As a popular sport, American-originated Baseball has worldwide fame and reputation. Baseball players are the icon for some people and they are very celebrated in the world. Consequently, Baseball Cards are designed with pictures of renowned Baseball players and these cards offer an incredible price tag that will surely puzzle you.
People around the world like to collect rare things and materials. Especially, wealthy people do not waver to spend a large sum of money to collect petty but rare things. In this way, there exist so many people who collect Baseball Cards as a hobby. It is worth mentioning that Baseball Cards are very precious and valuable.
Baseball cards hold different grades and rates. According to these grades and rates, the price runs high or low. In particular, pre-war and post-war vintage cards are valuable and these can be highly expensive. Such remarkable records have been reported so far in the world for the time being.
Well, in this article, I’m going to let you know about some of the most expensive Baseball Cards in the world that will surely surprise you. Here you are:
Nolan Ryan 1968 Topps
I’m starting the article by noting Nolan Ryan’s 1968 Topps Card. From the 8,000 cards of Nolan Ryan rookie cards, only this special one achieved 10 grades by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). The rest of the cards were grade 9. And for this reason, this card has been experiencing a worldwide marketplace and esteem.
Besides, Nolan Ryan is a 1968 Topps card. It is also a very rare and unique one. As being only one PSA 10 of numerous rookie cards, Nolan Ryan claims a high price.
This splendid card was sold at an auction figuring at $613,000 in August 2016. Over time, this card holds its precious position.
T206 Sherry Magee (Error) 1909
Sherry Magee was one of the most notable leaguers of Baseball Sport. But he is now popular not for his career but his baseball card.
Even, in the baseball cards history, the Sherry Magee Error card is the most controversial and striking one. And it is because of his misspelled name printed on the card.
So, what is the matter?
Well, the matter is that Sherry Magee initially spelled his surname as ‘Magie.’ But before he got his name correctly spelled, several cards were printed in the meantime with the wrong spelling. And this error on the card made it an unusual specimen of the baseball cards. Consequently, he has become one of the most distinguished figures in baseball history.
This card is a version of the T206 set. It has received a PSA 8 Grade. In September 2018, this worthy card was sold for $660,000.
Shoeless Joe Jackson 1909 American Caramel
Joe Jackson is a notorious American sports hero in baseball game history. He was banned from the 1919 World Series due to his conjunction with the Black Box Scandal. But his portrayed cards are still very valuable ones. As there are a few of them left, these cards are admirable to buy.
This shoeless card is a rookie card holding PSA 8 Grade. This is the only copy that has attained this grade amongst various American Caramel E90-1 set cards. So, it is one of the precious copies of Joe Jackson’s baseball cards.
In 2008, this valuable card was sold only for $87,000. But passing the course of time, its rate runs for long. In 2016, the same card was sold for a record 667,149 dollars at auction.
Now, the price is going even higher. The new estimated price stands for $710,000.
Topps Pete Rose 1963
Another significant card that received PSA 10 Grade is the 1963 Pete Rose Topps card. This rare species Topps is one of the sought-after baseball cards in the world.
Pete Rose is more nefarious than Joe Jackson. He was banned for life from baseball games because he was a gambler and involved in fixing. Despite this, he is considered a popular baseball champion.
Pete Rose Topps 1963 is depicted with Rose’s name and this is called ‘The Hit King Rose.’ Even, it is the only rookie card amongst numerous versions of this card. On account of this, it is called a Gem Mint.
Now the price of this rare card is so expensive. In August 2016, this great card was rewarded $717,000 at the Heritage auction.
Bowman Mickey Mantle 1951
Mickey Mantle is one of the most renowned and iconic baseball players in the world. He died at 63 but left many hardcore fans of him. To pay tribute to him, his picture-depicted baseball cards are now enjoying wide recognition.
The design of the card is a fantastic one. Mickey Mantle is ready to hit the ball. This artwork has vastly glorified the stature of this card.
Mantle is called the father of the modern-day baseball card. His cards are so extraordinary. The reason is that this Bowman Mickey Mantle 1951 card is the only rookie card that has existed in the world. As a result, this one is very special and highly desirable for hobbyists.
This card gained Grade 9 by PSA. In April 2018, this Mantle 1951 Bowman was dealt for $750,000 at Heritage auction. Now, its present price goes for more than that.
T206 Eddie Plank 1909
Eddie Plank 1909 is another T206 set of baseball cards. It has earned PSA 10 Grade for its profundity. It is also one of the rarest baseball cards in the world. Only a few of them have now existed throughout the world. That’s why its price is skyscraping.
One of the T206 Eddie Plank was sold in 2012 for a recording price. The price went for $700,000. From then, the price is gradually rising. Now, it has surpassed the previous record and stands for $850,000.
But why is this card so valuable and highly expensive?
The reason is still unknown. This card is nothing extraordinary or unique. Only a picture of Eddie Plank with an innocent look is imprinted on the card.
Besides, this card was made from a trivial printing plate. During the making, several cards were also destroyed and suffered from poor decoration. Nonetheless, the T206 Eddie Plank card is one of the widely celebrated baseball cards.
Babe Ruth Baltimore News 1914
Possibly, Babe Ruth is the most prominent baseball player in history. In 1914, Ruth professionally started his baseball career. Then, he came out successfully and became one of the baseball legends.
Baltimore News is now a PSA 4 Grade card. These cards are pre-rookie. They have different versions regarding blue and red color.
A picture of Babe Ruth is portrayed on the card. He is in a minor-league Baltimore Orioles uniform. Looking simply sober, this outstanding baseball card is still adorable.
Babe Ruth Baltimore News 1914 is a very unusual card. Only 10 pieces of this card are now existing in the world. Although these cards are not in good shape now, their values are not decreasing. Rather, the price is going higher than most other baseball cards.
At an auction in 2012, this great card of PSA 2 Grade experienced a reward figuring $575,000. Now, a version of PSA 4 Grade is expected to be sold for more than $925,000. Think, the price is redoubling!!
Babe Ruth Sporting News 1916
Price: $1.3 million
It is not questionable that Babe Ruth is again on our list. Because the cards of this legend have been outrageously far-famed.
Another card of Ruth, Sporting News 1916 is more expensive and precious than the Baltimore News 1914. Whereas the previous one is a pre-rookie card, Sporting News is a rookie card.
This card captures the young Ruth who is in a Boston Red Sox uniform. The picture was taken before he traveled for the New York Yankees.
Babe Ruth Sporting News features two key sets as M101-4 and M101-5. But both of them belong to #151. Even, it is hardly possible to identify them.
Sporting News M101-5 holds advertisements as some companies advertised on the back part of this card. Nonetheless, only a few cards featuring the ad exist and the rest of the cards are in blank backs.
However, a copy of M101-5 with PSA 7 Grade was sold at auction in 2016 for $717,000. And this version had not any ad on its back part.
Now, the price is unpredictable. Whether it is M101-4 or M101-5, the price runs high. With PSA 8 Grade, the estimated price tag of this card is more than $1.3 million.
T206 Honus Wagner 1909
Price: $3.3 million
Only a few months back, T206 Honus Wagner was the most expensive Baseball Card in the world. For a long time, this card had experienced the reward of being the most expensive one.
In October 2016, this magnificent card was sold for a record $3.12 million at Goldin Auction. At that time, it overcame its record as this same card was sold for $2.8 million in 2007.
However, the reason behind its being the most sought-after baseball card is that the card is extremely rare and unique. This card was produced by American Tobacco Company and was distributed with the packs of cigarettes of the company. But Honus pulled the company from releasing cards. The reason is still unclear that why he did so.
As a result, the card became very scarce. Approximately, 50 copies of this version are left in the world. So for the time being, this scarcity has made the card a desirable collectible.
Honus Wagner T206 is acknowledged as the Holy Grail of baseball collectible items. Even, he is specified as ‘Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket’ by some critics.
Additionally, this card realized PSA 5 Grade. Recently, it has crossed the $3.3 price tag. If the grade grows, what would be the unpredictable price tag! However, it is very certain that T206 Honus Wagner will always be one of the most expensive and sought-after baseball cards in the world.
Mike Trout Superfractor
Price: $3.93 million
Breaking Honus Wagner’s record, Mike Trout Superfractor card became the most expensive baseball card in the world. It had ranked the first position for five months until Mickey Mantle broke the record a few months ago.
Dave Oancea who is familiar with Vegas Dave bought this card from eBay in 2018 for $400,000. At that time he was ridiculed by everyone for buying a petty card spending a large sum of money. But he was faithful in his foresight. He foresaw that this card will one day break the record of the most expensive baseball cards.
Consequently, it is a wonderful matter for Dave Oancea that his forethought came true. In August 2020 in Goldin Auction, during the great pandemic, Dave sold this card for nearly $4 million breaking the previous record.
Mike Trout is a celebrated baseball player in the modern baseball era. He is regarded as the greatest player during his era. Moreover, he is called Angels Star Mike Trout for his legendary performance.
His memorabilia, this card is a Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor Card made in 2009. This particular card achieved the third greatest grade MINT 9 from Beckett Grading Service. Moreover, 2009 Bowman is a rookie card also.
Most of the cards of Mike Trout have his autograph. As a matter, this version of 2009 Bowman has also been inserted with his autograph. Thus, this contemporary card is so valuable and it is going to be a historic one.
Topps Mickey Mantle 1952
Price: $5.2 million
And finally, the most expensive baseball card on my list is the Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps. This iconic baseball card is referred to as the Mona Lisa of the sports card.
Breaking the record of Mike Trout, Mickey Mantle became the most valuable baseball card in the world in January 2021. At PWCC Marketplace, this figurative card was sold for $5.2 million.
Rob Gough, a famous Actor, and entrepreneur bought this card regarding it as the Holy Grail of sports cards. He is extremely exultant for having the card.
Previously, Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps was sold for $2.8 million in 2018, holding second place after Honus Wagner. Moreover, one of the cards was cashed for $1.13 million in 2016. However, now this has outcast all the former records.
Nevertheless, the interesting matter is that firstly this card did not realize satisfactory appreciation. Even, several copies of this card were dumped into the ocean in 1960 on account of overproduction. But, gradually it experiences valorization.
Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps, the crown jewel of modern baseball cards, is a high numbering card of this set. It has gained Grade 9 by PSA. Considering the number, only fewer of these cards are nowadays available in the world. Therefore, these reasons matter in the overvaluation of this card.
Now look at the list of Most Expensive Baseball Cards at a glance :
11. Nolan Ryan 1968 Topps – $613,000
10. T206 Sherry Magee (Error) 1909 – 660,000
9. Shoeless Joe Jackson 1909 American Caramel – $710,000
8. Topps Pete Rose 1963- $717,000
7. Bowman Mickey Mantle 1951 – $763,00
6. T206 Eddie Plank 1909 – $850,000
5. Babe Ruth Baltimore News 1914 – $925,000
4. Babe Ruth Sporting News 1916 – $1.3 million
3. Honus Wagner 1909-16 – $3.3 million
2. Mike Trout – $3.93 million
1. Topps Mickey Mantle 1952 – $5.2 million
Frequently Asked Questions:
❐ What Baseball card brand is the most valuable?
As Baseball Cards are being expensive, there are so many brands that produce baseball cards largely. Amongst them, Topps, Upper Deck, Score, Bowman Chrome, Panini, etc are the most prominent ones.
But from them which one is the most expensive and valuable base card brand?
The answer is relative and contingent. Nevertheless, it can be said that Topps Chrome is probably the most valuable baseball card brand in the world because it has been appreciated more than any other brands of baseball cards.
Before the appearance of Panini, Topps Chrome was considered the king of baseball card brands. This great industry has a worldwide value and adoration. Even, it will always be one of the classical baseball card brands in history.
Topps has obtained the MLB license order to produce baseball cards. Accordingly, it has released several classical cards which are listed in our article titled the most expensive baseball cards in the world. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan, and 2011 Topps Mike Trout hold the holy fame and signature of the grandiose brand Topps.
❐ What is the rarest baseball card in the world?
From innumerable copies of baseball cards, some cards are hard to find and collect. Some of these iconic cards are very rare and only a few copies exist throughout the world.
In this case, the rarest baseball card is the T206 Joe Doyle N. Y. NAT’L Error card. It is believed that very few of these cards are available. even, the number may be less than 10.
This T206 card is an error card of Joe Doyle. The matter is the incorrect conjunction of N. Y. NAT’L after Joe Doyle’s name. This mistake was lit up early in the production. So, none knows how many copies of this version were printed.
Even, this error version was not known until the 1980s. After discovering the card, it was sought after widely. Now, this is the rarest baseball card as less than 10 have existed.
This uncommon card was sold for $550,000 at Auction for its value.
❐ What is the highest-selling baseball card?
Mickey Mantle Topps card is the highest-selling baseball card in the world. In January 2021, this card from the 1952 set was sold for the highest $5.2 million. This historical price has broken all the previous records in baseball history.
This card has been included on the list of the most expensive baseball cards. So take a glance at ‘no 1’ to have more information about this.
❐ What baseball cards from the 80’s and 90’s are worth money?
From the ’80s, collecting baseball cards have become a popular and favorite hobby for hobbyists. For this reason, 80s baseball cards gained supreme value. Now, there are abundant baseball cards from the 1980s and 1990s in the world.
Amongst them, Topps Traded Tiffany Barrie Bonds 1986 is one of the most high-rated baseball cards. It is estimated up to $25,000 dignifying its value.
Another card of Topps, Frank Thomas No Name on Front 1990 is a valuable 90s baseball card. This error card has been estimated highly that its price goes for more than $20,000.
Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck RC 1989 is also one of the precious baseball cards that are worth money. It is regarded as an iconic baseball card indeed. This card claims $2500.
Besides these cards, some others are also worth money. Amongst them, 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson, 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly Rookie RC, 1985 Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire, 1987 Leaf Greg Maddux Rookie RC, 1989 Bill Ripken Fleer F-FACE, etc are the noteworthy baseball cards from the 80s and 90s that are worth the money.
Final Thoughts :
It is an established truth that baseball cards are a wonderful item to collect. Over time, these artistic cards are being widely appreciated and eventually evaluated. These cards are so precious and worth collecting for the cultivated hobbyists. Hence, their price is going high day by day.
However, there are so many crazy fans who do not hesitate to buy the cards spending large sums of money. There are various examples of this. From them In the article, we have enlisted 11 of the most expensive baseball cards in the world. Hopefully, it helps you know the ins and outs, and let you choose the ideal one you like.
About Dawson Kutch
Dawson Kutch is a born and raised Alaskan who loves the outdoors and everything it has to offer. Kutch has been an avid hunter and fisher his entire life, and takes great pride in providing for himself and his family. While he enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, Kutch also has a passion for fashion and loves to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In his free time, Kutch enjoys spending time with his wife and one young daughter. He is always looking to learn more and better himself, both as a writer and as a person.