A postseason legend, Curt Schilling appeared in the World Series four times, taking home three World Series rings, all while winning National League and World Series MVP awards. Schilling's first baseball cards came during the junk wax era, but with a career spanning twenty years, there are also plenty of great modern cards for collectors to track down. This list looks at the best Curt Schilling cards including his earliest releases.
Schilling first gained prominence with collectors while he was helping the Philadelphia Phillies reach the World Series in 1993, establishing his reputation as one of the game's best clutch performers. He would later team with Randy Johnson in Arizona to lead the Diamondbacks to their lone pennant. Schilling's MLB Postseason legacy was cemented with the 2004 Red Sox, and the franchise's first World Series title in 86 years, breaking the infamous "Curse of the Bambino."
There are not many baseball players in the modern era who have a single rookie card. However, the Curt Schilling rookie card is one of the most notable, making his debut in 1989 Donruss as his lone release during that calendar year. Schilling's profile within the hobby shifted greatly throughout his career, first becoming a player of note with collectors during the mid-'90s. His rising popularity also pushed fans to revisit cards from the first half of his career.
Since his retirement in 2007, the controversial Schilling has generally kept a low profile when it comes to the world of baseball cards. Some collectors may not like the shrinking number of Curt Schilling cards overall, but there has been a noticeable shift to high-end products. Many of his modern cards are some combination of autographs, relics and/or low print runs. Furthermore, card manufacturers have often used the small number of post-retirement cards to celebrate his postseason successes with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox.
Top 10 Curt Schilling Baseball Cards
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10. 1998 Topps Tek Curt Schilling #32
One of the ultimate player-collecting sets, 1998 Topps Tek featured a checklist with 90 subjects and 90 different variations of each player. While there are plenty of collectors who have assembled a 90-card base set, the majority who dabble in Topps Tek focus on a singular player. The cards are generally affordable, and not too difficult to find, but it can take years for collectors to track down all 90 versions. There is also a parallel set of Diffractors for each card. Topps never released a print run on the Diffractor parallels, but they are scarce.
9. 1990 Topps Curt Schilling #246
The limited selection of rookie cards elevated a few of Schilling’s other early releases, including his second-year card in 1990 Topps. This "junk wax era" card is readily available and inexpensive. However, collectors have made this a popular card by chasing down high-grade copies. There is also the Tiffany version, which was originally sold in set form. Regardless of whether you want a raw copy, graded copy, or Tiffany edition, you are going to get a card of a legendary player for a relatively low price.
8. 1990 Bowman Curt Schilling #246
Topps relaunched Bowman in 1989, and although the first few sets featured several draft pick and rookie cards, the composition of the product was nothing like the prospect brand it has become. This is another junk wax set that is readily available and inexpensive. Yet, '90 Bowman is still relevant to collectors. Similar to his Topps card above, the 1990 Bowman is a second-year card, but it is an important part of his cardboard catalog. There is also a Tiffany version, shown below, which will cost a little more, but remains affordable.
7. 2005 Topps World Champion Red Sox Relics Curt Schilling Jersey Card
Curt Schilling won the World Series three different times during his career. However, helping the Red Sox end "The Curse" in 2004 is considered the best of the bunch. There was the 3-0 comeback against the Yankees, the bloody sock game, and the sweep of the Cardinals in the World Series. It was a magical season. The following year, Topps introduced their World Series relic cards with a set of important contributors from the Red Sox team. The odds were pretty steep on these cards, and like anything associated with the 2004 Red Sox World Series team, they are highly desirable.
6. 1987 ProCards Greensboro Hornets Curt Schilling #1705 (Tom Kane back #1704)
Schilling is one of many players who have passed through Greensboro on the way to the Majors. The franchise hosted a deep list of Hall of Famers and star players, including Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Don Mattingly, and more recently Robinson Cano, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton. Schilling is the star of this ProCards set, which is a more affordable option than his first card for the Red Sox franchise (#2 on the list). The white-bordered design makes it stand out against some of the other Minor League products from this era.
It is important to note that this is an uncorrected error card as it features the Tom Kane card back (#1704) by mistake. If you want the Schilling back, you will need to acquire Kane's card, as well.
5. 2001 Topps Heritage Chrome Curt Schilling #141 #/552
2001 Topps Heritage is the premiere edition of what has now become a popular Topps product every season. Schilling’s base card was not part of the short-printed high numbers subset, but he did manage to make the Chrome parallel. Rather than being a full parallel, 2001 Heritage Chrome only covered 110 cards, or roughly a quarter of the checklist. Numbered to 552 copies, this great card is highly desired by collectors, but it is still reasonably priced even though the cards aren't readily available.
4. 1993 Topps Finest Refractor Curt Schilling #10
The Refractor cards from 1993 Finest are among the most pursued parallels that have ever been placed in a baseball card product. Limited to just one per box, the cards are not only popular but are also quite rare, especially for this era. However, there has never been an official production number released by Topps. The Schilling Refractor has been one of his more expensive cards over the years and is arguably his best card from his long run with the Phillies.
3. 1996 Leaf Signature Autographs Curt Schilling
He has numerous certified autographs, but the first Curt Schilling autograph card appeared in Leaf Signature. This set was the earliest MLB product to offer an autograph per pack. Schilling was not a short print, meaning he signed the full allotment of 5,000 cards. That may sound like a huge number, but many have made their way into collections. As a result, the autographs that are on the secondary market at any given time can be limited. This card is not impossible to find, but it can be more expensive than his other signed cards.
2. 1986 ProCards Elmira Pioneers Curt Schilling
Schilling began his career in 1986 while playing for the Elmira Pioneers in the short-season New York-Penn League. The majority of ProCards sets and singles are widely available and very affordable, but this Schilling card is an exception. Single copies of this minor league card are much more expensive than his other early releases. The team set is also fairly pricey and can be difficult to find.
1. 1989 Donruss Curt Schilling RC #635
The list of star players with rookies in 1989 Donruss is deep. Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio, Gary Sheffield, and John Smoltz are the most prominent. Curt Schilling also has a rookie card in this set, but his first-year Donruss is unique compared to the other notable players. Most star rookies have several different rookie cards that came out in 1989 across a broad range of brands. However, 1989 Donruss has the only Curt Schilling rookie card. Despite being released near the peak of overproduction, many collectors still love it. Raw copies of the card are extraordinarily inexpensive. Even high-grade versions won't set you back too much.
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