Which Baseball Cards are Worth Money?

Learn about some of baseball's most valuable trading cards including Honus Wagner's 1911 American Tobacco Company Card, Mickey Mantle's 1952 Rookie Card and Babe Ruth's 1933 Goudey Card.

Which Baseball Cards are Worth Money?

Hall of Famer Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle cards have sold in the millions. Although presented to the public in the mid-1860s, not long after the start of the game and soon after the popularization of photography, baseball cards were not mass-produced until the 1880s. That's when tobacco brands like Old Judge and Gypsy Queen inserted cards into their products with player illustrations, mainly to keep the flimsy packaging intact. Baseball cards became a hit with fans, especially children, who received an extra piece of chewing gum inside the envelopes in the early 1930s.But it wasn't until the 1980s that baseball card values skyrocketed, thanks to the public's deep interest in nostalgia and the explosion in popularity of “rookie” cards with players in their first major league baseball season.

Now considered investments by high-level collectors, rare cards in supreme condition have sold in the millions. In 1991, Professional Sports Authenticator, a sports memorabilia company, established an industry standard for card classification and authentication. Other companies also rate cards based on condition, including Beckett Grading Services (BGS) and Sportscard Guaranty Company (SGC).The Most Valuable Baseball Card of All Time: Honus Wagner's 1911 American Tobacco Company Card. Legend has it that Wagner was a teetotaler who abstained from using his image to sell tobacco.

Others argue that Wagner demanded more compensation from the company for using his likeness, and therefore production of the card was limited. Whatever the reason for its rarity, the Wagner T206 card is still the most famous baseball card.The 1952 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card. In 1952, Topps owner Sy Berger stopped printing houses for some of his company's cards. But the late summer release chilled collectors on the cards and the boxes of the product went unsold.

In 1960, Berger had up to 500 boxes of cards, including Mantle's now valuable letter, thrown into the Hudson River.The 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey Card. In 1933, one year after its last World Series title, the Goudey Gum Company produced a set of 240 cards, including four Ruth cards. This iconic card was rated in perfect condition by Professional Sport Authenticator. Some may argue about Ryan's team's lack of success.

He played for a single World Series champion, the 1969 New York Mets. Koosman, who earned the best billing on the card, was a good player in his own right. He finished his career with 222 victories. Few of these cards have been found in excellent condition.One of several DiMaggio cards from unknown manufacturers, the 1939 playing card is considered his best rookie card.

The normally stoic star smiles on the Play Ball card. Other high-quality versions of your 1936 World Wide Gum and 1938 Goudey cards may have even more than this card. There are exceptions to this rule depending on who the player is on the card, how rare it is, and other factors such as condition but usually the older a card is, the better it is.Anson was arguably the biggest star of his time but unfortunately there are very few cards from those days that show him as a player. Being a “high number” card (311-407 cards in the set) means that fewer Mickey Mantle rookie cards were printed than the average 1952 Topps baseball card in the first place.

Two-time All-Star Dmitri Young once boasted of what was considered to be the best collection of PSA 10 baseball rookie cards in the hobby. There are red and blue dye versions of this card which depicts Ruth in her Baltimore Orioles minor league uniform.Originally designed for clothing store windows today there are only about half a dozen Boston Garter Jackson cards from 1914. Although not as expensive as the “Yellow Ruth” or “Red” from the same collection she is still a very expensive card and a key member of Ruth's quartet. This is my favorite Sandy Koufax baseball card and in my opinion one of the nicest cards of 1950s. A notable versatile athlete he starred in four sports (baseball, basketball, soccer and athletics) at UCLA.There aren't many Satchel Paige baseball cards in hobby but this is a very attractive card from legendary pitcher.

Perhaps best known today for his peculiar yogisms for example “baseball is 90 percent mental other half is physical” Yogi Berra was also 15-time All-Star and 10-time world champion and unfortunately Goudey mailed card with clip that left marks on card. Young baseball card collectors have grown to become part of knowledgeable community and with most expensive baseball cards selling thousands or even millions dollars at auctions on occasion collecting baseball cards is attractive hobby for both amateurs and professionals alike.It should come as no surprise that Ty Cobb's 1915 Cracker Jack card carries huge price given its iconic status in baseball history. Wagner Ruth Cobb Mantle and Mays are just some baseball greats who reside on this list cardboard oddities A scorecard is baseball card that has been judged by professional qualifier based on condition and authenticity.

Peggy Komo
Peggy Komo

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