Albert Pujols Rookie Card Countdown

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Looking for an Albert Pujols Rookie Card? How about 40? Or maybe you’re just curious about what’s out there. In short — a lot.

At the dawn of becoming one of the greatest and most productive hitters to ever step onto a MLB field, Albert Pujols was part one of the most frenzied Rookie Card one-two punches in the history of baseball cards. In 2001, both he and Ichiro burst onto the scene. Even back then, players would often have gotten their first MLB cards a few years before their debuts. Ichiro had some Japanese releases but nothing mainstream for North American collectors. Pujols had nothing. 2001 marked his first year in the majors and on baseball cards.

It brought a big level of excitement to baseball card products that year. And it made for some epic cards that have tremendous appeal still today.

Albert Pujols Rookie Cards Overview

Albert Pujols, a three-time National League MVP and two-time World Series Champion, has more than 40 different Rookie Cards. And this doesn’t take into account all of his inserts, parallels and other 2001 cards. Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer and Donruss/Playoff all had MLB licenses that year with each putting their own spin on things.

One thing that’s common for all four is a preference to serial number Rookie Cards. It was still an emerging trend at the time. Over 30 Albert Pujols Rookie Cards are numbered with print runs for these ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 2,999.

Autographs still weren’t the norm in 2001. However, they were growing in number. While the slugger has several autograph cards from his rookie season, most are inserts. He has just three base RCs that come with signatures. Not surprisingly, these rank among the most valuable Albert Pujols Rookie Cards.

Albert Pujols Rookie Card Rankings

Curious what the most valuable Albert Pujols Rookie Card is? Looking for something somewhat more affordable? Below is a ranked list of all his RCs. It can also be used as an Albert Pujols Rookie Card checklist or browsable gallery.

Please note that only base Rookie Cards with the RC tag in the Beckett Database are listed here. Inserts and parallels are not. A comprehensive Albert Pujols baseball card checklist can be found in the Beckett Database.

1. 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols RC Autograph #340 /500

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The 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols Rookie Card is much more than his best first-year card. It’s one of the most significant baseball cards of the 21st century, period.

On the surface you’ve got the makings of a standard high-end card. It’s autographed and numbered to 500 copies. All are one Refractor stock as well. Five-figure sales are the norm.

But now look at what it represents. In 2001, the idea of a Bowman Chrome autograph was new to baseball. Today, it’s one of the most dominant parts of the entire industry. Without that shift in 2001 Bowman Chrome, sports cards could look different today.

It’s important to note that the 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols was originally issued as a redemption. So if you come across any sealed packs or boxes, you’re going to be disappointed unless you’re an ultimate completist and want the redemption card. For further caution, if you’re thinking of Ichiro as a potential consolation of sorts, he’s also a redemption despite not being an autograph.


2. 2001 Donruss Signature Series Albert Pujols RC Autograph #151 /330

Parallels: Proofs (/25)

The large foil sticker might not have the same visual appeal as the two other autographed Albert Pujols Rookie Cards, but it’s still a signature. 2001 Donruss Signature Series has the added appeal of being the slugger’s rarest RC autograph with just 330 copies.

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2001 Donruss Signature Series Albert Pujols Rookie Card

3. 2001 Ultimate Collection Albert Pujols Rookie Card #111 /250

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Ultimate Collection marked another level of progression in Upper Deck continuing to redefine “high-end.” Its suggested price of $100 per pack was unheard of at the time. Unlike Ichiro, Pujols’ RC in the set does not come with a signature. However, the premium pedigree and print run of just 250 ensures its place among the most valuable Albert Pujols Rookie Cards.

2001 Ultimate Collection Albert Pujols Rookie Card

4. 2001 SPx Albert Pujols RC Autograph #206 /1500

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With 1,500 copies, 2001 SPx Baseball has the autographed Albert Pujols Rookie Card with the highest print run. And while his most affordable signature RC, don’t equate it with being cheap. Even when Pujols’ cards hit their lowest points, this one was still expensive.

You won’t find it in 2001 SPx packs, though. It’s part of 2001 Upper Deck Rookie Update, which expanded a handful of the company’s sets.

2001 SPx Albert Pujols Autograph RC

5. 2001 Leaf Limited Albert Pujols RC Game-Used Jersey #367 /250

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With 250 copies, this is one one of the rarest cards on the Albert Pujols Rookie Card checklist. It’s not a large swatch, but it also has a piece of game-used jersey embedded in it. The back of the card even has an image of the actual jersey used to make them, which is much more clear than the vague disclaimers most recent memorabilia cards have.


6. 2001 SP Authentic Albert Pujols Rookie Card #126 /1250

Parallels: Limited (/50)

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With 1,250 copies, it’s on the lower end of Pujols’ numbered rookies. Perhaps just as important is its brand affinity. SP Authentic was one of Upper Deck’s most popular baseball brands.


7. 2001 Topps Chrome Albert Pujols Rookie Card #596

Parallels: Retrofractors

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When is a Topps Chrome card not “chrome”? When it’s the 2001 Topps Chrome Albert Pujols. As noted on the card itself, it was a last-second checklist addition in Series 2. It’s actually done on more of a foil stock, setting it apart from the rest of the product.

For those looking for a standard Topps Chrome Pujols, he’s in 2001 Topps Chrome Traded (#T247) with the exact same photo. Although not first and the traditional RC, many collectors prefer the Traded version.

He has another popular 2001 Topps Chrome Traded card where he’s paired with Ichiro.

2001 Topps Chrome Albert Pujols Rookie Card

8. 2001 Topps Traded Albert Pujols Rookie Card #T247

Parallels: Gold (/2001)

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The popularity for the 2001 Topps Traded Albert Pujols RC doesn’t come from a limited print run. Unless you skipped baseball cards entirely between 1993 and 2001, the gold foil accents would be seen as the norm and not a hallmark for a premium line. This card is popular in large part because of its connection to Topps Baseball, the most popular and one of the most historic brands in collecting.

While not rare, there aren’t a ton out there compared to flagship RCs from recent years. Those looking for top condition raw copies might have to either lessen their standards or be somewhat patient. The darker border make any knick or blemish apparent.

2001 Topps Traded Albert Pujols Rookie Card

9. 2001 Leaf Certified Materials Albert Pujols RC Hat #158 /200

Parallels: Mirror Red Autograph (/75), Mirror Gold (/25)

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With just 200 copies, this is the rarest of Pujols’ numbered Rookie Cards. It’s not a terribly attractive card but it’s scarce. It also has a small cap swatch, adding something a little extra to the mix as well.


10. 2001 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects Albert Pujols RC Jersey #137 /500

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Of the Albert Pujols Rookie Cards boasting a swatch of memorabilia, 2001 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects its the one with the biggest piece. By today’s standards, it’s average but when you compare it to some of his other RCs, the difference is significant. The fact that there’s only 500 copies is also a major plus.


11. 2001 Donruss Elite Albert Pujols Rookie Card #156 /1000

Parallels: Turn of the Century Autographs (/1000, first 100 copies of base card), Status (/68), Aspirations (/32)

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12. 2001 Donruss Albert Pujols Rookie Card #156 /500

Parallels: Stat Line Career Autograph, Stat Line Season Autograph, Baseball’s Best Bronze (999 copies), Baseball’s Best Silver (499 copies), Stat Line Career (/154), Baseball’s Best Gold (99 copies), Stat Line Season (/17)

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13. 2001 E-X Albert Pujols Rookie Card #131 /499

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14. 2001 Studio Albert Pujols Rookie Card #191 /700

Parallels: Proofs (/25)

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15. 2001 Bowman’s Best Albert Pujols Rookie Card #175 /2999

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16. 2001 Fleer Showcase Albert Pujols RC #121 /500

Parallels: Legacy (/50), Masterpiece (1/1)

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17. 2001 SP Game Used Edition Albert Pujols RC #85 /500

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18. 2001 Fleer Legacy Albert Pujols RC #102 /799

499 copies plus 300 autograph redemptions.

Parallels: Autographs (/799, 300 copies of base card), Ultimate (/250), Legacy (/50)

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2001 Fleer Legacy Albert Pujols Rookie Card

19. 2001 Donruss Classics Albert Pujols RC #108 /585

Parallels: Timeless Tributes (/100)

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20. 2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars Albert Pujols RC #205

Parallels: Longevity (/25)

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2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars Albert Pujols Rookie Card

21. 2001 Donruss Class of 2001 Albert Pujols RC #268 /625

525 copies plus 100 autographs.

Parallels: Autographs (/625, first 100 copies of base card), First Class (/50)

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22. 2001 Bowman Albert Pujols RC #264

Parallels: Gold

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2001 Bowman Albert Pujols Rookie Card

23. 2001 Sweet Spot Albert Pujols RC #121 /1500

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2001 Sweet Spot Albert Pujols Rookie Card

24. 2001 Fleer Focus Albert Pujols RC #245 /999

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25. 2001 Absolute Memorabilia Albert Pujols RC GU Base #157 /700

Parallels: Autographs (/25), Spectrum (/25)

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26. 2001 Fleer Premium Albert Pujols RC #233 /1999

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27. 2001 Topps Reserve Albert Pujols RC #103 /1500

A total of 945 cards were included in packs. The other 555 copies come in autographed slabs used as hobby box toppers.

Parallels: Autographs PSA (555 copies of the base cards have autographed PSA slabs)

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28. 2001 Upper Deck Albert Pujols RC #295

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2001 Upper Deck Albert Pujols Rookie Card

29. 2001 Upper Deck Gold Glove Albert Pujols RC #130 /500

Parallels: Limited (/100), Finite (/25)

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30. 2001 Bowman Heritage Albert Pujols RC #351 SP

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2001 Bowman Heritage Albert Pujols Rookie Card

31. 2001 Topps Stars Albert Pujols RC #198

Parallels: Gold (/499), Elimination (100 copies), Onyx (/99)

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2001 Topps Stars Albert Pujols Rookie Card

32. 2001 SP Game Bat Milestone Albert Pujols RC Bat #92 /500

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33. 2001 UD Reserve Albert Pujols RC #204 /2500

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34. 2001 Fleer Game Time Albert Pujols RC #121 /2000

Parallels: Next Game Extra (/200)

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35. 2001 Fleer Authority Albert Pujols RC #102 /2001

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36. 2001 Fleer Platinum Albert Pujols RC/Donaldo Mendez RC #301 /1500

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37. 2001 Fleer Triple Crown Albert Pujols Rookie Card #309 /2999

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38. 2001 Ultra Albert Pujols RC/Bud Smith RC #277 /1499

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2001 Ultra Albert Pujols Rookie Card

39. 2001 Topps Gallery Albert Pujols Rookie Card #135

Parallels: Press Plates (/4)

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2001 Topps Gallery Albert Pujols Rookie Card

40. 2001 Upper Deck Evolution Albert Pujols Rookie Card #92 /2500

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41. 2001 Fleer Futures Albert Pujols Rookie Card #224 /2499

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42. 2001 Fleer Tradition Albert Pujols Rookie Card #451

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2001 Fleer Tradition Albert Pujols Rookie Card

43. 2001 MLB Showdown Pennant Run Albert Pujols RC #168 Foil

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2001 MLB Showdown Albert Pujols Rookie Card