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Matt Kemp Cards, Rookie Cards and Autographed Memorabilia Guide

Matt Kemp

Date of Birth: 9/23/1984
Rookie Card Year: 2005
Investment Rating: 7.5


Matt Kemp cards and memorabilia have entered superstar territory. When healthy, the Dodgers outfielder is one of the National League's most dangerous sluggers. Collectors are taking note, sending Matt Kemp cards into the upper echelon of the hobby's elite.

Although Kemp has been a standout for Los Angeles for a couple of years, in 2010 he emerged as one of baseball's best. In 2011, he came close to winning the Triple Crown after leading the NL in home runs (39) and runs batted in (126) while finishing third in batting (.324). Kemp was also one stolen base shy of joining the elusive 40-40 Club for hitting 40 home runs and swiping 40 bases in a single season. Many assumed these stats were good enough for NL MVP, but Kemp ended up finishing second to Ryan Braun.

Injuries hampered Kemp's progress on the field and in the hobby. The emergence of Yasiel Puig has also led to trade rumors as the Dodgers have an abundance of outfielders.

Collectors have seven options when it comes to Matt Kemp rookie cards. They run the value spectrum as well, ranging from entry-level sets up to a premium autograph. Rarer parallels give collectors several more options for first-year Matt Kemp cards.

Matt Kemp Rookie Card Guide

2005 Bowman Matt Kemp RC #273

The look on Kemp's face says it all about this card: boring. Still, it remains affordable for all collectors. The black corners make it tougher to find mint copies as the base Bowman card stock isn't the most durable.

Matt Kemp Cards - 2005 Bowman Baseball Matt Kemp Rookie Card

2005 Bowman's Best Matt Kemp RC #96

The 2005 Bowman's Best Baseball design hasn't aged very well. Kemp's drowsy pose doesn't help matters either. Still, for collectors looking to add a little shine to their Matt Kemp rookie card collection at a reasonable price, this may be the one. Serial numbered Refractors are a good option for collectors looking for investment potential.

Matt Kemp Cards - 2005 Bowman's Best Matt Kemp Rookie Card

2005 Bowman Chrome Matt Kemp RC #349 Autograph

The 2005 Bowman Chrome Matt Kemp autographed rookie is, by far, his most desirable rookie card. It is the only one that is signed so collectors must be prepared to pay big for one. It also comes from one of the hobby's most popular sets. Always popular with collectors are the numerous numbered Refractor parallels, which are also autographed. The 2005 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor makes for one of the best-looking and most coveted Matt Kemp cards.

Matt Kemp Cards - 2005 Bowman Chrome Matt Kemp Autograph Rookie Card

2005 Bowman Heritage Matt Kemp RC #260

With a design inspired by 1951 Bowman Baseball, the 2005 Bowman Heritage Matt Kemp rookie card is the one with the most artistic flair. While he doesn't have a beaming smile, this is his one rookie where he doesn't look angry.

2005 Bowman Heritage Matt Kemp Rookie Card

2005 Topps Update Matt Kemp RC #284

The biggest benefit for this card is its place as the official Matt Kemp Topps rookie card, which should give it a permanent spot in company archive. Unfortunately, the unhappy look is back. Because it's a standard portrait shot without much else going on, it doesn't have a lot of overall appeal.

2005 Topps Update Matt Kemp Rookie Card

2005 Topps Chrome Update Matt Kemp RC #284

If a 2005 Bowman Chrome Matt Kemp is out of your price range, his 2005 Topps Chrome Update is probably you next best option. A chromium version of his regular Topps card, the Topps Chrome versions are much rarer as they were seeded just a couple per pack. Combine that with the hobby's long-standing love for the Topps Chrome name and you've got one of the best Matt Kemp cards.

2005 Topps Chrome Update Matt Kemp Rookie Card

2005 Topps Total Matt Kemp RC #744 with Heath Totten

This may be the sleeper of all rookie Matt Kemp cards. Topps Total is notorious for its massive checklist. Although there aren't any short prints, simply pulling any given card is a tough task. Plus, 2005 Topps Total Baseball wasn't all that popular at the time. As a result, relatively few of the Matt Kemp rookie cards pop up. They are by no means rare, just harder to find than several of his other rookie cards. Some of that may be due to the fact that Kemp shares the card with Heath Totten. Never heard of him? That's the problem.

2005 Topps Total Matt Kemp Rookie Card with Heath Totten

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Autograph Guide

Matt Kemp Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find an example of what Matt Kemp'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, and Mounted Memories.

Matt Kemp Cut Signature Exemplar:

Matt Kemp Autograph

Matt Kemp Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Matt Kemp signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. The signature exhibits an overall consistency and is defined by the letters "M" and "K."
  2. The letter "M" starts with a straight line on a 45 degree angle before beginning the first down stroke.
  3. The first upstroke of the "M" rises slightly above the meeting of the first two lines.
  4. The second down and up stroke of the "M" are much shorter and narrow.
  5. A line coming of the "M", nearly horizontal displays what can best be described as a small bow tie.
  6. The pen lifts to start the letter "K" which only consists of the top portion of the letter.
  7. The rest of the signature is not legible but displays a down stroke.

Matt Kemp Signed Baseball Pricing:

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Matt Kemp Signed Baseball

Matt Kemp Signed Bat Pricing:

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Matt Kemp Signed Bat

Matt Kemp Signed Jersey Pricing:

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Matt Kemp Signed Jersey

Matt Kemp Signed Photograph Pricing:

Active Listings for Matt Kemp Signed Photographs

Matt Kemp Signed Photo

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More Info

For general information and player statistics visit:

 |  E-Mail Author | 
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.

User Comments

  1. Thanks guys for the updates, I would never have seen this or have been aware of Kemp’s rising numbers. Thank you. Now I have to go and see what I have!
    Dave in Mass.

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