A 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card, graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA, reached an almost unimaginable level recently as the card was sold for an even $100,000. A few Aaron rookies graded Mint 9 were recently sold in the $20-$30,000 range, but this Gem Mint 10 example shatters all prior price records.

The two biggest factors behind the phenomenal price were rarity and timeliness. This example is currently the only Gem Mint 10 example graded by PSA and, when you consider the amount of cards that have been submitted over the years, it leaves little doubt as to the importance of this card. In addition, with home runs filling up the baseball headlines in recent years, Hank Aaron's name is continually brought up.

You may be wondering who the lucky owner is. Here's a clue. He throws a lot of knuckleballs, was on the cover of the Sportscard Market Report last year and his initials are TC. All right, so I gave it away but Tom Canditotti is the proud new owner of the Home Run King. When Tom received the card, he was astounded at the quality. "The card looks like it just came out of the pack," said an excited Candiotti. "The color, centering and corners on this card are phenomenal, the condition is just awesome."

Tom was also intrigued by the importance of the Aaron rookie card. "The card is one of major importance," explained Candiotti. "The Hank Aaron rookie card is one of those cards that everyone has seen or heard about. It has that legendary-type status that separates this card from other star cards in the hobby. Home runs hitters have traditionally been a focus for many collectors and this card is the rookie card of the all-time leader and it's a PSA 10. It really is a classic."

There is no question that this card will remain in the spotlight for years to come. As Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. climb the ranks towards the lofty career home run mark, Hank Aaron's name will continue to surface in the news. Both men are still a few hundred homers behind "The Hammer" so, for now, Mr. Aaron remains the king by a large margin. Even if Aaron's record were to fall some day, his rookie card will always retain its classic status.


Joe Orlando has been an advanced collector of sportscards and memorabilia for over 25 years. Orlando attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he studied communications and was the starting catcher for the baseball team. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, Orlando obtained a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Southern California in the spring of 1999. During the last fourteen years, Orlando has authored several collecting guides and dozens of articles for Collectors Universe, Inc. Orlando has also authored two books for Collectors Universe. Orlando's first book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, was released in the summer of 2002. His second book, Collecting Sports Legends, was released in the summer of 2008. Orlando has appeared on several radio and television programs as a hobby expert including ESPN's award-winning program Outside the Lines and HBO's Real Sports, as the featured guest. Currently, Orlando is the President of PSA and PSA/DNA, the largest trading card and sports memorabilia authentication services in the hobby. He is also Editor of the company's nationally distributed Sports Market Report, which under Orlando's direction has developed into a leading resource in the market. Orlando also contributed the foreword and last chapter to The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories, a 2010 release, and to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, a 2013 release.