Mike Trout Rookie Card Guide

Here are the Mike Trout rookie cards you should not miss.

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2009 Mike Trout Rookie Card Checklist

We’ll look at another card from 2009, but there are plenty more you can consider. These tend to be a little more expensive than the 2011 cards that feature later (most of them, anyway) due to their rarity.

2009 Bowman Sterling Mike Trout Autograph Rookie Card

The Bowman Sterling Mike Trout rookie card is the second most valuable and popular card from 2009 of this player. Bowman Sterling cards are normally not as appealing as the Bowman Chrome cards for rookie prospects, but this one is among the most well-known ones.

It features a sleek design with a photo of Trout in action in the middle. The only thing that’s noticeably different from most other autograph cards is that the auto is plastered on the card on a piece of foil, although it blends quite nicely with the overall design of the card.

This base version of the card is a bit more widely available than some of its parallels. The Gold parallel only has 50 pieces, so the price will normally jump up. But the black one is even rarer, as it has only 25 pieces printed. So if you have a strong penchant to go for the rarest of cards, you can consider either of those two.

Nonetheless, the base card can also command a pretty high price, too. It’s not as valuable as the Bowman Chrome 2009 Draft card, but still quite respectable and among the most expensive modern cards.

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2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects Black Refractor Mike Trout RC

The black refractor version of the Bowman Sterling 2009 card is the second most valuable Mike Trout rookie card you’ll find out there. It was a part of a small set of 25 rookie cards from 2009, and Mike Trout’s card was the leading piece of that set.

The card has the exact same design as the base card. The only and most notable difference is in the black border around the card, which differs from the base card’s white border. Now, for some, this combination might be a bit more visually pleasing, although it’s not a huge difference. It’s the rarity that commands the price here.

You’ll still find that piece of foil with the autograph on it, though. If you can get your hands on an impressive card like this one above (rated 9.5 by Beckett), then you’re looking at a five-figure card, for sure.

It’s one of those cards that’s not for everyone. If you have the money and can afford it, then you should look to buy it, but note that getting a good price for it might be tough. But if you’re someone who loves to own a very rare card, then it’s definitely a great option for you, too.

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2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects Gold Refractor Mike Trout Rookie Card

We just had to include the Gold refractor of the Bowman Sterling Mike Trout card from 2009, too. Firstly, because it’s very rare – although not as rare as the black one. There were originally 50 cards in this set, compared to the black refractor’s 25. Trout’s gold refractor, again, was the leading piece of the set, and the most valuable one, too.

It’s a very tough find today. This means that you need to be prepared to shell out five figures to obtain it. It’s not as expensive as the black refractor, although it can even reach its price if it’s kept well and if the market is scarce (which it is, for most of the time).

Note how this specific card has its autograph graded, as well. This is normally done for older cards, but you’ll also see it with rare cards like this one. It confirms that the card is authentic and that you’re buying the real deal.

This card’s biggest appeal is its shiny gold design. For many people, it’s far more appealing than the black refractor or the base card design. Again, the autograph comes on a piece of foil but it blends quite nicely with the feel and look of the card. Look out for centering issues, although much of that can be alleviated if you go for a rated card like the above one.

2009 Donruss Elite Mike Trout Extra Edition Auto Rookie Card #57

Donruss Elite is one of the most well-known card companies, just behind some of the largest companies like Topps or Bowman (for MLB cards). However, it’s not quite there in terms of what it has to offer on the card.

One of the main issues of this card compared to the other two brands is that it doesn’t have a team logo on the card. This might bother some people, although it should not be a huge problem if you’re not that picky.

But at just 495 copies, this autographed version is definitely a very desired piece of Mike Trout memorabilia. Even though it’s that rare, you’ll likely find some nice offers in online auctions, but be wary of anyone selling this card for a price that seems way too low.

Also, these Donruss Elite cards are known for having some problems with the card stock. Many of them have been reported to have surface defects and abrasions, as well as wear on corners, so always check for that before you buy your card.

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2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Rookie Card Auto #BDPP89

The 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft rookie card is by far the most valuable Mike Trout rookie card you’ll see out there. It’s from 2009 when Trout was drafted by LA Angels, although he didn’t make his debut in the MLB that year.

He spent the year playing in the Minor League (AZL) for the Arizona Angels. Even though he wasn’t named as the MVP for that year, he still established himself as one of the most talented players for the future. 2009 was the year that started his impressive career.

Only 25 copies of this card were made originally – yes, 25! This means that you have a very slim chance of finding yourself one. But even if you find one, you’d have to be prepared to shell out at least a few dozen thousand, and the value might even reach six figures before you know it if the card is well-kept!

As always, be careful of knock-offs. This is exactly the type of card that gets copied and then sold for seemingly low prices. Even though it’s not his true rookie card, it’s the most valuable card and that’s why it makes the list as the most desired card to be mentioned.

We’ll talk more about the 2009 cards from his draft year later on – let’s focus on the 2011 rookie cards of Mike Trout first.

2011 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Blue Refractor Rookie Card #175

The 2011 Bowman Chrome card is the true rookie card of Mike Trout. This particular card in the image is the Blue Refractor parallel, while the base card is very similar – only the border around the image is black instead of blue.

Now, there’s not much special about this card in terms of looks. But the refractors are by far more desired than the base card, and it’s easy to see why. They add some much-needed variety to the card’s design.

Bowman Chrome is one of the most popular card brands for rookie cards, that’s why it makes the list in such a high position. It’s also not as rare as the 2009 draft card, so it’s not worth as much. But it can still be worth quite a lot, especially if you’re looking to buy some of the parallels. The Gold parallel is among the most expensive Mike Trout rookie cards.

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2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout RC #101

For those on a budget, the 2011 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout rookie card might be a bit more viable. It’s still his rookie card, although not as expensive as the #175 Bowman Chrome card of Mike Trout.

There are some reasons for that. The image on the card is not as nice, because Trout is facing away from the camera. Although if you’re looking for some Chrome refractors, then you might see the card as expensive as the #175. This one on the screenshot is the Chrome Refractor, for instance.

You shouldn’t overlook this card just because it’s less expensive, though. If you want the base version, then you’ll be pleased to know that it’s quite affordable, even for the average collector. But for premium collectors, some of the refractors might be more desirable.

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Gold Refractor Rookie Card

If you don’t really like the look of the base card and you want something a bit more special and rare, look for the gold refractor version of this card. In essence, the design of the card is almost the same as that of the base card – the only difference is the gold bordering around the card.

Nevertheless, this card can be insanely expensive. Not only because it looks nice, but also because it’s so rare. The base card is not everyone’s cup of tea because of the image on the card, although this one is much more desired by many, but simply not easily attainable.

There were only 50 pieces of this card printed out, and many of them are hidden away from the general public today. But if you do manage to find one in mint condition, then it will cost you a five-figure sum to get it.

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2011 Bowman Sterling Mike Trout RC #22

Bowman Sterling cards are among the most popular cards because of their sleek design. It’s certainly a bit more sophisticated when compared to the Bowman Chrome cards. So this means that it’s the go-to rookie card of Mike Trout for many collectors.

The image of the “Millville Meteor” on this card is also quality. You get the chance to see the full-frontal image of Trout – well, almost. It’s also much sharper than the Bowman Chrome cards.

It’s not as rare as the 2009 Bowman Chrome card by any means, though. It’s still quite widely available. It ranks somewhere in the mid-tier of card prices, so there’s a good chance that you might be able to get yourself a good deal with this one. If you’re more of a premium collector though, look at some of the refractors like the Gold refractor.

2011 Topps Finest XFRACTOR Mike Trout RC

The 2011 Topps Finest XFRACTOR cards are quite rare to get, especially the likes of Red refractor (only 25 copies made). This particular Finest Refractor card above is a bit more widely available.

Yes, the photo of Trout on the card is perhaps a bit unfortunate. Although many people actually like it, because it’s an image of Trout in action. But you can see why it’s so popular and highly valued. The shiny background certainly makes up for the slightly weird image.

Only 299 of these cards were made and printed, so it’s hard to find one today. The card represents a good investment for profit-savvy collectors, or a very nice addition to your card collection, too.

Get the base variation if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option. It’s similar to this one above, just without the shine.

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2011 Finest Red Refractor Mike Trout Rookie RC Auto

You might want to consider the red refractor parallel of the 2011 Finest Mike Trout rookie card if you love some more colorful cards. It’s probably the best color for this card considering the jersey he’s wearing on the card, so it fits very nicely with the overall look and feel of the card.

It’s also limited to 25 copies, so it will cost you more than the base card. You’re potentially looking at several thousands of dollars for a card that’s in good condition. Another appealing factor of this card is the autograph.

If you’re picky, then you might have a hard time finding this particular version of the card in great condition. There were only 25 cards made originally, and some of them are not in the best condition, which is indicated by the Population Report by PSA. In fact, only four of them scored 8 or higher.

Nonetheless, you should probably not be picky with this card because it’s already a very rare one. Plus, it looks great, so you can consider yourself lucky if you even manage to find a listing of this card.

2011 Topps Update Gold Mike Trout RC #US175

The Topps Update card is one of the most popular Mike Trout rookie cards for many people. It’s perhaps the cleanest card out of all the cards we’ve featured so far. And even though it’s not the most exciting of cards, it still commands a high price.

You’ll be able to find some parallels of this card, such as the Gold variation in this particular case. There are also some other variations, such as Cognac, Diamond, Anniversary, and Blue.

Overall, Topps Update cards normally come out in the fall where new variations of cards are added to the original Topps pack. Usually, the Update pack features players in new uniforms or images of players during season highlights.

This is a classic card that no Mike Trout fan should miss out on. You can get the base version for a very modest price, although you’ll need to spend significantly more for one of the parallels, especially the rarer ones (for example, the Cognac Diamond one).

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2011 Topps Etopps Mike Trout Rookie Card #35

If you’re a collector of Topps cards and sets, then you’re probably already aware of the Etopps concept. For those who aren’t, Etopps are cards or sets that are only available through Etopps.com, the official retailing website for Topps cards and exclusive sets like this one.

So this means that these cards are significantly rarer than some other cards that are sold in retail stores all over the country. It’s quite likely that you might not be able to find this one in any of the online listings.

But if you do, you will have to spend quite a decent chunk of money. It’s the rarity of the card that makes it so valuable, though. Because the overall look of the card is nothing special – the flashy red stripes on the background make the image of Trout pop out quite nicely, though.

2011 Playoff Contenders Mike Trout Rookie Card #17

The 2011 Playoff Contenders Mike Trout rookie card is seen as the budget alternative to all of the more expensive rookie cards. It’s not MLB-certified, which means that the value of these cards are going to be much lower.

But if you’re someone who loves the lower end of the market, you’re going to like this one. There are many offerings of this card online today, and the prices vary quite significantly. So if you’re able to do some wheeling and dealing, you might cop yourself a good one.

The card merges two different concepts in its design: the Rated Rookie design together with the season ticket sign at the bottom of the card. They go together quite nicely, although you might be disappointed in the offering in terms of parallels of this card.

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2011 Panini Playoff Prime Cuts Mike Trout Rookie Card #37

Only 99 copies of this card came out back in 2011. So this card is really, really rare. You can expect the price to be quite steep for this card – considering that you can find yourself one in the first place.

Prime Cuts cards are normally meant for high-end collectors, so they’re printed out in limited quantities. They’re like that fancy cognac that only the aristocrats tend to drink. So if you’re a card aristocrat, then you’ll love the look of this card.

But you won’t be able to get it easily. Not only are they rare, but they’re also expensive. So even an unrated card can command a very steep price, which is due to its rarity. And it has that classic look and feel going for itself, too.

It features this classic, old-school design that will remind you of the 1950s and 1960s. This card comes from the 2011 set that involved all the players in the playoffs, and Mike Trout was obviously one of them.


How much is a Mike Trout rookie card worth?

The 2011 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout rookie card anywhere between $2000 to $10.000 depending on the condition of the card. It also depends if you want one of the parallels, which are much rarer (Blue and Gold). These can cost much more, especially the gold parallel which will set you back for at least $20.000.

The record sale for a Mike Trout rookie card came in 2016 when his 2009 Bowman Chrome Superfractor graded BGS 9.5 sold for $3.93 million. 2009 cards of Mike Trout are more expensive than 2011 cards in general, although it’s the 2011 cards that are considered to be his true rookies.

What year is Mike Trout rookie card?

2011 is officially the year when Mike Trout made his MLB debut, so any card from that year can be considered as his true rookie card. Although many people also look for cards from 2009 which were from his draft year, although he still didn’t make his MLB debut back then. Those cards tend to be a bit more expensive in general.

Are Mike Trout cards a good investment?

Yes, Mike Trout’s cards are a good investment, and they are likely to remain to be a good investment in the future. It’s clear that Trout will go down into history as one of the best center fielders in history, so the cards might rise in value in the years after he finishes his career, and well beyond that.

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  • Vince

    I'm a big time sports nerd, with soccer being my first true love. I've been collecting sports cards since I was a little kid, and now... well, not much has changed, but I write about it... and I have facial hair.

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