Best Selling Sports Cards of All Time

A pile of sports cards

No matter your personal reasons for collecting sports cards, every sports collector dreams of hitting it big with a card that’s worth millions of dollars. While it can be rare, the reality is that there are some cards that have managed to fetch these prices on the market. 

Are you interested in learning more about top-selling baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards, or beyond? If so, let’s dive into some of the top-selling sports cards of all time that are sure to impress. 

The Honus Wagner T206

Honus Wagner T206 trading card

No list of top-selling cards would be complete or accurate without the inclusion of Honus Wagner. Wagner debuted with the Louisville Cardinals and finished his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, finishing his career with 3,420 hits, 1,732 RBIs, 8 NL batting titles, and hitting .300 or more across 15 consecutive seasons. 

Why is this one of the top-selling baseball cards of all time? Part of it is due to his impressive career, but his cards also have a scarcity that makes him extremely difficult to find. One Honus Wagner T206 that was SGC 3 graded fetched an astounding $6.6 million that propelled it to one of the most expensive cards of all time. 

The LeBron James 2003 Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Autograph Parallel #78

Lebron James 2004 Exquisite rookie patch autographed trading card

It’s true that there are quite a few vintage cards out there that are quite valuable. However, cards don’t need to be vintage in order to bring in buyers that are willing to pay thousands or millions for them. 

One excellent example of this is the LeBron James 2003 Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Autograph Parallel #78. LeBron James is a basketball player who needs no introduction, and it’s partially his status as well as the fact that this parallel had a limited 23-copy release (and a BGS rating of 9) that managed to get its buyer $5.2 million in a private sale. Top-selling sports cards are defined by both rarity and the value of the player depicted on them. 

The Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps #311

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card

Throwing it back to some of the top-selling baseball cards, one Mickey Mantle Card from 1952 managed to hold the record as most expensive for quite some time. Mantle held a host of records and won seven World Series with the New York Yankees. 

Like with other vintage cards, this 1952 release is exceedingly rare, even more so when you consider the fact that there are only six copies that have a PSA 9 grading and three that have a PSA 10 grading. The top-selling PSA 9 Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps #311 was sold for $5.2 million, while it’s estimated that the PSA 10 copies, wherever they may be, are likely worth between $15 million and $30 million. 

The Luka Doncic 2018 National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph Logoman 

Luka Doncic 2018 National Treasures rookie patch autograph logoman card

This example goes to show that top-selling sports cards don’t have to be old or graded in order to find themselves worth millions of dollars in the near future. The Luka Doncic 2018 1/1 National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph Logoman  is an outlier because it was created by Panini to be the only card of its kind. 

Ungraded, this card still managed to sell for $4.6 million! Keep an eye out for potentially rare cards like these in your own collection!

Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144 

Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders autographed trading card

With Tom Brady retiring and un-retiring this year, it’s only fitting that we mention him among some of the top-selling baseball cards and basketball cards above. Being an MVP and having multiple Super Bowl wins under his belt, you can only expect that the right cards sell for a high price. 

In fact, the Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144 with a BGS 9 grade sold for $3.1 million. However, he’s no stranger to having cards that manage to attract buyers willing to pay millions. An autographed Tom Brady Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph #144 with a BGS rating of 8.5 also fetched $2.25 million!

Get Started on Your Collection With Giant Sports Cards

You can’t win, if you don’t play. While you likely won’t find these top-selling baseball cards in your collection, that’s not to say that your love for sports won’t land you one of the top-selling sports cards in the future. However, you have to grow your collection and find all the hottest releases to see the potential returns you want. 

Here at Giant Sports Cards, we understand the passion for collecting, and we’re dedicated to helping you get the best hobby boxes and cases at the lowest prices with perks like free shipping on orders over $175 and great customer service to guide you through every step of the way. 

Discover new sports cards now or reach out to us if you have any questions!