In-Depth: The 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera RC #302

Baseball cards have been a great investment for decades, with a resurgence in interest within the hobby helping to spur values upward. 

The 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera RC is one such card that has jumped in price in recent years, settling at roughly $700-$800 towards the end of 2021.

(Of course, we’re focusing on pristine versions that have received a 10 grade from the likes of PSA, given the sheer amount that were printed.)

As one of the most popular rookie cards from the first half of the decade, here’s an in-depth look at the 1992 Bowman Rivera RC, as well as estimating what the future holds for values.  

1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera #302: In-Depth 

The Set

1992 Bowman Baseball was a glossy release which rejuvenated the brand during the early part of the decade. It contains a large checklist with 705 cards in total.

The Rivera RC was one of 150 rookies included in the set, with many given a casual design that makes the cards especially memorable. (It also makes them look slightly dated.)

As it was released near the height of the junk wax era, there are thousands of copies that have made it through intact over the past three decades. 

The Player 

Pitchers aren’t the most popular players when it comes to card collecting, but it’s worth making an exception for one who is arguably the greatest closer in the history of baseball.

As a member (1995–2013) of a dominant New York Yankees team spurred by the Core Four, (Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada), Rivera won five World Series titles (1996, 1998–2000, and 2009).

The Yankees reliever was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2019, as the first-ever player voted into the hall by a unanimous vote.

The Card: 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera RC #302

1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera RC #302

1992 Bowman Baseball made the decision to picture many rookies in casual attire, such as this slightly uncomfortable pose seen in Rivera’s RC as he leans against a pillar that matches his shirt colour.

Due to the era, it’s not like there isn’t an abundance of graded versions, with a massive 1,451 PSA 10 copies at the current time of writing. 

The laws of supply and demand dictate that prices can only go so high, despite his All-Star status. 

1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera #302: Values 

Having reached the $1,000 mark midway through 2021, they’ve gone on to settle at roughly $700-$800 for a PSA 10 copy heading into the New Year. 

In many ways, they’ve followed the ebb and flow of the market, which is down in comparison to the record-breaking highs seen in the early stages of 2021.  

Mariano Rivera: Cheaper Options 

In truth, there aren’t any cheap Rivera rookie cards if you’re looking at gem mint versions. After all, there’s only one real RC to pick from. 

The 1990 Diamond Cards Tampa Yankees Mariano Rivera #17 is another option, although it is a minor league release which is much harder to locate. 

Instead, you could look to lower grades if you’re willing to make do with a version that doesn’t have a 10 on the label. 

1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera #302: Summary 

We’d be careful if you’re buying a Rivera RC solely with the proviso of making profit in the future. 

There’s an abundance of gem mint copies on the market, even if there’s a solid resale market in the here and now. 

However, it’s a solid choice from a collector’s point of view, featuring a Hall of Famer who is still likely to appreciate in value long term. 

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