Top 10 Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Cards

Top 10 Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Cards

For those who collected back in 2001, they'll remember the excitement of baseball card products that year. Ichiro Suzuki rookie cards played a huge part in that. Along with Albert Pujols, the pair had their first cards released throughout the year. Neither had prospect cards years in advance like we see today -- at least MLB cards printed for North American audiences. Ichiro did have some Japanese cards ahead of his arrival in Seattle, but they're not considered by most to be mainstream cards. Ichiro and Pujols weren't completely exclusive to one brand. It was a rare occurrence, indeed.

By the time the final 2001 baseball card sets were released, Ichiro Suzuki had more than 40 rookies and plenty of inserts. Although the Japanese legend's career is winding down, Ichiro Suzuki rookie cards are still tremendously popular. They range in price from around $10 to thousands.

Below are our picks of the top Ichiro rookies. While value played a role in the selections, it's not the lone criteria. Rankings can be subjective, but we feel all of these cards are worthy additions to any collection.

Top 10 Ichiro Suzuki Rookie Cards

Click on the card names to shop for singles on eBay.

10. 2001 Topps Gallery Ichiro Suzuki RC #151

The art-focused 2001 Topps Gallery Ichiro Suzuki has a painted image that makes it stand out from all of his other cards. Inserted in packs as a redemption, it comes with two different versions, English and Japanese. Both were printed in equal quantities.

2001 Topps Gallery Ichiro Suzuki RC 212x300 Image 2001 Topps Gallery Ichiro Suzuki Japanese Front 215x300 Image

9. 2001 Topps Chrome Traded Ichiro Suzuki RC #T266

For those who can't afford the high-end Ichiro Suzuki rookie cards, 2001 Topps Chrome Traded represents a perfectly affordable alternative. It's a quality chromium card that doesn't rely on bells and whistles. The Refractor parallel is also very popular.

2001 Topps Chrome Traded Ichiro Suzuki RC 210x300 Image

8. 2001 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Ichiro Suzuki RC #136 Jersey #/500

This is just one of two Ichiro rookies to have a jersey swatch Further fueling the card's appeal is the low print run of 500 copies. The Pros & Prospects brand never really caught on for Upper Deck, though. So while this is still a desirable card, it doesn't command the attention it might if it were from a different set.

2001 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Ichiro Suzuki RC 209x300 Image

7. 2001 E-X Ichiro Suzuki RC #105 #/1999

Since its inception, the E-X brand (or whichever name it took on) could be counted on for unique looking cards done with different materials. The 2001 E-X Ichiro Suzuki has a layered look. His image is on top using a piece of acetate. Between him and the Mariners logo underneath are some sparkles. It may sound strange, but it works. The card remains relatively affordable too.

2001 E X Ichiro Suzuki RC 212x300 Image

6. 2001 Leaf Certified Materials Ichiro Suzuki RC #146 Game-Used Base #/200

A card that makes the list more because of its rarity than visual appeal, the 2001 Leaf Certified Materials Ichiro Suzuki has just 200 copies. Out of numbered cards, that makes it the second rarest. The design has a lot going on. Swirls, horizontal text, vertical text, waves, an oval base piece in the middle of the card.

2001 Leaf Certified Materials Ichiro Suzuki RC Image

5. 2001 SP Authentic Ichiro Suzuki RC #91 #/1250

It's not the rarest Ichiro Suzuki rookie, but it's one of the most popular. It just goes to prove how powerful branding can be in the hobby. With a print run of 1250, it appeals to set builders, rookie collectors and Ichiro fans. That said, supply for the 2001 SP Authentic Ichiro Suzuki has long since dried up making it a tough card to find now.

2001 SP Authentic Ichiro Suzuki RC 216x300 Image

4.2001 Bowman Chrome Ichiro Suzuki RC #351

The 2001 Bowman Chrome Ichiro Suzuki has a few things going on. First, all 2001 Bowman Chrome rookies are done as Refractors, helping them stand out a little more. They're also short prints, making any given card somewhat tough to pull. Like the 2001 Topps Gallery Ichiro rookie, there are two versions. The variation features Japanese text on the back. Despite not being numbered, this ranks among the most valuable Ichiro Suzuki rookie cards.

2001 Bowman Chrome Ichiro Suzuki RC 213x300 Image

2001 Bowman Chrome Ichiro Suzuki RCBack Image 2001 Bowman Chrome Ichiro Suzuki Japanese Image

3. 2001 Leaf Limited Ichiro Suzuki RC #374 Game-Used Base #/100

The 2001 Leaf Limited Ichiro Suzuki lives up to its name. Numbered to 100, it is by far his rarest rookie card. It also has a small piece of a game-used base. The extreme rarity might actually work against the card a little as so few people actually have a chance to get it. But that's still somewhat relative. It still generates a lot of attention on the rare occasions that one does surface.

2001 Leaf Limited Ichiro Suzuki RC Image

2. 2001 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ichiro Suzuki RC #120 Autograph #/250

If you're looking for the most valuable Ichiro Suzuki rookie card, look no further. The 2001 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ichiro Suzuki is one of just two signed rookies of a the Japanese superstar. With a print run of just 250, it's also extremely scarce. Expect to pay a couple of thousand for this card.

2001 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ichiro Suzuki RC 211x300 Image

1. 2001 SPx Ichiro Suzuki RC #150 Autographed Jersey

When it comes to Ichiro Suzuki rookie cards, 2001 SPx is his most iconic. It's his only rookie to deliver both an autograph and a jersey swatch, something that was still quite rare at the time. Although it's not as valuable as his Ultimate Collection card, it's still extremely popular. It's not numbered but it's definitely more readily available than the Ultimate Collection autograph. It's this availability that actually helps the card's standing. It was perceived as more attainable so it caught more people's attention. It was also his first autograph card, arriving to a very hot market.

2001 SPx Ichiro Suzuki RC Image

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2001 Bowman Heritage MLB Baseball Ichiro Suzuki Sp Rc Seattle Mariners Mint
$30.00
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2001 Upper Deck Rookie Tribute Ichiro Suzuki # 2 and #13 WCG 10.*363
$12.88
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2001 Albert Pujols Fleer Platinum Rc Mauer, Ichiro 10 Card Lot!!!
$19.99
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2001 Topps Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners RC Free S H
$6.99
2005959658184040 1 Image
2001 Bowman Draft Picks Ichiro BDP84 PSA9 *158
$23.88
1408144165774040 1 Image
2001 Upper Deck MVP Super Tools #ST6 Ichiro Suzuki RC lot of 7 B28960
$69.97
1614001494624040 1 Image
2001 UD Pros and Prospects Ichiro World Tour #WT3 Ichiro Network Coliseum
$5.52
3909146096214040 1 Image
2001 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Ichiro World Tour #WT9 Ichiro HHH Metrodome
$5.52
1614001495904040 1 Image
2001 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Ichiro World Tour #WT14 Ichiro Comerica Park
$5.52
1607100900854040 1 Image
2001 Upper Deck Ichiro Suzuki Tribute 51 Gem MT 10
$19.99
1214350515914040 1 Image
2001 Upper Deck Series 1 & 2 complete set 450 cards including Ichiro Pujols RCs
$89.99
1214350551744040 1 Image
Topps 2001 Baseball 50 year GOLD Complete Set - Ichiro rookie-Factory Sealed
$100.00
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2001 TOPPS CHR. TRADED ICHIRO SUZUKI #T266 PSA 8
$20.84
3809996391564040 1 Image
2001 AUTHENTIC IMAGES ICHIRO SUZUKI 24K GOLD BASEBALL CARD LE # TO 51,000
$18.99
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2001 UPPER DECK ICHIRO SUZUKI TRIBUTE TO 51, #16
$5.99
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2001 DONRUSS "THE ROOKIES" #R104 ICHIRO SUZUKI ROOKIE CARD RC, MARINERS, YANKEES
$9.99
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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

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