Excitement Builds for Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards

Excitement Builds for Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards

Prospect hype is nothing new, but the massive interest in Shohei Ohtani rookie cards is indicative of the potential many see in the Japanese star. Dubbed the Babe Ruth of Japan, the two-way 2018 MLB rookie can pitch and hit at a high level. As a result, collecting demand has surged for the Los Angeles Angels' star signing.

Because his pro career began in the Japanese leagues with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, the earliest Shohei Ohtani cards can be somewhat elusive. Starting in 2013, options include popular brands from Japan, most notably BBM and Calbee. While there are quite a few choices, and even some autographs, most of the cards are pretty basic and not in huge supply.

Shop for Shohei Ohtani baseball cards on eBay.

However, as the likelihood of his move to an MLB team increased, mainstream options began to trickle out. First came his 2017 Bowman Mega Box Chrome card. His earliest MLB card debuted through the Topps Now program near the end of 2017, setting records along the way.

All that leads us to 2018 Baseball Products, which should feature many Shohei Ohtani rookie cards. He is already slated for 2018 Donruss Baseball with signed options. Although Panini offers MLBPA cards for Ohtani, only Topps has his MLB cards. In addition, Topps confirmed a long-term autograph and trading card deal that starts with 2018 Topps Baseball products. According to Topps, "His first pack-pulled trading card will appear in time for Ohtani to join the Los Angeles Angels in Spring Training."

Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards and Other Key Cards

Shop specific cards on eBay using the links below. Bolded sets go to complete product profiles. 

2017 Topps Now Shohei Ohtani #OS-80 - 12/14/2017 (PR=17,323)

The very first Shohei Ohtani MLB card documents his free agent signing with the Los Angeles Angels. Part of the 2017 Topps Now Off-Season release, the on-demand card set the record for the Now program by selling 17,323 cards in just 24 hours.

2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box Shohei Ohtani #BCP31

Already the key Shohei Ohtani prospect card, many collectors view the 2017 Bowman Chrome Mega Box release as the Ohtani rookie to own. Spelled Otani on his WBC Team Japan card, the Target exclusive showcases a unique chainlink pattern commonly known as "mojo"  in the hobby. There are also several limited Refractor parallels, including purple (#/250), green (#/99), orange (#/25) and black (1/1).

2013 BBM Rookie Edition Shohei Ohtani #42

While Ohtani actually has a fair amount of 2013 BBM cards issued in Japan, the Rookie Edition release is among his most popular. Ohtani has two different images for card #42, including a pitching version and a hitting edition. However, the most valuable of these tends to be the facsimile signature parallels.

Top eBay Listings

Shohei Ohtani Rookie Visitor Jersey card #222 290 BBM 2013 RookieEdition Premium

Mega rare!! Shohei OHTANI OTANI BBM 2013 Rookie card set of 4 Two swords 0110-2

SHOHEI OHTANI Calbee 2017 SJ-06 Samurai Japan Shiny Baseball Card

SHOHEI OHTANI Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Frame Stamp Set

SHOHEI OHTANI Baseball Message Card (Large)

SHOHEI OHTANI Baseball Message Card (Large) ②

2017 Epoch Pacific League Shohei Ohtani Holospectra 90 Nippon-Ham Fighters

BBM 2017 Genesis Nichihamu Shohei Otani jersey card

BBM 2014 GENESIS Shohei Otani big patch 20 20 last No Rare

BBM17 genesis Shohei Otani jersey card

EPOCH Shohei Otani jersey card red part limited

Epoch Nippon Ham Fighters Shohei Otani jersey card

Nippon Ham Fighters Shohei Otani jersey card uniform BBM

BBM Shohei Otani Jersey card


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Trey Treutel

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Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute or Google+.

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