In the 1980s, collectors thought our baseball cards were going to go up in value forever, and many of us had visions of retiring on the backs of our cardboard treasures.

Market booms and busts, twists and turns over the years, though, have taught us that not all that glitters from a wax pack is gold, and most of us have faced the reality that the true value of baseball cards lies in their ability to invoke nostalgia and connect us to our roots.

Still, if you’ve been paying attention to the hobby in the last 20 years, you’ve probably noticed that there are still plenty of cards selling — at local card shows, at Walmart, and online through outlets like eBay.

With that in mind, I thought it might be fun — and instructive — to dive into some of the big-ticket or otherwise intriguing items that have been gavelled on eBay over the last week.

So, here we go with five big lots that will make you envious …

(Over the next little while, I’m going to be unfurling a set of experimental types of posts to see if they strike any cardboard chords. Let me know what you think, and I’ll adjust as we go. Also, note that these listings contain affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)

1965 Topps Lot of 16 Cards Graded PSA 10

1965 Topps Low Population Lot of 16 PSA 10

The 1965 Topps baseball card set features a classic design, with bright colors and a team pennant that still makes you want to head out to the ballpark for a day of diamond fun.

It slots right in with other sets from the 1960s as a haven for collectors of Hall of Fame players and vintage issues in general.

Given that the cards are well over 50 years old now, though, it’s not surprising that really high condition specimens can demand a premium. According to the PSA population report at the time of this writing, less than one in 100 (0.7 %) of the 1965s sent their way end up with a perfect score — a PSA 10 grade.

So it’s little wonder that this lot of 16 cards from the 1965 set, all graded PSA 10, brought big bucks on eBay — its “sold” price is listed at $32,000.

It probably helped that Ron Santo and Ken Boyer were among the cards included, and a companion lot that sold for nearly as much earlier in the month was similarly bolstered by Hall of Famer Billy Williams.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

See the companion eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1980 Topps Rickey Henderson Rookie Card Graded PSA 10

1980 Topps Rickey Henderson

As I mentioned in a previous piece looking at big ticket items available on eBay,

Rickey Henderson stands alone in baseball history when it comes to combining speed, power, and hot dogness, and his rookie card has driven the 1980 Topps baseball card set almost since the day it rolled off the presses.

And 1980s baseball cards don’t get much more driven than the Henderson rookie card that sold on eBay in mid-May of 2018.

After vigorous bidding that saw a total of 56 bids, the gavel came down on this “perfect” PSA 10 copy of Rickey’s rookie card for a cool $24,500.98.

Sure could buy a lot of mustard for that tidy sum!

Relish the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1956 Topps Roberto Clemente Gray Back Graded PSA 9

1956 Topps Roberto Clemente Gray Back

Roberto Clemente is one of the most respected and majestic figures in the annals of Major League Baseball. Not only was he a tremendous talent who hit and fielded his way to Cooperstown, but he was an iconic figure on the Pittsburgh Pirates landscape — no mean feat when you consider the roll of great Pirates through the years: Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, and many more.

But even beyond all that, Clemente was a dignified man who withstood difficult racial situations with great dignity and who died in a plane crash while on a relief mission to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua.

Clemente cards are always popular with collectors, particularly high-grade specimens from early in his career.

This PSA 9 — one of just six gray backs PSA has graded in that condition — brought north of $23,000 on the strength of 56 bids.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link)

1966 Topps Baseball Unopened Wax Pack – Mantle Series

1966 Topps Baseball Wax Pack

It’s not every day you find a graded unopened wax pack from more than 50 years ago, which already makes this lot something special.

Throw in the fact that this 1966 Topps baseball wax pack grades out at a PSA 8 and that it comes from the Mickey Mantle series … well, you’d expect it to bring a handsome enough sum, right?

Is $2925 good-looking enough for you?

That’s the price this beauty brought in mid-May, and a nearly identical pack commanded an identical price at the same time.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

See the companion eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1989 Donruss Baseball Unopened Rack Case

1989 Donruss Baseball Unopened Rack Case

The 1989 Donruss baseball card set debuted during the heart of the junk wax era, and it fit right in  — at last count, there were a blue trillion of these cards floating around out there (that’s the technical term).

But you know what? This set still has some legs, despite a so-so design and a big enough print run to fill the earth’s oceans several times over.

After all, it’s hard to resist the opportunity to pick up Ken Griffey and Randy Johnson rookie cards on the cheap, not to mention the debut cardboard of luminaries such as Luis Alicea and Brian Holman.

And this lot added even more fun to the mix because it contained 75 rack packs, which means there is a good chance to pull some prime display pieces.

True to its roots, this case gave the buyer a chance to pick up a scad of old cards at low prices, selling for just $69 on only one bid.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

So what do you think? Do you like this kind of market report? Let me know in the comments or by email (