Investing in Baseball Cards: Is It a Smart Investment Move?


Can You Strike It Rich With Your Baseball Card Collection?

The boys of summer. You’ve worshipped them from afar since you were a kid. You’ve collected cards. Traded cards. Preserved cards. But now it’s time to pare down that collection that’s grown from a cherished few to the chockablock many. Is there a market for them? Will any of them be big sellers? Or will you simply be caught looking at them forlornly, realizing they’re valuable only to you? Read on to find out more.

Where Can You Sell Baseball Cards?

You basically have three choices when it comes to selling your card collection: auction them yourself on eBay, bring them to a local card shop or dealer, or visit an auction house and see if they’ll sell the cards as one lot.

Baseball Card Categories

Generally, cards can be separated into three categories based on their printing date: Pre-war, Vintage, and Modern era. Typically printed before the 1950s, Pre-war cards usually sell for more than cards printed in the 1980s or 1990s. Modern era cards are less valuable owing to the fact they’ve most likely been mass-produced.

It’s All About Card Condition

If some of your cards are a bit rough around the edges you might be looking at a reduced value. There are three big players that grade baseball card condition: SGC Card,

Beckett Grading Services, and Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). Each of these services grades cards on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being a pristine condition).

Major League Names Aren’t a Minor Thing

When it comes to baseball cards, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt — it brings considerable worth. Cards featuring famous players are your best bet for raking in top dollar. A 1925 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card, graded as in mint condition by PSA, sold in 2018 for $2.88 million; a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card, also in mint condition, sold for $264,000 in the same year.

Vintage cards from any sport, not just baseball, have recently been purchased at world-record prices, with high-grade rookie Hall of Famer cards being regarded as the most valuable. Michael Osacky, president of the sports memorabilia educational website Baseball in the Attic, says “Cards are now being seen as an asset class, and there’s new money coming to market.”

So don’t throw out those baseball cards just yet; if you’ve been thinking they’re worthless, you could be way off base.


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Sandra Murphy

Sandra Murphy

Holds a master's degree in professional writing and has more than 15 years of experience writing for national and international entities.

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