The Greatest Tom Glavine Rookie Cards

Tom Glavine rookie cards didn’t start off as the most exciting or sought after collectables for baseball and sports card fans.

But they have experienced a gradual and slow climb to where many editions have now reached must-have status with some collectors.

Tom Glavine will always be remembered by avid baseball fans as a phenomenal player in his hay-day. He was part of the Atlanta Braves ‘Big 3’ that dominated the National League East for almost an entire decade.

Tom Glavine Rookie Card Collage

Glavine may not have had the intense striking of the ball like John Smoltz. Or the celebrated reputation of his rotation mate Greg Maddux.

But he was known for being the most consistent of the fierce trio he was a part of during his time with the Braves until his departure for the Mets in the 2003 season. 

Glavine is definitely a player you won’t want to miss. Especially with a legendary reputation which seems to only become more fondly remembered as time goes by.

Here are some of the hottest Tom Glavine rookie cards on the market right now that you will want to keep an eye out for.

1. 1988 Donruss Tom Glavine #644

  • Approximate PSA 10 Value – $45.00
  • Approximate PSA 9 Value – $12.50
1988 Donruss Tom Glavine #644

While this Donruss edition of Glavine in his standard Braves kit might not be the highest in terms of rarity. It more than makes up for it in being a must-have collectors item.

Unfortunately, Donruss won’t be overtaking most others sets and cards in value any time soon. But, there is definitely a market for their cards. Especially since they were once easily the most sought after editions.

This Glavine rookie card specifically has gradually risen in value and attention over recent years and is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

The back features statistics and details of his major league performance in 1987 which was one of the slower seasons for Glavine.

1988 Donruss  rookie card #644 - Rear of card

But is well known for being the year he made his debut for the Braves which is what makes this card so high in value among Glavine and sports card fans. 

2. 1988 Topps Tom Glavine #779

  • Approximate PSA 10 Value – $55.00
  • Approximate PSA 9 Value – $24.00
1988 Topps Tom Glavine #779 Rookie

Looking like it came straight out of the 1957 and 1967 issues. This classic Glavine rookie card has been steadily rising in value recently.

Not only because of the classy reputation of Topps cards and how good condition they usually are.

But also because there seem to be far fewer of these cards around now in great condition. Which is slowly helping the price to build.

1988 Topps rear of card #779

Bright, colorful and as retro as it gets. This is a Glavine card that makes for a great collectors item that is within easy reach of most pockets.

3. Tom Glavine BRAVES HOF Signed 1988 Fleer Rookie Card #539

  • Approximate PSA 10 Value – $125.00
  • Approximate PSA 9 Value – $40.00
Tom Glavine BRAVES HOF Signed 1988 Fleer Rookie Card #539

Similar to the Donruss and Topps. Back in the 80’s these cards were printed in such huge numbers that it eventually oversaturated the market. Which, in turn, diluted their overall rarity and value. 

However over time, they have become somewhat more scarce since they have stopped being printed. Which is especially the case with these signed cards. Signatures help to up the value by a good amount and make them a must have for serious collectors.

It fetches quite a decent price nowadays when in mint condition, and with the Braves logo right in the top corner and the Fleer logo shining in the bottom right.

BRAVES HOF Signed 1988 Fleer Rookie #539 Rear of card

It has all the details needed to make it a vintage style card that will only rise in value the lower they become in stock. 

4. 1989 Bowman Tom Glavine #267 RC

  • Approximate PSA 10 Value – $95
  • Approximate PSA 9 Value – $75
1989 Bowman Tom Glavine #267 RC

The over produced 1989 issue of Bowman cards was the first of the set since Topps took them over in 1956. So while this card was not technically issued in 1988. It still features a wide eyed rookie Glavine in his familiar Braves kit and black cap with an amazing blue sky background right behind him to make for a card that oozes that vintage feel. 

This card is very close in design to the one included in the 1988 Topps base set with just a few adjustments to make it stand out.

1989 Bowman Rookie card #267 Rear of card

However Bowman very quickly became the go to place for rookie cards which boosts this card by quite a few bucks in terms of value and rarity.

According to PSA there is a POP of 66 in PSA 10 Gem MT condition. So this card is highly likely to continue rising in value.

5. 1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Tom Glavine 

  • Approximate PSA 10 Value – $30
  • Approximate PSA 9 Value – $10
1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Tom Glavine

These cards really are as vintage looking as it gets. With it’s squarish border design and a hand drawn Glavine smiling front and center and the classic MLB logo seen in the bottom right corner.

What was special about these sets back in the day, and to be honest why many people even considered picking them up in the first place.

Was because they would come with so many extra additions. Including an electronic baseball game which might look a little outdated by today’s standards, but in 1988 it was revolutionary. 

1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball - rear image

The ‘card’ itself was therefore a great addition, but over the years they have become more and more sought after as collectors have begun appreciating how limited they really are now, while also having such an interesting history. 

6. 1988 Score Glossy #638 Tom Glavine 

  • Approximate PSA 10 Value – $200
  • Approximate PSA 9 Value – $95
1988 Score Glossy #638

This card can usually be found floating around the market between the $30 and $300 range. So while there is a bit of variation in terms of pricing.

There’s very good reason for it being so highly valued since this Glossy version of the already reputable Score brand is an upgrade on the regular scorecard.

Not to mention, it had a reported print run of just 5,000. That may sound a lot, but it certainly wasn’t in the Wax era. So it’s fervorously sought after by the biggest Glavine and baseball fans.

The card features Glavine pitching with a blurry ball whizzing across the pitch with extreme speed while Glavine is suited up in his signature white Braves kit as a rookie prospect in 1988.

1988 Score Glossy #638 Tom Glavine - rookie - rear of card

The orange border only makes the vibrant colors of this card stand out even more. With it being so scarce (for a Junk Wax Era Card that is!) the investment price is more than decent.

7. 1988 Topps Stickers Tom Glavine #44 Dave Schmidt #226

  • Approximate PSA 10 Value – $40
  • Approximate PSA 9 Value – $12
1988 Topps Stickers  #44 #226

Glavine made such an impact in his first year that he managed to make it into one of the split-screen cards of the Topp Stickers set which features one side with Glavine on one knee with pitcher in hand, and the other showing Dave Shcmidt ready to pitch a ball with one leg high in the air.

The bright border makes it incredibly vibrant and visible and perfect for keeping in a collection.

However these Topps sticker sets in good condition are getting harder to find. 

Within the sports card community, they’re also seen as somewhat of a unique novelty since the split-screen feature is very unusual and sometimes feature a mix and match of players.

Though the one you will most likely see on the market is the Glavine and Schmidt combo.  With Ron Guidry on the back. The next most common has Frank White on the reverse.

1988 Topps Stickers #44 Rear of card Ron Guidry

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Tom Glavine’s Rookie Cards Rise In Value?

This can be tricky to answer simply because rather than an up and comer whose proving his stripes today, Glavine was recognised as a veteran baseball pitcher decades ago.

However this legendary reputation and Hall of Fame status is what keeps the cards maintaining a good value. So while you probably won’t see a sudden spike in value or his rookie cards fetching headline worthy prices in auctions. Their increasing rarity does mean the value will creep up slowly.

There is also the fact that newer and more overall better designed cards are still being released on Glavine, which a good portion of collectors can instead invest in and which keeps his name in lights. The most recent release being the MLB 2022 Topps Now Series.

While The Donruss editions of Glavine were believed for a long time to be the most valuable. Today the Topps editions are usually worth a little more. However the Score cards are certainly the fan favorite when it comes to overall design and aesthetic. 

Summary

Tom Glavine is a baseball Hall of Famer who will always be applauded for his fierce presence on the pitch. So his rookie cards definitely worth seeking out since this legendary status keeps him, and his cards, in public view.

Nate Heath

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