Major League Baseball (MLB) is to the American people as much a part of its culture as Independence Day. What the flag means to patriotic Americans is every bit as important as baseball cards are to fans of the sport and its players. Among collectors and enthusiasts, trading baseball cards between each other seems to have the same feel as teams trading the actual players faced on those cards in hopes the prize taken in is worth the value. What originally started out as a cool little hobby for boys and girls who were fascinated by the sport and some of its top players, has since become big business for companies and individuals who see the industry of baseball card trading as somewhat similar in characteristics as the New York Stock Exchange. Sometimes, lucky card owners will have a precious goldmine in their collection that buyers are willing to pay big money for just to have it.
It's understandable among collectors and enthusiasts that are willing to pay top dollar just to own a piece of history, especially when a favorite player is the one who played his part. In the case of Greg Maddux, he is among many of the greats that can fetch a rather hefty price just to have a card that has his picture on it, along with whatever advertisements or stats happen to be on the back. Sometimes, it's not always the player himself that makes the card so special, but the whole package such as print errors, packaging issues, or even the advertisement involved that may have some sense of irony to it. While there may not be any ironic stories to the baseball cards of Greg Maddux, there are some really good ones that make him such a valuable prize for collectors, to begin with.
About Greg Maddux
Greg Maddux is the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win at least fifteen games for a total of seventeen straight seasons. He also holds the record for most Gold Gloves at eighteen and has the most putouts by a pitcher with 546. He also holds a live-ball-era record of thirty-nine putouts in a season as these were achieved in 1990, 1991, and 1993. Maddux is considered one of the finest control pitchers ever to compete in the sport and has won more games during the 1990s than any other pitcher in the league. He is eighth overall on the all-time career wins list with 355. The only player since the post-1920 live-ball era that has more than him is the legendary Warren Spahn, who has 363 career wins to his credit. As for pitchers who made their debut after the era of World War II, Maddux has the most amount of wins there too. He is among ten pitchers that have achieved over 300 wins as well as 3,000 strikeouts. Out of those ten, he is the only pitcher to actually record more than 300 wins, more than 3,000 strikeouts, and have fewer than 1,000 walks. His record is at 999.
The first team Greg Maddux played for was the Chicago Cubs. From 1986 until 1992, he wowed the crowd with his pitching prowess on the field before he was traded to the Atlanta Braves and pitched for that team for ten years. As a stellar player and seemingly unbeatable pitcher, when the name of Greg Maddux comes to mind, it is usually these two teams that also come up in the conversation. After his decade with the Braves, he returned to the Chicago Cubs in 2004 before becoming traded again, this time briefly to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006, then to the San Diego Padres for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, before finishing his career off in 2008 as a Los Angeles Dodger. Nowadays, Greg Maddux serves as a pitching coach at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
For Greg Maddux, as a record-holder, stellar player, and World Series Champion, card collecting enthusiasts know how valuable his rookie card is, as well as any other career-highlighting moments during his career as one of the league's best pitchers. While he may not fetch prices in the millions yet, as time wears on and the enthusiasm of collecting rare baseball cards continues to rise, so will the starting bids where the name of Greg Maddux is concerned. Successful bidders and buyers of Greg Maddux baseball cards, especially during his rookie season with the Chicago Cubs, are known to spend at least a couple thousand dollars just to own a pristine-conditioned baseball card with his name on it.
5. 1987 Leaf Greg Maddux Rookie RC #36 PSA 10 GEM MINT ($2,675.00)
On February 16, 2021, this 1987 Greg Maddux PSA-10 Gem Mint graded card sold for $2,675.00 USD on eBay's auction site. For his first six seasons as a star pitcher, he started out with the Chicago Cubs. Before becoming one of the best pitchers the sport has ever seen, he mostly grew up in Madrid, Spain as his father was an officer in the United States Air Force. Greg Maddux was taught baseball by his father at an early age and it was a sport he caught onto quickly. He, along with his brother, Mike Maddux, was taught well enough that both managed to earn spots in the big league, both as pitchers.
4. 1987 Leaf Greg Maddux Rookie RC #36 PSA 10 GEM MINT ($2,902.00)
Sold and PSA-certified as #28154617, this 1987 Greg Maddux rookie baseball card sold at an eBay auction for $2,902.00 USD on February 26, 2021. Also according to PSA, there are 493 known cards in this registry set and currently has a price guide value of $1,150.00 USD. The seller, pwcc_auctions, is a familiar name on the eBay site, plus they have their own website that specializes in buying and selling trading cards.
3. 1987 Leaf Greg Maddux Rookie RC #36 PSA 10 GEM MINT ($3,000.00)
Sold by pwcc_auctions on eBay, this Greg Maddux rookie baseball card saw the bidder fork out $3,000.00 USD on February 16, 2021. When Greg Maddux and his brother, Mike, were scouted in 1982, there was greater interest in Mike's larger physique than Greg, except for the scout belonging to the Chicago Cubs. He saw in Greg something the other scouts failed to notice. What was their loss became the big gain for the Chicago Cubs.
2. 1987 Leaf Baseball Greg Maddux ROOKIE #36 PSA 10 BRAVES GEM MINT HOF ($3,250.00)
This Greg Maddux rookie card was sold on eBay's auction site for $3,250.00 USD on February 19, 2021. The seller was registered as 1954ebanks. This well-known and respected seller on eBay specializes in buying and selling sports memorabilia and has been registered to the online auction site since 2004.
1. 1987 Leaf Greg Maddux #36 SGC 100 Pristine ($5,040 USD)
On November 16, 2017, this Greg Maddux baseball card was sold through Heritage Auctions, which had twenty-two different bids placed on it until the time limit to do so was up. With the grade of SGC 100 pristine for a black-bordered trading card is as rare as it is, when it comes to rare find collections, this is as good as it gets.
Written by Dana Hanson
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