1: Albert Pujols 2001 Bowman Chrome Auto $7,000-$10,000
We are at the peak of our countdown and topping the list as the most valuable Bowman Chrome (non refractor) of all time is Albert Pujols 2001 Bowman Chrome auto rookie.
This is a card many call the “Holy Grail” of modern baseball cards and if you want to add this card to your collection, a BGS Graded 9.5 card is going to cost at a minimum $7,000.
Now to be fair to the other cards on this list, there are some unique circumstances (in addition to the greatness of Pujols) that make this card so valuable.
The first is that unlike every other card on this list, Pujols 1st Bowman Chrome auto was only available as a redemption with a print run of 499, and it’s estimated that maybe 100 or so were destroyed from unclaimed redemptions.
In addition to the absence of refractor parallels, it makes this card not only very rare, but also takes away any downward pricing pressure that colored refractors might push upon another player’s base auto.
For collectors though, the goal is always to collect the most interesting, special and rare cards that they possibly can. While it may not be a true apples to apples comparison to compare Pujols 2001 card to just about every other card printed in the Bowman Chrome set, it’s clear that among non-parallel cards, it’s the greatest prize one can fetch.
Now talking about the player, there is a lot of things to like about Pujols. He will easily go down as one of the greats of his generation having collected 3 MVP awards, slugging 591 HRs along with over 1,800 RBIs, 1,670 runs, a .309/.392/.573 batting line and an astounding 101 WAR. That is an incredibly accomplished career.
While it’s been difficult to see Pujols limited during his tenure as a Los Angeles Angel, and to see the decline in his game, collectors shouldn’t let that worry them to far. Pujols has probably now entered the phase of his career where his legacy is cemented and while he will no longer be the player who owned the league in the 2000s, we’ll have the opportunity to watch him pile on numbers onto his career resume.
He’s probably going to pass the 2,000 RBI mark, the 3,000 hit mark, and even 700 HRs are in play if he can squeeze out four more years. As he begins to hit these milestones, one can imagine that the value of this card should see a steady increase.
If you find a way to add this card to your collection, you will surely be the envy of your card collecting friends, and you’ll have a solid long term investment piece to anchor your collection.
Thanks for joining in our countdown. We’ll run it again next year to see how valuations have changed, and report if any new players can make a push into the top 10 Bowman Chrome cards.
Stay tuned also for a master list that compiles all of the top 10 cards onto one list for easy reference.
2. Mike Trout
3. Kris Bryant
4. Bryce Harper