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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2018 National Treasures Rookie Materials Signatures Shohei Ohtani Auto /99

Watchers: 110  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $2050
Auction Ends: 24-Feb-2024 03:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2024 Topps Series 1 Shohei Ohtani #250 SSSP DODGERS Photo Variation. RARE!!

Watchers: 109  
# of Bids: 30
Current Bid: $439
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 00:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2020 Topps Sterling Shohei Ohtani 2018 Relic Patch Auto PSA 10 Gem Mint TRUE 1/1

Watchers: 94  
# of Bids: 47
Current Bid: $1844
Auction Ends: 25-Feb-2024 02:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Topps Tier One Mike Trout Shohei Ohtani Dual Auto Autograph #12/25 Angels

Watchers: 91  
# of Bids: 38
Current Bid: $1689
Auction Ends: 22-Feb-2024 03:02
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HUGE IMMACULATE ROOKIE PATCH AUTO PRIZM PSA GRADED SP SPORTS CARD COLLECTION LOT

Watchers: 90  
# of Bids: 30
Current Bid: $449
Auction Ends: 25-Feb-2024 02:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2024 Topps Series 1 SHOHEI OHTANI Reverence Autograph Patch Card Red Parallel /5

Watchers: 88  
# of Bids: 25
Current Bid: $800
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 02:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Topps Diamond Icons Mike Trout/Shohei Ohtani Dual Auto Relic Red 5/5

Watchers: 88  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $830
Auction Ends: 27-Feb-2024 03:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Topps Diamond Icons Baseball Shohei Ohtani/Nolan Ryan Dual Auto Relic /10

Watchers: 84  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $842
Auction Ends: 23-Feb-2024 03:02
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2024 Topps Series 1 #89BA -SO Shohei Ohtani Gold Autograph Redemption Card

Watchers: 82  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $430
Auction Ends: 24-Feb-2024 21:02
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Shohei Ohtani 2024 Topps Series 1 Heavy Lumber Relic Auto SSP Case Hit!

Watchers: 80  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $918
Auction Ends: 23-Feb-2024 00:02
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4941 SHOHEI OHTANI 2022 Topps Chrome Black Gold Refractor Auto 11/50 PSA 10

Watchers: 74  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $960
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 03:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Shohei Ohtani On Card Auto 2023 Topps Chrome Black 27/50 Encased

Watchers: 70  
# of Bids: 36
Current Bid: $851
Auction Ends: 24-Feb-2024 00:02
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2023 Topps Luminaries Shohei Ohtani Masters of the Mound Auto /15 Angels Dodgers

Watchers: 70  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $565
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 01:02
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2023 Topps Series 1 Mike Trout / Shohei Ohtani Dual Auto 6/10 Angels

Watchers: 69  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $785
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 03:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Xfractor RC MVP DODGERS

Watchers: 69  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $118.5
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 00:02
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2018 Topps Chrome Xfractor Shohei Ohtani 150

Watchers: 69  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $309
Auction Ends: 22-Feb-2024 05:02
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2023 Topps Diamond Icons Baseball Shohei Ohtani Diamond Icons Auto /15

Watchers: 68  
# of Bids: 24
Current Bid: $945
Auction Ends: 23-Feb-2024 03:02
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2023 Topps Luminaries Shohei Ohtani Masters of the Mound Auto Blue /5 Angels

Watchers: 67  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $1009.99
Auction Ends: 22-Feb-2024 02:02
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2020 Topps Archives 1960 Mike Trout Shohei Ohtani /20 PSA/DNA 9 DUAL AUTO PSA 10

Watchers: 66  
# of Bids: 36
Current Bid: $1175
Auction Ends: 27-Feb-2024 04:02
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2018 Topps With Bat #700 Shohei Ohtani SSP RC Rookie Gem Mint PSA 10

Watchers: 66  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $212.5
Auction Ends: 27-Feb-2024 04:02
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2018 Panini Immaculate #37 Shohei Ohtani RPA Rookie Patch Auto #ed 26/99 3 Color

Watchers: 65  
# of Bids: 37
Current Bid: $1509
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 02:02
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2023 Topps Diamond Icons Shohei Ohtani Dual Relic AUTO On Card #2/10 🔥🔥

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 33
Current Bid: $660
Auction Ends: 29-Feb-2024 05:02
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Shohei Ohtani 2018 Topps Finest Mystery Redemption Auto /99 #FMR-1 BGS 9 MINT

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 42
Current Bid: $2550
Auction Ends: 26-Feb-2024 03:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Chrome #150 Shohei Ohtani Prism Refractor RC BGS 10 Pristine (POP 21)

Watchers: 60  
# of Bids: 25
Current Bid: $595
Auction Ends: 01-Mar-2024 02:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani Green Refractor 55/99

Watchers: 59  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $2850
Auction Ends: 22-Feb-2024 02:02
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)