MOST VALUABLE BASEBALL CARDS FROM THE 70S AND 80s

The 1970s and 1980s were a golden era for baseball card collecting. Many hall of famers were still actively playing at the peak of their careers during this time period. As a result, cards from these decades featuring star players often command big money from collectors today. Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable and sought after baseball cards from the 1970 and 1980s.

One of the most iconic and valuable cards is the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card. This card predates the 1970s/80s timeframe. During the late 70s/early 80s, Mantle was still widely considered the best switch hitter of all time and one of the greatest players ever. His 1973 Topps card, featuring Mantle in a Yankees uniform at the end of his career, has grown substantially in value. High graded PSA 10 examples often fetch over $100,000 due to Mantle’s legendary status.

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Speaking of legendary Yankees, the 1977 Topps Reggie Jackson ” Mr. October” card is highly coveted. Jackson cemented his postseason hero status with the Yankees in 1977, smashing three home runs in World Series game 6 off three different pitching changes by the Dodgers. High end PSA 10 copies of this coveted card have sold for close to $50,000. Another Yankee great, the 1976 Topps Thurman Munson rookie card also sells for big money, around $15,000 in top condition.

National League stars were well represented in the ’70s as well. The 1973 Topps Hank Aaron card holds extra significance as it was Aaron’s last season before breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. Pristine PSA 10 examples have sold for about $25,000. The 1979 Topps Willie Stargell “Pops” card is also extraordinarily valuable in top grades due to Stargell’s leadership of the “We Are Family” Pittsburgh Pirates World Series teams. A PSA 10 recently changed hands for close to $20,000.

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Moving to the 1980s, rookie cards began taking on greater importance as collectors looked to obtain stars from the beginning of their careers. Arguably the biggest ’80s star and one of the most valuable rookie cards ever is the 1984 Topps Traded Wade Boggs card. Boggs won five batting titles in the 1980s and this scarce traded set rookie has sold for an astonishing $100,000+ in pristine condition. Likewise, the high end of the market for mint 1985 Topps Roger Clemens and 1987 Topps Barry Bonds rookie cards is around $50,000-$60,000 due to their all-time greatness.

Two extremely valuable ’80s Dodger cards are the 1981 Topps Fernando Valenzuela rookie and the 1986 Topps Kirk Gibson “Walk-Off” World Series hero card. An iconic moment captured on a baseball card, high grade Gibson cards consistently surpass $20,000 at auction. The Fernandomania rookie captures one of the most unlikely Rookie of the Year seasons ever and can reach $15,000 PSA 10. Also hailing from the west coast, the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie is rightfully legendary. Even well-circulated mid-grade copies sell for over $1,000 today.

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On the whole, the 1970s and 1980s hold some of the most iconic and cherished baseball cards ever created. With legends like Mantle, Aaron, Jackson, and Ripken still playing alongside emerging talents like Boggs, Clemens, and Griffey Jr. the investment potential remains quite lucrative for high quality specimens from this era. While the cards may never reach the stratospheric prices fetched by their early ’50s counterparts, condition-sensitive premium examples will likely continue gaining value for astute collectors and investors.

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