Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Selig called Gwynn “the greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life.”
Gwynn was an exemplary hitter, baserunner, and fielder, who won 8 NL batting titles (Only Ty Cobb had more). Additionally, he played his entire career with one team, the San Diego Padres.
Tony Gwynn has four major rookie cards. Topps, Donruss, Fleer, and OPC. But Topps is the most desirable.
And today, a 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn #482 graded PSA 10 will cost you $1300-1700. In late 2019 they were going for ~$600-700. In mid-2018, PSA 10s were selling for ~$500.
With nearly 21k graded examples, and 665 of them earning a Gem MT 10 grade from PSA, the card isn’t particularly rare. So what has made this card so popular and valuable?
First, Tony Gwynn was an incredible hitter who finished his career with a .338 batting average and earned his way into the Hall of Fame. Second, only a little over 3% of submitted cards have earned a PSA 10 grade because it is notoriously difficult to find centered.
Third, folks who were born in the late 1970s and early 1980s, who grew up watching Gwynn are once again back in the hobby, driving demand. Fourth, Topps always commands more demand as a brand than the Donruss, Fleer, or OPC do. And Fifth, the resurgence of sports cards as investment vehicles and flippable assets has brought a lot of new people to the hobby.
Collectors looking for authenticated Tony Gwynn Rookie cards have some options, of course. First, there are the alternative brands. But if Topps is your choice, PSA 9s sell for ~$175, and PSA 8s go for a much more reasonable ~$45.
Don’t forget to follow me on twitter for more sports card information.