The hobby of collecting and collecting baseball cards has been around for over a century. From the early tobacco cards of the late 1800s to the modern era, coveted baseball cards have captured our imaginations and have become financial assets. Here’s a look at what could be considered the top 100 baseball cards of all time as determined by their scarcity, condition, historical significance, and monetary value.

The T206 Honus Wagner (1909-1911) – Widely regarded as the Holy Grail of baseball cards, the Wagner is the most coveted and expensive trading card in existence. Only 50-200 are known to exist in various states of preservation. In pristine condition, a Wagner card could fetch well over $10 million at auction.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (Rookie) – One of the most storied rookie cards in the hobby. High grade examples have sold for over $2 million. Mantle’s marketability and legendary career make this a truly iconic card.

1909-11 T206 Mathewson, $2.88 Million (2011) – One of the rarest T206 cards alongside the Wagner. Only about 100 are known to exist in all grades. Named for Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson.

1909-11 T206 Joe Jackson, $1.865 Million (2016) – “Shoeless Joe” Jackson is infamous for his role in the Black Sox Scandal. Fewer than 50 high grade examples are known to exist.

1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb, $690,000 (2004) – Arguably the greatest player of all-time. The hobby’s first true superstar. About 150 T206 Cobbs are accounted for today in all grades.

1988 Fleer Ken Griffey Jr., $99,763 (2016) – Griffey’s rookie card is one of the most iconic and valuable of the modern era. Scarcity and his legendary career/likeness make it a star performer.

1948 Bowman Mickey Mantle, $358,422 (2021) – Considered the finest post-war baseball card, with incredible eye appeal. Mantle’s superstar status and the scarcity of high grade ’48s drive values.


1949 Bowman Ted Williams, $276,486 (2020) – One of the most critically acclaimed cards of the post-war era. Extremely scarce in high grades due to photo quality issues common to ’49s.

1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank $220,000 (2011) – Hall of Famer Eddie Plank is one of the more key pieces of the classic T206 set. Only about 100 are known.

2008 Upper Deck Tom Brady SP, $250,975 (2018) – Considered the top “patch” card of all time. Contains three game-worn Brady jersey swatches still the record for any gridiron card.

1909-11 T206 Sherry Magee $190,000 (2013) – Scarce T206 that highlights the card’s immense condition sensitivity. Just a handful grade higher than Ex-MT.

1909-11 T206 Ed Walsh $188,000 (2014) – Chicago White Sox hurler Ed Walsh is one of the key 1909-1911 T206 pitcher cards.

1909-11 T206 Eddie Collins $186,000 (2010) – Hall of Famer led AL in hits 6 times. Only about 100 high quality T206 Collies are known to exist.

1909-11 T206 Rube Waddell $168,000 (2014) – Legendary southpaw known for his flamboyant personality and dominance on the hill.

1957 Topps Hank Aaron, $161,650 (2002) – Aaron’s famous ’57 rookie card has remained a strong rarity despite higher pop reports. Iconic rookie card.

1957 Topps Willie Mays, $107,122 (2004) – Say Hey Kid’s stunning 1957 Topps rookie is a pinnacle card for the set and one of the defining post-war rookie cards.

1909-11 T206 JACK CHESBRO $134,400 (2004) – HOF spitballer JC had a record 41 wins in 1904. Amongst the scarcer T206 pitchers.

1909-11 T206 Pitcher Joe McGinnity $132,000 (2010) – Legendary 19th century hurler played for New York Giants/Dodgers.

1909-11 T206 Eddie Collins $128,000 (2015) – HOF 2B was a 11x all-star and led AL in hits 6 times. About 100 high grade T206s exist.

1909-11 T206 Christy Mathewson $122,000 (2017) – Mathewson took the mound for the NY Giants during their dynasty run. Considered the greatest pitcher of his generation.


1957 Topps Mickey Mantle, $112,970 (2012) – Though not a true “rookie” card, the ’57 Mick established his brand and created the post-war superstar player card concept.

1909-11 T206 Joe Tinker $107,200 (2004) – Chicago Cubs SS Joe Tinker was part of one of history’s most famous double play combos with SS Johnny Evers and 2B Frank Chance.

1975 SSPC Brooks Robinson $100,050 (2018) – Regarded as one of the defining 1970s star cards. Robinson accomplished so much throughout his career.

1909-11 T206 Sherry Magee (Piedmont Back) $94,000 (2014) – One of the key “Piedmont Back” variations which feature the more finely rendered tobacco company ad on the reverse.

1909-11 T206 Eddie Cicotte $84,000 (2014) – Scandal-tainted Chicago White Sox hurler Cicotte was instrumental in fixing the 1919 World Series.

1909-11 T206 Joe Jackson PSA NM-MT 8 $78,000 (2011) – High grade “Shoeless Joe” Jackson cards are as rare as they come from the hallowed T206 set.

2004 Bowman Draft Orange Refractor Adrian Gonzalez RC /99 $78,000 (2006) – Orange refractors were some of the most hyped parallels at the time. Gonzalez lived up to early promise.

1909-11 T206 Christy Mathewson (Catcher) PSA 8 $74,400 (2013) – Extremely rare Mathewson “Catcher” variation where he appears as a backstop instead of in action on the mound.

1909-11 T206 Jimmy Sheckard $72,000 (2019) – Chicago Cubs OF Jim Sheckard had a solid career and his T206 has always been a strong condition riser.

1971 Topps Nolan Ryan RC PSA 8 $62,501 (2018) – Ryan became a superstar and this iconic ’71 rookie established him as star in the collector universe as well.

1915 Cracker Jack Honus Wagner $61,000 (2013) – Later variant of the Honus Wagner that came out as a promo in Cracker Jack boxes decades after his career.

2013 Topps Update Yasiel Puig Autograph RC PSA 10 $62,185 (2018) – Puig’s electric rookie season made him an overnight sensation and this prized on-card auto carried massive hype in its day.


2005 Bowman Draft Christopher Devon Murphey Blue Refractor Auto /5 $60,000 (2006) – Murphey was one of the hottest prospects in the ’05 Draft class until injuries derailed his career.

1909-11 T206 Merkle’s Boner Star $57,200 (2012) – Features image of first baseman Fred Merkle committing his infamous “boner” that helped spark interest in modern baseball.

1934 Goudey Jimmie Foxx $57,000 (2022) – All-time slugger Jimmie Foxx shined in the 1934 Goudey set in the golden age of 1930s cards. Keys set and one of the iconic cards of that era.

2016 Topps Update Clayton Kershaw Auto Prizm PSA 10 $55,625 (2017) – At the time, Kershaw was the reigning two-time NL Cy Young winner and this 1/1 auto Prizm carried epic hype.

2003 Topps Chrome Red Refractor Miguel Cabrera RC PSA 10 $55,000 (2017) – Cabrera became a Hall of Famer and this coveted red refractor captured his early promise perfectly.

1916 M101-4 Hal Chase, $53,750 (2005) – Legendary deadball era 3B Hal Chase is one of the most iconic players of the 1910s.

1913 T205 Gold Border Joe Jackson, $52,500 (2007) – “Shoeless Joe” starred in a classic cigarette era set during his prime playing years before the Black Sox Scandal.

1954 Topps Roberto Clemente RC PSA 8 $51,200 (2020) – Clemente transcended the sport both as a player and human. His ’54 rookie maintains huge significance.

1909-11 T206 Roger Bresnahan $51,000 (2018) – Hall of Fame catcher Roger Bresnahan was a pioneer who changed how his position was played behind the plate.

1971 Topps Nolan Ryan PSA 8 $50,000 (2015) – Captured Ryan in the early stages of his legendary career for the Mets before blossoming into a superstar. Key condition riser.

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