Rickey Henderson Not A “Steal”

The world may never again see a character like Rickey Henderson.

As one of the most collected players of all-time, thanks to an entry into the Hall of Fame, his cards have spiked even more than usual.

While Rickey has plenty of rare cards, certified autographs, and game-used relics, his 1980 Topps rookie card still holds some serious clout and a recent “Gem Mint” proved just that when it sold for an astonishing $9,300.

What makes Rickey’s card so special, aside from being a first year card of one of the greatest of all-time, is the perfect Topps design and photograph. It’s such an iconic image that Topps re-used it for a later release and even sold the actual photograph on eBay.

That photograph, which you can see HERE, almost cracked a thousand on its own. It’s a great reminder that despite all of today’s gimmicks, sometimes all you need is a strong design and good photograph to create a classic, memorable baseball card.

Imagine if that 1980 Topps card had a sticker autograph, piece of memorabilia, or a Refractor “glow” to it. I don’t know, just wouldn’t seem as classy. As for the insane price on the graded version, you could always pick up a not so perfect one for much less.

Nothing Like A Rickey Henderson Rookie ...



  1. I just love that card, its just perfect. Simple and Complex design and great color scheme. Rickey is locked on to the ball. Does anyone know when the photo was taken,and what happened on this pitch.

  2. There’s still plenty of unopened 1980 packs around if you want to experience the joy of pulling one of these beauties. I got one myself about a month ago from a cello pack. I might have to send it in for grading! 🙂

  3. Anthony, you could probably ask the guy who runs the website, When Baseball Cards Come To Life. His site is devoted to the details behind the photo. He may have done one on that card. Iconic!

  4. You beat me too the post! Amazing card at an incredible price. I’ve also wondered what actually happened during this at bat, but I’ve never actually looked into it. But, I’d still love to know.

  5. Mario, the question what if a sticker auto existed or refractor in 80 although it did not exist, it will one day. Look at the 2001 topps traded set with the Chrome reprint traded cards from 76-01 thought the 86 were cool, just to see a RC of Canseco Chomed out, if this technology was around in the 80’s this hobby would have died mid 90’s. If the 86 Canseco RR topped 250.00 in 86, Imagine what a star refractor rc would have gone for.

  6. Yep, one of my all time favorite cards. Back around 1983-84, a neighborhood kid gave me all of his baseball cards, including a Rickey rookie, if I let him play with my new Christmas toy for a whole week, and then he’d give it back.

    I know what you’re thinking. Oh, he gave the game unit back. He was a cool kid.

    I’ve still got the Rickey.

    Still got the handheld game unit, too.

    Yep, I’m a big chump.

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