Why Shaq Rookie Cards Are Blowing Up!

Why Shaq Rookie Cards Are Blowing Up!

Hi everyone, here is another great article from card community member Al "CheshBreaks" Caynes on the recent rise of Shaq rookies.

Have you got a knack for writing and want to submit a blog to us? Send your blog ideas to c.oxley@cherrycollectables.com.au and we'll get started!

Charlie @ Team Cherry

For so long, many of us looked at Shaq rookie cards and said “yeah but there is like a MILLION out there, I'll get one to grade eventually”.

Then we said “Huh. The price is going up a little. COVID must be responsible I guess?”. Finally we woke up and exclaimed “STOP THE BOAT! LET ME ON!” as the world finally had a moment to stop and think on it, and we woke up to a world where there are 1k plus Shaq Rookie Cards, and they keep going UP.

The Market Is On The Rise

Its not just Shaq rookies we are seeing a massive flux on. It’s possibly a flow on effect from the massive press coverage on the recent two gem mint Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer rookie cards in PSA 10 that sold for $738,000 each, the highest amount ever paid for a Jordan rookie. It stands to reason that retro cards would start going up, even ones from the modern retro era would start to gain value as more cardboard lovers and investors returned to the hobby.

The Dominator

Shaq came in to the NBA on fire, an aggressive machine with the power of a bull and the speed of a cheetah, he was a sight to behold. Watch him dunk on anyone who got in his way, and the only way to stop him?

Get him on that free throw line.

After he moved on to the Lakers, he was still in fine form and watching him and Kobe do their thing was unbelievable, what a time to be alive!

But you know what?

If Jordan hadn't come out of retirement, Shaquille O'Neal would likely be considered the GOAT now. 😳 


4 NBA titles, 3 finals MVP, 1 regular season MVP and FIFTEEN ALL-STAR GAMES should have made Shaq the GOAT. However, he never really increased his skill set - it was incredibly limited. He was skilled as heck, but just look at those free throws. His playing weight decision was a bad move. The added weight affected his defence on the court and when you compare his early with later career, you see it's much along the lines of Shawn Kemp.

Shaq Rookies To Grab Now

1992 Topps #362 gold

1992 Topps #362 and parallel TOPPS GOLD (shown)
Admittedly, I missed the boat on this card very badly, and maybe you have too. The base is considered his first ever rookie, the image looks like he is about to receive the ball, using that massive height to just smash it on down.

Good luck getting these in good raw ungraded condition, we all slept on the wharf.

1992 Topps Archives #150

1992 Topps Archives #150
The big man with the HUGE slam. These were prone to printing lines, so nabbing them in good condition can be hard, however I'm a massive fan of the swooping “#1 draft pick” foil design on the front of the card.

The most boring picture with the best base design, 1992 Ultra #328
The cool marble aqua name plate, the gold foiling, this card had it all. Except the dodgy block photo, let's be honest. If this were that MONSTER two handed dunk? This would be THE chase rookie card.

1992 Ultra All-Rookie #7 shaq

1992 Ultra All-Rookie #7
The All Rookie set was, simply put, a gorgeous insert design. The hardwood floor mixed with the almost bank of TV screens at the back made this one of the hottest inserts of its day.

1992 Stadium Club Beam Team #21

1992 Stadium Club Beam Team #21
SHAQ is going up for one MONSTER dunk and as much as I love him dunking, this card looks sweet! This is the ONLY year I feel that Topps got the Beam Team insert set right.

1992 Ultra Rejectors #4 shaq

1992 Ultra Rejectors #4
SHAQ with those massive hands just swatting the ball like a fly is just such a cool image on this card.

1992 shaq upper deck rooke card #1

My Favourite Shaq - 1992 Upper Deck #1/A/B Draft Card/Redemption

The draft redemption was very hard to redeem from Australia, and as such was extremely rare here until the internet age. This is by far the coolest rookie card ever with three images imposed showing Shaq dunking from start to finish.

The redemption was in series 1 (the redeemed card reads TRADE CARD on the front). The rookie was then also printed in series two. Here's a little secret, the base in series two was a short print, then there is the Italian white border that is even SHORTER print.

I swear I don't go out of my way to favour Upper Deck, but the UD Draft triple dunk card is the most appealing to me, the image was something you would expect on an insert, but apparently not everyone agrees.

What's your favourite Shaq rookie?

Want more top card blogs? Read LaMeloJordanZionLuka, and Kobe.

Wanna read more about card culture? Read why the hobby is stronger than ever and whats a true rookie card?

-Al “CheshBreaks” Caynes

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Collin Metcalfe - February 25, 2021

The Skybox Draft pick card (DP1)has a unique photo. Also the skybox head of the class redemption featuring the top 6 draft picks on a two sided card.

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