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Look, baseball cards are weird. Even though it happens all the time, and a number of times already this year with Elly De La Cruz Topps rookie cards and others, a guy will make his debut and play well, yet won’t have an official rookie card for collectors to flock to.
The good news is, while there isn’t a Jasson Dominguez Topps Flagship RC just yet, there are plenty of other options.
2020 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP-8
Now, if a player doesn’t have a true Topps rookie, the 1st Bowman Chrome is the next best option. In fact, depending on how much you want to spend, the 1st Bowman Chrome is typically the more valuable card.
One thing to remember, this card was released a few years ago by now, and has seen some massive ups and downs. The biggest of ups came when it was first released, where it calmed a while after, only to be on the upswing again with the “Martian” hitting his fourth home run for the big league club.
In terms of popularity and volume sold, you can see the ridiculous spike on 9/1/23, with 41 total sales of the raw card, at an average of $19.32.
Of course, this is just the base chrome version of the card. There is a paper version, a 1st edition paper, mojo refractor, and all of the other Bowman parallels you expect to find in each release.
2020 Optic Holo Rated Prospects #RP-11
Changing things up a bit, another popular Dominguez “rookie card” is his Rated Prospect card from Panini. While also from 2020 and a “chromium” finish, this is the Panini version of chrome, or Optic, as they call it. And this one in particular is the “holo” or what is otherwise known as a “silver” which is an answer to Topps’ refractor.
In further comparisons, you can see the Optic card, while flash, is missing key card components like the Yankees name and logo. And while the “Rated Prospect” logo might look familiar, it’s not the classic “Rated Rookie” designation that collectors have come to know and love.
For all of those reasons and others, the raw Optic value falls short of Bowman, as you can see below.
2019 Prizm Draft Picks Silver DP Auto
Sticking with the unlicensed Panini theme, let’s take a look at an auto option. While there are plenty of other signed cards to consider, I chose this one because it was the oldest (2019 compared to the other 2020 cards from early Bowman and Optic) and one of the more affordable.
Really, it’s a prime example of just how much brand and licensing matter when it comes to baseball cards. Meaning, if you look at the two autographs below, do you see that much of a difference?
Maybe not, but many collectors do—on-card versus a sticker auto, uniform versus plain clothes; and then of course, the Yankees name and logo. These things make all of the difference.
As such, take a look at the current values of each card, and how they compare to each other. The last Prizm auto was sold at the end of August, and went for less than $80. And while you can’t see the amount, the green line and dot above the orange Prizm sale is that of the Bowman Chrome auto—with one selling yesterday for $661.
2022 Donruss Diamond Kings Downtown SSP #D12
Last but not least, a different direction altogether. We covered the traditional 1st Bowman Chrome, and a couple of unlicensed options in the 2020 Optic Holo and the 2019 Prizm Draft Picks auto.
But, very few players are lucky enough to get the “Downtown” treatment, which makes the Jasson Dominguez checklist inclusion all the more special.
One look at the card above and you can probably pretty easily see why its so coveted. First of all, this one comes from the legendary Diamond Kings set, and while Diamond Kings in today’s collecting world is much different from that of the 80s and 90s, it’s still recognizable.
And then the design, my goodness. It’s one thing to have a “Downtown” card of Sean Murphy and Oakland in the background (a personal fave) but the NYC backdrop equipped with skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty is just too much to handle.
Add in the subtle nickname nod (spaceship for the “Martian”) and you have about as much as you can ask for when it comes to close to but not quite rookie cards.
In terms of value, the last raw copy sold for nearly $250 on 9/4/23—a steep increase from the previous $140 sale on 9/1/23.