Best Kansas City Royals Baseball Cards Every Collector Needs

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for Kansas City Royals fans over the past decade. After going to back-to-back World Series in the mid-2010s (losing a thrilling seven-game series in 2014 to the San Francisco Giants, before defeating the New York Mets in five games in 2015), they’ve lost over 100 games three times.

However, fans have an interesting cast of players to collect. From Hall of Famers like George Brett, to an upcoming superstar like Bobby Witt Jr., fans have several Royals greats to add to their collection. HobbyListings takes a look at the best Royals cards collectors need.

Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Kansas City Royals Baseball Cards

1. 1975 Topps George Brett Rookie Card (#228)

1975 Topps George Brett rookie card
1975 Topps George Brett rookie card. (credit: eBay)

This card features Brett in his rookie year and is a must-have for Royals fans. Brett is arguably the greatest player in Royals history, known for his hitting prowess, including a .390 batting average in 1980. He spent his entire 21-year career with Kansas City, leading them to a World Series title in 1985.

2. 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Bo Jackson Rookie Card (#50T)

1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Bo Jackson rookie card.
1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Bo Jackson rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Known for his extraordinary athletic ability, Bo Jackson — a two-sport star — became a sensation with the Royals, showcasing power and speed before his career was shortened by a football injury. In 1989, Jackson was an All-Star starter, capturing the game’s MVP.

3. 1974 Topps Frank White Rookie Card (#604)

1974 Topps Frank White rookie card
1974 Topps Frank White rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Frank White’s card from his rookie year is special for Royals fans as it represents a player who spent his entire 18-year career with Kansas City. A superb second baseman known for his defense, White won eight Gold Gloves and was a key player in the Royals’ 1985 World Series-winning team.

4. 1984 Fleer Update Bret Saberhagen Rookie Card (#U103)

1984 Fleer Update Bret Saberhagen rookie card
1984 Fleer Update Bret Saberhagen rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Bret Saberhagen’s rookie card highlights the start of a career that saw him become one of the top pitchers in baseball in the mid-1980s. He won two Cy Young Awards with the Royals and was the MVP of the 1985 World Series.

5. 1999 SP Signature Autographs Carlos Beltran (#CBE)

1999 SP Signature Autographs Carlos Beltran
1999 SP Signature Autographs Carlos Beltran. (credit: eBay)

With the Royals, Carlos Beltran won the Rookie of the Year in 1999 and showcased a rare combination of power, speed, and defensive skill.

6. 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Zack Greinke (#6)

2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Zack Greinke
2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Zack Greinke. (credit: eBay)

Zack Greinke became one of the best pitchers in the game during his first seven seasons while part of the Royals, becoming an All-Star and capturing the Cy Young Award in 2009.

7. 2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects Alex Gordon Autograph (#BC221)

2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects Alex Gordon Autograph
2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects Alex Gordon Autograph. (credit: eBay)

A lifetime Royal, Alex Gordon helped lead to team to back-to-back World Series in 2014 and 2015. The one-time champion won eight Gold Gloves and was a three-time All-Star during his 14-year career.

8. 2011 Topps Update Eric Hosmer Rookie Card (#US155)

2011 Topps Traded Eric Hosmer rookie card
2011 Topps Traded Eric Hosmer rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Eric Hosmer, a cornerstone of the Kansas City team that reached the World Series in 2014 and won it in 2015, known for his clutch hitting and solid defense. Hosmer was a one-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner during his time with the Royals.

9. 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Salvador Perez Card (#BCP124)

2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Salvador Perez
2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Salvador Perez. (credit: eBay)

Salvador Perez quickly became a fan favorite and a leader on the Royals. A multiple-time All-Star and Gold Glove catcher, Perez has been pivotal in the Royals’ success in the 2010s, including the 2015 World Series-winning team.

10. 2020 Bowman Chrome Prospects Bobby Witt Jr. Autograph Card (#CPABWJ)

2020 Bowman Chrome Prospects Bobby Witt Jr. Autograph card
2020 Bowman Chrome Prospects Bobby Witt Jr. Autograph card. (credit: eBay)

The son of a former major leaguer, Bobby Witt Jr. represents the future of the Royals. The highly-touted youngster was the second overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. He already has 50 home runs in his first two seasons.

History of the Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals, established in 1969, may not have the century-long history of some Major League Baseball teams, but they’ve certainly made their mark with memorable players, thrilling victories, and passionate fan support. Let’s delve into the history of this dynamic franchise.

Establishment and Early Success

  • Expansion Team: The Royals entered MLB as an expansion team in 1969, bringing baseball back to Kansas City after the Athletics moved to Oakland.
  • A Strong Start: Under the guidance of manager Whitey Herzog and with a talented roster, the Royals quickly became a competitive force in the American League.

The 1980s: A Golden Era

  • A Decade of Dominance: The Royals’ most successful period came in the 1980s, where they consistently made playoff appearances, marked by strong pitching and dynamic hitting.
  • 1985 World Series Champions: The pinnacle of the Royals’ success came in 1985 when they won their first World Series title. Key players like George Brett, Bret Saberhagen, and Frank White led the charge, with the team making a dramatic comeback against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Key Players in Royals History

  • George Brett: The face of the franchise, Brett spent his entire 21-year career with the Royals. He is known for his hitting prowess, defensive skills at third base, and his fiery competitive spirit.
  • Frank White: A homegrown talent, White was known for his exceptional defense at second base and his ability to hit in clutch situations.
  • Bret Saberhagen: The ace of the Royals’ pitching staff in the 1980s, Saberhagen won two Cy Young Awards and was instrumental in the team’s World Series victory.
  • Bo Jackson: Although his career was cut short by injury, Jackson was a sensational two-sport athlete who brought excitement and unparalleled athleticism to Kansas City.

The 2000s: A Period of Rebuilding

  • Rebuilding Challenges: Following their 1980s success, the Royals faced challenges on the field, leading to a period of rebuilding and the development of young talent.

Return to Glory

  • 2014-2015 Resurgence: A new era of success emerged in the mid-2010s, as the Royals, led by players like Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, and Alex Gordon, returned to the postseason in 2014 and made it to the World Series, ultimately losing to the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
  • 2015 World Series Champions: The Royals captured their second World Series title in 2015, defeating the New York Mets in five games. This victory was a testament to the team’s resilience, talent, and the “keep the line moving” philosophy.

The Royals Today

  • Continued Focus on Development: The Royals continue to focus on developing homegrown talent — like Bobby Witt Jr. — and fostering a competitive team, with an eye on returning to the postseason and contending for championships.

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