Anthony "Tony" Keith Gwynn Sr. was known as Mr Padre and played his entire career in San Diego. During his career Gwynn won eight batting titles. His statistics in baseball are only part of the story, he was also well known for his basketball playing skills in college. His son Tony Gywnn Jr. went on to be a key player in the MLB too. Aside from his impressive statistics, Tony Gwynn was also a humanitarian who opted to stay with the San Diego Padres to help the city near his hometown, since he had strong ties to the community. Initially, Gwynn wanted to play basketball and not baseball and excelled at the sport. While at San Diego State University, he added baseball his sophomore year. Even though his statistics on basketball were great, he was much more skilled at baseball. The San Diego Padres noticed him shortly after he graduated. So, for several years, he played in the minor leagues.
However, during the second half of the 1983 season, he became a key Padres player and Major League Baseball superstar. In 2001, he retired from baseball, a hall of fame legend. Although some cards sold for higher amounts on eBay, Becketts has a longer standing reputation for pricing cards accurately. One thing to keep in mind when looking through your collection is the condition. The prices are for cards that are in NM7 to NM-MT8. According to PSA Card, there are several factors that contribute to those ratings. First, the smallest details, including the wax on the card, must have more than a passing glance. For example, a NM-MT8 the front of the card needs to be near perfect centering on the back and little to no splitting on the corners. Before listing any of these cards, look at the factors of the card to determine whether your version of the card meets the parameters of the five most expensive Tony Gwynn Baseball Cards.
5. 2019 Topps Update Major League Materials Platinum #MLMTG Tony Gwynn - $299.95
One of the interesting features of this card is it features a swatch of material from a jersey Tony Gwynn wore during game play. They released the entire series of cards in portions and totaled 700 cards. The cards in the platinum series featuring game jersey material only had a single release. Whereas, the red series had 25 prints of the card each numbered. Undoubtedly, it was because 2019 was the 150th anniversary of baseball that Topps outdid itself with a wide range of cards that made collectors rush to pick up the packs.
4. 1999 Fleer Mystique Fresh Ink #17 Tony Gwynn/250 - $300
During the 1999 season, collectors had a two percent chance of finding one of these cards in their pack. The card was part of a 26 card set featuring new MLB standouts and longstanding baseball players. Check for the Fleer Seal of Authenticity, as well as a certificate printed on the back of the card. Initially, there were a total of 250 cards, and they were raw grade. As with any card, the price is contingent on the condition. For the $300 price, your card must be in NM-MT condition.
3. 2004 Topps Originals Signature #TG2 Tony Gwynn 84/95 - $360
The thing that excited collectors about this series was the guarantee that in every pack they would find an autographed card by a player Topps bought back, and then professionally sealed. In total, there were just over 150 players featured, including Gwynn. According to Cardboard Connection, the cards are hand numbered and could be any card from the players’ rookie year to final season. This series dropped in July 2004. Despite only featuring only a select handful of players, there are multiple cards from each.
2. 1998 SP Authentic Chirography #TG Tony Gwynn SP/850 - $500
Upper Deck released this series in summer 1998. The company went through a bit of repackaging with this series, since it was the first time a Hobby Box had a card with a handwritten autograph. Additionally, there were fifteen redemption cards that were redeemable for Upper Deck authenticated merchandise. The items included UDA autographed baseballs, and several items were in honor of Ken Griffey Jr’s 300th home run. One of Gwynn’s cards in the series was a memorabilia card for a game jersey.
1. 2007 Topps Sterling Stardom Relics Autographs Quad #SSA67 - $720
Right around Christmas in 2007, Topps Sterling released this series comprising 254 cards. The set also had clever packaging, with 29 players featured on the inside case that could only be revealed after purchase. Once you opened the box, there were three base cards, and a numbered relic, potentially with an autograph. Additionally, collectors would find a mystery pack with an even rarer collectible. One note on this set, the player featured on the outside of the package, was not necessarily the one whose card was in the package. There were eight different Tony Gwynn cards in the base set. Additionally, he was featured as one of the Quad Relic cards alongside players like Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds.
During the pandemic, many old hobbies saw a resurgence. One of them was card collecting. In an article on Boston, Chad Finn discusses why this hobby is making a comeback. One thing he writes about is the rush of getting the card you really wanted, and the camaraderie of trading with friends. He goes on to say that “the market was driven in part by the wholly relatable tug of nostalgia, and the quest to feel joy about something during months of isolation.” So, if next time you are in your attic and dusting off your card collection, and stumble across a few Tony Gwynn cards, you’ll have a better idea of what they’re worth, and perhaps even join the groups of people who are returning to a simpler time in their childhood.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson