These Post-War Baseball Cards Will Make You Drool

Post-war baseball cards are consistently good investments with a wide variety of them available. The players were amazing, and the cards were vibrant. Love of the game hit new highs. There is a unique nostalgia specific to the time.

World War II had forced a slow-down in baseball because many players, as well as their money-spending fans, went off to war, their dreams filled with the pop of a gun instead of crack of a bat. “Home” meant something different. Afterward, as the dust settled and the veterans returned, baseball’s popularity surged to a whole new level. The time brought home some baseball and wartime heroes, like Hank Greenberg and Ted Williams, and over the next few years introduced some new legends-in-the-making to the major league. Mickey Mantle. Jackie Robinson. Roberto Clemente. Hank Aaron. We recovered from the toll of war from the seats of stadiums while witnessing history being in several different ways. Records. Equality. Industry. Maybe that’s a romantic way to think about it, but what is baseball if not a romantic part of American history?

The cards are the tangible remnants of that time. The new baseball cards were colorful, popular, and easily obtained. But there aren’t many truly remarkable high-grade cards still available to collectors today, and the ones that sell, sell fast and sell high.

We’re proud to include in our Inaugural Great American Trading Card Auction some gorgeous post-war baseball cards that are sure to have a Pavlovian effect on any serious collector. It’s okay. Happens to all of us.

952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311

1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card – PSA NM+ 7.5

This is most recognizable baseball card in history. PSA has graded more than 1375 of these, and only 44 graded higher.

1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Card - PSA MINT 9

1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Card – PSA MINT 9

The Hall of Famer was the first Hispanic player in the Majors and a remarkably versatile talent. PSA has graded more than 4,075 of these and only one has graded better!

1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron Rookie Card - PSA MINT 9

1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron Rookie Card – PSA MINT 9

The “Home Run King”. Of nearly 4,000 copies graded by PSA, only two graded higher. This card is beautiful.

1949 Bowman #226 Duke Snider Rookie Card - PSA GEM MT 10

1949 Bowman #226 Duke Snider Rookie Card – PSA GEM MT 10

“The Duke of Flatbush” presented in a state of perfection.

1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan Rookie Card – SGC 98 GEM 10 "1 of 2!"

1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan Rookie Card – SGC 98 GEM 10 “1 of 2!”

Graded 98 GEM 10 by SGC. Hall of Famer, in his debut appearance. This is one of just two examples at its tier among a total of more than 1,400 copies recorded in SGC’s census reporting.

1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card - PSA NM-MT 8

1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card – PSA NM-MT 8

Hall of Famer, and a scarcer “High Number” entry. Among more than 1,600 copies recorded in PSA’s census reporting, just ten examples have been graded higher.

Check out the rest the cards in the Inaugural Great American Trading Card Auction for even more great post-war era baseball cards.

T206 Honus Wagner Hits the Block

T206 Wagner Jumbo Baseball CardT206 Honus Wagner. The card of all baseball cards. The Holy Grail of sports collectibles. The top rung of an industry ladder that keeps climbing and climbing. Goldin Auctions is proud to once again offer a T206 Wagner, and this flawless beauty is sure to set records…again.

1909-1911 T206 White Border Honus Wagner

The 1909-1911 T206 White Border Honus Wagner, the “Jumbo” Wagner, is the example to which all other collectibles in the industry are compared. Even collectibles outside the sports auction industry are compared to this. It’s more than ultra-rare, more than old, more than perfect – it’s famous. Even those who have never bought a baseball card in their lives have heard of the T206 Wagner.

Why Is It the Crown Jewel?

For starters, best estimates are that less than 200 of these cards were ever made, and less than 50 have ever been presented for grading or authentication. Of the few that are known to still exist, they aren’t all identical either. It’s THE “Jumbo” meaning its substantial borders make it larger than is typical, and thus more scarce. Of the T206 Wagners in the world, this particular one is possibly the most flawless example. It’s unaltered. It’s graded EX 5 (MC) by PSA. And it’s traceable to its original owner.


More than that, it also serves as a marker for what the industry is doing. Economies and politics change constantly, but the T206 Honus Wagner is the touchstone that proves that collectibles are still going strong. The upward swing on these cards, regardless of condition, is undeniable. Look at the climb in value of even low-grade cards:

  • In 2000, a T206 graded PSA 2 sold for $75,000.
  • In 2005, another PSA 2 T206 sold for $237,000.
  • In 2008, a graded 1 card sold for $317,250, and an SGC 3 sold for a high bid of  $700,000.
  • In 2012, a VG-3 card sold to an anonymous buyer for $1.6 million.

Then in 2013, we had the pleasure of breaking the record with the T206 “Jumbo” Honus Wagner graded EX 5 (MC) by PSA for a whopping $2,105,770.50.

Great American Trading Card Auction

It could be many years before we see a high-grade T206 hit the auction block again, so this is not to be missed. This gem from the past will continue making more history in the Inaugural Great American Trading Card Auction. It’s likely that this card will break the current record that it set in 2013.

Bidding begins September 12, 2016 and closes October 1.


T206 Honus Wagner Letter Provenance