Meteor” is still flying high to this day, there were always whispers about the source of his power and longevity.
After recent news about a cheating scandal rocked the sport, the son of former Seattle Mariners third base coach Scott Brosius accused him of taking HGH for a ‘thyroid’ condition on Instagram via comments he later deleted.
This week, MLB and MLBPA released a joint statement in which they clarified; “Since the inception of the MLB-MLBPA Joint Drug Prevention Program, no major league or minor league player has ever received a therapeutic use exemption for, or otherwise received permission to use, Human Growth Hormone (HGH).”
In other words, they categorically deny that Trout is a drug cheat, and it’s a relief for Angels fans, as well as collectors of Trout’s rookie cards.
The news is likely to provide another bump in prices, while his inevitable entry into the Hall of Fame (and his retirement) are only going to make him more of a mythological figure in the future.
There’s no doubt that his cards are some of the most expensive of his era, but they probably haven’t reached the absolute peak price-wise.
After all, almost all of his rookie and prospect cards are worth significantly more than they were a few years ago, likely because he keeps on smashing records with no end in sight. After all, he only signed a 12-year deal last year. How much will his rookie cards be worth by then?