Shaun White Rookie Cards
It can be tricky to identify rookie cards for sports like snowboarding that don’t have at least one annual major-release set. Athletes from these sports tend to have multiple minor-release or regional cards spanning a few years and collectors are left to decide what counts as a rookie. That’s the issue I run into with Shaun White rookie cards because he has a few different cards that collectors claim as rookies. In this article I’ll cover all of the Shaun White cards from 2003-2004 and one other card that is not a rookie but is a unique “first” for him.
2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White #278
The 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White is the card I like the best as a Shaun White rookie card. It was originally included in a sheet of cards that came in the June 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids. The cards were separated by perforations and most of them were torn off by kids, which didn’t leave many in high-grade condition. This card is one of only two that was issued in 2003, so it’s among the very first Shaun White cards.
Shaun White is one of the most decorated U.S. athletes to ever compete in the Winter Olympics. He has competed in five different Winter Olympics and has won three gold medals in the Snowboarding halfpipe. Even if you don’t consider him the greatest U.S. Winter Olympian, he’s still probably the most famous. He was the world’s first snowboarding global celebrity much in the way that Tony Hawk was in the sport of skateboarding.
Beyond the Olympics, Shaun White was a dominant force in snowboarding for more than two decades. The X Games is where he’s had the most success. Throughout his career, he won 15 X Game gold medals — thirteen for snowboarding disciplines and two in skateboarding competitions.
Any rookie card of an athlete who has had this level of success in a sport would be sought-after by collectors, but there are additional factors that make the Shaun White 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids card valuable:
- Easily Damaged: As I touched on above, this card came in a magazine that was targeted at kids and the cards had to be ripped apart. Many of these were torn out haphazardly, cared for poorly, and lost or discarded. This makes the 2003 SI for Kids Shaun White card rare in any condition and extremely rare in high-grade conditions.
- Ignored by Collectors: More of these cards would have survived if collectors had paid attention to them, but a rip-out multi-sport set from a kids magazine just wasn’t on the radar of collectors in 2003. There are several key cards from niche sports in these SI Kids sets, and there are a lot of collectors who wish they would have paid more attention to them when they could be purchased easily for not much money.
- The Face of a Sport: Shaun White wasn’t just a great snowboarder, he was and is the face of the sport. He’s a unique athlete everyone knows, but almost nobody can name another person who competes in his sport. He’s been on talk shows, on the cover of magazines, and video game boxes. Aside from Tony Hawk, I’m hard-pressed to think of another athlete who transcends his or her sport in the way White does.
2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Set Details
The 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids set was included in issues of the Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine with each monthly issue containing a sheet of nine cards. This particular card came on a sheet in the June 2003 issue with the following athletes:
- Roy Oswalt – Baseball, Pitcher
- Plaxico Burris – Football, Wide Receiver
- Stephon Marbury – Guard, Basketball
- Regina Jacobs – Middle-distance Runner, Olympian
- Jamal Mashburn – Forward, Basketball
- Miguel Tejada – Shortstop, Baseball
- Brent Hull – Right Wing, Hockey
- Melissa Moore – Goalkeeper, Soccer
The set contains 108 cards and they are numbered #226 to #333. It contains includes athletes from various sports including baseball, football, basketball, tennis, and NASCAR. Not a lot of these cards have survived in good enough shape to be graded except the Lebron James rookie (#264). That seems to be the one card that collectors took note of.
- Year: 2003
- Manufacturer: Sports Illustrated for Kids
- Number of Cards: 108
- Numbering: #226 to #333
- Name on card: Shaun White
- Sport: Snowboarder
- Height: 5′ 4″
- Weight 125 lbs.
- Born: 9/3/86, San Diego, California
- Career Highlights:
- 2003 Winter X Games: Gold (superpipe and slopestyle)
- 2003: U.S. Open Championships: Gold (slopestyle)
- 2002: Winter X Games: Silver (superpipe and slopestyle)
Front of the card
Design: I’ve never seen a rookie card with a smaller depiction of the athlete than this one, but I guess that comes with the territory when your sport rewards you for flipping through the air as high as you can. The front of this card is mostly sky, with the Sports Illustrated for Kids logo in the upper left corner and an upside-down Shaun White at the upper middle of the card. The bottom of the card has a bar with White’s name, sport, and hometown. That’s it.
Shop for the 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White rookie card on eBay (affiliate link), because it’s the most valuable Shaun White rookie card.
Back of the card
Design: The back of the 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White card has a basic design. It’s a horizontal layout on a blue background. The left two-thirds of the card has White’s name, sport, biographical information, a few facts, and career highlights. The right side has a photo of a young Shaun White, about 16 in this picture, and a snowboarding trivia question.
At the 2003 Winter X Games, White became the second snowboarder to win the superpipe and slopestyle events in the same year.2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White
In March, the 16-year-old won the slopestyle event at the U.S. Open and the slopestyle and superpipe events at the Vans North American Championships.
Shaun White Rookie Card Value
The 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White #278 rookie card is one of the most valuable cards of a snowboarder you can find, but PSA hasn’t graded many of these so I can’t give you auction prices like I normally do. I usually include a chart here, but there isn’t enough data to establish a valid price range in this case.
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 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White rookie card.
Other Relevant Shaun White Cards
The 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White is my pick for his best rookie, but there is another card from 2003 and a few cards from 2004 from a more mainstream set. I’ll also touch on another Shaun White card that came a few years later but is a “first” in a cool way.
2003 Top Trumps Limited Edition Snowboarders Shaun White
Although not technically a trading card, the 2003 Top Trumps Limited Edition Snowboarders Shaun White card has a pretty good claim as a rookie card. It was made in 2003, the same year as the Sports Illustrated for Kids card. This card is from a game where each card has values and you play your cards to try and “trump” your opponent’s cards. Top Trumps cards weren’t typically sports cards, but sometimes they did make sports cards — and sometimes those became collectible.
2004 ProCore Sports XG X Games Shaun White #1
The 2004 ProCore Sports XG X Games Shaun White #1 card comes a year later than the first two cards I covered, but this card came in packs instead of in a kids magazine or a card game. That gives it a reasonable claim as a Shaun White rookie since it’s the first major-release card set. This one has an even smaller picture of White than the SI Kids card did, but the overall production value of this set is much higher. It may be hard to tell from the photos but the front left of the card is die-cut and doesn’t have a straight edge. I suppose they were trying to capture an “extreme” feel with the shape and graphics.
Shop for the 2004 ProCore Sports XG X Games Shaun White card on eBay (affiliate link)
2004 ProCore Sports XG X Games Rewind Shaun White #1
The 2004 ProCore Sports XG X Games Rewind Shaun White #1card is from a five-card insert set that came in the same packs as the ProCore Sports XG card above. Both of these cards have the #1, which can lead to some confusion about which is which. Some collectors balk at considering insert cards rookies, but I’m never going to label one card a rookie and another not when you can potentially get them both in the same pack.
2008 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White #309
The 2008 version of the Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White #309 card isn’t one I’d consider a rookie card, but it’s a Shaun White first for a different reason. White is such a prolific snowboarder that it’s easy to forget that he also competed at a world-class level as a skateboarder and even won two X Games gold medals. This is the first Shaun White card that features him as on a skateboard instead of a snowboard. I still can’t call it a rookie because he has several earlier cards in SI Kids sets.
Shop for the 2008 Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White on eBay (affiliate link)
Shaun White’s Legacy
Shaun White is one of the greatest U.S. Olympians in history. He has competed in five different Olympic games and has won three Olympic gold medals, all in the halfpipe. He also has had incredible success in the X Games, where he has won 13 gold medals as a snowboarder and 2 gold medals as a skateboarder. White is one of the few athletes who were able to translate success in a relatively obscure sport into becoming a huge celebrity and household name.
- Five-time Olympian (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022);
- Three-time Olympic medalist (3 Golds)
- Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games
- PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games , Gold (halfpipe)
- Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, 4th (halfpipe)
- Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Gold (halfpipe)
- Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Gold (halfpipe)
Other Career Highlights
- 2022 FIS World Cup Standings, Bronze (halfpipe)
- 2021 FIS World Cup, 4th (halfpipe)
- 2018 FIS World Cup Standings, Gold (halfpipe)
- 2017 FIS World Cup Standings, Bronze (halfpipe)
- 2014 FIS World Cup Standings, 9th (slopestyle)
- 2013 X Games Aspen, Gold (superpipe)
- 2012 X Games Aspen, Gold (superpipe)
- 2011 X Games Aspen, Gold (superpipe)
- 2010 X Games Aspen, Gold (superpipe)
- 2009 X Games Aspen, Gold (slopestyle, superpipe)
- 2009 X Games Aspen, Gold (superpipe), Bronze (slopestyle)
- 2008 X Games Aspen, Gold (superpipe), Bronze (slopestyle)
- 2007 X Games Aspen, Silver (superpipe), Bronze (slopestyle)
- 2006 X Games Aspen, Gold (slopestyle, superpipe)
- 2005 X Games Aspen, Gold (slopestyle)
- 2004 X Games Aspen, Gold (slopestyle)
- 2003 X Games Aspen, Gold (slopestyle, superpipe)
- 2002 X Games Aspen, Silver (slopestyle, superpipe)
- Became the only athlete to score a perfect 100 in superpipe at the 2012 X Games in Aspen
- Has earned five medals in skateboarding at the Summer X Games (2 Golds, 2 Silvers, 1 Bronze), becoming the first athlete to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games
Get Your Shaun White Rookie
Do you want to own a Sports Illustrated for Kids Shaun White? 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 Shaun White Rookies Infographic
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