Rookie Card Year: 2011
Investment Rating: 7.0
For fans of the Houston Astros, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel and that extends to the hobby. However unlikely, Jose Altuve rookie cards have shown that big things can come in small packages.
A primary spark plug for Houston, Jose Altuve is also coming into his own as one of baseball's top hitters and speedsters. And while he doesn't have a huge hobby profile, Jose Altuve cards have already gained more attention with room to grow in the years ahead.
The first major Jose Altuve cards can be found in 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball. He has a Prospects card in the set. His rookie cards came the following year in the form of 2011 Bowman Draft, 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft, 2011 Bowman Sterling and 2011 Topps Update Series.
While his signed cardboard started somewhat slowly, Jose Altuve autographs are starting to show up in greater numbers as the recognition builds.
Because Altuve is never going to hit a ton of home runs or put up especially flashy numbers, the amount of attention he'll get is somewhat limited. However, there is precedent in the hobby for players with great averages, speed and lots of heart to gain some traction.
Jose Altuve Rookie Card Guide and Key Prospects
Click on the listings or images to shop specific cards on eBay.
The cheapest Jose Altuve rookie card is also the most basic. There was a time when the black border meant for condition-sensitive cards, but 2011 Bowman Draft is plentiful enough that it's not a concern. A handful of parallels are also available.
Although boasting the same design and image as the regular Bowman Draft card, a lot of collectors opt for this chromium version instead. As one would expect, Refractors galore bring higher values.
If you're looking for the rarest Jose Altuve rookie card, this is it. Bowman Sterling is, really, all about the autographs, and the base cards are more of a secondary thought. That said, there are so few of them that individual cards can be tough to find, adding greater appeal (and value) for this Altuve rookie.
As his first flagship option, the 2017 Topps Update Jose Altuve rookie card carries some clout. And let's not overlook its bizarre photo. Nevertheless, it's fairly easy to find and can often be bought for reasonable amounts, but values are trending up.
Although an insert and not technically a rookie card, many collectors view the 2010 Bowman Chrome release as the Jose Altuve rookie card to own. It's his first card in an Astros uniform, which gives it a lot of importance. For those looking for a chase or something with more value, the card has several Refractor parallels.