Rookie Card Year: 1990
Investment Rating: 6.0
At one time, Sammy Sosa baseball cards and autographed memorabilia were at the pinnacle of sports collectibles. Unfortunately, allegations of steroid use hurt both his legacy and hobby standing. However, there are still plenty of fans and collectors who fondly remember the great home run record chase between himself and Mark McGwire in 1998.
Sosa has eight rookie cards, all released in 1990. He also has several pre-rookie cards as a minor league player in the Texas Rangers organization. Two of the more popular ones are his 1989 Tulsa Drillers card and his 1989 Baseball America Prospects card.
The first certified Sammy Sosa autograph card was issued in 1996 Leaf Signature Series as part of the Extended Autograph set. It has a print run of 1,000 copies. A Century Marks parallel has a print run of 100. Neither of the cards are serial numbered.
Sammy Sosa's first game-used memorabilia cards were produced by Upper Deck in 1999. They appear in Upper Deck Baseball, Black Diamond and Ovation.
Sosa is one of only a handful of players to hit 600 home runs. Any 500 or 600 Home Run Club signed memorabilia items, need his signature to be considered complete. Being in such an exclusive niche means that even with his alleged on-field transgressions, there will always be demand for his signature.
Sammy Sosa Rookie Card Checklist
This card is popular to have professionally graded due to the fact that many return in high grade. The glossy Tiffany version that was available exclusively in a limited edition factory set is one of the top 1990 Sammy Sosa cards.
The 1990 Donruss set was terribly over-produced. As a result this card is worth, literally, pennies. The gaudy red borders don't help matters either.
This is another over-produced card, although it's a little more popular than Sosa's Donruss rookie card. If you're looking for a bit of a challenge, 1990 Fleer has a variation that reads "Ptd. in Canada" on the back.
This is, by far, the most popular Sammy Sosa rookie card. It was printed in a much smaller quantity than his other rookie cards. That said, it is from 1990, so its print run is relative. It's ironic that Sosa, who became known as a power hitter, is shown bunting on his most collectible rookie card.
The O-Pee-Chee release from 1990 actually displays the Topps logo on the card front. It can be distinguished only by the bilingual card back. Rarer than its American counterpart, it usually sells for a little more.
Often, key rookies ended up in Score's Rookies/Traded update sets. However, the company got Sosa into the main 1990 Score Baseball set. Like most of his cards, values suffer from a massive supply.
Sosa is a key card in the 1990 Topps release along with fellow White Sox teammate, Frank Thomas. That being said, it can still be found very cheaply. Like Bowman, there's a Tiffany version that's rarer and much more valuable.
Upper Deck's sophomore baseball set was very popular with collectors back in 1990. Sosa is one of the key rookies in the set. One of the year's more attractive sets, it's not hard to find today.
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Sammy Sosa Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Sammy Sosa'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.
Sammy Sosa Cut Signature Exemplar:
Sammy Sosa Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Sammy Sosa signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- It is a very hard to decipher signature in terms of letter-by-letter analysis.
- The signature is large with several over-sized swooping lines.
- The most discernible letters are the "S"s in his first and last name.
- The first "S" is written so that the bottom of the letter contains a closed loop with a long horizontal line that extends back and to the right.
- The "y" is indicated by the presence of a small oval that rests on the horizontal plane.
- The second "S" is similar to the first.
- The end of the signature has a line coming of the "a" that rises well above the autograph and back to the left.
- Any number of inscriptions may be included.
Sammy Sosa Signed Baseball Pricing
Sammy Sosa Signed Bat Pricing
Sammy Sosa Signed Jersey Pricing
Sammy Sosa Signed Photograph Pricing
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