The Top 5 lists are really fun for me to do, and I hope they are enjoyable from a readers standpoint. Sticking with my last theme of rookies, I wanted to posted my Top 5 of modern rookies. There is a large gap of years that I am missing (1993-2010) so these are all current players. Some of the cards are tough to get and some are not, but they are all ones that I would never get rid of. Again, no Machado's on this list, and I am sure the players on the list won't be surprising.
Number 5: Kris Bryant - 2015 Stadium Club RC #300 Gold Foil Parallel
Kris Bryant Rookies were hot! I couldn't get enough. This was the second year since Stadium Club came back. SC was my favorite set from the 90's. The quality of card and the nice pictures made it stick out to me. The current Stadium Club sets follow the same template and this Kris Bryant shows that to me. This photo has a vintage look and feel with a very modern look and the colors pop perfectly. I was lucky enough to open up the base version of this card in a pack, but I purchased this one off eBay. I could have also included KB's Chrome Sepia rookie as well, but this is the one I will hold on to. I had some nice Heritage refractors but those were sold to fund some of my Manny PC.
Number 4: Aaron Judge - 2017 Topps Chrome RC #169 Sepia Refractor
Another reason why I didn't choose the Bryant Sepia for the list (though the KB photographs way better). A main factor in this one making the list is that I pulled this card myself at a LCS. Topps Chrome rookies are always a safe bet, and I'm a sucker for the sepia refractors, so it was an easy add to the list. This is probably the only card on this list that I would part with, for the for the right deal. Another factor was that at the time, this card was really hot at the time.
Number 3: Bryce Harper - 2012 Topps RC #661 SP & Variations
This was the first card that I started to chase when I got back into collecting cards. With it being a SP and having the different variations to chase, I had a lot of fun with this one. There are still a couple variations I need to get one day, but I love the mini! It's one of the Topps Silk Printed RC's that they did a few years later that I had to have as well. This was just a fun card to hunt, for someone that is living up to the hype in a lot of ways.
Number 2: Clayton Kershaw - 2008 Upper Deck RC #187
Kershaw is one of the pitchers that we will be talking about for a long time in the future. Since this wasn't when I was collecting baseball cards, obtaining a Kershaw RC would be a little tougher at this point. A good friend/contributor to the site, Paul, traded me this gem, and his Goudey rookie for a great deal! Especially since he is a huge Dodgers fan! Thanks so much Paul. Since Upper Deck was so huge when I was first collecting, I always love grabbing the more recent Upper Deck rookies before they disappeared from the baseball side of things. I am very happy there are some Upper Deck USA cards of Manny back from 2009. Bottom line, I need a RC of the best pitcher of this era. This one is perfect!
Number 1: Mike Trout - 2010 Topps Update RC #US175
Surprise Surprise, right? Hard not to select this as the top of list. He's on a track to be a once-in-a-lifetime type player. I still prefer a Topps base rookie over a lot of the other things out there. I got this card in a trade about 5 years ago and I have just sat back with a sense of relief that this wasn't one that I would have to go find at a premium. When looking back at the trade, I am sure that guy would like to have his cards back: I gave him-Michael Phelps GQ Auto (it was the highest priced card in the set). He gave me- Jeter Auto Relic (signed on the bat piece), McCutchen buyback RC auto, This Trout, Trout Bowman Chrome RC. I won. I already had an autographed Michael Phelps book from seeing him at a Baltimore book signing so I was excited for the Jeter especially. The McCutchen got traded for a sweet 69 Topps Nolan Ryan. The 2 Trouts and the Jeter are constantly on display.
Honorable Mention/Too Fun not too include:
Francisco Lindor - 2015 Heritage High Number RC Purple Refractor (this was from a hot box)
Madison Bumgarner - 2010 National Chicle RC - just a sick card, I have the auto version of this as well, but no RC tag :-/
Nolan Arenado - 2013 Topps RC - would love some more variations of this, especially a purple
Kris Bryant - 2015 Topps Chrome Sepia Refractor - too pretty not to show
Got a Top 5 to share?! send it in the comments. Thanks for reading. A couple business things, the Diamond Kings break is sold out! new one posted soon. The Manny Shop is now live, all of my doubles are up for sale. I am in the process of planning our first Online Trade Night, we will be going live on YouTube. Keep you posted, spots will be limited.