There are several Jackie Robinson rookie cards, but only a few are considered to be among the best investments. Here are some of his most sought-after cards and how you can add them to your collection.
Updated Apr 19, 2023
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Investing in rare baseball cards has been a massive money-making venture—the PWCC 500 index reported an 834% return on investment since January 2008. That's right, 834%.
A 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson card just sold for $960,000 US dollars at Heritage Auctions. And that's not the only Robinson card that's gone for a small fortune. A PSA 8 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson Rookie #79 went for $444,000, and a Mint 1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson #50 PSA was auctioned off at $360,000.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the Majors, and it looks like he has more banger baseball cards than today's players. If you're looking to scoop up some sports cards, Jackie Robinson might be the way to go.
Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, the youngest of five children in a family of sharecroppers. But, despite his humble upbringing, Jackie was a star athlete in high school and college, excelling at baseball, basketball, football, and track.
After college, Jackie was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served until 1944 when he was honorably discharged. Thankfully, for baseball fans everywhere, a former player then encouraged Jackie to try out for the Kansas City Monarchs, and the rest is history.
Jackie was a six-time All-Star and won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 and the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1949, becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball history to do so.
A true trailblazer, Jackie was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, and his jersey number, forty-two, was retired across all major league teams in 1997, making him the first professional athlete in any sport to be honored in such a way. In honor of Jackie's legacy, Major League Baseball also adopted an annual "Jackie Robinson Day" to celebrate his courage and accomplishments.
The 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson #312 is one of the most iconic and valuable baseball cards in the hobby. It features Robinson, one of the most influential figures in baseball and American history, in a batting pose with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The card is highly sought after by both card collectors and Robinson fans alike.
This card has been valued at anywhere between $5,000 and $950,000, with the highest sale price of $960,000 occurring in 2021 when a PSA 9 sold at auction. The card is widely considered to be the "Holy Grail" of baseball cards and can be the centerpiece of any top-notch card collection.
Ah, the 1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson card. A bit too bold in some places, and a bit washed out in others. But, who cares? It's still one of his most important cards, being one of the first ones to be put in packs. But watch out, it'll cost you a pretty penny—up to half a million dollars. Who said good looks were everything, eh?
The ever-iconic 1948 (or is it 1949?) Leaf Jackie Robinson card—the one that's worth anywhere between five grand and a whopping four hundred and seventy thousand dollars. No matter how you look at it, this is one of the most important cards out there, and it's no wonder it sold for nearly half a million dollars in 2021.
1953 Topps Baseball—the start of something special. Kicking off with a double print of Jackie Robinson, this card may not nail his likeness, but it sure does have one of the nicest designs ever seen on a baseball card. If you can find a PSA 9 grade, you can expect to pay up to $295,000.
The 1950 Bowman Jackie Robinson card may not have the same name recognition as its 1949 Bowman counterpart, but it's much better looking. Featuring a full-color painting of the real Jackie Robinson, this card is one of his best-looking early cards—and it's worth a pretty penny, with the highest sale price for a PSA 9 perched at $120,000 in 2021.
This here's the 1952 Berk Ross Jackie Robinson card—and it's a real beauty. It's got a great jumping action shot, and it's unnumbered, so it's way more affordable than most of Robinson's other cards. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on one, it could be worth up to a hundred grand.
The 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson card is similar to his '54 Topps card, only it's flipped the wrong way and has a bright yellow background—and that cheeky smile. It's worth up to a whopping $75,000—which is more than enough to keep you in cheese puffs for the rest of your life.
This 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson card is worth $55,000 if you can find one in perfect condition, and it's easy to see why. It's got a smile that could light up a room, a pose that just screams 'adventure' and a gaze that says "the future's gonna be great!" It's a card worth smiling about—and it'd sure make a nice addition to any collection.
The 1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson baseball card set is an incredibly rare and valuable collectible, making any of them an attractive option for investors. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, becoming the first African-American player to play in the major leagues. The Bond Bread issue stands as an enduring tribute to his legacy, and a complete set like this one is seldom offered.
The set consists of 13 cards, all featuring images of Jackie Robinson. The cards were released in two sets of six cards each, one in the summer of 1948 and one in the summer of 1949. The first card in the set is the Portrait card, which was the first card released and was distributed in promotional packages in the New York City area. The remaining 12 cards feature images of Robinson in action, such as running down a baseline, fielding a ball in a glove, and leaping to catch a ball.
The cards were originally distributed in a targeted fashion, with Bond Bread focusing on regions with large populations of African Americans. The Portrait card is among the rarest, with just six copies having been graded higher than a near mint. Other cards in the set, such as Glove in Air, Leaping/No Scoreboard, Sliding, and Throwing, are also rare and elusive.
The 1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson card set is a remarkable artifact of baseball history and a testament to Robinson's courage and determination. It's an extremely desirable set for collectors and investors alike, and is a strong investment for those able to acquire it. With the right care and maintenance, this set is sure to appreciate over time.
The last card of Jackie Robinson as a player is the 1956 Topps, and it's one of the most eye-catching. They recycled the portrait from the year before, but the action background shows a lot more action than the full-body shot from 1955 Topps. It'll cost you between $200 and $75,000, with the highest sale price being a whopping $44,000 back in 2007—and that was for one in a PSA 10 condition.
Well, there you have it, folks. Jackie Robinson's cards are worth a whole lot of money, and if you're lucky enough to get your hands on one, you could be sitting on a gold mine. So, go forth, and find that special card that could be worth a fortune. Who knows, maybe one day you'll be the proud owner of a Robinson card that goes for a million bucks. Now, that's something to write home about.
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