Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd – nothing evokes the carefree joy of summer quite like watching your hometown baseball team win a game. We can all still remember the excitement of cheering from the stands as our favorite player hits a homerun or slides safely into home plate. Luckily, the fun did not have to end after the ninth inning. Collecting baseball cards allowed you to take that feeling home. If you could save up a few dollars of your allowance, you could easily buy more cards to add to your shoebox stash. Today, however, these cards can be worth much more than just a couple bucks, they can be worth thousands of dollars! Here are the top three most valuable baseball cards.
The “Holy Grail” of baseball cards is the Honus Wagner card from the 1909-1911 Sweet Caporal Cigarettes series of the American Tobacco Company set. This precious card is worth a whopping $2.8 million. Wagner played shortstop for twenty-one seasons in the major leagues from 1897 to 1917. Wagner, also nicknamed the “Flying Dutchman” primarily played for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This card’s value comes from several factors: the age of the card, its pristine condition and the popularity of Wagner. But most importantly, the scarcity of this card skyrockets its value. Only two hundred cards were ever made because Wagner did not want to endorse tobacco use for young fans.
The second most valuable card is the 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps RC card, which has drastically increased in value, to $525,000. Mantle, known as “The Commerce Comet” and “The Mick,” played his entire Major League Baseball career for the New York Yankees as center fielder and first baseman. Mantle is one of the classic stars of baseball, replacing Joe DiMaggio as center fielder in 1952, and regarded as one of the game’s best switch hitters. This Mantle Topps RC card has the quintessential aesthetic of the best loved baseball cards.
In third place is the 1914 Babe Ruth Baltimore News card sold at Robert Edward Auctions for $517,000 in May 2008. Prior to the auction, the card was valued at about half, but a fierce bidding war ensued and exponentially increased the card’s value. Not only is Babe Ruth considered to be the greatest professional baseball player of all time, but this historic card is even more desirable because it is from Ruth’s rookie year.
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