Whether you’re a budding investor or a serious pro, most baseball card collectors hope to see a decent return on investment if they ever decide to sell.
We’ve put together a list with nine of the best baseball cards to buy right now, with a range of options from the last decade on show.
The likes of Mike Trout and Ronald Acuna Jr. make the list, but which versions should you be on the lookout for? Here’s everything you need to know to make some decent coin investing in baseball cards.
Best 9 Baseball Cards to Buy Now
We’re always looking at the latest and greatest baseball cards, but which are best to buy right now? As well as the potential for turning a profit, the list includes some of the greatest players in the game.
Many signed options are already overpriced, so we’ve opted for some unsung cards that might have slipped under the radar.
While we can’t guarantee a solid ROI, or even when the 2020 MLB season will actually restart, there’s likely to be an upswing in prices when the action returns sometime in July.
2011 Mike Trout Topps Update Rookie Card #US175 (buy on eBay)
Mike Trout has a legitimate claim to be named as the best MLB player ever, whether it be via checking the stats, or just by watching him on the diamond for any given length of time.
He could still have a decade to go at the top, which makes his RC options very interesting from an investment standpoint. Trout is definitely going to be a multiple record holder when he finally puts down the bat.
Take his 2011 Topps Update, which isn’t the most eye-catching option at first glance. There’s an action shot of Trout after a successful hit, with no auto or patch to speak of. It’s the first card to make our list, and it’s not just because of his star power.
There are heaps of popular rare parallels that make for a great investment piece, while it’s often disregarded in favor of signed options from 2011.
Parallels: Black (/60), Cognac Diamond, Diamond Anniversary, Diamond Anniversary Authentic Diamonds (/1), Gold (/2011), Canary Diamond (/1), Hope Diamond (/60), Platinum, Printing Plates Black (/1), Printing Plates Cyan (/1), Printing Plates Magenta (/1), Printing Plates Yellow (/1), Target Red Border, Walmart Blue Border
2017 Ronald Acuna Jr. Bowman Chrome RC #BCP127 (buy on eBay)
We love, love, LOVE this card and it may be our favorite long-term investment out of all the cards listed here!
Another big name in baseball, Ronald Acuna Jr. has been seen as a top talent since his days as a prospect. As such, his 2017 options are often the most expensive.
Most collectors focus on the Bowman Chrome #BCP127 or the signed version of his Bowman Chrome (#CPARA), but all parallels are an attractive investment option.
Shows a brilliant image of Acuna Jr. mid-sprint. The 1st Bowman logo makes it more attractive, while it’s selling for a fraction of the price of the autographed card.
Parallels: Refractor, Purple Refractor, Blue Refractor, Blue Wave Refractor, Green Refractor, Black Refractor – Jumbo Box Hot Packs only, Blue Bowman 70th Logo Refractor, Gold Refractor, Gold Wave Refractor, Orange Refractor – Jumbo only, Red Refractor, Black Wave Refractor, SuperFractor
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2011 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Draft RC #101 (buy on eBay)
The second Mike Trout RC to make the list, his 2011 Bowman Chrome is another great choice thanks to the host of refractors on offer. The card features Trout ready with a bat raised in both hands, while there are an RC logo and a strong design that focuses on the colored borders.
Trout cards are always going to be a great investment option, and the design really pops when you’re looking at cards like the Gold or Blue versions, which are also relatively rare. It’s another overlooked card when compared to his 2009 Bowman Chrome release, and that’s why it makes the list of the best baseball cards to buy right now.
Parallels: Refractor, Purple Refractor (retail only), Blue Refractor (/199), Gold Refractor (/50), Orange Refractor (/25), Red Refractor (/5), SuperFractor (/1), Canary Diamond (/1), Printing Plates (/1)
From Trout, back to Acuna; his 2018 Topps Update is another great investment piece. Acuna has three image variations and several autographs in the release, including a landscape option and SP cards.
The base version features a strong shot of Acuna successfully smashing a ball into orbit, and he stares up at his good work after a powerful hit. The wealth of choice makes it difficult to pick one above all others, but any of the rarer versions are likely to jump up in price if he manages to live up to his early promise.
Like Trout, Acuna Jr. has so many RC options to choose from, while the variations make it even more enticing for collectors. Base parallels are as follows;
Base Parallels: Rainbow Foil, Gold (/2018), Vintage Stock (/99), Independence Day (/76), Black (/67), Mother’s Day Hot Pink (/50), Father’s Day Powder Blue (/50), Memorial Day Camo (/25), Negative, Platinum (1/1), Printing Plates (1/1).
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2019 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Topps Missing Card Number RC (buy on eBay)
The 2019 Topps Series 2 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. card is a bit of a mystery, in that it’s hard to tell what the exact print number is. It’s clearly a short print, which makes for a good investment piece.
Guerrero Jr. is featured after a successful hit, watching the ball as it soars through the air. It’s a great image, while there’s an RC logo next to his face on the left-hand side.
As there are *no parallels and the print run is fairly limited, it’s a simple card to look for, while prices should begin to rise as Guerrero Jr. begins to get comfortable as an MLB player.
*There’s also a second variation card in the 2019 Topps set, although you’ll be able to tell the difference as it has a card number on the back (#700). The latter is worth hardly anything in comparison, so the Missing Card Number RC is the way to go!
2018 Juan Soto Topps Chrome Update RC #HMT55 (buy on eBay)
Juan Soto is another hyped star who made his MLB debut for the Washington Nationals in May 2018. His cards make the list as they’re highly affordable, even when looking at PSA 10 gem mint copies.
It boasts the same image you’ll find in the regular Topps Update set, but there are better card stock and a number of refractor parallels. His Topps Chrome Update was originally a Target-only item, but it’s not difficult to pick up a decent copy or two at auction.
Parallels: Pink Refractor (Value Pack), Refractor (/250), X-Fractor (/99), Gold Refractor (/50), Red Refractor (/25), SuperFractor (1/1), Printing Plates (1/1)
2018 Luis Robert Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP21 (buy on eBay)
Luis Robert could be the key to the White Sox being able to compete in 2020, and that should give you some idea of the pressure being heaped onto the 22-year-old Cuban’s shoulders.
If he’s able to make the transition when playing against big-league pitchers, card pieces will definitely begin to heat up!
Once again, his Bowman Chrome Prospects might not be as popular as autographed editions from the same year, but it’s still his first MLB card with the White Sox, and the team insignia is proudly on show. There’s a 1st Bowman logo which always adds value, and he’s grinning in a decent image. As always, there’s a range of Refractors which increase in rarity.
Parallels: Atomic, Refractor (/499), Purple (/250), Blue (/150), Blue Shimmer (/150), Aqua (/125), Aqua Shimmer (/125), Green (/99), Green Shimmer (/99), Canary Yellow (/75), Canary Yellow Shimmer (/75), Gold (/50), Gold Shimmer (/50), Orange (/25), Orange Shimmer (/25), Red (/5), Red Shimmer (/5), SuperFractor (1/1), Printing Plates (1/1)
2019 Eloy Jimenez Topps Chrome #22 (buy on eBay)
2020 was going to be a breakout year for Eloy Jimenez, after he impressed during 122 games in 2019, batting .267 with 31 home runs. Jimenez will have less than half of that when the season starts, but a good showing across 60 games will surely see a bump in his rookie card prices.
His Topps Chrome is a flagship card, and while it’s tough to compare to older editions like his 2014 Bowman Chrome Refractor, it’ll still make for a decent investment piece. The card features Jiminez in motion after a successful hit, highlighting how he puts almost everything into his swing.
There’s a range of attractive Refractors that help to bring the background design to the forefront, and it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a budget investment option.
Parallels: Refractor, X-Fractor, Prism, Sepia, Pink, Negative, Purple (/299), Blue (/150), Green (/99), Green Wave (/99), Blue Wave (/75), Gold (/50), Gold Wave (/50), Orange (/25), Orange Wave (/25), Red (/5), Red Wave (/5), SuperFractor 1/1, Printing Plates (1/1)
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2016 Fernando Tatis Jr. Bowman Chrome Prospect #BCP17 (buy on eBay)
Fernando Tatis Jr. never got to play a game for the White Sox, but the hyped shortstop did make his MLB debut with the Padres in 2019. He’s a major talent in 2020 and could see a good return if he manages to hit good numbers.
Tatis Jr’s Bowman Chrome prospect card has two versions, with the only real difference being an on-card autograph. The card we’d recommend is the unsigned version, as it’s arguably underpriced in comparison.
As well as being the first card to feature the player in an MLB uniform, there’s a solid action shot of him with a bat slung over one shoulder. There’s also a range of interesting parallels which further ramp up the price tag, so any serial numbered card is worth adding to your watchlist.
Parallels: Refractors (/499), Purple Refractors (/250), Blue Refractors (/150), Green Refractors (/99), Green Shimmer Refractors (/99), Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Orange Shimmer Refractors (/25), Blue Twitter Refractors (/15), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)