In 1881 from the state of Ohio, the team fans know now as the Cincinnati Reds formed its baseball team that began competing as a chartered member of the American Association before joining the National League (NL) and its Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1990. From 1969 until 1993, the Reds played in the NL’s West Division before joining the Central Division in 1994. The team has so far won five World Series Championships, nine NL pennants, an AA pennant, and ten division titles. When conversations come up among baseball fans about iconic teams, the Cincinnati Reds are bound to be one of the top teams mentioned. That, plus memorabilia items such as baseball cards are likely to become inevitable. Baseball cards have become every bit as part of the game as the players themselves as collectors will spare no expense to grab that one card of their favorite icon for no other reason than to simply have it. Baseball card trading has become just as big a business as trading the players between teams. With an iconic team such as the Cincinnati Reds, plus its rich history, it stands to reason some of the most sought after, and possibly most expensive baseball cards, are likely. Based on the information accessed at the time of this writing, here are the ten most expensive Cincinnati Reds baseball cards of all time that have been bought and paid for so far.
10. 1963 Pete Rose Rookie Cards, Low to Mid Grade ($1,200 USD – $5,000 USD)
According to All Vintage Cards, collectors wanting to get their hands on a Pete Rose rookie baseball card will have to be willing to fork out big money in order to bring one home. With the popularity of baseball card trading on the rise again, the prices for the most beloved cards featuring the most beloved players of professional baseball have spiked. So far, a Pete Rose rookie card ranges between $1,200 USD to $5,000 USD for low to mid-grade conditioned cards.
9. 1976 Topps 300 Johnny Bench ($3763.76 USD)
Johnny Bench has been regarded as one of the greatest catchers the major leagues of baseball have ever seen. He was one of the members of Cincinnatti’s infamous Big Red Machine of ballplayers that developed a huge fan following during the 1970s. If the big name wasn’t Pete Rose, it was Johnny Bench. It even shows in the baseball trading cards and the rising price tags.
8. Exceptional 1887-1889 N172 Old Judge “Cincinnati Reds” Collection ($5,332 USD)
On the Robert Edward Auctions site, this 1887-1889 N172 Cincinnati Reds baseball card collection sold for $5,332 USD in 2013. Although this is a set of old business cards, this piece of vintage history didn’t come cheap for the buyer
7. 1976 Topps Pete Rose ($9,000 USD)
There are only three known GEM – MT 10 graded baseball cards from the 1976 Topps roster of baseball cards that feature Pete Rose. Maybe this is why the price is at $9,000 USD according to PSA, or perhaps it is ranked as the number one Cincinnati Red baseball ranked on MLB’s website that ranks the Best Reds baseball cards. Because of this ranking, it’s possible the price tag for these cards in particular, regardless of their condition may spike as the popularity behind this expensive hobby continues to gain ground.
6. 1964 Topps Pete Rose All-Star Rookie Baseball Card ($24,054.94 USD)
The average price to purchase a PSA-9 grade baseball card featuring Pete Rose as a rookie on the 1964-issued prints from Topps is $24,054.94 USD. Of all the players coming from the roster of Cincinnati Reds, none is nearly as familiar as Rose’s.
5. 1963 Topps Rookie Stars #537 Pedro Gonzalez/Ken McMullen/Pete Rose/Al Weis HGT 7.5 ($25,141.14 USD)
This 1963 Topps Rookie Stars card featuring the four familiar faces of Major League Baseball displayed the official rookie of the year, Pete Rose, has managed to fetch $25,141.14 USD when it was listed. It’s PSA-7.5 rated as far as the card’s condition goes.
4. 1968 Topps Reds Rookies Johnny Bench/Ron Tompkins ($93,000 USD)
So far, the highest price paid for the 1968 Topps Reds Rookies baseball card featuring Johnny Bench and Ron Tompkins was sold at $93,000 USD. There are only fifteen of these GEM – MT 10 conditioned in existence. Johnny Bench didn’t play enough games in 1967, so he still qualified as a rookie in 1968. In a rare card print for the era, star catcher Johnny Bench shared his profile with Ron Tompkins, who never pitched a game for the Reds despite being on the team roster. As far as card values go, this is the one to watch as the momentum of baseball card collecting has picked up steam.
3. Topps 1963 Rookie Stars Pedro Gonzalez/Ken McMullen/Pete Rose/Al Weis ($150,000 USD)
According to Beckett, a PSA-9 baseball card condition level, among the few eBay listings popping up for these cards, the auction prices have seen an average of $150,000 USD each.
2. Pete Rose 1963 Topps – PSA-10 ($157,366 USD)
As a member of the famed Big Red Machine in the world of Major League Baseball, Pete Rose became one of the most recognized icons in the sport. The very mention of Cincinnati Reds automatically has sports fans remember the name of Pete Rose, referencing him as one of the best hitters that ever graced the diamond-shaped playing field. The 1963 rookie cards of Pete Rose have been in question as a number of counterfeits did spring up in hopes to dupe enthusiastic, less-knowledgeable fans to forking out big money just so they could get their hands on a piece of Rose’s rookie past. This particular card, registered at the pristine health level of a PSA-10 rating, is among the most recognized from the 1960s era.
1. Topps 1963 Rookie Stars Pedro Gonzalez/Ken McMullen/Pete Rose/Al Weis ($717,000 USD)
According to Old Sports Cards, the only perfectly conditioned and recognized rookie baseball card of Hit King, Pete Rose, sold for $717,000 USD through Heritage Auctions on August 28, 2016. There are four rookie stars from the 1963 MLB roster featured on this card. Aside from Rose, Pedro Gonzalez, Ken McMullen, and Al Weiss are also on the card. However, it is Pete Rose himself that makes this card what it is. Interestingly enough, not only did Pete Rose have a difficult time staying off the scandal sheets, so did the baseball cards as many scammers made counterfeit copies of Rose’s rookie cards when the hobby of collecting baseball cards reached a boom during the 1980s.