The Dugout│Top Eight Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card Picks
The Dugout│Top Eight Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card Picks

The Dugout│Top Eight Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card Picks

Shohei Ohtani rookie cards captivate collectors as his MLB success grows. Here are seven investment-worthy cards to seize this golden baseball card investing opportunity.

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Welcome to the world of sports card investing, where enthusiasts search for promising opportunities. Let's talk about Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese baseball prodigy lighting up Major League Baseball (MLB) like never before.

Combining the scarce circulation of only two PSA-9s and three PSA-10s, this collectible's value is anticipated to soar over time.

Celebrated for his rare dual abilities as a pitcher and a hitter, Ohtani has quickly grabbed collectors' attention, driving up the value and demand for his rookie cards. In this article, we dive into Ohtani's career and share the top eight rookie cards that offer potential for investment and an exciting piece of baseball history. Let's get started.

Who is Shohei Ohtani?

Born on July 5, 1994, in Ōshū, Iwate, Japan, Shohei Ohtani sparked up the baseball world as an outlandish pitcher and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels. At 28 years old, this immensely talented athlete stands out among baseball stars like Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, making us all talk about his bright future on the field.

Ohtani's trophy cabinet is already gleaming with prestigious awards, such as the 2021 AL MVP, 2018 AL Rookie of the Year, and the 2021 Silver Slugger Award. Mix in a few All-Star appearances and achievements from both his Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league days and his MLB career, and it's clear that Ohtani has what it takes to make it big.

This guy's unbelievable success has baseball card collectors and investors eager for a piece of the action. If you're on the lookout for Ohtani rookie cards, you've got plenty to choose from––ranging from his rare NPB gems with his on-card signature to fresh, exciting cards from his MLB debut.

Considering the heights Ohtani might reach in baseball alongside heavyweights like Trout and Betts, it's no wonder his rookie cards are generating tons of buzz. As folks scramble to snag one of these sought-after cards, we can't help but wonder what's in store for him next. The skyrocketing appeal of Shohei Ohtani's cards will have sports card fanatics and investors talking for years to come.

Best Shohei Ohtani rookie cards to invest in

Ready to dive into the world of Shohei Ohtani rookie cards? Dive into the world of Shohei Ohtani rookie cards with these top eight gems, offering appreciation potential and a piece of baseball history.

Highlights include the 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani #1 (Batting-Gold Refractor), the 2018 Topps Finest Shohei Ohtani RC #100, and the ultra-rare 2018 Bowman Rookie Autographs Chrome Shohei Ohtani #SO (Orange Refractor).

Showcasing Ohtani's extraordinary two-way skills, these cards, with their stunning designs, are perfect for those looking to own a piece of the exciting career of this baseball sensation.

1. 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani Autograph #BCRASO (Gold Refractor)

  • Price Range: $910 to $36,900
  • Highest Sale Price: $43,200
  • PSA 10 Supply: 8
  • Brand: Bowman Chrome

A Gem Mint 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani Autographed Rookie Card sold for $43,200 in October 2021.
Source: Goldin Auctions

The 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani RC #1 is a super cool investment for sports card enthusiasts and investors, all thanks to the skyrocketing fame of Shohei Ohtani.

This awesome-looking card features Ohtani in action, wearing his eye-catching red jersey, and enhanced by the shiny chrome finish that Bowman Chrome is known for. The card has some image variations and cool refractor parallels, including the ultra-rare and valuable one-of-one Superfractor.

But what makes this card so attractive to investors? Well, its potential to grow in value, mostly due to the high demand for anything related to Ohtani, especially those hard-to-find trading cards.

And with the Superfractor parallel being so rare, it only adds to the card's worth. So, when you invest in this card, get one in mint or near-mint condition to get the most bang for your buck.

The Shohei Ohtani card graded PSA-10 is an awesome find for modern baseball card collectors. It captures Ohtani as a rookie sensation who bagged the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year title. Ohtani continues to wow fans as a super-versatile player—and let's not forget his historic selection to the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.

2. 2018 Bowman Platinum Shohei Ohtani #34 (With Glove)

  • Price Range: $15 to $175
  • Highest Sale Price: $215
  • PSA 10 Supply: 272
  • Brand: Bowman Platinum

Ohtani's 2018 Bowman Platinum Rookie Card, showcasing him pitching in a red jersey, is valued at up to $175 on eBay.

It can be a bit overwhelming for casual buyers exploring Shohei Ohtani's rookie cards, seeing as there are around 63 options to pick from, according to Beckett's database. But the eye-catching 2018 Bowman Platinum Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card stands out among these cards, highlighting our favorite Angels star in a bold and dazzling design.

The card is printed on foil, giving it an extra touch, with vibrant and colorful graphics dancing around in the background. Now, this pretty card might not be super scarce, but it holds an exclusive appeal as a Walmart-only product. And for Ohtani fans, it even comes with a variation short print featuring him carrying a bag.

The price range for the Bowman Platinum Ohtani is between $15 and $175, with the highest sale price for the card hitting $215 on eBay in August 2021.

It also has various parallels: Ice, Sky Blue, Purple, Blue, Green, Orange, Red, and the rare Foilfractor. The card's uniqueness creates an undeniable appeal for investors and collectors alike. So, if you want a piece of the record-breaking, All-Star action both on the mound and at the plate, this 2018 Bowman Platinum Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card is a fantastic choice.

3. 2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani RC #150 (Pitching)

  • Price Range: $30 to $250
  • Highest Sale Price: $810
  • PSA 10 Supply: 7,951
  • Brand: Topps Chrome

The 2018 Topps Chrome Rookie Card #150, featuring Ohtani pitching in a white jersey, fetched $810 in July 2021.

You can’t go wrong with a classic card brand like Topps, and the 2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani RC #150 offers shine and affordability. Inspired by the flagship release, its chromium finish makes it an appealing choice for fans and collectors alike.

The card offers multiple Refractor parallels, such as Green Refractors, Gold Wave Refractors, and ultra-rare Superfractors. It adds cool colors and variety to chase and brighten your collection.

The card's charm lies in the exceptional talent it showcases–-the Japanese superstar who's been making a name for the Los Angeles Angels since 2018. Before that, Ohtani impressed fans with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan's Pacific League.

Ohtani made waves, clinching the 2018 Rookie of the Year Award by batting .285 with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs in his rookie season. Not only that, but he also recorded a 4-2 pitching record and a 3.31 ERA while on the mound. Despite undergoing Tommy John Surgery in the 2018-2019 off-season, Ohtani remained a strong designated hitter in 2019.

The 2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani RC #150 card captures the essence of this multi-talented player, making it an excellent option for investors and collectors. Its striking chromium design, an abundance of exciting Refractor parallels, and the fact that it depicts a rising baseball star all contribute to its incredible appeal. Don't miss out on owning a piece of the ‘Sho Time’ magic.

4. 2018 Topps Heritage Shohei Ohtani RC #600

  • Price Range: $110 to $355
  • Highest Sale Price: $800
  • PSA 10 Supply: 9
  • Brand: Topps Heritage

The 2018 Topps Heritage Rookie Card #600, channeling the 1969 Topps style, starts at $110.

If vintage-style baseball cards tickle your fancy, you'll love the 2018 Topps Heritage Shohei Ohtani RC #600. Its design harks back to the iconic 1969 Topps style, showcasing Ohtani in his gleaming white Angels jersey, gripping his bat confidently.

The card's price range lies between $110 and $355, with a noteworthy sale in May 2023, when it went for an impressive $800. Given that only nine cards have a PSA 10 grade, it's highly sought-after by investors and collectors.

As one of the 66 sets featuring Shohei Ohtani, the 2018 Topps Heritage stands out with its classic look and feel. Found in 2018 Topps Heritage High Number packs, this card has a variety of parallels for collectors to chase. Some worth mentioning are the Mini, Black Border, and the rare 100th Anniversary parallels.

The Japanese superstar has been excelling as a pitcher and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels since 2018, solidifying his role as a two-way sensation. Before joining MLB, he made a name for himself playing with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan's Pacific League.

The 2018 Topps Heritage Shohei Ohtani RC #600 card is a charming and appealing choice for collectors and investors and a fitting tribute to the talented athlete's remarkable career. Its vintage design, various parallels, and portrayal of Ohtani's skills make it a must-have item for anyone looking to add some retro flair to their collection.

5. 2018 Topps Update Shohei Ohtani RC #US1 (Pitching In Red Jersey-Vintage Stock)

  • Price Range: $204 to $228
  • Highest Sale Price: $228 (PSA 8)
  • PSA 10 Supply: 4
  • Brand: Topps Update

The 2018 Topps Update Shohei Ohtani RC #US1 is worth between $204 and $228.

The 2018 Topps Update Shohei Ohtani RC #US1 is a real gem for fans of the popular Topps Update series. This card features Ohtani mid-swing in his vibrant red Angels jersey, reflecting the incredible athlete he is. With a price range of $204 to $228 and the highest sale price reaching $228 in May 2023 for a PSA-8, this card catches the attention of both investors and collectors.

A remarkably low PSA 10 population of just four makes the card an extra rare collectible. The card showcases Ohtani's two-way star prowess, captured as he finishes his powerful wind-up, prepared to launch a fastball toward home plate.

As a testament to his talent, Ohtani delivered a stunning performance in his fourth season, leading the league in home runs and earning the title of starting pitcher for the American League All-Star team.

Part of a 300-card base set for the 2018 Topps Update Baseball, this card shares space with other rookie cards of prominent players like Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Austin Meadows. You can spot the Shohei Ohtani 2018 Topps Update Rookie #US1 inside the 2018 Topps Update Baseball Hobby Box.

This card also has a rare bat-down variation that collectors and investors will find valuable. Investing in this card makes sense due to Ohtani's outstanding accomplishments, and it's part of a much-loved series. Its eye-catching design and vivid image capture the essence of Ohtani's formidable talent, making it a great addition to any collection.

6. 2018 Topps Finest Shohei Ohtani RC #100

  • Price Range: $20 to $165
  • Highest Sale Price: $475
  • PSA 10 Supply: 886
  • Brand: Topps Finest

The 2018 Topps Finest Shohei Ohtani RC #100 is valued at $165, but reached $475 in May 2022.

Investors looking for a striking card with potential for future value growth should consider the 2018 Topps Finest Shohei Ohtani RC #100. Its sleek design and stunning chrome finish make it an eye-catching addition to any collection. With an accessible price of up to $165, the card’s value peaked with a $475 sale in May 2022.

What sets this card apart from other Shohei Ohtani cards is its distinctive appearance, blending simplicity with just the right amount of pop. Compared to similar sets like Bowman Chrome, the 2018 Topps Finest offers a more vibrant aesthetic, piquing the interest of collectors and investors who appreciate visually appealing cards.

The card showcases Ohtani mid-swing in his vibrant red Angels jersey, embodying the phenomenal power and skill that he brings to the field. This beautifully captured moment solidifies the card's appeal and helps it stand out amid a sea of Shohei Ohtani cards.

When looking at the potential for appreciation, the 2018 Topps Finest Shohei Ohtani RC #100 presents a promising opportunity for investors. Its unique design elements, compelling Refractor parallels, and the ever-growing popularity of the talented athlete make it a worthwhile addition to any investment portfolio.

7. 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani #1 (Batting-Gold Refractor)

  • Price Range: $2,200 to $5,700
  • Highest Sale Price: $5,700 (PSA 9)
  • PSA 10 Supply: 18
  • Brand: Bowman Chrome

With just 18 PSA 10-graded copies, the 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani #1 (Batting-Gold Refractor) is ultra-rare, valued up to $2,200.

The 2018 Bowman Chrome Baseball release wowed enthusiasts with its dazzling chromium-embossed cards showcasing Rookie of the Year contender Shohei Ohtani. Collectors were excited to find this mesmerizing, budget-friendly gem while hunting for the shining star.

The entrancing 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani #1 (Batting-Gold Refractor) glittered with its unmistakable Chrome shine and treasure trove of parallels. Even though the product mainly highlights autographs and prospects, this delightful card stands out as a hidden gem, eagerly waiting for collectors to discover it.

The card differentiates itself with an engaging image of Ohtani, striking a batting pose. The stunning array of striking parallels covers the limited Refractors to the ultra-rare Superfractors, presenting collectors with an eye-catching upgrade to their collections.

Interestingly, a PSA 9 card fetched $5,700 on eBay in May 2023 while a PSA 10-graded card pulled in $2,200 in April 2023. Price development charts indicate a steady rise in value since its release, suggesting even greater worth in the future.

Consider the striking Purple Refractors, Blue Refractors, and Red Refractors, each bringing a burst of color and rarity to the mix.

Essentially, the 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani #1 (Batting-Gold Refractor) is a dream card for collectors. With unique imagery, a dazzling array of parallels, and the highly-coveted Chrome shine, this card offers the ultimate opportunity to own a piece of baseball history centered around the remarkable Shohei Ohtani.

8. 2018 Bowman Rookie Autographs Chrome Shohei Ohtani #SO (Orange Refractor)

  • Price Range: $10,000 to $40,590
  • Highest Sale Price: $40,590
  • PSA 9 Supply: 2
  • Brand: Bowman Chrome

A PSA 9-graded 2018 Bowman Chrome "Rookie Autographs" Orange Refractor #SO Shohei Ohtani fetched $40,590 at Goldin Auctions in August 2021.

Behold, the majestic 2018 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor #SO with an on-card autograph. This spectacular piece celebrates the most hyped international prospect in baseball history. He lived up to his massive expectations by winning the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year award for his outstanding pitching and batting skills.

Today, Ohtani—undoubtedly one of the most thrilling players in the game—is making history with each mighty swing and precision pitch.

This mesmerizing PSA-9 signature card showcases the Angels phenom's unparalleled two-way mastery, which is virtually unheard of in the modern era. The portrait of Ohtani effortlessly pitching, frozen in time, is as crisp and powerful as his live presence. His striking blue ink autograph adorns the card, exuding confidence and style.

Standing tall among rookies, Ohtani made history in 2021 by earning All-Star recognition for his pitching and batting prowess—an unprecedented accomplishment. This Rookie Card captures the essence of Ohtani's debut and serves as a testament to the beginning of his groundbreaking career.

Flaunting the "Topps Certified Autograph Issue" logo on its front, this card verifies the authenticity of Ohtani's signature and doubles as the certificate of authenticity (COA). The limited edition series enhances the card's rarity, intrigue, and allure.

Combining the scarce circulation of only two PSA-9s and three PSA-10s, this collectible's value is anticipated to soar over time. Seize the chance to include this extraordinary piece, in impeccable Mint condition, in your collection—a keepsake that, just like Ohtani, will captivate and appreciate for years to come.

Are Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards a good investment?

Shohei Ohtani's ability to excel as both a pitcher and hitter in the MLB have already caused a noticeable impact on the value of his rookie cards. And as the baseball sensation's career soars to new heights, it's no surprise that his cards' values are steadily climbing as he keeps breaking records and earning accolades.

Some of Ohtani's rarest cards, such as the one-of-one Superfractor, autograph patch cards, and the bat-down variation, have attracted investors' attention due to their scarcity. Watch out for the unique and rare GQ Logo Swap card featuring Ohtani. It's no secret that outstanding athletes like Ohtani tend to have rookie cards with higher appreciation potential than more average players. So, investing in Ohtani's cards is a solid bet. 

And let's not forget the growing popularity of sports card collecting and investing in recent years, signaling a robust market for valuable rookie cards like Ohtani's. His cards will likely remain hot commodities among collectors and investors as long as the exciting world of sports cards thrives.

Before you dive headfirst into the trading card market, be prepared to do your homework. Investigate market trends, historical sale data, and how cards perform. Keep an eye on sports card marketplaces and price-tracking websites—they're treasure troves of invaluable insights to guide your investment decisions.

Investing in rookie cards can be wise if you want to diversify your assets through alternative investments. But remember, it's crucial to consider factors like card condition, rarity, and the player's career path. And, as with any investment, expect some risks and possible market volatility.

So, is it worth it? If you're ready to play the long game, thoroughly research, and focus on the rarest gems like Ohtani's most sought-after cards, then absolutely. With sports card investing, sometimes patience is a virtue, and it can pay off nicely when you land that investment home run.