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Which baseball cards are best?

Collecting baseball cards is a fun hobby for many people. Baseball cards are small pieces of cardboard that typically feature a player’s photo on the front and a bio and statistics on the back. You can buy a card individually to know exactly what you will get, or you can buy a set of cards and it will be a mystery until you open the pack.

Like collecting stamps and coins, the foundation of all card collection is set building. Part of the fun is the many hours spent in pursuit of completing your set. One excellent place to begin is with the Topps 2021 Series 1 Baseball Hanger Box, a set that features rookies, current stars and baseball legends.

What to know before you buy baseball cards

How to get started

There are many ways to collect baseball cards. The best place to start is with an all-purpose set and then add to your collection with new sets. You can specialize and narrow down the type of cards you want to collect later.

Where to buy cards 

You can never go wrong buying baseball cards from industry leaders, like Topps, Bowman and Donruss. They are companies that are in the public eye, have reputations to maintain and know that satisfied customers will come back and buy more sets.

What to look for in quality baseball cards


Many baseball card collectors begin by collecting all types of cards but soon gravitate towards building more specialized collections. You might want to collect cards from a particular team or a certain era. You may like vintage baseball cards, or only want cards for players who were rookies the year you were born. 

Before you choose your theme, collect a broad variety. You’ll find your niche as you go.


  • Base cards are the type that is most commonly found in sets.
  • Subsets are cards that feature players who share a common trait, such as home run hitters, pitchers, left-handers, Hall of Fame players or World Series winners.
  • Rookie cards are base cards of players’ first years in the Major Leagues.
  • Insert cards are special editions that have significantly different designs that are rarer than base cards and hold additional value.
  • Parallel cards are those that use the same photo and design as base cards, but with small differences that make them stand out, such as foil, colored borders and die-cutting.
  • Autograph cards are one of the most popular types. Most player signatures are on stickers that manufacturers place on the cards. Hand-signed cards allow collectors to connect with players who have handled the actual card.
  • Relic cards are often not cards at all, but bits of players’ team uniforms.

How much you can expect to spend on baseball cards

The price of a set of baseball cards is mostly determined by the total number of cards that come in the set. There are many choices under $50. You will find most baseball card sets are under $100. Huge sets and special sets can easily run $500 or more.

Baseball cards FAQ

What are the chances of getting great cards in my set?

A. That depends mostly on the size of the set you buy, because card sets are usually only sprinkled with a few of the most popular players. It also depends on what the player does in the future. The unknown shortstop in your set may turn out to be a Hall of Fame player. 

How do I know whether or not my card is authentic?

A. Buy from reputable companies. You can also join online baseball card collecting communities to learn more about your hobby.

What are the best baseball cards to buy?

Top baseball cards

Topps 2021 Series 1 Baseball Hanger Box

Topps 2021 Series 1 Baseball Hanger Box

What you need to know: This impressive collection of 67 cards has special insert cards highlighting the great players across seven decades.

What you’ll love: These mint condition cards come in a factory-sealed hanger box and feature rookies, current stars and baseball legends. This set is great to launch your search for autographs, game equipment and relics.

What you should consider: Some collectors were disappointed with the two insert cards.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top baseball cards for the money

Buggle's Classics 100 Vintage Baseball Cards

Buggle’s Classics 100 Vintage Baseball Cards

What you need to know: This pack of 100 authentic vintage cards offers outstanding variety and is a good pick for new and seasoned collectors. 

What you’ll love: Cards go back to print dates in the 1980s. These cards are for baseball fans that enjoy collecting cards from previous eras and for young baseball fans learning the history of the game. 

What you should consider: Some packs appeared to be resealed and a few others had damage from the gum that came in the pack with them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bowman 2020 Baseball Cards Factory Sealed Retail Box 

Bowman 2020 Baseball Cards Factory Sealed Retail Box 

What you need to know: These collectible cards get praised by collectors for their high likelihood of drawing outstanding pulls.

What you’ll love: Bundled for 2020, this set of 72 mint condition cards contains up-and-coming players. There are six packs of 12 and they are loaded with rookies and inserts. It is possible to get an autograph card.

What you should consider: On few occasions, customers received cards that were slightly bent or bowed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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