1980-81 Topps Larry Bird, Magic Johnson Rookie Card Sells for Over $74,000


Traditionally, when time passes and the dust settles, Rookie Cards with multiple players are anchored by one superstar (if any). The 1980-81 Topps Larry Bird and Magic Johnson Rookie Card (which also has Julius Erving) is probably the most notable exception. One of the most iconic basketball cards of all-time, a PSA 10 copy of the card went for almost $75,000.

Sold through Goldin Auctions, the final price was $74,725 including the buyer’s premium.

It is one of just 21 copies of the card to get the Gem Mint 10 grade from PSA.

1980-81 Topps Basketball is known for it’s format that has three smaller cards connected as a panel. The idea was that the cards could be separated into individual cards, some of which were. The 1980-81 Topps Larry Bird, Magic Johnson Rookie Card is easily the most popular in the set. Not only that, but it’s one of the most recognizable basketball cards ever.

The two Hall of Famers flank a scoring leader card of another basketball legend, Erving.

This wasn’t the only high priced basketball card to sell at Goldin’s 2017 Summer Premium sale.

A BGS 9 1984-85 Star Michael Jordan sold for $24,500 while a signed copy of the same card graded BGS 8.5 went for $18,987.50.

A little more recent, a 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Red Michael Jordan numbered to 100 and graded BGS 9.5 landed a $23,275 sale price.

The soaring prices for 1986-87 Fleer Basketball boxes continued with one fetching $80,850.

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.


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. Anne Lindquist 7 August, 2017 at 17:04

    I don’t have a comment but a question!
    I just found a large box of baseball & football trading cards, I need to know how do I find out if they’re worth anything? Some are in protective sleeves, or there are in pocket folder.
    Please if you can help, it would be fantastic!

    • Ryan Cracknell 8 August, 2017 at 09:27

      @Anne — Here’s a link to the price guide access of the site. If it’s not too many cards, perhaps check with a local card shop if you have one. They could give you a rough idea on anything that might hold significant value. They likely have print magazines, too.

  2. Mike benson 10 August, 2017 at 22:09

    I was wondering about grading cards i have the topps 1980-81 larry bird magic johnson card and i heard its hard to sale it or get a good price on it without getting it graded .is this true and where and how do i get it graded i live in westvalley. utah

  3. Gavino Yepez 11 January, 2019 at 13:36

    Hello Ryan Cracknell.hope you are doing well and the new year is how you planned it.well I have a question to ask.i have Trading card of various years
    And players and different years.they are piling up and I was wondering were or if you can tell me were can I get rid of them some are dated Kate 50s-60s and 5 Cards of 1919 ?.hope to hear or get some feed back from you thanks

  4. Marc 22 February, 2021 at 21:27

    Hey Ryan. Do you know if the card is still worth anything if it’s split in 3 and I only have the Larry Bird portion? I’m assuming not but figured I’d ask the pro. Thank you.


    • Ryan Cracknell 23 February, 2021 at 19:54

      @Marc – Value? Yes. Obviously not nearly as one that’s in tact, but it’s still technically the Larry Bird RC which makes it cool no matter what.

  5. bwilberger 20 April, 2021 at 10:27

    Hi Ryan, like Marc above, I’ve got a bunch of cards from this set that I split apart into the mini cards when I was a kid. Is there a way to find out how much the individual cards are worth? Thanks.

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