All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2017, and is known for cutting an imposing figure on the plate.
He already holds a number of New York Yankees franchise records, including the most home runs in a season hit at home (33), and the most home runs in a season by a rookie (52). (This puts him up there with the likes of Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.)
Judge was also the first rookie in MLB history with at least 45 home runs, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored.
Here’s everything you need to know about the best Aaron Judge cards, along with buying/selling advice for the future.
The Best Aaron Judge Cards
As you may have guessed, the majority of cards below center on his time as a rookie in 2017. Let’s begin with a great option that will be tempting for any Yankees fans.
5. 2018 Topps Tribute Judge/Jeter #TT-JJ (eBay)
The 2018 Topps Tribute set is a high-end release, with only on-card autographs and all hits numbered to 199 or less.
The Tribute Tandem Autograph Book is the subset we’re looking at, with base versions that are serial numbered to 25.
Judge is shown along with the legendary Derek Jeter, with bats raised as they face each other. The serial number can be found in the top right hand corner.
Parallels: Red #/10, Black 1/1
4. 2017 Topps Aaron Judge RC (Variation) #287 (eBay)
There are a range of Judge cards found in 2017 Topps sets, and many share the same number (#287).
This includes the base version, which shows Judge leaping through the air. A SSP variation features him with a bat tucked under his arm.
The card we’re looking at is found in the 2017 Topps Update Series. It features the player leaning up against a rail. Unlike the base version, there are no coloured parallels, but it is signed.
Base Parallels: Purple (Toys R Us), Rainbow Foil (1:10 packs), Gold #/2017, Negative (Hobby/Jumbo), Vintage Stock #/99, Black #/66 (Hobby/Jumbo), Mother’s Day Hot Pink #/50, Father’s Day Powder Blue #/50, Memorial Day Camo #/25, Platinum 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1, 65th Stamp 1/1 (Transcendent party)
3. 2017 Topps Dynasty Judge/Trout #DAPTJ (eBay)
2017 Topps Dynasty is an interesting proposition, with just one card in each hobby box. This means that you’re guaranteed a hit as they’re limited to 10 copies or fewer, while they also come in a protective case.
The majority have been slabbed by the likes of PSA or BGS, including this rare Judge/Mike Trout dual auto. There are only five copies, along with a rare one-of-one parallel. It’s another worthy contender for high-end collectors.
Parallels: Parallel 1/1
2. 2017 Topps Chrome Aaron Judge RC #RA-AJ (eBay)
The flagship 2017 Topps Chrome release is where you’ll find a rainbow of hard signed Refractors that also feature an RC logo.
They’re hard to beat in terms of brand recognition, and it also features a solid action shot as Judge leaps through the air.
Parallels: Refractor #/499, Purple Refractor #/250, Blue Refractor #/150, Green Refractor #/99 (Retail), Blue Wave Refractor #/75 (Hobby/Jumbo), Gold Refractor #/50, Orange Refractor #/25 (Hobby), X-Fractor #/20, Red Refractor #/5, SuperFractor 1/1 (Hobby/Jumbo), Printing Plates 1/1
1. 2013 Bowman Chrome Aaron Judge RC #AJ (eBay)
Released way back in 2013, the Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects set contains an early Judge card produced four years before his rookie season. There’s no better in terms of pure value, especially with rarer graded parallel versions.
It features a simple action shot of the player at the plate in a batting stance while wearing his Yankees uniform.
Parallels: Refractor, Blue #/99, Green #/75, Gold #/50, Blue Wave #/50, Black Wave #/50, Black #/35, Orange #/25, Purple, Red #/5, Superfractor 1/1
Aaron Judge Cards: Buyers Guide
At the current time of writing, Judge leads the Yankees in games played this season. This means that his cards are a hot commodity right now.
Unsigned base copies of the 2013 Bowman RC are pretty affordable, even if you’re solely interested in graded versions. Even PSA 10 copies currently sell for roughly $120, which is decent for an entry-level gem mint Judge RC.
Ironically, the 2013 Bowman RC is also our top pick if you’re hoping for a solid ROI. Bowman Chrome Prospects are always preferred by collectors in the long-term, and that’s reflected in the asking price.
Aaron Judge Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
Judge’s bat has helped win the Yankees plenty of games this season, although he has picked up a few knocks along the way.
He still has time to match up to his early exploits as a rookie. That will play a major role in deciding whether or not he’ll enter the Hall of Fame.
At the age of 29, he should be entering the prime of his career, rather than trying to keep off the injury list.
If you think he can keep up his fine displays, his RCs should be seen as a solid investment for the future.