Rookie Card Year: 2005
Investment Rating: 7.5
After an MVP-caliber season in 2011, Matt Kemp cards and memorabilia have entered superstar territory. With Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder both headed to the American League, the Dodgers outfielder is now one of the National League's most dangerous sluggers. Collectors are finally taking note, sending Matt Kemp cards into the upper echelon of the hobby's elite.
Although Kemp has been a standout for Los Angeles for a couple of years, in 2010 he emerged as one of baseball's best. In 2011, he came close to winning the Triple Crown after leading the NL in home runs (39) and runs batted in (126) while finishing third in batting (.324). Kemp was also one stolen base shy of joining the elusive 40-40 Club for hitting 40 home runs and swiping 40 bases in a single season. Many assumed these stats were good enough for NL MVP, but Kemp ended up finishing second to Ryan Braun.
Collectors have seven options when it comes to Matt Kemp rookie cards. They run the value spectrum as well, ranging from entry-level sets up to a premium autograph. Rarer parallels give collectors several more options for first-year Matt Kemp cards.
Matt Kemp Rookie Card Guide
The look on Kemp's face says it all about this card: boring. Still, it remains affordable for all collectors. The black corners make it tougher to find mint copies as the base Bowman card stock isn't the most durable.
The 2005 Bowman's Best Baseball design hasn't aged very well. Kemp's drowsy pose doesn't help matters either. Still, for collectors looking to add a little shine to their Matt Kemp rookie card collection at a reasonable price, this may be the one. Serial numbered Refractors are a good option for collectors looking for investment potential.
The 2005 Bowman Chrome Matt Kemp autographed rookie is, by far, his most desirable rookie card. It is the only one that is signed so collectors must be prepared to pay big for one. It also comes from one of the hobby's most popular sets. Always popular with collectors are the numerous numbered Refractor parallels, which are also autographed. The 2005 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor makes for one of the best-looking and most coveted Matt Kemp cards.
With a design inspired by 1951 Bowman Baseball, the 2005 Bowman Heritage Matt Kemp rookie card is the one with the most artistic flair. While he doesn't have a beaming smile, this is his one rookie where he doesn't look angry.
The biggest benefit for this card is its place as the official Matt Kemp Topps rookie card, which should give it a permanent spot in company archive. Unfortunately, the unhappy look is back. Because it's a standard portrait shot without much else going on, it doesn't have a lot of overall appeal.
If a 2005 Bowman Chrome Matt Kemp is out of your price range, his 2005 Topps Chrome Update is probably you next best option. A chromium version of his regular Topps card, the Topps Chrome versions are much rarer as they were seeded just a couple per pack. Combine that with the hobby's long-standing love for the Topps Chrome name and you've got one of the best Matt Kemp cards.
This may be the sleeper of all rookie Matt Kemp cards. Topps Total is notorious for its massive checklist. Although there aren't any short prints, simply pulling any given card is a tough task. Plus, 2005 Topps Total Baseball wasn't all that popular at the time. As a result, relatively few of the Matt Kemp rookie cards pop up. They are by no means rare, just harder to find than several of his other rookie cards. Some of that may be due to the fact that Kemp shares the card with Heath Totten. Never heard of him? That's the problem.
Matt Kemp 2005 05 Bowman Heritage Rookie Card
Matt Kemp 2005 05 Topps Update Rookie Card #uh284
Matt Kemp - 2005 Topps #UH284 RC - Dodgers
Autograph Matt Kemp James Loney 8x10 with proof
Matt Kemp Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Matt Kemp'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.
Signed Baseball Pricing:
Signed Jersey Pricing
Signed 8x10 Photo Pricing