He’s four years removed from his Hall of Fame nod. He joined elite company with the likes of Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Aaron, Mel Ott, Willie Mays and Ted Williams on the short list of Hall of Famers with 500 home runs and a career batting average of .300. He enjoyed crushing the ball so much that he is the only player ever to hit over 100 sac flies without laying down a single sac bunt.
And the list goes on.
Considering such an impressive career, “The Big Hurt” rookie cards would cost you a fortune, right? Not exactly. Well, not the cards that comprise his basic rookie set. And, fortunately for you HOF collectors and Frank Thomas fans out there, the set is only six cards total.
Here’s a look at the slugger’s rookie set, which won’t “hurt” your wallet when hunting them down.
1990 Bowman #320 Frank Thomas
- PSA Population: 1,369 PSA Mint 9 | 445 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $26
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $6
Not the toughest to acquire in high-grade, this overlooked issue is still a pillar of Frank Thomas rookies. And if we’re judging by the non-awkward “genuinely thrilled to be here” factor, this card earns additional points. The Big Hurt, in this case, looks as if he wouldn’t hurt a fly. It also comes in the harder-to-find Tiffany version.
1990 Fleer Update #U-87 Frank Thomas
- PSA Population: 2,047 PSA Mint 9 | 842 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $16
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $8
One of the more ubiquitous cards on the list, though we still haven’t gotten to his most popular issue. Thomas’ Fleer rookie card was printed among the big production numbers that marked the late ’80s and early ’90s, and as such it’s the most cost-effective piece of the set, at around $16 for a PSA 10 example.
1990 O-Pee-Chee #414 Frank Thomas
- PSA Population: 168 PSA Mint 9 | 106 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $94
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $12
As what tends to be the case with cards released from our northern neighbors at O-Pee-Chee, production significantly drops off with their cards, which means thinner population numbers and higher values. It’s more of the same for Thomas’ O-Pee-Chee issue: identical design on the front, French/English copy on the back, scarcer numbers and higher values. This is the costliest card of the six in the set.
1990 Score #663 Frank Thomas
- PSA Population: 2,412 PSA Mint 9 | 833 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $25
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $9
If The Big Hurt’s O-Pee-Chee and Leaf cards in PSA 10 are too pricey for your blood, you might look towards this cardboard sleeper. Thomas’ 1990 Score rookie saw more modest production numbers compared to some of the other cards in this set, and it remains one of his more popular issues. Only 4,647 examples reside in the PSA Population, as of this writing.
1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas
- PSA Population: 6,992 PSA Mint 9 | 2,031 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $20
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $7
This is an interesting card — not necessarily due to its rarity but because of its famous error counterpart that remains highly coveted. The “No Name on Front” error variation of this card is, for all intents and purposes, is the exact same card but with one not-so-minor detail. You guessed it; his name was unintentionally omitted from the card’s front. Not to shortchange the above standard version at all. Driven by the Topps brand, his Topps rookie issue is still popular and a good addition to any rookie set, as evidenced by the nearly 12,000 examples in the PSA Population, second only to his most popular card …
1990 Leaf #300 Frank Thomas
- PSA Population: 9,059 PSA Mint 9 | 2,864 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $62
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $17
Saving the most popular Big Hurt rookie card for last, here’s his Leaf issue. Let’s take a second to look at the numbers: 3,455, 9,060, 2,869 – the Population numbers for PSA 8, 9 and 10, respectively. Needless to say, it’s his most popular rookie issue. The cardboard craze was evident during the height of his playing days, and it’s carried over just a few years removed from his HOF induction. The card’s importance and popularity are also reflected in the “Weight” on the Set Registry.
But more than the numbers and the memorable design that sees the slugger’s powerful follow-through, this card is one of the iconic examples from the era, depicting one of the best hitters of that era.
Here’s the gist: he’s a member of the 500 Home Run Club, he’s just a few years removed from a HOF nod, he has one of the coolest nicknames ever to grace the diamond and you can compile his rookie set in PSA 10 for around $200, or put together the set in PSA 9 for $59. So why not give The Big Hurt’s rookie set a try on the PSA Set Registry?Start Your Set Today