Hank Aaron Rookie Cards
One card usually comes to the minds of collectors when thinking about the Hank Aaron rookie card and that is the 1954 Topps card #128. However, that isn’t the only Hank Aaron rookie card in existence. There were a few other Hank Aaron cards released in1954, but they are somewhat obscure and aren’t nearly as popular or well known as the ’54 Topps rookie. In this article we’ll discuss them all and another significant vintage Hank Aaron card.
1954 Topps Hank Aaron #128
The 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card #128 is one of the best cards of the late 1950s and is also the most valuable rookie card in the set. That is saying a lot, considering the set also features the rookie cards of Al Kaline and Ernie Banks. Hank Aaron achieved baseball immortality when he broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing home run record of 714 on April 08, 1974. “Hammering Hank,” as he was called, finished his career with 755 home runs and held the record until it was broken by Barry Bonds thirty-three years later.
Many people consider Aaron to be one of the ten best baseball players ever, but a lot of people still underrate him. He posted incredible numbers in every offensive category, including monster marks in runs batted in (RBIs) (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477), and total bases (6,856). You would expect his cards to be highly collectible, but other factors increase the collectability and value of his rookie card:
- The ‘True’ Home Run King: Barry Bonds topped Hank Aaron’s home run mark in 2007, but rumors of steroid use have haunted Bonds. For this reason, many people still consider Hank Aaron to be the ‘true’ home run king. Collectibles hold their value better for retired players if something keeps them in the conversation. The controversy around Barry Bond’s career ensures that Hank Aaron is relevant to and known by younger fans.
- Pre-Collectability: Baseball cards are viewed as collectibles today, but that wasn’t always the case. In the 1950s many people didn’t realize how valuable baseball cards would become. In 1954 a Hank Aaron rookie card faced many possible fates. Kids put cards in their bicycle wheels and looped rubber bands around them. Very few Hank Aaron rookie cards have made it to the modern-day in mint condition. This greatly enhances the value of near-perfect cards.
- The Babe Ruth Boost: Babe Ruth stands above all other players as the most famous. Even young fans today know who the Babe is. When Hank Aaron passed Babe Ruth in lifetime home runs in 1974, he forever linked his name with Babe Ruth. And one thing is clear by looking at the price of Hank Aaron’s rookie card — collectors certainly have not forgotten Hank Aaron.
- Year: 1954
- Manufacturer: Topps
- Card no: #128 of 250
- Name on front: Henry Aaron
- Name on back: Henry Louis Aaron
- Position: Outfield
- Team: Milwaukee Braves
- Height: 6′ 1″
- Weight: 171
- Bats: Right
- Throws: Right
- Home: Jacksonville, Florida
- Born: February 10, 1934
Front of the card
Design: The 1954 Topps baseball card set is considered by collectors to be a great design. The front of the 1954 Topps Hank Aaron (#128) card is a vertical layout that features only Hank Aaron. The card front features a large color photo of a young Hank Aaron and a smaller black and white photo of Hank fielding a ground ball in the lower-left corner. The background of the card is orange and it has a thin white border around the outside. There is a logo of a Native American wearing a feather headdress in a yellow circle in the upper left corner. On this card the name reads “Henry Aaron,” and his position is listed as “outfield.” Hank was a member of the Milwaukee Braves in 1954.
Shop for the 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card #128 on eBay (affiliate link)
Back of the card
The back of the 1954 Topps Hank Aaron Rookie (#128) card has a horizontal layout. The upper-left corner has the Topps logo and card number inside a baseball graphic. Surrounding it is biographical information that includes height, weight, hometown, and birthdate. The top right of the card has the position and team name above a paragraph about Hank Aaron. The bottom half of the card has Hank’s minor league statistics and an “inside baseball” fact about Hank winning watches and sports jackets for his hitting feats. It reads, “At Jacksonville in ’53 Aaron won 13 watches and 12 sports jackets for his feats at bat! He gave the watches to friends — but the jackets made him the best-dressed player in the league!”
Henry, in pro ball only 2 years, came up to the Braves after a sensational ’53 season at Jacksonville, where he won the Sally League’s Most Valuable Player Award. He led the Loop in 6 Departments. Batting, RBI’s, Hits, Runs, Total Bases (338) and Doubles. At Eau Claire in ’52 he hit .336 and was voted Rookie-of-the-Year in the Northern League.1954 Hank Aaron Rookie Card #128
Hank Aaron Rookie Card Value
The Hank Aaron rookie card is one of the most valuable cards made in the 1950s. The chart below was pulled from the popular card grading site PSA on 09/25/2021. It shows prices for the Hank Aaron rookie card in various conditions.
Keep in mind that prices fluctuate. While PSA is a great way to find out the value of a card, we recommend going to eBay to see what cards are currently selling for on the world’s most popular auction site. Click here to view current auctions for the 1954 Topps Hank Aaron Rookie card #128.
Other Relevant Hank Aaron “Rookie” Cards
The 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card #128 is the only card in the hobby that is widely considered a Hank Aaron rookie. It’s not uncommon for a player to only have one rookie card in this era, but two other cards warrant (well, one is a postcard) discussion in this post.
1954 Hank Aaron Johnston Cookies Card #5
The 1954 Johnston Cookies set contains 35 cards, all Milwaukee Braves, that measure 2″ x 3 7/8″. Hank Aaron was included in the set because Bobby Thomson, a veteran all-star caliber player, was injured. Braves fans could get the cards in Pops Cookies packages or by taking advantage of a mail-order offer. That opened up a spot in the lineup for Hank Aaron. Eddie Matthews and Warren Spahn, both MLB Hall of Famers, also had cards in this set.
Shop for the 1954 Hank Aaron Johnston Cookies Card #5 on eBay (affiliate link)
1954-56 Hank Aaron Spic and Span Postcard
Spic and Span dry cleaners issued Braves sets throughout most of the 1950s. The 18-card Spic and Span postcards set, issued between 1954-56, has an early Hank Aaron postcard that some collectors consider a rookie. The postcards are 3 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ and are completely covered by the photo of the player. The Spic and Span logo is on the front with the text, “The Choice of Your Favorite Braves.” Because it is a postcard, the back is mostly blank and doesn’t have any additional statistics or biographical information about the player.
Shop for the 1954-56 Hank Aaron Spic and Span Postcard on eBay (affiliate link)
1955 Bowman Hank Aaron Card #179
The 1955 Bowman Hank Aaron card #179 card isn’t a rookie, but it is a very cool and unique early Hank Aaron card. Since Hank Aaron wasn’t in the 1954 Bowman set, this is his first Bowman card. This set has a very classic design with the wood border and the TV screen frame around a great photo of Hank Aaron very early in his career.
Hank Aaron’s Legacy
Hank Aaron is considered one of the greatest players in history and still may be underrated. He was an offensive force of nature who set records for home runs, extra-base hits, RBIs, and total bases. He made 25 All-Star teams in a 23-year career, which was made possible by some seasons in the late 1950s and early 1960s having multiple All-Star games. Hank Aaron is known for his power, but he was also a great base hitter. He had 3,771 base hits throughout his career. That means you could turn all of his 755 home runs into strikeouts and he would still have had 3,000 hits. No conversation about the greatest player in baseball history is complete without discussing Hank Aaron. Here is a list of some of his accomplishments:
- 2 time Gold Glove winner (OF)
- 3 time NL Runs Scored Leader
- 2 time NL Batting Champion
- 2 time NL Hits Leader
- 8 time NL Total Bases Leader
- 3 time NL Doubles Leader
- 4 time NL Home Runs Leader
- 4 time NL RBI Leader
- Named NL MVP IN 1957
- 3,771 Career Hits
- 755 Career Home Runs
- 25 time NL All-Star
- Inducted into the MLF Hall of Fame in 1982
Get Your Hank Aaron Rookie
Do you want to own a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron Rookie (#128)? If so, we recommend starting your search on eBay – the world’s #1 card trading place. Even if you’re not planning to buy one just yet, it’s fun to look at all the great cards currently for sale.
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All About Hank Aaron Rookies Infographic
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