While there are diehard fans who love to watch and to purchase their favorite sports products, bidders and collectors of sports memorabilia take it to a whole new level. Sports memorabilia are more unique and also have a stronger connection to a certain athlete or moment. Because of this, sports memorabilia can cost up to millions of dollars due to its low supply and high demand. For this piece, let’s take a closer look at the 10 most expensive MLB memorabilia items ever sold.
10. Jackie Robinson debut ticket stub (1947): $480K
Jackie Robinson became the first African American to appear in the MLB when he made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in a game against the Boston Braves. It was a monumental moment in baseball history that changed the course of the sport.
According to the auction house, there were only seven tickets to that very game that exist today. Although it only cost $1.75 per piece back in the day, one of the tickets was sold for $480,000. Talk about expensive MLB memorabilia.
9. Hank Aaron Baseball no.755 (1976): $650K
Signed by Hank Aaron himself, the baseball marked the legend’s final home run in the MLB at 755. Based on reports, it was Richard Arndt who was able to get a hold of the ball and had it signed. In 1999, Arnndt sold it and donated a portion of the revenues to Chasing the Dream Foundation after striking an agreement with the legendary Hank Aaron.
Hank Aaron’s record in terms of home runs lasted for 31 years.
8. Barry Bonds Baseball no. 756 (2007): $752K
If there’s something more expensive than Hank Aaron’s baseball, it should be the very ball that shattered Aaron’s home run record. During the game, Barry Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron for the most home runs in league history.
Fortunately for Matt Murphy, a construction supervisor, he was able to grab hold of the ball and earned a fortune for this MLB memorabilia.
7. Babe Ruth All-Star Game Ball (1933): $805K
Given that it was the very baseball that made the first home run in an All-Star game happen, it was indeed a special sports memorabilia. In addition to this, it was done by no other than the greatest player to hold a bat, Babe Ruth.
73 years after the All-Star Game, the ball was sold for at least $800,000.
6. Mark McGwire Baseball (1998): $3 million
In that very game on September 27, 1998 when Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs in a record-breaking season for the Cardinals, he was dubbed as America’s new sports hero.
A fan named Phil Ozersky got hold of the ball. Although the Cardinals tried to persuade him to surrender the ball in exchange for a signed bat, ball, and jersey, Ozersky refused. A few months later the ball would change owners after comic book artist Todd McFarlane purchased it for the said price. During that time, the sale broke the record for most expensive sports memorabilia transaction of all time.
5. Laws of Baseball: $3.2 million
Everyone usually discards aging documents that have turned yellow. However, that wasn’t the case for the documents containing the Laws of Baseball written by then-president of New York Knickerbockers Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams.
Given that it’s a special piece of history that has contributed to one of America’s favorite sports, the documents were sold for millions by SCP Auctions.
4. Babe Ruth Jersey (1920): $4.42 million
Given that Babe Ruth is the GOAT of baseball, every baseball fan would love to get a hold of anything he owned. This includes the very first jersey he wore for the New York Yankees.
⚾️ Regarded as ‘the most desirable baseball artifact’ in history, Babe Ruth’s 1920 jersey sold for an astonishing $4.415m.
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) June 15, 2020
According to sources, the jersey is the oldest MLB memorabilia with a strong connection to Babe Ruth. The legend wore the jersey during his first season with the Yankees in 1920. Years later, he became a seven-time World Series champion.
3. Babe Ruth Jersey (1928-1930): $5.64 million
If there’s a jersey more expensive than a Babe Ruth jersey, it would be another Babe Ruth jersey. Fans will never forget Babe Ruth’s legendary achievements during his playing years with the Yankees.
As a result, when Ruth’s family put the memorabilia for sale, it was easily millions of dollars in revenues and probably in profits.
2. T-206 Honus Wagner Card: $7.25 million
With only 60 pieces that exist, this card was considered the holy grail of sports cards. Wagner is also a Baseball Hall of Famer. Throughout his decorated career, Wagner has won eight National League batting titles. One can argue he is one of the greatest to also play the game.
1.1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Card: $12.6 million
If there was a card more expensive than the T-206 Honus Wagner Card, it was the famous 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Card. Similar to the Honus Wagner Card, this one’s rarity also played a huge role in its multi-million dollar value.
The card was sold by Heritage Auctions for at least $12 million, roughly 31 years later after the copy was purchased for approximately $50,000.