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True Rookie Cards

Your RC Resource


We look at the rookie cards of the all-time greats, current greats, and much more


We study the evolution of the rookie card in an effort to properly identify this hobby icon


We remove the guess work and present to you a rich checklist of TRUE rookie cards

The Concept

The concept is a simple one. Cards in question are filtered through the Rookie Card Guidelines & Best Practices. Click the “Learn More” button for more details.

Then We Properly Identify Into 1 of 4 Categories


True Rookie Card (TRC)

A true rookie card is a trading card that is the first to feature an athlete AFTER that athlete has participated in the highest level of competition within his or her respected sport. It must be licensed by both the League and the Player’s Association, and be featured in the base set.


Pre-Rookie Card (PRC)

A (PRC) identifier is given to cards that feature an athlete BEFORE they’ve participated at the pro level -or- prior to the designated rookie card release year. These cards are often labeled as minor league cards, prospect cards, draft pick cards, collegiate cards, or XRC.


Rookie-Year Card (RY)

An (RY) identifier is given to the cards of a rookie player that are, subset cards, insert cards, certain print on-demand cards, food and beverage issues, or cards that are not properly licensed by the League and the Player’s Association.


Post-Rookie Theme (PRT)

The (PRT) identifier has a dual function. It’s used to identify cards that feature a player after their rookie season but in some way the card design has elements that feature a rookie theme. Also, for vintage, this identifier can be used for second year cards which are very popular among collectors.

Choose Your Category!

Baseball Greats

Basketball Greats

Football Greats

Hockey Greats

Current Greats

Should Be Greats