Collecting baseball cards is a hobby that many people take up at a young age and continue to enjoy well into adulthood. As children, young collectors learn the value of baseball cards based on the year they were produced, the player that appears on the card, and the collection number. With some of the most expensive baseball cards selling for thousands or even millions of dollars at auctions, collecting baseball cards is an attractive hobby for both amateurs and professionals. The first baseball cards were sold in the 1880s as part of an advertising campaign with actors, war heroes and athletes.
The tactic didn't take off with adults, but resonated with children, who used the abandoned cards to start their own collections. It wasn't until the 1930s when the Goudey Gum Company began including baseball cards in gum packs that companies began targeting younger markets. Honus Wagner's T206 card is one of the most valuable baseball cards in existence. This is because Wagner opposed being featured in cigarettes, so there were only 50-200 of these cards produced, including the “Jumbo” version.
Babe Ruth's card is also highly sought after because it shows him as a player in the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the New York Yankees. Joe Jackson's rookie card is valuable due to his ban from playing baseball following the “Black Sox Scandal”, a major league baseball rigging incident. The value of a baseball card is determined by many different criteria beyond just the player who appears on it. Factors such as condition, errors, shortages, and print variance can also affect price and value.
Most collections often include Topps baseball cards, although Donruss, Fleer and Upper Deck were also prominent brands in the early days of collecting. Hall of Fame cards are usually worth more than ordinary player cards, although there are exceptions. Often, valuable common player cards are worth more for emotional reasons (if the player was considered a childhood idol, for example). In addition, most player cards are worth more when they are rookie cards, which are for players in their first year as a professional.
The condition of the baseball card affects its value regardless of its rarity. Card condition is determined by looking at corners, edges, centering and surfaces for wear. A score card is a baseball card that has been judged by a professional qualifier based on condition and authenticity. Collectors tend to pay more for qualifying cards than for unqualified cards as this indicates that the card being sold is authentic.
The cards are scored on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “poor” and 10 is “almost perfect”.In general, older baseball cards are worth more because there are fewer such cards and many were lost or damaged over time. Since the 1980s baseball cards have been printed in mass runs so their value is significantly lower. Errors can often lead to price increases based on rarity. There are two types of errors in baseball cards: uncorrected errors and corrected errors.
Corrected errors are those that the manufacturer warns and corrects but not until some of the cards with the error have been printed. Print variations refer to different designs and styles with which the card was printed. For example, some cards may have a white font while others have a yellow font such as the 1969 version of the Topps Mickey Mantle card which can get four times the value of the white version depending on its condition. When it comes to which baseball cards are still worth money in the 21st century you can group them into four categories: T206 Honus Wagner; Babe Ruth M101-5 Sporting News Rookie Card; Roberto Clemente Topps Rookie Card; Hank Aaron Topps Rookie Card. The most expensive baseball card belongs to T206 Honus Wagner The value of this card is very high so you have to be careful with counterfeits. It's best to check the PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) score. Level “1” cards indicate poor status while “10” is the highest level (Gem Mint).
The better the condition of the card, the higher its value. Babe Ruth M101-5 Sporting News Rookie Card is next on this list of most expensive baseball cards in history. One of these...