Michael Jordan Baseball Card Guide: Values & Checklist
Posted on 2/17/2022
Michael Jordan is one of the most iconic sports stars in history, and collectible cards related to his career are incredibly valuable. Although Jordan is best known as a basketball legend, he also had a short stint as a baseball player. At the height of his success, after leading the Chicago Bulls to their third consecutive NBA title, Jordan announced he was taking a break from basketball to start a career in baseball. It is believed this shocking decision was influenced by the death of his father, an avid baseball fan.
He joined the Chicago White Sox in 1994 for a short time, but he spent most of his limited career playing for the double-A Birmingham Barons and briefly for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona league. It took less than two years before he was back on the court, and his time as a baseball player is seen by many as a footnote in a story of basketball stardom.
However, a Michael Jordan rookie baseball card can be very attractive to collectors. Since he played baseball between 1994 and 1995 only, a limited number of cards were released. There are three Michael Jordan rookie cards and several base cards and inserts. Jordan is known as a basketball player, so many collectors will focus on these cards rather than his baseball cards. If you compare the highest-priced eBay listings for basketball cards with those for baseball cards, you can see the former usually sell for much more. But that doesn't mean the baseball cards don't have any value. They're a good way for collectors to diversify and get their hands on some more affordable Jordan cards.
The mid-90s was an interesting era for baseball cards, which can add to the collectibility of Michael Jordan cards. In 1994-95, a strike cut the Major League Baseball season short. Fans were upset, and interest in the sport — and baseball cards — was beginning to wane. In 1995, Topps even lowered production numbers of their sets due to reduced demand.
It only took a few years for baseball cards to regain popularity, but cards from this era may be slightly harder to find since fewer were produced and not as many collectors invested at this time.
This guide will take you through some of the most valuable Michael Jordan baseball cards. It won't cover every card released, but it will cover the three rookie cards produced, so you know which ones to look out for when expanding your collection in this area.
Collectors agree that Michael Jordan basketball cards have huge investment potential. In fact, some of his rookie cards have sold for over $1 million. But is a Michael Jordan rookie card from his baseball days worth the same?
The short answer is no. The current value of Jordan baseball cards doesn't come close to the basketball cards. However, the relatively limited supply and the unique backstory behind his baseball career mean these cards entice collectors.
Price rises over time are modest, and investors hoping to see the value of their Michael Jordan baseball cards skyrocket will likely be disappointed. As with most cards, the condition is crucial, and any cards that are not mint or near mint condition are unlikely to be of any value.
That said, if you can find mint or near-mint Michael Jordan baseball cards, they may be worth purchasing if you're an investor. While there are no guarantees, they're cheap compared with other cards in similar condition, so collectors believe the risk is relatively low. Just remember that the value of these cards is mainly for collection purposes rather than investments.
There are, of course, some notable exceptions. Some autographed cards, for example, may be very desirable for collectors. The 1995 SP Top Prospects Autographs #14 is an excellent card to look for, as there were only 23 produced, and it is often considered the first on-card autograph from Michael Jordan.
Michael Jordan Baseball Rookie Cards
1994 Collector's Choice Michael Jordan RC #661 ($60)
Collector's Choice is known for affordable cards, and this Michael Jordan rookie card is usually cheap to buy. But, it's a great fun card to add to your collection as it perfectly showcases Jordan's transition from basketball to baseball. It shows him in his baseball uniform, in a pose, ready to shoot a basketball.
Even a card in excellent condition may only sell for around $25, but it has the potential to be an excellent collector's item. Gold and silver signature parallels are also available, and these could possibly be worth more than the standard card. Sports Cards Pro lists the fair price for highly graded cards between $28.99-$60. However, they value a mint condition card at $135.50.
Cards in less than mint condition can be found for just a few dollars online, which is unusual, especially if you're used to buying Michael Jordan rookie cards from his time playing basketball.
1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan #SP1 ($50)
Michael Jordan didn't start playing baseball until 1994, but there is a card with him pictured in a baseball uniform from 1991. This is not considered an official Michael Jordan rookie card, as he was not actually a baseball player when it was printed. It is, however, a unique card that's of interest to collectors because it predicted an unprecedented career move by Jordan.
The picture on the card shows Jordan in batting practice before he had made any moves toward professional baseball. This was a hugely popular card at the time because it gave a new twist to the already coveted Michael Jordan cards. The value of it has dropped slightly, but Sports Cards Pro still values the mint condition cards well at $429.50. According to their valuations, less than mint condition cards are still worth around $50.
Even though this is not an official baseball rookie card, it's still the first card showing Jordan engaged in the sport, making it very desirable for collectors.
1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack Michael Jordan RC #170 ($37)
The 1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack was aimed at kids starting their card collections. Though these are usually less valuable, this is still one of the few Michael Jordan rookie cards from his time in baseball, so it is still sought after by some collectors. However, they are not as popular, so they may be harder to find. The fun pack rookie card doesn't usually sell for very much, especially for a Jordan rookie card. Even a near-mint card sold on eBay for just $37.53 in 2022.
1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan RC #19 ($36)
The 1994 Upper Deck set consists of 550 cards, with rookie cards for Chan Ho Park, Alex Rodriguez, Billy Wagner, and Micahel Jordan. Upper Deck was consistently named the best set of the year from 1989 to 2004 and produced many high-value baseball cards.
This is a classic card with an action shot of Michael Jordan fielding. It's easy to find and won't cost much, so it's an excellent rookie card to add to your collection. The standard version of the card regularly sells on eBay for $5-$30, depending on the condition. According to Sports Cards Pro, the fair market value for this card is $36, but a mint condition card can be worth as much as $578.66. There's also an Electric Diamond parallel that is rarer and more valuable (Priceguide.cards lists the value at as much as $65.77).
In the 1994 set, there are many variations with slight differences on the backs of the card. The player stats and bio are printed in copper-gold color on most cards. However, some are printed in silver, making them rarer and potentially more valuable. It's not known how many of these silver cards were printed.
If you're looking for an iconic Michael Jordan rookie card from his days as a baseball player, this should be the cornerstone of your collection.
Other Notable Michael Jordan Baseball Cards
1995 SP Top Prospects Autographs #14 ($2,500)
This card is one of the most sought-after Michael Jordan cards out there. It's considered the first on-card autograph, although that's debated. Some collectors maintain that the baseball cards don't count, and the autographed basketball card should be regarded as his first. Either way, the mint condition value of this card is estimated to be $1827.02 (according to Priceguide.cards)
These cards were not numbered, but it's believed 23 were printed, and the limited supply makes them very valuable.
1994 Fleer ProCards Michael Jordan #633 ($40)
After he first entered the world of baseball, Fleer ProCards created a card with a basic picture of Jordan and a very simple design. It's not the most exciting card for collectors and is not worth a huge amount. You can usually find it on eBay for around $5, but some have been sold for as much as $25.
However, there are rumors about this card that make it more interesting. It is said that there are two versions of this card, and the alternate version is one of the most interesting Jordan baseball cards. Fleer was unhappy with the initial photo, so the card was remade. The 90,000 that had already been printed were destroyed, except for an estimated 12 that employees kept. These cards are still in circulation, and if found, they may be worth a lot of money because they are so rare. That said, this is not an official card, and there is no record of the cards in question, so be cautious about anybody claiming to sell one.
Michael Jordan is a basketball legend, and many collectors agree his rookie cards from his time in the NBA will likely increase in value, so they are popular with investors. The same is not true with his baseball cards. The three rookie cards available from his brief time in the sport are relatively cheap and haven't seen much increase in value over the years. If you're hoping to build a strong investment portfolio, it may be best to look at other players. That said, these cards are worth seeking out for your personal collection because they're completely unique. After all, it's unlikely we'll get many more baseball cards featuring superstar basketball players.
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