Brooks Robinson is widely considered to be baseball’s best defensive third baseman.
He spent 23 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles of the American League, where he won the Gold Glove Award 16 times and set career records for a third baseman with 2,870 games played, a .971 fielding average (since broken), 2,697 putouts, 6,205 assists, and participation in 618 double plays.
Here’s a roundup with a trio of the very best Brooks Robinson cards, including autographed editions and his famous 1957 RC.
The Best Brooks Robinson Cards
Robinson has been included in many sets over the years, more than many others due to the sheer length of his career. However, we’ll begin with a more recent version from 2017.
3. 2017 Topps Heritage Real One Dual Autos Robinson/Ripken Jr. #RR (eBay)
A card celebrating two of the greatest Baltimore Orioles players of all-time, the 2017 Topps Heritage set has a Real Ones dual auto which is numbered to just 25 copies.
Robinson is joined by Cal Ripken, and the card has been hand signed by both legends on the front. They’re given a small segment each, using classic images of the players.
In keeping with Topps Heritage designs that borrow from the past, the cards are meant to mimic 1968 Topps Baseball. It’s hard to find fault with the star power on display here.
2. 1958 Topps Brooks Robinson #307 (eBay)
Heading back over half a century to 1958, Robinson’s second-ever Topps card is a great investment piece if you’re looking at graded copies. There are only eleven PSA 9s at the current time of writing according to the registry.
It benefits from a vintage layout, with his name displayed in plain text above a clear blue background. However, they haven’t picked the best image of Robinson, as the posed profile shot sees him standing agape. (It does work for no the likes of Hank Aaron, but not here.)
Regardless, the age and the scarcity make it a viable option for vintage baseball card collectors and investors alike.
1. 1957 Topps Brooks Robinson RC #328 (eBay)
1957 Topps Baseball contains the one and only Brooks Robinson RC, featuring a profile shot of the third baseman while he smiles at the camera.
The set was the first to feature player stats covering their whole career on the back of the card. It was also the first time that full colour photography was used, rather than the colourised images used previously.
That’s one explanation as to why the background looks a little faded compared to cards that came later when they had perfected the mass-printing process.
As the key RC in a highly collectible set, it’s easy to see why graded copies of the Brooks Robinson card are in high demand.
Brooks Robinson Cards: Buyers Guide
Here are our thoughts on the current state of the Brooks Robinson card market, and whether he makes for a viable investment option in 2022 and beyond.
The Best Cheap Brooks Robinson Cards
Graded cards from the 1950’s don’t tend to come cheap, and the same goes for rare autos. For a more affordable option, check out ungraded versions, but be wary of any fakes.
The Best Brooks Robinson Investment Card
Either the 2017 dual auto or the 1957 RC would be our pick given the scarcity of the former, and the age and popularity of the latter.
Brooks Robinson Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
Robinson is a safe investment option, as a long retired Hall of Famer who was elected way back in 1983. (His nickname was “The Human Vacuum Cleaner,” such was his defensive prowess.)
Collectors and investors tend to like vintage options from the 1950’s, and it’s hard to do better than a player like Robinson who set multiple records, and has a single RC.
You’re unlikely to lose out with the rarest cards listed above, especially if you stick with anything wrapped in a PSA sleeve.