Really, this could be a post on “what is name your player’s true rookie card?”
You’d think with the fewer baseball card brands we have, the easier it would be to answer, right?
I mean, take Ken Griffey Jr. for example. The first question is what year is his true rookie card year? We can all agree it’s 1989. From there, the next question is, which brand, or all together, what is his true rookie card?
With that, you’ll get some debate, because 1989 Upper Deck holds the highest value, but Topps is always the “truest” of rookie cards. The problem is, Griffey didn’t have a rookie card in its flagship set, so that muddies the waters a bit (and this is even well before “first Bowman” cards).
So, fast forward today, and take the mess above with Griffey and multiply it by 10 for Gleyber Torres and the many others who have followed a similar card path around the same range of years
Here is what I’m talking about, starting with Gleyber’s first major release.
Gleyber’s First Card
Gleyeber’s first major appearance came in 2015 with his 2015 Chrome Prospects Autograph, which is marked “1st Bowman.” The problem is, while cool and valuable, is the fact that the card is an autograph. There wasn’t a 2015 base 1st Bowman, and either way, a 1st Bowman isn’t considered a rookie card.
2015 and Beyond
From that release, here is a list of Gleyber cards before his first Topps appearance as a major leaguer.
2016 Bowman Chrome
2016 Bowman Draft
2016 Bowman Draft Chrome
2016 Bowman Inception
2016 Bowman Platinum
2016 Bowman’s Best
2017 Bowman Prospects
Actually, I’m not doing this. Point is, just by looking at 2016, you know how this story goes. From Bowman to Bowman Prospects, Draft, Best, etc., Gleyber was everywhere.
What is Gleyber Torres’ True Rookie Card?
Gleyber Torres’ true rookie card is 2018 Topps Update Series #US200. This is not to be confused with #US99 which is the All-Star Game version or US#191 which is the Rookie Debut.
This is also to not be confused with #HMT9 which is the Topps Chrome version, or the other Chrome versions!
So, don’t feel bad—you’re not the only one seeking answers. I mean, as you see, simply searching for a Gleyber Torres 2018 Topps RC will lead to a confusing smattering of results.
Oh and wait, there is more.
When you think about the Topps release schedule, you’ll see the following order:
1. Topps Series 1
2. Topps Series 2
3. Topps Update
As mentioned above, Gleyber’s true rookie is 2018 Topps Update. But…
He had a card in Topps Series 2! Which yes, preceded the Topps Update release.
So, why isn’t Series 2 considered to be his true RC? Because it was an SP (short print), and thus not a true base set release.
This is similar to what we are seeing this year with Luis Robert. His first Topps RC was in Opening Day, which isn’t flagship, and an SP at that. Thus, when Series 2 came around and Robert was on the base checklist, that will prove to be his true RC.
Anyway, all of this only matters when it matters. Meaning, if you’re a Gleyber collector, and you end up owning all of his 2018 entries, what’s it matter which is his true rookie?
The only time it might make a difference is if you were referencing the card in conversation, or were trying to get a trade going, because obviously you want everyone speaking the same language.
Other than that, just take comfort in knowing there are a lot of cool cards out there, some a lot cooler looking perhaps than the true rookie, and still even equipped with the RC shield!