How Much Is A Nolan Ryan Baseball Card Worth?

There are very few pitchers within the Major League Baseball (MLB) that made such an impact over 27 seasons in the big leagues as Nolan Ryan did.

Beginning his career in 1966 with the New York Mets, he was known for being a strong, big Texan with an impressive arm, a devastating curve, an unparalleled work ethic, and a fastball that hit over 100 mph on the radar guns. 

how much is a nolan ryan baseball card worth

After accomplishing a World Series within New York, Nolan moved to the California Angels, before spending some time with the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.

He retired in 1998, but not without achieving 324 career wins, eight All-Star appearances, 7 career no-hitters; more than anyone else in the industry, and a major league strikeout record of 5,714. 

Below, you will find a guide looking at how much Nolan baseball cards are worth.

1981 Topps #240

This 1981 Nolan Ryan Topps issue is the pitcher’s first major card demonstrating him as a member of the Houston Astros.

The card’s simplicity makes it attractive, and while it is not necessarily a rare card, top conditions are hard to come by. 

Approximately only 1% of the cards submitted for grading have been prescribed with the grade of PSA Gem Mint 10.

However, examples of PSA Mint 9 are much easier to come across, selling for around $40 at auction, while PSA Gem Mint 10s can be traded for over $1,000. 

Below, using you will find three different PSA grading systems for this 1981 Nolan Ryan Topps card

Here are the average industry prices at auction:

  • PSA Near Mint-Mint 8: $10.71
  • PSA Excellent 5: $2.00
  • PSA Good 2: N/A

1975 Topps #500

This colorful Nolan Ryan 1975 Topps Baseball release is one of the most desired sets within the decade.

Full of top rookies and ensuing Hall of Famers, these are highly coveted cards with much competition for a high-graded card.

This #500 card features the pitcher looking away from the camera, into the distance, as if contemplating his next pitch. 

Approximately 4,300 examples of these cards have been submitted for grading, whereas only 3 cards have received the grade of PSA Gem Mint 10. The most recent card was sold publicly at auction for $31,200. 

Below, you will find three different PSA grading systems for this 1975 Nolan Ryan Topps card

Here are the average industry prices at auction:

  • PSA Near Mint-Mint 8: $199.94
  • PSA Excellent 5: $15.87
  • PSA Good 2: $6.50

1971 Topps #513

This 1971 Topps card exhibits an impressive mid-action shot of the strong-armed hurler, Nolan Ryan, creating an appealing issue to add to a collection. Although, high-grade cards are hard to come by.

Not only is the black border prone to chipping but there are also centering issues. 

When looking at cards that have received a ranking of PSA Mint 9, this is less than 1% of this card’s population.

Those cards that did make it to auction have sold for over $6,300. Meanwhile, there is still yet to be a card discovered with a grade of PSA Gem Mint 10. 

Below, you will find three different PSA grading systems for this 1971 Ryan Nolan Topp’s card

Here are the average industry prices at auction:

  • PSA Near Mint-Mint 8: $488.44
  • PSA Excellent 5: $44.58
  • PSA Good 2: $23.98

1968 Topps #177

In this 1968 Topps Rookie Stars card #177 you can see Ryan neighboring his fellow Mets hurler, Jerry Koosman.

Due to a noticeable burlap border design on this ‘68 Topps card, any flaws are easily seen; therefore, it is uncommon to find high-grade examples. 

For instance, less than 1% of the card population (11,412) has a PSA ranking of between 9 and 10.

This is a perfect example of supply not meeting demand, whereby, over the last year, PSA 9 graded examples have traded between the ranges of $25,000 to $30,000. 

Therefore, in terms of trading value, this would be the Ryan card to look for. Below, you will find three different PSA grades for this 1968 Nolan Ryan card

Here are the average industry prices at auction:

  • PSA Near Mint-Mint 8: $3,067.65
  • PSA Excellent 5: $412.73
  • PSA Good: $215.96

Nolan Ryan Cards Necessary For A Complete Set

  • 1994 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 34 (1.00)
  • 1993 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 700 (1.00)
  • 1992 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 1 (1.00)
  • 1991 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 1 (1.00)
  • 1990 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 1 (1.00)
  • 1989 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 530 (1.00)
  • 1988 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 250 (1.00)
  • 1987 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 757 (1.00)
  • 1986 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 100 (1.00)
  • 1985 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 760 (1.00)
  • 1984 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 470 (1.00)
  • 1983 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 360 (1.00)
  • 1982 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 90 (1.00)
  • 1981 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 240 (1.00)
  • 1980 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 580 (1.50)
  • 1979 – TOPPS- NOLAN RYAN 115 (1.50)
  • 1978 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 400 (1.50)
  • 1977 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 650 (1.50)
  • 1976 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 330 (1.50)
  • 1975 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 500 (2.00)
  • 1974 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 20 (2.00)
  • 1973 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 220 (3.00)
  • 1972 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 595 (4.00)
  • 1971 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 513 (4.00)
  • 1970 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 712 (5.00)
  • 1969 – TOPPS – NOLAN RYAN 533 (6.00)
  • 1968 – TOPPS – N.RYAN/J.KOOSMAN 177 (10.00)

Final Thoughts

While his cards are relatively simple, they make for an excellent addition to a fan of the game or hobbyist’s baseball collection.

The complete Nolan Ryan set consists of 27 cards, starting with his 1968 Topps rookie issue and finishing with his 1994 release.

With one of the greatest careers in sporting history, you won’t be disappointed in a Nolan Ryan baseball card. Hopefully, this guide has informed you about the prices of Nolan baseball cards. 

Nate Heath

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