So, do you take your Shohei Ohtani rookie cards on the mound, or in the batter’s box?

The good news is, you don’t have to choose!

The “bad” news, if you can call it that, is that Ohtani rookie cards are among the hottest in the entire hobby, so they won’t come cheaply.

But, what else would you expect from the most unusual (and likely unique) baseball talent that any of us have ever encountered … right?

Almost from the time “Shotime” was selected by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters with their first pick of the 2012 NPB Draft, the hurler/slugger/brain-bender has turned heads and had fans everywhere wondering what was coming next.

In Japan, what was next was a successful run as a starting pitcher and star hitter, an All-Star, and an MVP.

And then, in 2017, “what’s next” became whispers that the Fighters might post him for bidding by Major League Baseball teams … and then it happened.

The Los Angeles Angels won that bidding war, signing Ohtani for a $2.315 million bonus, in addition to the $20 million posting fee they paid to the Fighters.

That was in December of 2017, which set off a frenzy of speculation about what Ohtani would do in the majors — pitch or hit … or *gulp* could he continue to do both?

While we all tried to fathom the possibilities, the hobby turned to the avalanche of Japanese issues featuring Ohtani, jumpstarting prices and building excitement for what still lay ahead.

That question had a pretty quick answer, as Ohtani broke camp with the Halos in 2018, started at designated hitter on Opening Day, and then took the mound for the first time in the bigs on April 1, drawing the start and going six innings.

By then — or soon after — Topps and Panini had fired up their rookie-card machinery for the young righthander (and left-handed batter), with several Topps, Panini, and Bowman Ohtani “official” rookie cards hitting the market by the end of the calendar year.

Despite an elbow injury suffered during that season that eventually required Tommy John surgery, Ohtani still managed to crank 22 home runs and drive in 61 runs while batting .285 … and while going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA on the mound!

Amazing stuff, and enough to cop the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year award.

His cards were flying off dealer shelves (real and virtual), and, again, we all waited for what came next.

Ohtani didn’t pitch at all in 2019 while his elbow recovered, but he did take the box in 106 games, smacking another 18 dingers.

Then, after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Ohtani entered 2021 more or less fully healthy and in his prime, and it showed.

In 155 games, he tagged 46 home runs and drove in an even 100 runs, tacking on 26 stolen bases and 103 runs scored for good measure.

Oh yeah — he also made 23 starts, going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA while striking out 156 batters in 130 1/3 innings.

It was a bonkers combined performance that added up to more than nine WAR (Baseball Reference version), an All-Star berth as both a hitter and a pitcher, and the A.L. Most Valuable Player award.

As you might imagine, and as you’ve no doubt experienced, all of that ridiculous play has continued to do wonders for Ohtani’s RCs.

As evidence of that, take a look at the list below of the hottest, most watched Shohei Ohtani rookie cards on eBay right now — and come back soon, because we update these goodies often.

Also: Check out the rest of our series listing the Hottest Baseball Cards on eBay.

(NOTE: The section below contains affiliate links to eBay listings for the card shown.)

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SHOHEI OHTANI ACUNA JR SOTO JULIO RODRIGUEZ 2023 Topps Sterling ON CARD Auto /5

Watchers: 140  
# of Bids: 27
Current Bid: $4500
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 19:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI PSA 10 2019 TOPPS CHROME #250 SAPPHIRE RED REFRACTOR ROOKIE CUP /5

Watchers: 128  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $1825
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 03:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Topps Chrome Rookie Autos Blue Refractor /150 #RA-SO BGS 9.5

Watchers: 127  
# of Bids: 39
Current Bid: $6200
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 01:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI 2023 Topps Five Star Jumbo Game Used Patch Auto Autograph 22/25

Watchers: 122  
# of Bids: 27
Current Bid: $1380
Auction Ends: 11-Mar-2024 02:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2022 Topps Chrome Update Bobby Witt Jr RC Rookie Card X-Fractor SSP /99 PSA 10

Watchers: 117  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $300
Auction Ends: 06-Mar-2024 04:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani Batting Blue Refractor Rookie RC #11/150 PSA 9

Watchers: 112  
# of Bids: 33
Current Bid: $2025
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 03:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2024 Topps Baseball Series 1 Shohei Ohtani 1989 Red Parallel Auto #89-BA-SO

Watchers: 102  
# of Bids: 33
Current Bid: $510.02
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 00:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Update Shohei Ohtani 1983 Topps Baseball Red #SO RC Auto 24/25 PSA 9

Watchers: 101  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $1580
Auction Ends: 11-Mar-2024 02:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Topps Luminaries SHOHEI OHTANI Black, 1/1, Hit Kings Patch Auto

Watchers: 101  
# of Bids: 45
Current Bid: $1850
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 04:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED BASEBALL DODGERS TOPPS AUTHENTICS SWEET SPOT!

Watchers: 100  
# of Bids: 42
Current Bid: $914
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 02:03
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SHOHEI OHTANI PSA 10 2018 TOPPS CHROME #150 ROOKIE RED JERSEY REFRACTOR SSP RC

Watchers: 99  
# of Bids: 25
Current Bid: $716
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 03:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

SHOHEI OHTANI PSA 10 2018 BOWMAN CHROME STERLING ATOMIC REFRACTOR ROOKIE RC /150

Watchers: 94  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $1375
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 02:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Topps Diamond Icons Shohei Ohtani Auto /15

Watchers: 91  
# of Bids: 40
Current Bid: $910
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 04:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps #700 Shohei Ohtani With Bat RC Rookie SSP Variation PSA 10

Watchers: 90  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $485
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 03:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2017 Topps Aaron Judge #287 Rookie Card RC Catching BLACK SSP /66 PSA 10 Yankees

Watchers: 86  
# of Bids: 33
Current Bid: $1033
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 03:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card RC #1 PSA 10 Angels LA Dodgers

Watchers: 86  
# of Bids: 73
Current Bid: $717
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 22:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Bowman Chrome SHOHEI OHTANI Batting Rookie Card #1 SGC 10 GEM MINT RARE! RC

Watchers: 84  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $570
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 02:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Topps Definitive Framed Autographs Purple Shohei Ohtani AUTO 10/10 PSA 10

Watchers: 82  
# of Bids: 53
Current Bid: $1138
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 02:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018 Topps Shohei Ohtani #700 Independence Day /76 Rookie RC BGS 9.5 Gem Mint

Watchers: 82  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $510
Auction Ends: 08-Mar-2024 02:03
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2018 Topps Heritage Nickname Variation #600 Shohei Ohtani RC PSA 10 Rookie SP

Watchers: 79  
# of Bids: 36
Current Bid: $1083
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 02:03
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2018 Topps Chrome SHOHEI OHTANI Pitching Refractor Rookie #150 SGC 10 GEM MINT!!

Watchers: 77  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $241.5
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 02:03
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2018 Topps Chrome #150 Shohei Ohtani Pink Refractor PSA 10 Gem Mint LA Dodgers

Watchers: 77  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $400
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 20:03
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2020 Topps 1987 Shohei Ohtani Red Auto /10

Watchers: 76  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $616
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 03:03
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2023 Topps Five Star Baseball Shohei Ohtani AUTO JUMBO PRIME GREEN 13/15 SSP

Watchers: 75  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $1025
Auction Ends: 07-Mar-2024 03:03
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2018 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani Red Jersey Refractor SSP RC PSA 9 MINT

Watchers: 74  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $422
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 20:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)