Everything About Expensive Baseball Cards of All Time

The Most Expensive Baseball Cards are the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle and 1909 T206 Honus Wagner. Baseball Cards, just like baseball players, are worth thousands of dollars.

Baseball cards may sound like a harmless pastime for youngsters, but they may cost as much as a new vehicle.

These cards are trade cards printed on silk, plastic, or cardboard. Baseball cards are generally renowned in the United States.

Still, most people from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Japan, and Canada are also interested in these cards since baseball has a big audience in the country.

Topps and Panini are two of the most well-known brands in the baseball card industry. So, in light of that, here is a list of the top 20 most expensive baseball cards ever sold (2023 edition).

Image Source: Old Sports Cards

20. 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle

A PSA 10 1956 Topps Mantle was sold for a remarkable $382,400 in August 2016, claims Old Sports Cards. The card contains a photograph of famed American professional baseball player Mickey Charles Mantle.

Mickey Mantle, also known by his moniker the Commerce Comet or the Mick, was a Major League Baseball player who played the duration of his MLS career with the New York Yankees. He was born on October 10, 1931, in Spavinaw, Oklahoma.

Image Source: Fine Art America

He played in the MLS for seventeen years as a center outfield, right fielder, and first baseman. The Mantle is considered one of the best switch hitters in baseball and was the biggest offensive threat in baseball history. In 1956, Mantle won the Triple Crown and hit a whopping fifty-two home runs.

He earned the Most Valuable Player title three times to highlight his achievements and a Gold Glove winner once. He owns the World Series record for the most significant number of home runs, with eighteen.

19. 1909 T206 Ty Cobb

The 1909 T206 Ty Cobb card is among the four Ty Cobb cards in the famed T206 series. However, this specific card stands tall by pushing behind the infamous T206 Honus Wagner.

The card features the face of the great Ty Cobb on a red backdrop, an advertisement for his tobacco brand, ‘Ty Cobb, King of the Smoking Tobacco World.’

There are nineteen Cobb cards, but the A PSA 3.5 T206 ‘Cobb-Cobb’ got auctioned for an astounding $408,000 in February 2018.

The Georgia Peach, Ty Cobb, was an American baseball player who played in Major League Baseball in the early 1900s. Cobb started his career in 1905 and played for twenty-three years.

He only played for two clubs; Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 by collecting two hundred and twenty-two votes out of two hundred and twenty-six ballots.

Cobb was named third on the Sporting News’ Baseball’s Hundred Greatest Players in 1999. His MLB statistics include a Batting average of .366, four hundred eighty-nine hits, 117 home runs, and 897 stolen bases.

18. 1909 T206 Joe Doyle

The PSA 3 1909 T206 Doyle was auctioned for a whopping $414,750 in 2020. However, the explanation behind the card’s tremendous value needs to be corrected.

A printing mistake occurred when the card was included in the renowned 1909 T206 collection. The original card was meant to say American on the bottom but instead was printed with ‘Nat’I.’

This served as the cause for having the collectors go crazy over his card. Even though the printing error was identified, eleven misprints remained.

Nicknamed the Slow Joe Doyle, He was born on November 21, 1881, in Clay Center, Kansas, United States. He was a very slow-working pitcher who took a lot of time between deliveries.

He played in the Major Baseball Leagues for the New York Highlanders and Cincinnati Reds from 1906 to 1910.

Doyle’s Major League Baseball statistics include a 22-21 Win-Loss Record, a 2.85 run average, and 209 strikeouts.

17. 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth

A PSA 9-mint example of the 1932 U.S. Caramel Baby Ruth was auctioned for $432,000 in April 2019. The explanation behind the card’s great pricing was its condition.

Finding such rare cards in excellent form is challenging, and they often get soiled. Another reason for such a high price of the card is the player himself.

George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth Jr was an American professional baseball player who played in Major League Baseball for twenty-two seasons starting from 1914 to 1935. Ruth was called ‘the Bambino’ and ‘the Sultan of Swat.’

He started his career at the Boston Red Sox but earned global recognition after joining the New York Yankees as a slugging outfielder.

Ruth is regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, and he was one of the first five members to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.

16. 1948 Leaf Satchel Paige

A PSA 8 copy of the card was auctioned for $432,000 in November 2018. The card featured the image of Leroy’ Satchel’ Paige, the most destructing hurler in Negro Leagues history.

He played for a vast fifty years and retired at fifty-nine. Paige made his professional debut in 1926 with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts of the Negro Southern League.

Image Source: Mile High Card Co.com

He played in Major League Soccer at the age of 42. He joined Cleveland Indians in 1948 and became the oldest player to make his MLS debut.

Paise was the first African-American pitcher to play in the American League and the seventh black player to star in a Major League Baseball game.

He was introduced into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971 and became the first electee of the Negro League Committee to do so.

15. 1915 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb

According to Old Sports Cards, in May of 2016, a PSA 9 1915 Cracker Jack Cobb sold for $432,000. Even though the card’s layout is similar to that of the 1914 Cracker Jack, purchasing one in 1915 will set you back more cash.

In the trading card market, cards featuring Cobb consistently fetch the highest prices. During his time, he was also a top-tier era who was feared by rival teams.

14. 1952 Topps Willie Mays

In May 2016, a PSA 9 1952 Topps Willie Mays sold for USD 478,000. It’s a highly coveted card from its era. For many years, Willie Howard Mays Jr. was a center fielder for the MLB.

Willie is widely considered to be one of the sport’s all-time greats. On May 6, 1931, he entered the world in Westfield, Alabama. At age 91, he has the distinction of being the Basketball Hall of Fame’s oldest living inductee.

In 1948, Mays began his professional baseball career with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro League. By 1951, he had moved on to the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees.

In 1973, he ended his baseball career while playing for the New York Mets. Mays has won the National League home run title four times and was named an All-Star twenty-four times.

13. 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente

An incredible $478,000 was paid in February 2018 for a PSA 9 1955 Topps Clemente. Puerto Rican-born Roberto Clemente played baseball in the major leagues.

Clemente spent eighteen seasons in the majors as a right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was an excellent all-around player, evidenced by his fifteen All-Star selections and two World Series titles (1960 and 1971).

After Clemente passed away in 1973, he was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. He regularly brought food and baseball equipment to the less fortunate as part of his philanthropic efforts.

12. 1909 T206 Ty Cobb

In August 2016, a PSA 9 1909 T206′ bat off the shoulder’ of Cobb sold for $488,425. Over a century has passed since the first T206 prototypes were created, and this card is one of only four featuring Cobb from the legendary T206 set.

Image Source: UPI.com

American baseball player Cobb won the Triple Crown in 1909. He was the AL batting champion, AL RBI leader, AL stolen base leader, and AL batting champion an additional twelve times throughout his legendary career.

11. 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth

Public Service Announcement 2 Baltimore Evening Sun, 1914 In 2012, Ruth was sold for $575,000. This is one of only ten copies showing Babe Ruth in his rookie year.

Ruth is depicted here in his minor league Baltimore Orioles uniform; other versions of the card can be found in red and blue tint versions of this one.

In his later years, Ruth was a frequent public figure, especially in World War II, when he made many appearances to rally support for the American cause. His death from nasopharyngeal cancer was predicted in 1946 and came to pass two years later.

10. 1910 T210 Old Mill Joe Jackson

In 2019, $600,000 was the price at which the 1910 T210 Old Mill of Joe Jackson changed hands.

During his tenure in Major League Baseball, Joe Jackson was one of the most sought-after outfielders available. He became Major League Baseball’s fourth all-time leading scorer in the early 1900s.

Even after seventy years, his popularity among his admirers as Shoeless Joe has not diminished. Starting in 1908 with the Philadelphia Athletics, he became a part of Major League Baseball’s elite.

On September 27, 1970, he suited up for the last time for the Chicago White Sox. Jackson finished his career with a.356 batting average, hitting 1772 baserunners and 54 home homers.

Like Babe Ruth, he won the World Series in 1917 and was later elected into the Cleveland Guardians Hall of Fame.

9. 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan

In August 2016, a PSA 10 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan card sold for $612,359. Since it was the only PSA 10, the card commanded a startling sum at auction.

An ex-baseball star for the American team, Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr. He, used to be a right-handed pitcher who could reach speeds of over a hundred miles per hour with his fastball.

Image Source: Old Sports Cards

In 1966, Nolan began his professional baseball career with the New York Mets of Major League Baseball. After his time with the Mets ended, he played for the California Angels, the Houston Astros, and the Texas Rangers.

Nolan has been inducted into many halls of fame. He has earned numerous awards throughout his career, including eight All-Star selections, a World Series title, and the championships of the Angels, the Houston Astros, and the Texas Rangers.

8. 1909 T206 Sherry Magee 

For $660,000, a PSA 8 T206 Sherry Magee changed hands in September 2018. The card’s high value is due to yet another typo in T206.

Due to the printing team’s first misspelling of Magee’s name as Magie, the card sold for an exorbitant sum. To be sure, Magee was an American left fielder with the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. He debuted in the majors in 1904.

Magee entered this world on August 6, 1884, in Clarendon, Pennsylvania. After leaving the Philadelphia Phillies, he played for the Boston Braves and the Cincinnati Reds. By 1919, Sherry had won the World Series; in 1910, he had won the National League hitting title.

7. 1909 American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson

Famous baseball outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson’s rookie card fetched a whopping $667,149 in August 2016.

American Caramel E90-1 PSA 8 (1909) For baseball collectors, Jackson represents a rare find. Beginning in the early 1900s, Joe Jackson was a professional musician.

Joe first suited up for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1908 and ’09 before moving on to the Cleveland Naps and Indians from 1910 through ’15. In 1920, he retired from professional baseball while playing for the Chicago White Sox.

Joe was the AL triples leader in 1912, 1916, and 1920, and he won the World Series in 1917. He also played for the Cleveland Guardians and is a member of their Hall of Fame.

6. 1909 T206 Eddie Plank

The PSA 7 Plank was sold secretly for $700,000 in 2012, while all the other baseball cards were auctioned publicly at exorbitant amounts.

The legendary Eddie Plank is depicted on the card. His nickname was “Gettysburg Eddie,” and he was a pitcher with the Boston Braves of Major League Baseball in the early 1900s.

Plank won the first two hundred games by a left-handed pitcher and is presently third all-time in wins by a left-handed player with 326 victories.

Plank began playing for the Philadelphia Athletics of Major League Baseball in 1901 and remained with the organization until 1914. After that, he signed up with the St. Louis Terriers in 1915 and the St. Louis Browns in 1916.

Three World Series titles, enshrinement on Philadelphia’s Baseball Wall of Fame, and induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame are just a few of Eddie’s many accomplishments. In 1946, he was honored by being inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

5. 1963 Topps Pete Rose

In August 2016, Rose’s 1963 Topps rookie card sold for $717,000. The card graded a perfect PSA 10. Pete’s baseball card remains as popular as ever despite being permanently retired from the sport.

This renowned baseball player has 3,711 rookie cards, but only one has been rated as “Gem Mint.” Pete, also known by his nickname during his playing days, “Charlie Hustle,” is a former Major League Baseball player from the United States.

Rose joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1963 and stayed with them until 1978. His career MLB stats include a.303 batting average, 4,256 hits, 160 home runs, and a 525 winning %.

He also had stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos. Pete has been named an All-Star a whopping seventeen times. He has also won the World Series three times and the Gold Glove twice.

4. 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth

Given his status as a baseball superstar, Babe Ruth’s 1916 Sporting News rookie card is arguably the most critical rookie card ever produced.

In contrast to the other items on this list, which were used primarily for promotional reasons by the American Tobacco Company, the 1916 Ruth was “a collector business card.”

The printers turned the backs of the cards black, prompting some companies to advertise on them. This contributed to the August 2016 sale of The PSA 7 for an astounding $717,000.

Some of the best baseball players of the 20th century played for the Sultan of Swat. Two porterhouse steaks, two heads of lettuce, four hot dogs, two apple pies with ice cream, two orders of cottage-fried potatoes, and four colas were all part of his six-hour eating marathon, for which he became famous.

3. 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle

One of the priciest baseball cards features Mickey Mantle as a co-star. In April 2018, a 1951 Bowman Mantle graded PSA 9 sold for $750,000.

Mantle may no longer be with us, but he lived mainly in the era of his fame, which included collecting baseball cards.

He led the American League in five different years (1954, 1956, 1957, 19581, and 1960) in runs. In the same vein, he led the American League in home runs in 1955, 1956, 1958, and 1960.

2. 1909 T206 Honus Wagner

There was a record-breaking sale of a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner for $7.5 million in 2022. At a private auction run by Goldin Auctions, the card fetched $3.12 million, breaking the previous record set by another copy of the card.

“Hans” Wagner was more often known as a gentleman off the field and on it. To prevent young people from gaining access to tobacco products, Wagner needed to provide permission for additional production of his cards by the American Tobacco Company. Some have even hypothesized that he was just interested in financial compensation for his performance.

1. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card is the rarest and most valuable baseball ever. In August of 2022, a piece with a 9.5 rating from an SGC grader sold for an incredible $12.6 million.

Thousands of 1952 Topps Mantles were dumped into the Atlantic Ocean in 1963 to create room in the Topps warehouse, even though they are now worth millions of dollars.

At the time, these cards were not sought after by collectors. So, if any Atlantic Ocean fisherman ever acquires rare Mickey Mantle baseball cards, they may have a chance at becoming millions.

Even after his death, Mickey Mantle was remembered as one of baseball’s all-time greats. Generations of young baseball players today hold him up as an inspiration and strive to one day have baseball cards as prestigious as his.

Both the Baseball Hall, the Major League Baseball All-Century Team and Fame recognized Mantle’s greatness; he was inducted into both in 1974. The present value of his card reflects how much of a legend he is among New York Yankees fans.

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