Ten Terrific CGC-certified Cards of Atlanta Braves Star Ronald Acuña Jr.

Posted on 10/5/2023

After becoming the first MLB player to ever hit 40+ home runs and steal 70+ bases in a single season, we're revisiting some of Ronald Acuña's top CGC-certified cards.

The MLB playoffs are underway, and after an astounding season in Atlanta, the Braves are primed and ready for another World Series run. While multiple Braves players had stellar seasons, right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. broke several longstanding records, making history when he became the only player to ever hit 40+ home runs and steal 70+ bases in a single season. To acknowledge Acuña's milestone year, we're revisiting 10 of his best CGC-certified cards.

The Venezuelan signed with Atlanta as an international free agent in 2014 at 17 years old, making his pro debut just one year later with the Gulf Coast Braves. By the 2018 season, he was named the No. 1 MLB prospect by Baseball America and the No. 2 prospect by MLB.com. In April of that same year, Atlanta promoted the rising star to the big leagues, making him the youngest player in the MLB at the time. Later that summer, in August, he became the youngest player in MLB history to hit home runs in five consecutive games. It would be the first of many records to come, as Acuña also took home NL Rookie of the Year honors.

Prior to the 2019 season, the young star signed the most expensive contract ever for a player with less than one year of major league experience. The deal paid off for the Braves immediately, as Acuña earned his first All-Star Game selection. Later that season, he also became the youngest player ever to join the 40-30 club (40+ homers and 30+ stolen bases in a single season). He was just getting started. After another superb season in 2020, the young All-Star suffered a season-ending injury in July 2021, and was forced to sit out as the Braves went on to win the World Series. Yet, he returned in 2022 and picked back up where he left off, earning another All-Star selection.

Fast forward to the 2023 season, and Acuña just had one of the greatest offensive seasons in the history of baseball. After becoming the first player in MLB history to record 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in the same season, he shattered the record even further. He became the first player to have a 40-60 season, and then became the first-ever to hit the 40-70 mark as well. If Acuña and his teammates continue their offensive dominance, which led to the best record in baseball this season, Atlanta could be hanging another World Series banner in Truist Park soon.

Ten Terrific Ronald Acuña Jr. Cards

2017 Bowman Prospects #BP127 Ronald Acuña Jr. - Yellow

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Rookie cards are always some of the most popular collectibles of star athletes, and so are some players' cards that come out even earlier. In recent decades, collectors often seek out Bowman's "1st Bowman" cards, which are the first official cards of a player's career within Bowman sets before their rookie cards release. While the base card of this Acuña example is a collector favorite, parallels like this one are rarer and more valuable, making it even more desirable.

2017 Bowman Draft #BD-39 Ronald Acuña

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Another popular Bowman card of a young Acuña, this Bowman Draft card is from the company's series that features prospects after they are drafted by their respective MLB teams. This particular example of the Braves right fielder shows him rounding the bases with a huge grin, which perfectly captures Acuña's joyful style of play. Plus, with this example garnering CGC Cards' prestigious Pristine 10 grade, the card is as perfect as they come.

2018 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Signatures #RRS-RA Ronald Acuña Jr. - Blue #'d/50

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Some of the most sought-after rookie cards each season are from the Donruss Optic series, especially the classic "Rated Rookie" issues. With a higher-quality card stock and a glossy chrome finish, they're must-haves in any rookie card collection. If they're an autographed parallel like this Acuña rookie gem, even better. With only 50 made of the Blue parallel version, this is a rare signed early card of the Braves slugger.

2018 Bowman High Tek Prospect Autographs #PHT-RA Ronald Acuña

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Returning to Bowman cards, this autographed High Tek Prospect card is one of the most unique and visually stunning issues on our list. With a partially clear acetate background and eye-popping design, the card stands out among Acuña's other rookie cards. Add in the fact that it features an on-card autograph from the All-Star and the insert has everything a collector could want in a rookie card.

2019 Topps Allen & Ginter #25 Ronald Acuña Jr. - Hot Box

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Moving past the record setter's rookie cards, Acuña has several collectors' favorites that are part of the Allen & Ginter series, which is made to mirror the old cigarette cards of the late 1800s. This particular card from the 2019 set is a gold-bordered parallel with an intricate design and vintage style portrait of the player. With numerous parallels and inserts to find in the series, including mini cards that are the actual size of old cigarette cards, Allen & Ginter is bringing the past to the present for card collectors.

2019 Donruss Whammy! #W2 Ronald Acuña Jr.

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One of the more fun examples on any card list, Donruss' rare Whammy! inserts feature striking caricatures of some of the top MLB players of the past and present. Exaggerated characteristics that are often included on caricatures, like a large head and tiny body, are also featured on the Acuña Whammy! card. The artist rendering of the Braves star is a lighthearted take on the player, but there's nothing to laugh about when it comes to its popularity and value.

2019 Topps Definitive Collection Autographs #DCA-RAJ Ronald Acuña Jr. - #'d/35

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One of Topps' premium sets, the Definitive Collection is a high-end series that collects some of the biggest names across the sport, including legends from the past and present All-Stars. With multiple autographed cards guaranteed in each box, this Acuña card is a great pull from early in his MLB career. Featuring a horizontal design and large signature in blue ink, this example was limited to only 35 cards, making it one of the rarest on our list.

2020 Panini On the Horizon #OH-42 Ronald Acuña Jr.

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The On the Horizon cards are unique in the sense that they are issued through Panini's redemption program instead of pulled from individual packs. The artistic images with backgrounds featuring relevant imagery from each player's city they play in make these another fun (and valuable) way to add to your collection. The Acuña example is especially pleasing since he's seen swinging through a flurry of pecan pies and peaches, each a staple in the state of Georgia.

2020 Topps Chrome Retro Rookie Chrome Relics #RRCR-RAJ Ronald Acuña Jr.

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Topps Chrome is one of the most popular sets in the hobby, with collectors flocking to the series each season due to its quality card stock and chrome finish. An upgrade on the regular Topps sets each year, the Chrome series includes numerous inserts, parallels, patch cards and signed cards. In 2020, Topps issued Retro Rookie Chrome Relics inserts that featured some of the top players as a throwback to their debut season along with a piece of a game-worn relic. With a clean chrome design, a great image of Acuña at bat and a dark blue patch in the shape of home plate, this is another stellar CGC-certified card from the Braves star's MLB career.

2021 Panini Diamond Kings Downtown #D-7 Ronald Acuña Jr.

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Last but not least, we have one of the most sought-after insert series in the hobby today: Downtown. Like the Kaboom! inserts that are so popular, Downtown inserts feature colorful, artistic takes on elite players and their teams' cities. Similar to the previous On the Horizon card on our list, this Downtown Acuña example includes a background of peaches and pecan pies, but also incorporates peanuts, the SkyView Ferris wheel and the Atlanta skyline. Worth a pretty penny, these inserts are a favorite for collectors to search for each season, as they've become some of the most coveted cards in sports today.

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