Are you looking for GOAT baseball card investments?
Considering 2020’s pandemic-shortened season and a calf injury suffered in May of 2021, the world has been robbed of seeing Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels on the field for a significant period in recent years.
That means that it’s probably the ideal time to revisit his best cards ever, as we give a rundown containing the 10 top Mike Trout cards to collect, in an extensive guide that looks at everything from the greatest RCs to the current resale market.
The Best Top 10 Mike Trout Cards
We’ve listed 10 of the best Mike Trout cards ever released, with the usual mix of rookies to go along with a few more recent options.
10. 2011 Playoff Contenders Mike Trout RC #17 (eBay)
We begin with an affordable Trout RC from the 2011 Playoff Contenders set.
Trout’s Rated Rookie lacks a MLB license, so you’ll find the player in plain clothes as he holds a baseball aloft in a posed image.
The Rated Rookie set was merged with Season Tickets for this collection, so the text at the bottom has been given a chromium finish.
As a full-bleed card it can be tough to locate at higher grades, but it’s not especially rare by any means.
9. 2011 Finest Baseball Mike Trout RC #94 (eBay)
The 2011 Finest set tends to get lost in the mix, especially if you’re looking at the rarest Trout rookie cards.
However, that means that it’s somewhat undervalued, especially if you’re looking at rare numbered parallels. For example, the X-Fractor is a great place to start thanks to a print run of just 299.
Parallels: Refractors, X-Fractor (/299), Green (/199), Orange (/99), Gold (/50), Red (/25), Die Cut Mosaic (/10), Purple (/5), Framed Printing Plates, Super-Fractor (/1), Canary Diamond (/1).
8. 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Mike Trout RC #175 (eBay)
A Mike Trout RC is also found in 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball.
It utilises the traditional Bowman design, with a simple action shot of Trout with a bat held aloft set against a thick black border.
It might not have been especially popular when it was first released, but the power of the brand has helped it to stand the test of time.
Parallels: Refractors /500), Blue Refractors (/150), Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates, Super-Fractors (/1), Canary Diamond (/1)
7. 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Mike Trout #57 Autograph #/495 (eBay)
What about an early XRC focusing on Trout’s time as a prospect? It might lack MLB branding, but the 2009 Elite Extra Edition is still one of the most important cards to feature the slugger.
Limited to 495 copies, you’ll find a serial number on a chrome patch at the bottom. You’ll also be able to find further numbered parallels, including a Red version limited to 50 copies.
This Trout auto is another solid pick, with great potential to make profit in the future.
6. 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts Mike Trout RC #37 #/99 (eBay)
An option with just 99 copies, the 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts is an understated card that also happens to be the rarest Mike Trout RC overall.
It’s fair to say that the overall design leaves something to be desired, but there’s no doubting its importance for the hobby. It’s also tough to locate in pristine condition due to the finish and the full-bleed design.
5. 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout RC #US175 (eBay)
The 2011 Topps Update set used the same design as 2011 Topps Series 1 and 2. This means that there’s a glorious action shot of Trout after a successful swing, and the base version is always in high demand.
Parallels relate to the finish and the borderline, such as the Gold version seen in the image above.
As with the others, expect to pay a premium if you’re looking for a graded copy from one of the more reputable companies.
4. 2009 Bowman Sterling Baseball Mike Trout RC #MT Autograph (eBay)
The famous 2009 Bowman Sterling RC is arguably the best Trout collectible on the market, released way back when he was selected 25th overall in the MLB draft of that year.
(He started his pro career out of high school, playing for the Arizona Angels of the rookie-level Arizona League, hitting .360 with a .418 OBP and .506 SLG with one home run, 25 runs batted in (RBIs), and 13 stolen bases in 187 plate appearances over 39 games.)
Of course, Trout wouldn’t make his Angels debut until 2011, so this is an important release that comes with a sticker auto found at the bottom.
3. 2011 Bowman Draft Mike Trout RC #101 (eBay)
The 2011 Bowman Draft Mike Trout rookie card has been seen as the one to collect for a couple of years, especially when looking at Refractor versions.
(All 110 base cards and all 110 Prospect inserts were available in a Chrome edition, with one Bowman Chrome card inserted into each pack.)
Trout is pictured in a batting pose for the action shot. There’s a prominent RC logo in the top left corner, while the use of black for the border makes it more susceptible to displaying any damage.
Parallels: Refractors, Blue Refractors (/199), Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/10), Printing Plates, Super-Fractors (/1), Canary Diamond (/1)
2. 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout RC #BDPP89 Autograph (eBay)
The 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout autograph is an insert rather than a true RC, but it’s still the most valuable option to feature the player by a wide margin. It features a simple action shot of Trout with a bat in hand.
You’ll find numerous Refractor parallels, along with a large on-card auto at the base. It’s also his 1st Bowman Chrome release, which is especially popular with collectors. It’ll be tough to find much better if you’re looking at Trout RCs.
1. 2013 Fleer Precious Metal Gems Red Mike Trout #LV1 /100 (eBay)
The top spot on our list goes to Trout’s Fleer PMG release. A ridiculously high-end option, 2013 Fleer Retro Precious Metal Gems features the player wrapped in either a Blue, Red or Green chromium finish. (Did we mention that they’re also serial numbered?)
They’re especially prone to wear and tear, with the top layer flaking at the slightest touch. Given the popularity, rarity, and the timeless design, it’s our pick as the best Mike Trout card overall.
Top 10 Mike Trout Cards: Buyers Guide
Mike Trout is a GOAT within the sport, with a plethora of cards available at a range of different price points. We’ve put together a guide for potential buyers.
The Best Mike Trout Investment Card
Such is the legacy of Mike Trout, it’s hard to choose one specific RC from the list. They all have the potential to make money over the next decade, especially if you view the cards as a long-term investment option. Either of the top two would be our pick, depending on your budget.
Top 10 Mike Trout Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
Taking up the mantle from Derek Jeter, Trout is one of the greatest players of all-time, with a collection of rookie cards which rival almost any athlete. Fans are also looking forward to seeing Trout with a star-studded Angels team after he only appeared in 36 games in 2021.
We’re big on Trout cards, and aim to add a few RCs to our collection over the coming year. The slight lull could lead to great prices, so we’re keeping tabs on the situation.
In any case, they’re likely to be some of the best options within the sport.
The player still has goals to chase, and has nine years remaining on his massive 12-year, $426.5 million deal. If he continues to put up record-breaking numbers, Trout has to be seen as one of the safest investments within the hobby.
Are Mike Trout RCs a good investment in 2022? Definitely, even if they’re valuable enough to ensure that the average collector is priced out of owning pristine copies.