Could a set of baseball cards be worth more than a house? Yes, if they’re the right cards, and if we’re talking about a small house. The following list shows the most expensive sets and individual cards on eBay. Of course, these are only the ones for sale right now: some cards in private collections can be worth much, much more.
As of August 2014, the most valuable baseball cards for sale on eBay are:
10. 1993 Derek Jeter Foil Rookie Card, $21,000
Derek Jeter has twenty seasons under his belt, and he has made thousands of amazing hits. His rookie cards are hard to find in gem mint condition, making a single one of them worth over twenty grand.
9. 2012 Mike Trout Autograph Rookie Patch Card, $30,000
Someday, Mike Trout might be seen as an all-time great on par with Mickey Mantle. Collectors certainly seem to think so, paying huge prices for his early autographed cards.
8. 2001 Albert Pujols Rookie Card Set, $35,000
Like most modern cards, the value of this card set is based on rarity and speculation. Possibly the only remaining copies still in Gem Mint condition, these cards may well gain in value in the future.
7. 1936 Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean Card, $43,000
In 1936, the St. Louis Gashouse Gang was the westernmost team in the league. They represented the frontier, the plains, and the west, and were a symbol of hope for the Dust-Bowl-ravaged people of the interior United States. Dizzy Dean, together with his brother Paul “Daffy” Dean, were the stars. They helped build the Gashouse Gang into the world-class Cardinals, making sports history and the Hall of Fame.
6. 1959 Fleer Ted Williams Card Pack, $44,000
Fleer, the world’s first bubble-gum company, was always known to produce great baseball cards. In 1959, to celebrate the last season of Red Sox legend Ted Williams, they released an entire set just of Ted Williams’ cards, commemorating different points in the great player’s career.
5. 1952 Frank Campos Variation Card, $49,000
Frank Campos was a Cuban-American outfielder who was mostly shunted into pinch-hitting by the end of his career. He wasn’t the best hitter, and he wasn’t the worst. So why is his card worth so much? Because of a rare printing error that made it past quality control; this cuts off part of the upper border.
4. 1952 Topps Baseball Card Case, $49,000
An entire unopened case of Topps Gum baseball cards is up for auction. Who knows what could be inside?
3. 8 Autographed Mickey Mantle Cards, $55,000
The personal autograph of one of the greatest ever to play the sport is marked on each of this set of eight cards.
2. 1937 Joe DiMaggio, $130,000
Joe DiMaggio’s career showed the best qualities of New York, the Yankees, and America. Born to a poor family of Sicilian fishermen, DiMaggio came to New York from the Pacific Coast League and led the time with the greatest hitting streak in the history of professional baseball. This lone card, from early in his time with the Yankees, now sells for more than some houses.
1. 1866 Union Base Ball Club of Lansingburgh Card Set, $195,000
The Union of Lansingburg, also known as the Troy Haymakers, were an upstate New York team that went out of business in 1872. In 1866, a year after the end of the Civil War, a printer released a set of six photograph cards of the Union’s best players. These are likely the earliest baseball cards ever printed.