November 1, 2023 | Sammy Tran

10 Vintage Sports Cards That Are Worth a Fortune Today

Check Your Attic! These 10 Vintage Sport Cards Might Make You Rich

Vintage cards and middle aged man split image

The world of sports memorabilia is vast and exciting, but few items can match the allure of vintage sports cards. These tiny pieces of cardboard, capturing legendary moments and athletes, can sometimes fetch prices that rival those of fine art at auctions. 

Let's explore 10 vintage sports cards that have garnered significant attention due to their substantial values.

Honus Wagner T206 (1909-1911)

Baseball cardWikimedia Commons

Value: Over $3.25 million (as of a 2016 sale)

This card is often referred to as the "Holy Grail" of baseball cards. Wagner objected to his likeness being used without permission, leading to an abrupt halt in production. Fewer than 60 are believed to exist.

Mickey Mantle Topps Rookie Card (1952)

Baseball cardProfessional Sports Authenticator

Value: Over $2.88 million (as of a 2018 sale)

This iconic card featuring a young Mantle in his New York Yankees uniform is highly sought after, especially in mint condition.

Babe Ruth Rookie Card (1916)

Baseball cardSporting News, Wikimedia Commons

Value: $717,000 (recent sale price)

This card depicts the legendary Babe Ruth as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before he became a famed slugger.


Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee Rookie Card (1979)

Hockey cardProfessional Sports Authenticator

Value: $3.75 million (2021 sale)

This card, showcasing the hockey legend in his Edmonton Oilers jersey, broke records with its 2021 sale.

Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Card (1986-1987)

Basketball cardProfessional Sports Authenticator

Value: $150,000 (for gem mint versions)

The most iconic basketball card, it shows Jordan soaring in for a dunk, encapsulating his athletic prowess.

Lou Gehrig Goudey Card (1933)

Baseball cardGoudey Gum Company, Wikimedia Commons

Value: $274,950 (recent sale price)

This colorful card captures Gehrig in a batting stance, representing the height of his career.

Joe Namath Topps Rookie Card (1965)

Football cardProfessional Sports Authenticator

Value: $60,000 (in top condition)

"Broadway Joe" is shown in his New York Jets uniform, marking the start of an illustrious NFL career.

Roberto Clemente Topps Rookie Card (1955)

Baseball cardProfessional Sports Authenticator

Value: Over $100,000 (for high-grade examples)

One of the most beloved baseball players of all time, Clemente's card is a treasured collectible.

Bill Russell Topps Rookie Card (1957)

Basketball cardProfessional Sports Authenticator

Value: $125,000 (in mint condition)

This card captures the basketball legend during his rookie season with the Boston Celtics.


Jim Brown Topps Rookie Card (1958)

Football cardProfessional Sports Authenticator

Value: $358,500 (for a gem mint version)

Showcasing the Cleveland Browns' running back, this card has become a valuable collectible for football enthusiasts.

Final Thoughts

Young woman is holding money and smiling.Mikhail Nilov ,Pexels

Vintage sports cards serve as both a testament to athletic achievements and as a nostalgic trip down memory lane. While many people collected cards as children, few could have predicted the significant values some of these cards would command decades later.

It's not just about the rarity; it's about the stories, the legends, and the eras they represent. Whether you're an avid collector or just someone appreciative of sports history, the value of these cards underscores the profound impact sports have on culture and memory.

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