Rookie Card Year: 2010
Investment Rating: 7.0
It's not very often that a prospect comes into the game with the amount of hype that Stephen Strasburg had in 2010. It's equally rare that something ignites the hobby like Stephen Strasburg cards did at the time. Even more impressive is the fact that, early on, the pitcher exceeded the lofty expectations bestowed upon him by the media. A legend was born during his debut with the Washington Nationals. Strasburg got the win in style, going seven innings and setting a new team record with 14 strikeouts.
The first pick in the 2009 draft, Strasburg continued to impress in his next two starts, racking up 18 more strikeouts and landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Not only was the pitcher doing well on the field, he was generating a lot of interest for baseball as well. Strasburg was, for a short time, the centerpiece of a game still struggling to reemerge from the shadow of steroid abuse.
But then Strasburg-mania hit a wall. By the end of August, having already served one stint on the disabled list, the Nationals shut their star rookie down. It was announced he needed Tommy John surgery to fix ligaments in his arm, which normally takes at least a year to heal and rehabilitate. Understandably, prices of Strasburg's cards and memorabilia took a hit with the news. However, should he rebound strong, the prices will likely creep up again. Just don't expect prices to reach the same levels they were at in mid-2010.
Prior to being drafted, Strasburg was a standout at San Diego State University and with the American national team. In a college game, he set an Aztecs record by striking out 23 batters in a single game. During the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, Strasburg went 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA, helping the US squad win a bronze medal.
Strasburg can be credited as having a major role in the success of Topps' 2010 baseball card line. Stephen Strasburg cards appeared in nearly all of their sets, including several rare inserts and autographs that sold for thousands of dollars. Among these was the 2010 Bowman Baseball Superfractor, a one-of-one parallel of Strasburg's first card in a Nationals uniform, that sold first for over $16,000 then surpassed $30,000 when resold a short time later. The card garnered the hobby a lot of mainstream media attention and created a lot of excitement for later products. Despite having hundreds of different cards in 2010 products, Strasburg has just 11 true rookie cards, only one of which is autographed. Many of the top first-year Stephen Strasburg cards are autographed inserts and extremely limited parallels.
Strasburg also has a handful of cards from his days with USA Baseball. Most were inserts in 2008 Upper Deck baseball products.
Besides baseball cards, other popular pieces of Strasburg baseball memorabilia include autographed jerseys and balls. In 2010, Topps offered a limited line of signed balls, helmets and hats. Also popular are Washington Nationals jerseys with the pitcher's name and number. Within his first month with the MLB squad, Strasburg jerseys outsold all others in the franchise's history.
In March, 2013, Strasburg signed an exclusive autograph deal with Panini. Under the multi-year agreement, Stephen Strasburg autograph cards will only appear in Panini products for the next several years.
Stephen Strasburg Rookie Card Checklist
Budget Rookie Cards
Premium Rookie Cards
Stephen Strasburg 2010 Topps RC # 661
2010 Stephen Strasburg RC Rookie Topps #212
Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Chrome #205 GMA 10 RC
2010 Topps Stephen Strasburg RC #661 Factory Set Nationals Graded PSA 9 MINT
PSA 10 Stephen Strasburg T. Lincecum RC 2010 Bowman Expectations #5
PSA 10 Stephen Strasburg RC 2010 Finest Rookie Redemption #FFR-6
PSA 10 Stephen Strasburg RC 2010 Topps #661
PSA 10 Stephen Strasburg RC 2010 Topps #661
Stephen Strasburg Key Prospect Cards
The following is a list of some of the key Stephen Strasburg cards to come out before his first official rookie cards.
- 2008-09 Upper Deck USA Baseball #21
- 2008-09 Upper Deck USA Baseball Autographs #79 #/175
- 2008 SP Authentic Baseball USA National Team By the Letter Autographs #SS U, S, A each #/105
- 2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot USA Signatures #SS #/260
- 2008 Upper Deck Timeline Team USA Signatures #SS
- 2008 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection USA Baseball Autographed Jersey #SS #/25
- 2010 Bowman Prospects #BP1
- 2010 Bowman Prospects Autographs #BP1
- 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP1
Stephen Strasburg Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Stephen Strasburg'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, and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Stephen Strasburg Cut Signature Exemplar
Stephen Strasburg Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Stephen Strasburg signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- Written on an even horizontal plane.
- Several letters are implied and/or not legible.
- Defined by the angular capital letters "S" in cursive script.
- The letter "p" is legible in the first name.
- The letters "t" and "g" are discernible in the last name, with the "t" being crossed, and the "g" containing a closed loop.
Stephen Strasburg Signed Baseball
Stephen Strasburg Signed Jersey
Stephen Strasburg Signed Photograph
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