Baseball Card Appraisal

Terry Hurley
Mike-piazza.jpg
Mike Piazza Baseball Card

Many baseball card collectors are not aware of the value of their collection until they contact a baseball card appraisal service. This is especially true if their major league baseball cards were made before 1968.

The Value of Baseball Cards

The value of baseball cards varies greatly ranging from a few pennies to almost $1,300,000. Naturally most collectors do not own a card such as the 1909 Honus Wagner card which commanded such a high price in 2000. However, many collectors do own baseball cards worth hundreds, and even thousands of dollars. Most of the higher value baseball cards are pre-1968.

In the world of baseball card collecting, major league baseball cards from the 1970s are growing steadily in value. These cards are rapidly becoming great investments for the average baseball card collector with many of the best cards selling at approximately $300. Baseball cards selling at this price are for the great players of the time including:

  • Dusty Baker
  • Mike Schmidt
  • Steve Garvey

Beckett's Baseball Card Price Guides

The baseball card price guide that is used by most collectors is Beckett's Sports Card Monthly. These guides are sold in sports card shops and most bookstores. Sports card collectors can also subscribe to this monthly guide by signing up at the Beckett's website. Beckett's also publishes other baseball card guides including Plus guides which contain additional information and prices of baseball cards. Also available from Beckett's are annual baseball card price guides and books such as the Ultimate Rookie Card Encyclopedia. There is also an online price guide that is by subscription at the Beckett's website.

The Importance of Grading Baseball Cards for Appraisals

One of the key aspects of the value of baseball cards is its condition, known as the grade of the card. Baseball cards must be graded to establish accurate values. Websites, such as Baseball Card Buyer explain the grading system, allowing collectors to have an idea of the grade of their cards. However, in order to sell a baseball card to a dealer as graded, the card has to be graded by a professional sports card grading company. The following are the eight grade levels of sports cards.

  • Mint
  • Near mint - mint
  • Near mint
  • Excellent
  • Very good
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

Baseball Card Grading Services

Baseball card authentication and grading services should be done by a reputable company. The two major companies offering this service include:

  • BGS - Beckett's Grading Service
  • PSA Professional Sports Authenticator

Baseball Card Appraisal Services

There are different methods to having baseball cards appraised. To find a reputable baseball card appraiser in your area, ask if the sports card store you frequent does appraisals or if they can refer you to a reputable appraiser. Another way to find a baseball card appraiser is going to sports card shows. They generally have appraisers in attendance. If not, any dealer at the show should be able to recommend a reliable baseball card appraiser to you.If you would prefer to have your card appraisals done online, there are websites that offer appraisal services for free or for a nominal fee. These websites include:

Conclusion

Baseball card appraisals are valuable tools to the sports card collector. It gives them the knowledge of the value of their cards, allowing them to know the appreciation on their investment.

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Baseball Card Appraisal