Best Houston Astros Baseball Cards Every Collector Needs

The Houston Astros have been a powerhouse franchise for the last decade, winning two World Series, with one marred in controversey. During the 2017 season, it was found the Astros cheated during the season in a sign stealing scandal that cost the jobs of their manager and general manager at the time. It also cast a pall on the careers of players such as Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa.

Despite the scandal, these players still remain collectible among many Astros fans. And they’re not the only cards fans seek, as the team is steeped with Hall of Famers.

HobbyListings has put together a list of the best Astros cards every collector needs. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Houston Astros Cards For Collectors

1. 1991 Topps Traded Tiffany Jeff Bagwell Rookie Card (#4T)

1991 Topps Traded Tiffany Jeff Bagwell rookie card
1991 Topps Traded Tiffany Jeff Bagwell rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Jeff Bagwell spent his entire 15-year career with the Astros, becoming one of the most feared hitters of his era. A four-time All-Star and the 1994 NL MVP, Bagwell is an iconic figure in Astros history as he formed the famed “Killer B’s” tandem with fellow Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio.

2. 1988 Score Rookie/Traded Glossy Craig Biggio Rookie Card (#103T)

1988 Score Rookie/Traded Glossy Craig Biggio rookie card
1988 Score Rookie/Traded Glossy Craig Biggio rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Craig Biggio’s rookie card is special for Astros fans as it marks the beginning of a career that spanned 20 years, all with Houston. Known for his versatility and longevity, Biggio is one of the few players with 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

3. 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan Rookie Card (#177)

1968 Topps Nolan Ryan rookie card
1968 Topps Nolan Ryan rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Though Nolan Ryan’s Hall of Fame career spanned four different teams, his time with the Astros is memorable. During his nine seasons with the Astros, Ryan tossed his fifth no-hitter and was a two-time All-Star. He was also part of three playoff teams with the Astros.

4. 2011 Topps Update Jose Altuve Rookie Card (#US132)

2011 Topps Traded Jose Altuve rookie card
2011 Topps Traded Jose Altuve rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Jose Altuve’s rookie card captures the start of a career that would see him become one of the premier second basemen in MLB. A key player in the Astros’ 2017 and 2022 World Series wins, Altuve is known for his hitting prowess and being a catalyst at the top of the lineup.

5. 2013 Bowman Chrome Prospect Carlos Correa Autograph Card (#CC)

2013 Bowman Chrome Prospect Carlos Correa Autograph card
2013 Bowman Chrome Prospect Carlos Correa Autograph card. (credit: eBay)

Carlos Correa’s first Bowman card is significant as it represents a player who quickly became a cornerstone for the Astros. The 2015 AL Rookie of the Year and a key figure in the 2017 World Series team, Correa was a cornerstone for the rise of the Astros before going to the Minnesota Twins in free agency.

6. 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft USA Baseball Alex Bregman Autograph Card (#USAA5)

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft USA Baseball Alex Bregman Autograph Card
2010 Bowman Chrome Draft USA Baseball Alex Bregman Autograph Card. (credit: eBay)

Alex Bregman’s first Bowman symbolizes the arrival of a dynamic talent. Known for his power and athleticism, Bregman has played a pivotal role in the Astros’ postseason successes, winning two World Series championships.

7. 2020 Topps Chrome Yordan Alvarez Autograph Rookie Card (#RAYA)

2020 Topps Chrome Yordan Alvarez Autograph Rookie Card
2020 Topps Chrome Yordan Alvarez Autograph Rookie Card. (credit: eBay)

Yordan Alvarez’s rookie card is significant as it marks the debut of one of the most promising young hitters in baseball. In his rookie year, Alvarez showed exceptional power and poise at the plate, earning the AL Rookie of the Year award.

8. 2019 Topps Chrome Kyle Tucker Autograph Rookie Card (#RAKT)

2019 Topps Chrome Kyle Tucker Autograph rookie card
2019 Topps Chrome Kyle Tucker Autograph rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Ever since Kyle Tucker has entered the league, all he has done is produce. One of the more underrated players in the game, Tucker is a two-time All-Star and hit 30 home runs in the Astros’ 2022 World Series championship season.

History of the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros, established as an expansion team in Major League Baseball, have a unique and colorful history. From their early days as the Colt .45s to their recent successes, the Astros have provided their fans with memorable moments and iconic players. Let’s take a closer look at their journey through baseball history.

Early Years and the Astrodome

  • Founded in 1962: The team was originally known as the Houston Colt .45s. They changed their name to the Astros in 1965, coinciding with the move to the Astrodome, the world’s first multi-purpose, domed sports stadium, dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”
  • Early Struggles: Like many expansion teams, the Astros experienced growing pains in their initial seasons, but they were notable for bringing Major League Baseball to Texas.
  • 1980s Playoff Teams: Led by players like Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Jose Cruz and Glenn Davis, the Astros made the playoffs three times during the decade but were unable to reach the World Series.

The Killer B’s Era

  • 1990s to Early 2000s: This era saw the rise of the “Killer B’s” — Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and later Lance Berkman. Bagwell and Biggio became the faces of the franchise, leading the team to multiple playoff appearances.
  • Bagwell and Biggio: Both players spent their entire careers with the Astros, a rarity in modern baseball. Bagwell won the 1994 NL MVP, and Biggio collected over 3,000 hits, with both players eventually entering the Hall of Fame.

Moving to Minute Maid Park

  • 2000 Onwards: The Astros moved to Minute Maid Park, a stadium with a retractable roof to combat Houston’s hot climate. This ushered in a new era for the team, both in terms of on-field success and fan experience.

World Series Appearances

  • 2005 World Series: The Astros made their first World Series appearance in 2005, led by the pitching of Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt and Andy Pettitte, though they were swept by the Chicago White Sox.
  • 2017 World Series Champions: A milestone year for the franchise, the Astros won their first World Series title. Led by players like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Justin Verlander, the team triumphed over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a thrilling seven-game series, which would later be blemished due to scandal.
  • 2019 World Series Loss: The Astros held a 2-0 lead going into the seventh inning of Game 7 against the Washington Nationals, but ended up losing 6-2, clinching the World Series for the Nats.
  • 2022 World Series Champions: The Astros became champs for the second time in six seasons after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.

Recent Developments

  • A New Era: In the late 2010s and early 2020s, the Astros have consistently been one of the top teams in MLB, marked by strong player development and advanced analytics.
  • Sign-Stealing Controversy: The team faced controversy following revelations of a sign-stealing scandal during the 2017 season, which led to significant repercussions within the organization and the league.

Matt Higgins contributed to this report.

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