Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards: A Comprehensive Guide for Collectors

As a baseball card enthusiast, I’ve been following Shohei Ohtani’s remarkable career since his time in Japan. He made a grand entrance into Major League Baseball in 2018, attracting massive interest in the collectible market for his rookie cards. Ohtani’s exceptional performance in 2018 and his 2021 AL MVP win only fueled the demand for his cards, making them highly sought after by collectors.

Ohtani’s journey began in the Japan leagues with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and his earliest cards from 2013 already command significant value. After his MLB rookie season, numerous options of Shohei Ohtani rookie cards emerged, varying in price and scarcity. In the following article, I’ll provide a detailed guide on some of Ohtani’s top rookie cards and autographs from the 2018 season, catering to collectors of all budgets.

Key Takeaways

  • Shohei Ohtani’s baseball card market has seen high demand since his Japan league days and through his MLB rookie season.
  • His earliest cards from 2013 with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters are scarce and valuable.
  • A variety of Shohei Ohtani rookie cards and autographs from 2018 are available for collectors of all budgets.

The Best Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards

Quick Summary

If you’re short on time, here’s a brief overview of the best Shohei Ohtani rookie cards:

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Best Low-Budget Ohtani Rookie Cards:

  • 2018 Bowman’s Best Shohei Ohtani #1
  • 2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani #150
  • 2018 Donruss Optic Shohei Ohtani #56

Most Valuable Ohtani Rookie Cards:

  • 2018 Topps Dynasty Shohei Ohtani Auto Patch #AP-SO1 – #AP-SO7
  • 2018 Panini National Treasures Shohei Ohtani Auto Patch #48
  • 2018 Bowman Rookie Autographs Chrome Shohei Ohtani #SO

Most Valuable Unsigned Ohtani Rookie Cards:

  • 2018 Topps Shohei Ohtani #700 (Hand on helmet version)
  • 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani #1 (Carrying bag version)
  • 2018 Panini Flawless Shohei Ohtani #3

Top Pick:

  • 2018 Bowman Rookie Autographs Chrome Shohei Ohtani #SO

Now, let’s dive deeper into these cards.

2018 Bowman Shohei Ohtani #49

The 2018 Bowman Shohei Ohtani base rookie card is an affordable option for collectors. With a selection of parallels, you can find more value and rarity depending on the specific card.

Base version average price in PSA 10: $100-$125

2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani #1

The 2018 Bowman Chrome set features two versions of Shohei Ohtani’s rookie card: an image of him batting and a short print card showing him carrying an equipment bag. Both cards hold a higher value than his regular Bowman rookie.

Base version (batting) average price in PSA 10: $540-$560

Base version (carrying bag) average price in PSA 10: $2,500-$3,500

2018 Bowman’s Best Shohei Ohtani #1

The 2018 Bowman’s Best option offers a unique design for an alternative chrome rookie card. With an affordable base card and multiple Refractor parallels, this set caters to a wide range of collectors.

Base version average price in PSA 10: $100-$150

2018 Panini Flawless Shohei Ohtani #3

2018 Panini Flawless is a high-end set featuring two distinct designs for Ohtani’s rookie card, both limited to just 20 numbered copies. Each card has a small diamond embedded within, adding a unique touch.

Base version (full body) average price in PSA 10: N/A (estimate: $800-$1,000)

Base version (waist up) average price in PSA 10: N/A (estimate: $800-$1,000)

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2018 Donruss Optic Shohei Ohtani #56

The 2018 Donruss Optic set offers chromium versions of the base Donruss rookie card. There are three variations, depicting Ohtani batting, running, and pitching, with the batting version holding a higher value.

Base version (batting) average price in PSA 10: N/A (estimate: $200-$250)

Base version (running) average price in PSA 10: N/A (estimate: $100-$120)

2018 Topps Shohei Ohtani #700

Ohtani’s rookie card is featured in the 2018 Topps Series 2 packs. There are three variations: a base card, a “with bat” short print version, and a “hand on helmet” short print version. The “hand on helmet” variation is the most valuable.

Base version (pitching) average price in PSA 10: $700-$750

Base version (with bat) average price in PSA 10: $100-$150

Base version (hand on helmet) average price in PSA 10: $3,000-$3,500

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani #150

The popular 2018 Topps Chrome release is a favorite among budget-minded collectors. This glossy card adds polish to the key regular Topps release without requiring a significant investment.

Base version average price in PSA 10: N/A (estimate: $200-$250)

The Top Autographed Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards

2018 Bowman Rookie Autographs Chrome Shohei Ohtani #SO

The 2018 Bowman Rookie Autographs Chrome Shohei Ohtani #SO card features an on-card autograph and is considered one of the best, and most valuable, of Ohtani’s rookie cards. Refractor parallels can add even more value, with the rarest versions commanding high prices.

Base version average price in PSA 10: $9,000-$10,000

2018 Bowman’s Best Best Of 2018 Autographs Shohei Ohtani #B18SO

The 2018 Bowman’s Best card #B18SO offers an alternative autograph option, with a similar design to the regular base card but including an on-card signature. Low-numbered parallel versions add extra value to this card.

Base version average price in PSA 10: $4,000-$5,000

2018 Topps Clearly Authentic Shohei Ohtani Auto #SO

The 2018 Topps Clearly Authentic Shohei Ohtani #SO card is a premium option featuring the flagship card design and an on-card signature. Printed on acetate, this card is issued as a redemption and has a few limited parallels.

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Base version average price in PSA 10: $3,000-$4,000

2018 Topps Diamond Icons Shohei Ohtani Auto #AC-SO

As a premium and super-rare autographed rookie card, the 2018 Topps Diamond Icons Shohei Ohtani #AC-SO has only 25 numbered copies. High-end and rare, this card carries a hefty price tag for collectors who can find one.

Base version average price in PSA 10: $2,000-$3,000

2018 Immaculate Collection Shohei Ohtani Auto Patch #37

The 2018 Immaculate Collection Shohei Ohtani Auto Patch #37 is a high-end rookie card featuring both an on-card autograph and a patch piece. Limited to 99 numbered copies, this card attracts collectors who desire a more affordable premium option.

PSA 9 average price: $2,000-$2,500 (No PSA 10 data available)

2018 Panini National Treasures Shohei Ohtani Auto Patch #48

For those with larger budgets, the 2018 Panini National Treasures Shohei Ohtani Auto Patch #48 offers a high-quality card showcasing a jumbo material patch and an on-card signature. Limited to 99 numbered copies, there are also parallel options for this card.

PSA 8 average price: $4,000-$5,000 (No PSA 10 data available)

2018 Topps Dynasty Shohei Ohtani Auto Patch #AP-SO1 – #AP-SO7

The 2018 Topps Dynasty provides collectors with seven different numbered Shohei Ohtani autograph patch cards, each limited to just 10 copies. With varying images and designs, these rare cards hold significant value for collectors and investors alike.

Base version average price in PSA 10: $10k-$12k

When Was Shohei Ohtani’s Rookie Season?

Shohei Ohtani’s rookie season in MLB was in 2018. He played for the Los Angeles Angels and made a significant impact as a two-way star player.

What Is The Top Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards To Buy?

Considering its popularity and value, the 2018 Bowman Rookie Signatures Chrome card stands out as the top Shohei Ohtani rookie card to buy. This card is highly sought after by collectors and showcases the AL Rookie of the Year in his prime. As a fan of sports card collecting, I can confidently say that investing in this card is a wise choice for enthusiasts. It’s a fantastic addition to any collection, representing a superstar in the making.