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10 Key Baseball Rookie Cards of Players Not in the Hall of Fame

Hall of Famers like Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Roberto Clemente drive the post-war baseball card industry. But, there are many extraordinarily collectible and worthy rookie cards of players who are not in the Hall of Fame, that you should consider adding to your collection. Some of these cards are also essential pieces to iconic sets, like 1952 Topps. 

I’ve compiled this list, in chronological order, of 10 key post-war rookie cards of players who are not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Let me know who else you would add to the list down in the comments below. For example, would you add the “steroid era” players? Do you think I should have then excluded Pete Rose for gambling?

Gil Hodges

The 1949 Bowman Gil Hodges also found its way into my article, Five Underrated Baseball Rookie Cards. Hodges put up 370 home runs in a career that included 3 World Series Championships.

1949 Bowman #100 Gil Hodges

Eddie Lopat

One of my more controversial picks, but Ed Lopat was a key member of the Yankees Big-3 pitchers and 5 World Series championships, and his 1949 Bowman rookie is a tough find in high grade.

1949 Bowman #229 Ed Lopat

Dick Groat

Groat was an 8-time All-Star and 1960 NL MVP. Plus, his rookie card is in the tough 1952 Topps High Series.

1952 Topps #369 Dick Groat

Minnie Minoso

Mr. White Sox was a 9x All Star with a rookie card in the iconic 1952 Topps set.

1952 Topps #195 Orestes Minoso

Rocky Colavito

374 home runs and 9 All Star games. Plus the 1957 Topps sets is one of the most heavily collected in the post-war era.

1957 Topps #212 Rocco Colavito

Roger Maris


1958 Topps #47 Roger Maris

Vada Pinson

“Pinson was the best unknown player in the history of baseball.”

Tony Snow
1958 Topps #420 Vada Pinson

Pete Rose


1963 Topps #537 Rookie stars

Thurman Munson

The most dominant catcher of the 1970s and incredibly popular in the hobby.

1970 Topps #189 Yankees Rookie Stars

Don Mattingly

Donnie Baseball was the best Yankee to never play in the World Series.

1984 Topps #8 Don Mattingly

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