rose rookie card

Pete Rose Rookie Card Guide (Value & Investment Analysis)

Updated Sep 30, 2023

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Pete Rose was the epitome of a hard-nosed baseball player. ‘Charlie Hustle’ earned his nickname for his tenacity on the field and prowess at the plate.

Despite his banishment from baseball due to gambling on games, Rose is still one of the most well-respected players of all time

And although Rose will never likely reach the Hall Of Fame, his 1963 Topps Rookie card remains one of the hobby’s most valuable

In this guide, we examine the Pete Rose Rookie card, analyzing values, scarcity and investment potential. 

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The 1963 Topps Pete Rose Rookie Card

Pete Rose's 1963 Topps #537 card is the only recognized rookie card for baseball's all-time hit leader

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The Pete Rose Rookie card from the '63 Topps set remains one of the most sought after cards in the hobby

The Rose rookie card has always been one of my favorite baseball cards. I love the bright colors of the 1963 Topps set, and Rose’s tiny circular headshot makes for one awesome-looking card.

The 1963 Topps set also features rookie issues for Willie Stargell, Tony Oliva, and Rusty Staub, but the Rose rookie remains the most valuable.

Rose's rookie card is one of the 'high numbers' in the 1963 Topps set (cards #523 to #576), yet are only a bit scarcer than other cards in the set.

The 1963 Topps Rookie Stars cards marked the second year that Topps produced the multiplayer rookie cards. 

Rose's rookie card features four up and coming players, with a smiling Pete Rose in the bottom left corner. None of the other three players were of the same caliber as Pete Rose.

Pedro 'Speedy' Gonzalez had a short-lived career with the Yankees and Indians, although he was one of the first players from the Dominican Republic to play in the big leagues.

Al Weis wasn't much of a player; although he lasted ten years and batted only .219 over his career. Ken McMullen was a decent hitter and had a few 20 homerun seasons over his 16-year career

The back of the Rose rookie card (#537) only shows each player's minor league career statistics. It was quite clear even in looking at Rose's minor league stats, that he was on his way to become a hit machine.

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How Much Is A Pete Rose Rookie Card Worth?

Pete Rose's official rookie card is his 1963 Topps #537 card.  A gem mint copy of the card (PSA 10) last sold in 2016 for over $700,000, more than quadrupling the price from four years earlier.

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PSA 10 Pete Rose Rookie Card, image courtesy Heritage

Note there is only one PSA 10 Rose Rookie card in existence.

Rose's rookie card has a plentiful supply; thus, budget-conscious collectors can find one in low grade (Poor to VG) for under $1000


The card can be quite expensive in higher grades,
especially starting with PSA 8 (NM-MT) copies. which average over $10,000. Take it one grade higher, to a PSA 9 (Mint) copy, and the value jumps to over $100,000. 

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Pete Rose Rookie Card Values By PSA Grade

How Rare Is Pete Rose's Rookie Card?

PSA has graded nearly 6,000 copies of Pete Rose's rookie card.

This number does not include cards graded by Beckett or SGC, along with the existing raw (ungraded) population.

The Pete Rose rookie card is not rare, and copies, especially in lower condition, are easy to find. 

PSA has only graded one Gem-Mint, PSA 10 copy of Rose's rookie card, and it's hard to say what today's pricing might be. The last PSA 10 sale was for over $700K in 2016.

PSA 9 (Mint) copies are also rare, with only 36 graded copies.

pete rose rookie psa pop

The lack of high grade Rose rookie cards is due to the top blue border of the card, which shows chipping quite easily.  

PSA 8 (NM-MT) graded copies of the Rose rookie are easier to find, with 500 graded copies.

When you drop from PSA 7 to below, the supply increases significantly--more than 5000 copies have been graded from Auth to PSA 7.  

What's The Value Of A Pete Rose Autographed Rookie Card?

On average, a signed Pete Rose rookie card sells for about a 20% premium to the regular base 1963 Topps card. Recent sales have shown lower graded signed copies selling for over $1200, up over $5000 for mid-grade cards with a clean auto.

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Rose has been a pretty liberal signer over time, so finding an autographed rookie card might be easier than you think.

Be careful, however, not to pay up for an authentic auto on a reprint 63 Topps card--I've seen a lot of these on eBay. Try to find one that has both autograph and card authentication from PSA.

1963 Topps Reds Team Card #63 - A  Good Rose Rookie Alternative

One quick note; most collectors aren't familiar with the Reds team card #63 from the 1963 Topps set. The card is technically not a Rose rookie issue, as he is not in the team photo.

However, Rose did win the rookie of the year award in 1963 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

Rose signs these cards as well, and many are available for sale on eBay for a fraction of the cost of the #537 card.

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Is The Pete Rose Rookie Card A Good Investment?

Despite the controversies that have followed Pete Rose, collectors continue to bid up his rookie card. His banishment has not affected pricing on Rose's rookie card from baseball.

Rose's legend sits among baseball's all-time greats, and I expect Rose to remain a hot commodity with collectors

The Rose rookie isn't rare (PSA has graded over 6000 alone), so I wouldn't consider it a must-have investment unless you buy a high-grade copy

I expect his rookie card to appreciate over time, although I would opt for a nice autographed copy if you can find one at a reasonable price

The Career Of 'Charlie Hustle'. 

The Cincinnati Reds signed Pete Rose as a 19 year old in 1960, less than a month following his graduation from high school. 

Pete was a pretty good football player, too, a sport he loved, mostly for the battle on the field. Although when he failed to make the varsity high school squad, his focus turned to baseball.  

A switch hitter, 'Charlie Hustle' was probably one of the most versatile players ever to play the game. Over the course of his career he played first base, second base, third base, and the outfield. 

Most fans know Rose as the 'all-time hit king', and yes, he could hit and still holds the MLB record with 4,256 career hits.  

In addition, Pete holds the record for most games played (3,562) and singles (3215). He batted .303 over his career with nine seasons of 200 or more hits, while winning three World Series Championships

In 1984, Rose became a player-manager for the Reds, lasting until his last year in the big leagues (1986), with his full-time coaching duties ending in 1989. 

Rose's coaching career ended following an investigation that discovered that Rose had been betting on baseball games while a player and manager of the Reds. 

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Pete Rose signing autographs in Vegas. Image courtesy Jon Parise (source)

On August 24, 1989, Rose was banned from baseball permanently

In 2020, Rose filed for reinstatement, arguing that the Astros sign-stealing scheme was far worse than his actions.  The league, as far as I know, has not responded to Rose's filing. 

Should Pete Rose Be In The Hall Of Fame?

In my opinion, yes. Rose made mistakes and he certainly wasn't the poster child of baseball role models, but as far as I'm concerned, he's paid the price. Sure, he accepted the ban, but as one writer argues, MLB is now in cahoots with sports gambling operations. Were Rose's actions all that big of a deal?

"I left a tarnish on my baseball career, on my legacy and on the name Pete Rose-his name too, and my son's name, and I will carry the pain of knowing what I've done for as long as I live. I don't think betting is morally wrong. It's how you do it that matters"

-Pete Rose in his biography, Play Hungry

Pete Rose Rookie Cards For Sale on eBay


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About the author

Chris Rogers, is the founder of All Vintage Cards. Launched in 2018, All Vintage Cards is the hobby's leading resource for vintage sports cards. Chris is also the author of 'The Complete Guide To Selling Your Sports Cards'. Chris remains an avid collector and can be reached at chris@allvintagecards.com.

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