Clarification on the term "Rookie Card"....

t.rooster

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Recently I made a trade that included Jay Bruce's '09 SP card. I called it his rookie card, the stat line only had one line, the year 2008, which was the same as the total line. For me, that is what defines a rookie card, the one year stat line matching the totals line, but my trader friend said it wasn't his rookie card. What does that mean? Does it mean that the plethora of prospect cards that show no MLB experience has taken over the term rookie card?
Perhaps the term has experienced some change in meaning over time. When I started collecting in the '70s the player's year matching total years experience was called their rookie card. That is the definer, you can't change that over time because now a player gets card coverage before their first year of play. Call a rookie card a rookie card and a prospect card a prospect card. Am I out-of-step here? What do others think?
 

vman1111

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2 things, 1 you posted in the wrong forum, 2 a RC is the first regular issue of a given player. Although that too changed back in 05 I think. Now you have RC and (RC). Rookie cards now have a "RC" logo on the front but there was a lot of confusion when this started since a lot of the players already had regular issue cards from previous years, they are referred to as (RC). Hope this helps.
 

anglinomics

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Beckett online price guide is very accurate as to identify a players rookie card. You don't need to pay to get a description of the card either. If you search for the card using it's description on Beckett, it will display RC in the description. For example if you have Bowman Sterling card of Yasiel Puig, you can search on the term "Yasiel Puig Bowman Sterling RC" you get this to come back; "2013 Bowman Sterling #32 Yasiel Puig RC". If you made your search broader, you could just search on "Bowman Sterling Yasiel Puig". You get 24 cards returned in that search, but only 1 of those is a RC. Note that parallels are not RCS. www.beckett.com

A more complex issue is Barry Bonds. He has 4 RCs in 1987, but in 1986 he has 3 cards that say XRC. I would like to hear more on that because I don't know. Jay Bruce's RC year is 2008. And I guess you really just need to search on Jay Bruce RC. When I searched on 2009 SP Jay Bruce several cards came up, but no RC.
 
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Jeffo65

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I consider a "Rookie Card" to be the players first appearance on a licensed Major brand card.

As an example, to me Barry Bonds "Rookie" card was 1986.

Jay Bruce first appeared on a card in 2005. 2005 Topps Update.

Each collector can make their own definifition.

I know in the past that there have been a very few number of players that have not appeared on a card until a few years after playing, but I can't remember who they were. Thus in this instance, their first card would not be their RC by your definition.
 
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anglinomics

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I stand corrected. That Jay Bruce RC search did turn up 6 2005 cards that say RC without the (). The other 39 Say (RC) and are from 2008. I choose to use the industry standard which I believe to be the first year base card of an issue and in this case the 2005's. But I'd like to see a Beckett magazine article on the definition and from the period of when they started to distinguish RC from (RC). I would use that, even if some people could care less about Beckett.

It appears that Barry Bonds and Jay Bruce are the same (but different) when it comes to RCs. Jay Bruce doesn't have any XRC. I'm not aware for sure how XRC works. Help.
 
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Jeffo65

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Pulled this from BaseballCardPedia.com


Rookie Card: A player's first base card(s) in a regular issued, fully-licensed card set.

The "Beckett Definition" of the rookie card (or "RC") states that a "rookie card" must come from a fully-licensed (both MLB and MLBPA), nationally-distributed set that is primarily focused on current Major League players. It must be a base card and cannot be an insert, parallel, or redemption card. A player may only have one RC per set. If he has more than one base set card in the same set, then the "rookie card" tag is given to the "regular" card (assuming that the other card is from a special subset). If a player has more than one base set card in the same set, but the two cards are produced in different quantities (i.e. one is short-printed and the other is not), then the more common card is given the "rookie card" label.

Many of the cards produced by Classic (and other so-called "draft pick" manufacturers) are not considered rookie cards, because they are not licensed by the respective leagues and teams. This is why many of the players in such sets are still pictured in their college and high school uniforms. It should be noted, that a player need not be pictured in a major league uniform for a card to be considered a rookie. For example, Manny Ramirez is shown wearing street clothes on his 1992 Bowman rookie card. Since Ramirez had signed a professional contract, and because the 1992 Bowman set was officially licensed by Major League Baseball and the Player's Association, this is a rookie card.

Before 2006, a player need not have actually played in a Major League game to have had a rookie card.

In recent years with the trend by card makers to "short-print" their base-sets (especially the rookie cards), the line between what is "base" and what is "insert" has become blurred, almost to the point of no return.


Parenth-RC (RC): A card from a 2006 or later card set bearing the standardized "ROOKIE CARD" icon of a player whose "true" rookie card was issued in a pre-2006 set.

Beginning with the 2006 season, a new set of rules on player selection from the Major League Baseball Properties (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) went into effect. From that point on, only those players who have actually played in a Major League game, will be allowed to appear in an MLB/MLBPA licensed base set. Further more, all cards of first-year players will have a new standardized, cross-brand, "ROOKIE CARD" logo on their cards.

As part of it's long-standing agreement with the MLBPA, Topps is not bound to the Association's group licensing agreement, and must sign each player to an individual contract. On the surface, this appears to give Topps' competition an advantage; however, (up until 2006) it allowed Topps to include players who had yet to reach a Major League roster, onto fully-licensed MLB cards. Since relaunching the Bowman brand in 1989, Topps has positioned it as "The Home of the Rookie Card" by stocking the checklist with hundreds of minor leaguers. Since Bowman is a fully licensed brand, and does feature a token number of current Major League stars, the cards of these minor leaguers are considered their true Major League rookie card.

And therein lays, as the MLBPA sees it, the problem. First the "RC Gap:" that is, a player's rookie card appears in a product years before he actually appears in a Major League game. An example of this is the case of the 2005 National League Rookie of the Year, Ryan Howard. Howard actually Major League debut as a September call-up in 2004, but all of Howard's rookie cards were issued in 2003. (Not surprisingly, they're all Bowman products.) Unlike the NFL or the NBA, which do not have established minor-leagues, a player is prohibited from appearing in football or basketball card set until he has appeared in an actual game.

Second is the fact that the hundreds of minor league prospects featured in the Bowman set are not actual Major League players, and as such, are not dues paying members of the MLBPA -- some of whom retire without ever making it to the Big Leagues.


XRC (eXtended Rookie Card): Term used by Beckett to describe a rookie card from an extended or traded set. Because of the widespread distribution of extended sets, the XRC designation was discontinued after 1988.

Beckett however, grandfathered all existing XRCs, thus creating a rather confusing situation where a player can have his "rookie card" in a set AFTER his XRC was in a previous year's extended set.

For example: Barry Bonds's 1986 Fleer Update card is his first card and, had it been released just a few years later, would be his true rookie card. As it is, the '86 Fleer Update is considered by Beckett an "XRC," while Bonds's 1987 Fleer is given the "RC" label. General consensus in The Hobby is to treat BOTH cards as rookies.


Guide to Rookie Card AbbreviationsFor purposes of this wiki, we are using these abbreviations in our checklists.

RC: A "true" rookie card.

XRC: eXtended Rookie Card (see above).

(RC): Parenth-RC (see above).

RC*: A "true" rookie card of a player who has retired without playing in a single Major League game.

RCup: Card with the Topps All-Star Rookie Team cup. These are usually 2nd or 3rd year cards.

ROO: Card from a rookie-themed subset. May not necessarily be a true rookie card.


.
 

t.rooster

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That is more than I bargained for and at the same time, a real learning moment here. Thank you all who participated in this (although this appeared in the incorrect space). And still, even after all of this, I find that I don't want to have to rely on checking in on an online source. I want to be able to look at the back of a card and know by it's informational characteristics what it is I have. There is something to be said about simplicity…..
 

Yesknow

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Interesting as a player qualifies as a rookie based on the amount of games that they have played. Whereas panini began changing the rookie card meaning with releasing player's (basketball of course) "Rookie Card" a year later.
 

Camsue

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I wanted to thank everyone who responded I am currently in the process of updated my oriole collection and was very confused on the bowman products on the draft and prospect and base issue cards of certain players rookie year issues. But I seem to have a better understanding now. Thank you all again
 

waltbfree

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Pulled this from BaseballCardPedia.com


Rookie Card: A player's first base card(s) in a regular issued, fully-licensed card set.

The "Beckett Definition" of the rookie card (or "RC") states that a "rookie card" must come from a fully-licensed (both MLB and MLBPA), nationally-distributed set that is primarily focused on current Major League players. It must be a base card and cannot be an insert, parallel, or redemption card. A player may only have one RC per set. If he has more than one base set card in the same set, then the "rookie card" tag is given to the "regular" card (assuming that the other card is from a special subset). If a player has more than one base set card in the same set, but the two cards are produced in different quantities (i.e. one is short-printed and the other is not), then the more common card is given the "rookie card" label.

Many of the cards produced by Classic (and other so-called "draft pick" manufacturers) are not considered rookie cards, because they are not licensed by the respective leagues and teams. This is why many of the players in such sets are still pictured in their college and high school uniforms. It should be noted, that a player need not be pictured in a major league uniform for a card to be considered a rookie. For example, Manny Ramirez is shown wearing street clothes on his 1992 Bowman rookie card. Since Ramirez had signed a professional contract, and because the 1992 Bowman set was officially licensed by Major League Baseball and the Player's Association, this is a rookie card.

Before 2006, a player need not have actually played in a Major League game to have had a rookie card.

In recent years with the trend by card makers to "short-print" their base-sets (especially the rookie cards), the line between what is "base" and what is "insert" has become blurred, almost to the point of no return.


Parenth-RC (RC): A card from a 2006 or later card set bearing the standardized "ROOKIE CARD" icon of a player whose "true" rookie card was issued in a pre-2006 set.

Beginning with the 2006 season, a new set of rules on player selection from the Major League Baseball Properties (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) went into effect. From that point on, only those players who have actually played in a Major League game, will be allowed to appear in an MLB/MLBPA licensed base set. Further more, all cards of first-year players will have a new standardized, cross-brand, "ROOKIE CARD" logo on their cards.

As part of it's long-standing agreement with the MLBPA, Topps is not bound to the Association's group licensing agreement, and must sign each player to an individual contract. On the surface, this appears to give Topps' competition an advantage; however, (up until 2006) it allowed Topps to include players who had yet to reach a Major League roster, onto fully-licensed MLB cards. Since relaunching the Bowman brand in 1989, Topps has positioned it as "The Home of the Rookie Card" by stocking the checklist with hundreds of minor leaguers. Since Bowman is a fully licensed brand, and does feature a token number of current Major League stars, the cards of these minor leaguers are considered their true Major League rookie card.

And therein lays, as the MLBPA sees it, the problem. First the "RC Gap:" that is, a player's rookie card appears in a product years before he actually appears in a Major League game. An example of this is the case of the 2005 National League Rookie of the Year, Ryan Howard. Howard actually Major League debut as a September call-up in 2004, but all of Howard's rookie cards were issued in 2003. (Not surprisingly, they're all Bowman products.) Unlike the NFL or the NBA, which do not have established minor-leagues, a player is prohibited from appearing in football or basketball card set until he has appeared in an actual game.

Second is the fact that the hundreds of minor league prospects featured in the Bowman set are not actual Major League players, and as such, are not dues paying members of the MLBPA -- some of whom retire without ever making it to the Big Leagues.


XRC (eXtended Rookie Card): Term used by Beckett to describe a rookie card from an extended or traded set. Because of the widespread distribution of extended sets, the XRC designation was discontinued after 1988.

Beckett however, grandfathered all existing XRCs, thus creating a rather confusing situation where a player can have his "rookie card" in a set AFTER his XRC was in a previous year's extended set.

For example: Barry Bonds's 1986 Fleer Update card is his first card and, had it been released just a few years later, would be his true rookie card. As it is, the '86 Fleer Update is considered by Beckett an "XRC," while Bonds's 1987 Fleer is given the "RC" label. General consensus in The Hobby is to treat BOTH cards as rookies.


Guide to Rookie Card AbbreviationsFor purposes of this wiki, we are using these abbreviations in our checklists.

RC: A "true" rookie card.

XRC: eXtended Rookie Card (see above).

(RC): Parenth-RC (see above).

RC*: A "true" rookie card of a player who has retired without playing in a single Major League game.

RCup: Card with the Topps All-Star Rookie Team cup. These are usually 2nd or 3rd year cards.

ROO: Card from a rookie-themed subset. May not necessarily be a true rookie card.


.

Thanks for this Jeff. So when using Beckett for a (RC) do you use the pricing "Common RC", "RC Semis", and "RC Unlisted", if player is unlisted?
 

NYBBNUTT

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RD or Rookie Debut? Isn't that also another identification of a rookie card? I had notations in my checklists as RD or Rookie Debut and when I checked the card(s) they all had the RC emblem.
 

anglinomics

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RD or Rookie Debut? Isn't that also another identification of a rookie card? I had notations in my checklists as RD or Rookie Debut and when I checked the card(s) they all had the RC emblem.

You could check Beckett to see if they have the RC designation. You don't have to be a subscriber. You wont get the price on a search but you will get the full card title. However Cardboard Connection puts RC next to parallels, which to my understanding aren't RCs. So if that's correct, even though a parallel has the RC on the card it is not a RC. I am not familiar with RD. That's my understanding. But there are other views. I did notice Beckett had some autographed cards as RC. I'm thinking that would be a realease where the auto is a base card to the set. I would think if the RD is a base card of the set it could possibly be a RC. If it's an insert I would say it's not a RC.
 
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cmcjr99

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RD or Rookie Debut? Isn't that also another identification of a rookie card? I had notations in my checklists as RD or Rookie Debut and when I checked the card(s) they all had the RC emblem.



the vast majority of the rookie debut cards are merely subset cards , most often in tops update...just as a quick example , in 2018 topps update , gleyber torres had a rc and 2subsets : the rookie debut and the all-star game card...

just a wee bit of clarification on the bowman (and chrome) prospects...they are allowed in the bowman product despite the players usually having no major league experience because they are technically classified as inserts not base cards...that tiny little loophole allows topps to include virtually anyone in their prospect sets and also preents them from being considered rookie cards even though they may come many years before a players true rc...
 

NYBBNUTT

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So to clarify the RC designation using Gleyber Torres as an example, is it correct to say that all 5 2018 Topps flagship cards of Gleyber Torres are his RCs (because they have the RC logo), but #200 is the real RC?
2018 Topps #699.2 Late Rookie Variation - Gleyber Torres (Bat Visible) SSP RC - $200
2018 Topps #699.3 Gleyber Torres (Factory Set – Running) SP RC - $50?
2018 Topps Update #US99 Gleyber Torres -(All-Star Game) RC - $?
2018 Topps Update #US191 Gleyber Torres (Rookie Debut) RC - $?
2018 Topps Update #US200 Gleyber Torres -Yankees RC - $30
 

cmcjr99

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So to clarify the RC designation using Gleyber Torres as an example, is it correct to say that all 5 2018 Topps flagship cards of Gleyber Torres are his RCs (because they have the RC logo), but #200 is the real RC?
2018 Topps #699.2 Late Rookie Variation - Gleyber Torres (Bat Visible) SSP RC - $200
2018 Topps #699.3 Gleyber Torres (Factory Set – Running) SP RC - $50?
2018 Topps Update #US99 Gleyber Torres -(All-Star Game) RC - $?
2018 Topps Update #US191 Gleyber Torres (Rookie Debut) RC - $?
2018 Topps Update #US200 Gleyber Torres -Yankees RC - $30


the only one technically classified as a true rc is the main card....that said , back in either 2016 or 2017 topps started putting the RC logo on all subset cards of said player in their rc year ...for example aaron judge had his topps rc in 2017 topps but all 5 or 6 of his cards in topps update (1 sp , 1 ssp , as subset , rd subset , multi-player subset with greg bird , and maybe one more) have the rc logo despite none of them being his actual rc...

in your gleyber example , the ssp from series 2 is technically an insert so not an RC....the 3 from update include the asg and rd subset cards that each book at $4 and are not rc's while the base version #200 is the main set RC with a bv of 15.00... likewise the factory set version is considered a photo variation which puts it in the category with inserts and/or subsets but no true rc...

frankly it really means little to some , and everything to others....would you rahther have a 217 judge topps rc or a 2013 bowman draft ? one is an rc m but the other is 4 years prior...personally i like BOTH , but again its all about perspective and personal preference
 

SymphonicMetal

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Football and basketball seem to hav e alot less confusion over RCs than Baseball does.

I consider certain cards to be Rookie cards even though they are not classified as such if their issue came the year the official rookie card is issued or even before. I consider the 1978 Kellogg's Eddie Murray card a RC since itt is the same year as his official Topps RC. Walter Payton has a Crane Disc, a Coca-Cola Disc and a Slim Jim Disc all produced the same year as his Topps rookie. Jack Ham has a 1972 Sunoco stamp which is a year earlier than his 1973 Topps rookie. I tend to store items like that with their RCs whenever possible.
 
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