Ichiro Joins Elite Company – Buy Now

Ichiro Suzuki matched Willie Keeler’s major league record of eight straight 200-hit seasons last night. That’s a pretty remarkable feat, no matter how Ichiro hits them.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this Japanese phenom when he first entered the league, but he has been nothing short of great. On a team that failed expectations miserably this year, he just continues to produce – out of the spotlight.

And because of his hit record, I asked Joe Clemens, Sports Collectors Monthly’s baseball card pricing analyst, to pull some rookie card prices for me on Ichiro. As you can see, these prices range from the high-end to affordable. I wonder, do the Japanese jump on sports memorabilia as much as collectors in the U.S.?

Here are some values for Ichiro rookie cards:
2001 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #120, $1,800.  
“I guess its obvious that this is his best rookie card judging by the crazy price. It’s autgraphed and serial numbered to 250.” – Joe Clemens

2001 SPX #150, $750.
“This one is also autographed and has a jersey swatch, too.” – Joe Clemens

2001 Bowman Chrome #351, $80.

Peter Gammons said Ichiro is on a straight path to the Hall of Fame. He’s have to play awhile to reach the vaunted 3,000-hit club (while on U.S. soil; he has 3,000 combined hits from Japan and Seattle). But maybe he doesn’t need that many to prove that, while here, he was among the best in the game.

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