Rookie Card Year: 1992
Investment Rating: 7.0
Mariano Rivera built his legacy largely by coming into the end of games and getting those last few outs. It does not sound glamorous and that is why most relievers and closers are not big in the hobby. But Rivera was different. Although his cards were not very popular during the early portion of his career, it became clear how special the closer was, especially since his dominance lead to multiple World Series titles for the New York Yankees. With his official retirement in the books and the Hall of Fame all but certain, collectors can expect Mariano Rivera cards and autograph values to continue to move upward.
Born and raised in Panama, Mariano Rivera signed a free agent contract with the New York Yankees in 1990. Despite speaking no English, he left home to begin his career in the minor leagues. Rivera was called up by the Yankees in 1995 and started his long Major League career with the team. And what a career it was. When it was all over, Mariano Rivera held an impressive amount of regular season and postseason records. The 13-time All-Star helped close out five World Series titles and was named the World Series MVP in 1999. He also holds the MLB record for most career saves.
Pack-pulled Mariano Rivera autographs are not as common as other elite players. Even though autographs have become a staple of modern card products, one of his most popular Mariano Rivera signed cards is found in 1996 Leaf Signature Seres. Still, many options emerged during his last few seasons in the league. And while there seems to be a good supply of Marian Rivera signed gear, his exclusive with Steiner Sports Memorabilia keeps prices and supply very controlled.
Since Mariano Rivera's official rookie card came in the early-90s, the large print runs common during this period will always keeps values down. However, high-grade versions command strong values and Rivera has a few cards that predate his rookie, which remain popular and valuable when they surface.
Mariano Rivera Rookie Cards and Minor League Cards
Just out of his teens at the time, Mariano Rivera's first card shows am image of a young-looking and scrawny pitcher for the Tampa Yankees. The plain card is bordered by Yankees pinstripes. He would wear those colors for nearly 25 years.
Another pre-rookie card, the 1991 ProCards release for the Greensboro Hornets takes an interesting design approach. However, it is only interesting if you a fan of note pads. Despite this bizarre layout, these cards are ver popular and it is also still possible to find full sealed team sets from this release.
One thing is clear. Mariano Rivera is a fan of business casual. The official Mariano Rivera rookie card may not wow anyone with the design, but the significance makes it one of the top Mariano Rivera cards.
Mariano Rivera Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Mariano Rivera'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 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, and Mounted Memories.
Mariano Rivera Cut Signature Exemplar:
Mariano Rivera Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Mariano Rivera 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 signature exhibits an overall consistency, and each letter is discernible.
- Although the signature begins with a normal oversized "M", the second half nearly forms a figure eight.
- The pen lifts and the remainder of the first name is written in one line.
- The rest of the letters in the first name are legible, similarly-sized, and the "i" is dotted.
- The "R" does not connect and is rounded to the point that it can resemble a "B".
- The pen lifts and "i-v-e-r-a" is written in one line and the "i" is dotted.
- The final "a" will generally exhibit an upward finish of varying lengths and resemble a smile.
Mariano Rivera Signed Baseball Pricing:
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