Companies began the mass production of baseball cards in the 1880s, and the cards became an immediate hit with fans. During the 1980s, rookie cards experienced a wave of popularity, and the value of baseball cards skyrocketed. Rookie cards usually depicted baseball players during their first season in the Major League, invoking a lot of nostalgia and pride. Soon, cards like the Babe Ruth collection were garnering millions in sales. If you are an Atlanta Braves fan, you will love this list of the 10 Most Expensive Atlanta Braves Baseball Cards.
10. Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews, 1959 Topps ($750)
This card shows two of the greatest Atlanta Braves players of all-time – Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews. It is a timeless piece portraying the duo affectionately referred to as the 'Fence Busters' that delivered over 1,200 dingers for the team. According to PSA Card, a mint 9 Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews, 1959 Topps auctions at $750. One was sold at this price on Heritage Auctions through the Elite PSA Set Registry Catalog Auction on July 2021.
9. Deion Sanders, 1990 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary ($1,500)
The Deion Sanders 1990 Upper Deck is a simple, elegant card with no printed words except for the company logo on the top-left side of the landscape card. However, this is not what makes it a worthy collectible – although it does help. The card is special because of the player it portrays. Deion Sanders is a Hall of Famer that has a 14-year career in the NFL, during which he played 641 MLB games and stole 186 bases. He is the only player to ever play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that this card sells for around $699 to $1,500.
8. Chipper Jones, 1993 Topps Stadium Club ($1,888)
When this card came up, Chipper Jones was yet to make his debut in the Major League. Chipper Jones had been appearing on cards since 1991, which might explain why this card was not a major hit. Nonetheless, Jones was beloved, and a Chipper Jones, 1993 Topps Stadium Club card with a Certificate of Authenticity from Beckett Authentication goes for 1,888.49.
7. Hank Aaron, 1957 Topps ($1,995)
Hank Aaron is considered one of the most iconic baseball players in history. The Hammerin' Hank – as his fans call him – has hit over 755 home runs in his 23-season career, giving himself legend status. In this 1957 Topps card, you can see Aaron in all his glory. The card is clean and simple, with white lettering, a white border, and Hank's name and team in yellow print. One notable thing about this card is that Topps printed Aaron's image backward. The picture makes him look like a left-handed hitter, which he was not. Additionally, the card was made in the only year the team took home the World Series cup. This might explain why a signed copy goes for between $994 and $1,995 on eBay.
6. 1975 Topps Hank Aaron Baseball Card #660 ($3,000)
Topps revamped their line of baseball cards in 1975, including releasing a new 'Mini-Series.' The 1975 Topps Hank Aaron Baseball Card #660 is full-sized, however, with eye-grabbing elements and a polychromic border. According to PSA Collector, there have only been 38 PSA 9 cards and no Grade 10 cards in existence. This might explain why a Grade 9 copy sold for as much as $3,000.
5. 1974 Topps Hank Aaron #1 All-Time HR King ($7,800)
1974 was a landmark year that saw Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth pitted against each other. During the first game of the season, Aaron tied to Ruth's unbeaten record, then broke it later that year at the team's home opener in front of over 53,000 fans. This new Aaron record stood for close to 40 years. The 1974 Topps card captures a picture of Hank in a simple design and the words “NEW ALL-TIME HOME RUN KING” under it. It is a beauty.
4. 1958 Topps Hank Aaron #30 White Name ($16,802)
The PSA Mint 9 1958 Topps Hank Aaron #30 White Name has already changed possession 422 times, which speaks to its desirability. Being an earlier card, it has had time to mature and is also very rare because a gem copy does not exist. Currently, the highest selling price of this rare piece is an impressive $16,802. #30 cards in poorer condition have not fared well in the market, however.
3. 1959 Topps Hanks Aaron Baseball Card #380 ($26,976, PSA 10)
The release of the 1959 Hanks Aaron Baseball Card marked a significant step forward for Topps. The new design had a bolder, eye-catching typeface and a graphic-heavy design complimented by bright color schemes. In this card, Aaron's picture is a bust instead of the usual full-body shot set in a circular frame. Against a yellow background is also the player's prominent autograph. A PSA 10 copy of this card was auctioned for $26,976.
2. 1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron Rookie Card ($28,000)
#128 was a beautiful card with a plain and simple design. Against an orange background is a double image of Hank Aaron in all his glory. Because the young player was not featured in the 1954 Bowman set, this is his only recognized rookie card in the mainstream market. It is also one of the most valuable pieces in the collectors’ world, going for as much as $28,000.
1. 1954 Topps, Hank Aaron Rookie Card ($357, 594)
Top on our Most Expensive Atlanta Braves Baseball Cards list had to be a Hank Aaron card. Hank Aaron cards tend to fetch a great price in any condition, but his 1954 rookie card stands out from the rest. PSACollector.com reports that one such card is valued at a whopping $26,976! Why might that be? First of all, this is the player's only officially recognized rookie card available today. Most MLB players have at least two rookie cards and Aaron only having one makes this card all the more valuable. Secondly, this is among the few cards from Topps that year that can be found in mint condition. The company produced a poor quality line that year, with most of the cards containing errors and some of the packaging staining the cards. In fact, only 23 of the 3,600 Hank Aaron rookie cards graded by the PSA were found to be in Mint or better condition. This explains why Hank Aaron rookie cards are very valuable. According to Just Collect (https://www.justcollect.com/baseball/players/hank-aaron/), one PSA 10 copy sold in 2012 through SCP Auctions for an impressive $357,594! Other examples have sold for prices ranging between $17,000 and $36,023 (2013, PSA 9).
Baseball cards were rolled out to the public in the mid-1860s but were only mass-produced from the 1880s. The initial motivation for tobacco brands like Gypsy Queen and Old Judge was to strengthen the flimsy packaging on their cigarette boxes, but fans soon fell in love with the cards. Over the years, these cards have grown in value, giving rise to the Most Expensive Atlanta Braves Baseball Cards on this list. Remember, the exact cost of a baseball card will depend on its condition and whether it comes with a valid authentication certificate.
Written by Dana Hanson
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