The 2002 Topps baseball card set is notable for featuring some of the all-time greats who were still active during that season as well as young stars who were just beginning to emerge. While the full base set may not command high prices today, there are several standout rookie and star player cards from the 2002 Topps set that could be worth a significant amount of money, especially if in pristine graded condition. Let’s take a look at some of the top 2002 Topps baseball cards that hold value for collectors.

Perhaps the most valuable card from the 2002 Topps set is the Trevor Hoffman rookie card (card #250). Hoffman, who played from 1993 to 2010 as an elite closer for the Padres and Brewers, would go on to rack up 601 career saves which stands as the all-time record. His Topps rookie card is one of the key cards for any baseball card investor focused on building a collection of the top retired players. In a PSA 10 gem mint condition, Hoffman’s rookie recently sold for over $700. Even in PSA 9 excellent condition, this card has sold for $200 or more.

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Other star rookie cards that can be worth a considerable price tag include Jimmy Rollins (card #239) of the Phillies, who would go on to be a Hall of Fame caliber shortstop. In a PSA 10, his rookie has sold for $300-400 range. Left-hander CC Sabathia (card #253), who amassed over 3,000 career strikeouts and a Cy Young Award, also has a valuable rookie in the set that can fetch $200-300 graded gem mint. Then there’s Alfonso Soriano (card #51) of the Yankees, who blasted over 400 career home runs – his rookie has sold for around $150-200 in top condition.

Some of the seasoned stars featured prominently in the 2002 Topps set that hold value include Barry Bonds (#15), who was chasing the all-time home run record at the time. A Bonds PSA 10 in this design has sold for upwards of $500. Also coveted are cards of Sammy Sosa (#28), who hit 64 home runs in 2002 in a career year. Sosa’s PSA 10s from this checklist have topped $300. Pitcher Randy Johnson (#67), the all-time strikeout king, has 2003 Topps cards valued near $200 in a PSA 10 case. Future Hall of Famers like Derek Jeter (#13), Ivan Rodriguez (#161), and Ken Griffey Jr (#232) also command $100-200 for their pristine 2002 Topps gems.


When it comes to parallels and short prints from the 2002 Topps base set, there are also several that can yield a high return for collectors. The Ivan Rodriguez “Birthday” short print (card #316), limited to player’s date of birth, has sold for over $150 in top grade. The Derek Jeter “Captain” parallel (card #SP13), inserts highlighting team captains limited to /399 copies, have traded hands for near $100 PSA Gem Mint. Gold parallel versions of stars like Bonds, Jeter, and Johnson numbering /2001 have sold in the $75-150 range in top conditions as well. Meanwhile, industry legends like Nolan Ryan (#5), whose career was winding down, still carry values of $50-75 for pristine gold parallels or short prints.


While most of the 2002 Topps set commons are fairly inexpensive in today’s market, astute collectors know where to find value even in older mainstream releases. Focusing on star player and especially rookie cards that featured future Hall of Famers and all-time great performers is a wise strategy. Cards in the 2002 Topps checklist of players who went on to achieve milestones and hold major league records command the highest prices, with gem mint graded copies potentially worth hundreds – or in the case of Trevor Hoffman’s rookie, over $700. Factoring in parallel and short print scarcity only serves to further heighten values for savvy 2002 Topps investors.

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