Manny Ramirez Rookie Card Market Guide
Posted on 11/15/2022
As one of baseball’s greatest powerhouse hitters of the 1990s and 2000s, Manny Ramirez is famous for being the MLB’s postseason home run king. He hit 29 home runs across 11 postseasons during his career, which is a league record to this day. Yet, how does Ramirez’s impressive MLB career translate to his rookie cards and their values? This guide will take a closer look at the slugger's career and his rookie card’s current trending values.
From Rookie Standout to RBI King
In 1991, Ramirez was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. After a stint in the minors, where he was named the 1993 Minor League Player of the Year, Ramirez made his MLB debut on September 2, 1993. During his first full rookie season in 1994, he recorded a .269 batting average, with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs. As a result, he was runner-up for the Rookie of the Year Award.
Ramirez had his breakout year in 1995, when he recorded a batting average of .308, with 31 home runs and 107 RBIs. That year, he won the first of nine Silver Slugger Awards and was also chosen for the first of his 12 All-Star Game appearances. During the 1999 season, Ramirez recorded 165 RBIs, the most by any MLB player since Jimmie Foxx in 1938.
Two Red Sox World Series Championships
In late 2000, Ramirez rejected an extension to stay in Cleveland, instead opting to accept an offer to join the Boston Red Sox. In 2004, he led the American League in home runs (43), OPS (1.009) and slugging percentage (.613). He also helped lead the Red Sox to the World Series, where they earned their first championship win since 1918 against the St. Louis Cardinals. This monumental season culminated in a career highlight for Ramirez when he was named World Series MVP. In 2007, Ramirez helped the team repeat its World Series success in a decisive win over the Colorado Rockies.
During his 19-season career, Ramirez became one of only 28 MLB players to hit a total of 500 career home runs. Likewise, his 21 grand slams rank third highest in MLB history. Ramirez retired from the MLB in 2011, although he remains active in playing and coaching with several international baseball teams.
Are Manny Ramirez Rookie Cards Valuable?
Manny Ramirez played during the so-called “Junk Wax Era,” when sports cards were massively overproduced. This created a glut in the market, and prices for many of these cards are relatively low today. However, certain cards continue to interest collectors, especially several of Ramirez’s early rookie cards.
Investment Potential for Manny Ramirez Rookie Cards
As one of the MLB’s greatest hitters, Ramirez continues to have a solid fan base. However, he hasn't been elected to the Hall of Fame, and his chances are dwindling as the years pass. During his career, Ramirez had multiple suspensions due to MLB drug policy violations, and this issue continues to keep him from Hall of Fame membership. Whether he gets in or not may impact his continuing card values, depending on the support of his fans.
Top Manny Ramirez Rookie Cards
Here are seven of the most popular Manny Ramirez rookie cards:
- 1993 Upper Deck SP Foil #285
- 1992 Bowman #532 and Foil #676
- 1994 Leaf Limited Rookie Phenoms #9 - #’d/5,000
- 1992 Topps Gold Winner #156
- 1992 Topps Stadium Club SkyDome #146
- 1991 Front Row Draft Picks Autograph #47 - #’d/1,900
- 1992 Donruss The Rookies #98
Here's a look at how his rookie cards are trending on tracking sites like SportsCardsPro, PriceGuide.Cards and Sports Card Investor. Tracking is updated daily, so be aware that these prices may change frequently and suddenly.
1993 Upper Deck SP Foil #285 Manny Ramirez ($2,800)
While this foil-coated Upper Deck issue is a Premier Prospects from his minor league days rather than a rookie card, it nevertheless belongs in any Ramirez rookie collection. It shows Ramirez posing with a bat and looking straight into the camera. It features a dark background setting with the Upper Deck Premier Prospects logo in the lower corner.
SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $4, Grade 7 at $9, Grade 8 at $14 and Grade 9 at $87. Grade 9.5 trends at $170, Gem Mint at $671 and a top price of $2,800.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $3 and a top price of $50. Graded trends at an average price of $21 and a top price of $257 (grades unspecified).
1992 Bowman #532 and Bowman Foil #676 Manny Ramirez ($2,500)
This is another card from the slugger’s early days in the minor leagues. It’s popular with collectors because it shows Ramirez out of uniform, looking as if he were posing for an outdoor tourist photo. He’s wearing a white-and-green striped shirt and seems to be leaning over a rail while looking into the camera.
There’s also a foil version, #676, that shows Ramirez wearing the same shirt, but this time he’s standing upright and smiling. The first version has white borders, while the second has a border of gray and silver stripes. Both feature the distinctive Bowman “B” logo at the upper left.
At PriceGuide.Cards, #532 Ungraded trends at an average price of $7 and a top price of $394. Graded trends at an average price of $25 and a top price of $2,500 (grades unspecified). Card #676, Ungraded, trends at an average price of $3.50 and a top price of $170. Graded trends at an average price of $20 and a top price of $223 (grades unspecified).
SportsCardsPro shows #532 Ungraded trending at $3, Grade 7 at $3.50, Grade 8 at $5 and Grade 9 at $10. Grade 9.5 trends at $19 and Gem Mint at $35. For #676, Ungraded trends at $3, Grade 7 at $4, Grade 8 at $5 and Grade 9 at $12. Grade 9.5 trends at $36 and Gem Mint at $52.
1994 Leaf Limited Rookie Phenoms #9 Manny Ramirez #’d/5,000 ($1,000)
This set celebrates 80 of the top rookie players from the period, including Ramirez. It features an action shot of him running toward the camera, set against a shiny gold-foil background with gold reflective striping. The Leaf Limited logo is at the top, and a “Rookie Phenoms” banner is at the bottom, topped by a Cleveland team logo.
SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $6, Grade 8 at $15 and Grade 9 at $33. Grade 9.5 trends at $59 and Gem Mint at $1,000.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $8 and a top price of $20. Graded trends at an average price of $17.50 and a top price of $37 (grades unspecified).
1992 Topps Gold Winner #156 Manny Ramirez ($850)
This fan-favorite was actually the winning prize in a Topps contest promotion. Contest cards with scratch-off bars were located in the 1992 Topps Baseball set, with the prize being a 10-pack of “Winner” cards. This Ramirez Draft Pick example is one of those cards and shows a posed shot of a smiling young Ramirez wearing a Youth Service League jersey, with the word “Winner” in gold at the bottom right.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $5, with a top price of $850. Graded trends at an average price of $51 and a top price of $478 (grades unspecified).
SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $3, Grade 7 at $3.25, Grade 8 at $12 and Grade 9 at $16. Grade 9.5 trends at $35 and Gem Mint at $78.
1992 Topps Stadium Club SkyDome #146 Manny Ramirez ($203)
This card is part of the SkyDome set, which includes a replica of Toronto’s then-new SkyDome Stadium. It shows an unusual studio-style portrait shot of Ramirez wearing a regular pullover shirt and smiling at the camera, and it hardly looks like a sports card at all.
However, he’s holding a baseball, which you can glimpse between his half-closed fingers. The card features the Topps Stadium Club logo at the lower left corner and the words “1991 Draft Pick" across the bottom. Don’t be confused by the dating on this one. While the set is marked 1991, collectors view this as a 1992 issue because it was released so late.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $3 and a top price of $44. Graded trends at an average price of $10 and a top price of $203 (grades unspecified).
SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $1, Grade 7 at $2, Grade 8 at $3 and Grade 9 at $8. Grade 9.5 trends at $12 and Gem Mint at $24.
1991 Front Row Draft Picks Autograph #47 Manny Ramirez #’d/1,900 ($95)
This is an example that wasn’t created by one of the major sports card companies but it’s still popular due to it being one of the earliest cards to feature Ramirez’s hand-signed autograph. There's a striking image of Ramirez at bat, with the Front Row logo placed at the upper right corner.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $34, with a top price of $95.
1992 Donruss The Rookies #98 Manny Ramirez ($87)
This Donruss The Rookies #98 release shows a smiling Ramirez at bat, posing for the camera in his new Cleveland Indians uniform. The image is edged at the top and bottom in green and features “The Rookies” logo at the top left.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends for an average price of $2 and a top price of $50. Graded trends for an average price of $11 and a top price of $87 (grades unspecified).
SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at just over $1, Grade 8 at $8 and Grade 9 at $8.50. Grade 9.5 trends at $18.50 and Gem Mint at $35.
Where Can I Find Manny Ramirez Rookie Cards?
You can find Manny Ramirez rookie cards, memorabilia and collectibles at sports card shows, memorabilia retailers and online auctions. Here are some of the most popular auction sites for sports cards:
- Memory Lane
- Heritage Auctions
- SCP Auctions
- Pristine Auction
You can also find Manny Ramirez rookie cards at sports card and memorabilia shows held across the country. To find a sports show coming to your location, you can do a quick Google search or check collectors’ forums and social media sites.
How Are Manny Ramirez Rookie Cards Graded?
For sports card grading, certified graders use a numeric grading system ranging from Ungraded to Perfect 10. This grading system is universally recognized by everyone in the industry, including dealers, appraisers and collectors. Here’s how it works:
Perfect 10: Flawless, with a Gem Mint grade in all four criteria: corners, edges, centering and surface. This card is perfect even under 10x magnification.
Gem Mint: Perfect, with bright colors, no damage, no fading and no manufacturing flaws.
Grade 9.5: Near Mint, with one very minor flaw.
Grade 9: Excellent in all grading criteria, with a couple minor flaws.
Grade 8 and below: Condition damage, production flaws or other issues. These cards are graded according to the severity and number of issues.
Ungraded: Never been certified or graded before.
Raw: New to the market and just released from its original package.
Three key factors drive sports card values: Rarity, condition and collector demand. Rarity and condition are easily assessed, but collector demand isn’t always predictable. For example, a rare Gem Mint card may sell for less than a lesser-grade card produced in higher numbers if it's popular with collectors. Likewise, online auctions can fuel bidding wars, which can cause a player’s cards to skyrocket. Ultimately, it’s always best to focus on the cards you really love and to buy the best you can afford.
Should I Get My Sports Cards Graded?
Professional grading can enhance your collection by authenticating it and giving it a professional stamp of quality. In the grading process, expert certifiers examine each card for production flaws, condition damage and other issues. Once your card has been assessed and graded, its information is entered into an international database, which serves as a permanent record.
If you ever want to sell your collection, graded cards typically go for higher prices than Ungraded, and they also tend to be easier to sell. Even if you don't plan on selling, grading provides your collection with authentication and a stamp of quality that will be recognized for generations to come. For further information on CSG's 10-point Grading Scale and to find out more about our industry-leading services, visit CSGcards.com.
*Any mention of "investment potential" is for entertainment only and should not be construed as investment advice. The Certified Collectibles Group does not provide investment advice and is not liable for any buy, sell or trade decisions made by any parties.
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