Joey Votto is a top hitter and personality in the modern game and is considered one of the best Canadian-born players in the history of Major League Baseball. A member of the Cincinnati Reds for the entirety of his career, Votto's statistics and longevity have made him a virtual lock for enshrinement in Cooperstown. Joey Votto cards also remain popular with the collecting community. Check out a few of Votto's best cards in the list below.
Following a long line of great Cincinnati Reds hitters, Votto is a favorite of the sabermetrics crowd who celebrate his combination of high on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and have become vocal about his Hall of Fame candidacy. Many fans in the Queen City place him amongst the franchise's best players like Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan. Beyond his success on the field, fans across baseball love Votto's antics, from dressing up as a Canadian Mountie for a television interview, to buying a Reds teammate a donkey for making the All-Star Game, along with his great interactions with fans around the game.
Similar to many players from his era, the most prominent Joey Votto cards were produced between the time he was drafted in 2002 and his first full season with the Reds in 2008. Please note that while the 2002 cards are considered his actual rookie cards, the baseball rookie card rules changed in 2006. Therefore, his cards with the official rookie card logo arrived in 2008 after he made his MLB debut.
Of course, collectors have choices when looking for Votto's top cards, the majority of which come from notable and popular releases that are highly desired with instant name recognition in the hobby. This guide looks at some of the most important Joey Votto cards, highlighting his rookies and pre-rookie cards, along with autographs.
Top 10 Joey Votto Baseball Cards
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10. 2002 Topps T206 Mini RC #429
Topps first dabbled with T206 tobacco cards in 2002. The large set was filled with photo variations, minis, autographs, and relics. Topps also included a large number of draft picks and prospects throughout the set, including the Reds second-round selection from that summer's draft, Joey Votto. There is a standard-sized Joey Votto rookie in the 2002 T206, which is popular, but the mini card is the more desired option due to the tobacco product advertisement variations on the card backs. Votto only appears in the full-set variations and none of his parallel cards are serial numbered. Collectors have five different card back variations of Votto to track down: Polar Bear, Uzit, Sweet Caporal Black, Sweet Caporal Blue, and Sweet Caporal Red. Nevertheless, the supply of his T206 rookies available for purchase is usually on the lower side.
9. 2008 Topps Heritage Chrome Joey Votto RC #C165
The retro 2008 Topps Heritage product borrowed its design from the iconic 1959 Topps set. Although Votto has a base card that appears in the "Rookie Stars of 2008" subset, the Reds star also made the cut for the Chrome parallel. The Heritage Chrome cards have a more limited production (#/1,959) and also feature a Refractor parallel (#/559). While that quantity sounds high in the world of modern baseball cards, the Chrome parallels have been very popular with collectors and have high demand.
In an odd distribution quirk, the Votto Chrome Heritage rookie card was actually placed into packs of 2008 Topps Chrome. The Heritage Chrome set was split into thirds that year with parts of the set appearing in Topps Heritage, Topps Chrome and Topps Heritage High Number packs.
8. 2008 Bowman Chrome Joey Votto RC #194
Bowman Chrome is typically a great place to find the signature of top prospects and rookies. However, Joey Votto only appears in the base 2008 set with no autographs. Modern baseball card collectors might feel a little disappointed there is not a Votto autograph in this product, but there are still very good reasons that the set is popular. The card is one of Joey Votto's most affordable rookies and fits into the budget of many collectors. The 2008 Bowman Chrome card also has several parallels that offer a great challenge for more advanced collectors. The Refractor cards were not serial numbered in this product and remain in good supply. Otherwise, the X-Fractor (#/250) and Blue Refractor (#/150) cards deliver the largest print runs. These are also a fairly easy find on the secondary market.
7. 2008 Bowman Sterling Joey Votto RC #BS-JV
High-end finishes and a limited quantity of cards have often made 2008 Bowman Sterling a notable choice. While the 2008 set is loaded with rookie autographs and relic cards, Votto played a simple role in the set with a base card, a variation and a few parallels. Both of these Bowman Sterling issues deserve a spot amongst the best Joey Votto cards. The base card is generally in line with Votto's other 2008 cards in terms of price and availability, but many collectors prefer the production aesthetics that come with owning a Bowman Sterling card, such as the premium finish and card stock.
Fans can also track down copies of Votto's Bowman Sterling Refractor. The card has a limited print run of just 199 copies, making it tougher to find, but it will also cause a little bit more strain on the wallet. While many of Votto's parallels are either not serial-numbered or have a higher quantity, the lower print run makes this card more desirable with high-end collectors.
There is also a Joey Votto photo variation in 2008 Bowman Sterling. At just 149 copies, the variation Refractor card has an even more limited production run than the base Refractor.
The rarest versions include the Gold Refractor (#/50), Black Refractor (#/25), Red Refractor (1/1) and Printing Plates (1/1).
6. 2007 Bowman Sterling Joey Votto #BSP-JV
Joey Votto had a limited presence on cardboard during his first few years, but an appearance in the 2006 Futures Game landed him cards in both the 2006 and 2007 Bowman Draft products, along with an autograph in 2007 Bowman Sterling. This is Votto's most affordable rookie/pre-rookie autograph and not a challenging one to find.
There are several wrinkles in collecting his 2007 card. The base autograph/jersey card is not serial numbered, but the Refractor (#/199) and the black box topper (#/25) both have a more limited print run. There is also a premium on the jersey swatch pieces. The most common color patch piece is black, which does not have any added demand. However, collectors can track down cards with yellow and red swatches, along with multi-color pieces that are more difficult to find and also often come with a high price tag.
5. 2008 SPx Joey Votto RC #109 Autograph
SPx had a strong run with rookie autographs in the early 2000s, featuring signatures of future Hall of Famers like Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki and Justin Verlander. The 2008 set was also deep thanks to autographs for Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Joey Votto. While the Kershaw and Scherzer cards were both redemptions, somewhat limiting their quantity, the Votto autograph was live in packs. The SPx Rookie Signatures card is not serial numbered and there are two versions of the card for collectors to track down. The main Votto autograph has a gold background and can be found in standard packs of 2008 SPx.
Upper Deck also put a single Rookie Signatures card in each box of 2008 SPx as a topper. The box topper Rookie Signatures autographs can be distinguished by their silver trim.
4. 2008 UD Premier Joey Votto RC #241 Autograph #/299
Upper Deck's high-end 2008 Premier release was a great place for collectors to snag an autograph of established players Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones and Miguel Cabrera. The checklist for 2008 UD Premier featured a group of rookie autographs, as well, including Joey Votto. His regular base autograph is numbered to 299 copies. Copies of the UD Premier card have started to dry up on the secondary market in recent years, but if you have a little more money to spend on an early Votto autograph, this is a great option.
In addition, the Premier Rookie Signatures parallels are all serial numbered with print runs under 100 copies. The Blue (#/99), Silver (#/75) and Gold (#/50) cards are generally the most common. There is a tougher parallel, in most circumstances, that is limited to the player's jersey number. Since most players wear numbers under 50, the jersey parallel was generally the hardest autograph to find in this product. However, Upper Deck based the print run for Votto's autographed card on his Spring Training number, which was 60, versus his usual number of 19.
3. 2004 Bowman Signs of the Future Joey Votto Autograph #SOFJV
Joey Votto did not appear on a single licensed MLB card during the 2003 or 2004 calendar year outside of this 2004 Bowman Signs of the Future autograph. There were relatively few Bowman autographs included in the set at this point in time, but the Signs of the Future inserts supplemented the quantity available to collectors. Votto's Signs of the Future Autograph is not hard to find as it was amongst the easiest signatures to pull out a pack of 2004 Bowman Baseball. However, this card is one of his more expensive certified autographs. There is also a red ink edition for this card, but it is extremely difficult to locate.
2. 2008 Topps Chrome Joey Votto RC #196
Joey Votto's 2008 Topps Chrome card is by far the most popular card from his first full MLB season. Similar to his appearances in other 2008 Topps products, Votto does not have an autograph in Chrome in spite of its reputation for being a great product for rookie signatures. The Topps Chrome rookie card of Votto has grown in popularity and price as his Hall of Fame candidacy has strengthened, making it a key card of the Reds great. While there are not any autographed versions, there are several different Refractor parallels that are in high demand. The three most common Refractor parallels—Refractor, X-Fractor and Blue Refractor—are not numbered. His serial-numbered Refractors include Copper (#/599), Red (#/25) and Superfractor (1/1) editions.
1. 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Joey Votto RC #BDP44
Topps changed up the distribution format for Bowman Draft and Topps Traded during the 2002 calendar year. In previous years, the Bowman Draft cards had been sold as a Hobby set, but for 2002, Topps issued the cards in packs with each containing four base paper cards, along with a gold parallel and two Chrome cards. The 2002 Bowman Draft product did contain a limited autograph checklist, but Votto did not sign cards for this set.
Collectors looking to create a serious collection of Joey Votto cards should make owning a copy of this Chrome card their top priority. The 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Votto is widely available on the secondary market and offers the benefit of being far more affordable than many of the more recent Bowman Chrome rookie cards. The card also has several parallels for more advanced collectors, including the Refractor (#/300), X-Fractor (#/150) and Gold Refractor (#/50), which tend to be much more challenging to find and more expensive to purchase.
If chromium is not your preference, the base paper version is the cheaper choice.
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