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The graceful stride of long ago has been replaced by the guiding hand of an aide.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.

HUGE VINTAGE LOT 1959 WILLIE MAYS SANDY KOUFAX AL KALINE BOB GIBSON PETE ROSE +
31 bids - Price: $295.00 - Watchers: 43
Item #263513270277
1953 Topps WILLIE MAYS #244 PSA 5 EX Giants Hall Of Famer HOF TOUGH CARD!
18 bids - Price: $780.00 - Watchers: 36
Item #142694857729
2004 Topps Team Legends Auto Willie Mays HOF San Francisco Giants BGS 8.5 NT MT
9 bids - Price: $127.50 - Watchers: 33
Item #332556323428
1965 Topps SETBREAK Willie Mays #250 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)
19 bids - Price: $338.33 - Watchers: 33
Item #142693822241
1953 Topps #244 Willie Mays PSA 7 NM
18 bids - Price: $2,950.02 - Watchers: 33
Item #292460030850
1952 52 WILLIE MAYS TOPPS #261 HIGH NUMBER SGC 55 = PSA 4.5 GIANTS
11 bids - Price: $342.00 - Watchers: 32
Item #222846793724
1958 Topps #5 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants HOF PSA 7 NM
33 bids - Price: $286.01 - Watchers: 32
Item #362247272620
Willie Mays 1951 Bowman Rookie Baseball Card RC HOF Vintage 305 New York Giants
26 bids - Price: $330.00 - Watchers: 30
Item #202228146739
1969 Topps HOF Baseball Card lot of 9 Nolan Ryan Willie Mays Tom Seaver $$$$$
20 bids - Price: $56.00 - Watchers: 30
Item #222845869872
1953 Topps Willie Mays PSA 3 VG CENTERED #244 2nd Year Card SP Giants HOF
11 bids - Price: $385.00 - Watchers: 30
Item #222847343262
1958 Topps #5 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants HOF PSA 7 NM
22 bids - Price: $286.02 - Watchers: 29
Item #362245284420
1956 Topps SETBREAK Willie Mays #130 PSA 7 NRMT (PWCC)
23 bids - Price: $419.00 - Watchers: 28
Item #142691507114
1958 Topps SETBREAK Willie Mays #5 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)
12 bids - Price: $2,400.00 - Watchers: 28
Item #142693792675
2002 TOPPE ETOPPS CLASSIC WILLIE MAYS AUTO #ETC12 (TOPPS STICKER SEALED)
24 bids - Price: $153.50 - Watchers: 27
Item #312071267768
1956 Topps Willie Mays #130 PSA 8.5 NM-MT+ (PWCC)
12 bids - Price: $1,080.99 - Watchers: 26
Item #352286639586
1957 Topps Set Break # 10 Willie Mays NR-MINT
14 bids - Price: $158.50 - Watchers: 26
Item #132514653031
1956 TOPPS BASEBALL CARD #130 GRAY BACK WILLIE MAYS PSA GRADED 5 CONDITION
14 bids - Price: $86.00 - Watchers: 25
Item #312072196426
1955 Bowman Set Break #184 Willie Mays EX-EXMINT
22 bids - Price: $61.00 - Watchers: 24
Item #382382837636
1956 Topps Baseball Card Lot 103 Different Willie Mays Ernie Banks Bob Lemon
12 bids - Price: $152.60 - Watchers: 24
Item #222845879390
1960 Topps Willie Mays #200 PSA 7 NRMT (PWCC)
5 bids - Price: $113.61 - Watchers: 24
Item #352286639753
1955 Topps #194 Willie Mays PSA 7 NM
16 bids - Price: $351.00 - Watchers: 24
Item #312073535856
1955 topps #194 Willie Mays SGC 7 NM Giants SGC 84
12 bids - Price: $262.00 - Watchers: 23
Item #192460544319
1956 Topps #130 Willie Mays New York Giants HOF PSA 6 EX-MT Gray Back
22 bids - Price: $167.50 - Watchers: 23
Item #362243683992
1963 Topps #138 Pride of N.L. Willie Mays + Stan Musial HOF PSA 6 EX-MT
5 bids - Price: $7.55 - Watchers: 22
Item #372223749838
1968 Topps #50 Willie Mays Giants HOF PSA 8 NM-MT
17 bids - Price: $184.51 - Watchers: 22
Item #372213708452