Rookie Card Year: 2001
Investment Rating: 8.0
Ichiro Suzuki is one of baseball's biggest international stars. After a successful start to his career in Japan, he was an instant sensation the moment he joined the Seattle Mariners in 2001. Ichiro Suzuki cards skyrocketed immediately. The combination of him and Albert Pujols sent most unopened 2001 baseball card products to the high prices they still maintain.
However, Suzuki's hobby relevance was slightly hindered by his under-performing team and lack of national exposure. Tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Mariners rarely got him much exposure beyond the West Coast. Ichiro is one of the only current players on the team many baseball fans can readily name. That being said, Ichiro has a huge Japanese following and is one of the most consistent hitters in the history of the game.
His move to the New York Yankees reinvigorated the market for Ichiro Suzuki card. Another factor that could come into play is the fact that Ichiro's deal with Topps expired after the 2012 season. As a result, there hasn't been any new Ichiro Suzuki cards from Topps since. Overall, this is minor as he already has, literally, thousands of different cards.
Although he has been a fixture of the game for many years, there is a very limited amount of autographed Ichiro Suzuki cards. An exclusive deal with Leaf in 2011 has led to several new autographed cards and sales have yielded large returns.
With more than 4,000 career hits between Japan and the majors, the Hall of Fame seems all but certain. Ichiro has almost 50 true rookie cards across all budgets. His top cards also happen to be his only autographed rookies.
Top Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Cards
The 2001 SPx Baseball Ichiro Suzuki rookie card is arguably the top option for collectors. It is definitely the most recognizable high-end first-year Ichiro Suzuki card. The card may not have a serial number but it does feature a nice cut signature and simple jersey patch. It has a much more dynamic design than the Ultimate Collection but the lack of numbering hurts its overall appeal.
The 2001 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ichiro Suzuki rookie card isn't as iconic as the SPx card, but it has some great features. It has an on-card autograph and is limited to only 250 copies. However, the card is a little plain-looking for its high price tag and just does not carry the "wow factor" one would expect.
Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Card Checklist
Budget Rookie Cards
- 2001 Bowman Draft #BDP84
- 2001 Bowman Heritage #352
- 2001 Fleer Tradition #452
- 2001 Fleer Triple Crown #306 #/2999
- 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars #251
- 2001 MLB Showdown Pennant Run #169
- 2001 SP Game Bat Milestone #91
- 2001 Topps #726
- 2001 Topps Gallery #151 English
- 2001 Topps Gallery #151 Japanese
- 2001 Upper Deck #271
- 2001 Upper Deck Evolution #91 #/2500
- 2001 Upper Deck MVP #60
- 2001 Upper Deck Ovation #76 #/2000
- 2001 Upper Deck Victory #564
- 2001 Upper Deck Vintage #346
Mid-Range Rookie Cards
- 2001 Bowman's Best #162 /2999
- 2001 Bowman Chrome #351 English
- 2001 Bowman Chrome #351 Japanese
- 2001 Donruss #195 #/2001
- 2001 Donruss Classics #146 #/585
- 2001 Donruss Class of 2001 #251 #/625
- 2001 Donruss Elite #195 #/900
- 2001 Donruss Signature #146 #/330
- 2001 E-X #105 #/1999
- 2001 Fleer Authority #101 #/2001
- 2001 Fleer Focus #247 #/999
- 2001 Fleer Futures #230 #/2499
- 2001 Fleer Platinum #252
- 2001 Fleer Premium #231 #/1999
- 2001 Fleer Showcase #116 #/500
- 2001 Fleer Game Time #91 #/2000
- 2001 Fleer Genuine #101 #/1500
- 2001 Fleer Legacy #101 #/799
- 2001 SP Authentic #91 #/1250
- 2001 SP Game Used Edition #63 #/500
- 2001 Studio #186 #/700
- 2001 Sweet Spot #62 #/1000
- 2001 Topps Chrome Traded #T266
- 2001 Topps Reserve #151 #/1170
- 2001 UD Reserve #181 #/2500
- 2001 Ultra #278 with T.Shinjo #/1499
- 2001 Upper Deck Gold Glove #135 #/500
Premium Rookie Cards
Ichiro Suzuki Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Ichiro's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not 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 Leaf Authentics. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Ichiro Suzuki Cut Signature Exemplar
Ichiro Suzuki Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Ichiro Suzuki signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- The letters of the signature are in no way discernible but the characters used are relatively consistent, but can vary as seen above.
- Look for a series of tall loops that appear to then be connected by a line across all of them.
- Compare any Ichiro signature to one from a certified trading card from Upper Deck, Topps or Leaf before purchasing alleged memorabilia signed by Ichiro.
Ichiro Suzuki Signed Baseballs
Ichiro Suzuki Signed Jerseys
Ichiro Suzuki Signed Bat
Ichiro Suzuki Signed Photograph
Be sure to check out our other Ichiro guides:
- Top 10 Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Cards
- Top 10 Japanese Ichiro Cards
- 2013 Leaf Ichiro Immortal Collection Baseball Cards
For general information and player statistics visit: