So, do you take your Shohei Ohtani rookie cards on the mound, or in the batter’s box?

The good news is, you don’t have to choose!

The “bad” news, if you can call it that, is that Ohtani rookie cards are among the hottest in the entire hobby, so they won’t come cheaply.

But, what else would you expect from the most unusual (and likely unique) baseball talent that any of us have ever encountered … right?

Almost from the time “Shotime” was selected by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters with their first pick of the 2012 NPB Draft, the hurler/slugger/brain-bender has turned heads and had fans everywhere wondering what was coming next.

In Japan, what was next was a successful run as a starting pitcher and star hitter, an All-Star, and an MVP.

And then, in 2017, “what’s next” became whispers that the Fighters might post him for bidding by Major League Baseball teams … and then it happened.

The Los Angeles Angels won that bidding war, signing Ohtani for a $2.315 million bonus, in addition to the $20 million posting fee they paid to the Fighters.

That was in December of 2017, which set off a frenzy of speculation about what Ohtani would do in the majors — pitch or hit … or *gulp* could he continue to do both?

While we all tried to fathom the possibilities, the hobby turned to the avalanche of Japanese issues featuring Ohtani, jumpstarting prices and building excitement for what still lay ahead.

That question had a pretty quick answer, as Ohtani broke camp with the Halos in 2018, started at designated hitter on Opening Day, and then took the mound for the first time in the bigs on April 1, drawing the start and going six innings.

By then — or soon after — Topps and Panini had fired up their rookie-card machinery for the young righthander (and left-handed batter), with several Topps, Panini, and Bowman Ohtani “official” rookie cards hitting the market by the end of the calendar year.

Despite an elbow injury suffered during that season that eventually required Tommy John surgery, Ohtani still managed to crank 22 home runs and drive in 61 runs while batting .285 … and while going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA on the mound!

Amazing stuff, and enough to cop the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year award.

His cards were flying off dealer shelves (real and virtual), and, again, we all waited for what came next.

Ohtani didn’t pitch at all in 2019 while his elbow recovered, but he did take the box in 106 games, smacking another 18 dingers.

Then, after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Ohtani entered 2021 more or less fully healthy and in his prime, and it showed.

In 155 games, he tagged 46 home runs and drove in an even 100 runs, tacking on 26 stolen bases and 103 runs scored for good measure.

Oh yeah — he also made 23 starts, going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA while striking out 156 batters in 130 1/3 innings.

It was a bonkers combined performance that added up to more than nine WAR (Baseball Reference version), an All-Star berth as both a hitter and a pitcher, and the A.L. Most Valuable Player award.

As you might imagine, and as you’ve no doubt experienced, all of that ridiculous play has continued to do wonders for Ohtani’s RCs.

As evidence of that, take a look at the list below of the hottest, most watched Shohei Ohtani rookie cards on eBay right now — and come back soon, because we update these goodies often.

Also: Check out the rest of our series listing the Hottest Baseball Cards on eBay.

(NOTE: The section below contains affiliate links to eBay listings for the card shown.)

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🔥2008 Topps Sterling YOGI BERRA Quad Jersey Relic Patch Bat Auto Autograph /10

Watchers: 71  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $105.5
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2022 03:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI 2021 TOPPS DYNASTY SILVER AUTO AUTOGRAPH PATCH #2/5 ANGELS

Watchers: 70  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $870
Auction Ends: 02-Dec-2022 17:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 SHOHEI OHTANI Topps Chrome Sapphire Rookie RC BGS 10 Pristine

Watchers: 69  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $1025
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 04:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2007 Topps Sterling BOB GIBSON TRIPLE Jersey Relic Patch Bat Auto Autograph /10

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $43
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2022 03:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2017 Bowman Chrome Shohei Otani Rookie Card PSA 10!

Watchers: 62  
# of Bids: 39
Current Bid: $465
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 00:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

OHTANI ICHIRO MATSUI 2022 TOPPS LUMINARIES PURPLE BOOKLET TRIPLE AUTO 3/3

Watchers: 59  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $600
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 02:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 SHOHEI OHTANI Topps Chrome Sapphire Rookie RC PSA 10 Gem mint

Watchers: 54  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $1000
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2022 04:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2019 Heritage Chrome Shohei Ohtani Purple Refractor Rookie BGS 10 BLACK LABEL

Watchers: 51  
# of Bids: 25
Current Bid: $464
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2022 03:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2022 Topps Chrome Cosmic Shohei Ohtani Orange Refractor #7/25 SSP Angels 📈

Watchers: 50  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $36
Auction Ends: 03-Dec-2022 03:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Shohei Ohtani Photo Variation SSP Super Short Print Rookie RC #700

Watchers: 48  
# of Bids: 19
Current Bid: $247.5
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 02:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

🔥2021 Topps Museum ROBERTO CLEMENTE Quad Game Used Bat Patch Relic Pirates /25

Watchers: 47  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $142.5
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2022 03:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Pitching Rookie Card #150 PSA 10 GEM MT Angels

Watchers: 46  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $56
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 02:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Donruss Optic Shohei Ohtani Batting Rated Rookie Auto RC #RRS-SO Angels

Watchers: 43  
# of Bids: 40
Current Bid: $99
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2022 03:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2022 Topps Cosmic Chrome Shohei Ohtani Auto Variation !!! Angels

Watchers: 43  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $390
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 02:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI 1/1 AUTO ANGELS LOGO JERSEY PATCH PLATE 2019 IMMACULATE AUTOGRAPH

Watchers: 43  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $600
Auction Ends: 02-Dec-2022 04:12
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2021 National Treasures MLB 15/25 Shohei Ohtani Acetate Patch Auto On Card

Watchers: 42  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $455
Auction Ends: 02-Dec-2022 06:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Topps Cosmic Chrome Shohei Ohtani Orange Refractor Auto 08/25 SSP CCA-SO

Watchers: 40  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $700
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 03:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2022 Topps Definitive Framed Collection Shohei Ohtani Angels AUTO /25 PSA 9 MINT

Watchers: 40  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $280
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2022 04:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2011 PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT 1ST BOWMAN CHROME RC ROOKIE CARD FLAWLESS PSA 10 NL MVP ?

Watchers: 38  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $66
Auction Ends: 05-Dec-2022 04:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)