MOST VALUABLE CINCINNATI REDS BASEBALL CARDS

The Cincinnati Reds have a long and storied history, making baseball cards from their franchise highly coveted by collectors. Some of the most valuable Reds cards feature legendary players who made significant impacts on the diamond and later in the Hall of Fame. With the Reds dating back to the late 1800s, there are plenty of rare and desirable vintage cards that can fetch high prices when they cross the auction block.

One of the most valuable Cincinnati Reds cards is the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner. Wagner only played for one season with the Reds in 1902, batting .327 in 51 games. His stellar career elsewhere and his rarity as one of the few surviving examples of his famous early 1900s Tobacco card make any Wagner card incredibly valuable. Just a few years ago, a PSA MINT 9 graded example of the elusive T206 Wagner card sold at auction for $3.12 million, showing it remains one of the top basketball cards of all time.

For Reds cards specifically featuring their own players, the top prize is the 1909 T205 card of Mike Mowrey. Mowrey played six seasons for the Reds as an outfielder and first baseman between 1905-1910. Only 23 copies of his treasured tobacco era card are known to exist today. One that sold in 2016 had an estimate of $250,000-$300,000 showing how rare and desirable examples can be.

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Another incredibly rare and prized Reds card is the 1909 T206 card of future Hall of Famer Edd Roush. Roush played his entire 16 year career for the Reds from 1916-1931 as an outfielder, compiling a .323 career batting average. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. With a population closer to only 19 known survivors, sightings of his vintage tobacco card in high grades are truly newsworthy. One example that recently surfaced with strong eye appeal and a PSA 3.5 grade had an estimate of $50,000-$75,000 showing the intense demand for any Roush T206 when it can be located.

For collectors more focused on 20th century stars, one of the most valuable modern Reds cards would be the 1959 Topps #50 Johnny Bench rookie card. Bench was one of the greatest catchers of all-time during his 17 seasons with the Reds from 1967-1983. He was a 14-time All-Star, won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves and back to back NL MVP awards in 1970-1972. Bench led the “Big Red Machine” to World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. There’s nostalgia and demand for any of his vintage cards, but his true rookie card from his 1959 Topps set stands above the rest. High grade examples in PSA 8 or PSA 9 condition can bring over $100,000 at public sale due to Bench’s incredible career and being one of the most desirable rookie cards for any position player.

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Some other very expensive Cincinnati Reds cards of modern era stars include:

1964 Topps #534 Tony Perez rookie card – As one of the anchors of the Big Red Machine teams, Perez played 15 seasons for the Reds from 1964-1978. His Topps rookie card from 1964 is highly sought in gem mint condition, with PSA 9 copies selling in the $15,000 range.

1971 Topps #190 Joe Morgan rookie card – Morgan was the Reds sparkplug second baseman on the 1970s championship squads and a two-time National League MVP. Collectors are always searching for his true rookie in pristine condition, with a BGS or PSA 9 copy worth well over $10,000.

1974 Topps #150 Pete Rose rookie card – Charlie Hustle played his entire career in a Reds uniform from 1963-1986. While he has many valuable Reds cards, none compare to his true Topps rookie from 1974. High grade copies in PSA 8 or 9 condition currently sell in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

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1984 Fleer #124 Barry Larkin rookie card – Larkin was one of the most consistent shortstops in MLB history and a lifelong Red from 1986-2004. As a Cincinnati fan favorite, there’s notable demand for his premier rookie card issue from 1984 Fleer in top condition, with PSA 9 prices reaching the $1,000+ area in recent sales.

1999 Bowman Chrome Refactors #BCR-1 Ken Griffey Jr. – Griffey only played part of one season with the Reds late in his career in 2008 but this prized rookie “refractor” parallel remains hugely popular. Pristine PSA 10 gold standard copies routinely sell above the $10,000 plateau.

While there are plenty of other expensive Reds cards featuring players like Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver and more, those highlighted showcase some of the most valued issues whenever they surface in pristine condition worthy of the highest professional grading. With the Reds rich history and devoted fanbase, Cincinnati cards will remain favorites with vintage baseball collectors for generations to come.

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