If you ask a basketball fan what the most shocking thing they have ever seen during a game, a few things might come to mind. When it comes to shocking moments in basketball, most involve a brawl or chaos. Whether you can’t unseen Kermit Washington’s punch that shattered Rudy Tomjanovich’s face or still can’t believe that they let Hank Gathers get back on the court, one moment shines above all. The Malice in the Palace is the ugliest moment in recent sports history. Let’s take a look at the moment which changed the NBA forever.
On November 19, 2004, the Indiana Pacers traveled to Detroit to play the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons were the defending NBA champions, and this was their first matchup with the Pacers since the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers had gotten off to a hot start to the season and were looking to continue their good play.
With 45.9 seconds left in the game and the Pacers up 15, a hard foul from the Pacers’ star Ron Artest on Pistons’ defensive stud Ben Wallace led tempers to flare. Wallace shoved, and the players and referees stepped in to control the situation. Under two minutes later, as the refs talked over possible punishments and Artest laid on the scorer’s table to remove himself from the situation, a fan threw a cup at Artest. Artest got off the table and charged into the stands searching for the guy, throwing punches as teammate Stephen Jackson connected on a punch to another man that had thrown a second cup at Artest. Fans began throwing anything they could at the Pacers players, other players ran into the stands to collect Artest and Jackson, and the madness then spilled on to the court.
The game was called on the spot as security and law enforcement officials tried to sift through the chaos. Ten players received suspensions for their role, and five players faced legal consequences. Artest was suspended for the season; a record 86 games including playoffs.
After the game, Artest asked Jackson if he thought they’d get in trouble. Jackson replied, “We’ll be lucky if we have a freaking job.” They did still have jobs, but it would be a major stain on their careers and on the NBA.
These Collector Baseball Cards Are Worth a Fortune Now
For over a century now, baseball cards have been a hobby both serious and fun for baseball enthusiasts of all ages. Many of these tiny pieces of cardboard have become almost as legendary as the faces that grace them, with some selling for quite a bit of money. The collection of cards that follows are some of the most valuable baseball cards in existence today, and this guide should help you sort through that collection in your basement that’s just collecting dust now. If you have one of these, you might just be in for a pretty good payday!
1952 Topps – Mickey Mantle
Mickey Mantle is one of the most well-known baseball players in history, which is why you’ll see his likeness show up on several different cards throughout this collection. His 1952 Topps card is one of the most valuable in existence. With a grade of nine, it fetched an insane $3 million at one time!
This is a fixed record, discounting Honus Wagner T206 baseball cards. Lower-graded versions of this card can still sell for close to $1 million dollars, making it one of the most valued cards in baseball collecting.
1993 Deck SP – Derek Jeter (Foil)
Derek Jeter has been a household name for over three decades. The legendary shortstop and NY Yankees captain has many cards in existence, but this one — created in 1993 when he was still in the minor leagues — is the most lucrative. This variation jumps in value according to number rating and status, like most other cards.
If you happen to have one of these cards in close to mint condition, you can expect to earn about $1,000 at auction. Not too bad!
1984 Fleer Update – Dwight Gooden
Dwight Gooden first exploded onto the baseball scene in the 1980s, with a bullet-like fastball that helped him break numerous records. He earned the nickname “Doctor K” due in no small part to feats like his rookie season in 1984, where he eliminated nearly 300 batters and racked up almost twenty wins.
If you own this card in good condition, you can make around $200 by selling it. It features Dwight during his rookie season in his classic orange and blue Mets uniform.
1955 Topps – Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, after his untimely passing in an airplane accident. The Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder racked up 3,000 hits during his career, as well as numerous MVP awards. His record and shocking passing has resulted in a boost to the value of some of his baseball cards.
In 2012, a mint copy of Clemente’s 1954 Topps rookie card brought in almost $500,000, and in 2016, a grade nine reached $500,000. Check your collection for this rare, highly sought-after card.
1948 Bowman – Stan Musial
Considered to be one of the most consistent and greatest hitters in history, Stan Musial played for the St. Louis Cardinals for most of his career in the ’40s through ’60s. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2011 for his contributions to the country.
Although it may be a bit harder to find, if you happen to have Stan Musial’s 1948 Bowman card, you could be looking at a potential pay-day of around $1,000.
1914 Baltimore News – Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth, perhaps the most well-known baseball player in American history, played most of his career for the New York Yankees. Quite a few of his cards have made the list as you can imagine, and in 2012, one of his 1914 Baltimore News cards sold for a whopping $575,000.
This is even more shocking because the card was only a grade two. There are only 10 of these cards known to be in existence, which is why they’re so valuable.
1984 Fleer Update – Roger Clemens
The 1984 Fleer Update collection has some valuable items in it, including this card of Roger “The Rocket” Clemens. Between the 1980s and 2000s, Roger Clemens was one of the most famous pitchers in the league, and his cards had a meteoric rise in value as a result.
Even though he’s been barred from the Hall of Fame due to doping, this card of Roger Clemens did not diminish in worth as a result. If you have one in good condition, you can expect to sell it for a few hundred dollars.
1963 Topps – Pedro Gonzalez, Al Weis, Pete Rose, Ken McMullen
With four stars on its face, this specialty card can consistently sell for almost $70,000 in mint condition. It features four stars, including the record-smashing Pete Rose, so it’s really no surprise that it remains a valuable collector’s item to this day.
In 2016, a grade 10 version of this card fetched a whopping $717,000, but having an old card in perfect quality and condition is exceedingly rare. Still, $70,000 isn’t anything to sneeze at!
2001 Bowman – Albert Pujols (Autographed)
In the early 2000s, baseball card collecting was a very widespread hobby, so only special cards were really considered rare and exciting. Special cards included special edition, truly rare, or autographed cards.
One of those autographed cards, Albert Pujols’ 2001 Bowman, can usually fetch a few thousand dollars if it’s been kept in good condition.
1982 Topps Traded – Cal Ripken, Jr.
Cal Ripken’s 1982 rookie card is the most valuable of the 1982 rookie cards, which is really saying something since there are quite a few that are very valuable.
Cal Ripken, Jr. had a long and storied career, playing the most consecutive games in history at over 2,600. One of these rookie cards featuring the “Iron Man” will go for a couple of hundred dollars in mint condition.
1968 Topps Rookie – Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan
This card, featuring Mets heroes Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan, only has around 8,000 in circulation. Out of that 8,000, only one was given a grade of 10, making it extremely rare and, therefore, pretty valuable. The last time the 10 grade was auctioned off, it hit $612,359!
If your baseball card collection includes a nine-grade version of this rare card, you can expect to sell it in the low five-figure range. Still not a bad payday!
1990 Topps – Frank Thomas (Error)
Frank Thomas’s 1990 Topps card was one of the priciest of the 1990 Topps collection. While the card is rare, if you happen to find one with an error, you can expect to sell it for even more money! The error version is missing the title on each side of the card.
This type of error makes baseball cards (at least some of them) a highly sought-after novelty item, and if you happen to have it, it’s worth a few thousand dollars.
1911 T206 – Honus Wagner
This particular baseball card has the honor of being the most expensive baseball card ever auctioned off. Any baseball card collector worth their salt will know about this treasure. As with most other baseball cards from the early 1900s, the Honus Wagner card was printed by a tobacco company to help sell their products.
Wagner wasn’t a huge fan of this practice, but his dispute with the company actually arose from royalties rather than any moral stance. In 2016, this card sold for about $3.12 million.
1991 Topps – Chipper Jones (Desert Shield)
Chipper Jones, the iconic Atlanta Braves 3rd baseman, was a staple of the MLB in the ’90s. In 1991, Topps made a new set featuring a Desert Shield for distribution to troops serving in Iraq. In 2018, a mint condition Chipper Jones Desert Shield card sold for over $13,000.
This was primarily due to its grading (10) since many of these cards were sent overseas and consequently damaged in the hot sands of Iraq. If you have one in worse condition, you might make a few hundred dollars off it.
1916 Sporting News – Babe Ruth
Another Babe Ruth card on this list — due in no small part to his incredible performances, numerous hitting records, and his standing as one of America’s national treasures. Since he has enjoyed the same popularity for decades, his cards consistently sell for astronomical sums.
This 1916 card from Sporting News is one of the priciest cards in existence, with one going for $717,000 in 2016. In 2017, yet another card from the set sold for $550,000. If you have one, consider yourself lucky!
1989 Upper Deck – Ken Griffey, Jr. (Rookie)
For some reason, many people during the 1990s believed this was one of the most valuable cards ever printed, but that was never really the case. This rookie card featuring the famous centerfielder from Seattle and Cincinnati isn’t going to fetch as high a price as some of the other cards on this.
Regardless, it’s still a valuable card in its own right, holding its value pretty consistently for three decades. A mint-condition copy will sell for about $400.
1952 Topps – Willie Mays
While the 1952 Topps collection features a pretty famous Mickey Mantle card, it also features this legendary Willie Mays card. The legendary centerfielder for New York also happens to be a Hall of Famer so unsurprisingly, this card is quite expensive.
In 2016, one of these cards with the “Say Hey Kid” on it sold for $478,000 at auction. That’s a pretty valuable card!
1984 Fleer Update – Kirby Puckett
The next valuable card on our list is a relic from the 1984 Fleer Update collection, featuring Kirby Puckett. Puckett was a centerfielder for the Minnesota Twins, who was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Of course, this card’s value is heavily influenced by grading — for a card with a 10 grade, you might get anywhere from $200 to $500.
1909 American Caramel – Shoeless Joe Jackson
Another card printed by tobacco companies at the turn of the century, this card is a pretty pricey item. Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from baseball in 1919 after suspected participation in the Black Sox gambling incident. Still, his 1909 American Caramel card still commands a high price at auction.
A perfect condition card from this set went for $660,000 at auction in 2016 (which seems to have been a pretty popular year for astronomical baseball card values).
1911 T206 – Joe Doyle
Another from the incredibly valuable T206 collection from 1911, this card features Joe Doyle. It’s interesting because Joe Doyle wasn’t really a great player, didn’t get inducted into the Hall of Fame, and was lost to the annals of sports history after he left the game, but his cards still remain valuable today.
One of these cards sold for $414,750 at auction, but part of this incredible valuation is believed to have been due to a printing error. The first edition of this card showed that he was part of the National League NY Team, rather than the Yankees!
1954 Topps – Hank Aaron
Another card that will sell for six figures features Hank Aaron, one of the most prodigious home run hitters in history. The only rookie card featuring him is this 1954 Topps card, which was one of the first sets to be printed with new printing techniques that led to them being much sturdier.
A mint condition of this particular card sold for $357,000 in 2012. Baseball card experts believe the set will continue to increase in value in the future.
1909 T206 – Ty Cobb (Bat Off Shoulder)
The T206 collection, printed from 1909 to 1911, holds some of the most valuable cards in baseball card history. This Ty Cobb card features Cobb in a stance with the bat off his shoulder; there were also cards printed with the bat on his shoulder. However, this card is the pricier one of the bunch.
Higher-graded items have sold for six figures in the past, but even if you have a lower-graded card, you might still sell it for several thousand dollars.
1951 Bowman – Mickey Mantle
Mickey Mantle is another American hero ball player whose cards continue to enjoy high prices at auction, since he was popular with both Baby Boomers as well as younger generations. This 1951 Bowman print, while less valuable than the Topps card featuring Mantle, is the only rookie card of his.
If you have a card in excellent condition, this card will easily sell for over half a million dollars. Of course, if you have it, you probably already know that!
1901 T206 – Eddie Plank
Yet another card from the esteemed T206 set features Eddie Plank, widely considered to be one of the best left-handed pitchers ever to play the game. This printing was plagued by numerous issues caused by a bad printing plate, with poor centering of the images to the point it can sometimes cut into the text along the bottom.
A Plank T206 card with an eight grade sold for $850,000 once. While the card might not be that valuable now, you can still expect to sell it for six figures.
1887 Old Judge – Cap Anson
This card is easily the oldest on this list, with any remaining copies being over 130 years old at this point! There were numerous other cards from the 1887 Old Judge collection that are very valuable nowadays. This particular card, featuring first baseman Cap Anson, is still highly valuable.
As you can imagine, the age of this print makes this card exceedingly rare, especially in excellent condition. A grade five has sold for over $50,000 in the past, and since there’s only a handful known to exist, this is a rare treasure indeed.
1948 Leaf – Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in the league, is one of America’s most beloved sports figures in history. He was able to overcome the MLB’s history of segregation to help pave the way for more minorities to play in the pros. His 1948 Leaf card is a rare gem that’s highly sought after among enthusiasts.
The highest price one of these cards has fetched was $75,000 in 2019, and that was for a grade eight. Since it’s so rare, it’s unknown whether there are any cards still around that are in better shape.
1938 Goudey – Joe DiMaggio
At first glance, you may notice immediately that this whimsical caricature of Joe DiMaggio is a novelty item. This is one of the first cards featuring Joltin’ Joe, which increases its uniqueness and value. Even though the Yankee Clipper is a household name, other printings featuring him aren’t very valuable.
This particular card has grabbed a healthy $200,000 at auction for a grade nine, and is slightly more valuable than some of his other cards from similar collections.
1949 Bowman – Duke Snider (Rookie)
Duke Snider, also called the Duke of Flatbush, played centerfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the ’40s and ’50s. He was part of the famous “Boys of Summer” crew as well, playing alongside legends like Jackie Robinson in the ’50s. In fact, Jackie Robinson is the only man from that era to top him in terms of fame.
The rookie edition of Snider’s 1949 Bowman card has commanded a decent sum throughout its history, with a well-graded card selling for $232,750 in 2016.
1952 Topps – Andy Pafko
Andy Pafko isn’t in the Hall of Fame, and this printing isn’t known for having any errors or irregularities, but apparently, it’s a pretty rare card, because a nine grade has sold for around $150,000. This card is one of the top cards from the 1952 Topps collection, even now.
Actually, this card was the first card printed in the 1952 collection, which is probably part of the reason why it’s so valuable.
1909 T206 – Sherry Magee
Sherry Magee isn’t necessarily a household name from the early 20th-century baseball scene, but even so, this particular card has been very lucrative for a lucky few baseball card collectors. This is primarily due to the fact that the card was misprinted — his name was spelled Magie instead of Magee.
The misprinted version was corrected quickly, so the misprints are very rare and very valuable. A grade eight sold for $660,000 in 2018.
1910 T210 Old Mill – Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson didn’t have too many cards printed for him, which makes those cards that did survive and are still in relatively good condition very valuable. He’s a fascinating character given his involvement in the Black Sox scandal, when he was banned from the league along with seven other members of the team.
A 3.5 T210 Old Mill Joe Jackson card sold for an amazing $600,000 last year, even though it’s a minor league card. Even so, its scarcity makes it a very valuable card.
1915 Cracker Jack – Ty Cobb
Cracker Jacks are almost synonymous with baseball, given their position in the famous seventh-inning stretch song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and they also dabbled in baseball cards. Cobb was a phenomenal hitter, defeating many pitchers throughout his 30-year career.
Almost a century after he stopped playing, his .366 batting average remains the highest career average in MLB history. A version of this card with a nine grade was sold for $432,000 in 2016.
1948 Leaf – Satchel Paige
After Jackie Robinson broke the MLB’s segregation practices in 1948, several other African Americans were allowed to play, even though they were on the older side. One such player was Satchel Paige, who was a rookie when he was 42 years old. He was one of the best pitchers of the day, and the few cards that were printed of him reflect his achievements.
None of these cards has ever graded above an eight, but an eight grade sold for over $400,000 at auction. It’s one of the most valuable cards from the 1948 Leaf collection.
1932 U.S. Caramel – Babe Ruth
This card is rarely found in very good condition due to its rarity and the fact that it was packaged with candy, which means many of them were ruined. Given that, you may not be surprised that a nine grade print sold for $432,000 in 2019.
This shot of Babe Ruth came from his famous game against the Chicago Cubs where he supposedly called his home run, after letting two strikes go by. He then hit a homer into the centerfield bleachers.
1909 T206 – Ty Cobb
A low graded version of this card sold for $408,000, making it one of the most valuable from this iconic T206 collection. It’s even rarer than the Wagner print from the same collection. There are less than 20 of these cards known to be in existence!
This particular card is interesting because it promotes Cobb’s tobacco business on the backside of it.
1956 Topps – Mickey Mantle
Many Mantle fans consider this particular print to be the most coveted of his printings, with a smiling Mickey after having achieved the Triple Crown, a legendary feat in baseball history. That year, he led the league with 52 home runs and a .353 batting average.
In 2016, one 10 grade print scored $382,400. It’s really no wonder given that it’s one of the most famous ballplayers in American history.
1948 Leaf – Stan Musial
This particular rookie card is one of the elusive Leaf cards, well-known and valued because of its vivid colors in an era of many black and white prints. One of these cards — a nine grade — went for $312,000 in 2018, making it a very rare and valuable card indeed.
Musial was a Hall of Famer, inducted in 1969, and he won seven championships, due in no small part to his excellent batting skills.
1933 Goudey – Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig is another American baseball player who almost everyone has heard of, and he’s enjoyed long-lasting fame even after his long career came to an end. In 1939, Lou had set the record for most consecutive games played with a total of 2,130. Only Cal Ripken, Jr. was able to unseat him.
A 10-grade card was sold for $274,950 in 2007, which is the only one of its kind to have reached that level of mint condition.
1990 Donruss – Bo Jackson
The next card on our list is of the legendary Bo Jackson, arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time. He was not only a professional baseball player, but an awesome football player as well — and is the only athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both the NFL and the MLB.
This particular card, a 1990 Donruss, is valued at a few hundred dollars when it’s in mint condition. Go check out your collection to see if you’ve got a potential new gaming system in your basement!
1986 Fleer – Jose Canseco
The final card on our list is Jose Canseco’s 1986 Fleer rookie card. While it’s not going to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, you might be able to sell it for around $20 on eBay. There are several other printings from 1986, however, that’ll fetch a heftier price.
Jose Canseco was one of the hottest ballplayers in the 1980s, and everyone wanted his cards. In 1986, his rookie year, he was named the American League Rookie of the Year.