Will Clark rookie cards have done their slow-burn dance into hobby lore over past four decades or so.

That’s not to say that The Thrill wasn’t ballyhooed when he entered the major leagues in 1986 or that he didn’t pretty much live up to his promise.

It’s just that, right off the bat (zing!), Clark was overshadowed by guys who were bashing home runs and winning awards — Wally Joyner, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, followed up by Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and all the other bombers of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

All along the way, Clark just kept swinging that sweet left-handed stick of his, developing a reputation as an old-school, hard-nosed guy who played the game the right way … and Will Clark rookie cards built their swagger right along with the man.

And, while Clark posted modest power number for a marquee first baseman and fell short of most standard Hall of Fame “counting” numbers, the fact is, he finished his career with more than 2100 hits and 56+ WAR, leaving him as something like the 27th greatest first sacker of all time.

It was a crying shame that he fell off the Cooperstown ballot after one try (in 2006), but he may still get some love from the Eras Committees before all is said and done.

As things stand, Clark already gets plenty of love from collectors, with diehard Giants and Thrill fans building out their PCs to this day.

And, of course, it’s the Will Clark rookie cards that have become hobby classics right alongside those of the big(ger) boppers. Here is a complete rundown of those RCs of the man they call “The Natural.”

(Note: The following sections contain affiliate links to Amazon and eBay listings for the cards being discussed.)

1986 Donruss ‘The Rookies’ Will Clark (#32)

1986 Donruss 'The Rookies' Will Clark

Clark was’t the main focus of this set when it was issued — that honor went to Wally Joyner, Jose Canseco, and (to a lesser extent) Bo Jackson.

These days, though, Clark’s debut Donruss card pushes Barry Bonds and Bo for supremacy among the first-ever “The Rookies” set.

Value: $15-20

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1986 Fleer Update Will Clark (#U-25)

1986 Fleer Update Will Clark

With no Bo Jackson to spur on collector imaginations, Fleer relied on its first solo Jose Canseco card — and Will Clark — to carry their 1986 Update set.

Today, the first Barry Bonds Fleer card leads the pack, pricewise, by a fair bit, but the Clark RC is still a hobby favorite.

Value: $15-25

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1986 Topps Traded Will Clark (#24T)

1986 Topps Traded Will Clark

As with the other late-year update sets that fall, 1986 Topps Traded was jam-packed with first (Topps) cards from one of the most exciting rookie classes in recent memory.

But, even among Jose Canseco, Wally Joyner,

Value: $15-20

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1987 Donruss Will Clark (#66)

1987 Donruss Will Clark

Clark didn’t rate a Rated Rookie slot from Donruss in either 1986 or 1987, but he graced them with a big, cockeyed smile, anyway. That shot of the young Giants star, in his batting helmet and in front of the batting cage, has become an iconic hobby image.

Add in the fabled black borders of 1987 Donruss, and you have an all-time collector favorite.

Value: $10-15

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1987 Fleer Will Clark (#269)

1987 Fleer Will Clark

If the image on Clark’s famous 1987 Fleer rookie card looks familiar, it just might be because it’s a close cousin of the on Donruss used on their own Clark RC — batting helmet, lopsided smile, chain link fencing in the background.

Just an eighth turn to the left or right, and you transition from one hobbby classic to the other.

Heck, both cards even have love-’em-or-hate-’em distinctive borders!

Either way, when the topic of 1987 Fleer comes up, there’s a better than even chance THIS is the card that pops to mind first for most collectors, and it’s generally tougher to come by than Donruss or the others on this list.

Value: $10-15

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1987 Leaf Will Clark (#144)

1987 Leaf Will Clark

Same exact card as Clark’s Donruss RC, except for the big Leaf logo replacing Big D’s, and with French text added to the card back.

The Canadian parallel to Donruss, 1987 Leaf contained only 264 cards in total, which also led to the rejiggered numbers. And, as with most Canadian version, production runs were smaller, rendering this among Clark’s more scarce rookie cards (though still plenty available today, and probably not in 1987 Fleer’s league).

Value: $10-15

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1987 O-Pee-Chee Will Clark (#361)

1987 O-Pee-Chee Will Clark

At 396 cards, the 1987 O-Pee-Chee baseball card set is half the size of its Topps counterpart, but young Will Clark made the cut.

As is typical, this Canadian version displays the same iconic photo as the base Topps card, with bilingual (English & French) backs and generally better cardstock.

Arguably not as popular as its Topps cousin, the Clark OPC rookie card is still a collector favorite.

Value: $20-30

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1987 Topps Will Clark (#420)

1987 Topps Will Clark

Like just about every card on this list, the base Clark Topps rookie card has become a hobby classic.

Overshadowed by the guys who made huge waves as rookies and during the bash years — Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Bo Jackson, Barry Bonds, Wally Joyner, etc. — this card still makes veteran collector hearts flutter and still commands solid prices in today’s market.

Value: $15-20

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

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3 1986 Topps Traded WILL CLARK Rookie Cards #24T NM-MT

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