He was an exceptional all-around hitter but at a towering 755 home runs, many still think of Hank Aaron as the original home run king. The entire, record-breaking chase was fraught with death threats, racial slurs, and other denigrations. Despite all these obstacles, Aaron elevated himself and the baseball world, by belting out number 715 in April of 1974.
His lengthy career spanned three decades, making his cards and autographs numerous and easily obtainable, by even the beginning collector. Ungraded cards of his from the 1970s can easily be purchased for less than $20 while high grade vintage cards will stretch into the thousands.
Cards graded 8, or higher are highly liquid, with consistent demand, while lower grade examples are solid sellers if priced right.
Hank Aaron Cards to Watch
(click the title of each to see them on eBay)
1954 Topps #128 - Hank Aaron's rookie card is one of the top sports trading cards of all-time. High grade examples have been steadily increasing in price over time and will likely continue to do so. While mint, graded examples often wind up in major auctions, graded cards are often sold on eBay with NM/MT 8s generally bringing $25,000-$30,000 and 7s from $5,000-$6,000. An EX-MT 6 can usually be found for around $4,000. The home run champ was just Henry back then and the beautiful-looking rookie card from the underrated '54 Topps set belongs in every fan's portfolio.
1955 Bowman #179 – This was Bowman’s only card of Hank Aaron. The 'TV borders' are interesting, but the deep brown borders reveal the slightest hit of wear, making high grade examples a challenge to find. Still, the second year Aaron cards represent good value. A near mint 7 can still be had for around $300-$350. It's readily available and at that price point, it's hard to go wrong.
1957 Topps #20- This card is special for a few reasons: 1) It pictures Aaron during his World Series championship season with the Milwaukee Braves 2) The photo was reversed. The Hammer was not a lefty! The error was never corrected and so there's no variation scarcity to chase, but it's still considered an iconic 1950s card and 3) The 1957 set is among the most popular post-War sets. Prone to scuffing, high grade 1957 Topps cards are highly desirable. A PSA 8 runs anywhere from $800-$1,200 with a fairly decent supply on eBay.
1974 Topps #1- Aaron ended the 1973 season just short of the home run record, but it was fairly obvious that he would break the record early in '74 so Topps' first card in the set proclaimed Henry as the "home run king". It was a bold and shrewd move as kids clamored for that card. It's still popular today. Because it was #1 in the set, many suffered from rubber band wounds on the borders and general wear. High grade cards are a nice play but expect to pay $650 and up for a 9. An 8 can usually be acquired for $80-100.