Want to know what your baseball cards are worth?

Sure, you do — we all do on some level, if we’re being honest.

Well, one of the best ways to figure out what any card is worth is to look at what it’s actually selling for. And one of the best places to do that is on eBay.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been taking a quick pulse on the market by pulling out five cool, awesome, unusual, or just nostalgic lots that sold in the previous seven days.

Below are just a handful of the baseball card lots that sold since last Sunday and are worthy of our attention for various reasons.

Be aware, though … you’ll probably get just a little jealous reading about and ogling these gorgeous collectibles.

(Note that these listings contain affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)

1959 Topps Mickey Mantle Salesman Sample

1959 Topps Mickey Mantle Salesman Sample

Back in the olden days before everyone and his brother (and father and aunt and future sister-in-law) were going to make a fortune selling their baseball cards someday, card companies actually had to hit the pavement and look for outlets to display their wares.

To that end, Topps would send their guys out each year with samples of what the upcoming year’s cards would look like, or at least a decent approximation.

And that’s where this lot comes in.

For 1959, Topps reps carried with them several “sets” of three cards each. This Mickey Mantle card was part of a panel that also included Bob Cerv and Jim Bolger, with Nellie Fox on the back. And, if you’re familiar with the 1959 Topps set and want a real jolt, check out the listing to get a look at that Fox back — definitely not the norm for this issue.

Anway, this particular Mantle has been lovingly (is there any other way?) cut away from the rest of the panel and authenticated by PSA. It’s the only one so far to receive that treatment.

For all that mid-century goodness, this card brought in just north of $1250.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1975 Topps Mini Unopened Wax Box

1975 Topps Mini Unopened Wax Box

You know all about the 1975 Topps Mini set, right?

It’s identical to the regular Topps set from that year, right down to the Chiclet colors and wax packs — all scaled down to 2-1/4” by 3-1/8″, of course.

For a while in the 1980s and 1990s, collectors loved minis because they are more scarce than their “big” counterparts, and because we had to have at least one of everything.

Much of the price difference has disappeared over the years, but the 1975 Topps Minis are still one of the hippest parallels to ever hit hobby shelves.

Especially when you run into a full unopened wax box of them. Oh, man, just the thought of a Herb Washington card staring back at me from a tiny wax wrapper has me all revved up — like a pinch runner!

Anyway, this lot had an original Buy-It-Now (BIN) price of $4600 but sold for some other, presumably smaller, figure.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1971 Topps Complete Set (EX+ to EX-MT)

1971 Topps Baseball Cards Complete Set

Has there ever been a more polarizing set of baseball cards than the 1971 Topps “black beauties”?  (And you can just shut up, 1987 Topps and 1962 Topps and 1990 Donruss and 1989 Upper Deck. We’re having an adult discussion here.)

People love them because they’re different.

People hate them because they’re different, and dark.

They’re condition-sensitive because the black borders degrade on contact with air faster than a high-school hitter encountering his first curveball.

The pictures on the backs of the cards are incredible and innovative, or grainy and cheesy, depending on your point of view.

But, no matter which side of the chipped fence you sit on, you have to admit that 1971 Topps is a linchpin issue in hobby history … and you’d probably love to own it, too. Even if you do hate it.

This particular example is what you might call “collectible,” with most cards in that pleasant EX to EX-MT range that won’t break the bank but sure do look good.

It’s not clear what the final sales price was, but the BIN dropped from $1599 to $1407, and the gavel seems to have fallen somewhere below that mark.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1978 Topps Alan Trammell and Paul Molitor Rookie Card Graded PSA 10


Paul Molitor is a Hall of Famer.

Alan Trammell will be a Hall of Famer in another month or so. He already has his Cooperstown ticket punched.

And the two of them share the same gosh darn rookie card in the 1978 Topps set.

Consider that the words most often associated with this astounding piece of cardboard beyond the aforementioned “Hall of Fame” and “Cooperstown” and the equally appropriate “legends” and “whoa!” are “condition problems” and “surface smudge,” and you might be wondering about that PSA 10 grade on the card in this lot.

The Rookie Shortstops card has been submitted to PSA 5403 times as of this writing, and just 23 made a perfect grade.

That translates into a sales price of *gulp* $6850 on the strength of 32 bids.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1981 Donruss Baseball Complete Set on 5 Uncut Sheets

1981 Donruss Complete Set Uncut Sheets

So here’s the deal …

The 1981 Donruss baseball card set is a mess, and it has been for 37 years now.

Grainy, blurry photos printed on cardstock thinner than the skin on the back of your grandmother’s hands.

Encyclopedia-length narrative on each card back with enough room left over for just about two columns and one row of stats.

Enough errors to keep a team of editors awash in Wite-Out for the next 100 years.

But this is a landmark set, you know. One of two, with Fleer, to put the Topps monopoly on the back shelf in the spring of 1981.

It’s worth owning for that fact alone.

And how often have you seen a complete 1981 Donruss set in uncut sheet form? This eBay lot was the first time for me.

This is a supercool item no matter how awful the 1981 Donruss is, and it even reveals (or reminds us of) some Donruss quirkiness.

First, each sheet contains just 121 cards, as opposed to the standard 132. That little fact might jog your memory that this set contains only 605 cards — an odd number in the cardboard realm, and an odd number for real.

Second, take a look at that listing picture, and you can see that all five sheet stack up to the thickness of a nickel. Just about what you’d suspect, but it’s good to have confirmation.

And how much did all this hobby history and delectable displayworithiness bring?

A cool $17.60, thanks to one bid.


There are all sorts of bargains out there if you keep your eyes peeled and don’t mind a beautiful mess now and then.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

(Check out our other posts about card values here.)