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This is a list of the highest known prices paid for sports cards. The current record price is the US$12.6 million paid for a 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card (Topps; #311) on August 28, 2022, breaking all previous records.
Cards are evaluated by third-party services, most often Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Beckett Grading Services (BGS) and Sportscard Guaranty (SGC), and given a grade on a ten-point scale based on condition.This list of items as of August 20, 2021 is ordered by consumer price index inflation-adjusted value (in bold) in millions of United States dollars in 2022.
This list includes only the highest price paid for a given card and does not include separate entries for individual copies of the same card or multiple sales prices for the same copy of a card. Thus, for example, the T206 Honus Wagner is represented on this list by one particular card’s 2021 sale and does not include the same card’s 2012 sale for $1.2 million or the Jumbo Wagner and its $3.12 million sale price.
The first sports card to sell for one million dollars was a T206 Honus Wagner which went for $1,265,000 at auction in 2000 (equivalent to $2,149,644 in 2022). As of May 2020, the industry brings in over one billion dollars annually for manufacturers and retailers.Sports cards are a variety of trading card, small cards usually made of cardboard, which feature an image of an athlete or athletes along with identifying text. The earliest sports cards were promotional materials usually included with tobacco products and candy and often bearing an advertisement on the reverse.
Ken McMullen rounds out the quartet. The former California Angels third baseman played for six different teams in his 18-year career and was known more for his glove than for his bat. His .248 lifetime slugging average is not as impressive as the other three, but his 568 career runs and 606 RBI are nothing to sniff at.
This valuable Rookie Stars card, with a stained blue shelf along the top that’s susceptible to chipping, features four of the most iconic players to ever grace the diamond.All Content on this site is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Nothing in the Site constitutes professional and/or financial advice, nor does any information on the Site constitute a comprehensive or complete statement of the matters discussed or the law relating thereto. MoneyMade is not a fiduciary by virtue of any person’s use of or access to the Site or Content. You alone assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other Content on the Site before making any decisions based on such information or other Content.
Topps baseball cards have been some of the most valuable pieces of sports memorabilia. Starting as a small family business, the recent Fanatics acquisition of the Topps brand signals the company’s prosperous future.Topps baseball cards in particular have been the leading baseball card company for the past six decades and have featured some of baseball’s greatest stars. As a result, collectors now have a visual history of the first Topps baseball card in every set from 1952 to 2023.But the 1952 Topps set is also famously known for “The Find” of 1986 when a massive collection of high numbered cards were discovered in a New England home. With up to 75 Mickey Mantle rookie cards in gem mint condition, these cards are now in PSA sleeves and are arguably the most coveted modern sports cards.The Jackson card attests to the surge in interest seen in the hobby during the pandemic, with long-time collectors rediscovering their beloved hobby and an influx of new buyers investing in the market. The Content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained on our Site constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by MoneyMade or any third party service provider to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments in this or in in any other jurisdiction in which such solicitation or offer would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. Also featured is Al Weis, a journeyman centerfielder who made a name for himself during the Mets’s 1969 season thanks to his ninth-inning single in Game 2 of the World Series and a seventh-inning home run in Game 5. His 346 career hits are an impressive feat, yet nowhere close to that of Rose.Versions of the 2011 Mike Trout update have fetched the highest price ever for a post-1960 Topps flagship baseball card, making it a must-have for serious baseball card collectors. The Red Border version is definitely the winner of the bunch, having matched its color scheme with the Angels logo.With its precarious border and uneasy history, this baseball card will remain inextricably linked with these four great and powerful players. In August 2016, a PSA 10-graded card fetched $717,000 after going for just $157,000 at an auction four years prior.
With only one PSA 10 in existence, this baseball card is expected to fetch even higher sums in the future. So if you’re a fan of the great Roberto Clemente and enjoy investing in quality cards, this is one you should most definitely have your eye on.Mays was a 24-time All-Star, two-time NL Most Valuable Player, 12-time Gold Glove winner, and 1951 Rookie of the Year. He also made one of the most memorable plays in baseball history in 1954 known today as “the catch.” With Mays being one of the few players in history to have eight consecutive seasons of topping the 100-RBI mark, it’s easy to see why this card has gone on to become one of the cornerstones of post-war baseball card collections. Fanatics’s acquisition of Topps’ name, sports, and entertainment division for $500 million will give them exclusive rights with MLB. That could mean that the Topps name could be retired or transformed into a Fanatics sub-brand. Whatever the case may be, Topps cards are sure to maintain their legacy as the ideal collectors cardboard, both within and outside of sports.
Topps cards are highly sought-after due to their rarity, iconic imagery, and collectability, with the most expensive being the 1952 Mickey Mantle card, which sold for $2.88 million in 2018.
Which baseball card is worth money?
Baseball cards have been a beloved collectible item since the early 20th century, and Topps dominates the industry. Some of the most expensive cards in the hobby include old sports cards like the 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson and newer ones like the 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout—all worth serious money.
After Bowman Gum Company paved the way in 1951 by marketing baseball and football card premiums, Topps followed suit and debuted two 52-card sets in jest. Little did scoffers know, Topps’s cards would go on to become a multi-million dollar industry.The Mike Trout Topps Update card is an incredibly sought-after item among investors and sports collectors. For example, an ultra-rare 2011 Topps Mike Trout Platinum card sale made waves in the sports collectible world when it fetched over $1 million in a private sale.
In 1956, Topps acquired Bowman Gum Company before finalizing the standard 2.5″ x 3.5″ card size the following year each featuring an illustrative athlete portrait and full history and stat details.
This rare baseball card is not only valuable because of its limited quantity—with only a handful in PSA 9 condition—but also due to its representation of the legendary Yankees outfielder, who earned seven World Championships, three American League MVP Awards, and the 1956 Triple Crown.
If you want to be the envy of your friends, it’s time to search for that elusive Mickey Mantle rookie card. Mantle’s 1952 Topps #311 baseball card is the undeniable poster child of sports memorabilia collecting.
However, Heritage VP of Sports Dan Imler warns that the market is a bit suspect from a stability standpoint because investors may sell when things pull back a little. As such, the hobby needs to be sustained.What’s even more impressive is that—when you find this baseball card with all the centering and color elements intact—it’s a real testament to who Mr. October was, a player that could perform on the biggest stage of them all.When Roberto died in 1971, the Hall of Fame waived a rule in order to induct him. Plus, in 2022, this baseball card was used to celebrate the 21st annual Roberto Clemente Day—that tells you something. Collectors have recognized the rarity and significance of the card.
As such, baseball cards can be a lucrative investment, with some of the highest sales in history happening in the past two and some-odd years. Baseball cards also have nostalgic value, with many sports fans returning to the hobby as a way to get their kick.A PSA 9 grade is ultra rare and can set you back by up to six figures, with the average price of one currently sitting at around $245,000. But if your pockets aren’t that deep, you could still find lesser-graded cards for as low as $1,000. Though their careers took them on different paths, the two dominant players undoubtedly had a powerful impact on baseball. The pairing was prophetic, and the 1968 Topps card featuring both Ryan and Koosman has become a cherished item in the hearts of not just Mets fans, but baseball fans everywhere. It’s important to get an expert opinion to determine the value of your card collection. The condition of the cards also affects the value, with near-mint or mint condition cards being the most valuable. Autographed cards are also more valuable, but it’s crucial to get signatures authenticated.Collecting baseball cards isn’t just a hobby, but also a popular form of alternative investing. And with Topps now owned by Fanatics, their trading cards are set to remain a stalwart of baseball.
What is the oldest sports card ever?
The team’s carte de visite (a visiting card), produced in 1865, is considered the earliest extant dated “baseball card,” a souvenir handed out to fans and even to opposing teams.
The 1963 Topps Rookie Stars card is a timeless piece of baseball’s greatest plays and most exciting moments—not even the print defects, lousy centering, and the occasional counterfeits can ruin that.Despite his controversial post-career scandal and banishment from the game, Rose’s career achievements are impossible to deny. He was a 17-time All-Star, NL MVP in 1973, and also won two World Series titles. Although his .303 career batting average pales in comparison to the other three players on the card, his 2,165 runs, 160 home runs, and 4,256 hits make him one of the most prolific offensive players of all time.
Jackie Robinson’s 1952 Topps card stands as a tribute to a man who changed the game for the better. He found a way to smile through the hate and, with this gorgeous card, fans can still appreciate his contributions.
The standardized performance presented herein has been calculated by MoneyMade based on data obtained from the third-party platform hosting the investment and is subject to change. No representation or warranty is made as to the reasonableness of the methodology used to calculate such performance. Changes in the methodology used may have a material impact on the returns presented. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. In exchange for using the Site, you agree not to hold MoneyMade, its affiliates or any third party service provider liable for any possible claim for damages arising from any decision you make based on information or other Content made available to you through the Site.The importance of baseball cards is evidenced by the surge in interest and record-breaking sales during the pandemic. Collecting Topps trading cards has been a national pastime for 75 years and, with its recent acquisition by Fanatics, the brand is set to continue to be a permanent fixture in the baseball world.
This baseball card is prone to tilt or diamond cuts and centering problems, but that hasn’t stopped Mays fans from investing in one. Willie Mays was an incredible player and his 1952 Topps card does his career justice.
From Andy Pafko in 1952 to Mike Trout in 2020, the lead-off card in their flagship set has featured some of baseball’s greatest greats. This has resulted in collectors having a visual history from the first Topps baseball card in every set to the most recent.
Many companies on MoneyMade advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear.Not only does it feature a beautiful design—it’s also one of the rarest rookie cards in the Topps set, with a base production of just 22. Roberto Clemente was a 15-time All-Star and four-time batting champ, solidifying his status as a Hall of Fame outfielder. Roberto Clemente’s 1955 Topps rookie cards are the perfect centerpiece for any collection. It stands out among other cards and carries a history of rarety, reverence, and nostalgia through its vibrant colors and detailed card back. Not only that, it provides a great investment opportunity for collectors. The card showcases the faces of two of the greatest Mets of all time—Ryan’s eight-time All-Star selection, 11 league-leading strikeout titles, and 324 wins are enough to make any collector drool. Not to be overshadowed, Koosman provided a superb crusade of his own with an impressive 17-9 record, 2.28 ERA, and 180 strikeouts in the same year.The 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson card is a perfect keepsake of the start of Jackson’s stellar career, which makes it a particularly desirable item for baseball memorabilia collectors. The fact that it’s in perfect condition would only add to its value.
Jackson had a long and successful career, starting with the Oakland A’s through his time with the New York Yankees. He’s considered one of the best players of all time, so his cards are undoubtedly highly sought-after and valued by collectors.
The others on the card are no less impressive, with Al Weis coming through with his clutch hits in the 1969 World Series, Pedro Gonzalez providing powerful home runs, and Ken McMullen getting it done with the glove.Many investors diversify their valuable card collections by trading in rookie cards, cards with printing errors, autographed cards, and cards from different sports, players, and series, and generations should all be considered.Also, the sports card industry has seen a surge in interest after the pandemic, with Yahoo! News reporting that seven of the ten most expensive sports cards in history were sold during lockdown. Similarly, eBay hosted four million more trading card transactions in 2020 than in 2019—a 142% growth rate.
Mike has tallied an impressive 382 hits, 134 RBIs, 129 runs, and 49 stolen bases, as well as 36 home runs, 111 RBIs, and 115 runs in 2014 alone. With even more awards and achievements under his belt, Mike Trout is truly a force to be reckoned with, and it’s no wonder why he’s one of the biggest stars in the MLB. In March 2021, a PSA 9 card sold for $1,050,000 at an auction. For those who know their cards, that auction marked the second time a card from Clemente had ever sold for more than seven figures. No one can resist a piece of baseball history and amazing art, but what makes the 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card so valuable is its rareness and proud history. To honor Robinson’s legacy and impact, MLB retired his number 42 in 1997, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. The value of the 1952 Topps Robinson baseball card has no doubt been bolstered by the player’s remarkable achievements.MoneyMade is not a registered broker-dealer or investment adviser. The investments identified on the MoneyMade website may not be purchased through MoneyMade; rather, all transactions will be directly between you and the third-party platform hosting the applicable investment. The information contained herein regarding available investments is obtained from third party sources. While MoneyMade generally considers such sources to be reliable, MoneyMade does not represent that such information is accurate or complete, and MoneyMade has not undertaken any independent review of such information.
Who made the first baseball card?
In 1868, Peck and Snyder, a sporting goods store in New York, began producing trade cards featuring baseball teams. Peck and Snyder sold baseball equipment, and the cards were a natural advertising vehicle. The Peck and Snyder cards are sometimes considered the first baseball cards.
His stats tell us he was really something special, with a .308 batting average, 19 home runs, 24 stolen bases, and a remarkable .440 OBP to set a league-high. His bat control was also legendary—despite 5,000 at-bats in his career, Robinson struck out only 291 times—an awe-inspiring feat.
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If you are the type of fan who truly enjoys intelligent debate and thinks you can teach others why Danny Ainge did or did not deserve their awards, join us on Baseball Fever.
What is the most expensive baseball card ever?
The current record price is the US$12.6 million paid for a 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card (Topps; #311) on August 28, 2022, breaking all previous records.
A baseball card checklist for Danny Ainge that includes every baseball card in our Baseball Card Database. This Danny Ainge baseball card checklist includes every known baseball card that Danny Ainge has appeared on, in chronological order. Visit the card to see the entire set.”I don’t know if the Blue Jays want me or not. I think the Blue Jays would be willing to give me up if enough money is involved. I’m not surprised I’ve changed my mind. At the time, I felt pretty much committed to the baseball situation, and I wasn’t sure if I would get a chance to give basketball a shot. I had a better senior year (he averaged 24.4 points a game) than I anticipated, and things in baseball haven’t gone as well as I had hoped. I just feel now I’ll regret it if I don’t give basketball a shot.” – Danny Ainge in The Day (New London, Connecticut, Sports Section, Tuesday, September 29, 1981, ‘Will Danny Ainge be a baseball or basketball player?’, Page 11)Do you enjoy reading and learning about baseball awards, their histories, details about each winner, answers to trivia to and other similar data? If so check out our truly comprehensive baseball awards section today.
Sports card catalogs are a main source of obtaining detailed information on baseball cards. Online catalogs typically also contain tools for collection management and trading platforms.In Cuba, sets were issued first in the early 1900s. By the 1930s various candy, gum and chocolate makers were offering cards, most notably Baguer Chocolate. The post-World War Two era had cards issued by magazines, candy makers, Coca-Cola, and of course a gum company. In post revolution Cuba, baseball cards were still issued.
Baseball cards in the United States have gone through numerous changes in everything from production and marketing to distribution and use. The earliest cards were targeted primarily at adults as they were produced and associated by photographers selling services and tobacco companies in order to market their wares. By the early 1910s, many cards were issued as part of games and confection companies began to distribute their own card sets.
In 1976, a company called TCMA, which mainly produced minor league baseball cards, produced a set of 630 cards consisting of Major League Ball players. The cards were produced under the Sports Stars Publishing Company, or SSPC. TCMA published a baseball card magazine named Collectors Quarterly, which it used to advertise its set, offering it directly via mail order. Due to a manufacturers’ agreement, the cards were available directly from TCMA and were not made available again, like other sets issued by TCMA.
In the 1970s, Topps increased the cost of wax packs from 10 to 15 cents (with 8–14 cards depending on year) and also offered cello packs (typically around 18–33 cards) for 25 cents. Rack packs containing 39–54 cards could also be had for between 39 and 59 cents per pack.Baseball cards are most often found in the contiguous United States but are also common in Puerto Rico or countries such as Canada, Cuba, and Japan, where top-level leagues are present with a substantial fan base to support them. Some notable companies producing baseball cards include Topps and Panini Group.
Card companies are trying to maintain a sizable hobby base in a variety of ways. Especially prominent is a focus on transitioning the cards to an online market. Both Topps and Upper Deck have issued cards that require online registration, while Topps has targeted the investment-minded collector with its eTopps offering of cards that are maintained and traded at its website. Also, since the late 1990s, hobby retail shops and trade-show dealers found their customer base declining, with their buyers now having access to more items and better prices on the Internet. As more collectors and dealers purchased computers and began trusting the Internet as a “safe” venue to buy and sell, the transformation from the traditional retail shops and shows to Internet transactions changed the nature of the hobby.
In 2020, baseball cards—and sports cards as a whole—received a big boost in popularity, with many citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a contributing factor. In 1987 and 1988 the American company Topps issued two series of American baseball cards featuring cards from American and Canadian Major League Baseball teams in the UK. The full color cards were produced by Topps Republic of Ireland subsidiary company and contained explanations of baseball terms. Given baseball’s lack of popularity in the United Kingdom, the issues were unsuccessful. Fleer sued Topps in 1975 to break the company’s monopoly on baseball cards and won, as in 1980, federal judge Clarence Charles Newcomer ended Topps Chewing Gum’s exclusive right to sell baseball cards, allowing the Fleer Corporation to compete in the market. In 1981, Fleer and Donruss issued baseball card sets, both with gum. An appeal of the Fleer lawsuit by Topps clarified that Topps’ exclusive rights only applied to cards sold with gum. After the appeal, Fleer and Donruss continued to produce cards issued without gum; Fleer included team logo stickers with their card packs, while Donruss introduced “Hall of Fame Diamond Kings” puzzles and included three puzzle pieces in each pack. In 1992, Topps’ gum and Fleer’s logo stickers were discontinued, with Donruss discontinuing the puzzle piece inserts the following year. With the issuance of a very popular and rare (compared to other sets at the time) set in 1984, Donruss began to take hold as one of the most popular card brands in competition with Topps. In particular, several rookie cards in the 1984 Donruss set are still considered the most desirable cards from that year of any brand (especially the Don Mattingly rookie card). Also in 1984, two monthly price guides came on the scene. Tuff Stuff and Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, published by Dr. James Beckett, attempted to track the approximate market value of several types of trading cards.During the mid-19th century in the United States, baseball and photography gained popularity. As a result, baseball clubs began to pose for group and individual pictures, much like members of other clubs and associations posed. Some of these photographs were printed onto small cards similar to modern wallet photos. The oldest known surviving card shows the Brooklyn Atlantics from around 1860.
The market in the United States has been particularly affected by issues both sports and non-sports related. Economic effects of World War I, World War II, and the Great Depression have all had a major impact on the production of cards. For example, World War I suppressed baseball card production to the point where only a handful of sets were produced until the economy had transitioned away from wartime industrialization.
Baseball cards garnered national media attention again in early 2007, when it was found that Topps’ new Derek Jeter card had allegedly been altered just prior to final printing. A reported prankster inside the company had inserted a photo of Mickey Mantle into the Yankees’ dugout and another showing a smiling President George W. Bush waving from the stands. Topps Spokesman Clay Luraschi later admitted that it was done on purpose by the Topps creative department.
Bowman was the major producer of baseball cards from 1948 to 1952. In 1952, Topps began to produce large sets of cards as well. The 1952 Topps set is the most sought-after post-World War set among collectors because of the scarcity of the Mickey Mantle rookie card, the first Mantle card issued by Topps. Although it is not his true rookie card (that honor belongs to his 1951 Bowman card), it is still considered the ultimate card to own of the post-war era.
Since early baseball cards were produced primarily as a marketing vehicle, collectors began to classify those cards by the ‘type’ of company producing the set. The system implemented by Jefferson Burdick in The American Card Catalog has become the de facto standard in identifying and organizing trade cards produced in the Americas pre-1951. The catalog itself extends into many other areas of collecting beyond the sport of baseball. Sets like 1909–1911 White Borders, 1910 Philadelphia Caramels, and 1909 Box Tops are most commonly referred to by their ACC catalog numbers (T206, E95, and W555, respectively).
At the same time, many other non-tobacco companies started producing and distributing baseball trade cards to the public. Between 1909 and 1911, The American Caramel Company produced the E90-1 series, and 1911 saw the introduction of the ‘Zee Nut’ card. These sets were produced over 28 years by the Collins-McCarthy Company of California. By the mid-teens, companies such as The Sporting News magazine began sponsoring card issues. Caramel companies like Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein were among the first to put ‘prizes’ in their boxes. In 1914, they produced the first of two Cracker Jack card issues, which featured players from both major leagues as well as players from the short-lived Federal League. The Chicago-based Boston Store Department company also issued a set as the teens drew to a close.Topps and Bowman then competed for customers and the rights to any baseball players’ likeness. Two years later, Leaf stopped producing cards. In 1956, Topps bought out Bowman and enjoyed a largely unchallenged position in the U.S. market for the next two decades. From 1952 to 1969, Topps always offered five- or six-card nickel wax packs, and in 1952–1964 also offered one-card penny packs.
By early 1886, images of baseball players were often included on cigarette cards with cigarette packs and other tobacco products. This was partly for promotional purposes and somewhat because the card helped protect the cigarettes from damage. A baseball card is a type of trading card relating to baseball, usually printed on cardboard, silk, or plastic. In the 1950s they came with a stick of gum and a limited number of cards. These cards feature one or more baseball players, teams, stadiums, or celebrities. Australian produced baseball cards were first released in 1990 by the then newly created trading card company Futera. These cards featured players from the newly created Australian Baseball League. Subsequent baseball cards were released annually in boxed sets or foil packs until 1996 when declining interest saw production cease. No new baseball cards were released in Australia until Select Australia released six team sets of cards during the 2012-13 Australian Baseball League season. This was then followed up by Dingo Trading Cards releasing multiple baseball card team sets during the 2013-14 Australian Baseball League season.The obverse (front) of the card typically displays an image of the player with identifying information, including, but not limited to, the player’s name and team affiliation. The reverse of most modern cards displays statistics and/or biographical information. Many early trade cards displayed advertisements for a particular brand or company on the back. Tobacco companies were the most instrumental in the proliferation of baseball cards, which they used as value added bonuses and advertisements for their products. Although the function of trading cards had much in common with business cards, the format of baseball cards initially most resembled that of playing cards. An example, is the design of 1951 Topps Baseball cards. Typically, a trade card of the time featured an image on one side and information advertising the business on the other. Advances in color printing increased the appeal of the cards. As a result, cards began to use photographs, either in black-and-white or sepia, or color artwork, which was not necessarily based on photographs. Some early baseball cards could be used as part of a game, which might be either a conventional card game or a simulated baseball game. As the popularity of baseball spread to other countries, so did baseball cards. By the end of the century, production had spread well beyond the Americas and into the Pacific Isles. Sets appeared in Japan as early as 1898, in Cuba as early as 1909 and in Canada as early as 1912.Throughout the 20th century, baseball cards were always made from cardboard. Now, companies use other materials that they claim can withstand being soaked in salt water.
What baseball card is worth $1000000?
The T206 Honus Wagner was produced in 1909 by the American Tobacco Company. The card features Honus Wagner, a shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates and one of the greatest players in baseball history. The card’s value comes from its rarity, as it is estimated that only around 60 to 200 copies were ever produced.
In April 1975, Fleer asked for Topps to waive its exclusive rights and allow Fleer to produce stickers, stamps, or other small items featuring active baseball players. Topps refused, and Fleer then sued both Topps and the MLBPA to break the Topps monopoly. After several years of litigation, the court ordered the union to offer group licenses for baseball cards to companies other than Topps. Fleer and another company, Donruss, were thus allowed to begin making cards in 1981. Fleer’s legal victory was overturned after one season, but they continued to manufacture cards, substituting stickers with team logos for gum. Donruss distributed their cards with a Jigsaw puzzle piece.The American Tobacco Company decided to introduce baseball advertising cards into their tobacco products with the issue of the T206 White Border Set in 1909. The cards were included in packs of cigarettes and produced over three years until the company was dissolved. The most famous card, and most expensive for the grade, is the Honus Wagner card from this set; Wagner objected, so only a small number were ever distributed. Another famous one, from 1911, is Joe Tinker.
The other major card companies followed suit and created card brands with higher price points. Topps resurrected the Bowman brand name in 1989. Topps produced a Stadium Club issue in 1991. 1992 proved to be a breakthrough year as far as the price of baseball cards was concerned, with the previous 50-cents per pack price being replaced by higher price points, overall higher-grade cardboard stock, and the widespread introduction of limited edition “inserts” across all product lines. 1992 was the beginning of the collectors’ chase for “gold foil,” which was commonly stamped on the limited edition “insert” cards. Notable examples from 1992’s “insert” craze include Donruss Diamond Kings, which included gold-foil accents for the first time ever, and Fleer’s host of gold foil-accented “insert” cards, including All-Stars and Rookie Sensations. 1992 was also the first year that “parallel” cards were introduced. In 1992, Topps produced Topps Gold “insert” cards of each card in the standard base set. The “parallel” Topps Gold cards had the player’s name and team stamped in a banner of “gold foil” on the card front. The “parallel” moniker became popular to describe these cards because each and every card in the standard base set had an accompanying “insert” variation. In 1993, the card companies stepped up the “premium” card genre with “super premium” card sets, with Fleer debuting its “Flair” set and Topps debuting its “Topps Finest” set. Topps Finest was the first set to utilize refractors, a technology that utilized a reflective foil technology that gave the card a shiny “rainbow” appearance that proved extremely popular among hobbyists. Other notable “premium” card sets from the 1990s are as follows: Donruss issued its Leaf brand in 1990; Fleer followed with Fleer Ultra sets in 1991; and Score issued Pinnacle brand cards in 1992.
In 1952, Topps started distributing its American made cards in Canada. In 1965 O-Pee-Chee re-entered the baseball card market producing a licensed version of the Topps set. From 1970 until the last Topps based set was produced in 1992 the cards were bi-lingual French/English to comply with Canadian law
After the end of World War I in 1918, baseball card production lulled for a few years as foreign markets were not yet developed and the United States economy was transitioning away from wartime production. This trend would continue until the late 1930s when the effects of the Great depression finally hit. The twenties produced a second influx of caramel cards, a plethora of postcard issues, and a handful of cards from different regions of the world. During the first two years, an influx of strip cards hit the market. These cards were distributed in long strips and often cut by the consumer or the retailer in the store. The American Caramel Company re-emerged as a baseball card producer and started distributing sets in 1922–1923. Few, if any cards were produced in the mid-twenties until 1927 when companies like York Caramel of York, Pennsylvania started making baseball cards. Cards with similar images as the York Caramel set were produced in 1928 for four ice cream companies, Yuengling’s, Harrington’s, Sweetman and Tharp’s. In 1921, the Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago started to release issues on postcard stock. Although they are considered a postcard issue, many cards had statistics and other biographical information on the back.
Over the years, there was also a great deal of resistance from other companies. In 1967, Topps faced an attempt to undermine its position from the Major League Baseball Players Association, the League’s nascent players’ union. Struggling to raise funds, the MLBPA discovered that it could generate significant income by pooling the publicity rights of its members and offering companies a group license to use their images on various products. After initially putting players on Coca-Cola bottlecaps, the union concluded that the Topps contracts did not pay players adequately for their rights.1920 saw the emergence of foreign markets after what was essentially an eight-year hiatus. Canadian products found their way to the market, including products branded by the Peggy Popcorn and Food Products company of Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1920 to 1926 and Willard’s Chocolate Company from 1923 to 1924. Other Canadian products came from ice cream manufacturers in 1925 and 1927, from Holland Creameries and Honey Boy, respectively. Billiken Cigars, a.k.a. “Cigarros Billiken”, were distributed in Cuba from 1923 to 1924.
Japanese baseball cards became more numerous in 1947 and 1950. The cards were associated with Menko, a Japanese card game. Early baseball menko were often round and were printed on thick cardboard stock to facilitate the game.
The most valuable cards are worth millions. One T206 Honus Wagner card was sold at auction in May 2021 for $3,750,000. A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, graded as PSA 9 on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), sold for $2,880,000 in 2018. Another Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle card, graded PSA 9.5, sold for $12,600,000 in August 2022, becoming the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia of all time. Condition can play a huge role in the price. Other 1952 Topps Mantle cards, graded 1, have sold for as little as a few thousand dollars.
Soon after, MLBPA executive director Marvin Miller then approached Joel Shorin, the president of Topps, about renegotiating these contracts. At this time, Topps had every major league player under contract, generally for five years plus renewal options, so Shorin declined. After continued discussions went nowhere, before the 1968 season, the union asked its members to stop signing renewals on these contracts, and offered Fleer the exclusive rights to market cards. Although Fleer declined the proposal, by the end of 1973, Topps had agreed to double its payments to each player from $125 to $250, and also to begin paying players a percentage of Topps’ overall sales. The figure for individual player contracts has since increased to $500. Since then, Topps used individual player contracts as the basis for its baseball cards.
Previous manufacturers include Fleer (now a brand name owned by Upper Deck), Bowman (now a brand name owned by Topps), and Donruss (now a brand name owned by Panini). Baseball card production peaked in the late 1980s and many collectors left the hobby disenchanted after the 1994-95 MLB strike. However, baseball cards are still one of the most influential collectibles of all time. A 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card (Topps; #311; SGC MT 9.5) was sold for $12.600 million on August 28, 2022.From 1985 until 1988, Donruss issued a parallel Canadian set under the Leaf name. The set was basically identical to the Donruss issues of the same years however it was bi-lingual. All the Leaf sets were produced in the United States.
Topps and Upper Deck are the only two companies that retained production licenses for baseball cards of major league players. In a move to expand their market influence, Upper Deck purchased the Fleer brand and the remnants of its production inventory. After purchasing Fleer, Upper Deck took over production of the remaining products that were slated to be released. Upper Deck continues to issue products with the Fleer name, while Topps continues to release Bowman and Bazooka card products. Topps is also the only company that continues to produce pre-collated factory sets of cards.
What baseball cards sold for 7.25 million?
One of the world’s rarest baseball cards was sold for an extraordinary price last week. The famous T206 Honus Wagner sold for a record $7.25 million in a private sale facilitated by Goldin Auctions, the company said Thursday.
Vintage baseball cards have been a prime focus of countless collectors and historians of one of America’s favorite pastimes. Some baseball card collectors pay large sums of money to gain possession of these cards and they may also put a lot of time into it. Since rare baseball cards are difficult to find, collectors seek for ways to be aware of the rare cards that come into the trading or selling market. Baseball card collectors normally obtain them from other card collectors or from specialized dealers. Some collectors may sell rare baseball cards over the internet and very often on eBay.The history of baseball cards in Canada is somewhat similar to that of baseball cards in the United States. The first cards were trade cards, then cards issued with tobacco products and later candies and gum. World Wide Gum and O-Pee-Chee both produced major sets during the 1930s. By the turn of the century, most baseball cards were produced by confectionery and tobacco companies. The first major set of the 20th century was issued by the Breisch-Williams Company in 1903. Breisch-Williams was a confectionery company based in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Soon after, several other companies began advertising their products with baseball cards. This included but was not limited to, the American Tobacco Company, the American Caramel Company, the Imperial Tobacco Company of Canada, and Cabañas, a Cuban cigar manufacturer. Rare baseball cards may also be purchased at major baseball card shows. These events are held periodically in different cities, allowing baseball card collectors and dealers to meet. In valuing a card, the potential buyer takes into consideration the condition (or graded condition) of the card. Rookie cards, players’ first cards, are the most valuable ones.More collectors entered the hobby during the 1980s. As a result, manufacturers such as Score (which later became Pinnacle Brands) and Upper Deck entered the marketplace in 1988 and 1989 respectively. Upper Deck introduced several innovative production methods including tamper-proof foil packaging, hologram-style logos, and higher quality card stock. This style of production allowed Upper Deck to charge a premium for its product, becoming the first mainstream baseball card product to have a suggested retail price of 99 cents per pack. In 1989, Upper Deck’s first set included the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. The card became highly sought-after until Griffey’s persistent injury troubles caused his performance level to decline.
In the 1970s, several companies took advantage of a new licensing scheme, not to take on Topps but to create premiums. For example, Kellogg’s began to produce 3D-cards inserted with cereal and Hostess printed cards on packages of its baked goods.In February 2007, one of the hobby’s most expensive card, a near mint/mint professionally graded and authenticated T206 Honus Wagner, was sold to a private collector for $2.35 million. The card was sold again later that same year for a record-setting $2.8 million.
How much is a Babe Ruth?
By November of 2021, a PSA 7 Babe Ruth baseball card copy had fetched $2.4 million on the market. Babe Ruth memorabilia has always been popular. In 2019, someone paid over a million dollars for the bat he used to hit his 500th home run in 1929.
During the same time period, MLBPA also introduced a new guideline for players to attain a rookie card. For years, players had been highlighted in previous sets as a rookie while still in the Minor Leagues. Such players would sometimes remain in the Minor Leagues for considerable time before attaining Major League status, making a player’s rookie card released years before their first game as a major leaguer. The new guideline requires players to be part of a Major League team roster before a rookie card would be released in their name, and a designated “rookie card” logo printed on the face of the card. The rookie card logo shows the words “rookie card” over a baseball bat and home plate with the Major League Baseball logo in the top left corner.NPB branded baseball cards are currently widely available in Japanese toy stores, convenience stores, sports stores, and as bonus items included in certain packages of potato chips.
What baseball card just sold for $5 million?
Another 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card fetched $5.2 million in January 2021, making it the most expensive sports card ever sold at auction at the time.
In 1965, Topps licensed production to Canadian candy maker O-Pee-Chee. The O-Pee-Chee sets were identical to the Topps sets until 1969 when the backs of the cards were branded O-Pee-Chee. In 1970, due to federal legislation, O-Pee-Chee was compelled to add French-language text to the backs of its baseball cards.
What is the rarest baseball card?
1909-1911 Honus Wagner T206 Considered the rarest and most valuable baseball card in existence, there are only about 50 copies of this full-color card from 1909 to 1911, known as the T206 Wagner. In 2016, one sold at auction for $3.12 million.
The first baseball cards appeared in Japan in the late 19th century. Unlike American cards of the same era, the cards utilized traditional Japanese pen-and-ink illustrations. In the 1920s, black-and-white photo postcards were issued, but illustrated cards were the norm until the 1950s. That decade brought about cards which incorporated photos of players, mostly in black and white. Menko cards also became popular at the time.This did not prevent a large number of regional companies from producing successful runs of trading cards. Additionally, several U.S. companies attempted to enter into the market at a national level. In 1959, Fleer, a gum company, signed Ted Williams to an exclusive contract and sold a set of cards featuring him. Williams retired in 1960, forcing Fleer to produce a set of Baseball Greats cards featuring retired players. Like the Topps cards, they were sold with gum. In 1963, Fleer produced a 67-card set of active players (this time with a cherry cookie in the packs instead of gum), which was unsuccessful, as most players were contractually obligated to appear exclusively in Topps trading card products. Post Cereals issued cards on cereal boxes from 1960 to 1963, and sister company Jell-O issued virtually identical cards on the backs of its packaging in 1962 and 1963.
As baseball increased in popularity and became a professional sport during the late 1860s, trade cards featuring baseball players appeared. These were used by various companies to promote their business, even if the advertised products had no connection with baseball. In 1868, Peck and Snyder, a sporting goods store in New York, began producing trade cards featuring baseball teams. Peck and Snyder sold baseball equipment, and the cards were a natural advertising vehicle. The Peck and Snyder cards are sometimes considered the first baseball cards.
There were several promotional issues issued by Canadian firms since Major League Baseball began in Canada in 1969. There were also several public safety sets issued, most notably the Toronto Blue Jays fire safety sets of the 1980s and early 1990s and the Toronto Public Libraries “Reading is fun” set of 1998 and 1999. These sets were distributed in the Toronto area. The cards were monolingual and only issued in English.
In the early 1930s, production soared, starting with the 1932 U.S. Caramel set. The popular 1933 Goudey Gum Co. issue, which included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig cards, best identifies this era. In contrast to the economical designs standard in earlier decades, this card set featured bright, hand-colored player photos on the front. In addition, the backs provided brief biographies and personal information such as height, weight, and birthplace. The 240-card set, quite large for the time, included current players, former stars, and prominent minor leaguers. Individual cards measured 2+3⁄8 by 2+7⁄8 inches (6.0 by 7.3 cm), which Goudey printed on 24-card sheets and distributed throughout the year. The bulk of early National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees appear in this set.
Topps issued licensed sets in Venezuela from 1959 to 1977. Most of the set had Spanish in place of the English text on the cards and the sets included winter league players. There were locally produced cards depicting players from the winter leagues produced by Offset Venezolana C.A., Sport Grafico, and others which were in production until the late 1990s.Starting in 1997 with Upper Deck, companies began inserting cards with swatches of uniforms and pieces of game-used baseball equipment as part of a plan to generate interest. Card companies obtained all manner of memorabilia, from uniform jerseys and pants, to bats, gloves, caps, and even bases and defunct stadium seats to feed this new hobby demand. It is also in 1997 that the first “one-of-one” cards were released by Fleer, beginning with the 1997 Flair Showcase “Masterpieces” (the Ultra set would begin to include purple 1-of-1 masterpieces the following year). Both kinds of inserts remain popular staples in the hobby today.
After 1941, cards would not be produced in any significant numbers until a few years after the end of the war. Then, wartime production transitioned into the post-war civilian consumer goods, and in 1948 baseball card production resumed in the U.S. with issues by the Bowman Gum and the Leaf Candy Company. At the same time, Topps Gum Company issued their Magic Photos set four years before they issued their first “traditional” card set. By 1950, Leaf had bowed out of the industry.
1933 also saw the delivery of the World Wide Gum issue. World Wide Gum Co. was based in Montreal and had a close relationship with the Goudey Gum Company, as each of their four issues closely resembled a Goudey contemporary. Goudey, National Chicle, Delong, and a handful of other companies were competitive in the bubble gum and baseball card market until World War II began.
Topps’ purchase of Bowman led to a stranglehold on player contracts. Since Topps had no competition and there was no easy way for others to break into the national market, the company had a de facto monopoly. However, several regional sets featuring players from local teams, both major league and minor league, were issued by various companies.
The 1994 players’ strike caused a decline in interest and industry consolidation. Yet, with the advent and acceptance of third-party companies bringing greater objectivity in the grading of baseball cards (coupled with online marketing), the vintage baseball card business has become quite popular again, with sales in the multi-millions of dollars recorded every year for at least ten years.
Fleer even filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Topps was engaged in unfair competition through its aggregation of exclusive contracts. A hearing examiner ruled against Topps in 1965, but the Commission reversed this decision on appeal. The Commission concluded that because the contracts only covered the sale of cards with gum, competition was still possible by selling cards with other small, low-cost products. However, Fleer chose not to pursue such options and instead sold its remaining player contracts to Topps for $395,000 in 1966. Price guides are used mostly to list the prices of different baseball cards in many different conditions. One of the most famous price guides is the Beckett price guide series. The Beckett price guide is a graded card price guide, which means it is graded by a 1–10 scale, one being the lowest possible score and ten the highest. In addition, Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) grades cards 1–10, and can authenticate autographs as well. The process and cost of multi-tiered printings, monthly set issues, licensing fees, and player-spokesman contracts made for a difficult market. Pinnacle Brands folded after 1998. Pacific, which acquired full licensing in 1994, ceased production in 2001. In 2005, Fleer went bankrupt and was bought out by Upper Deck, and Donruss lost the MLB license in 2006 (they also did not produce baseball cards in 1999 and 2000). At that time, the MLBPA limited the number of companies that would produce baseball cards to offset the glut in product, and to consolidate the market. As a result of the measure that included revoking the MLB/MLBPA production licenses from Donruss, only two companies remained; Topps and Upper Deck.Babe Ruth is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His impressive career spanned over 22 seasons, during which he played for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and the Boston Braves. He set numerous records during his career, some of which still stand to this day. Babe Ruth is also credited with helping to popularize baseball as a national pastime, making him an important figure in American history.Babe Ruth baseball cards are some of the most popular collectibles among baseball enthusiasts and collectors alike. These cards have become increasingly valuable over the years, with some fetching millions of dollars at auction making it one of the most valuable baseball cards in the baseball card market. It is no surprise then that Babe Ruth remains one of the most sought-after baseball players in terms of memorabilia. His impact on the sport and on American culture has been far-reaching, and his legacy continues to inspire and captivate people all over the world. If Babe Ruth is truly so beloved, why do we hear more about the sales of Mickey Mantle and Honus Wagner baseball cards than Ruth cards? A Babe Ruth baseball card can be quite pricey, but more importantly, any piece of Ruth memorabilia will hold a special place in the heart of any sports or American history collector.
Going by the trend in the sports and collectibles market, a Babe Ruth baseball card may fetch more than $1 million. The Bambino remains a sacred icon for not only New York Yankees fans but also anyone who loves baseball. The widespread adoration for Babe Ruth amongst collectors is indicative of the high demand for Babe Ruth baseball cards.
Without a doubt, Babe Ruth is one of baseball’s all-time greats. Once he arrived in New York, his hitting prowess made him the first baseball superstar in America. Both his Cooperstown induction and his legendary Louisville Slugger and number three jersey are part of baseball lore. Being one of the first five people to enter Baseball’s Hall of Fame speaks volumes about the man’s accomplishments.
After sitting on a collector’s shelf for two months, a 1916 Babe Ruth rookie card got $2.46 million in early 2021. Only one summer prior, a 1916 Sporting News Ruth rookie card commanded a price of $1.45 million. As far as the PSA is concerned, it was a 6. In July of 2021, a PSA 9-graded 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #53 card sold for $4.2 million setting a new record price for a Babe Ruth baseball card then.
Part of the reason for this high demand is the rarity of these cards. Babe Ruth baseball cards were first produced in the early 1900s, with the most popular cards being those produced during his playing days in the 1920s and 1930s. These cards were mass-produced, but many were lost, destroyed, or damaged over the years, making them even more valuable today.In a February 2023 auction, the most expensive item was a 1916 Sporting News rookie Babe Ruth baseball card. The SGC 7 copy of Ruth’s M101-4 attracted a bid of $1.77 million, the highest price ever paid for a copy of Ruth’s M1014, though the price was lower than anticipated. By November of 2021, a PSA 7 Babe Ruth baseball card copy had fetched $2.4 million on the market.
In September of 2021, a copy of his 1914 Babe Ruth baseball card with the Orioles reportedly went for $6 million. It surpassed the record for the most expensive collectible ever sold held by a 1952 Mickey Mantle card, which went for $5.2 million.
Few athletes have been as famous and well-known as Babe Ruth was during and after their playing days. This is reflected in the high price of Babe Ruth baseball cards.The Bambino’s autographed 1933 Goudey #149 Babe Ruth baseball card was sold for $761,100 in February 2021. A similar Babe Ruth signed baseball card fetched $325,000 in 2020. So, the price of cards featuring Babe Ruth nearly doubled in a year. Another reason for the high demand for Babe Ruth baseball cards is the Babe himself. Babe Ruth remains one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, and his impact on the sport is still felt today. His larger-than-life personality and impressive playing career have made him an enduring icon, and his memorabilia continues to be highly sought-after. Perhaps it is this historical significance that drives up the cost of his memorabilia baseball card value. A Babe Ruth baseball card, in particular, can be quite lucrative if purchased at the right time.In 2019, someone paid over a million dollars for the bat Babe Ruth used to hit his 500th home run in 1929. His game-used and signed bat from 1918 to 1922 went for $1.68 million. His New York Yankees jersey from 1928 to 1930 fetched $5.64 million, and a glove he used in the second half of his career was sold for $1.53 million. These prices are a testament to the enduring legacy of Babe Ruth and the continued fascination that people have with his life and career.