Whether it is basketball, football, or baseball, the sports cards industry is flourishing at an exponential rate. Once a hobby has now turned into a fruitful and profit yielding business. Nobody ever imagined a cardboard piece sold for a few bucks is now worth millions of dollars. It isn’t a dream, but a reality that changed the trading card industry forever.
As per some critics, NBA (National Basketball Association) sports cards are being sold at higher prices. While others claimed that NFL (National Football League) is thriving more with cards being sold for millions of dollars. But the MLB (Major League Baseball) isn’t behind at all. The baseball sports cards are being sold for thousands of dollars.
This is the miraculous spark that the fans witnessed during the trading boom of the sports cards industry. The first boom this industry saw was in the 1980s. However, the escalation in valuation 2020 brought is unprecedented and unbelievable. Such boom doesn’t come overnight but for the trading cards industry, it in fact changed history.
Value of Baseball Cards in Early Days
The current value of sports cards has not always remained the same. In the earlier days, it was simply a cardboard piece, collected as a hobby by males. Due to numerous cards at home, the majority of the females used to throw them away. It was a stigma and taboo back then that sports are an interesting genre, loved and appreciated by males only.
The first ever sports card was printed by an American tobacco company in the 1880s. It was just a supporting piece of cardboard to a flimsy packaging, protecting the cigarettes from breaking. However, instead of adding a plain piece of cardboard, the company thought to add images of leading sports players. This way, the players also ended up getting some loyalty.
The sports cards industry started getting some recognition in the 1930s when the printing companies started adding bubble gums in the packets as an incentive. It was to stimulate sales and acquire new customers. The strategy was somewhat successful as teenagers and kids purchased it because of gum.
However, it was the 1980s that witnessed the boom of the sports cards industry. The adults who were teenagers and kids in the 1880s and 1930s started feeling sentimental. The melancholy of the legendary baseball players during that time evoked emotions from inside. This set a new record for the baseball sports cards industry, surging the sale to a new level.
The Current Value and Market Valuation
At the moment, the trading cards industry is booming and touching phenomenal heights. The cards that were once a hobby have become a profit yielding business. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic when people found the lost love for baseball sports cards. They either started purchasing from eBay or other online forums. Or found old cards in their homes, wrapped carefully in a dusty box.
The sudden surge was witnessed when the bored investors found love in trading and selling baseball sports cards. It became the time that changed the history of the sports card collecting hobby. The cardboard baseball cards that were once for just for few bucks, started selling for thousands of dollars. Some cards even got auctioned for more than $1 million.
During the pandemic, the most expensive baseball card was sold for a mind-blowing amount. The 1952 Topps Micky Mantle card auctioned for $5.2 million. This changed the world of baseball sports cards, making a history of highly expensive cards sold ever.
But some records are made to be broken. The whopping amount of $5.2 million was broken by Honus Wagner T206 card. It was auctioned for $6.6 million, making history of the most expensively auctioned sports card ever.
Don’t forget the legendary Babe Ruth! The 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth baseball card was sold for $4.2 million. The card to date is in pristine condition and has eligibility to be sold for more in the future. Another baseball card of Babe Ruth also crossed a million score. 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth card auctioned at a phenomenal price of $6 million.
1951 Bowman Micky Mantle rookie card is recognized as one of the most favorite cards among his fans. Top quality and great condition cards were auctioned for $750,000. Sooner or later, it will cross the million-dollar benchmark. 1963 Topps Pete Rose Rookie card was auctioned for $717,000. This card is also in perfect condition and analysts believe it can easily cross a million-dollar benchmark soon.
1909 American Caramel Joe Jackson was sold for $667,149 in pretty good condition. Who knows, someday the card can be sold for a million dollars. 1968 Topps Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan cards come next on the list. It was sold for $600,000 in pristine condition. The card is of such great quality that it still looks like a brand new baseball sports card.
1955 Topps Roberto Clemente card auctioned for $432,690 in incredible condition. Not to forget the ultra-legend and former home run king, Henry “Hank” Aaron. The 1954 Topps Hank Aaron extremely rare rookie card sold for $357,594 recently. It’s in top mint condition and can be sold later at higher rates with increasing demand. On the other hand, the 1952 Topps Willie Mays baseball card sold for $245,000 in great condition.
Baseball Sports Cards In A Nutshell
In a nutshell, baseball sports cards are popular among fans. The investors also seem to be interested in getting their hands on the rare and legendary cards. With continuous cycling of the cards and sell, purchase, and trading, the baseball sports cards are expected to be sold at much higher rates.
With the passage of time, all the pristine condition cards that have proper sides and perfect printing can change the face of baseball cards. These collectable cards are still being sold at higher rates. The more the trading sports cards industry grows, the higher their rates are going to be.
Scott Trick has collected sports cards since the early 80’s and because of his love for collecting he started the website https://sportscardsauthority.com. His favorite players are Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, but he cherishes all sports and all cards like they are art.