The price for a piece of America’s pastime keeps going up.
Baseball cards are among the most popular collectibles in the sports memorabilia market. While cards are easily available for purchase, the most valuable ones have reached seven-figure territory.
The record for the most expensive baseball card has changed twice in the last month. The first of those historic sales was for what many believe is the most iconic trading card in all of sports. The second, however, showed its value by nearly doubling the price of the former record holder.
So, just how costly are the most sought-after baseball cards?
How much is a Mickey Mantle baseball card worth?
Over 50 years after Mantle was smashing pitches for the New York Yankees, his top baseball card is shattering records.
A 1952 Topps #311 Mantle card sold for $12.6 million at auction on Aug. 28. It surpassed the record for the most expensive baseball card of all time by over $5 million and blew past the game-worn Diego Maradona jersey from his “Hand of God” goal ($9.3 million) to become the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia.
Why is the Mickey Mantle card so expensive?
The 1952 Topps #311 is believed to be one of a handful of mint condition Mantle cards remaining. Though the card was not released in Mantle’s rookie year, the time from a player’s career that typically creates the highest card value, it was the year when Topps first started producing its annual set of baseball cards.
Anthony Giordano, a New Jersey waste management entrepreneur, bought the card for $50,000 in 1991. Before the August auction, another version of the card sold for a record-breaking $5.2 million in June 2021.
How much is a Honus Wagner baseball card worth?
The next-most-expensive baseball card is of Honus Wagner.
The 1909 T-206 Wagner card, which was produced by the American Tobacco Company, continues to rise in price. It sold for $6.6 million in August 2021 and set a new bar a year later by selling for $7.25 million on Aug. 4.
Most expensive baseball cards in history
Here is a look at the baseball cards that have exceeded a million-dollar price tag, including two by one of the sport’s top active players:
1. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle: $12.6 million
2. 1909 T-206 Honus Wagner: $7.25 million
3. 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth: $4.212 million
4. 2009 Bowman Draft Mike Trout: $3.936 million
5. 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth: $2.46 million
6. 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente: $1.107 million
7. 2011 Topps Mike Trout: $1.05 million
8. 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson: $1.006 million