9 of the Most Valuable Baseball Cards in History
Baseball cards were not mass-produced until the 1880s, despite the fact that they were first offered to the public in the mid-1860s, not long after the game’s creation and shortly after the popularization of photography. As a result, manufacturers of tobacco goods such as Old Judge and Gypsy Queen began inserting cards inside their products with images of players, primarily to protect the fragile packaging from tearing. Starting in the early 1930s, baseball cards were popular among fans, particularly youngsters, who received a bonus piece of chewing gum with each pack they purchased.
Rare cards in excellent condition have sold for millions of dollars in recent years, and are now considered investments by high-end collectors.
In addition to Beckett Grading Services (BGS) and Sportscard Guaranty Company, a number of other businesses grade cards based on their condition (SGC).
Topps was scheduled to be replaced by Fanatics in August 2021, and the company would begin producing legally licensed Major League Baseball cards in 2026.
1. Honus Wagner | Card Sold For: $6,606,000
The Honus Wagner baseball card from the 1911 American Tobacco Company is the most expensive baseball card ever created. Photograph courtesy of Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images Having star power is a good thing. Wagner, often known as “The Flying Dutchman,” collected 3,420 hits and 723 stolen bases during his 1897-1917 major league baseball career with the Louisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was the best batter in the National League eight times, and he also led the league in runs batted in and stolen bases, with five each.
T206 from the 1911 American Tobacco Company, which sold for $6.606 million in August 2021, is considered an iconic card.
Others believe that Wagner requested greater money from the firm for the use of his likeness, and that as a result, the manufacture of the card was severely restricted. Whatever the cause for its scarcity, the Wagner T206 card continues to be the most recognizable baseball card in the world.
2. Mickey Mantle | Card Sold For: $5.2 Million
Mickey Mantle’s rookie card from Topps from 1952. Photograph courtesy of Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images Having star power is a good thing. Mantle, who played in the Major Leagues from 1951 to 1968, was a fantastic all-around talent before suffering an injury-plagued decline. He is widely recognized as the finest switch-hitter in the history of the game. If he had not been injured so frequently, he may have challenged Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. Mantle concluded his Major League Baseball career with 536 home runs.
- It’s possible that this is the most legendary trading card in sports history, yet it isn’t even Mantle’s first card.
- The 1952 Topps Mantle, on the other hand, has something that the card does not: a fascinating past.
- However, the late-summer distribution of the goods chilled collectors’ interest in the product, and cases of the product went unsold.
- the following link: The Epic Battle to Break Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record
3. Babe Ruth | Card Sold For: $4,212,000
The Babe Ruth Goudey baseball card from 1933. Getty Images courtesy of Transcendental Graphics Having star power is a good thing. Ruth was known by several nicknames, including “The Great Bambino,” “The Sultan of Swat,” “The Colossus of Clout,” and simply “The Babe.” Ruth was the first global celebrity in the history of the sport. He, like Wagner, was named to the MLB’s All-Century team and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural class in 1936. Ruth, who played in the Major Leagues from 1914 to 1935, held the record for the most home runs hit until he was surpassed by Hank Aaron (1974) and Barry Bonds (2007).
The iconic card was a 1933 Goudey53, which sold for $4,212,000 at an auction in July 2021.
However, card No.
This historic card was evaluated in pristine condition by Professional Sport Authenticator, who also graded the rest of the collection.
4. Mike Trout | Card Sold For: $3.9 Million
This one-of-a-kind Topps rookie card of Mike Trout from 2009 features a signature from the Los Angeles Angels’ outfielder. Photograph courtesy of Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images Having star power is a good thing. The future Hall of Famer was named to the All-Star team nine times in his first 11 seasons, and is widely regarded as the finest current player in the game. The outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels has won three American League MVP awards in his career. The most valuable card ever produced was the 2009 Bowman Draft BDPP89 Superfractor, which sold for $3.9 million in August 2020.
Before it was broken numerous times in 2020 and 2021, the Superfractor variant of Trout’s Bowman Draft signed rookie card—a shimmering gold edition that was restricted to only one copy—held the record for the most card sales until it was broken again in 2020.
5. Nolan Ryan | Card Sold For: $600,000
Ryan was one of the game’s most feared power pitchers, and he set an MLB record by striking out 5,714 batters, over 1,000 more than the next-highest-ranking pitcher on the list, Randy Johnson. After pitching for four clubs throughout a 27-year career from 1966 to 1993, before retiring at the age of 46, he was known as “the Ironman.” The most iconic card is the 1968 Topps Rookie Card177 (with fellow Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman), which sold for $600,000 in August 2020 at the New York International Auto Show.
He only played on one World Series winner team, the 1969 New York Mets, and that was in 1969.
Koosman, who received the most attention on the card, was a competent player in his own right.
In great condition, just a few of these cards have been discovered.
6. Jackie Robinson | Card Sold For: $392,400
Star power: Robinson, a Hall of Famer, was the first African-American player to break the Major League Baseball color barrier in 1947, and he went on to become a social justice symbol as a result. He was a fantastic all-around athlete at UCLA, where he competed in four sports (baseball, basketball, football, and track). Robinson, who played for the New York Yankees from 1947 to 1956, was a six-time All-Star in the National League and was awarded the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1949. His uniform number 42 has been retired by all Major League Baseball teams.
The classic 1948 card, which is the most prized of a collection that includes early cards of greats such as Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Warren Spahn, and DiMaggio, was graded a PSA 7 by the Professional Standards Organization.
MORE INFO: Jackie Robinson facts, quotations, and statistics
7. Joe DiMaggio | Card Sold For: $218,578
Legendary status: In 1941, Joltin’ Joe was on a 56-game hitting streak that set an MLB record, making him one of the sport’s most remarkable players. Known as a pop culture hero, DiMaggio was a 13-time all-star and nine-time batting champion who married Marilyn Monroe and was honored in a song written by Alan Courtney and Ben Homer in 1941 for the Les Brown Orchestra with lyrics by Alan Courtney and Ben Homer. The most famous card in the world is the 1939 Play Ball26, which sold for $218,578 in July 2021.
On the Play Ball Card, the typically stern actor cracks a grin.
8. Rickey Henderson | Card Sold For: $180,100
A star in the making: Known as “The Man of Steal,” Henderson, who played for the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees during the course of his 25-year MLB career, is widely regarded as the finest leadoff hitter in the game’s history. He is the all-time leader in stolen bases and runs scored in the majors (2,295). Despite his age, Henderson has accumulated 1,406 career thefts, over 500 more than the second-ranked player on the record, Lou Brock. The most famous card in the set is 1980 Topps482, which sold for $180,100 in February 2021.
It became extremely hard to locate an original Henderson rookie card from the Topps set in pristine condition as a result of this.
A total of more than 23,000 copies of the card have been evaluated by Professional Sports Authenticator, a grading agency for sports memorabilia. Only 25, or 0.1 percent of the total number of units produced, have been designated as mint condition.
9. Ken Griffey Jr. | Card Sold For: $23,100
Star power: “The Kid” possessed a rare combination of talent and athleticism that helped him establish himself as a fan favorite, particularly with his first team, the Seattle Mariners. Griffey, who retired after the 2010 season, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a first-ballot inductee with 99.3 percent of the vote. He was a 13-time all-star and led the American League in home runs four times throughout his career. A total of 630 home runs were hit by him during his professional baseball career.
Griffey’s rookie card from Upper Deck in 1989 became an instant hit with collectors.
Griffey went on to prove that he was worth the high asking price by becoming one of the finest players of the 1990s.
The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards in the World
Do you want to know how much the most valuable baseball cards are worth? Baseball is enormously popular all throughout the world, but it is particularly popular in its nation of origin, the United States. Baseball fans may purchase a wide variety of items and memorabilia, but baseball cards are among the most popular and entertaining to collect among those who follow the sport. Baseball card prices, like those of other collectibles, are influenced by a variety of factors, including market values, trends, age, grading, and general condition.
The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards in the World
The following list of baseball cards and figures has been assembled from a variety of online sources, including Money Inc,RankerMental Floss, and others. Below is a list of the top ten most expensive baseball cards in the world:
10. Roberto Clemente, 1955 Topps
In order to build this list of baseball cards and figures, we consulted a variety of online resources like Money Inc, Ranker, and Mental Floss, among others. The following are the top ten most expensive baseball cards in the world, in no particular order:
9. Willie Mays, 1952 Topps
Willie Mays is widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time, and he is revered across the baseball community. Approximately 2016, an auction of his 1952 Topps card brought in $478,000, which is not unexpected given his historical significance. A three-day sports auction, hosted by Heritage Auctions, resulted in the sale of a total of $11 million worth of memorabilia, with the Wille Mays card being the single most valued item sold throughout the event. Although it was not his rookie card, it was the first Topps card to feature Wille Mays, despite the fact that it was not his first card.
8. Babe Ruth, 1914 Baltimore News
Babe Ruth, baseball’s most renowned and well-known player, had a 1914 Baltimore News baseball card auctioned off in 2012, and it brought in a whopping $575,000 during the sale. Although it was formerly regarded one of the top five most expensive baseball cards in the world, there are only approximately ten known to exist, making them all incredibly valuable, especially considering the rarity of the cards. Babe Ruth appears again on our list, but this time he’s seen as a minor league pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, a long time before he became famous for his work with the team.
Robert Edward Auctions recently sold a PSD 2 graded copy of the card for an eye-watering $575,000, which is a decent deal considering there are only ten known to exist.
7. Mickey Mantle, 1951 Bowman
On our list of the world’s most valuable baseball cards, the 1951 Mickey Mantle Bowman card comes in at number two on the list. In addition to being another legendary player on our list, Mickey Mantle is well-known to all die-hard baseball fans throughout the world. Although the 1953 baseball cards are not the most valuable baseball cards in the world, they are regarded to be one of the most desired baseball card issues of all time. Currently, the Mickey Mantle 1951 Bowman baseball card is eighth on the list of most valuable baseball cards in the world.
6. Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman, 1968 Topps
When it was previously auctioned, this Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman combination piece brought in $612,359 after being graded a perfect 10 by PSA. The card was one of over 8,000 Nolan/Koosman rookie cards that were submitted for grading, and it was the only one to get an absolutely flawless score. As a result, because to its immaculate condition, its value is far more than if it were graded a 9, in which case it would only be valued somewhere in the range of $20,000 – $30,000 in value. It’s also the only flawless copy known to exist, which makes it even more special!
5. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, 1909 American Caramel
This card, which was the most sought-after in the E90-1 Caramel collection, was sold at auction for a whopping $667,149 dollars in 2016. “Shoeless Joe” was the most well-known athlete to be associated with the infamous Black Sox Scandal, and he was also the most prominent. Earlier this year, a PSA grade 8 copy of Jackson’s rookie card sold at auction for $667,149 dollars. However, in 2008, the identical card, but in a considerably lower grade, sold for just $86,975 when it was offered at a consignment sale.
4. Pete Rose, 1963 Topps
Another card that has been graded a perfect 10 by the PSA is the Pete Rose 1963 Topps card, which sold for $717,000 at the last time it was put up for auction in December. Due to the rarity of perfect ten cards, they are regarded as being up to one hundred thousand times more expensive than cards of inferior grade. To the best of our knowledge, it is the only copy of its sort to have ever achieved such a high grade, which is significant to collectors and investors alike. Consequently, when you combine a perfect ten card with the moniker Pete “The Hit King Rose,” you have yourself one of the most valuable baseball cards in existence today.
3. Babe Ruth, 1916 Sporting News
Taking third place on our list of the most valuable baseball cards in the world is a 1916 Babe Ruth Sporting News card, which sells for more than $1 million. It sold for a remarkable $717,000 at auction in 2016, although it was not the only Sporting News card with the same PSD rating to sell for such a high price at the same sale in 2016.
Earlier this year, another card with the exact same PSA grade, which went for around $550,000, was auctioned off. This goes to demonstrate that timing and finding the right buyer are everything when it comes to selling a card that doesn’t have the finest PSA grade but is in high demand.
2. Mickey Mantle, 1952 Topps
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card ranks second on our list of the most expensive baseball cards ever sold. As one of just two cards on our list to be valued more than $1 million dollars, it is five times more valuable than the tenth card on our list, which is worth less than $100,000. The card was discovered lately and awarded a PSA grade of 9, which is far higher than any other grade ever sold. As soon as the card was first put up for auction, appraisals and guestimations estimated that it would sell for more than $3.5 million dollars, making it the most expensive baseball card ever if they were accurate.
1. Honus Wagner, 1909-1911 ATC T206
The Honus Wagner, 1909-1911 ATC T206, is the most expensive baseball card in the world, with an estimated value of $1 million. If you are familiar with baseball cards, you will be aware of the origins of baseball cards and the individuals who were responsible for their creation. To promote its cigarettes, the American Tobacco Company came up with the concept of putting baseball cards inside the cigarettes. In many ways, these cards were a precursor to the modern-day baseball cards that we see and can purchase.
This is because Honus forced the ATC to take his card from manufacturing for reasons that are still unclear, and as a result, there were only 25-200 cards in known existence, making them highly uncommon and hence extremely expensive, especially in today’s market.
It was our pleasure to compile this list of the top ten most expensive baseball cards in the world. Isn’t it amazing how far technology has come? Three million dollars for a card that was only worth a few cents all those years ago! That being said, it simply goes to show that if you have something that someone is ready to pay for and it is rare and in good shape, someone will purchase it! If you enjoyed this list, you may be interested in our lists on:
- Among the most expensive items on the market are automobiles, sneakers, and watches, all of which are among the most expensive items on the market.
For your convenience, here’s a rundown of the top ten most expensive baseball cards in the world:
- Among the most valuable cards are Honus Wagner 1909-1911 ATC T206, which sold for $3 million
- Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps, which sold for $2.8 million
- Babe Ruth 1916 Sporting News, which sold for $717,000
- Pete Rose 1963 Topps, which sold for $717,000
- “Shoeless” Joe Jackson 1909 American Caramel, which sold for $667,149
- Nolan Ryan/Joe Koosman 1968 Topps, which sold for $6
What’s your favourite most expensive baseball card? Leave a comment below.
If baseball is the national pastime of the United States, then baseball card collecting is a close second. Closets, crawl spaces, and attics all around the country are crammed with baseball cards from every era, from the days of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams to the present day of Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols, and everything in between. However, not all of them will be able to help you pay off your school loans or get you into a new home.
Baseball card prices are determined by a variety of criteria, including age, condition, rarity, and the current trends in the collector market. Following this logic, we’ll take a look at 10 of the most valuable baseball cards ever produced.
1. HONUS WAGNER, 1909-1911 ATC T206 // $3.12 MILLION
Those familiar with baseball cards will not be surprised to learn that thisHonus Wagner card sold for a whopping $3.12 million in 2016, breaking the previous record of $2.8 million set in 2007. The value of the card, which is often regarded as the “Holy Grail” of baseball memorabilia, is inextricably linked to the narrative behind it. For a while, it was only available via the American Tobacco Company, and it was included in the packaging of the company’s cigarettes. However, for reasons that are still unclear, Wagner forced the firm to take the card from the market, resulting in just 25 to 200 cards ever being produced—and, more than a century later, the card’s rarity has elevated it to the status of a legendary sports collectable.
2. MICKEY MANTLE, 1952 TOPPS // $1.13 MILLION
Mickey Mantle is the latest member of the more-than-a-million-dollar card club, having joined Wagner earlier this year. More precisely, it was his 1952 Topps Major League Baseball card that sold for $1.13 million at auction in 2016; the card was first issued in 1952. A stunning 8.5 out of 10 from the PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), which grades the condition of a card, makes it one of the most visually appealing Mantle cards available. Even versions with lower ratings, however, have sold for large sums, with grades 6 and 7 often fetching more than $100,000 on the open market.
Its pre-auction estimate is in the neighborhood of $3.5 million or more.
3. BABE RUTH, 1916 SPORTING NEWS // $717,000
An auction of Babe Ruth’s Sporting News card from 1916 (during his pre-Yankee days) brought in $717,000 at the end of 2016. However, it was far from the only auction in which this card of a baby Bambino was offered for sale. In 2017, a card with the same PSA grade as this one sold for around $550,000. Just another example of how selling at the right moment and finding the right buyer can create a six-figure difference in a seller’s net proceeds.
4. PETE ROSE/PEDRO GONZALEZ/KEN MCMULLEN/AL WEIS, 1963 TOPPS // $717,000
So, how did a card like this end up fetching $717,500 at auction in the first place? Despite the fact that it is not quite as ancient as a Ruth card, it sold for roughly the same amount of money. For starters, it contains Pete Rose, and anything that features “The Hit King” is bound to generate some curiosity. Another reason is that it was rated a perfect 10 by the PSA, which is extremely unusual for a card of this age and is a testament to its quality. It’s the only copy of this exact card ever to receive that rating, which is significant for collectors of the sport.
5. “SHOELESS” JOE JACKSON, 1909 AMERICAN CARAMEL // $667,149
“Shoeless” Joe Jackson was the most well-known baseball figure to be associated with the infamous Black Sox Scandal, but it hasn’t diminished his value on the collectibles market in the least.
When a PSA grade 8 copy of what is assumed to be Jackson’s rookie card was auctioned in 2016, the winning bidder received $667,149. A lower graded version of the identical card sold for $86,975 in 2008, demonstrating that the quality of a card may make all the difference.
6. NOLAN RYAN/JERRY KOOSMAN, 1968 TOPPS // $612,359
This Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman combination item, like the Rose rookie card, was scored a perfect 10 and brought in $612,359 at auction, which was far more than it would have if it had been sold separately. The card is the only one to get a perfect score out of the 8000 Ryan/Koosman rookie cards that have been submitted, making it the most valuable. And it was precisely because of its flawless state that it was able to attract such a high price—if you were to grade the identical card at a 9, for example, its worth would drop to roughly $20,000 to $30,000.
7. BABE RUTH, 1914 BALTIMORE NEWS // $575,000
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Babe made it into this list more than one time. This time around, the Sultan of Swat is depicted as a minor league pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, long before his talent with the home run ball was understood by the public. An ungraded PSA 2 copy of the card was auctioned off by Robert Edwards Auctions in 2012 for a whopping $575,000 dollars. And if you’re looking for a rare card, go no further: According to popular consensus, just around ten of these creatures are now in existence.
8. WILLIE MAYS, 1952 TOPPS // $478,000
In 2016, Heritage Auctions sponsored a Sports Collectibles Auction that sold over $11 million in sports memorabilia over the course of three days. The single most valued item sold was a Willie Mays baseball card for $478,000. Even though it was not his rookie card, it was the first Topps card to showcase the renowned centerfielder in any capacity.
9. ROBERTO CLEMENTE, 1955 TOPPS // $478,000
The greatest of all time Rob Clemente, a member of the 3000-hit club and the Baseball Hall of Fame, died tragically in an aircraft accident while his way to Nicaragua to help with earthquake relief in 1972. Clemente had been planning to donate his services to earthquake aid. His 1955 rookie card, which was graded a rare10 by PSA, went for $432,690 at auction in 2012. Although a 1955 Roberto Clemente card graded 9 sold for $478,000 four years later (demonstrating that time may be more important than grade), a similar card graded 8 sold for roughly $30,000 (whereas the identical card graded 9 sells for around $30,000).
10. JOE DOYLE, N.Y. NAT’L, 1909-1911 ATC T206 // $414,750
“Slow Joe” is a nickname for a person who takes their time. Doyle may not be the most well-known player on our list, but he does own one of the most well-known playing cards in the world. For starters, this specific card is almost 100 years old, and there are only a few dozen of them still in existence, according to reports. Foremost, a printing error on the card listed Doyle as playing for New York’s National League team, rather than the correct American League team (he was a member of the New York Highlanders, who would later become the Yankees; it is believed that the confusion was caused by LarryDoyle being on New York’s National League team at the time).
The error was promptly corrected, and the bulk of the products were released to the market with the right wording. In recent years, the card has only been auctioned a handful of times, raking in ranging from $64,099 to a whopping $414,750. Not bad for a pitcher with a 22-21 record during his career.
The 10 Most Expensive Sports Trading Card Sales of All-Time
|1. Honus Wagner||T206 SGC 3||$6.6 Million|
|T2. Mickey Mantle||1952 Topps||$5.2 Million|
|T2. LeBron James||2003-04 Rookie Patch Autograph||$5.2 Million|
|4. Luka Doncic*||1:1 Logoman Autographed||$4.6 Million|
|5. Patrick Mahomes*||2017 Rookie Auto BGS 8.5||$4.3 Million|
|6. Mike Trout||2009 Superfractor Autograph||$3.9 Million|
|T7. Honus Wagner||T206 PSA 2||$3.75 Million|
|T7. Wayne Gretzky||1979 Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee||$3.75 Million|
|9. Honus Wagner||PSA 3||$3.7 Million|
|10. Honus Wagner||T206 PSA 5||$3.1 Million|
*indicates that the item is being sold privately. Honus Wagner T206 baseball card was the most renowned and expensive of all baseball cards for many years, selling for a record-breaking $1 million in 2000, making it the most valuable of all time. A 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card, on the other hand, went for $5.2 million only last year. In addition, a wave of recent cards surpassed the previous record for a Wagner, which was $3.75 million paid in May. A LeBron James logoman card was sold for $5.2 million at a charity auction.
A Patrick Mahomes rookie patch card just sold for $4.3 million, according to the NFL Network.
Wagner now has four of the top ten sales positions on the all-time sales list as a result of the transaction.
July 28, 2021 Update
This time, though, Patrick Mahomes is breaking records in the memorabilia market, rather than on the football field! A National Treasures NFL Shield from 2017. This week, a rookie signed card of Patrick Mahomes sold for $4.3 million at a private auction, making it the most expensive football trading card sale in history. The card is a BGS 8.5 and one-of-one in existence. It greatly outstripped Tom Brady’s autographed 2000 Playoff Contenders baseball card, which went for $3.1 million at the same auction.
NEWS FLASH: @PWCCmarketplace the National Treasures National Football League Shield for 2017 The Patrick Mahomes Rookie Auto 1/1 BGS 8.5 card sold for $4.3 million, making it the most expensive football card sale in history to that point.
pic.twitter.com/TP2V7pprUW On July 28, 2021, Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) tweeted:
June 5, 2021 Update
Tom Brady has returned to the top 10 after being knocked off the previous week. In a private transaction on Friday night, Brady’s autographed rookie card from the 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship sold for $3.1 million. In all, 32 bids were received for the BGS MINT 9 at Lelands. It is presently the most valuable football card ever sold, and it is the only one in the top ten most valuable cards ever sold. The previous all-time high for a Brady rookie card was $2.25 million in 2008. $2,927,372: The current highest bid, including buyer’s premium, is [email protected] for an autographed Tom Brady Rookie Card, which will be accepted until midnight today (2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket).
pic.twitter.com/Ls6QlhBCFj • Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) on June 5, 2021.
A card from the Honus Wagner T206 set was removed from the list as a result of Brady’s insertion to the lineup. The PSA 8 was sold for $2.8 million dollars. See ourTampa Bay Buccaneers odds for more information and updates during the 2021-22 NFL season.
May 27, 2021 Update
One of only two remaining 1979 Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee rookie cards was sold for $3.75 million, putting it on the list of all-time best trading card sales. The card was owned by Wayne Gretzky himself. According to Heritage Auction, the card was the most expensive hockey card ever sold at a public auction, for a total of $1,050,000. The arrival of the Gretzky card pushed the Joe Garagiola T206 Honus Wagner card, which sold for $2.5 million, to the bottom of the market. Four more Wagner cards are still in the top ten of the rankings.
May 24, 2021 Update
The value of Honus Wagner cards continues to rise, as seen by the sale of the most expensive Wagner card at Goldin Auctions on Saturday. It was a T206 White Border with a PSA grade 2 that brought the price of the Wagner card to $3.75 million, breaking the previous record of $3.7 million for a T206 PSA 5. As a result, Wagner now has five of the top ten slots on the list of the most expensive trading cards that have been sold. The addition of the most recent card to the collection eliminated Tom Brady’s rookie card from consideration.
Goldin Auctions just sold a Michael Jordan card for $2.1 million, making it the most expensive card ever sold in the history of the hobby.
April 26, 2021 Update
Mickey Mantle, please step aside. There’s some competition for the title of most expensive trading card ever sold. With a $5.2 million price tag, a LeBron James 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite rookie patch signature set a new record for the most value basketball card ever sold and equaled Mickey Mantle for the most valuable card ever sold. It was graded a 9 mint when it was sold by PWCC on April 26th, 2018.
April 3, 2021 Update
Tom Brady, of course, is the first NFL player to make the cut, and he is the first to be named to the list. A Lelandsearly Saturday morning auction resulted in the sale of Brady’s 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph, which was graded NM-MT+ 8.5. Brady’s Rookie Ticket Autograph sold for more than $2.25 million in an auction on Lelandsearly Saturday morning. The first offer was $75,000, and there were a total of 67 bids placed on the card in total. Brady’s inclusion on our top-10 list means that Kobe Bryant’s 1996-97 Topps Chrome, which sold for $1.79 million, is no longer on the market.
March 6, 2021 Update
By the end of Saturday, March 6, a Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractor has surpassed Michael Jordan to become the 10th most valuable publicly known trading card transaction of all time. The Bryant card sold for $1.79 million at Goldin Auctions, eclipsing Michael Jordan’s 1997 signed jersey card, which sold for $1.4 million, to become the 10th most valuable basketball card of all time.
Regardless of whether or not Bryant’s card jumped Jordan, another card did. Among the items sold at Goldin Auctions was a LeBron James 2003-04 Rookie Patch signed card that went for $1.5 million. On the chart above, a LeBron James card is now occupying the ninth position.
Feb. 28, 2021 Update
No matter how much things change or how many new collectibles appear on the market, there are moments when a sports trading card simply cannot be replaced. Trading card sales have been increasingly popular since Honus Wagner’s T206 became the first card to sell for a million dollars in 2000, when it sold for $1 million. Despite the fact that the card has become the face of premium sports cards, it is not the card with the highest sales volume of all time. That distinction goes to a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, which now holds two of the top ten sales positions in history.
- Rob Gough acquired the property for $5.2 million in January of 2021, making it the most expensive known transaction in history at the time.
- Collector Nick Fiorello paid $4.6 million for a one-of-a-kind autographed Doncic Logoman card that was signed by the player himself.
- For additional information and updates on the 2021-22 NBA season, see ourDallas Mavericks odds andNBA MVP oddstracker.
- 4 on the list, with a total value of $3.1 million.
- When the ‘Gretzky Wagner’ was acquired by Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick in a private transaction in 2007, he was not recognized as the buyer until 2011.
- The last Wagner on the list was sold at Heritage Auctions on February 27, 2021 for $2.5 million, making it the most expensive Wagner ever sold.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Logoman signed by the NBA star went for $1.8 million, putting him in the top 10 among the most valuable sports memorabilia ever sold.
- One of Michael Jordan’s 1997 game-used jersey signed cards was sold for $1.44 million on February 4, 2021.
- A Kobe Bryant Topps card from the 1996-97 season is currently up for sale, with the highest price exceeding $1.2 million.
- While some cards are sold privately and are not known to the general public, the cards on this list are known to the general public.
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Baseball Card Values: The Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Sold
Baseball card collecting is a passion that many people take up at a young age and continue long into their adult years, which is unusual. As youngsters, young collectors understand the worth of baseball cards depending on the year the cards were manufactured, the player who appears on the card, and the quantity of cards in the collection that they have. Young baseball card collectors have grown up to become members of a knowledgable community, and with the most valuable baseball cards selling for hundreds or even millions of dollars at auction on occasion, baseball card collecting has become a popular hobby for both amateurs and experts.
A Brief History of Baseball Cards
In the 1880s, the first baseball cards were marketed to the public. In an advertising campaign that featured actors, combat heroes, and sports, they were bundled in cigarettes to promote the product. Adults were uninterested in the technique, but youngsters were intrigued, and they utilized the abandoned cards to build their own collections of trading cards. It wasn’t until the 1930s, when the Goudey Gum Company began included baseball cards in packs of gum, that firms began to sell to children and teenagers.
The Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Sold
|Card||Card No.||Auction Price|
|1952 Topps Mickey Mantle||–||$5,200,000|
|2009 Mike Trout Autographed||1/1||$3,936,000|
|1909–11 T206 “Jumbo” Honus Wagner||–||$3,200,000|
|1909–11 T206 “Gretzky” Honus Wagner||–||$2,800,000|
|1915-16 Sporting News M101-5 Babe Ruth||151||$717,000|
|1909 American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson||–||$667,189|
|1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle||253||$588,000|
|1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth||151||$575,000|
|1955 Topps Roberto Clemente||184||$478,000|
|1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb||–||$450,000|
|1909–11 T206 Eddie Plank||–||$414,750|
|1909-11 T206 N.Y. NAT’L Hands up Joe Doyle Misprint||–||$414,750|
|1954 Topps Henry “Hank” Aaron||128||$358,500|
|1938 Goudey Gum Company Joe DiMaggio||274||$288,000|
|1968 Topps Nolan Ryan Rookie Card||177||$132,000|
|1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson||103||$108,000|
|1915 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb||30||$103,000|
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
Date: 1st of January, 2021 Private Sale at the Auctioneer’s Office Obtainable price: $5,200,000. This 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle got a condition grade of Mint PSA 9 and is currently the most expensive baseball card ever sold (though it is unlikely to hold that title for long). It is one of just six copies to get such a high grade in its original condition. Rob Gough, an actor and entrepreneur, purchased the card at a private sale in January 2021.
2009 Mike Trout Autographed Rookie Card
The date is August 2020. Goldin Auctions is the auction house in question. 3 940,000 dollars was the final price realized. This 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Superfractor autographed rookie card, by far the most recent addition to the list of the most valuable baseball cards, went for $3.94 million at a 2020 auction, displacing the T206 Honus Wagner and momentarily being the most costly baseball card ever sold.
1909–11 “Jumbo” T206 Honus Wagner
September 2016 is the month in question. Goldin Auctions is the auction house in question. The price that was achieved was $3.2 million. Due to an error in the cutting of this Wagner card, it has a huge size and a larger white border, which adds to its monetary worth. This led to it being dubbed “Jumbo” by the public.
1909–11 “Gretzky” T206 Honus Wagner
April 2015 is the month in question. Robert Edward Auctions is the auction house in question. The price that was achieved was $2.8 million. This baseball card is identical to the “Jumbo” example, with the exception that it does not have the mis-cut. Due to the fact that the set was supplied by the American Tobacco Company, Wagner was not pleased with it, as he did not want youngsters to see him advocate cigarettes, among other reasons. As a result, only around 50-200 T206 Honus Wagner cards, including the “Jumbo,” were ever produced, making them very rare.
1915-16 Sporting News M101-5 Babe Ruth
The month of August 2016 Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. $1,077,000 was the final price achieved.
Babe Ruth’s rookie card is extremely important not only because it depicts him as a member of the Boston Red Sox before he was traded to the New York Yankees, but also because it depicts him as a member of the Boston Red Sox before he was traded to the New York Yankees.
1909 American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson
The month of August 2016 SCP Auctions is the auction house in question. $667,189 was the final price achieved. Following the “Black Sox Scandal,” a Major League Baseball fixing episode, Joe Jackson was banned from baseball for life. As a result, there are less Joe Jackson rookie cards in circulation, which is why this rookie card is so expensive.
1951 Bowman253 Mickey Mantle
The month of August 2016 Memory Lane Inc. is the auction house in question. $588,00 was the final price achieved. Although manufacturing mistakes make grading this Mickey Mantle rookie card difficult, a pristine condition253 Mickey Mantle card sold for a world record amount in 2017. In place of his well-known No. 7, it had a No. 6 and was laid out in a horizontal fashion.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth
August 2012 is the month in question. Robert Edward Auctions is the auction house in question. $575,000 was the final price achieved. Neither the red nor the blue colored versions of this “pre-rookie” baseball card showing Babe Ruth are believed to be common. With just 10 of these cards believed to exist, even a low-grade grade card can sell for as much as $152,750 on the secondary market.
1955 Topps184 Roberto Clemente
February 2016 is the month in question. Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. $478,000 was the final price achieved. The popularity of the athlete, more than the scarcity of this Topps card, determines the value of this card.
1909-11 T206 N.Y. NAT’L Joe Doyle Misprint
The month of August 2016 MBA is the auction house’s abbreviation. Seattle Auction House is a public auction house in Seattle, Washington. The final price reached was $414,750. Joe Doyle’s misprint card was created with him depicted as a pitcher for the New York Highlanders of the American League, rather than as a player. Inaccurately labeled as “NAT’L,” which is an acronym for the National League, the card has the name of the league incorrectly.
1954 Topps Henry “Hank” Aaron
May 2012 is the date of the event. SCP Auctions is the auction house in question. The final price reached was $358,500. The fame of Hank Aaron has increased the value of this card, much as it has increased the value of Roberto Clemente. Throughout his career, he appeared in 21 consecutive All-Star games.
Baseball Card Price Guide: How Much Are Your Baseball Cards Worth?
Baseball cards are assessed depending on a variety of factors other than the player shown on the card itself. Conditions, mistakes, scarcity, and print variation are all factors that might influence the price and worth of a piece of jewelry. Most baseball card collections contain Topps baseball cards, which are the most widely distributed baseball cards in the world, however other brands such as Donruss, Fleer, and Upper Deck were also popular in the early days of baseball card collecting. You may learn more about the different cards in your collection and what to look for if you’re just getting started with them by reading this guide.
The value of Hall of Fame cards is normally higher than the value of regular player cards, however there are some exceptions. For emotional reasons, valuable common player cards are frequently worth more than their face value (if the player was considered a childhood idol, for example). However, when compared to other players, the baseball cards of famous players command a higher price than those of lesser known players.
Also of note, most player cards are valued the greatest when they are rookie cards, which are issued to athletes who are in their first year as a professional baseball player.
The condition of a baseball card has an impact on the value of the card, independent of its rarity or condition. Checking the corners, edges, centering, and surfaces for signs of wear and tear will help you estimate the overall condition of the card.
- Corners: The corners should have crisp edges that are well-defined in order to be effective. “Poor” condition is defined as corners that are rounded, ripped, or frayed. In order to analyze the edge, the card should be turned sideways and the edge should be examined straight on. Chips or dents in the foil are examples of damage. In many cases, old cards were improperly cut by the maker, resulting in sloppy edges. The centering of the picture on the card refers to how the image was printed on the card in relation to the center of the card. This indicates that the borders are exactly the same width on all four sides of the page. Due to the fact that they were printed before more advanced printing processes were available, vintage cards can have centering concerns. Generally speaking, the lower the value of a card, the less centered it is. Aspects: The glossy or shiny cardboard used on the surface of current baseball cards makes it easier to distinguish between damage and non-damage. Devaluation of the card is caused by imperfections such as creases, indents, markings, fading, scratches, or stains.
Graded Versus Ungraded Cards
Graded baseball cards are those that have been evaluated by a professional grader for their condition and authenticity. Collectors are more likely to pay more for graded cards than they are for ungraded cards since it implies that the card being offered is real, according to statistics. A score is assigned to each card on a scale ranging from 1 to 10, with 1 representing “bad” and 10 representing “nearly perfect.” It is more difficult for buyers and sellers to come to an agreement on a reasonable price for baseball cards that have not been graded, because buyers and sellers cannot see the actual condition of the card.
In general, the more valuable a baseball card is, the longer it has been in circulation. Consider the value of a common baseball card from 1912 compared to the value of a common baseball card made in 1970. In certain cases, there are exceptions to this rule, such as if the card features a particular player who is not well-known or if the card is extremely uncommon. There are also other considerations to consider, such as the card’s condition. This is due to the fact that there are fewer of these cards in existence, and many have been lost or destroyed over time.
When baseball cards are produced, it is common for mistakes to occur. Depending on the rarity of the item, these inaccuracies can frequently result in price hikes. The inaccuracies on baseball cards may be divided into two categories: uncorrected errors and fixed errors. Corrected mistakes are those that are discovered and corrected by the manufacturer, however not before some of the cards containing the error have already been manufactured and distributed. As a result, because there are fewer error cards before the repair, the error cards before the correction are more infrequent.
The price of repaired mistake cards tends to be higher than the average price since there are two versions of the card and collectors are ready to pay a premium price for the non-corrected version.
Since then, the mistake has been fixed, and the original “NAT’L” version has been appraised for $550,000.
Print variants are distinct from mistakes in that they pertain to different designs and styles that were used in the printing of the card. Depending on the condition of the card, some cards can have a white font while others can have a yellow font. An example of this is the yellow font version of the 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle card, which can fetch up to four times the price of the white font version depending on the condition of the card.
Other variants might include different color backs as well as information printed on the back of the card (see illustration). The rarity of these variants determines the monetary worth of these variances.
Because of the way baseball cards are printed and handled, the worth of a baseball card may be determined by the set order. When the first card in a set is placed in the top left corner of the sheet, it is more vulnerable to damage than the other cards in that set. Additionally, because of its placement in the set, the card is more exposed than the others when stacked, and as a result, it is more prone to get worn over time. As an example, the 1953 Topps1 Andy Pafko card, which is notoriously difficult to locate in pristine condition due to its position in the set, is a well-known example of this.
Prior to the 1980s, the number of baseball cards available for purchase was restricted. As a result, cards issued prior to this date are valued more than cards issued after this date because of their age and rarity. Cards with a “high number” that were printed at the conclusion of the baseball season, as opposed to cards that were printed in the summer to keep children’s attention, frequently sell for more money than ordinary cards. “Short prints” are cards that were printed in a less quantity for no apparent reason, and as a result, they might be worth more money.
If you keep additional factors in mind, such as condition, print variety, and scarcity, you may find yourself holding numerous new and valuable baseball cards in your hands very soon.
More from the In Good Taste series: How to Calculate the Value of Your Football Trading Cards Lionel Trains: What They Are Worth, Their History, and What Collectors Need to Know 9 of the Most Exorbitant Bottles of Wine Ever Sold Old sports cards|Athlon Sports|The Atlantic are some of the sources.
30 of the World’s Most Rare and Expensive Baseball Cards (June 2021) – Gold Card Auctions
Despite the fact that the answer is an unequivocal yes, the intrinsic value of baseball cards will vary widely based on a variety of circumstances. What is the name of the player on the card? What was the year of the film’s debut? Is it equipped with an automatic transmission, or is it a one-of-a-kind collectible? This is the best spot to seek for high-quality baseball cards with a lot of potential for profit. SHOP NOW FOR THE MOST POPULAR HOBBY BOX: 1. 2021 Bowman Draft Hobby Box
30 Most Valuable Baseball Cards To Invest In
Here are 30 of the most valuable baseball cards to invest in, which have been updated to reflect the most recent sales and statistics as of the middle of the year 2021.
1. 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News ($6 million)
The 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News card, which is over a century old, is the most valuable baseball card to own right now, according to ValuePenguin. The best investment was a Babe Ruth rookie card. In June 2021, an SGC 3 graded copy of the card sold for a whopping $6 million, making it the most expensive sports card ever sold in the world.
It depicts a 19-year-old Ruth as a minor league pitcher for his hometown Baltimore Orioles, and PSA estimates that there are less than ten known surviving copies of the renowned card remaining in existence today.
2. 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps ($5.2 Million)
Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps baseball card is one of the most valuable collectibles of all time, and it was formerly the world’s most valuable card. It is more precious than the Mantle Bowman RC from 1951, and it was developed on the kitchen table of Berger’s apartment on Alabama Avenue in Brooklyn by Woody Gelman and Sy Berger. The fact that they were building a true piece of traditional Americana was a complete surprise to them.
3. 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor Autograph 1/1 ($3.9 million)
Remember the introduction and the requirements we put out for any premium contemporary card? Recall what we said there. It just so happens that the 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor happens to check off every box. Trending:Best Mike Trout Rookie Cards are available now. A GOAT of the sport is featured in it, and it happens to be an RC as well. In addition to being a one-of-a-kind Superfractor, there is a big auto at the bottom of the screen. The price is decided by the owner, and was last sold for $3.9 million, which was a world record at the time when it was auctioned in the middle of the year 2020.
4. 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 The Jumbo Wagner ($3.3 million)
Many of the surviving T206 Honus Wagner cards have received low ratings on the PSA scale, which indicates that they are in poor condition. In all, only three variants have gotten a PSA rating of 5 or above, including the ‘Jumbo Wagner,’ which comes in at number three on the ranking. As the name says, it was miscut, resulting in a Near Mint specimen being practically preserved inside its confines. It’s the same edition that sold for $3.3 million, and it has the potential to smash the record again again.
5. 1909-11 Ty Cobb Tobacco T-206 Ty Cobb Back ($1.1 million)
The number one player on our list of the top baseball cards with value is Ty Cobb. This card, which can also be found in the T206 series, is the sixth to depict the player, and is referred to as the ‘Ty Cobb Back’. Upon first sight, it appears to be a modest variant of the Red Portrait Cobb, with the exception of a glossier finish on the front, which is essentially similar. The back, on the other hand, is inscribed in green ink with the words “TY COBB, KING OF THE SMOKING TOBACCO WORLD.” Only 19 copies have been graded by PSA, with the best copy being a single VG-EX 4 (very good).
6. 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps RC164 ($1.1 million)
Roberto Clemente easily makes it into the top 10 courtesy to an RC that sold for $1.1 million at the auction. It was auctioned as part of Goldin Auctions’ Winter Auction 2021, which took place in January. His sad death in an aircraft crash in 1973, making him the first Latin player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has only added to the aura surrounding the player. The $1.1 million in fees was for a PSA 9 grade, of which there are only 11 in existence. In 2016, a copy of the book sold for $478,000 at an auction.
What do you think it would sell for today?
7. 1969 Reggie Jackson Topps RC260 Dmitri Young Collection ($1 million)
Another RC to make our list of valuable baseball cards is the 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson issue, which came out in 1969.
Heritage Auctions’ Winter Platinum Night Sports Auction, which took held in Dallas in February 2020, brought in $1,005,600 for the purchase of the trophy. The one-million-dollar card is the only one to have received a PSA 10 grade, despite the fact that it sold for only $115,242 back in 2012.
8. 1952 Jackie Robinson Topps312 ($984,000)
Jackie Robinson’s 1952 Toppscard may not be a rookie card, but it is an important option because it was double-printed with Mickey Mantle and Bobby Thomson, among others. According to this figure, there are just 11 PSA Mint 9 copies left in existence today, and this is the sole reason why they haven’t yet breached the $1 million barrier. It has a deep red backdrop and a huge smile on Robinson’s face, with a bat scattered over his shoulder. It is just as famous as the Mantle card, considering that it was Robinson’s first-ever Topps issue, and it is just as rare.
9. 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Red Refractor Autograph /5($922,000)
Mike Trout is back, and this time he’s carrying a card with the number five on it. The copy, which sold for $922,000, was part of Goldin Auctions’ Spring 2020 Premium Auction, which took place in March. Even though you’d assume that valuable baseball cards would have to be older, this edition is already ultra-rare, and it received a Gem Mint 9.5 rating from Beckett’s Grading Service. The signature achieved a perfect score of ten.
10. 1909-11 Eddie Plank T206 ($780,000)
Eddie Plank’s portrait card, often considered as the second most popular in the T206 collection, displays a white border and a blue backdrop, in a design that is comparable to the other highly sought-after portrait cards in the set. There is no clear reason as to why it is one of the more unusual T206 configurations, but it is thought that there are only 75 to 100 of these left in the world. The author, Plank, was a vocal opponent of tobacco use and was never seen smoking. The card almost makes it into the top ten baseball cards in value because of a 2012 sale for $700,000, which is currently worth around $780,000.
11. 1916 Babe Ruth M101-5 Sporting News Blank Back ($773,000)
Another card that will fetch a high price is the Sporting News rookie card of Babe Ruth, which has a blank back and features the baseball legend. Only 30 copies have been graded by PSA, with a population of three PSA 7 grades and three PSA 8 copies among the 30 total. Interestingly, a PSA 7 card is the only one to make the cut, thanks to a collector who paid $717,000 for it in April 2016. After adjusting for inflation, this amounts to around $764,000. The Sports Market Report (SMR) has established a recommended price of $3 million for the eighth grade.
12. 1951 Mickey Mantle Bowman RC ($772,000)
The ’51 Bowman RC is unquestionably one of the best-looking Mantle cards ever created, and it is one of the few instances in which an earlier issue is given a passing grade. It’s common knowledge that collectors favor the 1952 Topps card, but that didn’t stop one collector from spending $750,000 to acquire a PSA 9 copy to their collection during an auction in 2018. It is the only Mint 9 ’51 Mantle known to exist, and it is now valued about $1.2 million on the SMR market. In the near future, don’t be astonished if it surpasses $1 million in sales.
13. 1909 Shoeless Joe Jackson American Caramel ($719,000)
‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson’s 1909 RC is another one that’s worth keeping an eye out for. There are just a few cards that feature the player, and it is one of the most difficult to come across on the list.
Between 1908 and 1909, Jackson played 10 games with the Philadelphia Athletics of the Major League Baseball. In all, there are just two PSA 8 copies of the Caramel tobacco card in existence, with one of them selling for $667,149 at SCP’s Mid Summer Classic Auction 2016 in July.
14. 1909 Sherry Magee T206 Error ($680,000)
This iconic card from the T206 collection depicts Sherry Magee, whose name was first spelt wrongly as “Magie” at the bottom of the card, but has since been corrected. The error was swiftly corrected, but not before a few of the ‘Magie’ cards had found their way onto the market and become widely available. It’s unclear how many copies were made in total, but graded copies are extremely hard to come by.
15. 1968 Jerry Koosman / Nolan Ryan Topps ($660,000)
Normally, we don’t care for duo cards, but we’ll make an exception in this case because the card displays the combined abilities of Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan from the 1968 Topps Mets rookie set. Of course, the latter is the major attraction, as evidenced by his selection to the MLB All-Century Team. Ryan RCs were published by Milton Bradley, O-Pee-Chee, and Venezuelan Topps, but none of them are as popular as Ryan RCs in terms of mass appeal. There’s also a single PSA 10 graded copy available, which should be considered an excellent investment opportunity.
16. 1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill ($607,000)
Joe Jackson, the ‘Shoeless’ character, appears once more, this time on a rare card that was released in 1910. The uniform of the 1909 American Caramel, as well as the fact that it was produced a year later, can be used to explain why it is considered a little less popular alternative than the 1909 American Caramel. The number of people who have been counted so far is less than 15, and the surrounding red borders will always be vulnerable to wear and tear. At Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Sports Auction held in February 2019, a VG+ 3.5 rated version of the car sold for $600,000 (USD).
17. 1909-11 Ty Cobb Bat Off ShoulderT206 Sweet Caporal 350($526,000)
Ty Cobb makes a cameo appearance in yet another vintage T206 edition. Cobb is brought to life in the artwork, with his trusty bat resting just off his shoulder in the foreground. Sweet Caporal variants may be distinguished by looking at the back, which states that the ‘Base Ball Series’ has ‘350 Subjects’ in red print and that the ‘Base Ball Series’ has ‘350 Subjects’ in red print. The next article is related:The Most Expensive Hockey Cards from the 1980s Others should be on the lookout as well because T206 cards were printed with a total of 16 different backs.
18. 1952 Willie Mays Topps ($515,000)
Willie Mays was a 24-time All-Star who earned two National League MVP awards and helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 1954. When it was produced as part of the legendary 1952 Topps collection, which was instrumental in modernizing the hobby, Mays’ RC card was released in the “semi-high” series (251-310), which was slightly more scarce than previous issues. However, it is notable because it is not his official rookie card (which was released a year earlier), but it is his first Topps choice, making it a highly sought-after collectible.
19. 1915 Ty Cobb Cracker Jack ($510,000)
Why don’t all of the cards from this era look as nice as they should?
With a fantastic illustration of the athlete holding his bat against a deep red background, the Ty Cobb Cracker Jack issue from 1915 is a must-have. Three mint 9 grades have survived to the year 2021, with the most recent selling for little more than $500,000 in 2019.
20. 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey53 ($350,000)
Babe Ruth appears on four separate cards in the popular 1933 Goudey collection, with the numbers 53, 144, 149, and 181 indicating that the card is from the set. As of 2021, the number 53 (also known as Yellow Ruth) is regarded to be the most difficult of the four to locate in excellent condition. In a recent auction, which will take place in June 2021, the only PSA 9 copy sold for an eye-watering $910,000, confirming the previous statement.
21. 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey Sport Kings2 ($350,000)
When it comes to the finest baseball cards with value, Babe Ruth will always be at the top of every list. Although it is not one of the four classic Ruth cards from the 1933 Goudey baseball collection, it is the only Ruth card featured in the 1933 Goudey Sport Kings edition, which was released in 1933. There are only two PSA 9 copies on the registry, each with an SMR price of $400,000 and an SMR price of $600,000. A sale would very certainly result in it being promoted to a higher place on the list.
22. 1948 Jackie Robinson Leaf RC79 ($350,000)
Anyone who understands the actual worth of baseball cards is likely to identify Jackie Robinson’s 1948 Leaf RC, which was signed by Jackie Robinson. His historical significance is unparalleled, since he is the sole rookie card for a player who was instrumental in bringing an end to 60 years of segregated Negro leagues. There are just 8 copies of PSA 9 included in the PSA pop report, with an SMR price range set at $800,000 this time. It needs to be considered as another one to keep an eye on in the future, as it has a lot of potential to rise up the rankings.
23. 1953 Mickey Mantle Topps82 ($325,000)
We’ve previously seen a 1951 Topps Mantle card, as well as the legendary 1952 Topps Mantle card, so it only seems right that the 1953 Topps Mantle card makes it into the list. In many respects, it’s the most visually appealing of the three, including a close-up portrait of The Mick that has a great deal of detail in terms of shading and general resemblance. There are two gem mint copies available, and ten PSA Mint 9 copies have been graded, for a total of two gem mint copies. The most recent PSA 9 to enter the market sold for $396,000 in July of this year.
24. 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps RC164 ($325,000)
Because of an RC that sold for $1.1 million, Roberto Clemente easily into the top 10 on the list. It was auctioned as part of Goldin Auctions’ Winter Auction 2021, which took place in January. His sad death in an aircraft crash in 1973, making him the first Latin player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has only added to the aura surrounding the player. The $1.1 million in fees was for a PSA 9 grade, of which there are only 11 in existence. In 2016, a copy of the book sold for $478,000 at an auction.
What do you think it would sell for today?
25. 1909-11 Ty Cobb T206 White Border Bat Off Shoulder ($315,000)
Ty Cobb makes a cameo appearance in yet another vintage T206 edition. Cobb is brought to life in the artwork, with his trusty bat resting just off his shoulder in the foreground. Sweet Caporal variants may be distinguished by looking at the back, which states that the ‘Base Ball Series’ has ‘350 Subjects’ in red print and that the ‘Base Ball Series’ has ‘350 Subjects’ in red print.
Others should be on the lookout as well because T206 cards were printed with a total of 16 different backs. Cobb may have used the example of Piedmont cigarettes, which was another prominent cigarette brand at the time.
26. 1902-1911 Ty Cobb W600 Sporting Life Cabinets ($300,000)
The W600 Sporting Life cabinet set was released over a period of nearly a decade, and it was the first of its kind (1902-1911). These enormous cards, which are mounted on strong cardboard, were originally given out as prizes by a sponsor, whose name may occasionally be found on the reverse of the card. Cobb’s debut year was 1907, which coincidentally coincides with the publication of the Cobb card that made the list. One PSA 2 piece, which depicts the identical attitude as the iconic T206 portrait cards, sold for $300,000 as part of Robert Edward Auctions’ spring 2020 collection.
27. 1932 Babe Ruth U.S. Caramel32 ($300,000)
Another classic baseball card featuring the Bambino, the 1932 United States Caramel depicts the player in the manner in which he is most well remembered by baseball fans. A bright red backdrop frames his name (George “Babe” Ruth) at the top of the poster, which also features other Hall of Fame-caliber athletes including as boxers and golfers. A 2019 Heritage Auctions listing revealed that two PSA 9 grades were available, with one selling for $432,000 following a Heritage Auctions auction.
28. 1933 Lou Gehrig Goudey160 ($300,000)
Lou Gehrig played his entire professional baseball career with the New York Yankees, earning every award possible during his 17 seasons with the team. Gehrig is represented by two cards in the 1933 Goudey collection, with numbers 92 and 160, respectively. Many collectors consider them both to be his RC, and they both have the identical design on the front of the car. This is the one we’re concentrating on for the sake of this list because it sold for an eye-watering $576,000 in 2019 when it was the only PSA 9 graded copy available.
29. 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey181 ($300,000)
The Sultan of Swat has returned once more, this time as part of the 1933 Goudey collection. One of the most thorough illustrations of Ruth can be seen on The181, which is an over-the-shoulder shot taken from behind the player’s behind. A PSA 9 copy of the book was just sold at auction for $430,000 at the June 2021 Memory Lane, Inc. Newman Auction. This has propelled the book to the top of the priority list. There are five more copies in addition to one gem mint copy.
30. 1909-11 Ty Cobb T206 White Border Green Portrait ($300,000)
As a result, a large number of cards on the final list are somewhat interchangeable in the sense that there are others who might potentially take their place in the long run. For the time being, another Ty Cobb T206 card, known as the ‘Green Portrait,’ fills the 30th spot on the trading card board. The name is self-explanatory, since the image is a picture of the player against a deep green background. There is just one NM-MT 8 graded card available, and it has an SMRprice of $350,000.
Most Valuable Baseball Cards To Invest In Summary
The value of the finest Topps Baseball Cards has risen dramatically over the past two decades, in case you didn’t realize it before! Even the SMR value on baseball cards is frequently low as compared to the ultimate retail price in many cases. When it comes to high grades, there just aren’t enough copies available, and demand significantly outstrips supply. The bulk of the cards on this list, with a few noteworthy exceptions, were published before many of us were even born, with a few remarkable exceptions.
Trout, on the other hand, is still going strong and has the potential to add to his legacy.
Because of the large amount of fakes that vendors may attempt to pass off as genuine, we recommend that you stick with graded copies instead. You’ll have a greater understanding of the total worth as well as the prospective return on investment (ROI) that might be realized down the road.