Rookie Card Year: 2003
Investment Rating: 6.5
Hideki Matsui enjoyed a stellar 19-year professional baseball career that spanned two professional leagues and continents. Hideki Matsui cards and autographed memorabilia are popular with collectors in the United States and his home country of Japan.
Matsui played his first ten seasons with the Yomuiri Giants of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League. He was a nine-time All-Star and won the league's MVP award three times.
In 2003, Matsui signed with the New York Yankees and was part of their World Series Championship team in 2009. He was also named the Series' MVP. He went on to play for the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays before retiring in 2012.
Due to his international play, Hideki Matsui has cards from two different countries. His first Japanese cards were released in 1993. One of the most popular is his card from Japanese trading card manufacturer, BBM. His international stardom makes it a highly desirable card both here and abroad.
Collectors have no shortage of Hideki Matsui rookie cards to chase. Not including inserts, he has a total of 50 in 2003 MLB products. Three of these are autographed: 2003 SP Authentic (#/500), 2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection (#/250) and 2003 SPx (#/864), which also includes a piece of game-used jersey.
Hideki Matsui's autographed memorabilia has strong demand around the globe. Being both an international superstar and part of a World Series Championship with the New York Yankees means his signed memorabilia will maintain its value for years to come.
Top Hideki Matsui Rookie Cards
Matsui was a dominating player in the Japanese Nippon league long before arriving in America. This is his most popular card from his Japanese playing days. Even if it's not a traditional rookie card for North American audiences, it carries a lot of importance and should be a cornerstone in any Matsui collection.
Featuring an on-card signature and limited to just 500 copies makes this a very appealing rookie card. The inscription of his jersey number "55" adds a nice personal touch. It is, arguably, his most popular MLB rookie card. It costs less than his autograph card from Ultimate Collection and is easier to find.
This is Matsui's only combination memorabilia autograph card. Despite its relatively high print run of 864 copies, they can be surprisingly difficult to find on the secondary market.
With a print run of 250 numbered copies, this is the rarest high-end Hideki Matsui rookie card. The Japanese slugger also has a couple of other Matsui autographed inserts.
Hideki Matsui Rookie Card Checklist
Budget Rookie Cards
- 2003 Donruss Champions #301
- 2003 Donruss Diamond Kings #177
- 2003 Donruss Signature #101
- 2003 Donruss Team Heroes #542
- 2003 Donruss The Rookies #5
- 2003 Flair #94
- 2003 Fleer Focus JE #171
- 2003 Fleer Tradition Update #346
- 2003 Leaf #321
- 2003 MLB Showdown Trading Deadline #130
- 2003 Playoff Portraits #88
- 2003 Playoff Prestige #197
- 2003 Studio #62
- 2003 Upper Deck #501
- 2003 Upper Deck 40-Man #877
- 2003 Upper Deck First Pitch #271
- 2003 Upper Deck Game Face #153
- 2003 Upper Deck MVP #141
- 2003 UD Patch Collection #151
- 2003 Upper Deck Play Ball #104
- 2003 Upper Deck Standing O #115
- 2003 Upper Deck Victory #62
- 2003 Upper Deck Vintage #288
Mid-Range Rookie Cards
- 2003 Absolute Memorabilia #200 #/1500
- 2003 Donruss Classics #193 #/1500
- 2003 Donruss Elite #181 #/1750
- 2003 E-X #97
- 2003 Fleer Authentix #125 #/1850
- 2003 Fleer Avant #76 #/699
- 2003 Fleer Box Score #102 #/599
- 2003 Fleer Genuine #110 #/799
- 2003 Fleer Hot Prospects #105 GU Base #/1250
- 2003 Fleer Mystique #100 #/699
- 2003 Fleer Patchworks #94 #/1500
- 2003 Fleer Showcase #139 #/750
- 2003 Fleer Splendid Splinters #149 #/499
- 2003 Leaf Certified Materials #250 #/400
- 2003 Leaf Limited #174 Game Base /99
- 2003 Leaf Limited #199 Game Base /99
- 2003 Playoff Piece of the Game #37 GU Base
- 2003 Timeless Treasures #33 #/900
- 2003 UD Authentics #102 #/999
- 2003 Ultra #254 #/1500
- 2003 Upper Deck Classic Portraits #146 #/2003
- 2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll #131 Jersey
- 2003 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #191 #/500
Premium Rookie Cards
Hideki Matsui Japanese Rookie Card Checklist
- 1993 BBM Japan Hideki Matsui #423
- 1993 Calbee Japan Hideki Matsui #1
- 1993 Calbee Japan Big Size Hideki Matsui #12
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #11
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #12
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #13
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #14
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #15
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #96
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #97
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #98
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #99
- 1993 Calbee Japan Tokyo Snack Seals Hideki Matsui #100
- 1993 Kanebow Gold Japan Hideki Matsui #61
- 1993 Takara Japan Hideki Matsui #GT55
- 1993 Tomy ID Japan Hideki Matsui #327
- 1993 Tomy ID Japan H.Matsui/Kiyoha #374
- 1993 Tomy ID Japan Hideki Matsui #375
- 1993 Tomy ID Japan Hideki Matsui #395
Hideki Matsui Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Hideki Matsui'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.
Hideki Matsui Cut Signature Exemplar:
Hideki Matsui Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Hideki Matsui signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:
- The "H" is the dominant letter in the first name and is larger than the rest of the letters.
- The letter "H" is indicated by two parallel lines. They are not connected. The second line displays a small loop allowing the pen to stay on the item.
- The "i" is dotted.
- The remaining letters of the first name are implied with a trailing scribble.
- The "M" is legible. It starts with a small hook on the left before begin the humps patter, which are nearly identical.
- The "a" is implied. The "t" is very pronounced due to its height.
- Another scrawled line and haphazard dot implies the remaining letters.
Hideki Matsui Signed Baseball Pricing
Hideki Matsui Signed Bat Pricing
Hideki Matsui Signed Jersey Pricing
Hideki Matsui Signed Photograph Pricing
For general information and player statistics about Hideki Matsui, visit:
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.