Mark McGwire Cards, Rookie Card and Autographed Memorabilia Guide

Mark McGwire

Date of Birth: 10/1/1963
Rookie Card Year: 1985
Investment Rating: 6.5


Overview

Mark McGwire cards and autographed memorabilia once ruled the hobby. Unfortunately, the values of his cards and memorabilia fell with his public reputation. Allegations of PED use severely tainted his record-breaking season of 1998 when he became the single-season home run king, even if his reign was short-lived.

McGwire's lone rookie card is in 1985 Topps Baseball. The card features McGwire as a member of Team USA's 1984 Olympic team. A Tiffany version of the card featuring glossy card stock, was also produced. Player collectors are also fond of McGwire's minor league card, 1985 Chong Modesto A's.

McGwire's rise to superstar status paralleled the introduction of memorabilia and autographed cards. Mark McGwire's first memorabilia card was included in 1999 Upper Deck Black Diamond product as part of the Piece of History insert set. In 2002, Upper Deck signed an exclusive agreement with McGwire that would bring the first certified Mark McGwire autograph cards. Although he was featured extensively in their products, his signature is still considered quite rare.

At the height of McGwire's popularity, the cost of his autographed memorabilia was astronomical. Single-signed baseballs, bats and jerseys routinely sold for $500 to $3,500. Once he became a member of the 500 Home Run Club, the demand for his signature on multi-signed items increased significantly. Often McGwire would refuse to sign such items. So those authentic 500 Home Run Club pieces that did have his signature quickly escalated in value.

Since his congressional hearing on PEDs, McGwire has shunned the limelight and does not participate in autograph signing events. In late 2013, Topps announced that they had signed an autographed deal with the slugger for many of its 2014 products. These are his first signed MLB-licensed cards since 2003.

Top Mark McGwire Cards

1985 Topps Mark McGwire RC #401

1985 Topps Baseball Mark McGwire RC 401 209x300 Image

During it's heyday, this card sold for well into the four figures with a high grade from PSA or BGS. How the mighty have fallen. Today it can be found for a small fraction that. Raw copies are easily found for under $20 and it's unlikely it'll ever rebound. This card is still on of the most iconic rookie cards of the 1980s. It often appeared in mainstream news coverage about the hobby during McGwire's pursuit of the home run record.

1985 Chong Modesto A's Mark McGwire #17

1985 Modesto Mark McGwire 204x300 Image 1985 Chong Modesto As Mark McGwire Error 205x300 Image

The 1985 Chong Modesto Mark McGwire has two versions. One has his last name spelled correctly. An error version uses the common mistake, "McGuire." The misspelled version can still sell in the $150 range. However, this reflects a significant decrease in value from where it once was. Both cards have  been copied and reprinted significantly over the years, further dragging values down. If you're looking for this minor league gem, opting for a professionally graded card that has been authenticated by a reputable third-party  service like SGC, BCG, or PSA is highly recommended.

1985 Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire #401

1985 Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire 214x300 Image

Topps Tiffany cards were only available in factory set form. The sets themselves are easy to spot as they come in distinct royal blue boxes. But once they're opening, the differences are a little less obvious. Topps Tiffany cards are printed on a thicker card stock with a high-gloss finish. Much more rare, the 1985 Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire commands a significant premium over the base version.

2002 SP Authentic Chirography Mark McGwire #MM Autograph #/50

2002 SP Authentic Chirography Mark McGwire Auto 214x300 Image

One of several cards McGwire has in the product, autographs from the Chirography subset, have always been popular with collectors. The regular version of the card is numbered to 50 while a Gold parallel is limited to 25 copies. Other than the numbering, there is very little difference between the two.

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1988 SI FOR KIDS MARK MCGWIRE 4CT + CLASS OF 88 13CT + 8CT ACTION SUPERSTAR
$24.00
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1987 TOPPS TIFFANY MARK MCGWIRE BGS 9
$19.99
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1987 FLEER UPDATE GLOSSY MARK MCGWIRE BGS 9.5
$19.99
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1987 FLEER GLOSSY UPDATE MARK MCGWIRE BGS 9.5
$19.99
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2000 Ovation Baseball cards Mark McGwire Superstar Spotlight NM #82
$5.49
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1995 Emotion N-Tense Mark McGwire #7 PSA 10
$35.00
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1999 (BB) UD Ionix #83 Mark McGwire TECH
$5.10
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Mark McGwire St Louis Cardinals Upper Deck Mark McGwire Chase for 62 Card Set
$5.99
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Mark McGwire 70th HR 24K Gold Signature Card
$9.99
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Mark McGwire Baseball Card
$6.99
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MARK MCGWIRE , 1987 , DONRUSS , RATED ROOKIE , #46
$8.00
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1993 TOPPS BLACK GOLD #39 MARK McGWIRE ATHLETICS PSA 10 B1522830
$9.99
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1999 SP AUTHENTIC HOMERUN CHRONICLES #HR60 MARK McGWIRE POP 2 PSA 10 B1522831
$21.99
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(2) 1988 DRAKES BIG HITTERS MARK MCGWIRE 8TH ANNUAL CARDS #6 OAKLAND A'S
$6.00
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15x Mark McGwire lot, 1987 Topps, insert, Fleer, SP, Chrome, Studio, UD ++
$13.99
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1998 Fleer ST LOUIS CARDINALS True Team Set (30) MARK McGWIRE JD DREW Rookie +
$14.95
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Autograph Guide

Mark McGwire Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find an example of what Mark McGwire'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 companySome of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Mark McGwire Cut Signature Exemplar

Mark McGwire Signature Example 260x118 Image

Mark McGwire Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Mark McGwire signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. A very hard to decipher signature in terms of letter-by-letter analysis.
  2. The signature consists of several looping letters and rounded lines, written on an even horizontal plane.
  3. The first character looks like a backwards and over-sized "r."
  4. The next character looks like a lover case cursive "l," which is followed by a larger more oval-shaped letter.
  5. A smaller version of the "r" shape intersects the larger oval "l" shape.
  6. Next is a small looking 's" shape, with a large tear-drop shaped loop below the horizontal plane.
  7. A near horizontal line extends to the right and finished the name.
  8. McGwire items are often found with numerous inscriptions.

Mark McGwire Signed Baseball Pricing

Active Listings for McGwire Signed Baseballs

Mark McGwire Signed Baseball 1 260x249 Image Mark McGwire Signed Baseball 2 260x258 Image

Mark McGwire Signed Bat Pricing

Active Listings for Mark McGwire Signed Bats

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Mark McGwire Signed Jersey Pricing

Active Listings for Mark McGwire Signed Jerseys

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Mark McGwire Signed Photograph Pricing

Active Listings for Mark McGwire Signed Photographs

Mark McGwire Signed Photo Image

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Barry Bonds Mark McGwire 2 Signed Baseballs 70 HR Steiner MLB Online COA
$799.90
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Barry Bonds Mark McGwire RARE duel Signed Baseball 70 HR Steiner MLB Online COA
$848.81
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Mark McGwire SWEET SPOT Signed Autographed Baseball PSA DNA LOA!
$129.95
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MARK McGWIRE Signed 16x20 Photo Poster JSA
$114.99
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MARK McGWIRE Signed 9x15 Newspaper 9 8 1998 Celebrating Homerun 61! JSA
$79.99
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MARK McGWIRE Signed 14x22 Newspaper 9 9 1998 New King of Swat, Hits 62! JSA
$99.99
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MARK McGWIRE Signed 14x22 Newspaper 9 9 1998 "Absolutely Incredible" No. 62 JSA
$99.99
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MARK McGWIRE Signed 11x17 Newspaper 9 9 1998 "It's History, 62!" JSA
$89.99
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MARK McGWIRE Signed 11x17 Newspaper 9 9 1998 "Scenes from the Season of 62" JSA
$74.99
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MARK McGWIRE Signed 16x20 Photo Poster "Home Run Record Breaker" JSA
$114.99
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MARK MCGWIRE 1987 Donruss #46 AUTOGRAPH PSA DNA Authentic AUTO SIGNED Card
$89.99
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Mark McGwire LA Dodgers Signed Autographed MLB Major League Baseball - JSA LOA
$144.49
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Mark McGwire LA Dodgers Signed Autographed MLB Major League Baseball - JSA LOA
$144.49
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Mark McGwire Signed Signed Framed 16x20 Photo Display JSA Cardinals 61st HR
$113.74
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1988 DONRUSS MARK MCGWIRE SIGNED AUTOGRAPH AUTO JSA CERTIFIED AUTHENTIC
$59.99
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MARK MCGWIRE 1985 TOPPS USA ROOKIE CARD #401 SIGNED AUTOGRAPH PSA
$99.99
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More Info

For general information and player statistics about Mark McGwire, visit:


 |  E-Mail Author | 
Rob Bertrand is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby. He is one of the site's most accomplished writers, as well as the co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @VOTC.

User Comments

  1. have two framed nostalgia items for McGwire…with the cardinals hard to explain it all but if you want I can take a picture of them and email them to you. no idea if any value at all but cannot find a likeness on the internet.

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