Most Valuable and Interesting Trading Cards: Baseball, Football, and Basketball

Determining the most valuable baseball cards is relevant to what “value” means to each collector. Value to some collectors refers to monetary worth. Other collectors deem certain cards to have emotional value, perhaps because they either met a player or saw a game as a child with their grandfather or other older relative.

When first created, baseball cards were used for promotional purposes to sell packs of cigarettes and other products. Collecting these cards was a novelty. In March 2021, however, the 1952 Topps Micky Mantle card sold for $5.2 million. This means Blowout sports cards and other top trading card enterprises are big business marketplaces.

Valuable and Interesting Baseball Cards in Circulation Today
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The 1909-1911 (PSA grade 4.5 VG-EX+) T206 Ty Cobb Tobacco card with a Ty Cobb back is valued at $1.1 million. VG refers to “very good.” EX refers to “excellent.” On a slightly lesser monetary value scale, the Baltimore News #9 (PSA 4 VG-EX) Babe Ruth Pre-Rookie card is valuable at $925,000. Target sports cards are sold as individual cards and in bulk packages. Prices for these cards are generally quite low in comparison to major collectible cards.

For example, Target sells the 2021 MLB Topps Allen & Ginter World’s Champions Baseball Trading Card Blaster Box for only $19.99 plus tax. The Topps PROJECT 2020 Card 51 (2011 Mike Trout) by Ben Baller sells for $54.99 plus tax. Target does have cards dating back to 1952 (Willie Mays, Dwight Gooden, Mark McGwire, and Ken Griffey Jr. cards as well.

CVS sports cards are also available for baseball card collectors, as they are through Walgreens and Rite Aid. eBay has a section dedicated to high-value baseball cards. Some of these cards have small to moderate monetary value. Others sell for top dollar at auctions or through the popular buy-it-now feature.

A few more of the highest valued baseball sports cards today include:

  • Bowman #253 (PSA 9 Mint) Mickey Mantle Rookie Card @ $700,000.
  • T206 (PSA 8 NM-MT) White Border Eddie Plank @ $850,000.
  • M101-5 & M101-4 (PSA 8 NM-MT) Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card @ $1,350,000.
  • 1952 Topps #311 (PSA 9 Jan 2021) Mickey Mantle @ $5,200,000.
  • T206 (SGC 3 Aug 2021) White Border Honus Wagner @ $6,606,296

Still, some of the highest values for baseball card collectors are likely to be found on SportsCardForum and other online locations where in-the-know collectors gather for reliable information and sales/purchase options.

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Updated on 05/25/2022