Top 30 most valuable baseball cards and their market prices

Top 30 most valuable baseball cards and their market prices

If you are getting into selling baseball cards, there are several questions you may ask yourself. Are baseball cards worth money? What is the most valuable baseball card in the world? How do you determine the most expensive baseball cards? These are some of the commonly asked questions. The truth is, they are worth money so long as you find rare and well-maintained ones with an infamous player. Please keep reading to determine some of the most valuable baseball cards and their value.

Top 30 most valuable baseball cards and their market prices in 2021
Collector Ian Taylor displays a very rare and valuable 1965 Topps promotional sample sheet. Photo: Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

If you are looking for the top 30 most valuable baseball cards plus their value, then you have come to the right place. So what is the most valuable baseball card 2021? Find out in this read!

Top 30 most valuable baseball cards and their values

It seems that the market of these items keeps changing daily, and fans cannot keep up with the most valuable ones or those with the highest sales prices. So, you will find they keep asking many questions, such as ‘What baseball cards from the 80s and 90s are worth money?’ or ‘What is the 1975 Topps baseball cards value in 2021?’ or ‘Are rare Topps baseball cards valuable in 2021?’

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Find out these and more details of the valuable baseball cards here. They are listed in the order of the most common ones. Let us get started!

1. 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner

PSA 4 VG-EX market price: $4 million

Top 30 most valuable baseball cards
Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates 1909 T206 Trading Card is the most precious as of 2021. Photo: Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

What's the most expensive baseball card? The 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner! It is from the 1909 Tobacco Company is considered the crowning glory of all trading cards. They could fetch $1 million in the market, even if they have defects. It is the most expensive pre-War card. You can find the T206 set quickly in the market but not the Honus Wagner ones, as their production ceased early. Only 50 to 75 of them are available for circulation.

2. 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle

APSA 9 mint market price: $2.5 million

It might not be Mickey Mantle’s official rookie card, but it is the most valuable rookie card and for several reasons. For one, 1952 marks the year Topps joined this market. Secondly, it was ranked a high number item, and few of these were printed. Lastly, most high number items were disposed of in the ocean, leaving only a few in the market. These aspects make it stand out from other rookie merchandise, such as the Jim Rice rookie card.

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3. 1916 (M101-5) Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card

PSA 8 NM-MT estimated market price: $1,350, 000

This is another of the most valuable rookie baseball cards. It reveals young Ruth dressed in a Boston Red Sox uniform before he was traded to the rival, the New York Yankees. It is the key to the 200 M101-5 set and is located off-center.

4. 1916 (M101-4) Sporting News #151 Babe Ruth Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 8 NM-MT price: $1,350,000

Unlike the M101-5 set described above, this set is pretty easy to acquire. However, the sets are pretty identical and may be challenging to distinguish. However, it can be easy to distinguish these two Babe Ruth rookie cards if one had ads at the back and the other didn’t.

5. 1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb Tobacco (Ty Cobb Back)

PSA 4.5 grade estimated value: $1.1 million

2021 most valuable baseball cards and their market prices
Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers on a baseball card distributed by the American Tobacco Company. The 1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb Tobacco sells at $1.1 m. Photo: Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

This particular item is valuable for multiple reasons, perhaps due to its many brand advertisements on the sixteen different backs. In addition, it has gained the nickname ‘The Monster’ following its front/back combos approximated to be around 5, 500.

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6. 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News

PSA 4 VG-EX Value: $925,000

What are the most valuable baseball cards to look for? These 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News items. An SGC 3graded copy was sold at a whopping $6 million in June of 2021. Thus, it has obtained the title of the expensive baseball cards to ever sell till the writing of this piece.

7. Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Red Refractor - BGS 9.5/10

Value: $922, 500

This is the second most hard to find version of the Trout’s top items. It has the first autograph of Bowman in an MLB uniform. It was sold via Goldin Auctions in May of 2020 for $922, 500.

8. 1909-11 T 206 White Border Eddie Plank

PSA 8NM-MT estimated market price: $850, 000

It comes from the same set as the Honus Wagner but is very scarce. The belief is that it suffered from an inferior printing plate; hence the quality was too poor to be passed on. Nonetheless, it is deemed valuable and highly desired as it bears the only pose of the HOF pitcher.

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9. 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle

PSA 9 value: $750, 000

30 most valuable baseball cards in 2021
Mickey Mantle poses for a portrait in April, 1951 in New York. This image was used to paint the 1952 Bowman baseball card of Mantle. Photo: 1951 Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Although Mantle passed away in 1995, he got a chance to enjoy popularity amongst collectors whose business has thrived since the 80s. His name was common amongst these collectors. A PSA 9 1951 Bowman Mantle was in 2018 sold for $750, 000.

10. Pete Rose, 1963 Topps

PSA 10 value: $717, 000

This is the only Pete Rose rookie merchandise with a population of 1 in the PSA 10 grade.

11. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, 1909 American Caramel

PSA 8 market price: $667, 149

This item has the record for the candy card sale. The number of Joe Jackson’s merchandise produced when playing is minimal, hence the increased value.

12. 1909-11 T206 White Border Sherry Magie Error Card

Estimated PSA 8 NM-MT price: $660,000

Most valuable baseball cards and their market prices
Trade card by the American Tobacco Company depicting American baseball left fielder Sherwood 'Sherry' Magee (1884 - 1929) of the Philadelphia Phillies, 1911. Photo: Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

This is the most infamous error card in a set consisting of the Ty Cobb back, Honus Wagner, and Eddie Plank the T206 Sherry Magie error card. Sherry Magee’s surname was misspelled and mistakenly spelled as Magie. The error was noticed early enough before many copies were made.

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13. 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan - Price: $612,359

Ryan holds the record for strikeouts, an aspect that has increased his fame over the years. Although this Ryan rookie card is relatively common, its PSA 8 version has still managed to grade 8, 279 copies as of August 2018.

14. Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman, 1968 Topps

PSA 1value: $600, 000

This is a POP 1 item, meaning there is only one PSA 10 type of it. It sold in 2016 at Heritage Auctions for $600, 000.

15. 1909-11 American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson Rookie Card

PSA B NM-MT value: is $600, 000

Top 30 most valuable baseball cards and their market prices
A look at Candy card featuring American baseball player Joe Jackson (1887 - 1951), of the Chicago White Sox, as he poses with a bat over his shoulder, 1917. Photo: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

This item is valuable as there are only a few of them. Production was ceased after Jackson was banned from baseball during his peak, allegedly because of participating in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal Series. One of the most sought after baseball cards belonging to Joe Jackson is his American Caramel E90-1 rookie card. It shows him leaning on his bat with a purple backdrop.

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16. 1909-11 T206 White Border Joe Doyle (N.Y. Natl.)

PSA 3 VG estimated market price: $550,000

This is an example of an error card that made it into the market following a mix-up between Larry and Joe Doyle. Joe Doyle was playing for New York Highlanders of the American League when the T206 was circulating. By then, there were several N.Y. Nat’l cards in the market, and Larry Doyle was playing for the New York Giants of the NL.

17. 1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb (Bat Off Shoulder)

Sweet Caporal 350 price: $526, 000

This item brings Cobb to life as it shows him holding the bat off his shoulder. It is as famous as the 1975 Topps baseball card.

18. Willie Mays, 1952 Topps

PSA 9 market price: $478, 000

The 1952 Topps set features this card sold at Heritage Auctions in 2016 for $478, 000. Its value was highly searched on the web, just like the 1975 Topps baseball cards value.

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19. Roberto Clemente, 1955 Topps

PSA 10 market price: $432, 690

30 most valuable baseball cards and their market prices
This Roberto Clemente 1955 Topps card is worth $2,000 in Edd Cabral's collection. He has the whole set of 1955 cards on sale for $7,200. Photo: Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

It was part of the Dimitri Young Collection but was sold in 2012. It was later resold at Heritage Auctions in 2016 for $432, 690.

20. Jackie Robinson 1948 Leaf

PSA 8 price: $400, 980

This is deemed Jackie Robinson’s actual rookie card. It sold at $400, 980 at Goldin Auctions, just three months before a PSA 8 exact card sold for $174, 000.

21. Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Superfractor

BGS 9/10 market price: $400, 000

It is infamous for being the only modern-day sports item. David Oancea owned it before selling it on eBay for $400, 000 back in 2018.

22. 1953 Topps #82 Mickey Mantle

Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $325,000

30 most valuable baseball cards 2021
Mickey Mantle's Baseball card from the Bowman Gum company (1931 - 1995), of the New York Yankees, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1954. Photo: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

It is arguably Mickey Mantle’s most beautiful merchandise, and collectors love it due to its high quality and condition. It is also valuable as it has Mantle’s close-up. However, collectors are particular and always validate to see if his face has defects.

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23. 1932 U.S. Caramel #32 Babe Ruth

PSA 9 Mint Value: $300,000

This is one of Babe’s most desired and valuable items on the 32 set. It shows Bane in a Yankees cap during the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

24. 1902-1911 W600 Sporting Life Cabinets Ty Cobb

Estimated PSA 2 Good Value: $300,000

This is another collection of the collectible baseball set of Ty Cobb.

25. 1933 Goudey #160 Lou Gehrig

PSA 9 Mint Value: $300,000

The Iron Horse appears twice in the 1933 Goudey set on #92 and 160. Unfortunately, # 160 is and very difficult to find hence more valuable and pricey.

26. 1933 Goudey #181 Babe Ruth

PSA 9 price: $300,000

2021 valuable baseball cards and their market prices
Color lithograph portrait of George Heramn "Babe" Ruth swinging a bat. It was published by the Goudey Gum Company to publicize Big League Chewing Gum. Photo: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

This is the last of the four Babe Ruth items in the 1933 Goudey set. It is not as pricy as the yellow of the Ruth’s but still precious.

27. 1914 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson

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PSA 8 NM-MT price: $250,000

This is one of the most challenging cards to find in the 1914 Cracker Jack Mathewson set. This set highly resembles the 1915 one, but it is easy to differentiate between the two because Mathewson poses entirely different in the two sets.

28. Babe Ruth 1933 Goudey #53

PSA 8 value: $203, 150

This set contains four items, but the priceless and rarest one is the yellow one. It is one to look out for in auction listings.

29. Joe Jackson 1915 Cracker Jack

PSA 8 market price: $120, 000

Top 30 most valuable baseball cards and their market prices
Joe Jackson's Cracker Jack candy set that was produced in Chicago Illinois, circa 1913. Photo: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Despite Joe being banned from baseball, he remains widely collectible and infamous. It sold at $120, 000 at Heritage Auctions in May of 2019.

30. Willie Mays 1951 Bowman

PSA 8 value: $103, 317

This is deemed Mays’ rookie card but is contained in the same set as Mickey Mantle’s actual rookie card. It was in October of 2020 sold for $103, 317.

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These are 30 of the most valuable baseball cards as of 2021. The list consists of some rookie cards and other rare ones pocketing a good amount in the market. Nonetheless, the value keeps changing, and it is crucial to invest after knowing the current value.

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Source: Briefly News

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