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David Ortiz Baseball Cards, Rookie Card Checklist, Autograph Guide

David Ortiz

Date of Birth: 11/18/1975
Rookie Card Year: 1997
Investment Rating: 6.5


David Ortiz has been the cornerstone of the Boston Red Sox rebirth and resurgence. A member of the 500 Home Run Club, his ability at the plate goes well beyond simply hitting for power. Ortiz's situational hitting is equally exceptional. For the storied Red Sox, he's as clutch as they come. Collectors have taken notice too with David Ortiz cards and collectibles having much greater reach than most other designated hitters.

When it comes to David Ortiz rookie cards, he has just two, 1997 Fleer and 1997 Ultra. This was an interesting time period for the hobby as manufacturers began to readjust their thinking when it came to production runs that had run rampant in the earlier part of the decade. Ortiz has no autographed or serial numbered rookie cards. He flew under most scouts' radars to the extent that Topps, Upper Deck and other companies missed out on him.

1997 Donruss Signature Series Autograph David Ortiz

Many collectors may have missed Ortiz's rookie cards too. That's because he's listed as David Arias and not David Ortiz. The young slugger is also pictured as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

In addition to his two rookie cards, Ortiz appears in a couple of other insert sets in different releases. 1997 Flair Showcase Wave of the Future is a relatively common insert that doesn't command much on the secondary market.

He may not appear in the base set, but there is a David Ortiz autograph in 1997 Donruss Signature Series. It may not qualify as an official rookie card, but it's still one of the most important early David Ortiz cards. The regular version is numbered to 3900. There are also Millennium Marks (#/1000) and Century Marks (#/100) parallels. Unfortunately, Ortiz seemed to avoid the intended signing area at the bottom of the card.

The demand for his autograph is strong, but is primarily concentrated in the greater New England region. A willing signer in-person, Ortiz loves the recognition of his fans and gladly obliges their requests at the ballpark. Game-used items of the Boston slugger are very much in demand, particularly bats.

David Ortiz Rookie Cards

Population reports current as of 10/13.

1997 Fleer David Ortiz RC #512

1997 Fleer David Ortiz RC

David Arias, as he was know before changing his name, has always been a big man as evidenced by the photograph of him that was used for his 1997 Fleer card. Shown in a posed batting stance, most likely during spring training, the card is adorned with gold foil accents. Besides the base versions, there's also a glossy Tiffany parallel.

1997 Fleer David Ortiz RC BGS Population Report:
# Submitted: 604
Pristine 10: 27
Gem Mint 9.5: 440
Mint 9: 100

1997 Fleer David Ortiz RC PSA Population Report:
# Submitted: 355
Gem Mint 10: 266
Mint 9: 64

1997 Ultra David Ortiz RC #518

1997 Ultra David Ortiz RC

Another posed photograph of the big slugger, Ortiz is featured in a classic "bat behind the head" pose. The player name is written in a graffiti cursive style font in silver with a red shadow. An extending flair off of the end of his last name contains the team name and position. 1997 Ultra also has Gold Medallion and Platinum Medallion parallels. These use a different photo from the base card. The Platinum Medallion card is limited to 200 copies.

1997 Ultra David Ortiz RC BGS Population Report:
# Submitted: 139
Pristine 10: 0
Gem Mint 9.5: 16
Mint 9: 32

1997 Ultra David Ortiz RC PSA Population Report:
# Submitted: 98
Gem Mint 10: 22
Mint 9: 40

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Autograph Guide

Below you will find examples of what an authentic David Ortiz autograph 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, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

David Ortiz Cut Signature Exemplar

David Ortiz Signature

David Ortiz Key Signature Attributes: An authentic David Ortiz signature will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features, particularly the first two traits:

  1. The letter "D" of his first name and the letter "O" of his last look very similar. They appear as over-sized lops with the "D" being slightly flatter than the "O"
  2. The letter "D" also contains a small loop at the base of the letter from the lower, left-hand side
  3. The remaining letters of his first name are a mere scribble with the letter "a" slightly discernible and flowing into the start of the "O"
  4. A squiggle, horizontal line at a slight angle and a dot are almost always present, representing the letters "r" and "i"
  5. A vertical line with a slight tail to the left represents the letter "t"
  6. The letter "z" is inferred but not written

David Ortiz Signed Baseball Pricing:

Active Listings for David Ortiz Signed Baseballs

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David Ortiz Signed Bat Pricing:

Active Listings for David Ortiz Signed Bats

David Ortiz Signed Bat  David Ortiz Signed Bat Closeup  David Ortiz Signed Bat COA

David Ortiz Signed Photograph Pricing:

Active Listings for David Ortiz Photographs

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Other Resources

For general information and player statistics visit:

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Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

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