Although Wander Franco rookie cards technically didn’t hit the hobby until 2022, the truth is, the Rays’ young phenom has been the subject of intense collector buzz — and spending — since Tampa Bay signed him as an amateur back in 2017 … when he was just 16 years old!
Well, almost, that is — we all had to wait until 2018 for Franco’s first prospect cards to show up, but we were ready to snatch them up as soon as they saw the light of day. And, with more than 450 different Franco cards issued before his official RCs hit the mainstream in 2022, there was, and is, plenty to choose from.
It’s a good thing, too, because Franco himself has done little to stem collector or fan enthusiasm since making his professional debut late in 2018. In parts of four seasons in the Rays’ minor league system, Franco never once hit below .313, got on base at a healthy clip, and slugged north of .500 in all but one campaign (when he still managed .487).
And, though, Franco didn’t make his debut until late June in 2021, he still finished third in balloting for the American League Rookie of the Year Award (behind teammate Randy Arozarena and Houston Astros starter Luis Garcia).
Franco also plays a premium position (shortstop) to high acclaim and entered the 2022 season at just 21 years of age.
For his efforts, and his enormous potential, the Rays rewarded Franco with a contract extension in the offseason following his rookie season, locking him up through 2033 for a healthy six-figure sum.
All along the way, collectors have grown more enamored with the young superstar, too, and pushed all his cards — rookie cards, prospect cards, “scout” cards — toward the top of the hobby hierarchy. Hardly a week goes by when Franco is not among the top-selling baseball cards on eBay, pulling down the type of hefty sums that were once reserved for the bona fide legends of the game (Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Buddy Biancalana, etc.).
Franco may be well on his way to joining that rarefied grouping of Hall of Fame players, but the good news is, we have years to find out and to enjoy his special talents on the field.
And we also have years of Wander Franco baseball cards in front of us. Won’t it be a blast to watch those stat lines fill in over the decades and see where they end up?
For now, we can jump in and enjoy the show as follow below the the most watched Wander Franco rookie cards on eBay right now — and come back soon, because we update these goodies often.