Rookie Card Year: 2008
Investment Rating: 7.0
It's exciting times for fans of the Baltimore Orioles. After a long rebuilding effort, several key players in the franchise are coming into their own. One of them is Chris Davis, a first baseman with a plain name but his bat has been anything but. Chris Davis cards remain relatively inexpensive to the point that there's very little risk, at least for the time being. And without a rookie or prospect card that truly stands out, it's unlikely that collector's will ever be priced out of the market of most early Chris Davis cards.
The Texas-born standout has been drafted three times. The Yankees took him late in the 2004 draft but Davis didn't sign. The same thing happened a year later when the Angels picked him. In 2006, the Texas Rangers selected the first baseman and Davis finally signed. He made the big leagues two years later. After a solid 2009, Davis didn't get regular time with Texas for the next couple of years. His high strikeout totals certainly didn't help.
In July, 2011, Davis was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. He finally broke out during his first full season with the team in 2012. Davis set a career high with 33 home runs and 85 RBIs. He also brought his batting average up. This improvement has continued into 2013 where Davis was playing like a Triple Crown contender early on. Not only was he showing a lot of pop, but his batting average soared and his strikeouts plummeted.
Chris Davis doesn't have a ton of rookie cards. He doesn't appear in many prospect-driven sets either. For collectors not concerned with parallels, this is a bit of a throwback to a time in the hobby when times were simpler. It's rare today for a player not to have several big-time short prints that make a complete run tough. With Davis, it's both possible and affordable.
None of his rookie cards will break even the most conservative budgets. Even his first major autograph from 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition remains reasonable, at least for now.
As far as future growth goes, it's unlikely that prices will drop much. However, Chris Davis cards probably don't have a huge ceiling either. Part of that is the availability of all his rookies and prospect cards. More importantly, though, is his age. Davis is somewhat of a late-bloomer, which a lot of collectors look down upon. But when most Chris Davis rookie cards go for only a few dollars, there's also not a lot of risk involved.
Here's a detailed look at each Chris Davis rookie card as well as key prospect cards.
Chris Davis Rookie Card Guide
Click on card names to easily shop for singles on eBay.
By making his debut mid-way through the season, Chris Davis rookie cards didn't start appearing until some of the last sets of the year. His 2008 Bowman Draft card is one of his plainest cards and least desirable. Because of the low cost, a lot of collectors will likely opt for the Bowman Chrome version instead.
Although better received by most collectors than the base Bowman Draft card, the 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Chris Davis is still very reasonably priced. As with nearly all Bowman Chrome cards, numerous Refractor parallels come into play.
As far as official Chris Davis rookie cards go, 2008 Bowman Sterling is probably the top choice. It comes from a high-end product and is definitely the rarest of his rookies.
Originally sold online as a single, some don't consider the 2008 eTopps Chris Davis to be a rookie card. But other than the non-traditional distribution, it has all the markings of one. Whether it has the label or not, it's a beautiful card that has a print run of 749 cards. Many of those are still sitting in the eTopps warehouse as collectors haven't taken them for shipment. It doesn't pop up often and flies under many radars.
Along with his Bowman rookie, the 2008 Topps Update Chris Davis will remain one of his cheapest cards. However, there are parallels that add something of a chase factor.
Not in line with his high-end cards but not his cheapest either, the 2008 Topps Heritage High Number Chris Davis is somewhere in between. The card came in a second series and is not in the main Topps Heritage set.
Key Chris Davis Prospect Cards
The 2006 Bowman Draft Chris Davis has the look of a rookie card. However this was the first year that Topps introduced an insert Prospect set. This introduced a new level of prospecting. Over the years a divide between rookie cards and prospect cards has opened up. While rookies are still in high demand, key prospect cards are also held in high regard. This particular card is fairly cheap as more collectors go for the Bowman Chrome version.
To many, this is the top early Chris Davis card. As mentioned, it's not a rookie, but it trades like one. Add to that a few Refractor levels and you have one of the first baseman's must-have cards.
Although not licensed, the 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Chris Davis has the distinction of being his first certified autograph in a major set. It uses a sticker and the foil is a turnoff to some, but the brand has a big following. And it's his first autograph.
Chris Davis Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Chris Davis' 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.
Signed Baseball Pricing:
Signed 8x10 Photo Pricing: