Sports Collectors Daily

Hottest Willie Mays Baseball Cards

The graceful stride of long ago has been replaced by the guiding hand of an aide.  We all wind up in that arena someday, if we’re lucky.  But when those legs were toned and those arms could turn a fastball into a missle…  

It’s those memories that send collectors in search of vintage Willie Mays cards on eBay or scouring the tables at a card show for more.

In his familiar number 24, Mays amazed baseball fans with dazzling catches and tape measure home runs. A career .302 hitter, Mays hit 660 home runs and drove in more than 1900 runs during his 22 year career.  He was an icon to New York Giants fans in the 1950s and San Francisco backers once the team moved west in 1958.

Mays won 12 Gold Gloves as an outfielder during his time with the Giants, tying him for the most ever with Roberto Clemente. Mays’ wizardry in the outfield, turned in a career fielding averaging of .981, to go along with 195 assists from center field.

In 1972, Mays was traded to the New York Mets, bringing his career full circle. In his last two seasons with the Mets, Mays registered as the oldest regular position player in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, his best hitting years were behind him, although his fielding percentage was still on par with what he had produced years earlier.

His gorgeous 1951 Bowman rookie card is considered among the greatest of all post-War issues.  While Mays rookie cards can be found pretty regularly, near mint and better examples aren’t as plentiful and have been rocketing upward in step with other vintage Hall of Famers. A graded NM/MT 8 that you could have bought for under $10,000 five years ago cost one recent bidder $51,875.

Mays was a constant for Topps, once the company produced his 1952 rookie card (#261). He became fast friends with Topps executive Sy Berger, who watched him perform his magic at the Polo Grounds as the bubble gum card maker was becoming a major player in the bubble gum card business.

He regularly appeared in Topps sets from 1952-1973, both as the primary subject, on In Action and multi-player cards and, of course, on some star-packed League Leader cards during his prime.

There are several Mays’ cards that won’t break the bank, but collectors should expect to spend a more substantial amount to obtain some of the best Mays’ cards available.

Both were sensational but Mays’ Bowman rookie card has long lagged behind that of fellow 1951 rookie Mickey Mantle. Currently, Mays rookie cards in near mint (7) grades usually sell for less than half of what Mantle’s rookie cards so.  Does that mean Mays rookies are undervalued?  Quite possibly.  However, there are others to consider, too.

Here’s the list of the 25 hottest Willie Mays cards on eBay right now.

1951 Bowman Willie Mays ROOKIE RC #305 PSA 5 EX (PWCC)
37 bids - Price: $3,749.99 - Watchers: 74
Item #352383497101
1952 Topps SETBREAK Willie Mays #261 PSA 6 EXMT (PWCC)
30 bids - Price: $2,433.00 - Watchers: 61
Item #401553738890
1952 Bowman #218 Willie Mays New York Giants HOF PSA 6 " TOUGH CARD "
23 bids - Price: $565.00 - Watchers: 55
Item #362360850905
1951 Bowman WILLIE MAYS Rookie #305 ... GRADED PSA 1.5
22 bids - Price: $560.00 - Watchers: 51
Item #302778133868
1953 Topps Set Break #244 Willie Mays PSA 4 VG-EX
20 bids - Price: $540.00 - Watchers: 43
Item #382498329652
1951 Bowman WILLIE MAYS Rookie #305 ... GRADED PSA 2.5
20 bids - Price: $879.00 - Watchers: 42
Item #132671187034
1952 Topps Willie Mays #261 SGC 82/6.5 EXMT+ (PWCC-PQ)
14 bids - Price: $3,127.99 - Watchers: 40
Item #401554353796
1955 Topps #194 Willie Mays New York Giants HOF PSA 7 NM " HIGH END "
21 bids - Price: $880.00 - Watchers: 39
Item #362360848363
1954 Bowman #89 Willie Mays New York Giants HOF PSA 7 NM " LOOKS NICER "
18 bids - Price: $610.00 - Watchers: 39
Item #362360849722
2003 Team Topps Legends Willie Mays San Francisco Giants HOF AUTO
10 bids - Price: $81.00 - Watchers: 35
Item #362359426885
1954 Topps SETBREAK Willie Mays #90 PSA 6 EXMT (PWCC)
23 bids - Price: $351.00 - Watchers: 33
Item #401553744944
1952 Topps WILLIE MAYS #261 ... LOW GRADE (CARD WOULD GRADE POOR)
12 bids - Price: $107.50 - Watchers: 32
Item #123202041951
1954 Bowman #89 Willie Mays New York Giants HOF PSA 5 EX
6 bids - Price: $102.50 - Watchers: 29
Item #372340380456
1951 Bowman WILLIE MAYS Rookie #305 ... GRADED PSA 4(MC)
32 bids - Price: $719.64 - Watchers: 28
Item #123201918647
1957 Topps #10 Willie Mays New York Giants HOF PSA 8 " LOOKS NICER "
8 bids - Price: $620.00 - Watchers: 28
Item #362360853201
1963 Topps Willie Mays #300 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)
29 bids - Price: $449.44 - Watchers: 28
Item #142837545960
1952 Topps Set Break #261 - Willie Mays LOW GRADE
10 bids - Price: $137.50 - Watchers: 28
Item #312168962102
1957 Topps Set Break # 10 Willie Mays EX-EXMINT
21 bids - Price: $159.50 - Watchers: 27
Item #312162938284
1959 Topps #50 Willie Mays Giants HOF PSA 8.5 " LOOKS UNDERGRADED "
20 bids - Price: $565.00 - Watchers: 25
Item #372342458661
1996 COMMEMORATIVE SET AUTOGRAPH ISSUE 1964 TOPPS #150 WILLIE MAYS REPRINT AUTO
6 bids - Price: $24.24 - Watchers: 24
Item #253701631351
1957 Topps Willie Mays #10 PSA 5 EX (PWCC)
15 bids - Price: $83.00 - Watchers: 24
Item #142837543773
1962 Topps Mickey Mantle & Willie Mays MANAGER'S DREAM #18 PSA 7 NRMT (PWCC)
13 bids - Price: $37.00 - Watchers: 24
Item #352383501977
1965 TOPPS #250 WILLIE MAYS GIANTS PSA 6
8 bids - Price: $70.25 - Watchers: 22
Item #142834859030
1952 Topps Willie Mays RC Rookie Card #261 - PSA MIN SIZ REQ, Read Description
19 bids - Price: $200.00 - Watchers: 21
Item #223023427756
1952 Bowman Set Break #218 Willie Mays SGC 40 VG 3
13 bids - Price: $146.59 - Watchers: 21
Item #312169038331