People spend as much money on old pieces of cardboard as they do on the house. And they’re gorgeous houses. So, whoever claims that baseball cards are no longer valuable has no idea what they’re talking about. True, enormous print runs in the late 1980s and early 1990s wiped out the value of most post-1980s cards. Here is a list of the most valuable baseball cards that are worth money.
However, most people are unaware that the value of many pre-war and even high-grade post-war vintage baseball cards can be enormous. Whether you want to sell baseball cards, you should read over this list to determine if you have something remarkable.
Top 10 Most Valuable Baseball Cards That Are Worth Money
1. 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner
The 1909 American Tobacco Company T206, Honus Wagner card, is considered the Holy Grail of all trading cards, and it is still the icon of trading card collecting today.
They regularly sell for over $1 million, even if they are in bad shape. Most of the T206 set’s cards are standard, but the Honus Wagner cards are uncommon because of their early production removal. No one knows why this is. Was it because Wagner wanted to be compensated for using his image by the tobacco company? Was it because he didn’t want to promote tobacco smoking to minors, as many believe?
As a result of whatever reason, there are only about 50-75 known copies in circulation today. For many years, this card has been and will continue to be the most valuable baseball card.
That implies there are a lot of fakes out there, So check with PSA or other reliable third-party graders before purchasing or selling one of these.
2. 1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb Tobacco (Ty Cobb Back)
The T206 set is unique for various reasons, one of which is the abundance of company ads on the backs–there are 16 different backs in total.
According to estimates, there are roughly 5,500 different front/back combinations in this set, earning the moniker “The Monster.” The Ty Cobb back is the rarest of them, with only about 22 known to exist, all in poor condition. Seven copies of this card were surprisingly discovered in an old paper bag in 2016. Since then, the find has been dubbed “The Lucky 7.”
This card is estimated to be worth over $1 million in PSA 4.5 condition. This is by far the most costly of Ty Cobb’s baseball cards.
3. Mickey Mantle
Power of the stars: Mantle, who played from 1951 to 1968 and was recognized as the best switch-hitter in MLB history, was a great all-around player before an injury-plagued decline. He might have threatened Ruth’s all-time home run record if he hadn’t been injured so frequently. Mantle hit 536 home runs throughout his MLB career.
It’s not even Mantle’s rookie card, yet it’s the most legendary trading card in sports. His 1951 Bowman card is the recipient of this accolade. The 1952 Topps Mantle, on the other hand, includes one feature that the 1952 Topps Mantle does not: A fantastic backstory.
Sy Berger, the owner of Topps, let the printing presses run for a few of his company’s cards in 1952. However, collectors were put off by the late-summer release, and cases of the product went unsold. Berger tossed up to 500 issues of the cards into the Hudson River in 1960, including Mantle’s now-valuable card.
4. T206 White Border Ty Cobb (Bat Off Shoulder)
The four Ty Cobb cards in the T206 are all different in popularity, scarcity, and appearance, yet they’re all just as valuable to the hobby as the 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth quartet.
If you ask most collectors, they’ll tell you that they favor portrait positions, with the green portrait being selected above the red because of its scarcity.
After then, the “Bat On Shoulder” and “Bat Off Shoulder” would appear. But, unlike the others, you can find the “Bat Off Shoulder” in PSA 9 Mint condition, which ranks it significantly higher on this ranking than the others.
So, while it may not be as coveted as the others, the fact that it still exists in such good form commands a high price.
5. Babe Ruth
Ruth was the game’s first global hero, known as “The Great Bambino,” “The Sultan of Swat,” “The Colossus of Clout,” or simply “The Babe.” He, like Wagner, was a member of the first Hall of Fame class in 1936 and was named to MLB’s All-Century squad. Ruth, who played in the major leagues from 1914 through 1935, was the all-time home run leader until Hank Aaron (1974) and Barry Bonds (1985). (2004).
The Goudey Gum Company released a 240-card set with four Ruth cards in 1933, a year after his final World Series victory. The standard, however, is card No. 53, which has Ruth against a bright yellow background. Professional Sports Authenticator graded this classic card as pristine condition.
6. T206 White Border Ty Cobb (Green Portrait)
The “Green Portrait” variant of the T206 Cobb card, which is part of the legendary quartet of T206 Cobb cards, is the most difficult to collect of them all.
Many collectors love Cobb’s T206 card’s portrait versions, particularly the “Green Portrait.” Unless you’re referring to the “Red Portrait” with the Ty Cobb back, which was already featured on this list.
The card’s design and imagery are subtle, but it’s still a genuinely magnificent card for any serious collector to contemplate.
7. 914 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson
The 1914 Cracker Jack Mathewson is one of the hobby’s great rarities, and it’s easily the most challenging card to locate in this incredible set.
The only difference between the 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack sets, as you may know, is that the 1915 Cracker Jack cards are frequently found in excellent condition because they were a redemption set.
However, there are two critical variations between Mathewson’s cards in general. In both the 1914 and 1915 sets, Mathewson is the only player whose stances are entirely different.
He’s also the lone major player on a horizontal layout in the 1914 set.
Most collectors will tell you that his 1915 Cracker Jack card has greater visual appeal, but his 1914 version is the more uncommon and valuable of the two.
8. T206 White Border Cy Young (Portrait)
Cy Young set a record for most victories in a single season with 511, a mark that is unlikely to be surpassed.
Surprisingly, many people do not believe him to be the finest pitcher ever. Nonetheless, his name is on the annual award for the best pitcher in the Majors.
Young appears three times in the epic T206 set, the most sought-after and expensive of them all. It isn’t easy to find a high-grade copy of this card.
9. 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson
The 1914 version is visually appealing in the same way its 1915 Cracker Jack cousin is.
The 1914 Cracker Jack cards, on the other hand, were placed directly within the boxes, making them more difficult to find in good shape.
Collectors of this card should be concerned about the possibility of caramel stains.
However, many collectors are content to own one of these legendary cards in the first place.
10. Mike Trout
Power of the stars: The future Hall of Famer was an all-star in nine of his first 11 seasons and is often regarded as the game’s best active player. The outfielder with the Los Angeles Angels has won three American League MVP awards.
In 1992, Topps, which produces Bowman cards, began making “parallel” cards, rarer and more valuable short-printed versions of base cards. Until numerous occasions in 2020 and 2021, the Superfractor version of Trout’s Bowman Draft autographed rookie card—a shimmering gold variant restricted to only one copy—held the record for most excellent card sale.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 most expensive baseball cards in the world:
- Honus Wagner 1909-1911 ATC T206 – $3 Million
- Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps – $2.8 Million
- Babe Ruth, 1916 Sporting News – $717,000
- Pete Rose, 1963 Topps – $717,000
- “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, 1909 American Caramel – $667,149
- Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman, 1968 Topps – $612,359
- Mickey Mantle, 1951 Bowman – $600,000
- Babe Ruth, 1914 Baltimore News – $575,000
- Willie Mays, 1952 – $478,000
- Roberto Clemente, 1955 Topps – $470,000
So there you have it: the most expensive baseball cards you’ll ever come upon. That is if you’re lucky enough! Among the baseball greats on this list of cardboard rarities are Wagner, Ruth, Cobb, Mantle, and Mays, to name a few. Baseball cards continue to be popular and in high demand, proving that they are still valuable.
That is a fact that is unlikely to change shortly. Only a few of them remain, and collectors will go to any length to obtain them, given the likelihood that baseball will continue to be a popular sport. The challenge is, where do you begin with such a long list? What do you do when there are so many greats to pick from?
If you’re a collector, stick to what you enjoy and only collect what you want. You can never go wrong with that strategy!
People Also Ask
What are baseball cards from the ’80s and 90s worth money?
- 1987 Donruss Barry Bonds Error
- 1993 Finest Refractor Ken Griffey
- 1990 Topps Frank Thomas No Name
- 1988 Craig Biggio
- 1993 SP FOIL Derek Jeter
- 1985 Topps Mark McGwire
Which baseball cards are worth money right now?
- 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 The Jumbo Wagner.
- 1909-11 Ty Cobb Tobacco T-206 Ty Cobb Back.
- 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Red Refractor Autograph /5.
- 1969 Reggie Jackson Topps RC #260 Dmitri Young Collection.
What are baseball cards from the 2000s worth money?
- 2001 Topps Chrome #596 Albert Pujols.
- 2000 Topps Chrome Traded #T40 Miguel Cabrera.
- 2001 Topps Chrome Traded #T266, Ichiro Suzuki.
- 2008 Topps Update #UH240 Clayton Kershaw.
- 2004 Topps Chrome #219 Yadier Molina.
- 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft #44 Joey Votto.
- 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft #6 Zack Greinke.
What are top baseball cards worth money?
- 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth (Tie)
- 1948 Leaf Satchel Paige (Tie)
- 1915 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb (Tie)
- 1952 Topps Willie Mays (Tie)
- 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente (Tie)
- 1909 T206 Ty Cobb (Bat Off Shoulder)
- 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth.
- 1910 T210 Old Mill Joe Jackson.
What are baseball cards from the 70s worth money?
- 1971 Topps Bert Blyleven RC #26.
- 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt, Ron Cey and John Hilton RC #615.
- 1970 Topps Thurman Munson and Dave McDonald RC #189 with Dave McDonald.
- 1971 Topps Dusty Baker, Don Baylor, and Tom Paciorek RC #709.
- 1975 Topps George Brett RC #228.
How much is a 1989 Ken Griffey Jr card worth?
Average Selling Price: $380
The 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie could compete for his most iconic rookie card.
How much is a 1989 Nolan Ryan baseball card worth?
|Sale Date ▲ ▼||Title ▲ ▼||▲ ▼ Price|
|2021-10-22||1989 Fleer Baseball #368 Nolan Ryan PSA 8 #368||$13.00|
|2021-07-21||1989 Fleer #368 Nolan Ryan PSA 8||$8.00|
|2021-05-31||1989 Fleer Nolan Ryan PSA 8 # 368 HOF||$6.99|
|2021-04-10||1989 FLEER #368 NOLAN RYAN PSA 8 NM-MT HOUSTON ASTROS RANGERS ANGELS METS HOF||$6.50|