Best Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card of All Time
Did you wake up this morning with an uncanny urge to invest in the best Shaquille O’Neal rookie cards? Perhaps you should follow that bizarre urge. Why you ask? Because let’s face it, Shaquille O’Neal is a larger than life character (both figuratively and literally). Whether it’s winning 4 NBA Championships or posing as a “Shaq Statue” for fans in Harvard Square, the man knows how to keep the people talking. And that’s precisely why his rookie cards should remain HIGHLY collectible for a long time to come. That and the fact that he was really good at basketball. So, why don’t we find out which are the best Shaq rookie cards to add to the ole’ portfolio!
Random thought of the day: How valuable would Shaq rookie card be if he played in the modern era of the card industry?? For an idea of an answer to this perplexing question, check out these Zion Williams Nation Treasures card options!
Top 5 Shaq Rookie Cards In Existence
1992-1993 Stadium Club “Beam Team”
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When it comes to 1992 Stadium Club it’s important to note the difference between the regular Shaquille O’Neal rookie card and the “Members Only” edition. While it’s hard to recognize the Members Only version includes a water mark that signals it’s part of a limited 10,000 print run collection that was only available to Topps Stadium Club members. Meanwhile, the regular card is the one that was available to the general public through packs and boxes.
Needless to say the exclusivity of the Members only version makes it far more valuable. So much so that it’s by far the most valuable first year Shaquille O’Neal card of all time. Making it the without a doubt the best Shaq rookie card for a long term investment.
As far as the regular card goes it is perhaps the most popular card on this list so you should have no problem selling or buying at auction. The only question is can you come up with the dough? In addition to being one of the most popular, it’s also one of the most valuable Shaq rookie cards. Even without the Members Only designation. Especially, if it’s a 9 or above on the grading scale. The card also gains collectability points for being part of the first set of Stadium Club ever released for basketball cards (those tree sap-smelling baseball cards took the industry by storm the year before).
1992-1993 Classic Draft Picks
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One that often goes overlooked when it comes to Shaquille O’Neal rookie cards. The card features a young Shaq from his LSU days hanging by the rim in the signature Shaquille slam dunk pose (the one that makes you feel sorry for that poor rim!). Overlooked or not, this one should be in your collection ASAP!
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Arguably the most collectible of all Shaq rookie cards, the 1992-1993 Topps version features a “hungry” Shaq posted up under the rim. Clearly, the man wants the rock (just take a look at that massive outstretched hand/arm combo!). It’s hard to tell who’s guarding him but you can only assume that, whoever it was, they never stood a chance!
1992-1993 Upper Deck
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The name Upper Deck carried a massive amount of weight in the early nineties. So it only makes sense to have a card that features the massive amount of weight that is Shaquille O’Neal blasting into the air for a patented Shaq slam dunk. No doubt one of the best Shaq rookie cards to own.
1992-1993 Classic Draft Picks Yellow Jersey
Just like the previous card from the same set, this one features a young Shaq in the process of absolutely punishing the rim. The number doesn’t match up but that certainly looks like Grant Hill in the background. Whoever it is, you can tell they are in awe of Shaq’s power.
Best Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Cards: Rare Finds
1992-1993 Classic Draft Picks Gold
Another Shaq rookie card from Classic Draft Picks. It seems these guys were trying to print as many of this guy as possible. And who could blame them? Everyone knew he was going to be an all-time great. At any rate, this one gets its name from the classic gold stripe along its right edge. Unfortunately, you don’t see this variation pop up too often but when it does, it can be just as valuable as the two we just listed.
1992-1993 Classic 4 Sport
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Just like the Classic Draft Picks Shaq rookie card, this one also shows O’Neal in his college uniform. However, it’s a bit tamer and replaces the rim-bending dunk with a more passive put-back. Put-back or not, one thing’s clear: a gem mint of this card should be a superstar of your portfolio (especially if you get one with an autograph!).
1992-1993 Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Card Fleer Ultra Rejector
Just a pick of Shaq screaming “get that ball outta my house!” Or at least we assume that’s a photo of a block. Why else why they name it Rejectors? It looks more like a rebound, honestly. Enough digression. This is an action-packed card that’s incredibly affordable when compared to some of the others on this list. Sure you’re not gonna buy a new car with the profits, but it sure is a great conversation piece.
Related Content: RJ Barrett Rookie Card Buyer’s Guide
Shaquille O’Neal McDonald’s Rookie Card Value??
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The first of which listed here features the big man lofting a close shot over a pitiful defender. We all know how that story ends! In all seriousness, the Shaq McDonald’s rookie cards don’t hold a whole lot of value. However, in the right condition, they’ll sell for a couple of hundred bucks. For example, the card above if graded a PSA 10 can generate over $200 of quick income if you happen to have one laying around.
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Overall this Shaq McDonald’s rookie card value isn’t quite at the level of the one we just went over. However, it’s in the neighborhood. For instance, a few of these have recently sold on eBay for right around the $150 mark for a PSA 10. Again, if it’s in the right condition there’s a little bit of value here.
Let’s not ever forget about the other half of that Lakers Dynamic Duo. Check out this Kobe Bryant Rookie Card Investment Guide!
Best Shaq Rookie Cards: Investment Strategy
Short (1 year or less)
Whether it’s the 3 NBA Finals MVPs, the 34 straight double-doubles, 7 All-Star Team selections, 11 straight 30 point games, or his stature as a top-ten all-time NBA scorer, Shaq has pretty much done it all (we’ll just turn a blind eye to that atrocious free-throw shooting). And that may be the problem if you’re thinking about a short-term investment. There isn’t much left that he hasn’t accomplished that can move the needle that quick! 6/10
Medium (1 to 3 years)
Kind of in the same boat as with a short-term investment. However, the chances of Shaq starring in a new movie, buying a team, or making a splash in some other way only he knows how are greater when you stretch it out over a few years. Any event that draws attention to the big man in a positive light can help. However, with Shaq, the long-term option is the only way to go! 7/10
Long (3 years or more)
He’s a legend, a Hall of Famer, has multiple NBA Championships, and likes to pose as a statue for his fans. We have no choice but to rate this as a blue-chip investment. Just like the movie he was in! Look, Shaquille O’Neal is clearly one of the few players who TRANSCENDS THE SPORT. And when it comes to this sport, in particular, there appears to be a bit of a resurgence when it comes to card collecting.
Anytime a player is this accomplished, there’s one thing that’s for certain. His rookie cards will remain a sought-after collector’s item for the foreseeable future. So buy the best Shaq rookie cards with confidence knowing that the big man’s credentials aren’t going anywhere and neither is the appeal of his collectibles! 10/10
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