Editor's note: We asked Jonathan Perry, Director of Card Acquisitions at Lelands -- a sports auction house -- to give us a run-down of the 10 most desirable -- not necessarily the most expensive -- baseball cards to collectors. Here's what he came up with.
T206 Honus Wagner
The most famous baseball card of them all, because Wagner was the sport's biggest star at the time (1910) and the card was pulled from circulation. It defines the collecting industry -- the image has become part of pop culture. Many people buy it so they can say, "Hey, I made it in life. I had enough money to afford the king of all baseball cards." It's been sold for more than $1 million.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
This is the rookie card of the icon of '50s and '60s baseball, and one of the key images we have of Mantle. You'll probably pay about $300K for a perfect specimen.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth
This is a minor league card of Ruth, and the first image we have of him. It's a larger card, about 6x9, and it is extremely rare -- only about three or four still exist that we know of.
M101 Sporting News Babe Ruth
This is the first pro image we have of Ruth, and another one that is extremely desirable on the market.
T206 Eddie Plank
Not only is this an early card of a Hall of Fame pitcher, but it is effectively the first "error card" we know of. There was a problem with the printing plate when printing this card, so there are only about 75 in existence. A high-grade version of this card is probably worth about $100K.
1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson
There's a certain myth and aura that surrounds "Shoeless" Joe for obvious reasons -- this is a nice image of him, and any serious collector really would want to get his or her hands on it.
1933 Goudey Napoleon Lajoie
Fans who were able to assemble the entire 1933 set were promised a free baseball mitt by Goudey. But several fans who attempted to do so discovered that there was no Card #106 in the set, and wrote in to the company to complain. It was true. So Goudey was forced to put out a Card #106 of future Hall of Famer Napoleon Lajoie, who already had retired. The card looked like the 1934 Goudey cards -- but it became extremely desirable because of the story behind its production.
1933 Goudey Babe Ruth
Another very popular Ruth card with collectors. It'll usually sell for between $6-15K.
1888 Old Judge Cap Anson
Anson was baseball's first superstar, the king of 19th-century baseball. Usually will sell for between $75-100K.
1951 Toleteros Josh Gibson
These cards were produced in Puerto Rico for players who played there. Gibson, widely regarded as the Negro Babe Ruth, never got to play in the major leagues. But he did play in Puerto Rico, although this card was produced four years after his death. It was the only card produced of Josh Gibson, and there's only about a dozen still in existence.
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