1969 Topps Reggie Jackson Rookie Card: The Ultimate Collector’s Guide
The 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson rookie card is one of the all time great vintage cards of the 1960’s.
The green and purple split borders are instantly recognizable…
So is the nice pose of a young Brett wearing his Kansas City Royals cap standing ready at the bat.
As a mid-70’s card, it’s on the latter side of the vintage baseball card spectrum.
And while many cards from that decade may not fetch huge prices, Brett’s rookie card is an exception.
The exact reasons why, we’ll get into shortly.
It’s a card I’ve always wanted to own and someday hope to cross it off my want list in the near future.
For now, I’ll go over everything you need to know about collecting Brett’s rookie cards.
Ross Uitts - Owner
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Reggie Jackson Rookie Card Value
The first thing people usually ask is: how much is a Reggie Jackson rookie card worth?
It’s actually one of the most expensive cards of the 1960’s…
And other than the white letter variation Mickey Mantle, it’s the most expensive card in the 1969 Topps set.
If you find one graded by Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) in PSA 9 Mint condition then you’re looking at a five figure price tag.
PSA is considered to be the benchmark in the vintage card industry so collectors put heavy premiums on their graded cards.
According to the PSA SMR current market values are:
PSA 9 MINT: $20,000
PSA 8 NM-MT: $1,650
PSA 7 NM: $400
But what if your Reggie Jackson rookie card isn’t professionally graded?
How do you determine its market value?
Buyers and sellers should focus on several key factors that professional graders look at such as:
- Centering – From top to bottom and left to right, how well is the card centered? Centering is probably the biggest concern for most collectors. On the front side, if a card exhibits no worse than 55/45 to 60/40 on the front and 75/25 on the back then it is usually considered a centered card.
- Corners – You want to see sharp corners. Ideally “razor sharp” as many auctioneers and sellers like to say. Round corners are signs of heavy use and are eye sores.
- Edges – Nice clean edges go a long way to help a card’s eye appeal. Sometimes you’ll see vintage cards that were poorly cut and don’t have nice clean edges. Professional graders (and collectors) will make exceptions for cards with known cut issues. But when possible, you want to see edges free of chipping and notches.
- Surface – One of the easiest ways to ruin a card’s value is if it has a crease in it. Other issues like indentation, marking, scratching, and staining can significantly reduce a card’s value.
You can always refer to cards listed for sale online as a reference only. See what a Mint 9 or NM-MT 8 looks like by finding current examples listed for sale.
But please be careful and remember those are only references.
It’s just too tough to notice some condition issues, especially surface and gloss issues, by looking at you card with the naked eye and comparing it to a professionally graded copy online.
Remember: Professional graders use high-tech optical equipment when reviewing them and grading them. They can see errors you can’t.
Here’s a copy of a PSA Gem Mint 9 example that exhibits good centering, sharp corners, clear surface and clean edges. Everything you’d want to see as a high-grade collector.
Distinction: Jackson broke into the Major Leagues in 1967 but this is Reggie Jackson’s only recognized mainstream rookie card as Topps didn’t print a Jackson card until 1969. Additionally, there are some other Reggie Jackson cards printed in 1969 but this is the one that collectors shoot for more often than not.
Number: This is card #260 in a set of 664 cards.
Design: The 1969 Topps design featured player images that dominated the fronts of the cards. A young jackson is shown in his Oakland Athletics jersey looking off into the distance. The clear blue sky in the background adds a great touch to the card. Jackson’s name and position are encircled in the upper right corner. It’s a fairly simple design overall but it’s still a great looking card of one of the game’s all-time greats.
Reverse Side: The reverse side of the card is printed horizontally and contains his personal information and a brief list of stats. Both his Minor and Major League statistics are covered and Topps also mentions the promise that the then 22-year-old Jackson was showing at the time.
Topps also included a nice cartoon in the upper right corner with a nice stat from his stint in the Minors with Birmingham in 1967.
Condition Issues: Centering and/or tilting of Jackson’s image will usually be the biggest condition obstacles that you’ll find with this card. These are both common problems with cards throughout the set. The colored backs are also prone to showing wear and chipping.
Reggie Jackson’s Legacy
Reggie Jackson goes down in history as one of the game’s best power hitters of all-time. The guy could flat out smash the ball.
And he was one of the best clutch hitters in the postseason, too, which is how he earned his famous nickname: “Mr. October”.
His list of accomplishments is outstanding:
- Fourteen All-Star selections
- AL MVP in 1973
- Two World Series MVPs
- Five time World Series champion
- Two Silver Slugger awards
- 563 career home runs
- Elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1993.
Jackson was an amazing talent and will forever be remembered for his power and clutch hitting.
That’s why Reggie Jackson rookie cards remain some of the most sought after rookie cards in the vintage baseball card hobby today. And certainly, one of the top rookie cards to collect from the 1960’s.