The 7 Best John Smoltz Rookie Cards

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Smoltz, nicknamed Smoltzie, is an 8-time All-Star inductee and a one-time winner of the World Championship in 1995.

Nowadays, many people remember Smoltzie as one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1990s and 2000s.

Smoltz made his debut for the Atlanta Braves in 1988. After a slow start, Smoltz’s career lifted off, and soon, he was a key member of the team and one of the best pitchers in the league.

With that in mind, John Smoltz’s rookie cards are still hot property, despite the fact that the print runs for these rookie cards were vast.

Top John Smoltz Rookie Cards

Let’s take a look at some of the best John Smoltz rookie cards your money can buy.

1988 Fleer Update John Smoltz RC #U-74

1988 Fleer Update John Smoltz RC #U-74

The very first card of John Smoltz in the MLB is found in the Fleer Update set of 1988.

Now, the card you’re looking at in this image above is the Glossy version of the Fleer card, which is a bit more premium and valuable, but still easily available because of the high print runs.

The main reason why this card is so popular is that it was the very first rookie card. Most of the other rookie cards were released only in 1989 because Smoltz made his debut in the MLB in the middle of the season.

The prices for this card should still be reasonably low, mainly because of the insanely high print runs and easy availability.

If you want something a bit more premium-feeling, give the Glossy version a go. It has a glossy finish over it and it’s made of higher-quality materials, too.

1989 Donruss John Smoltz RC #642

1989 Donruss John Smoltz RC #642

1989 was the year when the main rookie cards were released, including this Donruss card.

Donruss was one of the main options for card collectors back in the 1980s and the 1990s, and it still is today.

This card was also known for its huge print runs, so the prices today should be reasonable. You will get the highest-graded cards at affordable prices, so you should be able to get a hold of it, and if you’re looking to keep it, even better.

1989 Topps John Smoltz RC #382

1989 Topps John Smoltz RC #382

Topps is another great option if you’re looking for a John Smoltz rookie card.

With this Topps card, you’re getting a bit of a throwback to the good old days of the 1960s and the 1970s, at least when it comes to the design. It is very minimalistic but it just works.

Topps is the primary choice for many people. If you’re looking for a decent alternative and you don’t know which option to pick, then you can’t go wrong with this one.

Again, you can see the same pattern here as with the Donruss card: it should be easily available and cheap, too.

1989 Upper Deck Star Rookie John Smoltz RC #17

1989 Upper Deck Star Rookie John Smoltz RC #17

Next up, we have the Upper Deck John Smoltz card.

It is another mainstream option that you can consider. Now, it’s slightly different than the other two cards: the image takes the center stage on this one, and there are very few other distractions on the card, too.

At the time, Upper Deck was a new player on the market. It was a private company established only in 1988, so 1989 was the first baseball set they ever produced, and John Smoltz was one of the leading rookie cards of the set.

In their opening set in 1989, Upper Deck decided to make Ken Griffey Jr. the leading name, so they placed him in the #1 spot.

Then, there was also the Star Rookie subset in which John Smoltz was included. Smoltz was undoubtedly one of the most exciting rookie cards of this set, too.

1989 Fleer John Smoltz RC #602

1989 Fleer John Smoltz RC #602

Fleer is also a great option if you’re looking for a Smoltz rookie card.

Among Topps, Upper Deck, Donruss, and others, Fleer was one of the mainstays of baseball cards in the 1980s and the 1990s. If you like Fleer cards and you prefer them over other brands, then this one should be your choice.

It still has a pretty basic design, but one of the main issues here will be finding the best-graded cards of this type because they’re hard to find.

But other Fleer cards should be pretty easy to find and they should also not be very expensive, so if you’re not that picky about the condition of the card, you’re going to be able to find one cheaply.

1989 Score John Smoltz RC #616

1989 Score John Smoltz RC #616

The next rookie card of John Smoltz that you can consider is the 1989 Score card numbered 616.

You have many amazing options when it comes to Smoltz cards but many people like the look of Score, a card brand with a decent amount of tradition when it comes to baseball cards.

This one should also be easy to find and it should be pretty cheap, too. It’s another great option if you’re looking for a John Smoltz rookie card.

1989 Bowman John Smoltz RC #266

1989 Bowman John Smoltz RC #266

This Bowman Smoltz rookie card is high on many people’s lists because of the autograph on the card and the fact that the card is made by Bowman.

Just like the majority of other rookie cards of Smoltz, this one should also be easy to find and it should also be quite affordable, too.

The main distinguishing feature that this card has over other options is the autograph. For this reason, collectors are sometimes willing to spend a bit more on this option.

Bonus Option: 1986 ProCards John Smoltz

1986 ProCards John Smoltz

As a bonus option, we’ve included this 1986 ProCards John Smoltz card.

This one might be more expensive than other cards because it is much harder to find than the majority of rookie cards we’ve just seen.

The print runs for this card was much lower, meaning that you might have a bit more difficulty finding this card.

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