Top 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards in 2021
Top 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards in 2021
While baseball is popular all over the world, it is particularly popular in its country of origin, the US. As is explained over at runrex.com, all sorts of merchandise and memorabilia are sold to baseball fans, but perhaps one of the most popular and enjoyable to collect are baseball cards. As the gurus over at guttulus.com, there are certain baseball cards out there that could fetch you a fortune if you happen to get your hands on them. Here are the top 10 most expensive baseball cards, and if you have any of the cards on this list, then consider yourself very lucky.
1995 Topps Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente sadly passed away in a plane crash while on his way to Nicaragua to help earthquake victims, but his legacy lives on. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame as discussed over at runrex.com, and his 1995 Topps card is one of the most valuable in the hobby. In 2016, a grade 9 PSA version of this card sold for $478,000 at auction, and it is likely that if you have a PSA 9 or PSA 10 version of this card you could fetch even more now according to guttulus.com.
1953 Topps Willie Mays
Willie Mays is arguably one of the best baseball players of all time and is considered an icon in the baseball world. His Topps card, which sold for $478,000 at auction in 2016, was part of a three-day sports auction held by Heritage Auctions, which managed to sell a total of $11 million worth of memorabilia throughout the event, with the card being the single most valuable item as outlined over at runrex.com. While it was not a rookie card, this was the first Topps card to feature Willie Mays.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth is probably the most famous and well-known name in baseball. His 1914 Baltimore News card raised an impressive $575,000 at auction in 2012 as covered over at guttulus.com. This card was once considered to be among the top 5 most expensive baseball cards in the world, and there are only about 10 cards known to exist, making them all extremely valuable. On this card, Babe is seen as a minor league pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, a long time before he became famous.
1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle
Mickey Mantle is another of the game’s most iconic players and is well known amongst all hardcore baseball fans around the world. As the gurus over at runrex.com point out, the 1951 Mickey Mantle is one of the hobby’s most sought-after cards and is valued at about $600,000, coming in at number 7 on this list.
1968 Topps Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman
A PSA 10 copy of this Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman combo piece sold for $612,359 when it was auctioned some time back as is revealed in discussions on the same over at guttulus.com. While over 8,000 Nolan/Koosman rookie cards were submitted for grading, the aforementioned card that sold at the auction was the only one to receive a perfect 10 grading by PSA. Its flawless condition is why it was valued so highly, compared to a PSA 9 version of the card which would only be valued between $20,000 and $30,000.
1909 American Caramel “Shoeless” Joe Jackson
This card is the most sought-after card in the E90-1 Caramel set, which is why it is not surprising that as a PSA grade 8 of this card sold at auction for $667,149. As the subject matter experts over at runrex.com point out, “Shoeless Joe” was the most high-profile player to be linked with the notorious Black Sox scandal, which is one of the reasons why his rookie card of 1909 is one of the most valuable cards in the hobby.
1963 Topps Pete Rose
Pete “the Hit King” Rose is another of the game’s icons and is recognized by fans from all over the world. This is why it was not surprising that a PSA version of the 1963 Topps Pete Rose sold for $717,000 when it last went up for auction. The gurus over at guttulus.com, point out that, on top of Rose’s name, the fact that the card was a perfect 10 also contributed to its high value, as well as the fact that the card was the only copy of its kind to have ever received such a high rating.
1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth
The 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth is not his first card, but is considered to be his true “rookie card” as the earlier Baltimore News card from 1914 was considered a pre-rookie or minor league card as articulated over at runrex.com. This rookie card features Ruth (aka the Bambino) in a pitching pose with the Boston Red Sox before getting shipped off to rivals New York Yankees. This card is quite rare as noted by the PSA, with only 29 versions of it having been graded. The last sale of this card in 2017 was of a PSA 7 graded version which netted $717,000, and, therefore, a higher graded alternative is likely worth more than $1 million.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
This card is considered by baseball card collectors to be one of the crown jewels in the hobby. From discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, the card’s scarcity can be attributed to the low print run of high series cards by Topps, and when you add to this a legendary story about former Topps exec Sy Berger dumping cases of cards into the Atlantic Ocean, it is no surprise that this card is popular and valuable. Even non-baseball fans know are familiar with Mickey Mantle. A PSA 9 version of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold for an eye-watering $2.8 million in 2018.
1909 T-206 Honus Wagner
This is the so-called “Monalisa” of baseball cards and is probably the most recognizable baseball card for even non-collectors. As is revealed in discussions over at runrex.com, American Tobacco pulling production of this card early in its run is the main reason behind its rarity. The reason for this is still unclear with some sources claiming that Wagner, who is one of the game’s all-time greats, didn’t want to be associated with a smoking product, while others claiming that it was because of a lack of adequate compensation. Regardless of the reason, the scarcity of the card, and the fact that it features one of baseball’s legends, are the reasons why it is valued so highly. A PSA 5 (OC) Wagner sold for $3.2 million in 2016, and when anyone asks what the most expensive baseball card in the hobby is, the 1952 T-206 Honus Wagner is usually a safe answer.