Set Registry Starter Kit: Chipper Jones Rookie Set

 

In this series, we focus on sets from across sports and non-sports that are easy to build and won’t necessarily break the bank to acquire. Set Registry Starter Kit features sets that can appeal to seasoned hobbyists looking to expand their collections or novice collectors getting their feet wet. 

Only one switch-hitter amassed more RBIs over the course of his career — Eddie Murray — and no other switch-hitter compiled at least a .300 batting average with 400 or more dingers. So naturally, his rookie cards should command a fortune, right?

Curiously, that isn’t the case with Chipper Jones rookie cards, at least not yet. He was at the top of the game during his decorated career, piling up a World Series championship, eight N.L. All-Star nods and one MVP award to boot. And, he was just inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But much like the Ken Griffeys and Bo Jacksons out there, many of his rookie cards are surprisingly undervalued.

But that’s good news for the enterprising collector, the Braves fan, the hobby noobie and the collector of Hall of Famers — especially those not looking to break the bank for a perennial performer’s rookie cards.

Here’s a quick highlight of Chipper Jones’ five-card rookie set.

1991 Bowman Chipper Jones

1991 Bowman #569 Chipper Jones

  • PSA Population: 5,488 PSA Mint 9 | 1,572 PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $57
  • Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $10

See summary prices by grade.

Bowman pulled out all the stops with their 1991 offering, and beefed up the rookie card content. Chipper led a star studded cast of prodigious players, including the likes of Jim Thome, Mike Mussina, and Jeff Bagwell. This card is a steal at around $50.

1991 O-Pee-Chee Chipper Jones

1991 O-Pee-Chee #333 Chipper Jones

  • PSA Population: 112 PSA Mint 9 | 71 PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $364
  • Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $52

See summary prices by grade.

With that iconic bat-over-the-shoulder pose, this card immediately has a more classic feel to it. Also, one look at the population numbers and it becomes evident that this is the toughest card to acquire of Chipper’s rookie set, namely because it was released in Canada to limited numbers. The asking price for PSA 10 is also the most expensive of the set, a reflection of its more scarce nature, only 1,842 total in the PSA population.

1991 Score Chipper Jones

1991 Score #671 Chipper Jones

  •  PSA Population: 1,389 PSA Mint 9 | 1,075 PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $19
  • Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $7

See summary prices by grade.

What’s hotter than a rookie card of the first overall draft pick? If said draft pick is teeing off baseballs in front of an apparently white-hot, blindingly orange backdrop. Yes, Score’s 1991 issue might be a smidge loud from a design standpoint, but it does have the second smallest PSA population of 9s and 10s of the bunch. And, well, it’s Chipper Jones.

1991 Topps Chipper Jones

1991 Topps #333 Chipper Jones

  •  PSA Population: 2,001 PSA Mint 9 | 5,290 PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $25
  • Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $10

See summary prices by grade.

This card dawns the same iconic image used in the O-Pee-Chee, Topps Tiffany and Topps Desert Shield versions, all of which are tougher to come by. And high grade examples are especially easy to find. Just look at that PSA 10 population, which interestingly enough eclipses that of Mint 9.

1991 Upper Deck Chipper Jones

1991 Upper Deck #55 Chipper Jones

  • PSA Population: 3,009 PSA Mint 9 | 1,776 PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $21
  • Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $7

See summary prices by grade.

Much like the Griffey cards of three years prior, this issue was released in droves. But don’t let the inflated population detract from the card. It’s the only piece of the rookie set depicting a young Jones on the other side of the ball, and a PSA 10 example will only run around $20. This is one of the more recognizable cards from the eight-time all star.

Reignited Interest in the Switch-Hitting HOFer

The approachable five-card set will cost collectors around $80 in PSA 9, and a shade under $500 for a set in PSA 10. Yes, the collectability of Jones cards may have initially been impacted by their ubiquitous nature, not unlike Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards. But years after his storied career — and on the heels of his recent induction into the Hall of Fame — interest in the switch-hitting slugger has reignited. If you’re a fan of this Atlanta Braves favorite, or if you’re making your rounds on a Hall of Fame collection, give his rookie set a try.

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Posted by Ryan Gaeta

Ryan is a sports fan and Non-Sports aficionado, who is still tormented by the fact he owned the entire 1st Edition run of Pokémon cards but traded them away or ruined them at one point or another.

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