One of my favorite sports discussions is the Hall of Fame. A lot of time can be spent debating the merits of those selected, those left out, and most importantly, those who may be headed there some day. This article will address the last of these with an analysis of current baseball players who are on track to someday be elected to Cooperstown. It will also include a recommended prospect or rookie card for each player mentioned.
Before we get started, here are a couple of ground rules. First, only active players are part of this list. Ichiro Suzuki will be a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2025, but because he is retired, I did not include him here. In addition, I focused on players with at least 3 seasons of Major League experience. As fantastic as Ronald Acuna Jr., Juan Soto and Gleyber Torres seem to be, we do not have enough of a sample size to project Hall of Fame careers for these exciting young players. Therefore, you will not see some of the young stars here.
Finally, a word on the recommended cards. These are not necessarily the most expensive or most popular prospect or rookie cards for the projected Hall of Famer. Rather, I tried to focus on cards that with a little luck, patience and budgeting can be aspired to by the average collector. For example, the 2009 Bowman Chrome 1/1 Mike Trout Super Refractor is highly sought after and extremely expensive, but it is unlikely that anyone reading this will ever have a chance to buy it. As a result, recommending a card of that type is not particularly useful. With that said, away we go with the third and final part of the list…
Recommended Card: 2010 Bowman Chrome #BCP137
Altuve is one of the best pure hitters of his generation. In eight full seasons with the Astros, Altuve has led the league in hits 4 times. In addition, he has been selected to 6 All-Star teams and won an MVP. It remains to be seen if the taint of his team’s sign-stealing scandal has an impact on his cards. For the long-term investors out there, something to think about is that if Altuve plays until he is 45 years-old, he will be in reach of Pete Rose’s all-time Major League hit record. This is unlikely, but fun to consider.
A word of caution about the recommended card. I have bought and sold several of these over the years, and for some reason this card seems to have centering issues. Condition is important in any sports card purchase but pay special attention to centering before you buy this card.