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5 Most Valuable Nolan Ryan Baseball Cards of All Time

Trading cards have been a way for sports fans to collect their favorite players or moments and express their passion in a physical form since their debut. Check out here 5 Most Valuable Nolan Ryan Baseball Cards of All Time.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 06.08.2022
5 Most Valuable Nolan Ryan Baseball Cards of All Time

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Trading cards have been a way for sports fans to collect their favorite players or moments and express their passion in a physical form since their debut. People nowadays collect baseball cards because of their high resale value. Baseball card collecting is similar to purchasing shares in a company. When you buy a baseball card, you are investing in that player. Nolan Ryan is one such player in whom investing money has always proven beneficial.

Nolan Ryan is an American professional right-handed baseball pitcher who broke Walter Johnson's 3,508 career strikeouts record in 1983. Ryan's extraordinary velocity and strikeout power captivated an unlimited number of spectators. His great popularity over a long career resulted in the collection of many baseball cards. Some Ryan cards, though, stand out more than others. We've compiled a list of his most valued cards in this article for you to collect.



1. 1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan Rookie Card (Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $23,000)


Topps started producing rookie cards with multiple players in the 1960s. Topps is a chewing gum manufacturer that also made baseball trading cards. In a sense, this card belongs to Jerry Koosman as much as Ryan. Nolan Ryan is seen in this card with a blue baseball cap and outfit. Although he appears older in this picture, Nolan was 19 years old and a student at Alvin High School when he made his debut.

The versions of Ryan's rookie cards produced by Milton Bradley, O-Pee-Chee, and Venezuelan Topps have a similar design but vary somewhat. The horizontal, dual-player layout and instantly recognizable burlap borders of the 1968 Topps set gave the card a unique personality. Ryan's is one of the most recognizable vintage rookie cards in the hobby and possibly the virtual rookie card of the 1960s. You can learn more about him and his cards on


2. 1969 Topps #533 (Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $2,000)


Ryan's second-year card from the 1969 Topps collection is another excellent collector favorite in the hobby, featuring a young Ryan with the closest thing to a smile on any Ryan card. He's wearing his team's uniform and pitching gloves in this card. Ryan's soothing and non-aggressive pose and his slight smile do not portray him as the dominant and intimidating pitcher he was in later cards.

The purple logo in the top right corner with his name in white and yellow and the Mets club name in yellow at the bottom make this card stand out. It is one of the Topps cards graded PSA 8. This season, Nolan saw more action as a reliever and spot starter for the New York Mets. Reports said he'd treat his blistered hands by bathing them in pickle brine.


3. 1970 Topps #712 (Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $1,750)


The 1971 Topps set is easily one of the most popular among collectors, despite its black borders. The black frames make it nearly impossible to find in beautiful condition. They're simply far too prone to showing signs of wear and chipping. As a result, a high-quality one will save you hundreds of dollars.

This card depicts classic Noal on the field during his time with the California Angels. Furthermore, pitcher Nolan can be seen here about to strike the ball. Every baseball fan understands the importance of the pitcher's role in starting the game. A good throw can signify a victory for the team. Another great thing about this card is that it bears Nolan's autograph on the front. Even though the card says METS, remember that this was in the 1970s, and he was with the California Angels.


4. 1972 Topps #595 (Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $900)


This card is also the Topps Nolan Ryan Los Angeles Angels Original Baseball Card. Some people adore this set design. Others despise it. Whatever side you're on, there's no denying that this Topps design, with its vibrant, psychedelic appearance and feel, was highly suited for the moment.

Nolan was a young player in 1972. Sometimes cards show the complete bodies of players in the middle of a game, while other times, players appear to pause and pose for the cameras. Nolan gazes away from the camera in this Topps card. He's wearing a California Angels cap and uniform.

Ryan had a big year in his debut with the Angels in 1972, ending with a 2.28 ERA, 19 wins, and 328 strikeouts on his route to making his first All-Star squad. This card has a PSA 9 rating, making it one of the highest graded. A plastic cover protects it.


5. 1975 Topps #500 (Estimated PSA 9 Mint Value: $1,650)


Another valuable Topps card features Nolan Ryan. It depicts Nolan playing for the California Angels in the 1970s. Before a game, he is shown gripping his glove and posing for a picture in his team's uniform. Topps card designers preferred to keep the colors clean and simplistic. The background is a deep blue like the sky, and Ryan appears calm and quiet.

Mint copies of this card will cost more than $1,500, while PSA 10 Gem Mint copies are in the five-figure range. During the season, Ryan tied another Koufax record with his fourth no-hitter.




Like Nolan Ryan, we may never see a more overpowering pitcher who can stand the test of time. There was no stopping him once his career and fastball took off in the early 1970s. Throughout his four decades of playing, his incredible velocity terrified batters. Many quirky and mainstream Ryan cards were produced due to his popularity. Some of his cards are more expensive than others, and we have highlighted his most valuable cards for you to gather in the points above.

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