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    #1

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

    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?

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    #2
    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.
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    #3
    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.
    Last edited by anglinomics; 03-21-2014 at 09:10 AM.

  4. Jeffo65's Avatar
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    #4
    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.
    Last edited by Jeffo65; 03-21-2014 at 12:18 PM.
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    #5
    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.
    Last edited by anglinomics; 03-21-2014 at 03:13 PM.

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    #6
    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.


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    #7
    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…..

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    #8
    The thread was moved to Card Talk. It was originally posted in the wrong forum.


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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by anglinomics View Post
    The thread was moved to Card Talk. It was originally posted in the wrong forum.
    Thanks coach….

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    #10
    thanks for clearing the RC debate up everyone!
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  11. Yesknow's Avatar
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    #11
    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.

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    #12
    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
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