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
A 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente baseball card, which sold for $478,000 in 2016, is the first on our list of the most expensive baseball cards ever. Former Major League Baseball outfielder Roberto Clemente, who was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the 3000-hit club, died tragically in an aircraft accident while on his way to Nicaragua to assist earthquake victims. During an auction in 2016, the grade 9 PSA card sold for $478,000, outbidding a grade 10 PSA 1955 Roberto Clemente card that sold for $432,000 in 2012.
It is estimated that if a grade 8 version of the card were to be placed up for auction today, it would fetch around $430,000 dollars.
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.
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.
Scotttfujita.com is a blog that provides visitors with useful information. Affiliate marketing links are included with the items mentioned in the article. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we may get a small commission. You will not be required to pay any additional costs on our behalf. See our complete disclosures for more information. here Baseball cards serve as a keepsake for baseball enthusiasts around. What about the thrill a youngster gets when he or she discovers his or her favorite card for the first time comes to mind?
Gradually, it gained popularity, and many individuals began to view collecting it as a recreational activity.
If you still have any Hall of Fame or rookie cards, now is the time to locate them.
This post by Scott Fujitawill assist you in better understanding why these sports cards are valuable, as well as pointing out the most valuable baseball card in the world of sports.
Top 10 Baseball Cards Worth Money Of All Time
Many individuals believe that collecting baseball cards is just for recreational purposes. They were completely wrong. On the sports card market, you might discover cards that are highly sought after at exorbitant rates. The widespread use of mass printing in the 1980s and 1990s significantly reduced the value of most cards produced after 1980. Vintage pre- and postwar cards, on the other hand, may be worth a surprising amount of money. Which baseball cards are now worth money? Please see below for the top-ten most expensive baseball cards ever sold in the United States.
More information may be found at: The oldest baseball stadium in the United States
1. T206 White Border Honus Wagner
- Price: $6,606,296 (SGC 3 Example – August 2021)
- Year: 1909-11
- Dimensions: 1-7/16′′ x 2-5/8′′
- Price: $6,606,296 (SGC 3 Example – August 2021)
The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card is the most costly in existence. The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card is the Holy Grail of the baseball card market, with only 50 cards produced in total. This card’s value has skyrocketed as a result of its extremely limited distribution. It was the star of the Pittsburgh Pirates – Honus Wagner – who sent the card to the top of the list of the most valuable baseball cards in the world. He forbade the American Tobacco Company from continuing to manufacture the card in the future.
Some speculated that he was attempting to claim further royalties.
The PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) score is the most reliable way to be certain of a result.
Level cards with the number “1” indicate low status, while level cards with the number “10” represent the greatest state (Gem Mint). The higher the value of the card, the better the condition of the card.
2. Topps311 Mickey Mantle
- Price: $5,200,000 (PSA 9 Example – January 2021)
- Year: 1952
- Dimensions: 2-5/8′′ x 3-3/4′′
- Condition: excellent.
Authentic Topps311 Mickey Mantle Baseball CardThe Topps311 Mickey Mantle Baseball Card is one of the most valuable Topps baseball cards available on the market today. It also serves as an indication of the change of the price of trading cards. Due to the fact that Topps first entered the sports card market in 1952, the value of this collection of cards is quite high. Regular cards can also be purchased for $1000 if they are in immaculate condition. It is simple to tell that just a few number of Mickey Mantle rookie cards have been manufactured, given the high sequence number.
There are now just a few of these cards available on the market.
3. M101-5 and M101-4 Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card
- Dimensions: 1-5/8′′ x 3′′
- Price: $1,350,000 (PSA 8 NM-MT)
- Year: 1916
- Condition: excellent
M101-5 Sporting News & Information Babe Ruth’s Rookie Baseball Card The 1916 Babe Ruth baseball card is the next card on the list of the most expensive baseball cards in baseball history. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that a legendary rookie card would command such a high premium. Early photographs of Ruth show him dressed in his Boston Red Sox outfit prior to his first appearance with the New York Yankees in 1908.
4. T206 Ty Cobb Tobacco (Ty Cobb Back)
- Price: $1,000,000 (PSA 4.5 VG-EX+)
- Year: 1909-11
- Dimensions: 1-7/16′′ x 2-5/8′′
- Price: $1,000,000 (PSA 4.5 VG-EX+)
T206 Ty Cobb Tobacco Co., Inc. Another factor contributing to its popularity is the large quantity of advertising space on the rear of the T206. There are a total of 16 distinct styles of backs available to choose from. When the front and rear of the models are merged, we have a total of 5,500 different models. At the moment, less than 22 existing cards have been discovered. The T206 Ty Cobb card, which has a PSA grade of only 4.5, is expected to be worth $ 1 million at auction.
5. Baltimore News9 Babe Ruth Pre Rookie Card
- Precise value: $925,000 (PSA 4 VG-EX)
- Year of production: 1914
- Dimensions: 4-1/2′′ x 6′′
The Baltimore Sun has a story on Pre-Rookie Card of Babe Ruth with a yellow backdrop and a star Because there are only 10 copies of Babe Ruth’s “pre rookie” card in existence, it commands an exorbitant premium. Baseball cards with a blue border and a red border are included in this set of collectible baseball cards that are worth money. The Baltimore Orioles’ minor league affiliate, Jack Dunn, signed Ruth to a contract in the spring of 1914. It was the start of his professional baseball career before he joined the Red Sox.
6. T206 White Border Eddie Plank
- Price: $850,000 (PSA 8 NM-MT)
- Year: 1909-11
- Dimensions: 1-7/16′′ x 2-5/8′′
- Condition: excellent.
T206 Eddie Plank with a White Border After that, the Eddie Plank card in the T206 deck is the next card to be looked at in detail. It is also the only one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. According to legend, the card’s scarcity is due to low-quality printing, which resulted in widespread destruction. This is easily distinguished by the fact that it is centered.
7. Bowman253 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card
- $1,200,000 (PSA 9 Mint)
- Year: 1951
- Dimensions: 2-1/16′′ x 3-1/8′′
- Price: $700,000 (PSA 9 Mint)
Bowman253 Card of Mickey Mantle as a rookie Mickey Mantle appears on this list once again with the release of his 1952 Topps cards. Because of the stunning visuals on this rookie card, it has piqued the interest of many collectors. The idea of Mantle standing poised with a bat in his hand is really enthralling to contemplate.
Unfortunately, the overall quality of these cards is not very good, as you can see in the images below. It is possible to make a substantial amount of money by owning this rookie card with a high PSA rating.
8. T206 White Border Sherry Magie Error Card
- Price: $660,000 (PSA 8 NM-MT)
- Year: 1909-11
- Dimensions: 1-7/16′′ x 2-5/8′′
- Condition: excellent.
T206 White Border Sherry Magie Error Card (T206 White Border Sherry Magie Error Card) Occasionally, during the production process, certain printing flaws will arise on baseball cards, which will be corrected thereafter. Cards that were issued as a result of the error are referred to as “error cards.” In most cases, the manufacturer will recall them relatively promptly to make the necessary corrections. As a result, there aren’t many different types of error cards available on the market. Collectors are ready to pay a premium for this card in order to own both the pre- and post-edited versions of the card.
For those of you who are familiar with this guy, you will know that his proper last name is Magee.
9. American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson Rookie Card
- Price: $600,000 (PSA 8 NM-MT)
- Year: 1909-11
- Dimensions: 1-1/2′′ x 2-3/4′′
- Condition: excellent.
E90-1 American Caramel is a caramel color made in the United States. Joe Jackson’s First Day of School Card It’s a shame that Joe Jackson didn’t make it to the 1919 World Series when his career was at its zenith, since it would have been the crowning achievement. Allegations of involvement in the Black Sox Scandal came close to destroying this player’s career. This also made this Joe Jackson rookie card, which was only printed in restricted quantities, extremely uncommon.
10. T210 Old Mill Joe Jackson
- Approximately 1-1/2′′ x 2-5/8′′ in size
- Year: 1910
- Price: $600,000 (PSA 3.5 VG+)
- Condition: excellent.
T210 Old Mill (T210) ‘Joe Jackson’ is a fictional character created by author Joe Jackson. There are several different decks on the T210 Old Mill, and this one is one of the most diverse. It has a large number of small players, many of whom you may have never heard of before. Joe Jackson is one of the most well-known people in the world. After the Philadelphia Athletics traded him to the Cleveland Naps in 1910, he was pitted against the Cleveland Naps. That was one of the most egregious decisions in the history of baseball.
How To Tell The Value Of A Baseball Card?
What are baseball cards currently valued in today’s market? Vintage cards can be sold for a substantial amount of money. It must, however, fulfill certain of the card’s characteristics and restrictions, which are listed below. What is the best way to locate the expensive baseball cards?
Cards from the National Baseball Hall of Fame or cards from prominent players who have won prizes (such as Gold Glove Awards, the Triple Crown, or the American League MVP) are frequently highly sought for. People still look for the traditional player cards from time to time for sentimental reasons. The rookie card is another significant player card that may be obtained. Fans have a strong desire to see their favorite celebrity in his or her early years. The Nolan Ryan rookie card is my all-time favorite rookie card.
You may learn about the worth and rarity of the cards you intend to sell by consulting the PSA, SGC, and Beckett grading systems, among other sources. A general indication of how rare a card is may be gained by looking at the PSA census and seeing how many levels there are for a certain card type. Regardless of the rarity of a card, the condition of the card is one of the most essential variables influencing its worth. When making a decision on a card, individuals frequently look at the corners, edges, centers, and surfaces of the card.
The reverse of the majority of high-value cards is centered, the corners are crisp, and there are no print faults. If you have any doubts regarding how valuable baseball cards are obtained by organizations, you should watch this video.
Because of the restricted supply of baseball cards manufactured before to 1980, they are extremely valuable now. More often than not, collectors choose to obtain “high number” iconic cards released near the conclusion of a baseball season rather than ordinary cards. “Short prints” are cards that are printed in a shorter amount of time for no purpose, so that others can also enjoy these cards. In addition, numerous factors influence the value of baseball cards, including the year of manufacturing, the number of variants, and the order in which the cards were issued.
Is there any monetary value to baseball cards? Which baseball cards are worth their weight in gold? I hope this post has been of use in answering these issues. Baseball cards are not only important as collectibles, but they also serve as a wonderful reminder of a happy time in our lives. There’s nothing more satisfying than opening a deck of cards and discovering photos of legendary players. Take meticulous care of these baseball cards. They are valuable. They have the potential to be a winning lottery ticket.
The 20 Most Valuable Baseball Cards of All-Time // ONE37pm
Given the present popularity of sports cards in contemporary popular culture, with basketball seemingly leading the charge, it is easy to forget that the entire pastime was founded on the sport of baseball. In various films and television programs, cards such as the Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps and the Honus Wagner T 206 have been referred to as the “holy grails” of the collection industry, and they continue to be so today. A new article about a record-breaking sale in the baseball card market appears to be published every few months or so, dating back to the summer of 2020, when the Mike Trout Superfractor broke the world record for the sale of a single sports card, only to be surpassed a few months later when entrepreneur and actor Rob Gough spent $5.2 million dollars on a Mickey Mantle rookie card, according to the New York Times.
You may be wondering how frequently these sorts of transactions take place, as well as what the highest sales prices for the most valuable baseball cards on the world are.
1. Mickey Mantle, 1952 Topps – PSA 9
$5,200,000 (January 2021)
Rob Gough made the purchase. PWCC Marketplace is an auction house (eBay) The total number of students in this grade is six. “Ever since I started collecting baseball cards as a youngster, I’ve dreamed of owning a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle,” Gough said in a statement.
In my opinion, it’s the Mona Lisa of sports cards, and I’ve spent the last year hunting for a high-graded version of it by speaking with industry experts, dealers, auction houses, and friends. I’m overjoyed to have been the proud owner of this renowned card.”
2. Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Superfractor – BGS 9/10
$3,930,000 (August, 2020)
David “Vegas Dave” Oancea was the previous owner. Goldin Auctions was the auction house. This grade has a total population of one and only one of its kind (1/1). This card, which holds the current world record for a modern-day sports card, was acquired on eBay in 2018 for a mere $400,000, making it the most expensive sports card ever purchased.
3. Honus Wagner, 1909-1911 ATC T206 – PSA 3
$3,250,000 (October, 2020)
Purchased by an unidentified party A private sale arranged by Mile High Card Company was conducted at an auction house. According to Mile High’s President and CEO, Brian Drent, “we’ve seen a lot of high-profile cards leave our office this year, but to hold the record for 1909-11 T206 Wagner sales at three different grade levels, as well as the highest price ever paid. that’s something we’re especially proud of” is something the company is particularly proud of.
4. Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Red Refractor – BGS 9.5/10
$922,500 (May 2020)
Goldin Auctions is the auction house in question. There are only 5 copies of the “Red Refractor,” which is the second most uncommon form of Trout’s top card that we previously discussed. It is serial-numbered to 5. His first autograph in an MLB jersey is on a Bowman Chrome card from the 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft.
5. Ty Cobb 1909-11 T206 Tobacco (Ty Cobb Back) – PSA 4.5
$894,250 (September, 2020)
Mile High Card Company is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is one. One of five distinct Ty Cobb cards in the T 206 series, this one is the rarest and features a red backdrop behind his face on the front, making it one of the most valuable in the collection. On the reverse of the card, where the tobacco brand would normally be marketed, the words “TY COBB, KING OF THE SMOKING TOBACCO WORLD” were written in green ink, referring to the tobacco king’s title.
6. Mickey Mantle, 1951 Bowman – PSA 9
$750,000 (April, 2018)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is nine. The Mickey Mantle rookie card from Topps from 1952 is the more well-known of the two. Although the 1951 Bowman was his official rookie card, it is currently one of the most sought-after cards on the market. A very good potential exists that this card will sell for $1,000,000 in the very near future, propelling it to the top of this list farther up the rankings.
7. Pete Rose, 1963 Topps – PSA 10
$717,000 (August, 2016)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is one. This is the only Pete Rose rookie card known to exist, and there is only one PSA 10 of this card in the whole world. Given the fact that this sale took place in 2016, it would not surprise me if this card sold for more than $1,000,000 if it were to be put up for auction right now.
8. Eddie Plank 1909-11 T206 White Border – PSA 7
Private Sale at the Auctioneer’s Office The total number of students in this grade is three. In the same way as the Honus Wagner from the same set is very rare, it appears that there are only 75-100 of these cards in existence as well. The widely accepted explanation for the paucity of this card is that Plank was an outspoken opponent of tobacco and ordered that his picture be removed from cards used to advertise cigarettes.
9. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, 1909 American Caramel – PSA 8
$667,149 (August, 2016)
SCP Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is two.
This card holds the world record for the most candy cards sold in a single day. The fact that there were so few Joe Jackson cards published throughout his playing career makes this specific card the most sought-after and expensive of his career to date.
10. Babe Ruth, 1916 Sporting News – PSA 7
$600,000 (October, 2017)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is one. This card was issued as part of the “Sporting News Set,” which included advertisements on the backs of the playing cards. The reverse of this specific card was left blank.
11. Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman, 1968 Topps – PSA 10
$600,000 (August, 2016)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is one. In the case of this card, as with several others on this list, it is a POP 1, which means that there is only one known copy of a PSA 10 in existence, which was sold at auction in 2016. If this card were to be put back on the auction table today, it would very certainly surpass the $1,000,000 mark, similar to the Pete Rose rookie card that was previously discussed.
12. Babe Ruth, 1914 Baltimore News – PSA 2
$575,000 (August, 2012)
Private Sale at the Auctioneer’s Office The total number of students in this grade is one. Babe was depicted in his minor league Baltimore Orioles outfit on this card, which was released two years before his debut card in a Major League uniform.
13. Willie Mays, 1952 Topps – PSA 9
$478,000 (May, 2016)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is nine. The 1952 Topps series, which includes this Willie Mays 2nd year card as well as the Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Yogi Berra rookie cards, is considered to be the most important in baseball history. When Topps received a large number of unsold cards from this set in 1953, they were tossed into the Hudson River by merchants who had returned them to them.
14. Roberto Clemente, 1955 Topps – PSA 10
$432,690 (February, 2016)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is one. Once a part of the renownedDimitri Young Collection, this card was sold in 2012 to a private collector.
15. Satchel Paige 1948 Leaf – PSA 8
$432,000 (November, 2018)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is 5. But, Paige only had a few cards during his time in the Negro Leagues; however, this 1948 Leaf card was one of just a handful of cards that were produced during his tenure in the Major Leagues.
16. Jackie Robinson 1948 Leaf – PSA 8
$400,980 (December, 2020)
Goldin Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is 40. Generally speaking, this card is regarded as Jackie Robinson’s authentic rookie card. An identical PSA 8 in this exact same card sold for $174,000 barely three months before this transaction of $400,000 or more was made possible.
17. Mickey Mantle 1953 Topps – PSA 9
$396,000 (August, 2019)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is ten. This card, like the 1951 Bowman previously stated, has gained in interest in the hobby as a result of the record-breaking $5.2 million dollar sale of the Mantle 1952 rookie card. Even though this transaction took place in August of 2019, the sky is the limit when it comes to the next time one of them in this grade (or higher) comes over the auction block.
18. Babe Ruth 1933 Goudey53 – PSA 8
$203,150 (November, 2016)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is 15.
In this collection, there are four Ruth cards; nevertheless, the yellow Ruth card is the most prized and scarce. As a result of the low population of cards in the top grades, this card will be another one to keep an eye out for when one is offered for sale in an auction.
19. Joe Jackson 1915 Cracker Jack- PSA 8
$120,000 (May, 2019)
Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is 18. How many people remember the iconic movie 8 Men Out, which is about the 1919 “Black Sox,” the club who tossed the World Series, and the line “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” While Jackson didn’t appear to be a participant in the scheme, as evidenced by his.375 batting average and excellent defensive performance in the series, he remains barred from participating in baseball to this day. However, he continues to be very collectible and well-liked, and this card is regarded to be his rookie card.
20. Willie Mays 1951 Bowman – PSA 8
$103,317 (October, 2020)
Memory Lane, Inc. is the auction house in question. The total number of students in this grade is 76. Despite the fact that Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps is regarded his legitimate rookie card, this is considered Mays’ rookie card, and it is in the same set as Mantle’s 1952 Topps, which is considered his true rookie card. As a result, while Mantle’s 1952 Topps rookie card is the more desirable of his two rookie cards, the 1951 Bowman rookie card is the most valuable Mays card in the hobby, at least in terms of value.
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. Additionally, since the 1980s, baseball cards have been created in large quantities, resulting in a major decrease in their worth.
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).
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.