The 1995 Best baseball card set is best known (no pun intended) for an early rookie card of Hall of Fame slugger Vladimir Guerrero. But, there is a Nomar Garciaparra card in the set, too. While not considered an official rookie card, it is a popular card among Nomar card collectors. It is far from being the “Best” (pun very intended), but it’s a solid minor league issue nonetheless.
The card features a young Garciaparra playing for the Trenton Thunder, then affiliated with the Red Sox. It depicts the shortstop in the middle of a throw to first base. It’s a decent action shot and not a bad card at all. Best may not be considered a top brand, but for affordable early cards of future All Stars, the Best sets are worth checking out.
While this card doesn’t fetch much raw or even professionally graded PSA 9, the Gem Mint PSA 10 copies are fairly scarce. They’re hard enough to find that sellers have posted them with an asking price of about $35 as recently as November 2019. However, those prices aren’t backed up with recent sales, making that number nowhere near an actual representation of this card’s market.
So, unless you have a raw copy you want to risk sending to PSA for the perfect 10, if you just want to collect, it’s best to just pick up a cheap PSA 9 and call it a day. This card moves often enough at auction, but not in top grade, and for significantly less than $10. That’s the minimum it would cost you to grade a copy on your own. However, a PSA 10 graded example is fairly valuable if you manage to get a good deal on one.
This card would be borderline investment-grade if it had more of an active sales history. So, it’s not a top Nomar Garciaparra rookie card. Also, while some cards from the Best sets have sold well, this isn’t one of them. Nonetheless, if you’re a serious Red Sox or Nomar Garciaparra collector, you may want this card in your collection.
(Graded population as of September 2020)
PSA Population Report: 761 total graded, 123 PSA 10 Gem Mint
BGS Population Report: 121 total graded, 28 BGS 9.5 Gem Mint