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John Smoltz Cards and Rookie Card Checklist

John Smoltz

Date of Birth: 5/15/1967

Rookie Card Year: 1988

Investment Rating: 7.0

Whether as a starter or a closer, John Smoltz was one of baseball's best pitchers in the 1990s and the early part of the new millennium. Spending nearly all of his career with the Atlanta Braves, he was a part of one of the most imposing starting rotations in baseball history alongside Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. And yet, he somehow managed to avoid much of the hobby spotlight. John Smoltz cards are still, for the most part, very affordable, a notch behind Maddux and Glavine as well as some of his peers from the era like Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.

Shop for John Smoltz cards on eBay.

With the first John Smoltz cards coming at a time when print runs were highest, his rookies and other early issues are, for the most part, very cheap. And that's not going to change any time soon. For those looking for something a little rarer and more collectible, look to premium and regional issues from the time like Topps Tiffany sets or minor league cards.

Following his retirement, there has been an influx in autographed John Smoltz cards. Although some carry lofty values, others can be found for relatively reasonable amounts less than comparable cards of his teammates, Maddux and Glavine.

Smoltz's election to the Hall of Fame secures his spot in the hobby for the foreseeable future. Not only does his place in Cooperstown cap a stellar career, but it expands the market for his memorabilia, especially autographs.

John Smoltz Rookie Cards and Early Minor League Cards

1986 ProCards Lakeland Tigers John Smoltz

The 1986 ProCards Lakeland Tigers John Smoltz is recognized as his first professional baseball card. Although not exceedingly rare, it's harder to find that virtually all of his early MLB cards. Minor league cards still carry a niche appeal, but values are solid, especially when you could trade one of his MLB rookies for a cup of Starbucks.

John Smoltz Cards and Rookie Card Checklist 1

1987 ProCards Glens Falls Tigers John Smoltz #372

Smoltz's second minor league card might not have quite the same prestige as the 1986 issue, but it's still appealing in the sense that a ton aren't readily available.

John Smoltz Cards and Rookie Card Checklist 2

1988 Fleer Update John Smoltz RC #U-74

The first card of John Smoltz in a MLB uniform can be found in the 1988 Fleer Update box set. Supply is plentiful so there's no shortage of supply. This has also kept prices low. It's great in the regard that anyone can buy one, but if you're looking for an investment, it's not going to amount to much.

There's also the 1988 Fleer Glossy John Smoltz, which looks identical but with a more slick look to it thanks to the glossy coating.

John Smoltz Cards and Rookie Card Checklist 3

It is worth noting that many consider Smoltz's 1989 cards to be rookie cards as well given that 1988 Fleer Update was a box set. If that's your preference, options include cards from Bowman, Donruss, Fleer, Score, Topps and Upper Deck.

John Smoltz Cards and Rookie Card Checklist 4Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission

Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His 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.

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