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Top 30 Most Valuable Baseball Cards

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Baseball Cards 560x280Since the beginning of the 20th century, sports cards have been sold, collected, and traded among sporting fans. The most expensive card ever dates back to 1909 and remains the most valuable today.

What began as a baseball card hobby back in the mid to late 19th century, has turned into a hobby for all sports. Basketball cards date back to 1910 and football cards date back to 1894. For the majority of these cards, the older they are, the higher the value.

Over time, card collecting has grown and actually exploded in the late ’80s and early ’90s. That explosion actually hurt the hobby as the cards were so mass produced that they lost value. It is a simple idea. The more cards on the market, the lower the value, regardless of who it is. If everyone owns a Sandy Koufax rookie card, it will not be worth much as the demand on the open market just will not be there anymore. So after the sports card hobby nearly imploded in the late ’90s, it found a new way to survive, scarcity.

Nowadays, base cards are basically worthless but the cards that are most rare carry the most value. A one of one card is worth a pretty penny because it is the only one on the market. While those newer cards are valuable, they still can’t match the originals. Below are the 30 most valuable baseball cards ever sold.

30. 1954 Ted Williams – $50,000

Year/Company: 1954 Bowman

Grade: PSA 9

30. ted 560x946

29. 1959 Bob Gibson – $53,759

Year/Company: 1959 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

29. Bob Gibson 560x951

28. 1955 Harmon Killebrew – $59,135

Year/Company: 1955 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

28. Harmon 560x330

27. 1967 Rod Carew – $59,800

Year/Company: 1967 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

27. Rod Carew 560x331

26. 1955 Sandy Koufax – $65,100

Year/Company: 1955 Topps Rookie Card

Grade: PSA 10

26. koufax 560x331

25. 1959 Willie Mays – $75,375

Year/Company: 1959 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

25. mays

24. 1960 Carl Yastrzemski – $83,813

Year/Company: 1960 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

24.1960 Carl Yastrzemski 560x330

23. 1954 Al Kaline – $88,688

Year/Company: 1954 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

23. 1954 Al Kaline 560x950

22. 2013 Kris Bryant – $89,999

Year/Company: 2013 Bowman Chrome

Special Insert: Superfractor Autograph RC

Serial Numbered: 1 of 1

Grade: BGS 9.5, Autograph 10

22. kris

21. 1914 Ty Cobb – $106,650

Year/Company: 1914 Cracker Jack

Grade: PSA 8.5

21. cobb

20. 1969 Reggie Jackson – $115,242

Year/Company: 1969 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

20. Reggie 560x950

19. 1933 Nap Lajoie – $120,000

Year/Company: 1933 Goudey

Grade: PSA 9

19. Nap 560x946

18. 1888 Albert G. Spalding – $120,000

Year/Company: 1888 G & B Chewing Gum Company

18. spalding

17. 1948 Satchel Paige – $125,000

Year/Company: 1948 Leaf

Grade: PSA 9

17. paige 560x681

16. 1933 Babe Ruth – $125,000

Year/Company: 1933 Goudey

Grade: PSA 9

16. Ruth 560x954

15. 1948 Stan Musial – $129,851

Year/Company: 1948 Bowman

Grade: PSA 10

15. Stan Musial 560x942

14. 1954 Ernie Banks – $142,836

Year/Company: 1954 Topps

Grade: PSA 8

14.banks  560x940

13. 1963 Pete Rose – $157,366

Year/Company: 1963 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

13. Rose 560x950

12. 1951 Mickey Mantle – $162,000

Year/Company: 1951 Bowman

Grade: SGC 96/100

12. MM 560x328

11. 1914 Joe Jackson – $204,000

Year/Company: 1914 Boston Garter

11. JoeJackson1 560x579

10. 1910 Honus Wagner – $218,550

Year/Company: 1910 Standard Caramel

Grade: PSA 10

10. Honus Wagner 2 560x945

Honus Wagner was probably the greatest player in MLB history, behind Babe Ruth. So his card’s are valued accordingly but this one is a PSA 10 which means it doesn’t even matter the year or set, it is valued so high because it is Honus Wagner and there aren’t many, if any, PSA 10’s of him around anymore.

9. 1911 Ty Cobb – $272,980

Year/Company: 1911 General Banking Co.

Grade: PSA 8

9. Ty Cobb 560x914

The 1911 General Banking Co. set was hand drawn and most of them are not great condition. This particular card was sold for such a large amount because of the PSA 8 rating. Can you imagine owning a Ty Cobb original card with a nearly perfect rating? That’s your retirement, you better protect it!

8. 1933 Lou Gehrig – $274,950

Year/Company: 1933 Goudey

Grade: PSA 10

8. Lou Gehrig

The 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig was only valued at $33,000 for this specific grade, the perfect PSA 10. But when it was sold during a Memory Lane Inc. auction, it went for almost ten times that amount. That’s the reason baseball card collecting is such an exciting hobby.

7. Joe Doyle – $312,000

Year/Company: 1910 Piedmont Cigarettes

Grade: SGC 50/100

7. Joe Doyle 2

This card isn’t perfect and the player isn’t even in the Hall of Fame. So why did this card sell for over $400,000? On the front of the card, where it was supposed to say American League at the bottom, it said Nat’l, which makes it an error and increases everything about it. Not all of the cards had that error either.

6. Hank Aaron – $357,594

Year/Company: 1954 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

6. Hank Aaron 560x945

Dmitri Young was the long time Detroit Tiger utility player that was a two-time All-Star and avid sports card collector. His collection has become known to be one of the most amazing ever constructed. So when he sold it at auction, it had the reputation of being part of that collection too, raising its’ value even more.

5. Joe Doyle – $414,750

Year/Company: 1909 – 1911 Sweet Caporal T206 Series

Grade: PSA 3

5. Joe Doyle 560x947

Like we just mentioned about Joe Doyle, the error card rated higher than a 3 or 5 could end up getting you more than this, almost.

4. 1955 Roberto Clemente – $432,690

Year/Company: 1955 Topps

Grade: PSA 10

4. Roberto Clemente 560x330

If you own any vintage baseball cards, you should understand how card grading works and how to rate your own cards. For example, the Roberto Clemente RC that was bought for $432,690 in auction is a PSA 10, which is technically a perfectly created card with perfect edges. It is rare to find cards that old in such mint condition so when you do, their value goes nuts.

2. 1914 Babe Ruth – $517,000

Year/Company: 1914 Baltimore News

Grade: SGC 40/100

2. Babe Ruth

Back in May of 2008, Robert Edward Auctions sold this bad boy for half a million dollars. Prior to that auction, the card was valued around half that amount. So when people started bidding, it got high really fast. But who would not want to own the rookie card of the greatest professional baseball player of all time?

2. 1952 Mickey Mantle – $525,000

Year/Company: 1952 Topps

Grade: PSA 8

3. Mickey 52 560x945

Mickey Mantle has always been a legend but it wasn’t until the last few years that the infamous 1952 Topps RC of his has garnered so much value. The card has gone from $100,000 in value ten years ago to over half a million. There are more of them out there, so maybe it is time to start going to garage sales on Saturdays.

1. Honus Wagner – $2.8 Million

Year/Company: 1909 – 1911 Sweet Caporal T206 Series

Grade: PSA 5

1. Honus 560x474

The Holy Grail of sports cards is the illustrious Honus Wagner from the 1909-1911 American Tobacco Company set. It’s value comes from the combination of a few things, the year of the card, the player on it, the condition of the card, and finally, the scarcity behind this card. There were only 200 ever made because Honus Wagner didn’t want to support tobacco use for his young fans.

Bill Mastro once owned the card and tampered with it to clean it up and help increase the value of the mother of all baseball cards. He only admitted to tampering with it after he was in court in front of a judge. This only helped to increase the card’s value and lore.

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