Rookie Card Year: 1992
Investment Rating: 6.0
It wasn't defense that made Mike Piazza cards some of the most collected of the 1990s. It was his potent bat and marketable charisma. Offensively, Piazza ranks as one of baseball's greatest catchers. Playing much of his career with the big-market Dodgers and Mets, he also benefited from the added exposure. Today, Mike Piazza cards and memorabilia remain popular. In particular, autographs, which are somewhat rare, command plenty of attention.
The catcher's legend begins before he even went pro. Tommy Lasorda was a close family friend. It's widely told that the Dodgers picked Piazza in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft as a favor. Proving that superstars can come from anywhere in the draft, the catcher was a September call-up in 1992. During his first full season with Los Angeles in 1993, Piazza hit 35 home runs and drove in 112.
For the next decade, Piazza was a perennial All-Star and fan favorite. He was also one of the most popular players in the hobby as it tried to shake a post-strike slump.
Piazza has just two rookies cards: 1992 Bowman and 1992 Fleer Update. Both are very popular with collectors. However, Piazza's signature is even more desirable. Through much of his playing career, the catcher was a rare signer, appearing in just a few sets. This increased a little during his final seasons, but not by much. Piazza seems more willing to sign in retirement, which should help make his autographs a little more affordable.
Mike Piazza Rookie Card Guide
One of the most iconic cards of its era, the 1992 Bowman Mike Piazza is instantly recognizable among hobby veterans. One of the anchors in an extremely strong set, the card features the catcher decked out in his catcher's gear. The look is clean, the photo is crisp and it comes from a classic set that's held in high regard.
Although Piazza's Bowman rookie has all the romanticism and fonder memories, it's the 1992 Fleer Update that sells for higher prices. Included as a part of Fleer's annual year-end box set, this Mike Piazza rookie is much tougher to find. While it's prices aren't as high as they once were, it's one of the 1990's most valuable rookie cards.
Mike Piazza Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Mike Piazza'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.
Mike Piazza Cut Signature Exemplar:
Mike Piazza Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Mike Piazza 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 is largely indecipherable.
- The first character resembles an awkward number "9."
- The letter "P" is distinguishable with the vertical line consisting of am elongated loop on a 50 degree angle and the round loop at the top coming to a close.
- A dot is present implying the letter "i."
- Looking closely that dot of the "i" appears to dot an upside "?"
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