Baseball Cards With Limited Print Runs
In the beginning of the baseball card boom, demand wasnt much of a problem. Heck, there were millions of boys of all ages who decided we had to have one of everything.
Thats why the boom happened in the first place.
The real problem came when companies overestimated the ability of our hobby desires to keep up with their hyper-efficient production lines.
We tried hard for several years, but we eventually just drowned in all the cardboard.
The funny thing is, though, if you frequent blogs like this one or Twitter communities or local card shows today, youll see that there is still plenty of demand for baseball cards.
But collectors are smarter, more discriminating now.
We want to know that there isnt an infinite supply of whatever cards we latch onto.
And so, were still happy to buy all sorts of different cards, provided there is some limit to their print runs.
Thats why we like the old stuff. Theres not all that much of it left.
And its why folks like the high-grade, slabbed stuff there is demonstrably lesser of that than of the mid-grade or ungraded stuff .
That phenomenon bleeds over into other issues, too. Specifically, those sets and cards that were issued in limited numbers and have some proof behind that claim tend to hold decent value over the years.
Topps Chrome Lebron James Refractor Rookie Card #111 Psa 10
This 2003 Topps Chrome Lebron James Refractor Rookie Card #111 graded PSA 10 gem mint condition sold at auction in December of 2020 for $94,300 with 93 total bids. The auction started at just 99 cents and made it all the way up to almost $100K. This is one of Lebron James most iconic rookie cards.
/30 Surprisingly Cheap: Sammy Sosa 1990 Leaf
Sammy Sosa is yet another example of how a tarnished legacy has affected the baseball card industry. He might have tallied some outstanding numbers, but baseball purists are still shying away from placing significant value on his cards. Despite being printed by Leaf, this particular card is only worth $20. Much like some of the other players from his era on this list, don’t give up hope if you happen to own this one. If attitudes about Sosa’s legacy ever change, this one could go for a lot of money in the future.
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Topps #537 Pete Rose Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $47,500
Dimensions: 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″
The 1963 Topps Pete Rose rookie card shows the all-time hit king along with Pedro Gonzalez, Ken McMullen, and Al Weis as one of 1963s most promising youngsters.
In poor condition, this card would fetch hundreds of dollars but if youre lucky enough to land a copy in PSA 10 Gem Mint condition then youre talking big-time money.
Theres only one single PSA 10 copy currently in circulation, however, which makes it extremely difficult to find even if you have that kind of money to spend.
That PSA 10 copy sold for $717,000 in 2016.
Score Rookie/traded Craig Biggio Rc #103t
Craig Biggio isn’t your typical hobby superstar. He played at a time when the biggest names were smashing home runs and making flashy plays. Biggio was more a model of prolonged consistency. He’s still not a top-tier hobby talent but his appeal has grown post-retirement as collectors look to a Cooperstown induction.
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/30 Plummeted: Sammy Sosa 1990 Leaf
Given all the controversies surrounding Sammy Sosa in recent years and his recent denial/non-denial of what he used to hit so many home runs, it’s unsurprising that the value of his rookie card is far lower than what it probably should be. Sosa’s another example of how a tarnished legacy can affect one’s value in the baseball card industry. Leaf cards from the ’90s of stars tend to be worth a fortune, but this one of Sosa is worth only $20.
If attitudes about Sosa’s legacy ever change, this one could go for a lot of money in the future.
Where Can I Sell My Major League Baseball Card Collection
The first to sell cards is to visit a card shop if you can find one in your area and sell it directly. The local owners of these card shops will be interested in checking your card collection and seeing what is of value for purchasing. Second, you can go through a site like BaseballCardBuyer.com that offers free quotes if you are looking to sell your cards. Finally, fans can use a platform like eBay or Craigslist for auctioning specific cards to individuals interested in purchasing the cards.
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Are There Any Valuable 1989 Topps Baseball Cards
The 1989 Topps baseball cards were some of the rarest ever produced not only because they cost more than most other types of cards at that time, but they featured really beautiful artwork which made them collectible in their own right. Old fans who missed out on purchasing these when they first came out may want to start looking for them now so they can get in touch with people who are willing to purchase them for large sums of money.
Goudey #274 Joe Dimaggio
Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $200,000
Dimensions: 2-1/2″ x 3″
DiMaggio appeared twice in the 1938 Goudey set but this is the more valuable of the two.
You could argue the imagery isn’t the nicest in the hobby but it makes for an unforgettable card design.
Both of the DiMaggio cards in this set feature a caricature of the Yankee legend, the only difference between the two versions is that this one features small cartoons and information in the background while the other has a blank background.
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Can You Make Money Selling Your Major League Baseball Card Collection
You can make money selling baseball cards in a few different ways. One way to make money is to buy baseball cards in bulk, try and sell individual cards on a site like eBay, Craigslist, or go into a card shop/card show to negotiate a price. The idea behind this practice is to buy a large number of cards at a low value to strike rich on top cards, hopefully. Cards that always have high margins include Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Derek Jeter, All-Star cards, and Topps Mickey Mantle card. Any other card that is a Hall of Famer will have a high price margin vs. a player who does not make the hall.
Another way to make serious money by selling cards is to have the trading cards in mint condition. That means that as a seller, you protect your card collection in a protectable sleeve, and dont allow any bends, rips, or tears. Keeping cards in a protective case can reduce any discoloring on cards so that the baseball card value will be at the highest level.
When Did The Baseball Card Market Begin In The United States
During the early 1900s, tobacco companies began selling baseball cards with their products to baseball fans. In 1930, trading cards began adding bubble gum to attract younger fans by having something sweet to chew. In 1951, Topps Baseball, a New York-based Company, began creating baseball cards for fans to collect. Topps cards continue to hold some of the most valuable trading cards in practice today. The popularity of trading sports cards took off during the 1970s and 1980s with MLB rookie cards, and continue to hold some of the most valuable cards in worth today.
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The Most Valuable 1990s Baseball Cards
Our list of the most valuable 90s baseball cards has a few surprising names, as well as a host of legends from the sport. The most expensive cards tend to be rare, and theyre often serial numbered. There are RCs and special editions, so its highly unlikely that youll find one stuffed down the back of the couch.
As many sets had excessive print runs, the majority of 1990s options are worth little more than the cost of the materials that they were printed on. Surprisingly, there are valuable cards from almost every year to look out for, including before, during, and after the junk wax era.
The higher the grade, the more valuable a card will be, so were typically looking at PSA 9s and 10s only. Well start off with a rare card from 1991.
Chipper Jones won a World Series and made eight All-Star appearances for the Atlanta Braves in a storied career. He has an exceptionally rare card from 1991 which is the first to make our list.
His 1991 Topps Desert Shield was given the designation as it was a gift for US troops who were serving during Operation Desert Storm. The normal 1991 Topps is worth a fraction of the price, and youll be able to tell the difference by looking for a see-through gold emblem under the 1st Draft Pick logo on the front of the card.
Theyre also prone to counterfeiting, which is why its better to go for a graded option if possible.
Derek Jeter Leaf Signature Extended Century Marks
The only Leaf card to make the list, their 1996 set is one of the best the company ever released. It was the first to offer an auto in every pack, with signatures from some of the biggest stars from the time. As well as Derek Jeter, players like Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa also signed cards in the Signature Series Extended Autographs Century Marks set.
Seen as a parallel to the main collection, each card has a print run of 100 only and can be identified by the holographic foil found at the top of the card. So, its an exceedingly rare signed parallel from one of the biggest stars in the sport.
Jeters card is white with silver trim and features an action shot of the player in his Yankees uniform. The on-card autograph is located at the base and was filled out using black ink. Crisp and clean, there cant be many collectors out there that would turn down a 1996 Leaf Jeter.
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How Much Are Your Baseball Cards Worth
Use Mavin to see what your baseball cards are worth. Search for your card, see what it sells for online.
Youll need these details:
For example 1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr
Panini Prizm Ja Morantmojo Rookie Card
Starting off the list at number 10 is the 2019 Panini Prizm Ja Morant Mojo Rookie Card PSA 10 serial numbered out of just 25. This is from the Panini Prizm set, one of the most collectible and valuable sets in modern day basketball cards. If you are wanting to really invest in basketball cards, you want to look for the serial numbered cards. This one is serial numbered out of 25 so that means there are only 25 in the world, making it very rare. This one sold at auction with 106 bids at the end of 2020 for $30,100.
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Bowman Chrome Julio Rodriguez
The 2022 AL Rookie of the Year has done it all in his debut. Hes already in the 20/20 club and has proven that power and speed arent his only assets. Just take a look at his .277 average and .340 OBP. Safe to say hes got a batting eye that will play in this league for a LONG time to come. Hes one of the most electrifying rookies weve seen and is showing the potential to be one of the games best players. Its hard to describe how bullish we are on . Green light all the way.
Baseball Cards Issued Before 1981
This is somewhat of an arbitrary cutoff, but we know some things for sure
- In 1981, Fleer and Donruss joined Topps in the baseball card market, and all three manufacturers produced sets of 600+ cards.
- None of those cards were produced in small quantities.
- With just a few exceptions, none of the hundreds of other sets produced between 1982 and about 1994 were produced in small quantities, either.
- You can find just about any card you want from 1981 forward on eBay for less than you would have paid 30 years ago.
So 1981 might rightly be considered the seed of the junk-wax era, even if things werent quite as out of control as they would later become.
There were far fewer different baseball cards available in 1980 than in 1981, and if you look at sold listings on eBay, you start to see some price hardening several minor stars selling for $1 or more, as an example.
And if you walk that back to 1973, the last year Topps issued cards in series , you actually see some lower prices BUT you also see commons selling individually. Thats a pretty good indication there is a market for those cards.
The star prices, even for ungraded copies, step upward as you step backward through the years on eBay, too.
The bottom line is that most of the card rot started with the stuff issued during the junk years of the 1980s, and much of what came before retains a decent bit of value.
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Panini Prizm Giannis Antetokounmposilver Rookie Card #290
Number 8 is the Panini Prizm Giannis Antetokounmpo Silver Rookie Card #290 that sold at auction in January of 2021 for $35,099. The earlier the Panini Prizm set, the better, because if you look at the pop reports youll see that the earlier stuff had lower print runs whereas the newer stuff is being over printed so this 2013 card has more value because they were not over printing in 2013 like they are now in 2020/2021.
Roberto Clemente Topps Rc #164
Goldin Auctions sold a PSA Mint 9 1955 Roberto Clemente Topps RC #164 for a whopping $1,107,000. As the PSA website points out, collectors seek out this card due to the attractive visuals. This card also marks Clemente’s time as a rookie in the MLB.
During his career, Roberto Clemente earned a .317 batting average and .973 fielding percentage.
However, his humanitarian efforts made him a standout in the industry.
After he died in a plane crash while delivering supplies to Nicaragua, the MLB renamed the Commissioner’s Award to the Roberto Clemente Award. The trophy honours baseball players who dedicate time and money to charity.
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Nadja Caramel E92 Ty Cobb
Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $115,000
Dimensions: 1-1/2″ x 2-3/4″
Nadja was a brand name of the Blake-Wenneker Candy Co. of St Louis and the set features 62 cards in total.
Caramel cards are usually more scarce than tobacco cards since they were sold to children rather than adults.
You can imagine the wear and tear that children put on the cards by comparison.
As with the American Caramel Cobb card mentioned just a bit ago, the design of the card isnt unique but it is certainly one of the more desirable Cobb poses in the hobby.
Graded Versus Ungraded Cards
A graded card is a baseball card that has been judged by a professional grader on the condition and authenticity. Collectors tend to pay more for graded cards versus ungraded cards, as it indicates that the card being sold is authentic.
Cards are scored on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being poor and 10 being almost perfect. Baseball cards that are ungraded make it more difficult for buyers and sellers to agree on a fair price based on the supposed condition.
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Topps Jim Gilliam Rc #258
Jim Gilliam isnt a Hall of Famer like a lot of players on this list. He was a great player for the Dodgers for more than a decade, winning the 1953 National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1953. Gilliam was an All-Star twice and also finished among the top 10 NL MVP vote getters on a pair of occasions.
Needless to say, the list of Rookie Cards in 1953 Topps Baseball is nearly as strong as the two years its sandwiched between. Like Mathews, Gilliam is another high series short print.
What Baseball Cards From The 20th Century Are Worth Money
Many professional baseball players have come and gone throughout the history of this sport which means there are many different types of old baseball cards that have been created over time. For example, vintage cards are often sought after by collectors because they feature the greatest players who ever lived for one baseball team or another. The best thing about these types of baseball cards is that their value may increase over time, which means you could turn a profit if you hold onto them long enough to find out.
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