Best Larry Walker Rookie Card

Maria Johnson
• Wednesday, 11 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Larry Walker was one of the best pure hitters in the game throughout the 1990s, winning three National League batting titles, along with an MVP Award in 1997. Early Larry Walker cards for the long-time Expos and Rockies right fielder appeared during the “junk wax era,” but the bulk of his cardboard came during the second half of the '90s.

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(Source: goldcardauctions.com)


Walker first appeared on the radar of baseball card collectors while the British Columbia native was starring for the Montreal Expos in his home country. The upstart Expos were led by a group of young and exciting players anchored around Walker, who was a true five-star talent.

At the end of the baseball strike in 1994, he took his talents to Denver, where he teamed up with the intimidating lineup to form the “Blake Street Bombers.” As Walker entered the prime of his career, card companies gave him a more prominent spot.

Compared to most superstar players from the era, he rarely appeared in autograph products, and his relic cards were late to the game. Still, the popularity of his past cards has increased thanks to a Hall of Fame nod in his final year of eligibility.

The renewed interest in Larry Walker cards has helped him remain a relevant part of the hobby. During the 1993 season, the Expos teamed up with local McDonald's restaurants and Donuts to create a 33- card set featuring some of the best players in franchise history.

The set was issued to commemorate the team's 25th anniversary, and a small logo is included in the bottom-left corner to mark the event. The release has multiple memorabilia cards for Walker, which include simple Cardinals or Rockies jumbo swatches of his jersey, large “prime” patch pieces, and some cards that mix patch pieces from his time with both clubs.

mirror larry bowman mirrors 1996 cards cool refractor
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Aside from owning a card shop in Alabama at the time, Jennings produced this All-Star set for several years in the 1980s. The Skybox product was first introduced to collectors in 1997, but the sophomore edition stands apart due to the design of the cards, as well as the serial numbered parallels.

This honor earned him several cards, including an appearance in the 1993 Tops Finest All-Star subset. However, compared to similar players from this timeframe, the Larry Walker The Finest Refractor card is normally found for a reasonable price.

Initially, many collectors were drawn to this set for autographs of players like Derek Peter and Tony Wynn, but over time some secondary cards have gained in value and popularity. The Co-Signers card of Larry Walker and Andres Galarraga would definitely fit that description, and it proves that good things do come in pairs.

There are only a handful of certified Larry Walker autographs for collectors to choose from, but the majority were released after he retired in 2005. The Donuts Signature cards were designed with an empty white space at the bottom for the autograph.

The rookie cards included in the product were coincidental, not intentional, with the main focus on veteran players. 1990 Bowman did manage to squeeze in rookie cards of Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, and Larry Walker.

1990 bowman expos larry walker rockies colorado psa montreal hof rookie mint baseball
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Similar to the Bowman rookie, the first Tops card for Walker also has a common base and a Tiffany version. If you are looking to save a few dollars, there is always the regular edition of his Tops rookie card, which is inexpensive as both a raw and graded card.

The simple white borders with color photographs of the player on both sides essentially followed the same formula as Upper Deck. For baseball card enthusiasts, the 1990 Leaf Larry Walker is the gold standard, and a must-have to complete any true collection of this all-time great.

LarryWalkerrookie cards and autograph memorabilia are popular with multiple collectors. Fans of the now-defunct Montreal Expos team have an appreciation for Walker as one of the franchise's all-time greats.

And Walker was a fan-favorite in Colorado, as well, where he played almost 10 seasons during his Hall of Fame career. In addition, Walker has several minor league cards dating back to 1986 that are also popular with collectors.

His first certified autograph cards can be found in 1997 Donuts Signature Series. Walker's first game-used memorabilia cards were issued in 2000 Upper Deck MVP.

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(Source: myalltimefavorites.com)

Interesting to note is that signed jerseys can be difficult to locate. They are also rather pricey on the rare occasion they do appear on the secondary market.

The clay stock of the cards is a throwback style that provided collectors with a nostalgic alternative to some glossy examples below. The Tiffany version is among the most popular cards from his rookie year.

At one point these caused a bit of a stir in the hobby, but the premiums are relatively minimal now. The 1990 Leaf set has stood the test of time to some degree.

It was also produced in fewer quantities than several of the other products in which Walker has rookie cards. No matter the case, the sheer supply killed any potential riches.

Like Bowman, it has a rarer Tiffany version that is relatively tough to find yet still affordable. At the time of Upper Deck's second-year set, collectors were still fascinated with the premium card designs and photographs.

manny ramirez rookie rc lot piazza larry hof martinez pedro walker mike card
(Source: www.ebay.com)

This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristan.

For general information and player statistics about Larry Walker, visit: It’s a similar story as a lot of his peers like Jim Home, Frank Thomas, Chipper Jones and almost every superstar who were rookies in the late ’80s and early 1990s.

But even when you get into the more valuable Larry Walker cards, they don’t carry the same demand or prices of a superstar. The 1997 National League MVP, he retired with a .313 batting average, 72.7 WAR, seven Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger awards.

Fair of not, playing in the thin air of Colorado has long been an argument made against not just Walker, but almost anyone who has spent time with the Rockies. LarryWalker’s career coincided with the hobby’s transition from the early ’90s into the technology-driven close of the decade.

This means Walker has cards in several sets' now regarded as hobby classics or turning points. It’s part of the relatively tough CMA Utica Blue SOX team set, a short-season A-level league.

larry hof fleer rookie walker topps er cards lot
(Source: www.ebay.com)

Of course, it’s not the Montreal Expos, but that jersey and logo combination would become a very familiar sight over the next few years. This slight variation, which was available in packs sold in Canada, is pretty much the same as it's much more common counterpart.

The difference is minimal, though, with the small print on the back saying “FLEET LTD./LEE LTD. While not mind-blowing or extremely scarce, it’s a bit of a novelty with a Canadian connection from an era where rarity is hard to find.

However, flip the Ogeechee RC over, and you’ll be greeted by bilingual text and an Ogeechee trademark. Sold exclusively in special factory sets, the card is glossy to the touch on the front.

The set has a print run of approximately 15,000 copies, an tiny number for the era. Arriving as the hobby was starting to transition out of the over-production era of the late ’80s and early ’90s, these introduced the collecting masses to a style of card that has since become an industry cornerstone.

Walker is part of the Baseball’s All-Stars subset that, arguably, has a more dynamic and memorable design than the main set. Dream Team is one of the classic subset and insert themes from Score’s reign in the hobby.

For the 1994 Score Dream Team set, players were pictured in throwback uniforms. 1994 Score Dream Team cards are among the toughest in the product, landing 1:72 hobby packs.

Just five years before this card came out, grown men were using metal detectors to search cases of 1991 Donuts Baseball for Elite Series inserts numbered to 10,000. Over the years, Mirror Gold cards from this set have taken off no matter who is pictured on the front.

1997 Finest Baseball takes a tiered approach to its checklist with a Bronze, Silver and Gold set-up. Although this parallel isn’t numbered, it’s extremely tough with Gold Embossed Refractory combining to land 1:1,152 packs.

Pictured as a member of the Rockies, the purple is the perfect compliment to the team’s colors. Precious Metal Gems don’t have the same history in baseball as they do in basketball.

But the 1998 Metal Universe Baseball parallels are still notable for their low print run of 50 copies each. It pairs two of the best and most respected hitters of the ’90s, penmanship excellence on both fronts, a memorable design and extreme rarity.

Part of the ‘A’ group of signers, these are the toughest of the three tiers, landing at a rate of 1:4,372 hobby packs. Walker has a couple of other 1998 Stadium Club Co-Signers pairings including one with the Rockies teammate, Andres Galarraga, also a Montreal Expos legend.

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2 ny.eater.com - https://ny.eater.com/2020/12/9/22163164/washington-heights-chipotle-rat-infestation
3 www.denverpost.com - https://www.denverpost.com/2013/01/02/tv-preview-is-washington-heights-the-new-jersey-shore/
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5 www.nbcnewyork.com - https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/coronavirus/coogans-washington-heights-bar-lin-manuel-miranda-helped-save-closing-for-good/2382957/
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