Pirates Baseball Cards Worth Money

Baseball cards featuring players from the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise throughout history can hold significant value, especially for enthusiasts of the long-tenured MLB club. With a rich history dating back to the late 1800s, the Pirates organization has seen star players come and go, many of whom have had some of their more rare and coveted rookie or milestone cards retain strong demand and appreciation in the collecting marketplace. Here are some of the most valuable Pirates themed baseball cards collectors should be on the lookout for that could yield high returns:

Honus Wagner (1909-11 T206) – widely considered the holy grail of sports cards, the ultra-rare Wagner is arguably the most famous and coveted baseball card of all time. Depicting the legendary shortstop for the Pirates at the turn of the 20th century, estimates place the value of high graded Wagner specimens in the millions of dollars. Lower graded examples can still fetch six figures. Extremely few still exist in any condition.

Ralph Kiner (1948 Bowman) – one of the first true baseball superstars of the post-WWII era, Kiner blasted 190 home runs for the Pirates from 1946-53. His colorful 1948 rookie card issued by Bowman is a prominent, desirable piece for any Pirates collection. High graded Kiners in Near Mint to Mint condition routinely sell for $5,000+.


Clemente (1957 Topps) – iconic Puerto Rican outfielder Roberto Clemente played his entire Hall of Fame career with Pittsburgh from 1955-72. His sophomore year Topps card showing him in Pirates home whites is a tremendously significant and beautiful issue. Graded examples in the 7.0-9.0 range will demand $2,000-$4,000, with pristine Mint 10 specimens achieving stratospheric sums.

Willie Stargell (1963 Topps) – “Pops” was the charismatic captain and home run leader of the famed 1979 “We Are Family” championship Pirates squad. His 1963 rookie card is coveted by both vintage collectors and followers of the ’70s dynasty squads. Low graded copies sell for $500-1,000, with a PSA 10 specimen bringing over $5,000.

Dave Parker (1973 Topps) – known as “Cobra,” Parker was the NL MVP playing right field for the “Lumber Company” Bucs teams of the late ’70s. His striking rookie card with the long flowing locks is a focal point for Pirates aficionados. Mid-grade examples go for $300-$500 while a pristine PSA 10 sells for well over $1,000.

Bill Madlock (1974 Topps) – one of the premier contact hitters of the 1970s and star of the 1979 title teams, Madlock’s mustached sophomore season card is representative of the successful Pirates run in the second half of the decade. Low end copies sell around $100 while higher grades and Mint condition elevate values to $500-$1,000 range.

John Candelaria (1976 Topps) – one of the aces of the late 1970s pitching staff, “Candlestick’s” rookie card issued his first MLB campaign is a fundamental piece for Pirates devotees. Heated bidding often occurs for pristine PSA 10 grades, achieving sums over $1,000. Most examples trade hands from $100-$300 based on condition.


Tim Wakefield (1988 Fleer Update) – despite his fame with the Red Sox, Wakefield began his MLB tenure with Pittsburgh in 1988-90. His scarce rookie card issued during a Fleer card variation set that year has strong appeal to both Wakefield and Bucs collectors. Pristine Mint examples sell for $700-$1,000.

Barry Bonds (1986 Topps, 1988 Score Traded) – before emerging as the all-time home run king with the Giants, Bonds played left field for six seasons in Pittsburgh. His rookie cards from 1986 Topps and 1988 Score Traded sets are hot commodities, especially for Pirates history buffs. High graded Topps rookies climb above $300 while pristine 1988 Score Traded gems surpass $1,000.

Andrew McCutchen (2009 Topps Update) – current Philadelphia Phillies outfielder but long the face of the Pirates franchise from 2009-17. His short printed rookie variation from the 2009 Topps Update set in pristine PSA 10 condition fetches between $800-1200 due to rarity and team significance.

Gerrit Cole (2011 Bowman Chrome) – before achieving success with the Astros and now Yankees, Cole was a highly touted Pirates pitching prospect from 2011-17. His ultra-refractory rookie from Bowman Chrome draws substantial interest from both Cole and Bucs collectors. Pristine copies range $300-500.


Jameson Taillon (2010 Bowman) – like Cole, Taillon was once a blue-chip arm in the Pittsburgh system who has since found stardom elsewhere (with the Yankees). The Canadian righty’s prized Bowman rookie in high grades sees bidders push values to the $200-300 range.

Josh Bell (2014 Bowman Chrome) – theslugging first baseman spent his first five MLB seasons manning the Pittsburgh left side of the infield from 2016-20. His shimmering refractors from his prized prospect set spark bidding wars between $100-200 led by Bucs devotees.

Ke’Bryan Hayes (2016 Bowman Chrome) – currently the gold glove third baseman for Pittsburgh, Hayes’ refractory rookies continue rising in demand and price among Pirates collectors anticipating his future success with the black and gold. Pristine examples crack the $100 threshold.

This covers some of the most historically significant and monetarily valuable baseball cards featuring Pittsburgh Pirates players through the decades worth keeping an eye out for. With the franchise’s rich past and hopeful future, these cards represent important touch points for collectors seeking pieces of the Bucos memorabilia market. Graded specimens in high condition demand top premiums due to rarity and team-specific appeal.

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