If you’re curious about Mike Schmidt rookie card value, I have good news. Good news if you want to sell, that is. Mike Schmidt’s rookie card is one of the most valuable cards of the 1970s. Mike Schmidt needs little introduction to baseball fans, but if you’re not, that’s OK. Here’s what makes Mike Schmidt’s rookie card a great card.
1973 Topps Mike Schmidt rookie card value
Mike Schmidt made his debut in the 1973 Topps set. He shared his card with John Hilton of the San Diego Padres and Ron Cey of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Topps frequently teamed up several rookies on a single card in the 1960s and 1970s.
John Hilton, better known as Dave Hilton, was the Padres’ #1 draft pick in 1971, but didn’t have a very long career, playing parts of four seasons on the majors.
Ron Cey played 17 seasons in the majors, mostly for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was an All-Star six times. He was also the co-MVP of the 1981 World Series, helping the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees. At 5’10”, Cey wasn’t a big man and it earned him the nickname of “The Penguin,” but he swung a big bat, averaging 25 home runs per season over his career.
It’s tough to find an example of this card for much less than $75. Professionally graded pristine examples will sell for thousands.
Mike Schmidt the player
Mike Schmidt made it to the majors in 1972, and was the Phillies’ semiregular third baseman in 1973. He struggled at first to keep his batting average over .200, though he did hit for some power right away, slugging 18 home runs in 1973. When a young power-hitting third baseman struggles early on, analysts often point to Schmidt’s experience in 1972-73 as a reason not to give up on them right away.
Schmidt’s breakout season came in 1974, when he hit 36 home runs to lead the league and made his first All-Star team. He went on to become an All-Star 12 times over this 18-season career. He led the National League in home runs eight times. He was the National League MVP three times. He also won one World Series in 1980.
In addition to his value with the bat, Schmidt won 10 gold gloves for defense. He lost a bit with his glove in his 30s. In 1985 the Phillies moved him to first base to compensate. But by the next season he was playing the majority of his games at third again and he won one final gold glove in 1986.
Age and injuries took a toll on Schmidt in 1988. He hit below .250 for the first time in 13 seasons to go along with a career-low 12 home runs. After getting off to a slow start in 1989, he retired at the age of 39. Schmidt said in his retirement speech it wasn’t right to stay around as a part time player to pad his career statistics. He played his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mike Schmidt among the greatest third basemen of all time
Brooks Robinson and Adrian Beltre were better defenders than Schmidt. But Schmidt was the best defensive third baseman of his era and still one of the best defensive third baseman of all time, in addition to being the best offensive third baseman of all time. Some teams would have considered playing him at shortstop early in his career.
Schmidt’s American League contemporary George Brett rivaled Schmidt’s offense but wasn’t quite as good defensively and was much more injury-prone. Advanced statistics like WAR look favorably on Mike Schmidt’s body of work.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995, his first year of eligibility.