2001 Finest Origins Baseball Cards

I once asked a guy if he’d take a collection of 50k+ baseball cards, which included mostly stars, for one of his two examples of the Alex Rodriguez 2001 Finest Origins Refractor. Stay with me on this; there’s a story here.

Alex Rodriguez 2001 Finest Origins #FO11 Refractor
Alex Rodriguez 2001 Finest Origins #FO11 Refractor

Back in summer of 2007, I attended a show at a local card shop, which was conveniently located on my way to and from school. It was at this show that I first became aware of the Alex Rodriguez 2001 Finest Origins Refractor. Another show attendee brought a box full of high end baseball cards and in it were two examples of this card. Both were housed in either screw downs or magnetic cases stored in graded card sleeves. They were well protected and I was floored by them because I hadn’t seen them until this day. Granted, I was about to learn that this card was issued during my hiatus so it made sense why I missed it.

Anyway, when I first saw these cards my immediate reaction was one of surprise that I’d been collecting all this time and never knew about them. Then I got to wondering if they were some type of prototype from 1993 Finest. My mind was all over the place with excitement. Coincidentally, this show happened during the same time I was trying to unload a large portion of my baseball card collection in an effort to downsize and further detail my collecting focus. That said, I asked the owner if he’d part with one of them for the 20+ binders of star cards organized alphabetically and several monster boxes of commons stored in my trunk. He promptly declined and said these cards were super rare and that they shouldn’t have even been made. Then he used language such as, “These cards are all messed up.” It was right then that I came down from the clouds and plowed straight into earth at lightning speed. This guy didn’t know what the heck he was talking about.

I calmed down and consulted with my two best friends: logic and reason. All I had to do was flip the card over and look for license/copyright info, which is usually located along one edge of the card. Well, there it was, date of origin: 2001. That little line of text told me all I needed to know. This was a Topps insert from 2001.

I quietly noted the information and handed the cards back to the owner, who believed firmly that these were in fact meant to be included in the 1993 Finest release. I didn’t want to steal his thunder by correcting him with facts so I just took note on my own and proceeded on with the show. When I got home later that day, I began researching the card in an effort to find one to add to my collection since this infamous situation immediately made the card one of those must haves.

Well, it would be some years before I’d come across one of these Alex Rodriguez 2001 Finest Origins Refractors. However, given that this was a mainstream release I was confident I’d eventually find one. Finally, on June 6, 2010, one surfaced and I won it for $4.25. In hindsight I’m actually glad the guy at the show back in 2007 turned my offer down. My side of the deal was worth much more than $5.1

To see what’s currently on eBay from 2001 Finest Origins, click here.

Set Information:

2001 Finest Origins is a 15-card set that features some of the era’s top talent printed on the classic 1993 Finest design. Many of the players featured in 2001 Finest Origins have rookie cards that were produced around the same time the 1993 Finest set was issued but none of them made it onto the roster for that inaugural Finest set. Fittingly, a refractor parallel set was also issued. For those in the market, 2001 Finest Origins are abundant and at the time of this publication, set build can be accomplished on a relatively small budget.

SetTotal CardsOdds
Base151:7 H; 1:4 HTA
Refractor151:40 H; 1:20 HTA
2001 Finest Origins


Card #Player(s)Card #Player(s)
FO1Derek JeterFO9Edgardo Alfonzo
FO2Jason KendallFO10Mike Sweeney
FO3Jose VidroFO11Alex Rodriguez
FO4Preston WilsonFO12Jermaine Dye
FO5Jim EdmondsFO13Charles Johnson
FO6Vladimir GuerreroFO14Darren Dreifort
FO7Andruw JonesFO15Neifi Perez
FO8Scott Rolen
2001 Finest Origins

To see what’s currently on eBay from 2001 Finest Origins, click here.


  1. That collection was eventually off-loaded in a trade for 6 HOF rookie cards from a dealer’s showcase at another show later that summer. ↩︎

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected