If you're an avid baseball fan, you may know about some of the rarest and most expensive baseball cards in the world. Find out which coveted cards make the list in this blog post, along with their current value on the market.
From 1909 T206 Honus Wagner to 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth, we reveal the top 10 most sought after cards and why they command such high prices.
We also take a look at the factors that determine the worth of collectible cards, giving you a greater insight into one of the most lucrative hobby investments in the world.
1909-1911 Honus Wagner T206
Even novice collectors interested in rare baseball cards will quickly come across the name Honus Wagner. Although Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Hank Aaron are famous baseball players with collectible cards, none come close to this ball player. Honus Wagner was an outstanding shortstop and an early inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Considered the rarest and most valuable baseball card in existence, there are only about 50 copies of this full-color card from 1909 to 1911, known as the T206 Wagner.
1952 Mickey Mantle Topps #311
Mickey Mantle's 1952 Topps Major League card is another sports collectible example worth millions. This rare baseball card sold for $2.88 million in 2018. The 1952 card was the first Topps issued for Mickey Mantle and signified an important season for the famous player. The image with Mantle holding a bat and glancing to the side is an icon for baseball card collectors. Perhaps as many as 1,700 of this card exist, but fewer than a dozen are in mint condition.
1909-1911 Sherry "Magie" Magee T206
Fewer than 175 of this rare baseball card are still in existence. On the card, Magee's name was misspelled as "Magie." This error was caught early in the printing, which means very few of the cards were produced with that spelling. This rare error gives the card extra value, and the record price for this is $660,000 in 2018.
1909-1911 Joe Doyle "N.Y. NAT'L" T206
Considered ten times rarer than the ultra-valuable Honus Wagner example, this rare baseball card is considered the "king of errors." The league for which Doyle played was listed as National instead of American by mistake. Instead of reading "N.Y. NAT'L" as it does, the card should read "N.Y. AMER." Fewer than 10 of these error cards exists, making this one of the rarest baseball cards of all time. One of the 10 sold at auction in 2015 for $312,000.
1909-1911 Eddie Plank T206
While some cards are rare because they were pulled from printing to fix an error on in the text, no one knows for sure why the 1909-1911 Eddie Plank T206 card was printed in such small numbers. It may be that Plank did not consent to his image being used, or it may be there was an error in the printing die used to make the card. Either way, around 100 of this card exist. It's not as valuable as other rare baseball cards, having a 2018 auction record of $51,000.
1915 Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card
Many consider Babe Ruth the greatest baseball player in history, and his rookie card is among the most valuable and rarest baseball cards in existence. The card, which comes with different backs that can be blank or have advertising, is extremely difficult to find. In fact, fewer than 20 examples exist. The record price for a Babe Ruth rookie card is $1.35 million.
1909-1911 American Caramel Joe Jackson
With fewer than 90 of this card in existence, it's one of the most coveted rare baseball cards worth money. It features one of the most famous players in history: "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. This card originally came with caramel candies and was issued in different sizes. Its auction record is just over $667,000.
1909-1911 Ty Cobb Back T206
This iconic card features one of the most popular players in the history of baseball, Ty Cobb. The back of the card is printed with his name, and the front shows Cobb in front of a red background. Fewer than 23 of this card exist, and one family found eight of them on the floor of their great-grandparents' home. They auctioned seven off for a total of about $3 million.
1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle
Although more than 2,300 of this card exists, it's still a rare and coveted collector item. This is Mickey Mantle's official rookie card. It's prone to serious condition issues, including wax stains and lines in the printing, which makes finding one in excellent condition very rare. In 2018, one in excellent condition sold for $750,000.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth
This is a "pre-rookie" card for Babe Ruth, one of the most famous players in history, and only 10 copies are known to exist. It's one of the rarest baseball cards out there, making it very desirable to collectors. It comes in red and blue tints. One of these cards sold for $575,000 in 2012.