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Top 10 Baseball Cards of All Time

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  • Top 10 Baseball Cards of All Time

    February 15, 2015
    Since the iconic sport found its origins within the United States, it is no wonder that Americans claim baseball as their own. Famous players, like Babe Ruth, Joe Jackson, and Mickey Mantle, are forever idols to many fans. Ever since the 1840s, baseball cards have given fans a way to immortalize their athletic heroes and the tradition remains with thousands upon thousands of baseball cards for enthusiasts to collect. However, the top 10 baseball cards of all time stand out among the rest and collectors are lucky if they get to see one in person, let alone buy one.

    1. 1914 #103 Joe Jackson With the Chicago White Sox
    This card came free inside the Cracker Jack boxes, but with few remaining and Joe Jackson immortalized later in life, the card found its way onto the list of most valuable additions to collect. It featured the thick white border, a red background, and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson posing with a bat.

    2. 1909 T206 Eddie Plank With the Philadelphia Athletics
    Thanks to his outstanding record with 326 wins and 66 shutouts, the Eddie Plank 1909 baseball card within the T206 tobacco card set was the first to become a valuable collector's piece. Unfortunately, the card is extremely rare for unknown reasons and only an estimated 100 still exist.

    3. 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle With the New York Yankees
    Collecting sports cards has always varied in popularity and many attribute the 1952 Mickey Mantle card to much of the 1980s boom in baseball card values. Baby Boomers suddenly wanted all of their childhood cards back and as one of the post-war heroes, Mickey Mantle was at the top of the list.

    4. 1954 Bowman #66A Ted Williams With the Boston Red Sox
    Since Ted Williams signed with Topps in 1954, no other company could design cards with the player, meaning that anything coming from another company in 1954 is very rare. Many immortalized Williams as "one of the greatest hitters who ever lived," so getting any of his cards is an achievement, but a card that Topps pulled from the market is an even bigger deal.

    5. 1952 Topps #312 Jackie Robinson With the Brooklyn Dodgers
    Jackie Robinson was more than just an outstanding player with 137 home runs and 1,518 hits. He became the first African-American player in Major League Baseball since the 1880s. As such, he endured incredible amounts of abuse, but still walked away with six National League pennants, a World Series championship, and the 1952 Jackie Robinson baseball card that became one of the most highly collectible cards of all time.

    6. 1914 #7 Babe Ruth With the Baltimore Orioles
    Babe Ruth has many popular baseball cards, but his first set came in 1914 before he was even famous. The two 1914 Babe Ruth cards featured a red or blue background and came in a set featuring several amateur players from the Baltimore teams.

    7. 1933 #R338 Babe Ruth With the New York Yankees
    The 1933 Babe Ruth cards from the Sport Kings Gum packs featured players from 18 different sports. Babe Ruth's is only one of three baseball players to appear in this set and many consider it to be his most attractive baseball card in existence.

    8. 1909 #366 Honus Wagner With the Pittsburgh Pirates
    The 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card was one of the first to make baseball card collecting popular. However, Wagner objected to smoking and, since the cards came in cigarette packs, he had them pulled from the market. As a result, only an estimated 100 cards exist.

    9. 1954 Topps #1 Ted Williams With the Boston Red Sox
    Yes, this is another 1954 Ted Williams card, but this one came from Topps, which means that many more exist than the Bowman version. However, the popularity of the hitter still keeps the Topps 1954 Ted Williams card at the top of the list.

    10. 1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr. With the Seattle Mariners
    Even players from the 1980s have valuable baseball cards and the then-rookie, Ken Griffey Jr., is one of the lucky ones. Many argue that his 1989 baseball card is one of the most recognized of the 1980s thanks to the new Upper Deck design that set a new standard for premium cards.