The 8 Top Baseball Rookie Cards to Sell In 2022
Baseball season is upon us, and that means it’s the perfect opportunity to look through some of the top baseball cards to sell. Because what’s more motivating than watching some professionals swing, batter batter, swing? (Well, likely money, but that may be in it for you too if you play your cards right).
There are a variety of cards you should take a look at, even if it’s just for the fun of it. Chances are good you don’t own the cards that can get you a $20,000 check (though you never know). But you may potentially own the rookie cards that have shown serious promise in the past but are going through some fluctuations in price. In our opinion, these are the ones that make for a fun gamble (as long as you aren’t putting too much at stake).
Read on to take a look at some of the baseball cards with the highest value.
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Top Baseball Cards to Sell
Before we get into the specifics of the best baseball rookie cards to sell, take a moment to have a quick look at the details of factors that are used to determine how to value baseball cards.
Though there’s a fair bit of X factor that comes into play when valuing cards, generally you’re going to want to consider age, condition, rarity, market conditions, and player history. You might be surprised at how those elements combine to define the top sellers. But before we get into the cards you might have in your collection, let’s review some of the cards that are worth change-your-life sums of money.
The OG Baseball Rookie Cards
Here are a few classic rookie cards that currently hold the highest value on the market. These are from players that will go down in history as some of the best men to ever play the sport, which means their card price is high and strong.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle ROOKIE #311
Some claim that Mickey Mantle is the most collected figure in the whole baseball card industry, and his Topps card is one of the holy grails of baseball rookie cards. Only three exist that have been authenticated and given a rating of 10 by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). Those three are worth between $15 million and $30 million. They’re so desirable that even a beat-up one is worth some coin; one of these cards with a PSA of 1 is valued at over $24,000.
This card is worth such a big amount of money because there was a lack of interest when it first came out, so Topps dumped hundreds of cases of them into the ocean.
It’s safe to assume that the value of a Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card is unlikely to ever completely tank, so if you can manage to snag one, congrats!
1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle ROOKIE #253
Though the Topps Mickey Mantle is worth a small fortune and its value is legitimate, it is important to note that this 1951 Bowman card is, according to PSA, his only true rookie card. The Topps 1952 might have a fun story attached to it, but the 1951 Bowman is where the real money is. If you’ve got this card in your possession, then stop reading this now and figure out how to get this into the hands of a buyer who is willing to pay a pretty penny.
1954 Topps Hank Aaron ROOKIE #128
Hank Aaron’s 1954 Topps card is one of the most known cards in the entire baseball card collecting hobby because it is Aaron’s only recognized rookie card. Even people who don’t collect baseball cards recognize this one. Aaron was eventually represented on over 250 different cards, but this is the only acknowledged rookie one, thus the value. In 2020, one of these cards sold for $170,000 at an auction.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth ROOKIE
You don’t really need this list to know that a Babe Ruth rookie card is worth some coin. This baseball icon has many cards with his face on them but this particular 1914 card holds a value that will blow your mind. It has been valued at $6 million due not only to its age but also to the fact that it is the first card with the Bambino on it.
Newer Baseball Rookie Cards
We’re guessing that you don’t have any $6 million cards in your collection (what a shame, right?), but you may have some of the below cards that, if you do have them sitting in your attic, are in a good place to sell right now.
Think of the below rookie cards almost like stocks. Since the absurdly high-priced ones mentioned above are such a rarity, as a collector you may opt to keep more lower-value cards rather than try to make it big with the home run cards.
Though owning a few lesser-known and lesser-valued cards isn’t nearly as exciting as a Babe Ruth card that can get you $6 million, you may find that some of the below cards are a safer bet in the long-term (though we did throw in a couple of big-ticket ones in there just for the fun of it).
2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Refractor ROOKIE RC #BDPP89
The timing to sell a Mike Trout card is now. His season was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic and then he suffered a calf injury in 2021, so it’s been a while since we’ve seen him out on the field. However, he is slated to be back in center field come the 2022 season, which is great news to someone who is looking to sell a Trout card, especially if it’s this 2009 Bowman one.
This card is currently one of the most expensive baseball cards sold thus far in 2022, earning a seller $42,000 in February. The price has dropped since then to a little over $29,000 but that doesn’t mean it can’t and won’t jump back up to $42K or even higher, especially as the 2022 season begins.
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout ROOKIE RC #101
This card for Mike Trout has been a hot one to collect for a couple of years now and it hit a high in May of 2021, but has also seen some lows since then. But fear not, it is slowly creeping back up. This is a perfect example of a card whose value fluctuates due to a number of outside factors, including the fact that Trout has been off the field for two seasons.
However, it is likely that the price of this will go up as Trout is back on the field in the 2022 season. Since his performance for this year is unknown, it may be a good time to let this card go.
2018 Topps Chrome Sapphire Orange Shohei Ohtani ROOKIE RC
Considered the “Babe Ruth of Japan,” but even better than Babe Ruth himself, Shohei Ohtani cards are hot right now. Ohtani’s been called a “once-in-a-century player,” and given that he managed to become the first player ever to make the All-Star team as both a pitcher and a hitter, that seems like a fair assessment.
This gives fans confidence that 2022 will bring another strong year for Ohtani, which is reflected in the high prices of his cards, especially the 2018 Topps Chrome Sapphire Orange one.
This is one of the highest-priced cards sold this year; it sold in February for $16,322.
2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects Vladamir Guerrero Jr. ROOKIE RC
The most popular early releases for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are his 2016 Bowman prospect cards, and this one specifically is considered the must-have Guerrero Jr. card. It is referred to as “easy money,” as long as 2022 and the rest of his seasons see him measure up to the expectations that people have for him.
This is a lower-value card that won’t change your life, but shifting it may be a great way to make some extra cash.
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