Rarity is very important for valuable baseball cards, along with public perception of the player himself. The more popular the card the less it’s worth, and there are some cards that depreciated far faster than others.
Let’s look at some once great cards that today fetch a relatively average price in comparison to when the players were at the height of their careers.
1. Jose Canseco
At the height of his career, Jose Canseco was the biggest player in the League. His 1986 Donruss Rookie card became one of the most sought after, yet traded cards.
At a time this card went for upwards of $100 at card auctions but today the value has dropped to around $20.
2. Ken Griffey Jr.
One of the most celebrated players of his generation and rightly so, Ken Griffey Jr’s card is as enigmatic as the player himself.
This card features a smiling Griffey, bat slung casually on his shoulder. His Upper Deck rookie card did the rounds for about $100, today you can pick up this card for around $50.
3. Billy Ripken
Billy is the brother of Carl Ripken and sadly not as good a player as his brother. The reason for the high value and regular trading of his card comes down to a minor detail missed by the printers.
Billy holds a bat in his 1989 Fleer card with a rather rude inscription on the handle. Later reissues of the card had the word censored but the uncensored originals are worth their weight in gold. Unlike in the world of online betting, something that becomes too popular in baseball card collecting can soon drive its own value down, and this was the case with this card too.
4. Bo Jackson
Bo Jackson is a legendary 90’s athlete who played both baseball and basketball at the same time. A hip injury cut his career short unfortunately but he still has this amazing Score 1990 Dream Team card.
It may not be one of the most valuable cards anymore due to its relatively large print run and popularity, but it is a great looking card capturing the player at the height of his career.
5. Frank Thomas
The 1990 Frank Thomas Leaf rookie card was another card that sold for over $100 when it was first released and traded widely.
Today the card is sitting at around $40 in value.
6. Michael Jordan
Though most people know Jordan for his amazing run in Basketball, many forget he also tried his hand at baseball. He may have been an average player at best but his run for the League was at least very memorable.
In 1991 he took part in the White Sox’s spring training program and Upper Deck issued a card featuring the basketball player. At the time it was an incredibly sought after card but its popularity drove down the value to $20 today.
7. Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez
A player not unfamiliar with controversy, the A-Rod 1994 Upper Deck SP rookie card was easily one of the most popular cards on the market for a time.
Even today an ungraded card can still fetch up to $50 but it is not as valuable as it could have been.
Know of any cards that didn’t make our list of the top 7 most valuable baseball cards that were quickly devalued? Let me know in the comments section. Don’t forget to share this post if you enjoyed it.
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