Ted Williams baseball cards boast unique elements and a rich history. See what cards are making a buzz and take a swing at the vast investment potential of these treasured collectibles.
Updated Sep 5, 2023
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It's time to dust off those old card sets and swing for the bleachers with one of the most iconic baseball heroes Flint, Michigan, ever produced—Ted Williams. That dusty attic might host some treasured Ted Williams baseball cards.
These cards enable passionate baseball memorabilia collectors and investors to embrace the nostalgia of this legendary lefty. The vibrant colors, Teddy Ballgame's remarkable career, the rarity, and, more importantly, the sweet ROI.
Are you ready to knock it out of the park with a Ted Williams baseball card investment? Buckle up as we swing through the top seven cards featuring this home-run hitter.
Ted Williams is an iconic baseball player who exhibited formidable prowess as an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1960. Boasting a lifetime batting average of .344, Williams remains the last MLB player to hit a .400 season.
Despite military service sidelining him for five prime years, Williams clinched the Triple Crown twice and amassed 521 home runs. “The Splendid Splinter,” as he was fondly known, was rightfully inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
This left-field maverick known for his precision swing and love for fishing passed on July 5, 2002, in Inverness, Florida. His legacy as a classic Red Sox star lives on through his coveted baseball cards.
Got a Ted Williams baseball card gathering dust in your set? It might be time to dig it out. Whether it's the 1941 Play Ball Ted Williams #14, a 1959 Fleer Ted Signs For 1959 #68, or a record-smashing PSA mint 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams #92, these cards can be cardboard gold mines.
The value of Ted Williams cards hinges on their rarity, historical significance, and demand. Despite a slight dip in the market, over 144 of these cards changed hands via eBay between July and August 2023.
Let's explore seven high-flying Ted Williams baseball cards, from the legendary 1954 Topps Ted Williams #1 to the 1951 Bowman Ted Williams #165. Let’s pull back the curtain on the illustrious history, quirks, and investment potential of these Teddy Ballgame gems.
A 1954 Topps Ted Williams #1 PSA 9 auctioned for over $46,000 in June 2020.
Collectors and Boston Red Sox fans won't want to miss the 1954 Topps Ted Williams #1 card—the "bookend" card in the 1954 Topps baseball card set. This prized card features the Splendid Splinter Ted Williams in his iconic swing and signature smile. Its PSA 9 supply is scant with only five confirmed examples, reinforcing its rarity.
When it comes to sports cards with records for fetching high auction values, the 1954 Topps Ted Williams #1 card stands out. It's held its own in the big leagues, with a PSA 9 scoring over $46,000 at the Spring Rarities Auction in June 2020. However, the highest ticket price was notched by a PSA 8 which fetched $53,380 at a Memory Lane Inc. auction in June 2021.
This card's rarity and value pack a punch, offering collectors and investors a lucrative opportunity to get in on a vintage card.
A PSA mint 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams #92 card hit a record $480,000 at Heritage Auctions in August 2021.
The 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams #92 card swung right into sports card fame as Williams's debut rookie card. This black-and-white Hall of Famer card featuring our slender Teddy Ballgame poised as the Boston Red Sox's sweetest swinger is a mainstay in any hobby shop.
With only one PSA 10 card, it’s a hot commodity among collectors—a PSA 9 copy snagged $480,000 at Heritage auctions in August 2021.
Its immaculate white borders, clear print lines, and classic batting pose reveal the splendor of Ted's magnitude as the greatest hitter that ever lived. With such historical and financial value, this Ted Williams baseball card could be a grand slam.
A PSA near0mint1954 Wilson Franks Ted Williams #47 card fetched $72,000 at Heritage Auctions in May 2020.
The timeless 1954 Wilson Franks Ted Williams #47 card is the most critical regional issue and a high-ranking piece of sports memorabilia that’s packed with history, charm, and market potential.
Going from hot dog packages to the palms of adoring fans, this intimate piece of Teddy Ballgame didn’t come with the usual gum or tobacco. Featuring a vivid colorized image of Williams, his stats, and that iconic Wilson Franks logo, the card’s unique backstory and rarity add immense value.
The card is valued between $900 for PSA 1s and a massive $350,000 for PSA 9 cards, with the highest recorded sale price of $72,000 fetched by a PSA 8 example at Heritage Auctions in 2020.
With just one PSA 9 card, its scarcity and condition heighten its worth, making it appealing to classic Boston Red Sox fans and vintage baseball card investors.
Despite being pulled early from production, the 1954 Bowman Ted Williams #66 remains a coveted jewel among baseball card collectors.
Image source: psacard.com
The legendary 1954 Bowman Ted Williams #66 card is smothered in spicy details and history. Pulled from production due to a Topps contract tangle, its rarity and Williams's classic half-body pose shot it to fame. With only three PSA 9s in circulation, it's as elusive as they come.
And its investment potential? Top dollar. A PSA 8 example knocked it out of the park when it fetched $26,316 at a Memory Lane Inc. auction in May 2022. Despite over 1,000 PSA-graded copies, this card continues to attract hobbyists and investors.
Hungry for a Williams card? The 1954 Bowman Ted Williams #66 is an excellent place to start.
A PSA mint1941 Play Ball Ted Williams #14 sold for $205,900 at a Memory Lane Inc. auction in June 2021.
Image source: psacard.com
The 1941 Play Ball Ted Williams #14 has become one of the most coveted collectibles in baseball card collecting circles. This 1941 series card captures Ted Williams's iconic season where he dazzled by batting an impressive .406.
The 1941 Play Ball Williams card’s charm lies in its historical appeal and market performance. Notably, a copy graded PSA mint raked in $205,900 at a June 2021 Memory Lane, Inc. auction. The card's popularity extends to high-stake sales like, when a PSA 9 auctioned for $192,000 at Heritage Auctions in October 2022 and another sold for $120,000 at the same auction house in May 2020.
With a PSA 9 supply of only nine cards, the card's rarity bolsters its value. Technical distractions aside, this card is one of the most appealing vintage sports card investment assets.
The value of PSA mint 1948 Leaf Ted Williams #76 cards skyrocketed from $12,600 in 2009 to an all-time high of $204,000 in 2022.
The 1948 Leaf Ted Williams #76 card is a golden nugget that captured the imagination of fans after World War II. The card captures Williams at the height of his game boasting a .369 average, 25 dingers, and 127 RBI. There’s a limited supply of PSA 9s floating around—seven to be exact—adding to its rarity.
This prized card’s value has seen a dramatic climb. A Memory Lane Inc. auction saw a PSA mint 1948 Leaf Ted Williams #76 hit the gavel at $12,600 back in 2009. Ten years later, that card fetched $41,353 at SCP auctions in 2019. In February 2022, the same card smashed its record when it flew off the auction block at $204,000 in Heritage Auctions.
This stride showcases the value and high-yield investment allure of this card.
The 1951 Bowman Ted Williams #165 card has a PSA 9 supply of just 16 copies and no PSA 10s as of August 2023.
Image source: psacard.com
The 1951 Bowman Ted Williams #165 is one of the most sought-after collectibles shining a spotlight on Teddy Ballgame. This exclusive card serves as a timeless window into his stellar career.
The 1951 Bowman Ted Williams #165 card is a veritable goldmine for collectors. Out of over 2,800 graded copies, not one has secured an elusive PSA 10, making the 16 existing PSA 9s exceptionally valuable.
The card's value has hit several home runs over the years. A PSA 9 fetched $13,780 at the Memory Lane Winter Classic Auction 2019. It then traded hands for $10,800 on eBay in July 2020 by way of PWCC before hitting a grand slam by fetching $61,910 in a Memory Lane Inc. auction in May 2023. This exceptional trajectory proves the exciting market potential of sports card investments.
Ted Williams baseball cards are an intriguing investment prospect, exhibiting spectacular peaks and troughs. Factors like scarcity, condition, market trends, and recent sales data are the main things to consider before investing.
For instance, the rarity of cards like the 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams #92 rookie card or the 1954 Topps Ted Williams #1 card generates significant demand and boosts value. As for condition, any card that’s graded mint of above could reach dizzying heights.
But hang on, you must also be aware of market trends. The baseball card market has dipped overall since August 2022, which, coupled with low sales averages, suggests that the ever-fluctuating trading card market is dipping.
Despite this, investors can still turn a profit—in fact, it’s an opportunity to invest. Reaching for a rare high-grade Ted Williams cards might be a wise route. So, even amid mixed market performance, investment sweet spots remain—you just need to find them. Remember: the hunt is half the thrill.
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