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The Most Valuable Sports Cards of All Time

Updated: May 16


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While collecting sports cards is a hobby for most, it's also big business. The list below shows the most valuable sports cards that have sold.





1952 Topps Mickey Mantle 311

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle 311, graded SGC MT 9.5, holds the record for the most expensive vintage sports card ever sold, fetching an astounding $13,118,672 (adjusted price) on August 28, 2022, through Heritage Auctions. Out of approximately 2,372 examples, this card is the highest-graded by SGC, contributing to its incredible value.



1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner

The iconic 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner, graded SGC VG 3, sold for an adjusted price of $6,974,865 on August 16, 2021, through Robert Edward Auctions. It is believed that only 50 to 200 of these cards were ever produced, making it one of the rarest and most desirable cards in the hobby.



2003 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeBron James Rookie Patch Autograph 78

Tied for the third spot is the 2003 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeBron James Rookie Patch Autograph 78, serial numbered 07/23 and graded BGS MT 9. It sold for an adjusted price of $6,122,052 on April 26, 2021, through PWCC Marketplace, setting the record for the highest price paid for a basketball card at the time.


2009 National Treasures Stephen Curry Rookie Logoman Autograph

The other card tied for third place is the 2009 National Treasures Stephen Curry Rookie Logoman Autograph, serial numbered 1/1 and graded PSA NM-MT 8. It sold for $5,900,000 in a private sale on July 6, 2021, making it the highest sale ever for a basketball card at the time.


2018 Panini National Treasures Luka Doncic Logoman Autograph 1/1

The 2018 Panini National Treasures Luka Doncic Logoman Autograph, serial numbered 1/1 and ungraded, sold for an adjusted price of $5,172,246 in a private sale on February 28, 2021. The sale was made public on Luka Dončić's birthday, and the card had previously sold for $3.2 million in December 2019.


2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Mike Trout Superfractor Autograph

The 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Mike Trout Superfractor Autograph, serial numbered 1/1 and graded BGS MT 9, sold for an adjusted price of $4,633,923 on August 23, 2020, through Goldin Auctions. The seller had bought the card for only $400,000 just two years prior, making it a remarkable investment.


1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card

The 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card, graded PSA GM-MT 10, sold for an adjusted price of $4,216,505 in a private sale on May 27, 2021. Out of approximately 10,873 examples, this card is one of only two to receive the PSA GM-MT 10 grade, contributing to its incredible value.


2003-2004 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeBron James Rookie Patch Autograph 78

Another LeBron James card, the 2003-2004 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Autograph 78, serial numbered 23/23 and graded BGS NM-MT+ 8.5, sold for $2,400,000 on October 24, 2021, through Goldin Auctions.


2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph 144

The 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph 144, serial numbered 099/100 and graded BGS NM-MT+ 8.5/9, sold for an adjusted price of $2,252,854 on April 3, 2021, through Lelands Auctions, setting the record for the most expensive football card ever at the time.


1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Kobe Bryant Green

The 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Kobe Bryant Green, serial numbered 4/100 and graded BGS NM-MT+ 8.5, sold for $2,000,000 in a private sale on February 22, 2022. This sale set a record for a Kobe Bryant card.


2013-14 Panini National Treasures Giannis Antetokounmpo Logoman Patch Autograph

Rounding out the top 10 is the 2013-14 Panini National Treasures Giannis Antetokounmpo Logoman Patch Autograph, serial numbered 1/1 and graded BGS MT 9. It sold for an adjusted price of $2,186,632 on September 20, 2020, through Goldin Auctions, breaking the previous record for a basketball card.


The Future of Sports Cards

The sports card collecting hobby continues to thrive, with rare and iconic cards commanding astronomical prices. The top 10 most valuable sports cards featured in this article span across baseball, basketball, hockey, and football, each with its own unique story and significance. As the market evolves and new stars emerge, it's likely that we'll see even more record-breaking sales in the future. For collectors, these cards represent not just a financial investment but also a tangible piece of sports history that can be cherished for generations.


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