1. 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 The Jumbo Wagner

Photo of Honus Wagner baseball card
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

$3.12 million

The 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 The Jumbo Wagner is so valuable that even low-graded cards sell for millions.

In 2016, Goldin Auctions sold a Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) EX 5 for a whopping $3.12 million, according to Beckett Grading Services.

A Gem Mint 10 is the highest grading that a card can receive — this card only reached the halfway mark.

According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s website, Wagner was one of the first players inducted in 1936. His stats include 723 stolen bases, a .328 batting average, and 3,420 hits throughout his career.

2. 1909-11 Ty Cobb Tobacco T-206 Ty Cobb Back

Photo of T206 TY Cobb baseball card
Heritage Auctions / Ha.Com

$145,200

This Ty Cobb card could be found in tins of tobacco back in the early 1900’s

Few cards survive to this day. A PSA PR 1-rated card sold for nearly $150,000 at an auction.

The Baseball Hall of Fame notes that Cobb once said, "I never could stand losing."

In total, he earned 12 American League (AL) batting titles, maintaining an average .320 or more for 22 consecutive seasons. Cobb won the prestigious Triple Crown in 1909.

3. 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Red Refractor Autograph /5

Photo of baseball card 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Red Refractor Autograph /5
Ryan Cracknell / Beckett

$922,500

In 2020, Beckett reports that the 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Red Refractor Autograph /5 sold for $922,500 at Goldin Auctions' Spring 2020 Premium Auction.

Only five of these cards exist — and with a Beckett Grading Service (BGS) Gem Mint 9.5 grading, the 5/5 card is in near-perfect shape.

Mike Trout is only 30 years old, but Britannica notes that he's one of the best all-around players of his generation. In 2020, Trout celebrated his 300th home run.

In the first five years of his career, he earned a .315 batting average. He earned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award three times and earned the Rookie of the Year award in 2012.

4. 1969 Reggie Jackson Topps RC #260 Dmitri Young Collection

Photo of baseball card 1969 Reggie Jackson Topps RC #260 Dmitri Young Collection
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$1 million

Heritage Auctions sold a 1969 Reggie Jackson Topps RC #260 Dmitri Young Collection for over one million dollars in 2021.

With a Gem Mint 10 grading, this card has the highest rating possible — and Reggie Jackson's legacy makes the card even more legendary.

Jackson earned the nickname "Mr. October" for his performance in World Series games, according to Britannica.

In 1973, 1975 and 1980, Jackson had the most home runs in the league. He went on to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.

5. 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor Autograph 1/1

Photo of baseball card 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor Autograph 1/1
Goldin Auctions / Beckett

$3.84 million

If you want the 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor Autograph 1/1, you'll need to shell out nearly $4 million.

With only one in existence, as Goldin Auctions notes, the buyer was willing to pay $3.84 million to add the PSA Mint 9 card to their collection.

Beckett reports that the price beat the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner's record-breaking $3.12 million.

With three American League MVP awards, eight Silver Slugger awards and eight All-Star games, Trout's career has made this one-of-a-kind card worth the price tag.

6. 1951 Mickey Mantle Bowman RC

Photo of baseball card 1951 Mickey Mantle Bowman
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$1.2 million

According to the PSA website, the 1951 Mickey Mantle Bowman RC is Mantle's only rookie card.

A PSA Mint 9 card is worth $1.2 million, while a PSA NM-MT 8.5 card sells for $700,000. Many collectors prefer the 1952 card, but the 1951 Bowman is still a piece of baseball history.

Mantle was so legendary that PSA reports that his career was part of the Golden Age of Baseball.

When he played with the Yankees, he led the team to seven World Series victories. Other accolades include multiple MVP awards and a whopping 536 home runs in his career.

7. 1948 Bowman Stan Musial

Photo of baseball card 1948 Bowman Stan Musial
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$360,000

As one of two of Musial's rookie cards, a Gem Mint 10 1948 Bowman Stan Musial sold for $360,000 in 2017.

This is a significant jump from a PSA Mint 9, which last sold for over $44,000.

Musial's stats include a career .331 batting average, 475 home runs, three World Series championships and multiple industry awards.

Fondly referred to as "Stan the Man," Stan Musial's legacy with the Cardinals made him a beloved St. Louis icon. The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Musial in 1969.

8. 1909-11 Ty Cobb T206 White Border Green Portrait

Photo of baseball card 1909-11 Ty Cobb T206 White Border Green Portrait
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$350,000

The 1909-11 Ty Cobb T206 White Border Green Portrait features an old-fashioned portrait that looks like a family painting.

If you want one of these cards, you'll have to settle for a PSA NM-MT 8 priced at $350,000. Not every card is the same — some cards have minor size variations that make them unique.

Nicknamed the "Georgia Peach," the PSA website recalls that Cobb's stats include a .367 batting average, 4,191 hits and 892 stolen bases.

Later in life, Cobb dedicated his life to philanthropy. He also wisely invested in major companies like Coca-Cola and General Motors, adding to his fortune.

9. 1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill

Photo of baseball card 1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$492,000

As ESPN reports, collectors are willing to pay a high price for the 1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill, which is over a century old.

An unidentified bidder paid $492,000 when Heritage Auctions released the card in 2020. This particular card came from an old family collection, making it valuable and sentimental at the same time.

In 1911, Jackson landed a .408 batting average, setting the record for the top batting average by a rookie, according to the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum website.

During the 1919 World Series, Jackson hit a .375 batting average and scored 12 hits. Unfortunately, accusations of fixing the 1919 World Series tarnished Jackson's legacy.

10. 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey Sport Kings #2

Photo of baseball card 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey Sport Kings #2
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$400,000

If you want to buy the 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey Sport Kings #2, get ready to take out a second mortgage.

A PSA Mint 9 card is worth $400,000, according to the PSA website. Want to save yourself some money with a PSA NM-MT 8 card? You'll still have to pay $165,000 to add it to your collection.

In his career, Babe Ruth scored a .342 batting average. He amassed over 30 titles for home runs, hitting percentage and run scoring over the course of his career.

11. 1953 Mickey Mantle Topps #82

Photo of baseball card 1953 Mickey Mantle Topps #82
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$450,000

The PSA Mint 9 1953 Mickey Mantle Topps #82 sells for $450,000, according to the PSA website.

PSA Mint 9 cards are hard to find — most of these cards have lower ratings because they have chips, defects and off-centered images.

At the end of his career, Mickey Mantle's stats included 2,415 hits and 536 home runs.

Mantle was so beloved that the New York Yankees wore black armbands in the season after his death. Mantle was inducted into the The Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

12. 1909 Sherry Magee T206 Error

Photo of baseball card 1909 Sherry Magee T206 Error
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$660,000

For most cards, an error decreases the value. But the 1909 Sherry Magee T206 Error is a wildly sought-after card that PSA values at around $660,000 for a NM-MT 8.

The first printing misspelled Sherry's last name as "Magie" — the next printings had the right spelling, but the erroneous printing made this card a treasure.

On the PSA website, authors Tom and Ellen Zappala ask, "Why isn't Sherry Magee in the Hall of Fame?" The player racked up 1,112 runs and 2,169 hits and maintained a .291 batting average.

However, he also earned a reputation for getting into fights with umpires, although he eventually became an umpire after retiring from baseball.

13. 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News

Photo of baseball card 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News
PSA Card

$2.5 million

Less than ten copies of the 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News still exist. This makes this card one of the rarest baseball cards in history — in fact, PSA values a low-graded card at $2.5 million.

This card features one of the most legendary players in MLB history.

Blue and red variations of this card exist — good luck adding both to your collection. Due to the low-quality paper stock, most of these cards have creases and folds.

It's a testament to the rarity of these cards that even a damaged specimen sells for millions of dollars.

14. 1952 Jackie Robinson Topps #312

Photo of baseball card 1952 Jackie Robinson Topps #312
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$960,000

In May 2021, the PSA website reported that a collector paid $960,000 for a 1952 Jackie Robinson Topps #312.

With a PSA Mint 9 grading, this card is in near-perfect condition. A PSA NM-MT 8 card goes for only $192,000 — well within everyone's price range, right?

In addition to his impressive stats, Jackie Robinson made history as the first Black player to join the major leagues. He faced abuse and discrimination throughout his career, but it didn't stop him from racking up multiple awards, 1,518 hits and a .311 batting average.

The MLB retired his number "42" in 1997.

15. 1909-11 Eddie Plank T206

Photo of baseball card 1909-11 Eddie Plank T206
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$850,000

According to the PSA website, it's not clear why the 1909-11 Eddie Plank T206 is one of the rarest cards in the industry.

One theory suggests that the manufacturer destroyed most of the cards due to poor printing. Either way, the card is so rare that PSA valued a NM-MT 8 card at $850,000.

Eddie Plank wasn't just famous for his stats — he was also the first left-handed pitcher to win 300 games. He had 2,246 strikeouts and won 20 games in a season multiple times.

Baseball teams still courted him when he was 42, but he retired to his farm instead.

16. 1993 Derek Jeter Upper Deck SP Foil

Photo of baseball card 1993 Derek Jeter Upper Deck SP Foil
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$396,000

In 2021, a PSA Gem Mint 10 1993 Derek Jeter Upper Deck SP Foil sold for $396,000. When the card drops to PSA Mint 9, it sells for only $9,300 — and when you reach GOOD 2 condition, you only have to pay $62.

As the PSA website points out, the foil coating results in wear and tear the second you remove it from the pack.

This makes it nearly impossible to find the card in mint condition. Still, this card celebrates the legendary Derek Jeter, whom fans rank alongside Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.

17. 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps RC #164

Photo of baseball card 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps RC #164
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$1.1 million

Goldin Auctions sold a PSA Mint 9 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps RC #164 for a whopping $1,107,000. As the PSA website points out, collectors seek out this card due to the attractive visuals. This card also marks Clemente's time as a rookie in the MLB.

During his career, Roberto Clemente earned a .317 batting average and .973 fielding percentage.

However, his humanitarian efforts made him a standout in the industry.

After he died in a plane crash while delivering supplies to Nicaragua, the MLB renamed the Commissioner's Award to the Roberto Clemente Award. The trophy honours baseball players who dedicate time and money to charity.

18. 1916 Babe Ruth M101-5 Sporting News Blank Back

Photo of baseball card 1916 Babe Ruth M101-5 Sporting News Blank Back
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$3 million

Only six PSA NM 7 1916 Babe Ruth M101-5 Sporting News Blank Backs exist in the world, according to Heritage Auctions. The PSA website values NM-MT 8 cards at $3 million.

After that, it's unclear if PSA Mint 9 or Gem Mint 10 cards still exist. This card is over a century old, so finding mint condition cards is unlikely.

Most of the existing cards are blank on the back, although the PSA website notes that many of the original cards had advertisements.

This card celebrates Babe Ruth's status as a rookie before he became one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

19. 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps

Photo of baseball card 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$5.2 million

In 2021, as MSN reports, entrepreneur Rob Gough bought a PSA Mint 9 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps for an astonishing $5.2 million.

Since only six of these cards in this condition exist — and this card is allegedly the most intact — $5.2 million sounds like a paltry sum.

If you'd prefer a PSA Gem Mint 10, Just Collect reports that only three of those cards exist. One of them could fetch $10 million if it reappeared on the market.

Back in 1952, one of these cards only cost a nickel.

Can you imagine being one of those lucky people who saved their card all these years? Keep an eye out for unopened packs — you might stumble upon a gold mine.

20. 1909 Shoeless Joe Jackson American Caramel

Photo of baseball card 1909 Shoeless Joe Jackson American Caramel
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$677,189

SCP Auctions sold a 1909 Shoeless Joe Jackson American Caramel for $667,189 — a high price for a card that came with caramel treats.

It's unknown if PSA Mint 9 and PSA Gem Mint 10 cards still exist, but this PSA NM-MT 8 card is already worth a fortune.

Joe Jackson earned the "Shoeless" nickname after taking off his cleats during a game because the shoes made him uncomfortable.

Before he was a baseball star, he worked in textile mills when he was only seven.

21. 1968 Jerry Koosman / Nolan Ryan Topps

Photo of baseball card 1968 Jerry Koosman / Nolan Ryan Topps
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$600,000

The 1968 Jerry Koosman / Nolan Ryan Topps combines two baseball legends, but the PSA website notes that most collectors buy this card for Nolan Ryan.

One PSA Gem Mint 10 card is known to exist, and you'll have to search the world to find it — this card last sold for $600,000.

While Nolan Ryan never had a perfect game, he racked up impressive stats like 5,714 strikeouts and seven no-hitters. Jerry Koosman beat previous records with 19 wins and 7 shutouts in the 1968 season.

22. 1915 Ty Cobb Cracker Jack

Photo of baseball card 1915 Ty Cobb Cracker Jack
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$504,000

In addition to its rarity, the PSA website notes that collectors seek out the 1915 Ty Cobb Cracker Jack because of the vibrant illustration.

A PSA Mint 9 card went for $504,000 in 2019. There are more surviving copies of this card than other cards from this era — 10 PSA NM-MT 8 cards and 13 PSA Near Mint 7 cards are known to exist, among others.

If you don't have $500,000 sitting in your bank account, you could snag a lower-grade card for about $5,000.

23. 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #53

Photo of baseball card 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #53
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$4.21 million

If Babe Ruth is your favorite player, prepare to shell out $4,212,000 for a 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey #53.

Memory Lane, Inc. auction house sold the only known PSA Mint 9 card in 2021.

PSA NM-MT 8 cards are cheaper because there are 14 known cards in existence, although you'll still have to pay $168,000 to add one to your collection.

According to the PSA website, this card is part of a set that features Babe Ruth against different backdrops. This card highlights Ruth's accomplishments near the end of his career.

24. 1948 Jackie Robinson Leaf RC #79

Photo of baseball card 1948 Jackie Robinson Leaf RC #79
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$336,000

While the 1948 Jackie Robinson Leaf RC #79 doesn't have the clearest visuals, this card still sold for $336,000 in 2018.

Jackie Robinson's legacy and this card's scarcity make it a valuable addition to any collection. Currently, only seven PSA Mint 9 cards exist.

According to the PSA website, lower-grade cards have about 200 copies each, but they still sell for thousands of dollars.

Jackie Robinson was only 28 when he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1947.

25. 1933 Lou Gehrig Goudey #160

Photo of baseball card 1933 Lou Gehrig Goudey #160
Heritage Auctions / HA.com

$576,000

While the 1933 Lou Gehrig Goudey #160 has low-quality printing, people still pay $576,000 for a PSA Mint 9 card.

The PSA website notes that high-quality versions are rare — only 14 PSA NM-MT 8 cards exist, and the PSA Mint 9 card is one-of-a-kind.

Fans referred to Lou Gehrig as "The Iron Horse" due to his dedication and work ethic.

In 1925, he started a streak of playing 2,130 consecutive games. He put up some impressive stats throughout his career, but the general public remembers him for his ALS diagnosis, which was later labelled Lou Gehrig's disease.

About the Author

MoneyWise

MoneyWise

MoneyWise Editorial Team

These articles were created by the MoneyWise editorial team.

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