Clayton Kershaw ranks amongst the greatest pitchers of the 21st century, winning multiple Cy Young awards and a National League MVP, while also helping the Los Angeles Dodgers take home the World Series crown in 2020. This all makes "The Klaw" a lock for the Hall of Fame after his career comes to a close. Kershaw was a highly collectible player from the beginning and card manufacturers have given him a strong presence in many products. Check out some of the best Clayton Kershaw cards in the list below.
The Dodgers made Clayton Kershaw a top-10 selection in the 2006 MLB Draft and he rose quickly through their Minor League system before making his Major League debut in 2008. Beyond numerous individual accolades, Kershaw also teamed with players like Zack Greinke, Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager to help lead the Dodgers to a long run of postseason appearances that culminated in the team's first World Series title since 1988. His career numbers put Clayton Kershaw in the company of players like Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton as one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball.
As would be expected, the earliest Clayton Kershaw cards are his most important and many were produced shortly after he was drafted in 2006. Collectors have a wide array of cards to choose from with this Dodgers great. This includes appearances in Bowman products and several other popular brands that have high recognition and collectability within the hobby. The top list takes a look at the most notable Clayton Kershaw cards, highlighting his rookies, short prints and autographs.
Top 10 Clayton Kershaw Baseball Cards
Bolded links go directly to detailed product profiles or player guides when available. Shop online or check the completed sales prices using the eBay links.
10T. 2006 Bowman Heritage Prospects Mini Clayton Kershaw #BHP85
There are many Clayton Kershaw cards that have become expensive, but collectors can still find some good options that are a little easier on the wallet. This 2006 Bowman Heritage Prospects Mini Variation card borrows its design and sizing from 1949 Bowman. The main checklist featured prospect cards within the regular base set as well as a Prospects insert, which is found at a rate of two per pack. The Prospect Mini Variation cards are a slightly tougher pull and provide a different image from the full-size card. This Kershaw card could only be uncovered in a five-card bonus pack placed inside each Hobby box. In spite of the fact that the mini has a somewhat limited quantity, this remains one of the most reasonable Kershaw cards from the start of his cardboard career.
10T. 2008 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw RC #595
Another early Clayton Kershaw card with a classic look, and also easy on the bank account, is his 2008 Topps Heritage High Number rookie card. This Heritage set borrows its design from the classic 1959 Topps set, although the original rookie subset cards read "The Sporting News" across the top. The two sets do share one similar trait as both house rookie cards of all-time great pitchers. The prized rookie card in 1959 belonged to Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, while 2008 has future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw.
There are not any frills that come with this rookie card for "The Kersh." It is not short-printed, nor was it included in any of the skip-numbered Chrome parallels used in Heritage sets. Yet, it remains very popular in the hobby.
9. 2008 Bowman Sterling Clayton Kershaw RC #BS-CK
Kershaw's 2008 Bowman Sterling rookie card is another standout release of the Dodgers hurler. The base card has a more limited production, which makes it difficult to find at times. However, collectors can track down an assortment of Refractors, as well. Many of the low-print editions have dried up, but collectors can still find the base Refractor (#/199).
In addition, 2008 Bowman Sterling offers an image variation card for Kershaw. The Rookie Variation was seeded at 1:2 packs, so slightly tougher to find than the base card. The base and Rookie Variation cards can be distinguished by the uniform colors, with the base featuring a blue jersey and the variation displaying a gray Dodgers road uniform. The variation card is also numbered out of 399 copies on the back. Collectors can track down various parallels that have the same print runs as the base card. The exception is the main Refractor, with only 149 copies.
8. 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini Black Frame Clayton Kershaw RC #72
The Clayton Kershaw Mini Black Frame rookie in 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter has broad appeal for several different reasons. While it's not numbered, the card does have a smaller print run than the base rookie in the A&G set. Topps issued the black-framed minis at roughly two per Hobby Box. There are still copies of this card on the secondary market, but its availability can be a challenge at times. The plain black borders also add to the appeal of this card, especially with collectors who are looking for clean copies that can be tricky to find given the dark edges. If you want an attractive Kershaw rookie from a popular brand that is still slightly unique and rare, this is a great and affordable option.
7. 2005 Upper Deck USA Baseball Clayton Kershaw Autograph #CK
Upper Deck had a brief but memorable run as the manufacturer of USA Baseball cards, producing pre-rookie autographs of Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor and Clayton Kershaw. This Kershaw card was distributed as part of a box set of Junior National Team players. Each box set came with an autograph, an autograph jersey card and a dual autograph. Clayton Kershaw appeared on all three types of autographed cards, but his single-signed cards are the most desirable. The USA Baseball Kershaw has a healthy production run and is more affordable than his other autographs from early in his career, making it a popular choice.
6. 2008 Topps Red Hot Rookies Clayton Kershaw RC #11
In 2008 Topps Series 2, Topps included redemption cards that collectors could exchange for a Chrome Refractor of a rookie player. Each of the redemptions corresponded to a card in the set, with Topps announcing the players on a weekly basis. The Red Hot Rookies are not serial numbered and no odds were given for the exchange cards, so there is not a known production run. Two of the cards in the set were autographs, but that did not include Clayton Kershaw. This unsigned card is more difficult to find than the majority of his other rookies and that is often reflected in the price on the secondary market. The Red Hot Rookie may not rank at the top of this list, but this is a must-own card that has long been popular with Kershaw collectors.
5. 2006 Bowman Sterling Prospect Autographs Clayton Kershaw #BSPCK
Clayton Kershaw rookie autographs have become some of the most popular MLB cards issued during the start of the 2000s. There is also high demand for prospect cards like his Bowman Sterling autograph, which means that it is pricey. Nevertheless, this is one of the easiest Kershaw autographs to find. The Refractor parallel, numbered to 199, is much tougher to locate. The lone drawback of this prospect card is that it has a sticker autograph. At this point in time, card manufacturers typically used silver stickers that were not well-blended with the design.
4. 2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers Real One Autographs Clayton Kershaw #ROA-CK
Clayton Kershaw has regularly appeared on checklists as an autograph signer throughout his playing career. More recent autographs of the Dodgers star tend to be in higher-end sets with limited production. However, many of Kershaw's earlier autographs had a more robust production, with several standing out on the secondary market. A player's first Bowman Chrome autograph has become the barometer for their popularity in the baseball card hobby, but in the case of Clayton Kershaw, this 2008 Topps Heritage High Number card is a close second.
Over the years, these Real One cards have started to dry up, although copies still surface from time to time. The limited availability and considerable popularity make this one of his most costly cards. As always with Heritage autographs, there is a red parallel, which in this case is serial-numbered to 59 copies.
3. 2008 SPx Clayton Kershaw RC #151 Autograph
Finishing with extra heat, the SPx brand normally added a series of high-profile rookie cards at the end of the checklist. Upper Deck hit a home run in 2008 when they included autographs of rookie pitchers Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw in the Mystery Redemption cards. These cards came at the rate of two per case. Similar to the Red Hot Rookie redemptions, there was no way of knowing the player until the redeemed cards were sent back. The SPx card ranks as one of the top autographed rookies from this brand alongside the 2001 first-year issues of Albert Pujols and Ichiro.
Of course, when it comes to Clayton Kershaw rookies, there are several signed choices from Upper Deck, but these aren't the easiest to acquire. If you want to widen the search, look for his elusive Ballpark, SP Authentic, Sweet Spot or Ultimate Collection rookie autographs.
2. 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights Clayton Kershaw RC #UH240
2008 Topps Updates & Highlights is home to the best base rookie card of Clayton Kershaw. While it may not be the equal of the Topps Traded / Topps Update cards of Cal Ripken Jr. and Mike Trout, it is certainly not far from that level of popularity and value. Beyond being a popular rookie card of a Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher, this card provides varying degrees of price points and availability.
The base 2008 Topps Update Clayton Kershaw rookie card is a classic and is widely available. In fact, it was distributed in two different products. For one year, the flagship update cards came in the regular 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights Baseball and in 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights Presents Topps Heritage High Number Series. Collectors looking for something a little more challenging, or that have more money to spend, can check out Kershaw's parallel cards in this set, including his Chrome Rookie Refractor (#CHR30), along with the base Gold Foil, Gold (#/2008), Black (#/57) and Platinum (1/1) editions.
1. 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Autographs Clayton Kershaw #DP84
The 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Clayton Kershaw is considered one of the best first-year autographs of all-time. Like the majority of great players to appear on a Bowman Chrome card, this is the most popular Clayton Kershaw card in the hobby world. It is the quintessential card of the Dodgers southpaw and the crowning gem in any serious collection of Clayton Kershaw cards. The card is not rare but the cost has risen exponentially along with Kershaw's Hall of Fame chances.
There are also parallels of this in-demand Kershaw autograph. The low-numbered cards rarely surface, but collectors can still find copies of the Refractor (#/500), X-Fractor (#/225) and Blue Refractor (#/125) versions. This card is truly one of the greatest baseball cards made during the 2000s.