Robin Yount led the Milwaukee Brewers to their first taste of success in the franchise's history and brought them so close to the World Series title in their first and only appearance in the series. His popularity as a player spilled over into interest in his baseball cards, making his early appearances some of the most important cards of the 1970s. In this top list, we highlight not only those early cardboard appearances but the best Robin Yount baseball cards throughout his career.
Yount made his debut with the Brewers when he was just 18, earning him the nickname "The Kid." Although it was commonplace for prospects to debut in the majors as young as 17 in the 1940s and 50s, he is still the last player to hit an MLB home run at 18-years-old.
He would spend his entire 20-year career with the Brewers playing shortstop and eventually moving to centerfield. Among his accolades, Young won the Most Valuable Player Award twice in 1982 and 1989, a rare feat as it was done at two different positions. His 1982 season would be one for the ages as he took home an All-Star, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger Award to sit next to his MVP. By the end of the 1980s, Robin Yount had recorded more hits than any other player and earned himself a ticket to the Hall of Fame. He officially joined Cooperstown on his first ballot in 1999.
Of the hundreds of Yount cards in his cardboard canon, several options didn't quite make the top list but are still worth noting. Robin was frequently included in Donruss Diamond King collections and you can find great Dick Perez portraits of him in the 1984, 1989, and 1993 Donruss sets. He was also featured in the oversized 1993 Donruss Masters of the Game collection and again in the recent 2015 Panini Diamond Kings set.
Collectors can find a literal "oddball" illustrated Yount card in 1992 Fleer where he is looking at six floating baseballs in the sky. Yount's last player card is included in 1994 Topps and a nice collecting project would be to track down the gold parallels of Yount's final three Topps appearances from 1992 to 1994 Topps. For fans of shiny cards, look to the 2004 Topps set and the World Series Highlights inserts which documents Yount great performance in the 1982 World Series.
The very nature of baseball card values is that they change over time. When constructing this best-of-the-best list, the cards' value was considered along with other factors like uniqueness, scarcity, and design.
Top 10 Robin Yount Baseball Cards
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The fast-food chain Burger Chef included these discs in the packaging of their Funmeals. Each package offered nine disks from the same team and Yount's disc gives collectors an opportunity to pick up a budget-friendly oddball card from the early part of his career. Brewers collectors can also find complete packaging, with all nine discs included, on auctions sites.
Yount's 1983 Topps cards highlights the amazing statistical season he had in 1982 that earned him his first American League MVP. He led the league in hits, doubles, and most impressively, slugging percentage, which was a surprising feat for a player not necessarily known for his overwhelming power.
The Brewers and Cardinals faced off in the 1982 World Series with the Cardinals coming out on top in seven games and it would prove to be Yount's only trip to the World Series. It also featured a showdown between two legendary shortstops as Yount went toe-to-toe with Ozzie Smith. The 2002 Fleer Fall Classic set features dual relic cards honoring that rivalry and are a must-own for Yount or Smith fans looking for something more than just a basic jersey relic.
Along with Yount's 1978 Topps card, collectors can also find a slight variation by picking up the O-Pee-Chee version of the card. The Canadian candy company O-Pee-Chee licensed the Topps design with slight differences on the reverse side, including a different background color and French language statistics. O-Pee-Chee brand cards were produced well after the Topps set and so they could also include updated information on player trades that the Topps set typically could not.
For the uninitiated, SSPC stands for Sport Star Publishing Company who produced this one-off 630-card set in 1975 and 1976. The design is similar to the 1953 Bowman Color release in that there is no text or signature on the card's front. As this was an unlicensed set, SSPC was forced to withdraw the set shortly after issuing it and agreed to never reprint it giving fans a semi-rare, early Yount card to track down.
The 1977 Topps card is my personal favorite Yount card and I own many copies and frequently pick up another one if I come across it at a card show. Up until this point, all of Robin Yount's Topps appearances had been staged poses and this great action shot features him squaring around to bunt.
1976 Topps offers the second-year card for Robin Yount and his second season was the beginning of the steady statistical output Yount had throughout his career. Although he had 200 or more hits in a season just once, he still managed to have the most hits of any player in the 1980s by more than 100 over second-place Eddie Murray.
Yount was included in each of the Hostess sets from 1975 through 1979, with his first appearances in his rookie-card year becoming his most sought-after non-Topps cards. As the cards were cut out of the Hostess treat packaging, the condition varies greatly and it offers an opportunity for collectors on a budget to get an early Yount appearance.
Robin Yount continues to sign regularly for both Topps and Panini products and so collectors searching for a nice autograph have many options. His signature is large and flamboyant and a set that offers a beautiful autograph card can be found in 2002 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection. Collectors can also choose from several color parallels, including bronze, gold, and blue, with varying levels of scarcity.
On the overall list of the most valuable cards from the 1970s, Yount's 1975 Topps rookie card is up near the top. It has become one of the key cards of that set, sitting right alongside George Brett's rookie as the jewel of the collection. And like all the other 1975 Topps options, collectors can also track down an identical mini version of the card as well.