Rob Paulsen » 15 Most Valuable Michael Jordan Baseball Cards Worth Money

15 Most Valuable Michael Jordan Baseball Cards Worth Money

Depending on how old you are and where you grew up, the initials MJ could mean Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, or Zendaya (Michelle Jones) from Pandemic Spiderman. But even if you’re on team #23 from the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan lived a second life in baseball.

Let’s look at the most valuable Michael Jordan baseball cards and his latter career. Keep in mind his most famous baseball card popped up before he joined the minor leagues. It’s a 1991 card from July 25th, 1990. MJ hit two home runs and donated proceeds to his charity.

Most Valuable Michael Jordan Baseball Cards

1. 1991 Upper Deck #SP1 Michael Jordan PSA 10 Gem Mint Chicago White Sox Baseball

1991 Upper Deck #SP1 Michael Jordan PSA 10 Gem Mint Chicago White Sox Baseball
Image Credit: ebay

For a lot of kids, sports is their ticket to the big leagues. It can get them college scholarships and turn them into superstars. So you may notice that lots of professional athletes dabbled in multiple sports before finding their niche. Like his contemporary Barry Bonds, MJ played football, baseball, and basketball in his Wilmington high school before opting for the latter.

  • Year: 1991
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $426

We know him as the star of the Chicago Bulls, the most acclaimed NBA team at the time. But he also played pro ball for the Chicago White Sox. And while his baseball trading cards aren’t as valuable as his basketball cards, you can still make a tidy profit off the rare ones. Let’s dig up some of Michael Jordan’s most valuable baseball cards as we learn about this sports era.

 

2. 1994 Classic Michael Jordan #1 (Rookie Card) PSA 10 Gem Mint

1994 Classic Michael Jordan #1 (Rookie Card) PSA 10 Gem Mint
Image Credit: ebay

The most recognizable Michael Jordan baseball card once sold for $18,988. But that was back in 2020, and as you may know, these things go in cycles. By June 2022, the price was down to around a thousand, and some of these cards go for less than $50. The value may go up again over time, but it’s important to watch the market and see when demand is highest.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Classic
  • Value: $128.50

Let’s learn a little more about the man himself, though we’ll focus on his time playing pro baseball. MJ played in the NBA from 1984 to 1993, 1995 to 1999, and 2001 to 2003. His dunking genius earned the nicknames His Airness and Air Jordan, which later became a mega-selling brand of Nike sneakers. During that 1993 to 1995 gap, he switched to baseball.

 

3. 1994 Fleer Procards #633 Michael Jordan Baseball Birmingham Barons PSA 10

1994 Fleer Procards #633 Michael Jordan Baseball Birmingham Barons PSA 10
Image Credit: ebay

While MJ was only a third draft pick for the Chicago Bulls in 1984, he is still considered the best basketball player of all time. His baseball era wasn’t quite as prolific, but because he only played for a couple of years, his baseball cards may shoot up in value over time. Besides the Bulls, MJ played for Washington Wizards, Chicago White Sox, and Birmingham Barons.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Fleer
  • Value: $325

After he stopped playing professionally, MJ’s entrepreneurial streak led him to buy and chair the Charlotte Hornets. He also has ownership stakes in Nascar. But let’s talk baseball. MJ said he switched sports because he was tired of basketball and because his dad had always dreamed of watching him play Major League Baseball. His dad was murdered in July 1993.

 

4. 1994 Collector’s Choice Michael Jordan Baseball Card #23 PSA 10 Gem Mint

1994 Collector's Choice Michael Jordan Baseball Card #23 PSA 10 Gem Mint
Image Credit: ebay

Why the White Sox? Jerry Reinsdorf owned both the Bulls and the Sox so it was an easy choice. Plus, during his baseball years, Jerry honored MJ’s NBA contract, which could be why MJ eventually slipped back into the hoops. The Birmingham Barons were affiliated to the Sox, so that move makes sense too. And he played for the Scottsdale Scorpions one fall.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Collector’s Choice
  • Value: $240

MJ was a big believer in never crossing the picket line, so during the MLB Strike of 1995, he was worried he may be picked to replace striking players. So he released a press release that simply said ‘I’m back!’ and rejoined the NBA. His time playing baseball wasn’t nearly as prolific as his performance on the court, but because of his star power, the cards still sell.

 

5. 1994 Action Packed Michael Jordan Scouting Report #23 Rc Psa 10~Gem Card

1994 Action Packed Michael Jordan Scouting Report #23 Rc Psa 10~Gem Card
Image Credit: ebay

People who work out regularly use distinctive training schedules. They might focus on their legs one day, then do exercises for their chests and biceps the next. This way, they can work on specific muscle groups. Pro sports is the same way. The muscle distribution you need for basketball isn’t the same fitness quotient needed to play pro baseball. So MJ had to adjust.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Action Packed
  • Value: $151.27

He worked with selected players and trainers to tweak his core, palm power for catching or batting, and his muscle tone too. Also, he started out in the minors so he would eventually earn a spot in the majors. But because industry events caught up with him (mainly the MLB strike of 1995), he never got a chance to fully show off his expertise. We’ll just never know!

 

6. 1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan #19 Baseball Card

1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan #19 Baseball Card
Image Credit: ebay

That said, while we can’t be sure how far his baseball career would have gone, we still learn a lot about the man by watching those two years in the minors. For one thing, we know he can hold a grudge. When he dumped that big orange ball for a smaller white one, lots of people were skeptical. Sports Illustrated wrote a particularly scathing piece with a nasty headline.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $200

The bold font screamed ‘Bag it, Michael!’ and added that he (and the White Sox) were an embarrassment to baseball. MJ was so upset that he never gave Sports Illustrated another quote or interview. Ever. Not even when he rejoined the NBA and was later managing the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Hornets. Lesson learned – never cross His Airness!

 

7. 1994 Collector’s Choice Michael Jordan #661 RC Rookie PSA 10 Baseball White Sox

1994 Collector's Choice Michael Jordan #661 RC Rookie PSA 10 Baseball White Sox
Image Credit: ebay

Baseball did change MJ though. Or maybe it was age. He was only 21 when the Bulls drafted him. He was a college senior who dropped out to play ball, though education was important enough that he went back to finish his degree in 1986. But by the time he was grabbing that baseball bat professionally, he was 31 – older, wiser, wealthier, and a whole lot more famous.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Collector’s Choice
  • Value: $199.99

MJ had every opportunity to be a diva on the diamond, but he wasn’t. His practice sessions were swarmed with reporters and fans, and it had the potential to be distracting. But it seems MJ picked up some crucial tips from his start in the NBA. Back then he was getting a lot of attention as a rookie, and some of the older players got mean and resentful about it.

 

8. Last Time B4 Back in My Safe!– 1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Baseball PSA 10

Last Time B4 Back in My Safe!-- 1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Baseball PSA 10
Image Credit: ebay

The levels of jealousy within the NBA got so bad that when fans voted MJ onto the All-Star team in 1995, his teammates froze him out. He was on the court, yes, but nobody would pass him the ball! This didn’t seem to bother him much, but when he joined baseball, he was likely cognizant of stirring resentment among the older players on the Barons and the Sox.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $520

It seems to have affected some of the decisions he made. For one thing, he made it clear on he would only talk to the press every 3 days or so. He didn’t want to take media time away from other players on the pitch. But his team managers recognized the advantages of visibility so they talked him into more press time, handling it in a way that kept his teammates happy.

 

9. 2001 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game-used Batting Glove Card CSG Mint 9 #081/100

2001 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game-used Batting Glove Card CSG Mint 9 #081100
Image Credit: ebay

Also, when he started in the NBA, MJ was sometimes labeled a selfish player who wanted all the glory. That was partly a press operation because while we know of his phenomenal dunking ability and showmanship, he was an all-round player. MJ won awards for his defense, not just his shooting skills. His dribbles and steals were just as good as his layaways.

  • Year: 2001
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $379

But he knew he could tower over his baseball squad, so he took the smart step of courting his teammates and learning for them. He used his connections to get the team top gear and a plush bus through endorsement deals. And he signed autographs any time his teammates (or his fans) asked him to. He would stay on the field with his pen for hours.

 

10. 1994 Collector’s Choice #661 Michael Jordan RC Rookie PSA 10 Gem Mint Baseball

1994 Collector's Choice #661 Michael Jordan RC Rookie PSA 10 Gem Mint Baseball
Image Credit: ebay

Some people might say his willingness to sign stuff for fans (and colleagues) was about attention. But he often continued to give autographs long after the press, coaches, and players were gone. He was known to sign cheerfully even when people waylaid him at stop signs. And unlike some stars, he had no problem with the commercial side of this business.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Collector’s Choice
  • Value: $209.95

Some stars get mad when alleged fans request autographs and immediately resell them, but MJ didn’t mind. There’s an anecdote of a Venezuelan fan who was upfront from the start. The man said, “Look, a signed baseball is worth $100, but a signed basketball will feed my family back home for a month.” MJ grinned and signed the basketball. That’s a classy move!

 

11. 1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Chicago White Sox #SP1 Baseball Card PSA 10!!!!!

1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Chicago White Sox #SP1 Baseball Card PSA 10!!!!!
Image Credit: ebay

This cordial attitude is what helped MJ get as far as he did because his teammates were willing to work with him. One player, Mike Huff, agreed to give MJ pointers even though they were up for the same opening on the team. Huff was a good defensive player and he did help MJ shore up his game, even though Huff ended up traded to Toronto later that spring.

  • Year: 1991
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $435

MJ’s star power may have been misplaced, but it gained his team spectators by the thousand. And interestingly, MJ’s time in the minors may have been good for his NBA career. Baseball is a game that requires intense teamwork, and MJ carried this ethic back to the Bulls when he got back on the basketball court. Everyone noticed the difference in his game.

 

12. 1994 UD Fun Packs #170 Michael Jordan RC Rookie Card 🏦 PSA 10 🏦 Pop 62

1994 UD Fun Packs #170 Michael Jordan RC Rookie Card 🏦 PSA 10 🏦 Pop 62
Image Credit: ebay

While baseball is more team-oriented than basketball, it can sometimes shine a spotlight on individual players. Pitchers often take the most heat. The perfect example is Kevin Rychel. He played for the Carolina Mudcats, and his split-second decision to ignore his catcher still follows him. The catcher signaled for a slider. Rychel shrugged and sent it down the middle.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $473

His decision resulted in MJ’s first minor league home run. And while the whole world was waiting for that epic ball swat, Rychel went down in history as the guy who let it happen. He was pulled from that game and dressed down by his manager, but that’s sports for you. He’s not in baseball anymore and seems to be over it, but he does regret not getting an autograph!

 

13. Michael Jordan Chicago White Sox 1991 Upper Deck Baseball Card #SP1 PSA 10

Michael Jordan Chicago White Sox 1991 Upper Deck Baseball Card #SP1 PSA 10
Image Credit: ebay

Not every professional player can do sports crossovers and succeed. And, of course, not everyone believes MJ truly made it in baseball. But for him to even consider this decision says something about his character. He says he did it in homage to his father, who had been killed in a carjacking a few months before. He was also tired of all those NBA bright lights.

  • Year: 1991
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $560

But to understand how he could even see this possibility, we need to look at a younger MJ. In high school, he famously tried out for the varsity team as a sophomore. At 5’11, they said he was too short. But remember, some of the best-known players of all time were short. Mugsy Bogues was only 5 foot 3! So MJ doubled down on his training and his other basketball skills.

 

14. 94 Michael Jordan Highland Mint Baseball Card 24K Gold on 4.25 Oz Silver 355/500

94 Michael Jordan Highland Mint Baseball Card 24K Gold on 4.25 Oz Silver 355500
Image Credit: ebay

He made the junior varsity team and continued to improve even as he grew a few more inches. So when he finally made the senior squad, it wasn’t just because he wished he was a little bit taller. And this may have influenced his development as an all-round player – he knew he needed that extra edge, and it served him well. It shows drive and determination.

  • Year: 1994
  • Brand: Upper Deck
  • Value: $208.50

This same personal ethic is what got him as far as he did in baseball. He had to learn a completely divergent set of field dynamics, athletic positioning, and pitch awareness to play on the baseball diamond. But people who know him also admit to his killer instinct. Through trash talk, he had a way of spotting someone’s deepest insecurity and directly attacking that.

 

15. 1990 SCD Baseball Pocket Price Guides Hand Cut #51 Michael Jordan HOF PSA 10

1990 SCD Baseball Pocket Price Guides Hand Cut #51 Michael Jordan HOF PSA 10
Image Credit: ebay

While MJ is celebrated for his prowess on basketball courts and his visibility on baseball diamonds, his business savvy is a big part of who he is. It’s why his trading cards are such a hot ticket. He credits his agent David Falk for his phenomenal marketing success. MJ was the first billionaire in the NBA, thanks in big part to those Air Jordans from his rookie year.

  • Year: 1990
  • Brand: Pocket Price
  • Value: $730

To quote his one-time hitting coach Walt Hriniak – who is famous in his own right – “If everybody was like MJ, the game would be better.” While training under Walt, MJ showed up at 7.00 am for hitting practice. Ai Jordan never missed a day, he was never late, and he never let his stardom – or all the attending fans and press – mess with his concentration.

Do you have any Michael Jordan baseball cards? Share some photos in the comment section!

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