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Mike Trout (True) Rookie Cards

With the 25th overall pick of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Mike Trout, from Millville Senior High School. He has 8 official rookie cards and 47 parallels!

The Question to Consider About Mike Trout

Mike Trout is a phenomenon. His extraordinary play on the field is not only impressive but its a once in a lifetime occurrence. In the era of social media, one can observe this prodigy consistently put up numbers only comparable to the likes of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, or Mickey Mantle.

As a matter of fact, many of today’s baseball minds are beginning to ponder this one question, “Is Mike Trout the greatest ever to play the game of baseball?”

Mike is the son of Jeff Trout who was a minor leaguer for the Minnesota Twins between 1983-86. He was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in 2009 just shy of his 18th birthday and made his MLB debut on July 8, 2011.

Career Accomplishments (as of October 2021)

  • Rookie of the Year (2012)
  • 9x All-Star
  • 3x MVP
  • 2x All-Star MVP
  • 8x Silver Slugger
  • 1x Defensive POY

His hobby impact has collectors in a frenzy. All of his rookie cards have gone through the roof in the last two years as collectors anticipated Trout would be tipping the scales into legendary status.

This tiled gallery of Mike Trout cards were all released during the 2009 and/or 2010 season. Therefore, according to our format these are identified as “Pre-Rookie Cards” respectfully. His MLB rookie season debut is 2011 and therefore anything produced before then is the reason for this identifier.

All great cards to own. Don’t misunderstand me here! And most of them with decent monetary value. However, for the sake of proper identification these are not true rookie cards, these are pre-rookie cards.

2011 Bowman Chrome, #175 (RC)

This black-bordered beauty has a great design and features a great action photo of Mike Trout. One negative for these is chrome technology.

This year Bowman Chrome suffered from a condition known as the “Bends.” This is when a card comes out of a pack and is bowed to such an extent that only three of the corners will touch a flat surface.

An easy fix is to put them in a penny sleeve than a top loader and in time they will flatten themselves out. Due to the bends in the card, however, if purchasing a raw one, be on the lookout for creases in the front or back of the card.

Parallels include: Refractors 1:4 packs | Blue Refractors serial #d/150 | Gold Refractors 1:94 packs (hobby only) serial #d/50 | Orange Refractors 1:198 packs (hobby only) serial #d/25 | Red Refractors #d/5.

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft, #101 (RC)

Very similar to the Bowman Chrome brand this one offers a very similar card design. This one shows a fantastic photo of Trout stepping into one and although the card back seems identical in design at first glance it does offer different verbiage for player commentary.

Like the Bowman Chrome, this one too has a tendency to “bend” so be mindful of that.

Parallels include lots of Refractors: Base Refractor 1:4 packs | Purple Refractor estimated 1:4 packs | Blue 1:41 #d/199 | Gold 1:162 #d/50 | Orange 1:324 #d/25 | Red 1:1620 #d/5 | Superfractors 1:7410 packs #d/1 | Gold Canary Diamond 1:7410 #d/1.

2011 Bowman Draft, #101 (RC)

This set is the parent of the Bowman Chrome Draft which we just looked at. Identical in every way minus the chrome technology. These are typically nicknamed “Bowman Paper” or “Paper” versions which means no chrome just straight cardboard.

These black-bordered beauties are prone to chip along the edges and corners due to the border color and thin paper stock. Mint copies are hard to find especially in raw form.

Parallels include: Gold-one per box | Blue 1:17 packs #d/499 | Red 1:7410 packs #d/1.

2011 Bowman Sterling, #22 (RC)

Only 50 cards in this set and card number 22 houses an official rookie card of our featured All-Star. Semi decent card design front and back, nothing to really complain about, maybe a portrait photo would’ve worked better but all in all, this is a great card for any PC.

The card has a shiny veneer finish in front so it is susceptible to scratches so handle with care. The real beauty with this lies in the parallels but they come with a hefty price.

Parallels include what else, refractors: Refractors 1:8 packs | Gold 1:31 packs #d/50 | Black 1:61 #d/25 | Purple 1:152 #d/10 | Red 1:1509 #d/1 | Gold Canary Diamond 1:1509 packs #d/1.

2011 Topps Finest, #94 (RC)

A stat I failed to mention earlier is Trout’s ability to steal bases. He has tons of speed and currently sits with 197 career stolen bases. For that reason, I appreciate the card photo used in the Finest offering but that’s about it for me, overall the card design is okay at best.

Also, there is no protective film that can traditionally be found in the Finest brand therefore, these are susceptible to scratches due to its mirror-like chrome technology.

Parallel include: Refractor #d/549 | Purple 1:182 packs #d/5 | Red 1:18 packs #d/25 | Gold 1:9 #d/50 | Orange 1:5 #d/99 | Green 1:3 #d/199 | X-Fractors 1:2 #d/299 | Die Cuts 1:41 #d/10 | Superfractors 1:410 #d/1 | Gold Canary Diamond 1:414 #d/1.

2011 Playoff Contenders, #17 (RC)

I have a lot of heartburn with this card for two reasons. It’s a 50 card set that only contains one rookie card, this one right here. Also, Playoff Contenders, Baseball was laid to rest in 2008, then out of nowhere, they release this set in 2011.

This leads me to believe the set was created specifically just to profit from the Mike Trout hobby buzz.

Moreover, guidelines set by industry standards state that official rookie cards must be licensed by both the MLB and the MLPA. This does not have the MLB license therefore, you don’t see any team emblems and names on the uniform.

Hobby publications branded this one with the RC identifier but those who know better, know that this is not a true blue RC.

Overall, I think it’s a very nice card design but there sure is a lot of black on that card front which would make finding mint copies difficult.

Randomly inserted parallels include: Crystal Collection #d/299 | Playoff Ticket #d/99. | Artist’s Proof #d/49 | 1st Day Proof #d/10 | Championship Ticket #d/1

2011 Prime Cuts, #37 (RC)

More of the same with this Panini offering. No license, no logos, not a pure rookie card. However, it is a very nice card overall. I feel this is a real modern-day attempt at a vintage look. Print run on these is /99 so it makes them challenging to find.

Surprisingly, there are no parallels with this one, what you see here is what you get. As I share current values, as of the date of this post, I sure do hope you’re sitting down.

As of the date of this post raw copies are selling for around $2,300.00; graded Mint copies (9’s) have no recent sales activity but on June 9, 2019, a Gem Mint PSA 10 sold for $9,999.00 respectively.

2011 Topps Update, #US175 (RC)

Last but definitely not least. Here is la crème de la crème. Yes, boys and girls, it’s the best of the best. This card is in very high demand, there are plenty of them out there which is what scares me a bit.

Professional Sports Authenticators Population Report shows that 6,271 of them have been graded by them alone.

Let’s just say there is a print run of 10,000 is there enough supply to meet demand? At the moment no, there isn’t. Demand continues to sore and so do card prices.

This card has the potential of becoming the next cultural icon. This one here can become pure Americana if it hasn’t already. Is this the next 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle or the modern-day 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr? Only time will tell.

Parallels Include: Gold 1:3 packs #d/2011 | Black 1:58 packs #d/60 | Hope Diamond Anniversary 1:68 #d/60 | Diamond Anniversary 1:4 packs | Cognac Diamond Anniversary 1:3 packs | Gold Canary Diamond #d/1 | Platinum #d/1 | Target Red Border Wal-Mart Blue Border | Diamond Anniversary Authentic Diamond #d/1

2011 Bowman’s Best Prospects, BBP9 (RYC)

This is a fantastic retro card. Those who remember the 1994 Bowman’s Best can appreciate this card the most. Quality card stock, design and plenty of star power. However, this card is often called a “rookie card” when in reality it is not a true rookie card.

Why? That’s a fantastic question and I’m really glad you asked it. This is considered an insert card. It was inserted into packs of 2011 Bowman and was not part of the base set. Historically, within the hobby, insert cards have never been considered rookie cards.

Now don’t get me wrong here. This is still a fantastic card to own of Mike Trout, it still can be considered one of his early cards. But I have always recommended calling it what it is and not what we want it to be. This is a Rookie Year Card.

2012 Topps Heritage, #207 (PRT)

This is another popular card of Mike Trout, beloved within the hobby and for good reasons. I mean look at this thing!

However, a Post-Rookie Theme identifier is a proper one for this card. Why? Because this card was released after his 2011 rookie season. A player shouldn’t have multiple years where cards are considered rookie cards. Again! A fantastic card to own but a true rookie card it is not.

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.


Mike Trout Stats | (accessed July 19, 2019).