While Realmuto has a wide number of autographed rookie cards, the most popular, as far as sales on eBay, is his 2014 Donruss The Rookies auto. While most people prefer 1st Bowman issues, Realmuto lacks one. He has a few great Topps autos, including in 2016 Topps Heritage and some higher end sets. But the most easily available is the Donruss The Rookies card.
There’s a lot to like about this card. It has a classic blue and red Donruss border and design, a solid pose of Realmuto in his catching gear, and an on-card auto. While it lacks the team logo and name, as do all Donruss/Panini products, this lack of MLB licensing doesn’t hurt the card.
Despite the sheer number of sales, the prices have been all over the place. While Realmuto is now playing in a big market, and playing fairly well, his card prices haven’t taken off, nor does it seem there are many graded examples of this card yet. StatCast actually suggests that Realmuto is about to have a real breakout - .330 wOBA and .372 expected wOBA - thanks to a career high 90.6 MPH average exit velocity on his batted ball events. A career high 11.5 Barrel percentage is a good sign as well.
Notes: April 22nd sale was a lot of 4 copies. May 21st sale was 2 copies.
Wow, that is all over the place… Averaged out it’s about $31.32 per card, but that is quite a chart! The going retail price seems to be in the $40 to $45 range in early June so it seems current sellers are aiming for the high end. If he begins performing like his quality of contact suggests this being a $40 card is not out of the question.
Is it worth grading?
If graded a PSA 10: $55 to $75
A BGS 9.5/10 auto: $50 to $65
At the moment, it hasn’t been a prudent financial move to get this card graded. There are only three graded by PSA, and they all came back as an 8 (Near-Mint/Mint) - not great. The very few autographed cards from this set haven’t fared well, although there are very few examples. Mookie Betts’ base card is the key card from this set. A PSA 9 is only going to give you a slight bump, so the risk hasn’t been worth sending to PSA. There aren’t any BGS examples of this card, but the few Beckett examples from this set have fared better with them.
Realmuto could become a big star for the Phillies and this card has been popular enough that it’s probably going to be a key card going forward. While his Elite Extra Edition parallel autos have held higher price tags, this seems to be the key card for investment.
How do you feel about J.T. Realmuto going forward?