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Baseball Cards

The world of baseball card collecting is nothing short of an evolution. From its early roots of advertising cards to its mass-printed days of gumless foil packs, the hobby is still attracting millions of people—whether for investment or simply for love of the sport.

The first baseball cards were produced by tobacco companies in the 1880s, followed soon after by candy, gum, and clothing companies, among others. Goudy Gum produced multiple highly prized card sets in the ‘30s, while Leaf and Bowman Gum cards were popular in the ‘40s. Topps became a frontrunner in the next decade, nearly holding an industry monopoly until the ‘80s, when other companies began producing card sets.

An apparent overproduction time period in the '80s and '90s was dubbed, “The Junk Wax Era,” by many collectors, and card collections were often dismissed as worthless. However, a number of standouts do exist from that time period. A look at a recent online baseball card auction can help determine value.


Quick Facts

  • The most valuable card thought to exist—the T206 Honus Wagner—was printed in limited quantities by the American Tobacco Company between 1909 and 1911. Only 50 to 70 cards are said to remain
  • Trimming or gluing a baseball card to improve its condition will bring its value down
  • The TV series “Antiques Roadshow” discovered a baseball collection worth over $1 million when a woman brought in a group of old Boston Red Stockings cards and memorabilia. The items had been sitting in a desk drawer prior to appearing on the show

Learn more about the Most Valuable Baseball Cards Ever Sold on the Invaluable blog.

Recommended Items at Auction

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1964 Topps Giants Mickey Mantle - High Grade
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1964 Topps Giants Mickey Mantle - High Grade
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $100- $250
$10034 Bids
1964 Topps Giants Roberto Clemente - High Grade
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1964 Topps Giants Roberto Clemente - High Grade
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$6133 Bids
1982 Topps Complete Set (-2 cards)
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1982 Topps Complete Set (-2 cards)
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$7031 Bids
Five Piedmont cigarette baseball cards
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Five Piedmont cigarette baseball cards
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $500- $1,000
$2,80028 Bids
Three Goudey baseball cards
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Three Goudey baseball cards
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $300
$1,60025 Bids
Baseball card collection
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Baseball card collection
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $400- $700
$2,60024 Bids
1960 Topps Baseball lot of 20
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1960 Topps Baseball lot of 20
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$3618 Bids
[BASEBALL CARDS]. Group of 61 Bowman Gum Baseball Cards. [P...
Mar 07, 10:00 AM CST
[BASEBALL CARDS]. Group of 61 Bowman Gum Baseball Cards. [P...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$70015 Bids
1958 TOPPS HANK AARON CARD
Feb 29, 11:00 AM EST
1958 TOPPS HANK AARON CARD
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $150- $200
$12015 Bids
1921 W551 Wally Pipp Strip Card - Authentic
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1921 W551 Wally Pipp Strip Card - Authentic
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$4611 Bids
1921 W551 Casey Stengel - Authentic
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1921 W551 Casey Stengel - Authentic
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $30- $200
$8211 Bids
1974 Topps Nolan Ryan Mid Grade
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1974 Topps Nolan Ryan Mid Grade
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$2111 Bids
1983 Topps Complete Set
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1983 Topps Complete Set
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$3211 Bids
2023 Topps Finest Refractor Gunnar Henderson RC
Mar 01, 9:00 PM EST
2023 Topps Finest Refractor Gunnar Henderson RC
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $5- $100
$1911 Bids
2023 BOWMAN PLATINUM GUNNAR HENDERSON RENOWNED ROOKIE
Feb 29, 8:00 PM EST
2023 BOWMAN PLATINUM GUNNAR HENDERSON RENOWNED ROOKIE
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$1810 Bids
1954 Dan-dee Chips Mickey Mantle Sgc 1
Mar 04, 2:00 PM EST
1954 Dan-dee Chips Mickey Mantle Sgc 1
by Saco River Auction
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$1809 Bids
Baseball card collection
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Baseball card collection
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $300
$3009 Bids
2023 BOWMAN PLATINUM JACKSON HOLLIDAY
Feb 29, 8:00 PM EST
2023 BOWMAN PLATINUM JACKSON HOLLIDAY
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$148 Bids
(#'d /49) 2021 National Treasures Legendary Materials Booklet Elston Howard
Mar 01, 9:00 PM EST
(#'d /49) 2021 National Treasures Legendary Materials Booklet Elston Howard
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $5- $100
$118 Bids
1953 Topps lot of 20
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1953 Topps lot of 20
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$277 Bids
2023 BOWMAN PLATINUM JACKSON HOLLIDAY NEW MONEY
Feb 29, 8:00 PM EST
2023 BOWMAN PLATINUM JACKSON HOLLIDAY NEW MONEY
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $1- $10
$207 Bids
[BASEBALL CARDS]. A Complete Set of All 50 Double Folder Me...
Mar 07, 10:00 AM CST
[BASEBALL CARDS]. A Complete Set of All 50 Double Folder Me...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,5007 Bids
1972 Topps High Number lot of 12
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1972 Topps High Number lot of 12
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$366 Bids
1973/74 Topps Baseball lot of 29 with Stars
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
1973/74 Topps Baseball lot of 29 with Stars
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$316 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Baseball Cards


Saco River Auction

Saco River Auction

Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Boston Sportscard Exchange

Boston Sportscard Exchange

Auctions By Moldenhauer

Auctions By Moldenhauer