Rookie Card Year: 1949
Investment Rating: 8.5
Roy Campanella baseball cards and autographed memorabilia are some of the most highly pursued collectibles in the hobby. Nearly anything associated with his career sells for top dollar. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest catchers in baseball history.
Campanella's lone rookie card is from 1949 Bowman Baseball and is one of the most coveted post-war cards in the hobby. Additionally, he has a 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers team-issued card that is also very popular.
Roy Campanella died in 1993, just prior to the explosive growth of the sports memorabilia and autograph market. As a result, the only autographed baseball cards that Campanella has are cut signature cards. His first appeared in 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends and 1999 SP Signature Edition.
His first memorabilia card was manufactured for inclusion in Upper Deck's 2000 Brooklyn Dodgers Master Collection set. The Legends of Flatbush card has a piece of a Roy Campanella game-used bat and is serial numbered to 250.
Items signed by Roy Campanella are considered to be somewhat rare. While authentic samples exist, primarily in the form of photos and other paper collectibles, they command exceptional amounts of money on the secondary market. In 1958, Campanella was paralyzed in a car accident ending his playing career. This also led to few autographs. The high demand for Campanella's signature has also, unfortunately, resulted in plenty of forgeries. Exceptional care should be taken when looking to purchase an authentic Roy Campanella autograph.
Roy Campanella Rookie Card
The 1949 Bowman baseball card set is a favorite of vintage collectors. The vibrant colors and lack of text on the front allows for the photo to speak for itself. The under-sized cards measure 2-1/16 by 2-1/2 inches. The coloring process was actually printed on top of black and white photos. Professionally graded copies receiving grades of 9 or higher are very rare. An example in a PSA 9 sold at auction in 2013 for close to $9,500.
Roy Campanella Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Roy Campanella'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, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Roy Campanella Cut Signature Exemplar:
Roy Campanella Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Roy Campanella signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- A pride of penmanship exists in his signature. Even as he got older and his signature more messy, he still attempted every letter. Later examples exhibit a great degree of shakiness in the handwriting.
- The first and last names are written in cursive with a distinct lean to the right.
- The signature was often written on a raised plane of about 30 degrees.
- The letter spacing is very narrow.
- Each letter is legible.
- The "R" and "C" are larger than the other letters.