Rookie Card Year: 2012
Investment Rating: 7.5
A lot of hype surrounds Bryce Harper. An outfielder in the Washington Nationals' organization, he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Official Bryce Harper rookie cards are found in 2012 products released after his debut with the Nationals.
Harper hits for power and average and has an amazing ability to read pitches. A talented fielder as well, he has all the makings of a five-tool player and should be a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come. He won National League Rookie of the Year honors after hitting 22 home runs to go alongside 98 runs and 58 RBIs. Equally important, he was a spark for the Nationals on many occasions, helping the team make the playoffs for the first time since moving from Montreal.
Harper's professional career kicked off very strong. After performing exceptionally well in both the Instructional and Arizona Fall Leagues he was optioned to the club's team in Hagerstown, their High Single-A affiliate. A slow start led the team to believe they may have moved him too quickly. However, after a trip to the eye doctor and a new pair of contacts, Harper's minor league career quickly took off. He was selected to represent the United States in the 2011 Futures Game. He was then promoted to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators on July 4, 2011.
However, following his rookie season, Harper struggled to live up to his phenom billing. Injuries and streaky play were the main factors. That said, he's still very young and there's still plenty of time for the outfielder to develop.
All of Bryce Harper's cards that came out prior to his MLB debut are considered prospect cards. His earliest cards come from Upper Deck's USA Baseball products, although his most popular prospect cards are from 2011 Bowman Baseball.
Bryce Harper Rookie Card Checklist
A straightforward Bryce Harper rookie, this card is more popular for its many Refractor parallels. For those on a tighter budget simply looking for an official rookie card of the phenom outfielder, 2012 Bowman Chrome certainly fits the bill.
A cheap, entry-level option, the 2012 Bowman Draft Bryce Harper rookie will likely be over overlooked by many. Still, it has a nice, clean design. The card also has several parallel versions that garner solid prices.
The 2012 Bowman Platinum Bryce Harper rookie card isn't a short print. For those who like a little shine, it's a reasonably priced option from an attractive set. The card further stands out thanks to the sharp action photo of Harper running.
Although the 2012 Bowman Sterling Bryce Harper rookie isn't numbered, autographed or souped up in any way, collectors shouldn't overlook it. The high-end set has just one base card or product card per pack. Factor in the many Refractor parallels and you've got what's likely one of Harper's rarest rookie cards.
Part of the Rated Rookies subset, this high-end Bryce Harper rookie card comes with a massive game-used jersey piece. Some are single-color swatches while others do have multiple colors. Although it's still one of his most expensive rookies, the price is somewhat reasonable given the high initial cost of 2012 Panini National Treasures.
It didn't take long for Prizm to become one of Panini's most popular brands. While the 2012 Panini Prizm Bryce Harper rookie card should remain relatively reasonably priced, the Refractor-esque parallels will garner a lot of attention. The fact that this set wasn't released until after the 2013 season started may prevent some from considering this as a rookie, it's still a solid choice for those on a budget. Harper is also featured in the Prizm USA Baseball insert set.
It's not numbered, but the 2012 Panini Signature Series Bryce Harper could emerge as one of his tougher first-year cards. Coming from a hits-focused product, base cards aren't all that plentiful. The intense, close-up image helps it stand out from other cards. Because Panini only has an MLBPA license, the card does not have team logos.
It's extremely limited, comes with a game-used jersey swatch but the 2012 Playoff Prime Cuts Bryce Harper remains somewhat reasonably priced. The lack of MLB logos no doubt hurts the overall appeal of the card. But for fans of low-numbered stuff, this may be a bargain.
A last-second addition to the set, this card is a short print. Although not extremely rare, it is in high demand due to set collectors looking to finish 2012 Topps Baseball collections. The card also has an autographed parallel.
The first readily available Bryce Harper rookie card, the 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter features another classic design from the brand. An artistically rendered Harper poses with his bat, surrounded by a gold border. The card also has several different mini parallels.
The first official Bryce Harper rookie card released, it is an extremely tough short print. Harper is pictured using the 1984 Topps Baseball design. The same card is featured on a Fan Favorites autograph. Inserted as a redemption, the autograph is on-card.
Featuring a chromium design, the 2012 Topps Chrome Bryce Harper rookie is great for parallel collectors. Refractors come in several colors. Although not rookies, Harper has both a Rookie Autograph Variation and a base set variation, both of which are rare and sell strong. Of all the base set variations in 2012 Topps Chrome Baseball, Harper is the only player to have a regular and Refractor version.
Another metallic design, the 2012 Topps Finest Bryce Harper rookie is the top card in the base set. That said, because it's not a short print, it's reasonably priced. The Bryce Harper Rookie Autograph and rare Refractor parallels represent the chase element in the set.
The 2012 Topps Five Star Bryce Harper doesn't need much to make it one of his priciest rookie cards. Coming from a product that costs more than $400 per pack and limited to 80 copies is enough. The card itself is somewhat plain from a design perspective, but that might not be a bad thing. Being Harper's rarest official rookie card, it will always have an audience.
Offered as a box set sold only through the online Topps shop, over time, this will likely be one of the tougher Bryce Harper rookie cards to get. Limited to 1,000 copies, the Heritage line is very popular with set builders. That means an already small supply of cards is that much tougher to come by as a single.
Looking for a sleeper Bryce Harper rookie? His 2012 Topps Mini card might be it. Outside of a few boxes sold at the National in Baltimore, the set was originally only available online. The small print run sold out in about a month. Channeling the feel of 1975 Topps Mini, 2012 Topps Mini is simply a shrunken down version of the base set. And while Harper was a short print in 2012 Topps Series 2 Baseball, he isn't here. The card is just as common as every other base card.
The 2012 Topps Triple Threads Bryce Harper is his first official rookie card to have either an autograph or memorabilia swatch. Numbered to 99, it's also extremely rare. The horizontal card has an on-card signature. The memorabilia pieces re set behind die cut windows that have both his position and number.
Bryce Harper Prospect Card Checklist
Key Prospect Cards:
- 2008-09 Upper Deck USA Baseball #47
- 2009 Bowman AFLAC #BH
- 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars USA National Team Future Watch Jersey Autographs #30 (/899, Autographed Jersey)
- 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars USA Star Prospects #USA-8
- 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars USA Star Prospects Jerseys #USA-8 (Jersey)
- 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars USA Star Prospects Signatures #USA-8 (Autographed)
- 2009-10 Upper Deck USA Baseball #USA-30
- 2009-10 Upper Deck USA Baseball #USA-83 (/502, Autographed)
- 2009-10 Upper Deck USA Baseball 18U National Team Big Sigs #BH (/75, Autographed)
- 2010 Bowman Chrome 18U USA Baseball #18BC8
- 2010 Bowman Chrome 18U USA Baseball Buyback #18BC8 (/100, Autographed)
- 2010 Bowman Draft AFLAC Autographs #9 (/230, Autographed)
- 2011 Bowman Prospects #BP1
- 2011 Bowman Prospects Autographs #BP1
- 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP1
- 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP1
- 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects Refractor Autographs #BH
Bryce Harper Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find examples of what an authentic Bryce Harper autograph looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Bryce Harper Cut Signature Exemplar
Bryce Harper Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Bryce Harper signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- Bryce Harper's signature primarily consists of the initials of his first and last name.
- Both equal in size, the letter "B" shows a much larger bottom loop than top and is open at the bottom.
- The letter "H" consists of one vertical, left leaning line, with the parallel line resembling a capital letter "C."
- His last name does include characters to implie the remaining letters and looks like a number "7" with a long line extending to the right away from the top of the "number 7."
- Harper typically, but not always, includes his jersey number as an inscription as well as the Bible verse Luke 1:37.
Signed Baseball Pricing:
Signed Bat Pricing:
Signed Jersey Pricing:
Signed Photograph Pricing:
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Dig deeper into Bryce Harper cards and memorabilia with the following guides and articles:
- Top 10 Bryce Harper Rookie and Prospect Cards
- 2011 Bowman Bryce Harper Superfractor Soars on eBay
- The Bryce Harper Visual Guide to 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball
For general information and player statistics visit: