Top 10 Shohei Ohtani RCs and More
What a time to be alive in the days of Shohei Ohtani, the pride of Oshu, Iwate, Japan, and the generational talent redefining baseball with a swagger all his own. Slide to the left, Babe Ruth, because in Baseball 3.0, Shotime is the electrifying prodigy captivating a new generation of fans while stamping his name next to a host of records with two-way exploits never before seen. From wicked curveballs to gravity-defying moonshots, he’s a one-person show that keeps casual fans and enthusiasts glued to their TVs. Ohtani’s not just rewriting history; he’s breaking the internet with his mind-blowing exploits, leaving us all in disbelief. While we enjoy a living legend, let’s explore valuable cards from The Show’s newest face.
2017 MLB TOPPS NOW® Off-Season #OS-80 Shohei Ohtani
Topps jumped on the Ohtani train as soon as it left the station, dropping the 2017 MLB TOPPS NOW® Off-Season #OS-80 Shohei Ohtani, the slugger’s first card in an Angels uniform. Dig this. The release was only available for 24 hours, selling 17,323 copies – which set a TOPPS NOW® record at the time.
2018 Angels TOPPS NOW® Road to Opening Day Shohei Ohtani
As Spring Training commenced in 2018, Topps unleashed a thrilling series of team sets, focusing on the calm before the season’s storm. In the Angels’ team set, the towering titan Ohtani appears not once but twice. On his card, we see the 6-foot-4, 210-pound dynamo by his lonesome. On another, he finds himself alongside the legendary Mike Trout, forming a classic LA duo as talented as Dr. Dre and Snoop. It’s the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Couldn’t keep the reference in the bag.
Topps Project70® Card 547 Shohei Ohtani by Keith Shore
Keith Shore is the illustrator and Art Director who created the Harry and Sally characters for the beer brand Mikkeller. He’s been an essential part of the Topps Project70® project, and this was one of his best. I cannot stress enough how cool the Topps Project70® cards are; this Ohtani joint is no different. Kinda aks for a list of the coolest Topps Project70® cards, eh?
2018 Bowman Chrome® Gold Refractor® #BCRASO Shohei Ohtani Auto RC/50
The 2018 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor #BCRASO Shohei Ohtani Auto RC/50 has all the makings of an important card. From the on-card auto to the RC designation, it’s #’d to 50, Chrome, and a Gold Refractor to boot; this is a rare gem that instantly makes any collection special. Oh, and he was the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year—another boost to a legendary card.
2018 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor #SO Shohei Ohtani Auto RC
The mystique that lies with the previous card also applies to the 2018 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor #SO Shohei Ohtani Auto RC. But here we have an orange refractor and a print run that ends at 25 – a rare card of a generational ace who already has three All-Star appearances, two Edgar Martinez Awards, an AL Rookie of the Year, MVP honors, and several sensational pitching outings on his resume as of 2023.
2018 MLB® Topps Living Set® #7 Shohei Ohtani
One of the most fantastic aspects of Topps Living Set® is that players are only supposed to appear in it once unless they change teams. The beloved brand wasted no time releasing an Ohtani special in the third week of the Living Set’s existence. The card sold 20,996 copies in its first week, rivaling many musicians’ first-week record sales – another testament to the hype surrounding Ohtani. Watching him live up to expectations and fill up stadiums like Queen Bey is mind-boggling.
2023 World Baseball Classic TOPPS NOW® #WBC71 Shohei Ohtani Strikes Out Mike Trout
We all want to see Big on Big in sport’s finest moments. The world saw what that looked like when Ohtani faced off against teammate Mike Trout in the final inning of the 2023 World Baseball Classic Championship Game. With Japan clinging to a 3-2 lead over the US, the multi-time All-Star sat down teammate and future Hall of Famer Mike Trout, striking him out to clinch the victory for Japan. “If you were going to write a script, I was hoping it was going to go our way with Mikey popping [a homer] against Ohtani,” USA manager Mark DeRosa said. “But like I said, the baseball world – this thing is real. The WBC’s real. The whole world got to see Ohtani come in in a big spot, battling. It’s kind of how it was kind of scripted.”
Topps Project70® Shohei Ohtani by Quiccs
Quiccs captured the remarkable Shohei Ohtani in his Topps Project70® card, highlighting him as a pitcher and slugger. While we could delve into the artistic design, we’re focusing on the impressive stats for this one: As of August 3, 2023, Ohtani leads the majors in drawn walks (68), dingers (39), triples (seven), and on-base percentage (.408), while also topping the Angels in strikeouts (156) and wins (nine), with the team’s lowest ERA (3.43). The world has never seen anything like this future Hall of Famer, also known as Ohtani.
2013 BBM Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters #FO2B Shohei Ohtani RC
Ohtani flashed onto the scene in Japan’s 2013 baseball season like a comet, making his debut at age 18 with the Fighters, pitching and playing right field. He quickly became a phenomenon by finishing the season with a 3-0 record in pitching, rocking a 4.23 ERA, and hitting a respectable .238 at the plate. He even achieved the rare feat of starting a game as a pitcher and batting in the heart of the order, something not seen since the 1950s in NPB. Though he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, his unprecedented debut season was a jaw-dropping preview of the superstar he was destined to become.
2013 BBM Hokkaido Ham Fighters #F83 Shohei Ohtani RC
In 2012, an 18-year-old Shohei Ohtani became a sensation with a 99.4mph (160km/h) fastball, drawing comparisons to superhero feats while playing for Hanamaki Higashi High. This record-breaking pitch caught the eyes of NPB and MLB scouts alike, making him the Luke Skywalker of baseball’s rising stars. Although he had his sights set on America after the U-18 World Championships, every Japanese team passed on him—except the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. The rest is history, and this card is a throwback to his rookie season in Japan in 2013.
2023 MLB TOPPS NOW® #750 Elly De La Cruz/Shohei Ohtani
On August 23, 2023, baseball fans were treated to a clash of titans. The face of The Big Leagues, Shohei Ohtani and his Angels went head-to-head with one of the game’s rising stars, Elly De La Cruz, and the Reds in a doubleheader. Though the Reds took home wins in both games, individual brilliance was the order of the day. In the first game, Ohtani showcased his power with his 44th homer of the season, while De La Cruz lit up the field, hitting a home run and racking up 6 RBIs. Both stars recorded a hit in Game 2, wrapping up a day filled with highlights and primetime moments.