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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SHOHEI OHTANI BGS 9.5 2018 TOPPS DYNASTY ROOKIE GAME USED PATCH AUTO 05/10 RC

Watchers: 179  
# of Bids: 41
Current Bid: $4950
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 02:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI 2018 TOPPS TRANSCENDENT 1987 ROOKIE AUTO AUTOGRAPH 1/1 ANGELS RC

Watchers: 154  
# of Bids: 54
Current Bid: $5601
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 02:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI PSA 10 2023 TOPPS DYNASTY SPECIAL EVENT WBC LEATHER AUTO 4/5 POP1

Watchers: 151  
# of Bids: 35
Current Bid: $4571
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 01:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Angels RC Rookie PSA 10 PSA/DNA 10 AUTO

Watchers: 147  
# of Bids: 39
Current Bid: $9700
Auction Ends: 19-Jun-2024 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Inception Shohei Ohtani Rookie 3 Color Patch /99 BGS 9.5 AUTO 10 GEM

Watchers: 106  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $3150
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 02:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Gold Label Shohei Ohtani Angels Framed Auto RC P/DH

Watchers: 104  
# of Bids: 35
Current Bid: $2125
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 01:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2022 Topps Dynasty Vladimir Guerrero Jr NIKE Logo Jersey Patch Auto SSP 1/1 RARE

Watchers: 103  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $295
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 02:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2014 Bowman Chrome Mookie Betts 1st Bowman Prospect Auto RC Rookie SSP PSA 9 🔥

Watchers: 91  
# of Bids: 34
Current Bid: $811
Auction Ends: 19-Jun-2024 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2022 Topps Five Star Aaron Judge Jersey Patch Auto Gold #10/10 SSP 1/1 Yankees

Watchers: 91  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $620
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 02:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Update US1 Shohei Ohtani Rookie Batting SSP RC *PSA 10 GEM MINT

Watchers: 86  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $510
Auction Ends: 20-Jun-2024 02:06
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2024 Topps Series 2 Shohei Ohtani Team Color Border #500 Dodgers SP

Watchers: 84  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $102.27
Auction Ends: 20-Jun-2024 01:06
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2020 Topps Chrome Yordan Alvarez ORANGE REFRACTOR SSP /25 Rookie RC Auto PSA 9

Watchers: 82  
# of Bids: 19
Current Bid: $305
Auction Ends: 19-Jun-2024 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Shohei Ohtani Signed " SHO TIME " 2018 Topps Heritage Real One RC BGS 9 AUTO 9

Watchers: 79  
# of Bids: 60
Current Bid: $3850
Auction Ends: 19-Jun-2024 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 TOPPS CHROME RONALD ACUNA RC AUTO TRUE BLUE REFRACTOR #/150 FLAWLESS PSA 10

Watchers: 76  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $1050
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 03:06
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2024 TOPPS SHOHEI OHTANI 1/1 SUPERFRACTOR STARS OF MLB ONE OF 1 DODGERS SERIES 2

Watchers: 71  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $960
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 15:06
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2023 Topps Chrome Black Shohei Ohtani Auto BGS 9 Auto 10 MINT

Watchers: 70  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $455
Auction Ends: 19-Jun-2024 23:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2024 Topps Archives Signature Series Ken Griffey Jr. HOF Auto 1/1 REDS SP

Watchers: 69  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $167.5
Auction Ends: 20-Jun-2024 00:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2019 Topps Chrome SHOHEI OHTANI #250 RC Cup RED REFRACTOR /5 RARE (1/5) C1075

Watchers: 64  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $252
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2024 01:06
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SHOHEI OHTANI 2018 Topps Series 2 Gold /2018 RC Rookie #700 DODGERS ANGELS 🔥

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $197.5
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 02:06
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Shohei Ohtani Signed OML Shotime 2021 AL MVP Baseball AUTO Fanatics w/ Case

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 54
Current Bid: $2900
Auction Ends: 19-Jun-2024 02:06
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2021 Onyx Premium Shohei Ohtani Black Foil KANJI /5 BGS 9.5 AUTO 10 POP 1

Watchers: 62  
# of Bids: 41
Current Bid: $4400
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 02:06
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SHOHEI OHTANI 2024 Bowman 1955 Anime Refractor SSP Case Hit #BA-2 Dodgers PSA 10

Watchers: 61  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $355
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 02:06
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2022 TOPPS COSMIC CHROME AUTO #CCA-SO SHOHEI OHTANI BLACK /10*

Watchers: 60  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $345
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 20:06
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Shohei Ohtani 2024 Topps Series 2 1989 Gold Crackle Foil /50 SSP LA Dodgers

Watchers: 55  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $162.5
Auction Ends: 19-Jun-2024 01:06
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2018 Topps Series 2 Gold Card #700 Shohei Ohtani /2018 RC Rookie 🔥Dodgers

Watchers: 54  
# of Bids: 10
Current Bid: $122.5
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 21:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)