Best Baltimore Orioles Cards Every Collector Needs

It’s fun being a Baltimore Orioles fan again. After years of mediocrity, the Orioles are now the toast of baseball, thanks to its young homegrown stars Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson.

The O’s, surprisingly, captured the vaunted A.L. East title in 2023 as collectors looked to scramble up any and all Adley and Gunnar cards. But they aren’t the only cards Orioles fans need. We compiled a list of the best baseball cards every serious O’s collector must have. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Baltimore Orioles Baseball Cards

1. 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. Rookie Card (#98T)

1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. rookie card
1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. rookie card. (credit: eBay)

This card marks the beginning of Cal Ripken Jr.’s storied career. Ripken, known as “The Iron Man,” broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played, showcasing durability and consistency throughout his career. He was a 19-time All-Star and two-time MVP, embodying the spirit of the Orioles. If this one might be out of your price range, can always get Ripken’s rookie cards in the Topps base set, as well as Fleer and Donruss.

2. 1957 Topps Brooks Robinson Rookie Card (#328)

1957 Topps Brooks Robinson rookie card
1957 Topps Brooks Robinson rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Brooks Robinson’s rookie card is a treasure for Orioles fans. Known as “The Human Vacuum Cleaner,” Robinson is considered one of the greatest defensive third basemen in baseball history. He spent his entire 23-year career with the Orioles, winning 16 Gold Gloves and the 1964 AL MVP.

3. 1966 Topps Frank Robinson Card (#310)

1966 Topps Frank Robinson
1966 Topps Frank Robinson. (credit: eBay)

This card represents Frank Robinson’s first year with the Orioles, a season in which he won the Triple Crown and the World Series MVP. Robinson, a powerful hitter and inspirational leader, played a pivotal role in the Orioles’ success in the late 1960s. His rookie card from when he was on the Cincinnati Reds would pair well with Brooks since they’re first cards are in the 1957 Topps set.

4. 1978 Topps Eddie Murray Rookie Card (#36)

1978 Topps Eddie Murray rookie card
1978 Topps Eddie Murray rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Eddie Murray’s rookie card is special for Orioles fans as it highlights the beginning of his Hall of Fame career. Known for his switch-hitting power and consistency, Murray was an eight-time All-Star and a key player in the Orioles’ 1983 World Series victory.

5. 1966 Topps Jim Palmer Rookie Card (#126)

1966 Topps Jim Palmer rookie card
1966 Topps Jim Palmer rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Jim Palmer’s card from his rookie year is a must-have, representing one of the greatest pitchers in Orioles history. A three-time Cy Young Award winner and six-time All-Star, Palmer was known for his smooth delivery and competitive nature.

6. 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Manny Machado Autograph Card (#BDPP80)

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Manny Machado Autograph Card
2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Manny Machado Autograph Card. (credit: eBay)

Manny Machado’s first Bowman autograph card is significant as it marks the arrival of one of the most talented players in recent Orioles history. A superb third baseman and shortstop, Machado earned multiple All-Star selections and Gold Gloves during his time in Baltimore. He is currently on the San Diego Padres.

7. 2019 Bowman Chrome Draft Adley Rutschman Autograph Card (#CDAAR)

2019 Bowman Draft Chrome Adley Rutschman Autograph Card
2019 Bowman Draft Chrome Adley Rutschman Autograph Card. (credit: eBay)

Even though he’s entering his third big league season, Adley Rutschman has established himself as one of the best catchers in the game today. He’s already a fan-favorite in Baltimore and his first Bowman autograph is a must-have for any collector.

8. 2019 Bowman Chrome Draft Gunnar Henderson Autograph Card (#CDAGH)

2019 Bowman Draft Chrome Gunnar Henderson Autograph Card
2019 Bowman Draft Chrome Gunnar Henderson Autograph Card. (credit: eBay)

The 2019 Bowman Draft class was loaded with Orioles budding stars in Rutschman and Henderson. Gunnar won the 2023 A.L. Rookie of the Year, making his first Bowman autograph card a popular get among collectors.

9. 1962 Topps Boog Powell Rookie Card (#99)

1962 Topps Boog Powell rookie card
1962 Topps Boog Powell rookie card. (credit: eBay)

One of the most beloved Orioles of all-time, Boog Powell’s 1962 Topps rookie card is a must for any O’s fan. He is also behind the very popular and tasty Boog’s Barbeque at Camden Yards.

10. 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken “F*** Face” Card (#616)

1989 Fleer Bill Ripken card
1989 Fleer Bill Ripken card. (credit: eBay)

It’s simply an iconic – and hysterical – card. In his 1989 Fleer card, Bill Ripken, brother of Cal, had two very cheeky words on his bat knob that will live on in infamy.

History of the Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles, a team steeped in baseball tradition and history, have had a journey marked by legendary players, iconic moments, and passionate fan support. Here’s a look at the storied past of this venerable MLB franchise.

The Early Years

  • Establishment and Early Struggles: Originally the St. Louis Browns, the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954, adopting the name Orioles, a nod to the state bird of Maryland. The early years in Baltimore were a period of rebuilding and establishing a new identity.

The Glory Years

  • The 1960s and Early 1970s: This era marked the Orioles’ rise to prominence. They clinched their first World Series title in 1966 with Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer and continued their success with three consecutive American League pennants from 1969 to 1971 under manager Earl Weaver.
  • 1983 World Series Championship: Led by Hall of Famers like Ripken, Murray, and Palmer, the Orioles captured their third World Series title, cementing their status as one of the dominant teams of the era.

Key Players and Hall of Famers

  • Cal Ripken Jr.: Known as “The Iron Man,” Ripken is a franchise icon who broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played in 1995. His longevity, consistency, and leadership made him one of the most respected figures in baseball.
  • Brooks Robinson: Renowned for his defensive prowess at third base, Robinson spent his entire 23-year career with the Orioles, earning 16 Gold Gloves and the 1964 AL MVP.
  • Frank Robinson: Acquired in 1966, Robinson made an immediate impact, winning the Triple Crown and World Series MVP in his first season with the Orioles. He was a key part of the team’s success in the late 1960s.
  • Jim Palmer: A three-time Cy Young Award winner and mainstay of the Orioles’ pitching rotation, Palmer helped lead the team to multiple World Series appearances.

Modern Era and Recent Developments

  • Changing Times: The late 1980s and 1990s saw the Orioles transitioning, with highlights including the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992, a ballpark that set the standard for modern baseball stadium design.
  • New Millennium: The 2000s and 2010s have been a mixed bag for the Orioles, with periods of rebuilding and flashes of playoff contention. However, the future is currently bright thanks to stars like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson. They took the American League East title in 2023.

Matt Higgins contributed to this report.

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