Rookie cards are collectible sports cards that were issued to players for the first time in their professional career. They can be autographed, graded and certified by a third party service such as PSA/DNA or Beckett.
Shaquille O’Neal is considered to be one of the best and most famed NBA players of all time and he received a lot of Rookie cards while he was playing.
You may be surprised to hear that his Rookie cards aren’t worth as much as you may think even though Shaq is still a really popular player who has remained in the limelight.
There is potential his cards could increase in value, here is our guide to the best Shaquille O’Neal cards, and how much they are worth.
1992 Shaquille O’Neal Upper Deck Rookie Card #1
This is a pretty cool card, but it isn’t worth a great deal.
As Shaquille O’Neal is over 7ft his slam dunks are awe inspiring. This card attempts to catch his slam dunk from the ground to the rim and is a pretty cool graphic.
Sadly, the card is worth a lowly $20- $30 on eBay in the lower grades. This could potentially increase in the future if you can pick one up in decent shape.
Expect to pay over $2400 for a PSA 10 Gem MT according to the latest figures from PSACard.
1992 Shaquille O’Neal Topps Gold Rookie Card RC #362
This is a popular Shaquille O’Neal rookie card. Mainly for Shaq’s expression.
Again, Shaq was over 7ft tall, the Topps card pictures him waiting eagerly under the hoop, his hand, in an almost 3D fashion, goes out beside the card’s border. As Shaq is so big, we can imagine him saying ‘PASS!’ as he waits for that signature dunk.
Some pre-owned versions of the card not in great condition can go for $30-$60. While signed cards can be worth upwards of $300.
For a PSA 10, non auto, the price is a modest and affordable $1300. We expect this to rise though so it could be a good long term hold.
1992 Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal Stadium Club Beam Team #21
This is another still of Shaq hitting his famous dunk, the extra hands we see reaching up really shows his dominance on the court thanks to his size.
The back of the card reads “Orlando’s Shaquille O’Neal has a slam dunk in the NBA like no other rookie”.
This is another great card. A bit more expensive in the higher grades though. But not as expensive as the Michael Jordan from the same set. That is worth over $9000 in PSA 10 condition.
Expect to pay around $250 for a PSA 8 and $400+ for a PSA 9.
1992 Shaquille ‘Shaq’ O’Neal Fleer Rookie RC Card #401 Magic
This is another cool card for all the Shaq fans out there, again, this one leans more towards personal preferences and nostalgia rather than being worth a lot of money.
Perhaps the card’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t depict Shaq with the ball. While his huge frame is on show, he seems to have just turned against the play after missing a hoop or not being passed to. Although he did set the records for the most blocks that season.
The card is worth around $10-$40 on eBay. The slabbed Auto versions in good condition can be snapped up for well under $200. Another good, long term hold we think.
1992-1993 Fleer Ultra Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card RC #328 Orlando Magic
This is another cool Shaquille O’Neal Rookie card. The best thing about this card is that it depicts another player challenging the hoop against Shaq – not a good idea.
The picture makes the opposing player almost look as big as Shaq, when in reality he wouldn’t have been. You gotta compete with the best if you want to be the best.
Yet, unfortunately, the card isn’t worth as much as you would think at a mere $10-$50 on eBay. The highest grade currently listed on PSACard is a PSA 9. That was picked up for a very reasonable $100.
1992-1993 Fleer Ultra Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card RC #4 Rejector
This is a really cool Rookie card that has some added graphics. The graphics highlight the ball making it look like the Sun and Shaq as Eros orbiting the ball like a planet.
Almost like an early Kaboom card i think these are great. Interestingly, you will see on the back of the card the words “Shaquille O’Neal KaBoom”. I wonder if this was the original inspiration for those cards.
The unfortunate player behind Shaq has no chance of beating him to the ball and looks equally unimpressed. Those who like Shaq will love this card particularly.
Personally, this is one of my favourites. Again, this is surprisingly low when it comes to price at $60-$70 on eBay. Expect to pay $100 for a PSA 10 so it really is great value.
1992 Fleer Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card RC #298
This card has a great snap of Shaquille dunking as we are often used to seeing him.
The picture remains unique as the opposing player looks up hopelessly at the giant rocket that is Big Shaq dunking. Again, another for the Big Shaq super fans who collect rookies.
The card can be worth a little more when in mint condition, from $100-$300 on eBay.
1992 Skybox Shaquille O’Neal Orlando Magic RC Rookie HOF #382
This is another cool Rookie card that combines cool graphics with epic photography. Again, we get two opposing players at ground zero as Shaquille powers beyond both of them to achieve his world shaking slam dunks.
Behind Him is a graphic with his name embossed. The back of the card is a little less traditional, with Shaq speaking into a microphone and only limited player information.
While this card is really cool its prices vary from around $50-$150 on eBay.
1993 Fleer Shaquille O’Neal Orlando Magic Rookie RC HOF #149
This card, perhaps rarely, shows Big Shaq quite low to the ground.
Dribbling the ball and protecting it from his opponents. Beads of sweat fly off his bald head and his facial expression is one of concentration and dedication. The back of the card has lots of cool details and even more pictures of Big Shaq himself.
While the card seems a little bit harder to find in higher grades. Again, it has quite a low price of around $30 on eBay for ungraded or low grades.
There you have it. While Shaquille O’Neal is a pretty famous face in America, as he continues to do sports punditry as well as being a bit of an internet sensation, not mentioning his plethora of advertisement deals.
Despite all this, many of his cards aren’t worth a whole lot.
In mint condition the cards can go for a decent amount, especially the ones signed by Shaq’s massive hands, but nowhere near as much as you are used to seeing.
Many people expect them to be worth a lot because he remains in the limelight but this isn’t the case. Perhaps his audience has matured or moved away from basketball.
In any case, the prices listed are correct at the time of writing and will always be subject to change and potential increase as Shaq’s life draws on.