Rookie Card Year: 2008
Investment Rating: 7.0
With a strong presence both on the field and off, Pablo Sandoval quickly emerged as one of baseball's most popular players. But that hasn't necessarily translated into a lot of hobby love -- yet. Pablo Sandoval cards remain extremely affordable, especially when you consider that he's already a World Series champion and a multi-time All-Star.
Sandoval's bat gives the Giants a potent but balanced attack. He can hit for average as well as power. Sandoval also has a knack for coming up large in big games. None were bigger than Game 1 of the 2012 World Series. He smashed three home runs, etching his name in history alongside Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols. He went on to win the World Series MVP after hitting .500 in the Giants' four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.
The first MLB Pablo Sandoval cards date back to 2006. However, the Venezuelan's lone official rookie card is from 2008 Topps Heritage. Sandoval is a part of the 2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects insert set. It closely resembles the regular Bowman Chrome set but, because of numbering is an insert. But that hasn't stopped collector from making it one of the best Pablo Sandoval cards to own. The 2008 Topps Heritage rookie is the first to be a part of a base set. Although it's his only rookie card, it's an anomaly in today's hits-driven hobby. The card is a traditional base card without any bells or whistles like serial numbers and autographs.
However, signature collectors still have plenty of Pablo Sandoval cards to choose from. He's been a regular signer in recent sets. This may mean a lot of autographs are on the market, but they're also very reasonably priced.
Pablo Sandoval Rookie Card Checklist
Technically, Pablo Sandoval has just one rookie card. It's not his first in a Giants uniform, but it is his first inside a major league base set. The 2008 Topps Heritage Pablo Sandoval rookie mimics the 1959 Topps Baseball design. Inserted in 2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers packs, the card remains extremely affordable and readily available.
Key Pablo Sandoval Prospect Cards
Although not a rookie card, the 2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects Pablo Sandoval is his first MLB card. Technically an insert, it's actually more desirable among a lot of collectors than his 2008 Topps Heritage rookie. It's worth noting that Sandoval also appears in 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft. The earlier card carries more clout. Telling the two cards apart is easy. The first Bowman Chrome card shows a full-body shot of Sandoval swinging. The Bowman Chrome Draft card has a chest-up shot of Sandoval in his Futures Game jersey. For those preferring more high-end options, the 2006 Bowman Chrome Pablo Sandoval also has several low-numbered Refractor parallels.
Perhaps the most potent of all early Pablo Sandoval cards is his 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition autograph. Numbered to 819, the card features a sticker signature placed on the trademark foil background. The lack of licensing hurts its potential a little, but it's still an autograph from a recognized brand. The card also has eight different parallels, most of which are also autographed.
Pablo Sandoval Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Pablo Sandoval'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.
Pablo Sandoval Cut Signature Exemplar:
Pablo Sandoval Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Pablo Sandoval 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 signature exhibits an overall consistency and is defined by three characters.
- The first name is entirely absent and instead the signature consists of an abbreviated version of his last name.
- The "S" is over-sized and exhibits a narrow angular loop at the top and a bulbous round loop at the bottom.
- The next character looks like an "o."
- The signature continues with a sideways leaning cursive "l."
- His jersey number "48" is typically inscribed.
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