Because he was such a good-looking, well-liked, charismatic ballplayer, Andy Van Slyke baseball cards have more value than you might think. He didn’t hit over .300 in his career, or hit a lot of home runs, or steal a lot of bases. But, when it comes to Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals card collectors, Van Slyke is a player much in demand.
Andy Van Slyke’s most valuable rookie cards are featured in 1984 Topps and 1984 Donruss. They fetch about $20 each at auction for graded PSA 10 Gem Mint examples. The 1984 Fleer rookie is much less expensive. However, the limited-run glossy 1984 Topps Tiffany version of the Andy Van Slyke rookie has somewhat more value, with one of the 8 PSA 10 Gem Mint copies in existence selling for $361.25 on eBay on December 27, 2021. However, the PSA 9 Mint and lower copies sell at only a slight premium to the regular 1984 Topps printing. There’s also the 1982 TCMA pre-rookie card, which also doesn’t fetch much at auction.
While Van Slyke does have a couple of good rookie cards to collect, he also has some non-rookie cards that also hold some value. The best Andy Van Slyke baseball card that’s not a rookie card with the most value is actually the 1993 Topps Finest Baseball’s Best refractor. One graded PSA 9 Mint copy sold for $40 in November 2018, but another PSA 9 Mint copy sold in January 2019 for a staggering $127.50!
As of August 2022, there are only 123 graded PSA examples of this Van Slyke baseball card in existence, with 76 of those being PSA 9. Being depicted on the Pirates and being in a condition-sensitive set for grading makes this card a key to any Andy Van Slyke baseball card collection. Unfortunately, it’s not a card that sells at auction very much any more. It’s hardly one of the most valuable 1993 Topps baseball cards, but if you come across it, there is some good value in the 1993 Topps Finest Refractors set overall.
Another Andy Van Slyke baseball card with value is the 1987 Topps Tiffany – his most valuable Cardinals card – worth about $30 in graded PSA 10 condition. There’s also the 1994 Bowman’s Best Red Refractor – worth about $20 for a PSA 9 example. Other PSA 10 graded examples of other Van Slyke cards exist, and while they sell at auction, are available in the $5 to $10 range already slabbed.
While Van Slyke isn’t a Hall of Fame hopeful, his baseball cards have surprising value. It goes to show how a player’s personality, popularity, and good looks can endear him to many collectors. He played for some very good Pirates teams, too. His acquisition is easily one of the better Pirates trades of all time.
Updated August 2022