Scottie Pippen Rookie Cards: The Ultimate Collector’s Guide
When it comes to basketball cards from the 1980s, Scottie Pippen rookie cards are some of the most desirable.
Pippen's legacy as one of the game's all-time greats on some of the most dominant teams keeps demand for them at high levels.
But, with several to choose from, which ones are the most important?
That said, here is a comprehensive guide that covers the key things you should know before you buy or sell.
Let's jump right in!
Scottie Pippen Rookie Card Values
The first thing that's usually on collectors' minds is: how much are Scottie Pippen rookie cards worth?
The value of a Scottie Pippen rookie card will vary between $1 and $1500 depending on which version you are considering and what its condition is.
Like many cards of this era, Pippen rookie card prices have exploded due to the popularity of ESPN's documentary "The Last Dance" that followed Michael Jordan's career and particularly the 1997-1998 season.
Below are some estimated prices of each of his early cards in a range of conditions from near-mint/mint (PSA 8) all the way to gem mint (PSA 10) as determined by third party grading company Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA).
Keep in mind that when you are talking PSA 10, the card is basically flawless with fantastic centering and no damage to the corners, edges or surfaces.
'88 Kenner SLU
'88 Panini Sticker
The 1988 Fleer #20 Scottie Pippen Rookie Card
Distinction: This is Pippen's only recognized mainstream rookie card and it's the key rookie card in a set that features rookies of other stars of the day in John Stockton, Reggie Miller, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant and Mark Price.
However, it's not the most valuable as both the base and All-Star cards of teammate Michael Jordan still command the highest prices.
Regardless, the Pippen rookie card is one of the most iconic basketball cards of the 80s.
Pippen also appeared on some early oddball issues that I'll go over later but this is typically his one "true" rookie card that collectors are after.
Number: This is card #20 out of 132 total cards in the set.
Design: The design of the 1988 Fleer set is instantly recognizable with with its great photography and multi-color borders with a bit of blend to them around the outer edges.
A fantastic image of Pippen dominates the center giving the card great eye appeal overall.
Pippen's name (spelled correctly) sits in the upper-left in a unique font alongside the Fleer logo to the right while the Bulls team name and his position hold down the bottom of the card.
Reverse Side: The reverse side contains a glaring error: his last name is spelled "Pippin" across the top.
It's always been funny to me how they got it right on the front and botched it on the back.
Since the error was not corrected, all of his cards feature this mistake so the error doesn't offer any added value to the card like some corrected errors can.
The vertical layout with the multi-colored stat box are very much telling of a Fleer design of the 80s.
Condition Issues: Chipping and wear along the darker areas of the border are common but what typically prevents higher grades is poor centering.
Other Early Pippen Cards
As I mentioned previously, Pippen appeared on several other cards in 1987 and 1988 and while these oddball issues may not be considered "true" rookie cards, it's still important to go over them.
Produced by Entenmann's, a bakery out of Brooklyn, NY, this 2-5/8" x 4" card was part of an 11-card team set that were given out to Bulls fans during home games.
The card features Pippen at the rim against Rolando Blackman and Sam Perkins of the Dallas Mavericks while Michael Jordan looks up in the background.
This marked the first time Pippen was ever featured in a basketball card set.
Pippen made another appearance on an Entenmann's card the following year, this time throwing down a monster dunk while Jordan admires below in the background.
These are still desirable but not quite as valuable as the 1987 Entemann's card.
1988 Kenner Starting Lineup #60
For years, Kenner Starting Lineups were among the hottest sports collectibles and it all started in 1988 with their line of baseball, basketball, and football figures.
Included with the packaging were sports cards like this one on which Pippen is seen bringing the ball up the court.
1988 Panini Spanish Sticker #77
Panini released a line of 292 sticker cards that year as well that included many big names of the era like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone and many others.
Some players like Jordan, Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, and Dennis Rodman appeared on multiple cards but this is the only card in the set featuring Pippen.
Scottie Pippen’s Legacy
Scottie Pippen is widely considered to be one of the greatest small forwards who ever stepped on the court and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 for his efforts.
He's most often remembered for the years he spent alongside Michael Jordan as they dominated the league in the 1990s.
Over his impressive career he would achieve the following:
- 6x NBA Champion
- 7x All-Star
- 7x All-NBA
- 10x All Defensive Team
- 2x Olympic Gold Medalist
Those are just some of the amazing accomplishments that he'd put up over his storied career.
A basketball legend, Pippen and his rookie cards will be loved in this hobby for years to come.