(Check out our other posts about card values here.)

When 1986 Topps cards first hit store shelves that spring, expectations were sky high on the heels of the 1985 set that was jampacked with high-profile rookies. And, although the set fell flat in terms of stellar first-year cards, it still holds collector interest all these years later.

And it doesn’t hurt any that the 1986 Topps Traded set featured a couple of hobby heavyweights that continue to spark imaginations today.

With that in mind, here is a rundown of the 12 most valuable 1986 Topps baseball cards, base or Traded, as determined by the PSA Sports Market Report, and ordered by their reported “NM-MT 8” prices.

(Note … the links below are affiliate links to eBay and Amazon.)

1986 Topps Traded Barry Bonds (#11)

1986 Topps Traded Barry Bonds

Bonds was an all-around threat when he debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the mid-1980s, but his moderate power stroke tempered his card values for several years. By the time he was winning MVP awards in the 1990s, though, and especially when he was smashing home run marks in the 2000s, his rookie cards were as hot as anyone’s. This Topps Traded card was near the top of that leaderboard, and it’s still the gem of all Topps cards issued in 1986. Raw copies might set you back a few bucks with high quality slabbed specimens stretching to $10 and well beyond.

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1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson (#50)

1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson

In contrast to Bonds, Bo Jackson was a phenom even before he hit the Major Leagues, and his 1986 Topps Traded card was hot right away. More than 30 years later, it maintains collector appeal despite Jackson’s career being cut short by injury. Prices are similar to those for Bonds’ card and can sometimes even outpace Barry’s issue.

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1986 Topps Eric Davis (#28)

1986 Topps Eric Davis

Eric Davis had all the talent in the world but had trouble staying on the field due to a fragile physique. Still, he made enough of an impact during his first few years, and sustained his performance well enough for many years, for this second-year card to continue selling for around a dollar today.

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1986 Topps Nolan Ryan (#100)

1986 Topps Nolan Ryan

As Nolan Ryan cards go, this one is not very exciting, but it’s still a 30+-year-old card of The Ryan Express. Expect to pay about a buck for ungraded copies and all the way up into the multiple hundreds for gem mint slabbed versions.

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1986 Topps Ryne Sandberg (#690)

1986 Topps Ryne Sandberg

Ryne Sandberg’s fourth Topps card captures the Cubs legend in a full-on smile. You can generally capture that sunshine, ungraded, for around a dollar.

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1986 Topps Len Dykstra (#53)

1986 Topps Len Dykstra

Scrappy Lenny Dykstra was one of the heroes of the amazing 1986 New York Mets team that won an unforgettable World Series against the Boston Red Sox. Though Dykstra’s career petered out and he has run into plenty of off-field problems, his rookie card maintains enough popularity to bring a buck or so in raw form.

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1986 Topps Don Mattingly (#180)

1986 Topps Don Mattingly

In 1986, Don Mattingly was considered by many — maybe most — observers to be the best all-around player in the game. A bad back snuffed out the promise of what looked like a surefire Hall of Fame career, but Donnie Baseball is still popular today. This gorgeous third-year Mattingly usually brings a buck or less ungraded.

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1986 Topps Carlton Fisk (#290)

1986 Topps Carlton Fisk

At nearly 40 years old, Carlton Fisk should have been about finished when his 1986 Topps card hit store shelves, but he just kept on chugging into the early 1990s. Fisk’s amazing Hall of Fame career keeps him popular among collectors today, but you can often find this card for less than a quarter if you don’t mind forgoing the slab.

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1986 Topps Rickey Henderson (#500)

1986 Topps Rickey Henderson

Rickey Henderson was near his peak with the New York Yankees in the mid-1980s, and this is his first Topps base card with the Bombers. It’s a great looking piece of cardboard that should be able to nab for 50 cents or so.

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1986 Topps Reggie Jackson (#700)

1986 Topps Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson was nearing the end of the line when his 1986 Topps cards was issued, but he still looks like he could smack the cover off a baseball anytime he wanted. This late-career gem well set you back a buck or so in raw form.

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1986 Topps Pete Rose  (#1)

1986-Topps-Pete-Rose

When this card was issued, Pete Rose was just a few months removed from having become the all-time hits leader, surpassing Ty Cobb‘s long-standing mark of 4191 (since amended to 4090). Topps honored the Hit King with card #1 in their 1986 set, a pasteboard you can buy today for a dollar or less.

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1986 Topps Tony Gwynn (#10)

1986 Topps Tony Gwynn

By 1986, Tony Gwynn was in a perennial battle with Wade Boggs for the title of best pure hitter in the game. Gwynn eventually ended up with a 10-point advantage in career average (.338 to .328), and his third-year card goes for about a dollar in raw form.

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(Check out our other posts about card values here.)

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