1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card tops $475,000

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It’s not just 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards that are netting stunning prices. The blue-chip vintage market has been soaring for a while now. Need more proof? How about a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card selling for $478,000.

2015 Topps Roberto Clemente Rookie Card PSA 9

That’s what the classic card netted when it sold February 20 during Heritage Auctions’ 2016 Platinum Night sports event in New York. The Clemente in question is graded PSA 9 with no qualifiers. Needless to say, it set a record for the card for a public sale.

2015 Topps Roberto Clemente Rookie Card PSA 9 Reverse

“This is a high-grade example of a very famous baseball card of one of the most legendary players to ever put on an MLB uniform,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Collectibles Auctions at Heritage. “The record price realized for this card is a testament to just how cherished Clemente still is.”

For a little perspective on the card’s record, Heritage last sold a PSA 9 Clemente rookie in July, 2015 for $310,700.

As for the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle that seems to be pacing the vintage market, it’s not showing any signs of letting up. Heritage sold a PSA 8 copy of the card as part of the 2016 Platinum Night event for $501,900. This is only the second time a PSA 8 has hit the half-million mark in a public sale.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 8 Heritage Feb-2016

“The 1952 Topps Mantle rookie has become the most recognizable baseball card in the world,” Ivy said. “Its profile, and price, has been rising steadily in the last few years. The price realized for this example just reinforces its place as the current gold standard.”

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. Coimbre21 1 March, 2016 at 14:42

    Wow, that’s a large gap between the this Clemente PSA 9 and the one that sold in July.

  2. Mike Cota 23 October, 2016 at 19:33

    Regarding the person above (bely) if he wishes to sell his Roberto Clemente card, forward him my Gmail. I would like to know more about his collection. Thanks. cota062@gmail.com

  3. Susan Theiss 9 June, 2018 at 14:04

    How much is a Roberto Clemente 21 pirates card minted in baseball hall of fame Cooperstown worth ? Please n thankyou . I’m googling this and can’t find one with a minted stamp on it . It’s not signed . Has a flag behind him and him with a bat in his hand / flip side completemajor l batting record

  4. Sasha 18 February, 2019 at 14:12

    Hi , I have a Roberto Clemente 1954 Topps baseball card that’s signed and in very great condition that I would like to sell.

  5. angel 19 January, 2021 at 08:50

    Hey guys!! How can I determine whether or not my cards are authentic?? I’d like to have them appraised, then put up for sale…but I’d hate to waste anyones time (and my money), for cards that aren’t genuine. For instance…Babe Ruth #151, backside notes “Herpolsheimer”.

  6. Carla Calderon 16 September, 2021 at 19:11

    I have 19 Roberto Clemente cards, good condition, not graded , that I want to sell… it’s hard for me to set a good price, any guidance?

    • Ryan Cracknell 19 September, 2021 at 17:13

      Because condition is so important with vintage Clemente cards, you may want to start by checking with a dealer at a store or show. They would know at a glance if it’d be worth spending the time and money.

  7. Lisa 31 October, 2021 at 11:27

    I have a Roberto Clemente rookie card in good condition. I have been offered by a store locally $1000. Am I getting ripped off?

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