Rookie Card Year: 2010
Investment Rating: 7.0
Josh Donaldson is the type of player that makes baseball fun. He always goes all out, comes through at opportune times and, quite simply, he's good. The problem when it comes to Josh Donaldson cards is that he's spent his professional career thus far in Oakland and Toronto. While he's a fan favorite there, those cities don't lend themselves well to national exposure.
The first Josh Donaldson cards came out in 2007 shortly after he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. Over the next couple of years, there'd be a few minor league cards but not much.
His hobby debut in a MLB jersey came in 2010 Bowman Baseball where he has a couple of inserts including a Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph.
Josh Donaldson rookie cards arrived later that year following his debut with the Athletics. As far as official rookie cards go, he only has four and all are still very cheap.
Despite his All-Star status, Donaldson's cards continue to be overlooked by the masses. Even his top cards, like his 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph are still within range of most budgets. However, his 2015 AL MVP Award should earn him extra attention.
Although it's unlikely that Donaldson will ever reach major heights barring a change of teams to a major market. That said, because values on his cards are low, the risk at this point is minimal.
Josh Donaldson Rookie Card Checklist
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Although he has Prospect inserts in 2010 Bowman, a rookie card in 2010 Bowman Chrome, this is the first paper Bowman Josh Donaldson card to find its way into a base set. It's far from expensive and not difficult to find.
When the MLBPA came up with new rookie card rules in 2006, the intention was to make defining a rookie card easier. But that's not always the case and here's a perfect example. Donaldson has a Chrome Prospect insert in 2010 Bowman. There's also an autograph. In 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball he has both a rookie card and another Prospect insert. By traditional definitions, this is the rookie card.
Simple and affordable, this is Donaldson's first appearance in a flagship Topps release. Like his other base rookie cards, there's not a ton of value in them. However, there are parallels with different colored borders, some of which can be a challenge to track down.
Donaldson's base card in 2010 Topps Chrome Baseball is his rookie card. However, he also has an autographed insert (which has the same number on the back but a different photo) that's more popular. Both have various Refractor parallels.
Key Prospect Cards
When it comes to timing, Donruss was well ahead of the pack when it comes to Josh Donaldson cards, including him in 2007 Elite Extra Edition Baseball. That's three years before his first MLB cards. The basic version of the card is not signed, however the Turn of the Century Autograph is much more desirable, and for obvious reasons.
Serial numbered to 500, it uses a sticker for the signature. Donaldson is pictured in his Auburn jersey, which makes for a more complete look than the unlicensed Elite Extra Edition cards that followed a short time later.
Inserted in packs of 2010 Bowman Baseball, in a lot of circles, this is the top Josh Donaldson card. It's an insert and not a rookie, but it does have him in a MLB uniform. The on-card signature and popularity of the Bowman Chrome brand further add to its appeal. That being said, it still hasn't taken off to the heights of a lot of other players, even those who have yet to crack a major league roster.