The baseball card collecting hobby has reached an entirely new level in a blink of an eye. The fans, enthusiasts, and investors are thrilled to get their hands on the exceptional baseball sports cards. The demand has reached such a height never witnessed before, adding thrill and fun.

The real boom of the sports cards industry was seen in the 1980s. But the demand that broke all the records was observed in 2020 during the pandemic. It was indeed the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantines that paved a new path for the trading cards industry. Even when the pandemic is under control, the craze and love for these sports cards don’t seem to end. In fact, the appreciation of the vintage baseball cards is hyping with every passing day.

The baseball sports cards industry is already thriving with skyrocketing profits. The cards that were once sold for a few bucks are now being auctioned for millions of dollars. Before the pandemic, the cards were sold for a maximum price of $1,000 which is now $1 million. The difference is mesmerizing and inspiring.

Initial Days of Sports Cards – The Worth and Hype

With the spectacular worth of baseball sports cards today, many believe the response of the market has always been the same for it since ever. But this assumption is wrong as the hype today was never there before. The marketers and sports cards businesses had to push these cardboard pieces into the market. They created the demand after a lot of struggles.

The first instance of the sports card’s introduction was in the 1880s. An American tobacco company came up with a crazy idea to introduce sports cards in their packets of cigarettes. Primarily, the card was supposed to protect the cigs from breaking while supporting the flimsy packaging. On the other hand, they were giving loyalty to the players as well for letting them use their images on cards.

Then in the 1930s, different printing companies started working on it. They included a piece of bubble gum in the pack of sports cards. This was to create a need for sports cards along with an incentive. And what could be a better incentive than a piece of gum at that time? Kids and teenagers started purchasing them.

Later, these kids and teenagers grew old and entered adulthood. It was the 1980s when the sports cards market saw honest purchases. The adults felt nostalgic about these cards and the exceptional sports players of their time. The feeling of remembrance helped the sports cards industry boom during that time.

However, the later boom was witnessed in 2020. All thanks to the pandemic and idle state of people!

2020 Pandemic and Sports Cards Industry

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic brought many worst things. People were quarantined at their homes, restricted from leaving their homes. Since everyone was bored out of their minds, they started searching for time-killing activities. Some people meddled with eBay and found sports cards. While others found baseball sports cards at their home, wrapped in dust in a dusty location. This was the time when a strong feeling of nostalgia took birth.

The investors were too quarantined at their homes. They found the sudden surge in sales of sports cards. Instead of passing the opportunity, they capitalized on the chance. The whole new concept of sports cards trading took birth. People started purchasing baseball cards and then reselling them at higher prices.

Even the sports cards in bad condition were sold at good rates. PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) grades and rates a sports card, setting its worth. The gem mint condition card is rated as PSA 10 whereas the poorest condition is marked as PSA 1. The value of baseball cards skyrocketed, creating a stir in the market.

Baseball Sports Cards Market Value

Some critics shared their worry that the baseball sports cards are not going to make great money. They are not worthful as compared to basketball and football sports cards. However, the market didn’t respond as per their claim and the response proved that the baseball market is still strong and can fight against other sports.

The most expensive sports card sold to date is the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner. The baseball player Honus Wagner’s card was printed in 1911 by an American tobacco company. Such an oldie sports card got auctioned for a stunning price of $6.6 million in 2021. This is the largest sale and undefeated till yet. Do you know, the same card was previously sold for $3.2 million in 2016?

Another exceptional sale was of 1952 Topps Micky Mantle baseball card. It is the second most expensive sports card ever sold. Mickey Mantle was a baseball player and another baseballer card sold for $5.2 million. Babe Ruth cannot be forgotten! The 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth card was auctioned for $4.2 million in 2021, making it another hit sales in baseball.

2009 Bowman Draft Mike Trout was sold for $3.9 million. 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan’s rookie card was auctioned for $600,000. The exceptional Jackie Robinson’s 1948 Leaf card was sold for $392,400. Don’t forget the 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card, which was auctioned for $357,594. Then 1939 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio baseball sports card was sold for $218,578.

The baseball sports cards industry is thriving and proving every day that it’s still worth millions of dollars. After all, major legendary players retired from baseball and changed the face of sports today.


The baseball sports cards industry is flourishing and the sales are skyrocketing without a doubt. The critics sometimes neglect the record sales made and highest auction histories made by the baseball sports cards industry.

All thanks to the pandemic, the bored fans, eager investors, and powerful social influencers who took the baseball sports cards industry by storm. It was their efforts somehow that created a stir in the market. To date, the sports cards are being sold for higher rates, and the auction homes are going full-house.

Author Bio:

Scott Trick has collected sports cards since the early 80’s and because of his love for collecting he started the website  His favorite players are Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, but he cherishes all sports and all cards like they are art.

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