Do a quick check of Manny Pacquiao trading cards on eBay and you’ll come up with nothing but… well, nothing. A rookie card by definition is the first appearance of the athlete in a base set produced by a major manufacturer. This means that in order to obtain the card, one must pull it from a pack of randomly inserted cards. It can’t be a chase card, but it can be from a subset and even autographed or have a piece of game-used memorabilia in it. The most common arguments over what is a true rookie is usually between Tiger Woods’ 1996 Sports Illustrated for Kids card found in the magazine or the 2001 Upper Deck issue, or the Michael Jordan 1984 Star Card found in team bags or his 1986-87 Fleer release.
Manny Pacquiao doesn’t have this problem yet. For now he has nothing but broders, also known as unlicensed cards. Yes, he does have cards on eBay, but I’m guessing if his lawyers ever caught wind of any of them and were in a foul mood, you can bet they would be gone in a heartbeat. And before someone says “Famous Fabrics,” I refuse to acknowledge a product that doesn’t even have the athlete’s picture in the card.
And considering boxing doesn’t have what we would call one official governing body that keeps everything in check (and people wonder why UFC is killing boxing), it would be up to Pacquiao himself and his camp to decide whether they would allow him to be in a trading card release. It might be that Pacquiao’s price is too high or he doesn’t think it’s too big of a priority, but I’m confident people would eat up his cards and autographs if he ever showed in a set like Topps Allen & Ginter or Upper Deck’s Champs. Hell, if Ringside Boxing just managed to get Pacquiao in the base set of their super premium release (they did get Floyd Mayweather, who was probably cheaper and sells like it too), that would have counted.
Check out the slideshow to the right to see some pathetic excuses for Pacquiao “rookie” cards.
Manny Pacquiao collectible (non-rookie) card to be included in Mindstyle Comic-Con figure
Will Manny Pacquiao be the cover athlete of Fight Night Champion?
EA Sports, Kanye West correctly predicts Pacquiao vs Hatton with Fight Night Round 4
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