Rookie Card Year: 2003
Investment Rating: 7.0
Not long ago, Ryan Howard was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball and Ryan Howard cards were among the most popular in the hobby. His bat may not be what it once was, but Howard's still one of the most recognizable players in the game.
Howard was drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 MLB Draft. At the time, his propensity to hit strictly for power and his label as a pull hitter caused many teams to pass on him. However, the Philadelphia Phillies were willing to take a chance and the decision has paid off.
Quickly rising through the ranks of the club's farm system, Howard became just the fifth player in history to hit at least 46 home runs in a season as a minor leaguer. During that time, hitting instructors worked with him on situational hitting, hitting to all fields and learning the basics of pitch awareness. As a result, not only did his power numbers increase but his average did as well.
A late-season call-up in 2004, Howard proved that he belonged at the big league level. However it wasn't until July of 2005 that he became the everyday starting first basemen for the Phillies. Despite his relatively young age, Howard has already racked up an impressive list of statistics, accomplishments and accolades including the 2005 National League Rookie of the Year Award, 2006 NL MVP and Silver Slugger Award. He has led the league in home runs twice and RBIs three times. Howard is also an NL Championship MVP, 2008 World Series winner, and the youngest player to reach 100 and 200 career home runs.
Playing in a big market like Philadelphia, coming off recent postseason success and displaying consistent power numbers have stabilized Howard as a favorite in the collectibles market. As long as he stays healthy, Howard is sure to be a 500 Home Run Club member and, quite possibly, a 600 Home Run Club member. Howard's autographs, game-used bats and rookie cards are highly desirable and can command huge dollars on the secondary market. Single-signed baseballs will eventually see a spike in value as he approaches major career milestones. All of his rookie cards come from products released in 2003 and are detailed below. His most popular, and valuable rookie card is the 2003 Bowman's Best, his only autographed rookie card.
It's also worth noting that Howard also appeared in 2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres. Although the set was licensed by Major League Baseball, it wasn't approved by the MLBPA. So while not a true rookie card, many collectors recognize its significance as the slugger's first major baseball card.
Ryan Howard Rookie Card Checklist
Mid-Range Rookie Cards
Premium Rookie Cards
Ryan Howard Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what an authentic Ryan Howard 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, Steiner, Tristar and Mounted Memories. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Ryan Howard Cut Signature Exemplar
Ryan Howard Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Ryan Howard signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of the type of item or when it was signed, look for, at least some, of the following signature features:
- Entire signature is written on an even horizontal plane, particularly when signing on flat objects.
- The letter "R" is legible with an elongated loop written on a 60 degree angle.
- The end of the "R" combines with the next character to form the letter "y" which looks as if it is backwards, it contains a loop on the bottom.
- The letter "H" is legible consisting of two, opposing curved, parallel-like lines, the bottom right of which contains a small loop, with the connecting line also forming a loop.
- Several of the next letters are implied with a slightly curved horizontal line that flows into the letter which resembles more of an "l" as it lacks the round loop of a typical cursive "d."
Ryan Howard Signed Baseballs
Ryan Howard Signed Jersey
Ryan Howard Signed Bat
Ryan Howard Signed Photograph
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