top of page

Nomar Garciaparra

Summary & Career Highlights

Rookie Year: 1997

Iconic Rookie Card: 1992 Topps Traded

Highest Public Sale: 2004 SP Game Used Dual Patch Logoman Threads 1/1 - $1,830 - 6/18/2023

Similar Career Batters: David Wright, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Altuve, Bret Boone

Players with Similar Cards to Check Out: Most 90's Baseball Stars - Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire

Career Highlights

  • 1997 AL Rookie of the Year & Silver Slugger

  • 1998 AL MVP Runner Up

  • 6x All Star (5 AL, 1 NL)

  • 2x Batting Champion

  • 44.3 Career WAR

Iconic Cards

Like a lot of 90's players, Nomar's most sought after cards aren't his "Rookie" cards, but the first rare inserts and parallels released between 1997 and 1999.  There are plenty of different avenues for you to pursue as a prospective Nomar collector depending on whether you are drawn towards Topps, Skybox, Ultra, or Fleer's offerings from this era. While Nomar's rare cards are more afforable than Griffey Jr. or Jeter, they come up to auction much less frequently. 

To help you navigate through the notable cards, we've developed a simple yet informative Icon Key. This key is designed to quickly communicate both the estimated cost and rarity of each card in our collection at a glance.

Icon Key

Estimated Cost:

💰 - Under $250

💰💰 - Under $1,000

💰💰💰 -  Under $5,000

💰💰💰💰 -  Under $15,000

💰💰💰💰💰 - Over $15,000


💎 - Common, High Serial Number

💎💎 - Serial Numbered or Less Than 200 in Population

💎💎💎 - Serial Numbered or Less Than 100 in Population

💎💎💎💎 - Serial Number or Less Than 50 in Population

💎💎💎💎💎 - Extremely Rare: Serial Numbered or Less Than 10 in Population

1996 Topps Chrome

Refractor #73
1998 Metal Universe PMG Front
1998 Metal Universe PMG Back

Prospective Card Cost: 💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: You could build an impressive collection around only the Topps Chrome refractors, but the 1996 copy is notable because it brings the "Firsts". It's the first year of Topps Chrome and the first of Nomar's Topps' refractors. Considered an XRC, this card features Nomar as a "Future Star". The graded population is small, and high grade even smaller. If you're looking to pick up a copy, watch out for greening where prolonged sun exposure can result in a greenish fade on the refractor finish.

1997 E-X 2000

Credentials #10 /299
1999 Metal Universe PMG Front
1999 Metal Universe PMG Back

Prospective Card Cost: 💰-💰💰 

Rarity: 💎  

About the Card: 1997 E-X 2000 was the second year release Skybox's "Emotion X-L" ('E-X' from 1997 onward). 1997 E-X 2000 introduced the Credentials and Essential Credentials parallels. The Credentials parallel (/299) pictured above looks like the base version of the card with a silver holographic finish and the word "Credentials" marked in the top left hand corner of the card. Collectors looking for an upgraded copy of this card can chase the Essential Credentials parallel (/99) which has a distinctive starburst type design in place of the silver holo finish.

1997 SPX

Grand Finale #13 /50
1997 E-X2000 Credentials Front
1997 E-X2000 Credentials Back

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: The Grand Finale parallel /50 earned its name fittingly as it marked the conclusion of Upper Deck's use of the "Holoview" technology in the 1997 SPx series. The card featured a unique die-cut design with the signature "X" on the right side of the card that was applied to the base, Bronze, Silver and Gold versions of the card in the set.  It's worth noting that due to the subtle differences between the Gold and Grand Finale parallels, these cards are occasionally mislabeled by grading companies. Therefore, if you're in the market for this card, look it over closely before purchasing.

1998 Donruss Crusade

Red #13 /25
1998 E-X2001 Essential Credentials Now Front
1998 E-X2001 Essential Credentials Now Back

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰-💰💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: 1998 Donruss Crusade provided one of the hobby's first rainbow chases. The set features three different color parallels, Green /250, Purple /100, and Red /25. Nomar's copy features an action shot him tracking a pop fly in front of the profile of dual griffins colored to the respective parallel. The Green and Purple parallels are excellent entry level cards for new collectors to chase while the Red parallel is a more elusive copy that will take patience, networking, and a bit of luck to acquire.

1998 E-X 2001

Essential Credentials Now #95 /95
1999 E-X Century Essential Credentials Future Front
1999 E-X Century Essential Credentials Future Back

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰-💰💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎

About the Card: 1998 E-X 2001 and the Essential Credentials Now & Future parallels are the epitome of late 90's card design and technology. The multi-layered acetate card stock coupled with silver holofoil designs and the pop of the player in action was unparalleled for the era. The 100 card checklist was arranged so that the best players (Now) were at the beginning of the checklist and the prospects (Future) were at the end of the checklist. Nomar was #95 in the checklist, meaning his Essential Credentials Now is /5 and his Essential Credentials Future is /95.

1998 Fleer Brilliants

24-Karat Gold #3 /24
1998 Fleer Brilliants 24-Karat Gold Front
1998 Fleer Brilliants 24-Karat Gold Front

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: * The gold parallel is pictured above, the 24k Gold parallel is a GHOST * There's not many sets that can create such a strong legacy with a single release, but Fleer Brilliants accomplished exactly that primarily due to the iconic 24-Karat (24-K) Gold parallel /24. Available across baseball, basketball, and football, there's an opportunity for cross sport collecting of your favorite players. Besides being exceptionally rare with only 24 copies, Nomar's rarities are amplified with many of the copies locked up in long-term collector's collections.

1998 Metal Universe

Precious Metal Gems (PMG) #16 /50
1999 Skybox Premium Star Rubies Front
1999 Skybox Premium Star Rubies Back

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: Widely considered one of the "Holy Grails" for Nomar collectors, the 1998 Precious Metal Gems (PMG) is the inaugural appearance of the parallel and features an action photo of Nomar throwing a ball across the diamond in front of the Charles River and downtown Boston.  Each card is numbered to 50 copies and has a holographic spiral and concentric circle design. These cards were printed on etched foil and are highly condition-sensitive. Rarity of these cards go beyond their serial number as only a handful have transacted publicly over the last decade.

1998 UD Retro

Quantum Leap #Q3 /50

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: 1998 UD Retro was a novel retro-inspired set geared towards kids. Instead of a box and wax packs, the set was distributed in a collectible lunch box (One of which featured Nomar). While there were several different inserts included in the set, the Quantum Leap is the most rare, with a print run limited to 50. The card's design is a futuristic die-cut featuring heavy use of bronze holo-foil (Prone to chipping) that is unique for the era. Both machine numbered and hand numbered copies are legitimate of these cards if you are looking to purchase a copy.

1999 E-X Century

Essential Credentials Future #2 /119

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰-💰💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎

About the Card: 1999 E-X Century was a continuation on the immensely popular 1998 set, this time with Nomar taking a much more prominent spot amongst the stars of "Now" coming in at #2 in the checklist. Following the serial numbering from the previous year, there are only 2 copies of Nomar's Essential Credentials Now and 119 copies of his Essential Credentials Future. The Essential Credentials Future design prominently features gold acetate finish and a broad pink swoosh outlining his player profile whereas the Essential Credentials Now features a silver acetate finish instead.

1999 Fleer Tradition

Starting Nine #12S /9

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰-💰💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎💎

About the Card: Limited to only 9 copies, the Starting 9 parallel is a modest deviation from the base version of the card featuring the use of blue foil of the player's name and a Starting Nine stamp in either the bottom right or left hand corner. Collectors looking to add the Starting Nine parallel to their collection often do so for the rarity. You'll have three chances to add a copy of Nomar's Starting Nine as he was featured in the base set (#12 above), the Franchise Features subset (#580), and a checklist card (#597).  

1999 Metal Universe

Platinum Metal Gems (PMG) #179 /50

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: 1999 Metal Universe holds just as much popularity as the 1998 release in collector circles today yet the design couldn't be more different. Cards were printed on embossed etched foil and the grungy sheet metal looking backgrounds were consistent for every player in the set. The Precious Metal Gems (PMG) parallel was numbered to 50 and were printed on a gold foil holographic card stock. Although there are 50 copies of this card, it is exceedingly rare and only comes up for public sale once every few years.   

1999 Skybox Molten Metal

Fusion Titanium #35F /50

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: The 1999 Skybox Molten Metal insert featured a minimalist design that presented the silhouette of a player offset by a laser cut profile of the player. Some say the laser cut profiles were Skybox's take on "Pointillism", for the more art-inclined collectors out there. The insert was available in three distinct parallels, Fusion (Silver), Fusion Sterling (Blue /500), and the Fusion Titanium (/50). What sets the Fusion Sterling and Fusion Titanium apart is their unique serial numbering, achieved through a "punched out" effect using the same laser-cut technology featured in the player's profile.

1999 Skybox Premium

Star Rubies #29 /50

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: What a way to introduce a product. 1999 Skybox Premium, the inaugural year of the product, was absolutely loaded. The set featured multiple notable/iconic inserts (Namely the Intimidation Nation and Soul of the Game inserts) but was highlighted by the the release of the Star Rubies parallels numbered to 99. Amplifying the recognition of this card is its cross-sport popularity, especially in basketball where 90's stars frequently fetch over six figures when sent to auction. 

1999 Skybox Premium

Intimidation Nation #3IN /99

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎

About the Card: There's just something about that fierce lip bite that makes Nomar such an intimidating opponent. NOT! Was this the best picture Skybox could find of Nomar for this card? Ehhh. Regardless, the Intimidation Nation parallel has collectability across sports and is a recognizable insert because of the iconic fire in the background of both the front and back of the card. On top of that, this insert is numbered to 99 giving collectors an added chase element. 

1999 UD Choice

Starquest Gold #SQ15 /50

Prospective Card Cost: 💰💰

Rarity: 💎💎💎💎

About the Card: In the final year of Upper Deck's Collector's Choice, which was rebranded as UD Choice for its farewell, Upper Deck introduced an iconic trio of parallels (Green, Red, and Gold /100) to the second-year insert, StarQuest. The card possesses an almost three-dimensional quality when held, thanks to the gold foil artfully crafted to set the player's action photo apart from a crisp gold border. For collectors interested in multiple sports, it's noteworthy that the StarQuest gold parallel maintains identical design features in the 1998-1999 basketball and hockey releases of UD Choice.

A Few of My Favorites

The following cards aren't necessarily the most rare or the most expensive cards, but the design and overall aesthetics make these some of my favorite Nomar offerings.

1999 Skybox Premium

Spring Fling Star Rubies #280 /50

Why It's a Favorite: Two reasons - I LOVE the red spring training hats released during the late 90's and its the star rubies parallel at a more affordable price. Nothing against the parallel of the card on the base checklist, but there's a few more elements the 1999 Skybox Premium Spring Fling Star Rubies that I really adore. Not to mention the shine and refraction when you have a copy in hand. 

1999 Topps Chrome

Fortune 15 Refractor #FF2 /100

Why It's a Favorite: Nomar's 1999 Topps Chrome Fortune 15 Refractor is the perfect combination of colors working well together, a fun concept with a cohesive design, and is a serial numbered refractor to boot. The crystal ball on the front and back of the card feels like you're peering into the future where Nomar fulfills his potential and becomes a perennial MVP winner. For those looking for a similar card, check out "The Man" insert from 1998 Finest or the Baby Boomers insert from 1998 Topps Chrome. 

1998 Ultra

Pizzazz Platinum Medallion #480P /100

Why It's a Favorite: Sure a picture says a thousand words, but what if you add a huge loud "PIZZAZZ" to that picture? The "PIZZAZZ" subset made up the last 25 cards of the base checklist from 1998 Ultra. To be totally frank, this card made the list because "PIZZAZZ" is very close to Pizza 🍕 and I thought, "Wow, I can have an affordable Platinum Medallion that reminds me of pizza? Count me in!"

1999 Metal Universe

Platinum Metal Gems (PMG) #288 /50

Why It's a Favorite: MLPD or the "Major League's Prominent and Dominant" subset consists of 25 subjects that were issued at the end of the 1999 Metal Universe checklist. Each of the cards in the checklist were limited to 50 copies and does not feature a corresponding base version. These cards are printed on the same card stock as the precious metal gems parallel from the base checklist. Its a cheaper alternative than the base PMG parallel and features a portrait shot of Nomar rather than an action photo. The "MLPD" crest really pops in hand and refracts well. The combination of design and affordability makes it one of my favorites.

1998 Finest

Centurion Refractor #C3 /75

Why It's a Favorite: The Latin translation of Centurion is, "Officer in charge of a century". 1998 Finest brought the Centurions to life with a loaded a 20 card checklist that featured the best  players ready to bring the sport into the 2000's. The bold block lettering curved front and center of the card is supported by beams of light that make you feel like you're at a movie premiere. The base version of the insert was limited to 500 copies a player and had a protective film on the front. The refractor copy shown here is limited to 75 copies. Watch out for non-numbered backdoor copies and check out the basketball and football versions of this insert from the same year. 

Honorable Mentions

There are so many unique and exciting Nomar cards out there a few others to look into that didn't quite make the list above:

  • 1997-1999 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection /100 (Row 0, Row 1, Row 2, Row 3)

  • 1998 Topps Chrome Baby Boomers Refractor

  • 1998 Bowman Chrome Golden Anniversary Refractor /25

  • 1998 Finest "The Man" Refractor /75

  • 1998 Topps Stars 'N Steel Gold Dome Holographic

  • 1999 Finest "Team Finest" (Gold Refractor, Blue Refractor, Red Refractor)

  • 2000 Upper Deck 2K Plus Silver /100

  • 2000 UD Ionix Awesome Powers

  • 2001 Topps Gold Label (Class 1 /999, Class 2 /699, Class 3 /299)

bottom of page