Max Scherzer is a dominant modern pitcher, posting numbers and winning awards that make him a sure-fire Hall of Famer after he retires. "Mad Max" has long been popular with collectors who have enjoyed a wide array of cardboard from simple base cards all the way up to high-end autographs. Revisit some of the best Max Scherzer cards with the ranked list below.
Scherzer began his career with the Diamondbacks in 2008, but was quickly traded to the Tigers where his career took off and his popularity soared with fans. Initially, Max Scherzer might have been best known for having Heterochromia iridum (two different eye colors), but his on-the-field performance won out. Scherzer earned his first Cy Young Award while pitching in Detroit, leading the team, along with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, to the World Series in 2012. Scherzer would eventually take his talents to Washington D.C., where he continued to rack up more accolades and league-leading numbers for the Nationals. He topped it all off by helping the team win its first World Series title.
Like many other talented players in the modern era, Scherzer's first cards were produced after appearing for the USA Baseball program. More cards quickly followed after he was selected in the first round of the 2006 MLB Draft. There are numerous brands that made licensed rookie cards of Scherzer, but his first-year autographs are somewhat limited. The list below includes several of those important rookie issues, as well as popular autographs and short prints from later in his career.
Top 10 Max Scherzer Baseball Cards
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10. 2019 Topps Now Max Scherzer #485 (PR=717 copies)
The Montreal Expos may have packed their bags for Washington D.C. in 2005, but that has not stopped card companies from producing cards of the former team. Since moving, the Expos have had a few former players inducted into the Hall of Fame, including Tim Raines, Andre Dawson and Vladimir Guerrero, helping to keep up the team's popularity in the collecting world. During the 2019 season, the Nationals decided to embrace their past identity and break out the Expos uniforms for a game.
Topps captured Scherzer in his throwback Expos uniform on this 2019 Topps Now card after he struck out 11 batters and also managed to steal a base during the game. Limited to just 717 copies, the card has quickly become difficult to find on the secondary market. Topps also included variations with Scherzer in an Expos uniform for both their 2020 Topps Series 1 set, as well as 2020 Topps Heritage.
9. 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini Max Scherzer RC #297
If you are in the market for a Max Scherzer rookie card, but want to start off with something that is easy to find and affordable, look no further than 2008 Allen & Ginter. Experienced collectors may enjoy the challenge of locating the various parallel versions with this popular Topps brand. Scherzer has both a full-sized base card and a mini card in the set, but many prefer the minis due to the aforementioned parallels that are not available with the full-sized cards. The regular mini issue can be found for a few dollars with little effort. Common parallels such as the black frame and A&G back are easy enough on the secondary market. Tougher editions with low print runs and long odds, such as the Bazooka back and framed cloth cards, can be very hard to find at this point and are often very expensive.
8. 2008 Topps Heritage High Number Chrome Max Scherzer RC #C298 #/1,959
Borrowing its design from 1959 Topps Baseball, this Max Scherzer rookie card finally arrived in the 2008 Topps Heritage High Number set released late in the calendar year. While the Scherzer base card is worthy of a spot in your collection, the Chrome edition has become one of his more desirable early issues for many collectors. Similar to other Heritage sets, the 2008 Chrome parallels are limited to a select group of players from the base set. The Chrome cards are each numbered to 1,959 copies. Collectors can also try to track down the Refractor that is numbered to 559 copies and the Black Refractor that limited to just 59 copies.
7. 2015 Topps Heritage High Number Real Ones Autograph Max Scherzer #ROAHMS
The majority of Scherzer's certified autographs come from early in his career or from his time as an amateur player. However, he does have autographs in more recent releases. Although many arrive in high-end products, the autographs from 2015 Heritage High Number are an exception. This card does not have the scarcity of other Scherzer autographs, but the brand and design have also contributed to making it one of his most popular cards. Collectors can look for copies of the Special Edition Scherzer autograph, shown below, which is signed in red ink and serial numbered to just 66 copies.
If you can't find his 2015 autograph, he also signed for 202o Heritage High Number.
6. 2005 Upper Deck USA National Team Signature Max Scherzer #MS Auto Jersey #/350
Scherzer played on the USA Baseball College National Team while he was a sophomore at the University of Missouri in 2005. Upper Deck held the license for USA Baseball at the time. Scherzer has several different autographs in the product, which all have higher print runs, and are amongst his easier autographs to track down. Scherzer has two solo autographs—one with a jersey swatch and another without a relic—that are numbered out of 475 and 350 copies. He also has several different dual signature cards that feature various teammates from the College National Team, which are all numbered to 250. While there have been some great USA Baseball dual signature cards made over the years, Scherzer is not part of any notable pairings.
5. 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Collegiate Patches Autograph Max Scherzer #CP-MS #/182
2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition marked the return of the Donruss brand to the sporting card world after the bankruptcy of Playoff in 2005. Licensed as an NCAA product, all players are shown in their collegiate uniforms. The product mainly focuses on baseball, but there are athletes and coaches from other sports. Most notably, there is a strong lineup of autographs from Hall of Fame college coaches, including Dean Smith, Eddie Sutton and Steve Spurrier. This EEE card was released during Scherzer's first season of Minor League Baseball, beating Bowman to make Scherzer's earliest card as a professional player. While it is not officially a rookie card, there are many collectors who treat this card in the same manner as his 2008 cards. This Scherzer autograph has a lower print run than the other cards in the Collegiate Patches set.
He's also in the base set (#33), which adds a Turn of the Century autograph parallel (#/250).
4. 2008 SPx Rookie Signatures Max Scherzer RC #150 Autograph
Max Scherzer has a limited number of certified rookie autographs that can be expensive. For the majority of modern players, collectors typically flock to their rookie Bowman and Bowman Chrome autographs. Scherzer is one of the exceptions who did not appear on any Bowman autograph checklists during his first year. There are still some excellent choices out there, including his autograph in 2008 SPx Baseball. This Scherzer card was included in packs as a Mystery Rookie Redemption that could be exchanged for an autograph card. The Mystery Rookie Redemption set also included autographs of Clayton Kershaw and Evan Longoria. There is not an official print run assigned to this card, but it is assumed that these are short-printed compared to the normal rookie autographs in packs. Unlike the standard SPx rookie autographs, the Mystery Rookie Redemption cards do not have a numbered silver parallel.
3. 2008 Stadium Club Max Scherzer RC #173 Autograph
Stadium Club is normally a favorite of baseball card collectors. Topps started the product in 1991, running through 2003 before Stadium Club was paused. Although the brand was successfully rebooted in 2014, restoring its previous popularity, Topps had previously tried to relaunch Stadium Club in 2008. The product was not very popular, likely due to its confusing set configuration and the price of Hobby packs, which were sold with a guaranteed autograph. There were still positives to be found with 2008 Stadium Club Baseball, though. One key element is the inclusion of an autographed Max Scherzer rookie card on the checklist. This card is short-printed, but there are plenty of copies available on the secondary market. He also has a base rookie card (#140) and image variation.
2. 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects Max Scherzer RC #BDP33
There might not be any autographs of Max Scherzer in the 2008 Bowman product line, but that has not stopped collectors from flocking to his 2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects cards. The paper base card of Scherzer in Draft Picks & Prospects is one of the most affordable rookie cards, but the Chrome Scherzer cards offer some great parallels. Bowman Draft has two Refractor parallels that are not serial numbered, but still carry a premium with collectors above the base Chrome card. The colored parallels add another degree of difficulty with print runs starting as high as 399 copies for a blue border, all the way down to just five copies for a red. The higher-numbered parallels are still easy to track down and reasonable in price when compared to other modern Bowman rookie cards. Collectors interested in this Bowman product can also find rookie autographs of Buster Posey and Giancarlo Stanton.
1. 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights Chrome Rookie Max Scherzer #CHR40
Topps released the 330-card Updates & Highlights set during the fall of 2008. There is a Scherzer card on the checklist for the base set, but his Chrome Rookie Refractor card is the real prize in this product. Topps had started including Chrome parallels in packs of Update during the early 2000s, but the format changed in the mid-2000s. The Chrome cards were only made for the rookies, and rather than placing them in packs, Topps included the cards as box toppers. Collectors only received one of these cards per box, drastically shrinking the print run. And there are no parallels. As a result, the Update Chrome Rookie Refractor of Max Scherzer has easily become one of his most popular baseball cards. Beyond the Chrome Rookie Refractor of Max Scherzer, there is a Clayton Kershaw rookie card in the set.