Miguel Cabrera is one of the great modern baseball players and a slam dunk for Cooperstown once he retires from the game. The two-time American League MVP is also one of the more popular players in the hobby from his era, featuring a wide array of cards stretching throughout his career. Due to all the success on the field, collectors have long been chasing Cabrera's best rookies, autographs and other key cards.
Cabrera spent his first few years with the Marlins, teaming up with Ivan Rodriguez to help bring the franchise their second World Series title. He was later traded to the Detroit Tigers, where he solidified his place as one of the league's superstars. Since moving to the American League, Cabrera has captured four batting titles. In 2012, he became the first player to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the feat during the 1967 season. Another crowning success in Cabrera's time with the Tigers was the run to the 2012 American League pennant. He joined forces with Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder and Max Scherzer to form one of the best modern teams in the franchise's long history.
After Miggy's professional career began in 2000, several card companies were quick to jump on him as a prospect, producing his first cards that very same season. Most notable was his inclusion in a pair of end-of-the-year Topps products in 2000, but there are also a few oddball brands that yielded sought-after cards, too.
The length of Cabrera's time as a superstar player has left collectors with a great variety of cards, and something for every type of collector. The list looks at some of the very best cards for this future Cooperstown inductee.
Top 10 Miguel Cabrera Baseball Cards
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10. 2000 Multi-Ad Sports Utica Blue Sox Miguel Cabrera #21
Miguel Cabrera was not in the minors for long, but did manage to appear on a few different cards while making his way up to the show. One of the team-issued Miguel Cabrera cards came from the Utica Blue Sox of the New York-Penn League. The long-running Minor League Baseball franchise had several Hall of Fame-caliber talents appear with the team over the years, including Larry Walker and Richie Ashburn. The Multi-Ad Sports card is one of the more affordable pre-rookie options of Miggy even though it can be a bit of a challenge to find at times. This card is usually available as a single, but collectors can also track down the entire Blue Sox set.
9. 2013 Topps Triple Crown Miguel Cabrera Jersey Relic
After Miguel Cabrera won the 2012 Triple Crown, card companies found different ways to commemorate the accomplishment on cardboard. The most popular option is the Triple Crown relic cards that Topps placed in packs of the 2013 flagship set. There are 10 different cards in the set and each one has a different action shot of Cabrera with a relic swatch at the bottom. A premium is placed on the cards with patches.
These die-cut relics are much tougher to find than the standard game-used cards that often come in the Topps base sets. There is no established print run, but the odds for the cards were a steep 1:432 packs. Collectors with some patience and deep pockets can try to track down the autographed versions of these cards, which are extremely rare.
If you strike out on these, there are many other Miguel Cabrera relic cards to enjoy.
8. 2000 Royal Rookies Futures Autograph Miguel Cabrera #/4,950
Topps was the only major manufacturer who captured Miguel Cabrera on a card in 2000, but several Minor League Baseball products also managed to feature him on their checklists, including a few with autographs. The Royal Rookies set was a per-pack autograph product that was released in two series during the summer of 2000. The Miguel Cabrera autograph appeared in the Futures set that was released as the second of the two series. This early Cabrera signature is plentiful with a print run of nearly 5,000 copies, and, as a result, not too difficult to find on the secondary market. While collectors can often save money buying off-brand autographs of players, this first-year Miggy card definitely goes against that generalization. In terms of price, copies of this card can frequently rival his more recent autographs that have much smaller print runs.
7. 2000 Just Minors Mystery Signatures Miguel Cabrera Autograph #MS-01
The Just Minors cards were first produced in the late 1990s. The brand had a heavy focus on signed cards, with many products being issued with autographs in every pack. Albert Pujols and Clayton Kershaw are two of the bigger signers available. Just Minors also produced a few Miguel Cabrera autographs, which included a popular first-year signature that did not even have his name on the card.
The Mystery Signatures insert featured some of the best prospects of the day and Cabrera's card is the standout of the checklist. The card has his signature at the bottom along with clues on the back that collectors could use to figure out the identity of the signer. Of course, there's no need to uncover the mystery anymore, as most collectors can recognize Miguel Cabrera's signature, or compare it to an autograph on one of his more recent cards. His signature has remained remarkably consistent over the years.
6. 2003 eTopps Miguel Cabrera #119 Autograph #/88
eTopps was a consumer-direct product that Topps started in 2000. Collectors could purchase new cards every week and either add them to an online portfolio where they could buy, sell and trade, or they could pay to have their cards mailed. The brand produced some great cards over the years, including this early Miguel Cabrera autograph.
eTopps offered Miguel Cabrera cards to collectors shortly after the Marlins called him up in 2003. While he was a highly regarded prospect, the demand fell short of other notable prospects at the time. The smaller demand resulted in a smaller print run, making this a tough early card of Miggy that is highly coveted. Collectors who like the design, but have a tough time finding it or are looking for something at a lower price point, can check out his base card in this set. The two cards are identical in appearance minus the signature.
5. 2013 Topps Chrome Dual Signature Mike Trout/Miguel Cabrera Autograph
Pepsi vs Coke? Who was the best Batman? What is the best baseball movie? Who should have won the 2012 American League MVP Award? These are debates that will likely never be settled in our lifetime. Mike Trout had one of the greatest rookie seasons in the history of Major League Baseball and took home the Rookie of the Year Award. Miguel Cabrera accomplished one of the game's great feats when he won the American League Triple Crown and led his team to the World Series.
No matter which side of the fence you sit on, there is no debating that this Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera dual autograph from 2013 Topps Chrome product is one impressive baseball card. The card is not serial numbered, but the Dual Signature cards are a tough pull. This is a great card with two great players and a must-have for collectors of either Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera. Collectors can actually find a few different signed choices for the duo in 2013 and 2014 sets.
4. 2019 Topps Heritage Miguel Cabrera Real One Autograph #ROA-MCA
The start of the Topps Heritage brand and the beginning of Miguel Cabrera's professional baseball career both occurred in the early 2000s, but for some reason, the Tigers superstar has been rarely been spotted on the autograph checklist for this popular Topps brand. Up first came the 2014 Heritage set with an autographed relic, and another arrived in 2015 Heritage as a dual signature card with Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Both cards are limited to a print run of just 25 copies, making them nearly impossible to find and very expensive.
Finally, a standard autograph arrived in 2019. The 2019 Topps Heritage Real One autograph of Miggy offers collectors a great on-card autograph showcasing the 1970 Topps design. This card is a more recent release, but it has been popular enough that it can be more difficult to find than some of his autographs from earlier in his career. Like all Heritage autographs, collectors can also opt for the higher-end red ink version, which has a print run of 70 copies, but also comes with a higher price tag.
3. 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Miguel Cabrera Autograph Framed Mini #AGA-MC
In the opinion of many collectors, the premiere edition of Topps Allen & Ginter during the summer of 2006 is one of the best modern baseball card sets. The brand has become a popular annual release, but the first offering had an extraordinarily deep autograph lineup filled with great baseball players and athletes from other sports. Demand from collectors has driven the price of the cards on the autograph checklist upwards over the years and made some of the cards difficult to track down. Many of the Hall of Famers in the set, such as Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr. and Stan Musial, signed a limited quantity of autographs, making them short-printed compared to the common cards.
Although Miguel Cabrera autographs have appeared in several of the Ginter products, his 2006 card is considered far and away the best choice. This autograph is not serial numbered, but Topps has it listed as a short print with just 100 copies produced, making Miggy one of the tougher signers from the 2006 Ginter set.
2. 2000 Topps Chrome Traded Miguel Cabrera RC #T40
Topps Chrome Traded was released as a box set during the fall of 2000 and the Chrome set is identical to 2000 Topps Traded. However, the product did not come with any signed inserts. Even though there are no autographs to collect, the cards are still popular with collectors, especially the Miguel Cabrera rookie card. There are plenty of other good rookie cards in the set, but Cabrera is the star of the 2000 Topps Chrome Traded. His rookie card can still be found in complete box sets, but collectors can also easily acquire raw and graded copies of this card on the secondary market. There is actually very little difference in the price between buying the complete set and buying the Cabrera rookie as a single. Collectors can also track down the base card from the 2000 Topps Traded set, which is identical to this card minus the chromium finish.
1. 2000 Topps Traded Miguel Cabrera Autograph #TTA40
2000 Topps Traded marked the final year that Topps issued their update product in the form of a factory boxed set. Each set came with one of 80 different rookie autographs. The Miguel Cabrera autograph is the lone Hall of Fame-caliber autograph in this boxed set. Easily the most desirable Miguel Cabrera rookie, copies of this card are not too difficult to find. However, these often carry a large price tag regardless of whether you are purchasing a graded or raw copy. There are still sealed sets available to collectors on the secondary market, but pulling a copy of the Miguel Cabrera autograph means beating some long odds.