Want to know what the most expensive baseball cards are worth?
Baseball is massively popular all over the world, particularly in its country of origin, America.
All sorts of merchandise and memorabilia are sold to baseball fans, but perhaps one of the most popular and enjoyable to collect, are baseball cards.
Like most collectables, baseball card values depend on factors, like market values, trends, age, grading and overall condition.
So, without further ado, we’re going to take a look at 10 of the most expensive baseball cards in the world, and see how they stack up!
The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards in the World
These are the 10 most expensive baseball cards in the world:
10. Roberto Clemente, 1955 Topps
The first most expensive baseball card on our list is 1955, Topps Roberto Clemente, which sold for $478,000 in 2016.
Roberto Clemente was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the 3000-hit club but tragically passed away in a plane crash, whilst on his way to Nicaragua to help earthquake victims.
In 2016 the grade 9 PSA card sold for $478,000 at auction, beating a grade 10 PSA 1955 Roberto Clemente in 2012, that sold for $432,000.
The 2012 version was previously owned and put up for auction by the legendary big leaguer, Dimitri Young.
It is believed that a grade 8 version of the card if put up for auction today, would be worth around $430,000.
9. Willie Mays, 1952 Topps
Arguably one of the best baseball players of all time, Willie Mays is considered an icon in the baseball world.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that his 1952 Topps card sold for $478,000 at auction in 2016.
His card was part of a three-day sports auction, held by Heritage Auctions, which managed to sell a total of $11 million of memorabilia throughout the event, with the Wille Mays card being the single most valuable item!
Although it’s not his rookie card, it was, however, the first Topps card to feature Wille Mays.
8. Babe Ruth, 1914 Baltimore News
Probably the most famous and well-known name in baseball, Babe Ruth, s 1914 Baltimore News card raised an impressive $575,000 at auction in 2012.
Once considered one of the top five most expensive baseball cards in the world, there are only about 10 cards known to exist, which makes them all extremely valuable.
Babe is featured in our list twice, but this time he’s viewed as a minor league pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, a long time before he was made famous.
Robert Edward Auctions sold a PSD 2 graded copy of the card for an eye-watering $575,000 and considering there’s only ten known to exist, that’s a pretty good deal!
7. Mickey Mantle, 1951 Bowman
Next up on our list of the most expensive baseball cards in the world, is the 1951 Mickey Mantle Bowman card.
Another iconic player to be featured on our list, Mickey Mantle is well known amongst all hardcore baseball fans.
It’s not the most valuable baseball card in the world, but the 1953 cards are considered to be one of the most desirable baseball card issues.
The Mickey Mantle, 1951 Bowman baseball card is the seventh most expensive baseball card in the world.
6. Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman, 1968 Topps
Given a perfect 10 by PSA, this Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman combo piece, realised $612,359 when it was last auctioned.
Over 8,000 Nolan/Koosman rookie cards were submitted for grading, and this card was the only one to receive a perfect 10.
So, because of its flawless condition, its value is far greater than if it were graded a 9, and would only be worth somewhere in the region of $20,000 – $30,000.
It’s also the only perfect copy known to exist!
5. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, 1909 American Caramel
Being the most sort after card in the E90-1 Caramel set, this card was sold at auction in 2016 for $667,149.
“Shoeless Joe” was the most high-profile player to be linked with the notorious Black Sox Scandal.
In 2016, a PSA grade 8 copy of Jacksons rookie card, sold at auction for $667, 149.
However, in 2008, the same card, but with a much lower grade, sold for only $86,975.
So, keep your cards in great condition, as it can literally make all the difference between making under a hundred thousand dollars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars!
4. Pete Rose, 1963 Topps
Another card to be graded a perfect 10 by the PSA, is the Pete Rose 1963 Topps card, which sold for $717,000 when it was last up for auction.
Perfect 10 cards are so rare, that they’re considered to be up to one hundred thousand times more valuable than cards of lesser quality.
It’s the only copy of its kind to have ever received such a high rating, which to collectors and investors, is a big deal.
So, combine a perfect 10 card with Pete “The Hit King Rose’s” name, and you’ve got yourself one of the most expensive baseball cards in the world.
3. Babe Ruth, 1916 Sporting News
Coming in at number three on our list of the most expensive baseball cards in the world is the 1916 Babe Ruth Sporting News card.
It sold for a whopping $717,000 at auction in 2016 but was not the only Sporting News card with the same PSD grading to be sold at such a premium.
In 2017, another card sold with exactly the same PSA grade, sold for around $550,000.
If you have a card that’ doesn’t have the best PSA grade but is in high demand, then it just goes to show that it’s all about timing and finding the right buyer!
2. Mickey Mantle, 1952 Topps
Cost: $2.8 Million
The second most expensive baseball card on our list is the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card.
It’s one of only two cards on our list to be worth over $1 million dollars and is five times more valuable than the tenth card on the list.
The card was recently discovered and was given a PSA grade 9, which is much higher than any previously sold.
When the card initially went up for auction, valuations and guestimations were be predicted of over $3.5 million dollars, which if proved correct, would have made it the most expensive baseball card ever!
However, the card sold for $2.8 million and earned its place as one of the most expensive baseball cards in the world.
1. Honus Wagner, 1909-1911 ATC T206
Cost: $3 Million
The Honus Wagner, 1909-1911 ATC T206, is the most expensive baseball card in the world.
If you know anything about baseball cards, then you’ll know how baseball cards first came about, and who was responsible.
The American Tobacco Company came up with the idea to sell their cigarettes with baseball cards inside.
These cards were the first iteration of the baseball cards you see and can buy today.
The Honus Wagner card is widely considered to be the “Holy Grail” of baseball cards among collectors.
The reasoning being is that Honus made the ATC pull his card from production, for reasons that are still unclear, and therefore, there were thought to be only 25-200 cards in known existence, making them extremely rare and incredibly valuable.
Now, over 100 years on, the decision to pull his card from production, resulted in his card being the most expensive baseball card in the world!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 10 most expensive baseball cards in the world.
Just incredible, right? $3 million for a card that was worth pennies all those years ago!
But, it just goes to show that if you have something that someone is willing to pay for, and it’s rare and in good condition, then someone will buy it!
If you enjoyed this list, check out our lists on:
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 most expensive baseball cards in the world:
- Honus Wagner 1909-1911 ATC T206 – $3 Million
- Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps – $2.8 Million
- Babe Ruth, 1916 Sporting News – $717,000
- Pete Rose, 1963 Topps – $717,000
- “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, 1909 American Caramel – $667,149
- Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman, 1968 Topps – $612,359
- Mickey Mantle, 1951 Bowman – $600,000
- Babe Ruth, 1914 Baltimore News – $575,000
- Willie Mays, 1952 – $478,000
- Roberto Clemente, 1955 Topps – $470,000