He made his debut in ’68, sharing a Mets’ Rookies card with Jerry Koosman and while that one gets the most attention, there’s a 1969 Topps Nolan Ryan on eBay right now that’s turning heads. One of only two ever to be deemed worthy of a ’10’ grade from PSA, it’s being offered in an online auction by Pre War Card Collector. Bidding quickly escalated and with four days left in the auction late Tuesday night, it stood at $15,888–not bad for a non-rookie card (UPDATE: This card sold for $16,019).
The card is the first one picturing Ryan by himself, as a young pitcher ready to contribute to the Mets’ first World Series title later that fall. It’s the ‘Most Watched’ baseball card on eBay, with more than 300 eBay users taking initiative to ‘keep track of the auction, which is set to close Friday night. A total of 52 bids had been placed.
In all, there have been only 1,671 1969 Topps cards graded PSA 10 (gem mint).
The card is likely appealing not only to hardcore Ryan collectors but also those attempting to accumulate the highest graded complete sets possible. Acquiring a ’10’ can significantly boost the rating of a registered set.
There are only 75 PSA 9 (mint) Ryan cards on the company’s registry.