The 1986 Topps baseball card set is a classic and highly sought after by collectors both young and old. Originally produced and released by Topps in 1986, these 325 card checklist spans the entire league and is remembered as one of the quintessential sets of the 1980s. Today, individual 1986 Topps cards can still be found for sale on the popular online marketplace, eBay, with demand remaining strong even decades after the set first came out.

Some key things to know about the 1986 Topps baseball card set and individual cards that frequently appear for auction on eBay include:

Set Details – The 1986 Topps set included 325 total cards and had an incredibly colorful and illustrative design. Some of the standout cards included short prints, stars of the era like Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens, and rookie cards of future Hall of Famers like Tom Glavine. The cards featured individual player images with no action shots and team logos prominently displayed at the bottom.


Condition and Grading – On eBay, 1986 Topps cards can be found across all condition grades from Poor to Near Mint-Mint. Raw, ungraded cards are still quite common but an increasing number are being professionally graded by services like PSA and BGS first before being listed. Top graded rookies and star cards often pull in the biggest prices. Condition is extremely important for value so buyers must carefully inspect photos.

Hot Rookies – Perhaps the most desirable 1986 Topps rookie cards on eBay are those of Tom Glavine, David Justice, and Greg Maddux. All three went on to Hall of Fame careers. Their respective rookie cards frequently cross the $100-300+ range even in lower grades. Other Notable rookies include John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield, and Mark Grace. These lesser star rookies still attract buyers in the $25-75 range usually.

Hall of Famers – eBay listings for star cards of already enshrined Hall of Famers like Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Dennis Eckersley, and Ozzie Smith tend to fetch the higher prices outside of the top rookie cards. Expect to pay $50-200+ for PSA/BGS graded versions of their common rookie or star cards from 1986 depending on the player and grade. Ungraded copies still move for $10-50 usually.


Short Prints – The 1986 Topps set included several short printed cards that are highly sought after. This includes the Cris Carpenter SP which typically sells for $150-300+ in high grades on eBay. Other tough SP’s include Robin Yount, Dwight Gooden, and Bob Horner. Even well centered but lower graded examples can pull in $50-100+.

Buyer Beware – With the heavy interest and valuable vintage content in 1986 Topps, counterfeits have become more prevalent on eBay in recent times. Buyers must thoroughly inspect photos and ask detailed questions of sellers on high value items to avoid potentially purchasing fakes. Stick to reputable sellers with robust return policies when possible.

Supply and Demand – Even after 35+ years, 1986 Topps cards remain highly coveted and in demand thanks to their iconic design and abundance of stars from the 1980s. While the set was mass produced originally, heavy collecting over the decades has thinned the readily available supply somewhat. This steady demand combined with a finite supply keeps values buoyant on the secondary eBay marketplace.


The 1986 Topps baseball card set holds a cherished spot in the hearts of collectors for good reason. Even just basic commons from the set appeal due to the nostalgia of the design and players. For those wanting to add pieces from this classic to their collections, keep a close eye on listings for 1986 Topps cards on eBay. With a bit of savvy bidding and buying, affordable examples across all value tiers can be found with some diligent searching. Just be sure to thoroughly inspect condition, ask questions as needed, and avoid potential fake listings to get the best deals.

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