Most Expensive Rookie Card (2022 Update)

Most Expensive Rookie Card

Many people start collecting valuable rookie cards as children and continue into adulthood. Young collectors learn the worth of rookie cards based on the year, player, and set number.

Some rare cookie cards are now worth more than a million dollars. Cards have varying labels and grades based on type and condition.

If you are looking for rookie cards considered investments by high-end collectors and have sold for millions, read this list!


This Most Expensive Rookie Card review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available online to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

Michael Jordan Rookie Card
Michael Jordan Rookie Card
Price: $100,000

Michael Jordan’s rookie trading card is one of the most valued sports cards in the world. A private collector bought the 1986 Fleer card for $100,000 in 2012.

It was one of only three copies that scored a ten by Beckett Grading Services.

Joe Namath Rookie Card
Joe Namath Rookie Card
Price: $265,000

Joe Namath led the New York Jets to Super Bowl III.

His rookie card sold in February 2018 for $265,000.

Professional Sports Authenticator, a sports memorabilia company, set up a grading and authentication system in 1991.

Jim Brown Rookie Card
Jim Brown Rookie Card
Price: $358,000

Jim Brown is a sports legend and the greatest running back ever.

This is the only acknowledged rookie card of Jim Brown, and it often has print faults.

Baseball card collecting is a passion many start young and maintain well into adulthood.

1948 Bowman Stan Musial
1948 Bowman Stan Musial
Price: $360,000

A Gem Mint 10 1948 Bowman Stan Musial sold for $360,000 in 2017 as one of two of Musial’s rookie cards. Stan Musial’s Cardinals legacy made him a St. Louis icon. In 1969, Musial was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

1948 Leaf #8 Satchel Paige Rookie Card
1948 Leaf 8 Satchel Paige Rookie Card
Price: $400,000

Its PSA 8 NM-MT value is estimated to be $400,000. Leroy “Satchel” Paige’s rookie card, along with Jackie Robinson and Stan Musial’s, is a key to this set. Paige played most of his career in the Negro Leagues before joining the Cleveland Indians at age 42.

Yogi Berra 1948 Bowman #6
Yogi Berra 1948 Bowman 6
Price: $489,346

Yogi Berra played 19 seasons and won 10 World Series. He played 18 seasons with the Yankees and held the most World Series rings.

There is one copy of this card in PSA 10, 10 copies in PSA 9, and 108 copies in PSA 8.

1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill
1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill
Price: $492,000

ESPN reported that collectors are eager to buy the 1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill. In 1911, Jackson hit.408, setting the record for the best batting average by a rookie.

Jackson had a 375 batting average and 12 hits in the 1919 World Series.

1951 Bowman #305 Willie Mays Rookie Card
1951 Bowman 305 Willie Mays Rookie Card
Price: $500,000

The “Say Hey Kid” was possibly the greatest all-around player. Mays hit, threw, fielded, and ran well. 1951 Bowman is his only recognized rookie card together with Mantle’s, the key to the set.

Reggie Jackson 1969 Topps #260
Pete Rose 1963 Topps 537
Price: $515,963

Reggie Jackson won five World Series and was two-time MVP. Over his 21-year career, his clubs have won 11 divisions and six pennants. He led the AL in homers four times and was MVP in 1973.

Pete Rose 1963 Topps #537
Pete Rose 1963 Topps 537
Price: $561,130

Pete Rose played 3,562 MLB games and has the most hits (4,256). He won 3 World Series and 17 NL All-Star games. Baseball banned him for gambling; thus, he’s not a Hall of Famer.

M101-5 Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card
M101 5 Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card
Price: $1.3 million

The 1916 Babe Ruth rookie card is another on the list of the most expensive rookie cards in baseball history. It’s not unexpected that a legendary rookie card has a hefty price tag.

This card portrays young Ruth in his Boston Red Sox outfit before joining the New York Yankees. This card highlights Babe Ruth as a rookie before becoming one of the best baseball players ever.

Roberto Clemente 1955 Topps #164
Roberto Clemente 1955 Topps 164
Price: $1.51 million

Clemente played 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After he died in a plane crash, Clemente was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The 5-year waiting requirement for the hall of fame inductions was lifted for Clemente due to his on-field exploits and untimely demise.

Jackie Robinson 1948 Leaf #79
Jackie Robinson 1948 Leaf 79
Price: $2.9 million

Jackie Robinson was the first black player in MLB, winning Rookie of the Year in 1947 and Most Valuable Player in 1949. The 1962 Hall of Famer won 1 world series. There are no examples of this card in PSA 10 grade.

2009 Mike Trout Autographed Rookie Card
2009 Mike Trout Autographed Rookie Card
Price: $3.9 million

Widely recognized as the game’s best active player, the future Hall of Famer was an all-star in nine of his first 11 seasons. The Los Angeles Angels outfielder owns three American League MVP awards.

Among the list of the most valuable baseball cards, this 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Superfractor rookie card sold for $3.94m in a 2020 auction.

Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps #311
Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps 311
Price: $15.71 million

The most valuable baseball card. #311 Mickey Mantle has one of the greatest market values for Topps baseball cards.

#311 Mickey Mantle is one of the rarest baseball cards because Sy Berger, the father of modern baseball cards, dropped most of them in the ocean to make space. There are now only a handful of these cards available on the market.

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If you’re still wondering how anyone can afford these things, here’s a little secret:

You can finance ANYTHING!

Which means most folks aren’t actually paying cash for their expensive Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps #311.

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Now, the choice is yours. You could continue looking at articles for the most expensive baseball card, or you can start taking steps so one day YOU can actually afford them!

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Some most expensive baseball cards include 1911 American Tobacco Company T206 and 1909-11 T206 White Border Eddie Plank. Massive print runs in the late 1980s, and early 1990s eliminated most post-1980s rookie cards’ value.

Most don’t realize that pre-War and high-grade post-War vintage baseball card values can be excessive. However we are lucky enough to find these 15 rookie cards still available today!

This is a list of the 15 most expensive rookie cards:

  1. Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps #311- $15.71 million
  2. 2009 Mike Trout Autographed Rookie Card- $3.9 million
  3. Jackie Robinson 1948 Leaf #79- $2.9 million
  4. Roberto Clemente 1955 Topps #164- $1.51 million
  5. M101-5 Sporting News Babe Ruth Rookie Card- $1.3 million
  6. Pete Rose 1963 Topps #537 – $561,130
  7. Reggie Jackson 1969 Topps #260-$515,963
  8. 951 Bowman #305 Willie Mays Rookie Card- $500,000
  9. 1910 Shoeless Joe Jackson Old Mill- $492,000
  10. Yogi Berra 1948 Bowman #6- $489, 346
  11. 1948 Leaf #8 Satchel Paige Rookie Card- $400,000
  12. 1948 Bowman Stan Musial- $360,000
  13. Jim Brown Rookie Card- $358,000
  14. Joe Namath Rookie Card- $265,000
  15. Michael Jordan Rookie Card- $100,000
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