For those sports fans, collecting memorabilia is part of the thrill of the sport. People collect anything and everything that they feel is worth something, even if it is just for the sheer memory of the item. But for those who are serious collectors, collecting expensive items, such as cards with players and their stats, are one of the biggest collectors items. Baseball cards have long been a hot collectors item and those who have the financial means to get some of the rarest baseball cards in history to add to their collection, is a dream come true. Some of the rarest cards have sold for several million, and their value only grows as the cards get older or become harder to come by. If you have ever wondered what the most expensive baseball cards are, or what some of the rarest have sold for, keep reading to learn what the 10 most expensive baseball cards ever sold, are.
10. Joe DiMaggio: 1938 Goudey
In late February, one of the newest cards to be added to the rarest and most expensive baseball cards ever sold, is a Joe De Maggio card from 1938. It sold for $288,00 is a sort of ghoulish or nightmarish picture of the player with a cartoonish body and big head with a spooky look on his face. Di Maggio was a New York Yankee player and the player is leaning in, in his picture on the card, with a bat in his hands and ready to take a swing at the ball.
9. Hank Aaron: 1954 Topps
The baseball card company, Topps, released a total of 59 cards during Aaron’s career of 23 years. He was a Milwaukee Braves player and the one card that stands out among all the rest, is the 1958 rookies card that distributing before his 755th career home run. Last August, three mint-condition rookie cards sold for in the 300,000 range with the top bid and winner being a $358,000 bid. Although this was one of the most expensive baseball cards ever sold, there are still other Topps cards that have raked in even more than that.
8. Joe Doyle: 1909-11 T206
Joe Doyle was a pitcher for the Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. Although he only played for five seasons, his card has raked in an incredible $414,750 back in 2012 at an auction. “Slow Joe Doyle,” as he was known, is pictured on a card that bore a mistake, which is ultimately the reason the card is so rare and was so expensive. It read, the Yankees a National League team, on the label. The card was pulled from printing once the mistake was found. The printing plate was chipped of the mistaken word, “National,” and printing resumed, however, the cards that wore the word “National” became highly sought after.
7. Roberto Clemente: 1955 Topps
Roberto Clemente is a Hall of Famer but his career was cut short due to a tragic plane crash. Despite his short career, he received 12 Gold Gloves, 3,000 hits and 15 All-Star nods, during his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. This 1955 Topps card received a bid of $478,000 and a win at a Heritage auction in February of 2016 and is one of the most famous, and most expensive baseball cards ever sold.
6. Ty Cobb: 1909-11 T206
This particular baseball card was originally used by the American Tobacco Company as one of their promotional tools. Ty Cobb, the Hall of Famer player for Detroit, had a .366 career batting average, which is still uncontested today. He is a true batting champion and major contributor to the game off baseball. His mint-condition, 1909-11 card sold for $488,425 at auction in August.
5. Babe Ruth: 1914 Baltimore News
Babe Ruth has long been regarded as the best baseball player in the history of the game. You don’t have to love, or even like the game to know who this player is. He is not only on the list for one of the most expensive cards ever sold, but twice. His batting average is .342/.474/.690 and has an incredible record of 714 home runs. He was the pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles back when they were a minor league team, and this very rare Baltimore Orioles, 1914 card sold for $450,3000 at a public auction. Later, a private buyer purchased one of the cards for even more, at $575,000, back in 2012.
4. Joe Jackson: 1909 American Caramel
There have only been two cards reported to the PSA, of the 1909 Joe Jackson, American Caramel card that was originally packaged with caramel candy and in August of last year, the highest-graded version of this card sold for an amazing $667,189. Jackson was banned from the MLB due to the 1919 Black Sox scandal. He had a batting average of .356/.423/.517 and it is said that had he not been banned, he would have retired with the a title of being one of the best batters in the history of the sport.
3. Babe Ruth 1915-16 Sporting News
This is the second of the baseball Hall of Famer’s most expensive baseball cards ever sold, with this one, the 1915-16 card being the more expensive of the two. It is the third most expensive baseball ever sold of any player, selling for $717,000 and it shows Ruth as a more slim, trim player than his later years of playing. This is his rookie card and it is said that may one day join the $1 million club.
2. Mickey Mantle: 1952 Topps ($1,135,250)
Another very famous name that most people know or at least recognize, is Mickey Mantle. His 1952, Topps baseball card from his years with the New York Yankees, has been reported to have sold in November of last year at auction, for an unbelievable $1,135,250. The legendary MLB player is so iconic that his rookie card is the second most expensive baseball cards ever sold and is even more valuable than the other Yankee icon, Babe Ruth. One of the reasons Mantle’s card tops those of Ruth’s, is for the fact that in 1952, Topps, reportedly dumped cards into the Atlantic Ocean due to poor sales, subsequently, over half of a century later, this Mantle cards transitioned into a million dollar valuable.
1. Honus Wagner 1909-11 T206 ($3.12 Million)
Well, here it is, the most expensive baseball card ever sold. This Honus Wagner 1909-11 baseball card sold for a record-breaking $3.12 million. There is another version of the same card that was originally purchased by NHL legend Wayne Gretezky and Bruce McNall for $451,000, but this one is the ultimate baseball card and it depicts the greatest shortstop in the history of the sport. It has been reported that when the card originally emerged, Wagner actually was opposed to the card, due to the advertisement for cigarettes being marketed to children, and he was the face on the card. It has been said that he may have been behind the shut-down of the card’s production, because he never received compensation for the card.