Collecting baseball cards is one of those great All-American Pass times. You're either on or off the subject, but since money is important to everyone, it never hurts to know that what you might see as a bunch of grandfather's childhood nostalgia might actually hold enough value to buy his retirement home and the Getting kids through college. For lovers of sports collecting, there's nothing quite like removing the shiny wrapping from a new deck of cards and fanning them out to see who you've got this time. Who knows what card might be the next Mickey Mantle or Honus Wagner card? It's fun to guess, but only time will tell. Here are the 20 most expensive baseball cards in the world:
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20. Stan Musial 1948 Bowman – 129.851 $, PSA: 10
That's more than predictableStan Musial is on that list. His cards are almost as popular as he is. Although there are many with his picture on it, only one was sold at this exorbitant price. We think it's fitting that such a familiar and personable face starts this list. Fans knew him as a Saint Lewis Cardinal who was indeed second to none, a three-time MVP and undoubtedly one of the all-time greats.
19. Ernie Banks 1954 Topps – 142.836 $, PSA: 9
As always with trading cards, condition is everything. If you choose to collect amounts of paper, it is the only way to preserve what makes it valuable. Images fade, edges crack, it's a risky hobby at best, but ultimately rewarding, as you'll quickly discover when you finally get your hands on something like this. You can feel the spirit of Ernie Banks, the smile and the pure joie de vivre that he embodied with his famous "Let's Play Two". It's no surprisestwo-time National League MVPhas a card that is among the most valuable in the world.
18. Pete Rose 1963 Topps – 157.366 $, PSA: 10
While it's not the most expensive baseball card in the world, it isit is expensive. The Pete Rose Rookie Card is one of the most recognizable cards in the world of baseball. Despite the fact that he was one of four faces on this highly recognizable trading card, Pete Rose is the reason she receives such an award. This particular map is also known as the most famous map of the 1960s.
17. Joe Jackson 1914 Boston Strumpfband – 204.000 $, SGC 70/100
Boston Garter CardsThe cards issued during this period are some of the most iconic and beautiful cards ever printed. The larger size (4 x 8 1/4″) makes these some of the largest baseball cards ever made which also makes them more unique. It's almost impossible to sing her praises enough. Everything about the Art Nouveau-inspired cards is only valuable for the stunning art. This particular card is also exceptionally rare and valuable.
16. Ty „The Georgia Peach“ Cobb General Banking Co. – 272.980 $, PSA: 8
Aggressive and wild, Ty Cobb was known as a ruthless gambler. His nickname is everything he wasn't like the calltallest man in the room"Tiny." Maybe he got that mean streak from his mother, who is said to have "accidentally" shot his father. We know she was acquitted, but we still have to wonder if she isn't the source of all that fire from her impressively motivated son.
15. Joe Jackson 1914 Boston Garter - $204,000, PSA: Unknown
This card, just over a century old, made the 2016 list of the 30 most valuable cards. Not much informationcame with the listing, so there is no sweet story.
14. 1933 Lou Gehrig 1933 Goudey – 274.950 $, PSA: 10
Unfortunately, everyone knows what Lou Gehrig is best known for, and it's not his baseball career. Luckily he was also a fantastic player and this perfect condition card made it into the top 20 because he was playing the game the same as he was with his terrible illness. Lower-rated cards sell for a lot less, thoughthe unadulterated copypaid a fair fee.
13. Hank Aaron 1954 Topps – 357.594 $, PSA: 10
Hank Aaron is a name that almost every baseball fan knows. Those who don't should really look it up. Not only did he beat Babe Ruth's record, but he did so at a time when he had to fight harder than Babe Ruth ever would just to play. Hank deserves his place in history and his cards are worth every penny and more. You can't have the perfect copy, but Heritage Auctions is offering fans a PSA 9 right now.
12. Joe "Slow Joe" Doyle, N.Y. Nat'l, 1909-1911 ATC T206 - $414,750, PSA: Unknown
The value of this card lies in its age and a likely mix-up. Larry Doyle was in the New York National League, but Joe Doyle was not. Still, it said so on some of the valuable cards. Most misprints were discovered and few ever circulated. Joe Doyle played for the New York Highlanders (later known as the Yankees). If you can get your hands on a copy of this 100+ year old misprint, you'll be holding over $400,000.
11. Roberto Clemente, 1955 Topps – 478.000 $, PSA: 10
Although a PSA 7 version of it can be had for around $13,000, this Hall of Famer and 3000 Hit Club member may fetch a higher price tagthan that when the map is perfect. The highest fee came in 2012 when former Big Leaguer Dimitri Young sold part of his private collection. Roberto might have scored even higher, but sadly he was killed in a plane crash while on his way to help with Nicaragua's earthquake relief efforts.
10. Willie „The Say Hey Kid“ Mays, 1952 Topps – 478.000 $, PSA: Unbekannt
The first Topps card featuring this beloved and admired player could be worth a fortuneif you got the right one. Like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays is arguably the best person to have played the game. After all, it's not a big argument if everyone agrees. When this card went on sale in 2016, it was part of a massive three-day event that featured $11 million in sports memorabilia for sale. This card was the best selling item of all.
9. Babe „The Sultan of Swat“ Ruth, 1914 Baltimore News – $575.000, PSA:2
This card has been viewed onceone of the five most expensive baseball cards in the world. Although this particular card lost its spot in our top 5, it still makes the top 10, and another Babe Ruth is higher up the list. The map was sold by Robert Edwards Auctions in 2012 and only ten or so copies are known to exist so you may have a very hard time getting your hands on a copy.
8. Mickey Mantle 1951 Bowman – 600.000 $, PSA 10
Like the other Mickey Mantle rare cards to make this list,the 1951 Bowman is a representationone of the most legendary players to ever don a jersey. Mickey Mantle is one of those names that every baseball fan knows well. We won't honk too much here as he makes the list more than once.
7. Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman, 1968 Topps – 612.359 $, PSA: 10
A perfect card always has a high value. It's hard to imagine that some of these cards initially sold for pennies or less. This is the only known perfect copy, which is impressive considering over 8000 copies were submitted for examination.
6. „Shoeless“ Joe Jackson, 1909 American Caramel – 667.149 $, PSA: 8
This is the most desirable card in the worldE90-1 American Caramel Set. It's not a total shock that a truly scandalous player has a card with an outrageous price tag. The story goes that the White Sox threw a game on purpose. Not just any game, they've been accused of pitching the 1919 World Series, presumably for a juicy win. Some players tank their card value when caught cheating, but not this guy. He has gone down in history as the most famous member of the Black Sox scandal, albeit perhaps not in the way he would have liked.
5. Pete „The Hit King“ Rose, 1963 Topps – 717.000 $, PSA: 10
This particular card is the only perfect copy, and that explains why a card that wouldn't otherwise come close to matching the value of the rest of the top 5 fetched almost 3/4 million at auction. Perfect cards are so ridiculously unusual that they seem to be worth up to a hundred thousand times more than less-than-perfect copies. You can only have this card if the buyer is willing to part with it, but for as little as $700 you can get a copy at a lower pricePPE now on eBay.
4. Babe Ruth (Pre-Yankee), 1916 Sporting News - $717,000, PSA: 3 (unconfirmed)
If youYou know nothing about baseball, you know who Babe Ruth iswas. The hard-drinking, heavy-smoking home run king was arguably the greatest player of all time. He was known for his incredible skills on the field and insatiable appetite everywhere else. From hyperactivity to sexual antics that made Hugh Heffner blush, the babe was one of the most prominent figures to ever grace the sport. It's no surprise that his pre-Yankee card cracked the top 5.
3. Mickey Mantle, 1952 Topps Major League – PSA: 8.5, $1.13 million
In 2016, this Mickey Mantle card fetched over a million dollars at auction. Overall, this player's cards fetch a pretty penny, with even lower tier cards still fetching close to a hundred thousand dollars a card.
2. Mickey Mantle, 1952 Topps Major League – PSA:9, $2.88 million
The real game changer is therecently discovered 1952 Topps Major League Mickey Mantle cardwith a higher PSA than any previously sold auctioned a year ago. Conservative estimates put its value at 3.5 million, which would have changed the history books and put a Mickey Mantle card at the top of that list. However, some savvy buyers snapped up the card for "only" 2.88 million.
1. Honus Wagner, 1909-1911 ATC T206 - $3.12 million, PSA:?
If you collect baseball cards, you probably owe a debt of gratitude to the American Tobacco Company. In the 1800s and 1900s, this ingenious company sold their cigarettes with a card inside. These cards with baseball players on them are the forerunners of modern baseball cards. We're not exactly sure why Honus Wagner let them pull his card from the market, but the result was that fewer than 200 of these rare treasures ever went public. Now, more than a hundred years after that decisionthe nearly impossible-to-find mapis worth more than its weight in gold. That makes this No. 1 one of the most expensive pieces of paper in the world.
Children and adults alike were fascinated by collecting these sturdy paper memory rectangles. For some, the allure is confusing, but whether you're a superfan or a confused bystander, there's no denying that saving some old baseball cards can be an extremely profitable endeavor. For those who have caught the collector's fever, the unique experience of holding a piece of the past in your hands is almost reward enough. If you're ever lucky enough to see one of the top 20 most expensive baseball cards ever minted, now that you know a little more about them, we hope you can understand the incredible story behind these pocket-sized works of art.