What’s Vintage Worth? Post-war Baseball Sales – July 2023


If you have a passion for vintage baseball cards, you’ll know the thrill of landing that rare Mickey Mantle or Jackie Robinson card. With the market for baseball cards seeing remarkable sales figures, let’s take a look at a few of the top 30 post-war vintage baseball card sales, covering the period from the end of World War II to 1980. As a companion to a video featuring Ryan from Breakout Cards, on the same topic, this article will delve into what makes these cards valuable, unique features, and why collectors are willing to pay a premium for them.

Highlights from the List

1954 Ernie Banks PSA 7: $6,997

This card has its name not chopped off, which is a common issue for these cards. Its off-centering left to right does affect its value, but overall, the card is in good condition.

1952 Bowman Mantle PSA 6: $7,850

Although not as expensive as the Topps version, this card is highly sought after. The centering and condition of the corners do affect its price but it remains a gem in any collection.

1951 Pete Reiser PSA 10: $8,000

Despite a career cut short by injuries and war, Pete Reiser still ranks highly. His card in mint condition is a rarity and priced accordingly.

1948 Leaf Ted Williams: $8,000

Though not his most popular card, this Ted Williams edition is still a highly valued piece due to its first-generation PSA slabs and vintage appeal.

1949 Bowman Satchel Paige Rookie PSA 6: $8,200

Satchel Paige has few playing day cards, making this a rare find. The 1949 Bowman is preferred over the 1948 version and is highly sought after.

1958 Willie Mays PSA 8: $10,400

Willie Mays is on fire, and his 1958 card is no exception. Though an old label and somewhat off-center, it commanded a high price at auction.

1968 Nolan Ryan PSA 9 (OC): $12,000

Though the card has a qualifier, which technically brings its registry grade down, it’s still a highly coveted card due to Nolan Ryan’s career and the card’s overall sharpness.

1956 Mickey Mantle SGC 8: $12,678

Mickey Mantle didn’t have Topps cards for two years, making his 1956 card a must-have. Even with its grey back, the card fetched a handsome price.

Honorable Mentions

  1. 1951 Jackie Robinson: Sold for $7,200. It’s an old label but a high grade that collectors desire.

  2. 1973 Mike Schmidt Rookie: Buy it now at $10,000. One of the greatest third basemen, his cards are hard to find in high grades.

  3. 1962 Hormone Killer Brew: Sold for $9,130. An incredibly high grade for this tough set.

  4. 1952 Peewee Reese: Sold for $12,500. One of the standout names in the 1952 Topps set.

Key Takeaways

  1. Condition and Grading: The card’s condition, especially its centering and corners, heavily impacts its price.

  2. Player Legacy: Players like Mantle, Robinson, and Mays always fetch a premium.

  3. Set Rarity: Cards from sets that are difficult to find in high grades are especially valuable.

  4. Significance: Rookie cards and iconic editions like the 1952 Topps set hold special allure for collectors.

  5. Labels and Slabs: Old labels and slabs can be a double-edged sword. They add a vintage appeal but can sometimes lower the grading and therefore the value.


The world of vintage baseball cards is not just a hobby; it’s an investment and a testament to the rich history of the game. Whether it’s a 1954 Ernie Banks or a 1952 Bowman Mantle, each card has its unique story, making them irreplaceable artifacts in the annals of baseball history. If you’d like to see the full list or get more details about this collection of sales, be sure to check out the video linked below.

Happy collecting!

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