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.
After churning out a few of the Set Registry Starter Kits, one thing became clear: We need a pitcher in the mix. It turns out that pitcher was right in front of us in the form of the third most popular rookie set in the PSA Set Registry.
Who, you ask? Greg Maddux.
The sly slinger amassed over 300 wins while relying on his wits as opposed to raw arm strength, and his four-card set is an absolute steal. You’ll see why.
1987 Fleer Update #U-68 Greg Maddux
- PSA Population: 2,877 PSA Mint 9 | 552 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $36
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $6
A highlight of the 132-card set, Maddux’s Fleer Update rookie isn’t hard to come by in high-grade, but centering can be pesky here. This card also comes in a glossy variant.
1987 Topps Traded #70T Greg Maddux
- PSA Population: 5,547 PSA Mint 9 | 3,100 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $28
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $8
Aside from the aforementioned Fleer Update, this is the only other card in the set to feature Maddux at the end of his delivery. Odds are the pitch was a strike of the off-speed variety. These cards are even more plentiful in high-grade than the Fleer Update, as evidenced by the 3,100 in PSA 10. Once you complete this four-card set, you might want to track down the scarcer Topps Traded Tiffany variant.
1987 Leaf #36 Greg Maddux
- PSA Population: 942 PSA Mint 9 | 431 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $144
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $13
Featuring the same black-bordered design as the crafty hurler’s most popular rookie card (we’ll get to that next), Maddux’s Leaf issue is the scarcest member of the set in PSA 10, which also translates to it being the costliest card of the set.
1987 Donruss #36 Greg Maddux
- PSA Population: 12,303 PSA Mint 9 | 1,973 PSA Gem Mint 10
- Average Cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $70
- Average Cost for PSA Mint 9: $9
As ever, we save the athlete’s most popular rookie for the end. Maddux was actually featured on two Donruss cards in his rookie year, the other example (Donruss #52) features a headshot of the young pitcher. But the above-pictured card is a clear favorite among collectors. Check out the chart above. With a staggering 27,515 total examples in the PSA population, this card is head and shoulders above his other cards, in terms of popularity. Just like with any card featuring colored borders, pay close attention to those edges, as they can easily chip and impact the grade.
What’s really mind boggling is that, despite the pitcher’s incredible career exploits, including four Cy Youngs, eight All-Star appearances, a Hall of Fame nod and a World Series ring, his four-card set will only run around $278 in PSA 10, and a mere $36 in PSA 9! Maybe that’s why his rookie set is the third most popular in the set registry.
So what are you waiting for? It couldn’t hurt to add a Hall of Fame pitcher to your collection, and it definitely won’t hurt your budget.Start Your Set Today