When going through old sports cards, you may brush past one worth thousands or millions. These massively rare cards will blend into the rest of them, and you must pick out which are rare. These cards carry from sport to sport, and most of these cards had just been collected through regular sports card packages, where you had no idea that the card you just opened was worth a fortune. The sports cards that pay the most look just like the rest, so you may have to look at the information on the back, which will indicate how much the card is worth.
1. 1909-1911 T206 Honus Wagner SGC 3
This old-time card holds plenty of rarity, with an estimated 50-100 copies to ever exist; the Honus Wager baseball card is the most expensive ever. The basic-looking card was sold for 6.6 million dollars back in 2021, which was one of the most significant prices for a baseball card ever.
2. 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Mike Trout Rookie Card BGS 9
A newer card with Mike Trout still playing, the rookie card of him is worth big bucks. Although collectors are unsure how many of these cards have been produced, the ones with his autographs will be worth much more. One of these autographed cards can run you up to 3.8 million dollars, which was sold in 2020.
3. Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps
The 1952 Mickey Mantle card is the holy grail for baseball and all sports cards. With Mickey Mantle being one of the greatest sluggers of all time, this only raises the card's stock. This Mantle card was sold for 12.6 million dollars in 2022 but shattered the record for the most expensive card.
4. Steph Curry 2009 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph
Steph Curry quickly became significant in the NBA, with the style of play being more focused on shooting, and he happens to be a fantastic three-point shooter. While adding an autograph to any card will make it more valuable, the Steph Curry card with the rookie patch and autograph is a 1-1 card, so it sold for a whopping 5.9 million dollars at auction.
5. LeBron James 2003-04 Rookie Patch Autograph Upper Deck Exquisite
With arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, this card fits him. This card features an 18-year-old LeBron James, his autograph, and a jersey piece. These three things combined make this card extremely rare, with only 23 out there. This card had sold at auction for 5.2 million dollars back in 2021. This card had collectors spending life savings on packs to find this specific card.
6. Luka Doncic 2018-19 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph
This card features the new Luka Doncic, who had taken the league by storm and continues to pave the way to become one of the greatest basketball players ever. This card sold for 4.6 million dollars in 2021 and is a one-of-one card with a game-worn jersey patch and his autograph. Collectors have come out to believe that Luka's mother, not him, had signed the card, which puts a toll on the price.
7. Patrick Mahomes 2017 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph Platinum
Only after a few years in the NFL did Patrick Mahomes already make an excellent name with many impressive accolades. This autographed football card had blown the previous record for the most expensive football card, selling for 4.3 million dollars, which broke the previous record by 3 million dollars.
8.Babe Ruth 1933 Goudey #53
The iconic 1933 set of baseball cards produced by Goudey includes four different Babe Ruth cards. The #53 card, also called the Yellow Ruth, is the most expensive one since it is so hard to get in good condition, so it sold for 4.2 million dollars. Another reason this card is so expensive would be Babe Ruth's stats, with him being one of the greatest baseball players to even step foot on a diamond.
9. Wayne Gretzky 1979 O-Pee-Chee
This card features a young Wayne Gretzky, who many believe is the undisputed greatest of all time regarding hockey. The card has sold for a whopping 3.7 million dollars, most of which comes from how good Gretzky was. The O-Pee-Chee company is a Canadian brand that closely resembles Topps.
10. Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contender Championship Rookie Ticket Autographed Card
Out of the total 44 rookie Tom Brady cards, only one happens to be autographed by possibly the greatest football player of all time. This card is considered the holy grail of many sports card collectors and sold for over 3.1 million dollars in 2021 at auction. The card graphic features Brady in the all-white New England Patriots jersey, which Brady set in the pocket to make a pass.
11. Babe Ruth 1916 M101-4 Sporting News
The Great Bambino is found on almost any list of the greatest baseball players of all time, so his baseball cards are usually pretty expensive and rare. This is a straightforward card with fundamental information and graphics on the card. This simple card sold for 2.4 million dollars at auction.
12. Eddie Plank 1909-11 T206
This old card contains a primary picture of Eddie Plank, also known as Gettysburg Eddie. He was a pitcher on the early Philadelphia Athletics and had played for 16 seasons. A not-so-well-known player, this card had sold for 700 thousand dollars at auction in 2012.
13. Pete Rose 1963 Topps
Pete Rose is Major League Baseball's all-time hit leader, and this is the only card where he genuinely recognizes that. Even though Rose is the hit leader, he will never be inducted into the hall of fame since he had bet while being a manager. With all this controversy, the card sold for 717 thousand dollars in 2016.
14. Kevin Durant 2007-08 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Card Parallel #94 Patch Autographs
This Kevin Durant card gets a lot of recognition because he is wearing a Seattle Sonics jersey, which is no longer a team in the NBA. So not only is the card rare since it is wearing that jersey, but you also get the patch with an autograph, which skyrockets the price up to 799 thousand dollars.
15. Michael Jordan 1986-87 Fleer
This card is considered Michael's rookie card since once he became significant, the original makers of his card reproduced many cards, and no one could tell if it was the original one or not. Since then, this card has become one of the most famous sports cards in history, selling for 840 thousand dollars at auction in 2021, but recently, the value has decreased.
16. LeBron James/Michael Jordan 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Logoman
This one-of-a-one card makes this a fantastic card, with Michael Jordan's and LeBron James's autographs, the greatest basketball players of all time. When paired, this card sells for 900 thousand dollars, which is cheaper than you may think since the players are so good. Even though the card was graded an 8.5, that does not detract from how special this card truly is.
17. Michael Jordan 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Green
The highly unique card comes from the Precious Metal Gems set, where Jordan's card is all green with a graphic of him dunking. This unique card was sold in 2020 for 915 thousand dollars, which is very high for this type of card, and the value is only rising.
18. Jackie Robinson 1952 Topps #312
Like Michael Jordan's Fleer card, this is not Jackie Robinson's rookie card; many consider it to be. This is Jackie's most notable card, selling for almost a million dollars in 2021. This card contains a simple graphic of Jackie holding a bat and his signature at the bottom.
19. Reggie Jackson 1969 Topps Rookie Card #260
A simple but very classic card from Topps, this card has been graded a PSA 10, which you do not see much. The graphic on the card contains Reggie looking away with a classic but gorgeous Athletics jersey. The beautiful card sold for over a million dollars in 2021.
20. Anthony Davis 2012-13 Panini National Treasures #151 NBA Logoman Rookie Patch Autographs
This card's value may fluctuate significantly due to how well Davis plays. Although the card had been sold for over a million dollars in 2021, the card had tanked once he started to play a little worse. The card looks fantastic, with a young Davis dribbling down the court with his signature and patch.
21. Roberto Clemente 1955 Topps Rookie Card #164
A rookie card, the late Roberto Clemente, has been given a nine from the PSA committee. The card contains a graphic of Clemente smiling, his batting stance, and his autograph. What makes this card unique is the old-fashioned Pittsburgh Pirates uniform, which is why the card sold for 1.1 million dollars in 2021.
22. Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013-14 Panini Prizm “Prizms Black Mosaic” #290
The one-of-one card had a rating of 9.5 by BGS, which is a fantastic score to receive. The young Giannis in the picture has only improved since, with breaking records and doing unthinkable things in the league daily. The card had sold for 1.1 million dollars in 2020 and has not left the buyer's hands since.
23. Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractors #138 Rookie Card
The Philadelphia native was given a BGS rating of 10, the best you could receive on a card. The value has only skyrocketed, with Kobe being one of the best basketball players. The card sold for 1.8 million dollars in 2021, but the value will continue to increase.
24. Mickey Mantle 1951 Bowman
This card had sold for nearly 3.2 million dollars and became Bowman and Topps's most popular card. This is the card that most people think of when talking about sports cards since Mickey Mantle had become the greatest hitter of all time, if not the greatest, with being able to switch hits.