The Rarest Sports Cards and Their Value Today

Sports have long been one of America’s favorite pastimes, and the cost to own a card collectible continues to increase exponentially. While baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer cards are readily available, the most valuable ones that belong to the biggest stars of the past and today are worth well into the seven-figures. Keep reading to learn about the rarest sports cards and their value today.

1. Mickey Mantle 1952 Tops #311: Known as "the Mick," Mantle spent his entire Hall of Fame career with the New York Yankees and smashed 536 home runs during his legendary career. In August 2022, a 1952 Topps #311 Mantle card sold for $12.6 million and shattered the record for the most expensive baseball card ever sold by more than $5 million. Why is this card so expensive, you ask? Well, it is one of the only mint-condition Mantle cards remaining.

2. Honus Wagner 1909 T-206: Believed to be one of only 50 to 60 remaining Honus Wagner cards in existence, the 1909 T-206 sold in August 2022 for $7.25 Million. An idolized Pittsburgh Pirate, Wagner enjoyed a 21-year MLB career. 

3. LeBron James 2003-04 Rookie Patch Auto: Debuting in the 2003 season, LeBron James took the NBA by storm and remains one of the league’s best players well into his 30s. Selling for $5.2 million was a rookie card from James’ first season that was impeccably maintained and treasured.

4. Patrick Mahomes 2017 Rookie Auto BGS 8.5: Bearing the NFL’s Shield Logo, this card is the most prized of Mahomes’ rookie cards and achieves a near perfect condition rating along with a pristine autograph assessment that helped propel it to sell for $4.3 million as the most expensive sale of an NFL card ever.

5. 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth: With Babe Ruth achieving fame first as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before becoming a slugging outfielder who hit 714 home runs with the New York Yankees, his baseball cards continue to rise in value. A meticulously preserved gem, this card sold for over $4.2 million.

Located in Evansville, IN, The Book Broker is your locally owned and operated destination for sports memorabilia and used books. Whether you are shopping for a rare card, vinyl records, or a first edition book, we can help source and find exactly what you want. Stop by today to see our impressive collection.