Baseball cards act as an heirloom to the youth of many generations of children who would collect their favorite players, endlessly reading the backs of the cards, learning the stats, and wishing they could grow up to be that player. Though the times have changed, baseball cards are still a prominent industry. With the proliferation of group breaks and the ability to purchase cards from around the world, the sports card industry is still very popular.
While there have been millions of different cards produced over the past century plus, some cards stick out above the others. There are a number of cards that cross over from the collecting industry into pop culture. Some cards are only known to hardcore collectors. Above all, there are a number of cards that are considered among the all time most important/valuable cards of all time.
When compiling this list, I looked at a number of different aspects.
Value-Has this card gained value over time, or was it a jackpot card in it’s time, selling for many times it’s actual value.
Popularity in the moment-How big of a deal was this card when it came out? Did it create hysteria in the collecting community?
Popularity now-Does this card endure in the collecting community to this day?
Crossover Appeal-Do non collectors know about this card?
The Player- Who was the player on the card? Is it an all time great, or is it a card that is famous for a reason beyond the player.
Innovation-Did the set this card was in break down barriers in the collecting community or change how we view collecting.
While i’ve put the list into a Top 25, the list is definitely movable. I generally grouped a few cards together and put them down the list. What I do feel is that I’ve compiled a wide range of cards that date from the beginning of the industry through the items that are commonplace in today’s market. Feel free to disagree. I’m sure there will be some auspicious omissions. Mostly though, enjoy the list and enjoy collecting!