Baseball is one of the most popular and fan favorite sports in the world. Due to its impressive popularity, some of the leading sports card printing companies are producing trading cards. At one time, these sports cards were collected as a hobby. But after the pandemic of 2019, the hobby became an investing option. Turning a thousand dollars sector into a million dollars industry.
From the best Hank Aaron baseball card to Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, etc. are part of these cards. Fans are crazy about these cards and are always ready to pay a hefty amount of money to acquire them.
So, do you know what are some most expensive baseball cards that are sold to date? Let’s find out!
Before jumping right to the valuation of some legendary baseball cards, let us understand the phenomena of grading sports cards. Not every trading card is worth thousands and millions of dollars.
Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) is a highly credible grading company that authenticates the condition of a sports card. The highest quality i.e., gem mint condition card is rated as PSA 10. While the lowest and deteriorating quality of cards are rated as PSA 1.
So, now the concept of PSA is clear. Shall we jump right to the bandwagon?
1909 – 1911 ATC T206 Honus Wagner
Johannes Peter “Honus” Wagner was a shortstop baseballer. He was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, with 3,430 hits to his record. Due to his exceptional gameplay, the fans to date are crazy for him.
The 1909 – 1911 ATC T206 sports card is one of the oldest baseball cards, printed for the MLB. However, even being the oldest, the Honus Wagner card was auctioned for an unimaginable price. Breaking all the records and becoming the most expensive sports card ever sold, it was auctioned for $6.6 million. So far, no other sports card reached such height. Neither NFL nor NBA players.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
The legendary Mickey Charles Mantle played as a center fielder for New York Yankees. He was too a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, with a beautiful record of 2,415 hits.
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball trading card is one of the most coveted sports cards in history. Being a fan favorite, the card was auctioned for a whopping price of $5.2 million. It was bought by the actor, Rob Gough. For a long time, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle was the most expensive card, until Honus Wagner took the crown.
1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth
“The Sultan of Swat”, George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr. was an incredible outfielder and pitcher in baseball history. He was not only part of the Baseball Hall of Fame but also held the title of Home Run King, that later was broken by Hank Aaron.
In 2021, Babe Ruth’s 1961 Sporting News card was auctioned for $1.45 million in June 2021. It was a PSA 6 condition card that managed to break the bank! What’s more interesting is that the same card was sold in March 2021 for $940,831. It makes a straight profit of $511,169. That’s a huge change in value in just three months!
1955 Topps Roberto Clemente
The Puerto Rican right fielder baseballer had a decorated gaming history. He was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame with 3,000 hits in records. Being a highly celebrated baseball player, his sports card has incredible worth.
The 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 9 got auctioned in 2021 for a phenomenal price of $1.1 million. Did you know the last time Roberto Clemente’s card was sold was in 2018? At that time, it was sold for $264,000 only. It means, after 3 years, the value spiked about $836,000. Isn’t it incredible?
By realizing such a valuation, the PSA 10 condition card was sold for $432,690 back in 2012. Today, if the buyer decides to sell it, the worth would be above $2 million easily.
1969 Topps Reggie Jackson
Reginald Martinez Jackson is a former right fielder in the baseball world. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame with a phenomenal record of 2,584 hits. He was nicknamed “Mr. October” due to his clutch hitting in a postseason game.
The 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson baseball sports card was auctioned in 2021 for $1 million. The PSA 10 gem mint card is in perfect condition with no marks, stains, torn sides, etc.
Interestingly, the same card was auctioned back in 2012 for $115,242 in the same condition. Due to pandemics and increased interest in trading cards, the card witnessed a spike of $890,358 in the timeframe of 9 years. That is incredible!
1909 American Caramel Joe Jackson
The incredible outfielder Joseph Jefferson Jackson was a brilliant baseball player. With 1,772 hits, Jackson had a nickname called “Shoeless Joe”. He was given such a nickname for running without a shoe when his foot blisters were irritating him.
Joe Jackson’s 1909 American Caramel trading card was auctioned for $667,189. But it was last sold in 2019. At that time, the hype of sports cards was not at an extreme. Critics believe that if that card gets sold today, the worth would be easily above a million dollars.
These are the top 6 baseball cards that sold for thousands of dollars. All thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and sudden nostalgic feeling for the trading cards. The sports cards industry skyrocketed at a speed no one even thought of!
For investors, who are looking for future options, the baseball sports cards industry is booming. There is no chance at the moment that it will slow down. Young investors can get their hands on new players, and wait for years to come. Let the players become top of their game and then hit the market to sell them. Though, during this time, don’t forget to keep them in a safe place. Only top condition cards make the highest money.