Long known for his affiliation with the Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz in fact started his career with the Seattle Mariners before being traded to the Minnesota Twins where he played his rookie year in 1997.
Affectionally known as Big Papi to his fans, Ortiz put together what is surely a hall of fame career over his 20 years, compiling 541 homeruns, 1,768 RBIs and batting .286 average.
The City of Boston recently acknowledged his accomplishments with a street named after him (David Ortiz Drive). Today, we wanted to select our top 3 Ortiz rookie cards.
1997 Fleer #512
Found in the 1997 Fleer smaller Series 2 set, Ortiz’s rookie card is definitively the best and most valuable card in the set.
In the classic pose with his bat over the shoulder wearing his Twins uniform, there’s also a nice gold ‘rookie’ label on the card.
For those into collecting parallels, the Tiffany ones are much more valuable (and rare), which can go for much more than the reasonably priced base card.
1997 Donruss Signature autograph #94
For an autographed card that has a limited press run, the Donruss Signature card is quite affordable.
There are 3,900 red base cards as well as parallel versions including Millennium Green (1,000) and Century Blue (100).
For some reason though, his autograph is on the left side of the card, which is not as aesthetically pleasing.
1997 Fleer Ultra #518
This Fleer Ultra issue has two versions with a different photo of Ortiz than the base on the Gold Medallion and Platinum Medallion parallels.
But the base card seems to have the best value especially when in mint condition.
This sharp looking card is a must have for any Ortiz fan.