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Hello! If you’re looking for a list of the best Shohei Ohtani rookie and prospect (aka pre-rookie) baseball cards, then you’ve come to the right place.
Shohei Ohtani is one of the most successful Japanese players in Major League Baseball history.
He is a pitcher and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels, and he has been compared to Babe Ruth for his ability to excel at both hitting and pitching.
In 2018, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award, and he is already considered one of the best players in baseball.
As a result, Shohei Ohtani rookie cards are some of the most valuable cards in the hobby. They are highly sought-after by collectors and investors, and they are likely to continue to rise in value as Ohtani's career progresses.
For those looking to get into the hobby of collecting baseball cards, Shohei Ohtani rookie cards are a great place to start.
The experts here at Sports Card Sharks have spent countless hours sifting through each and every Shohei Ohtani rookie card on the market and have compiled a list of the ones we feel are the best of the best.
The rookie cards we select for our lists are judged based on 3 criteria:
- Design / Aesthetics
At Sports Card Sharks, we tend to go against the grain. We typically aren’t buying what everyone else is buying when everyone else is buying it, so if you’re moving with the masses this may not be the right list for you. Adios!
Our Founder is an 80's baby that grew up in the 90's collecting sports cards during the junk wax era.
While card collecting when on hiatus for a couple of decades, that passion was re-sparked in 2020 and we haven't looked back since.
We spend countless hours researching each player and constructing these posts to help you save time and energy so that you can focus on the fun part which is collecting!
Shohei Ohtani Player Profile
MLB Draft: N/A
Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Position: Pitcher / DH
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 210 lbs
Date of Birth: July 5, 1994
All Star Appearances: 1x
Career Statistics: View Here
Why We Love Shohei Ohtani
- 2018 American League Rookie of the Year
- 2021 American League MVP
- Incredibly unique two-way player that can dominate both pitching and hitting
Our List of the Top Shohei Ohtani Rookie and Prospect Cards
1. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps Fire Onyx #150
Topps Fire is a lower end baseball card set but it is designed by world-renowned artist Tyson Beck. The designs are bold and flashy and that is exactly what draws us to this Ohtani rookie card.
Also Check Out: Derek Jeter
2. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps Pitching #700
This Shohei Ohtani rookie card was found in the Topps Series 2 packs. It's not too difficult to find and the price tag is reasonable. The card is considered his flagship rookie card by collectors.
Also Check Out: Vladimir Guerrero Jr
3. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Diamond Kings Gallery of Stars
Another rookie card with a bold design makes our list. This Gallery of Stars card from the Diamond Kings set is considered an insert and not a "traditional" rookie card by collectors.
Also Check Out: Ken Griffey Jr
4. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps Allen & Ginter X Shohei Ohtani #100
The Allen and Ginter set is known for having cool and unique designs. This "X" does come with a shorter print run. Here you also have the black border which can be a tough grade so collectors will pay a premium for cards with higher grades.
Also Check Out: Mike Trout
5. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Bowman Sterling Refractors #BSASO
This Ohtani rookie card brings some flash, rarity, and the coveted autograph which makes it a high-quality rookie.
Also Check Out: Luis Robert
6. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps Clearly Authentic #SO
At first glance you may mistake this card for Ohtani's flagship rookie card but you'd be mistaken. The autograph and the short print immediately propel it into premium status. This card is also unique in that it is printed on acetate and not traditional card stock.
Also Check Out: Mark McGwire
7. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Donruss Optic Batting Variation #56
Some baseball card purists stay away from Panini baseball cards because they lack the rights to use the logos, however, we can't help but love this classic design.
Also Check Out: Ozzie Smith
8. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps High Tek Red Auto #HTSO
Another acetate rookie card makes our list, and we have to be honest, this is probably one of the craziest designs yet. We particularly like the red parallel because it color-matches the Angels uniform.
Also Check Out: Ronald Acūna
9. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps Heritage Action Image Variation #17
Topps Heritage always brings a vintage look and feel. This "Action" variation is a shorter print making it more rare.
Also Check Out: Bryce Harper
10. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor #1
You may recognize this photo from the Optic Holo listed above but it was too cool to pass up and not have on our list especially given how much clout the Bowman brand carries in the space.
Also Check Out: Julio Rodriguez
11. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition #700
Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition is definitely consider a premium/high-end set and these rookie cards come with the price tag to match. The designs are unreal though and highly sought-after by collectors.
Also Check Out: Aaron Judge
12. 2018 Shohei Ohtani National Treasures Rookie Signatures #RS-SO
National Treasures is an ultra-premium set (we're talking thousands of dollars per box). The cards are printed on an extra thick card stock. The designs are always clean. These can be tough to come by but man are they worth it.
Also Check Out: Fernando Tatis Jr
13. 2018 Shohei Ohtani Topps Transcendent Icons #10
Cards from this set are short prints to /83 to pay homage to the 1983 Topps baseball set. Even though there is no signature or patch on this one, it is still one of the most-wanted Shohei Ohtani rookie cards in existence.
Also Check Out: Juan Soto
14. 2014 Shohei Ohtani BBM 1st Version Art Of Auto #WB1
It would have felt like a sin not to include a rookie card from Ohtani's days in Japan. This rookie card features an incredible design plus that beautiful swing and an even more beautiful signature.
Also Check Out: Byron Buxton
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About the Author:
Trevor Weitzel is the founder of Sports Card Sharks. His pro sports teams are the Timberwolves, Vikings and Twins (which is rough). If we’re talking college then we’re only talking the University of Arizona Wildcats – BEAR DOWN! He is also an avid reseller, crypto enthusiast, and digital marketer.