Top 5 Highest-Selling Sports Cards Featuring Texas Athletes

The words “got ‘em, got ‘em, need ‘em, got ‘em” instantly transport millions of adults back to the bubble gum and baseball card days of their youth. These days, any kid-turned-collector who held onto those cards may be in line for a huge payday.

Sports card collecting falls in and out of fashion, and the prices go up and down, but it all became cool again in 2021. The rarest of the rare cards started fetching millions. In August 2021, someone paid a record $6.6 million for a 1909 American Tobacco Company T206 Honus Wagner baseball card.

That beat the previous record of $5.2 million, paid for a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card in January 2021 and another $5.2 million paid for a 2003 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Autographs #78 LeBron James basketball card in April 2021. That $5.2 million actually represents the most money ever paid for a basketball card, but the $4.6 million paid for a 2018 Panini National Treasures 1 of 1 Logoman Autograph Luka Doncic card in February 2021 is the second most.

2022 brought even more madness to the forefront in baseball card auctions, as we saw the highest-graded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle in history, an SGC 9.5 (out of 10), sell for a whopping $12.6 million in late August. This easily shattered the new record that was set just a few weeks prior, when another Honus Wagner T206 fetched $7.25 million. Not bad for a card once owned by Wayne Gretzky that he sold back in 1995 for $500,000.

When it comes to players with specific ties to Texas, since Doncic plays for the Dallas Mavericks, that card leads the list of the top five highest-selling sports cards featuring Texas athletes. Here’s the entire list of top 5 most expensive sports cards featuring Texas athletes:

Price PaidAthleteCardDate SoldNotable Information
1.$4.6 MillionLuka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)2018 Panini National Treasures 1 of 1 Logoman AutographFeb. 28, 2021Bought on Doncic's birthday.
2.$840,000Patrick Mahomes (Born in Tyler, Texas)2017 Panini National Treasures Black #161 Rookie Patch Autographs (1/5)Jan. 30, 2021The most paid for a football card at the time.
3.$799,500Kevin Durant (One season of college basketball for Texas) 2007–08 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Card Parallel #94 Patch Autographs (23/35) Mar. 6, 2021Durant Rookie Card record.
4.$780,000Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)2018 Panini Prizm Gold Prizm #280 Rookie Card (3/10) Jan. 30, 2021Non-autographed Doncic Rookie Card record.
5.$691,410Nolan Ryan (Houston Astros and Texas Rangers)1968 ToppsAug. 26, 2016Nolan Ryan rookie card.

As you can see, that $4.6 million Doncic card is the only seven-figure entry. Plus, it’s the only card from that list also charting among the top 10 highest-selling sports cards ever.

Here’s a look at that top 10 list of the most expensive sports cards ever sold:

Price PaidAthleteCardDate SoldNotable Information
1.$12.6 MillionMickey Mantle1952 ToppsAug. 28, 2022Graded SGC 9.5, the highest-graded Mantle rookie in history
2.$7.25 MillionHonus Wagner1909–11 T206Aug. 3, 2022Shattered the previous record for a Honus Wagner card even though it was graded lower
3.$6.6 MillionHonus Wagner1909–11 T206Aug. 16, 2021Only between 50 and 200 cards were made.
4.$5.2 MillionMickey Mantle1952 ToppsJanuary 2021Bought by actor Rob Gough.
5.$5.2 MillionLeBron James2003 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Autographs #78 (07/23)Apr. 26, 2021Highest-selling basketball card ever.
6.$4.6 MillionLuka Doncic2018 Panini National Treasures 1 of 1 Logoman AutographFeb. 28, 2021Bought on Doncic’s birthday.
7.$3.9 MillionMike Trout2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor AutographAug. 23, 2020Previous owner "Vegas Dave" Oancea only paid $400,000 for the card.
8.$2.4 MillionLeBron James2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Autographs #78 (23/23)Oct. 24. 2021Last one from a limited run.
9.$2.252 MillionTom Brady2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph #144Apr. 3, 2021Highest-selling football card ever.
10.$2 MillionKobe Bryant1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems - GreenFeb. 22, 20221/10 with just 100 total made, 10 Green, 90 Red.