Dennis Eckersley Baseball Cards

Dennis Eckersley (born 1954) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1975 to 1998. Over his multi decade career he played for the Cleveland Indians (1975-1977), the Boston Red Sox (1978-1984), the Chicago Cubs (1984-1986), the Oakland A’s (1987-1995), the St. Louis Cardinals (1996-1997), and back to the Red Sox to finish his career in 1998.

He was a six time All Star, and at his peak in 1992, he was the AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, as well as the MLB saves leader.

Growing up in Fremont, California, Eckersley rooted for Willie Mays and Juan Marichal on the San Francisco Giant. During his professional career, Eckersley took up Marichal’s delivery style.

Eckersley was talented in multiple sports while growing up. He was the starting quarterback in high school, but he dropped the position as a senior to protect his baseball career. After winning 29 games as a pitcher in his last year of high school, scouts praised him for his fastball and screwball.

Crushed that he was passed up more than once by the Giants, Eckersley was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 1972 MLB Draft. After a couple years of working his way through the minors, Eckersley debuted in the majors in April of 1975.

Eckersley got off to a great start with the Indians, and he was named AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year. Of three quality seasons with the Cleveland Indians, the highlight of Eckersley’s time in Cleveland was his no-hitter on May 30, 1977 in a 1-0 victory against the California Angels.

Eckersley became a well-recognized fan favorite because of his fierce fastball, wild hair, and full moustache, as well as his animation and aggression that emanated from him on the mound. This reputation would follow him throughout his career, into his retirement, and it surrounds his cards today.

From 1978-1984, Eckersley mostly struggled. He developed a stronger slider in response to his diminishing fastball.

During a mediocre stint with the Chicago Cubs, Eckersley took time for personal development, which would benefit him in later years. Regarding this time, Eckersley spoke favorably in later years, and he said in 2004 at his Hall of Fame induction, “I was spiraling out of control personally. I knew I had come to a crossroads in my life. With the grace of God, I got sober and I saved my life.”

As a direct result, Eckersley peaked with the Oakland Athletics. He was a major part of the 1989 World Series victory. 1992 was the best year of Eckersley’s career personally.

Eckersley retired on a good night. When he announced his retirement in December of 1998, he said positively, “But to me it’s like you’re being rescued too when your career’s over. It’s like, Whew, the pressure’s off.”

After his retirement, Eckersley was hailed with commendations. The Oakland Athletics retired the number 43, the Boston Red Sox inducted him into their Hall of Fame, and he was named the MLB All Time Team. Best of all, Eckersley was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 on the first ballot.

1976 Topps Dennis Eckersley Rookie Card

This card is by far the best Eckersley rookie card on the market because it was produced by Topps which was the preeminent brand at the time.

This set has 660 cards of standard size. Along with the Eckersley rookie card, keys include the last Topps entry of Hank Aaron during his playing days, along with future Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and George Brett. There are no short prints or other errors/variations on the set.

Since it is a more recent card, there are hundreds or thousands of copies of each card registered with PSA. There are over 3,200 Eckersley rookie cards registered with the authenticating service because it is a popular rookie card.

Eckersley’s card is top heavy. While the best grades can be very expensive, decent grades are well populated and affordable. So, a Gem Mint copy can go for over $10,000, but with a budget of $1,000, you should be able to snag yourself a Mint copy. As the quality continues to decline, a rookie Eckersley can be afforded by anyone if bought in lower grades.

1976 O-Pee-Chee Dennis Eckersley Rookie Card

This set is nearly an exact copy of the Topps set since the O-Pee-Chee was just Topps but designed for Canada. The major difference is the inclusion of French on the O-Pee-Chee set.

While the sets may be almost identical, the market information is much different. For one, there are far fewer O-Pee-Chee cards available. For reference and comparison, O-Pee-Chee has less than 100 cards available. Prices are much less frequent for this brand, so they are harder to determine. A PSA Gem Mint 10 copy sold for $3,355 in 2012, and Mint copies have sold for hundreds in the last few years.

1976 Kellogg’s Dennis Eckersley Rookie Card

This is technically a rookie card of Dennis Eckersley, but it is not worth much. This 57 card set was distributed via mail order or by cereal boxes. PSA has almost 400 of these Eckersley copies graded, but they only go for about $100 in Gem Mint condition.

1976 Hostess Dennis Eckersley Rookie Card

This 150 card set was distributed at the bottom of Hostess goods. It can be hard to track down the whole set because some cards were only paired with weak selling Hostess items. PSA has 107 copies of Eckersley graded. The most recent sale found was from January 2021 for $295 for a PSA 10.

1977 Topps Dennis Eckersley

The 1977 Topps had 660 cards of standard size. It is a straightforward card, and it is a nice style for the sophomore release of Dennis Eckersley, who is a minor key to the set. Eckersley sits at card #525 in the set.

The set is well preserved. PSA has over 100,000 cards from the set registered, and over 800 of those cards are Eckersley copies. While PSA 10 copies will sell for a few hundred, PSA Mint 9 copies can be purchased for under $100.


The Eckersley cards continue to become more affordable the further you traverse into his career. There are a couple more solid Topps sets, but as you enter the 1980s, cards started to become over produced by many different brands. There may be a plethora of Eckersley card options into the 1990s, but these cards are mostly worthless.

This article covered the best Eckersley cards. Hopefully you can track down the card that you feel best represents this Hall of Fame pitcher and unique guy.