Sports Bidding is a fun way to make money while enjoying a game you love. You can bid on sports teams, players, or even individual events in the sporting world. There are hundreds of different sports and games to choose from, so chances are you’ll find something that interests you.
The sports card industry is a multi-billion-dollar market, valued at $7,878 million (2021) and anticipated to reach a market value of $20,480 million (2030). The market is no longer just a hobby but an alternative investment opportunity for those with immense knowledge about teams and players.
While most collectors stick to more mainstream players like LeBron James or Mike Trout, some rare cards can sell for astronomical amounts if they’re even available to buy in the first place. There are fans out there who spend hours looking for these rare cards and spending hours bidding on them. So, let’s discuss some of the most valuable sports cards ever sold in the last five years.
11 Most Valuable Sports Cards Sold in the Last Five Years
The T206 Honus Wagner Baseball Card
Honus Wagner was an American baseball player who played as a shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is considered one of the best baseball players of all time, with some calling him “the greatest shortstop ever.” Wagner’s 1909 T206 card has been called “the most famous trading card in existence” by Sports Collectors Digest and “one of the sports’ most precious relics” by ESPN. It’s so valuable that there have been cases where people have tried to steal it from museums (and failed). There are only 57 known copies left today!
2. 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle
The 1952 Topps #The 311 Mickey Mantle rookie card has had five sales since 2012, with an average price of $1,150,000 and a median price of $1,152,500. Mickey Mantle was the first baseball card to sell for more than $2 million at auction. In 2010, this same card set a record when it sold for $2.88 million at auction, the highest amount ever paid for a single sports collectible in history at that time (Babe Ruth’s bat surpassed it). The only other baseball cards sold for over $1 million at auction are Honus Wagner (#399) and Lou Gehrig (#2).
3. Topps Baseball #616 Kris Bryant Rookie Card
Bryant’s baseball card is the highest price ever paid for a baseball card, with the buyer paying $2.8 million for it at an auction in 2016. The card was authenticated and signed by Bryant himself before being sold as part of the collectible online of many auctions. According to the data received, this particular card was in mint condition when sold – it wasn’t even bent.
4. Donruss Football #162 Tom Brady
Tom Brady’s rookie card is one of the most valuable baseball cards. The card was issued by Upper Deck Company and features Brady when he was still with Michigan University and had not yet been drafted into the NFL by New England Patriots (who would later go on to win six Super Bowls).
It sold for $3.3 million in 2013, making it the second-highest-selling sports memorabilia item ever. The only piece of memorabilia sold for more money was Michael Jordan’s jersey from his famous “Flu Game,” which went on sale for $4 million at an auction.
5. The LeBron James Triple Logoman Card
LeBron James is a basketball player with the top spot on this list. He was born in Akron, Ohio, and played his first NBA game with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. His rookie card from 2003 sold at auction for $40,000! In 2010 he signed with the Miami Heat, where he won two NBA championships before returning to play for the Lakers in 2018.
6. Shaquille O’Neal Magic C Fleer 93-94 Basketball Card #149
Shaquille O’Neal was a superstar basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. The card that sold for $1.4 million is part of the 1992 Upper Deck set, which means it’s one of his rookie cards. Rookie cards are considered valuable because they feature an athlete in an individual sports card auctions set for the first time. In this case, Shaq’s rookie year with the Orlando Magic (before he went on to play with Los Angeles).
7. #169 Mike Trout
The most valuable sports card sold in the last five years is a baseball card of Mike Trout from his rookie season with the Los Angeles Angels. The card sold for $3.5 million at auction in March 2023, smashing all previous records for the hobby’s hottest commodity, autographed cards of MLB players. Trout is one of the best hitters and fielders in MLB history. He won eight Silver Slugger awards (for being the best offensive player at each position) during his first ten seasons with Los Angeles.
8. Stephen Curry Rookie Card 2009-10 Topps #321
The most valuable sports card sold in the last five years is a Stephen Curry Rookie Card. It was sold for $3,000 in 2013 and featured his picture and autograph. The card was part of a set produced by Panini America, which also included cards for other basketball players, such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
9. Jerry Rice/Joe Montana #397 NFL Card
The Jerry Rice RC is a football card sold for $13,500 in 2023. The card’s value increased by an average of $1,000 per year over the last five years without even considering its overall rarity. It is also in excellent condition, which makes it more valuable. The card is regarded as one of the most valuable sports cards ever sold, and it’s no wonder it was only issued once during the player’s rookie season.
10. Michael Jordan Rookie Card 1986-87 Fleer #57
The most valuable sports card sold in the last five years is a Michael Jordan RC. It was sold for $8,400 in 2023 and is authenticated by PSA/DNA. The card is in mint condition, which means it has no creases or folds on the front or back of it. Michael Jordan is probably the most well-known athlete in history. He played for the Chicago Bulls from 1984 to 1998, winning six NBA Championships and being named MVP five times.
11. Saquon Barkley Rookie Card Panini Score #359
In the last five years, no rookie card has sold for more than the Saquon Barkley RC. The running back was drafted #2 overall by the New York Giants in 2018 and has already impacted their offense. He’s a 2x Pro Bowler, 1x First-Team All-Pro, and led his team in rushing yards (1,307) this season despite missing four games due to injury. Barkley’s popularity has translated into solid sales both online and offline.
Sports cards have always been a popular hobby, with collectors showing a great interest in buying and selling them. They are more valuable than you might think and can be worth a lot of money. The market is still growing today because of the increasing popularity of baseball card collecting among millennials and other generations alike.