Stan Musial baseball cards are an excellent long term alternative investment and should produce long term returns ranging from 8 to 16%.
Stan Musial was an American baseball outfielder and first baseman who happened to spend 22 seasons in Major League Baseball playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. When people think of Stan “The Man” Musial, they often think of him to be one of the greatest and most consistent hitters in baseball history.
Best Overall Pick: 1948 Bowman RC #36
Top Budget Pick: 1960 Set-Break #250
Despite Musial getting started with his baseball career in 1941, his first baseball card did not start to appear until the late 1940s. During the early cards for Musical, his most popular cards included appearances in Bowman and Leaf products. However, when the 1950s Topps sets came out, it was noticeable that Musial was missing because he was one of the best and most popular players in the game at the time.
Why was that? In an interview for the Topps’ 50th Anniversary, longtime Topss executive Sy Berger was asked about Musial’s absence in early Topps set. He said, “He just didn’t want to sign cards.” It looks like Cardinals owner Gussie Busch had to intervene and Musial made his first appearance on a Topps baseball card in 1958.
Moving forward, Stan “The Man” Musial was a regular on Topps cards until his career came to an end in 1963. After his retirement, he would frequently appear in a variety of baseball card sets and has numerous autographs and memorabilia cards out there for baseball card collectors. However, he is one of the more challenging players from his era to collect due to the fact that his “rookie card” was not made until six to seven years into his career and not being present in the first Topps baseball card sets.
Today we are looking at five perfect Stan Musial baseball cards you should buy now and what that investment would look like for you.
5. 1960 Topps Set-Break Stan Musial #250
Another card giving us a different look for Stan Musial is the 1960 Topps card, as it is the only mainstream baseball card that shows Musial on a horizontally-shaped card. There are two images of Musial on this card, as we can see a nice black and white image of Musial awaiting the pitch is on the left side of the card. On the right side of the card we can see a nice color head shot picture of him smiling is on the center-right of the card.
On the bottom of the card, collectors can see the team name and position info for Musial, as well as his name. For his name, it features famous alternating letter coloring of the 1960s Topps baseball card set.
4. 1949 Bowman Stan Musial #24
For Musial, his second Bowman baseball card has always been one of his most popular early cards. This card perfectly shows off Musial’s famous corkscrew batting stance, which doesn’t normally appear on his other mainstream vintage baseball cards. In the card, we see a large image of Musial taking up much of the card, as neither his name or team and position information appear anywhere on the front of the card. The blue background also gives the card a very distinct look.
For collectors, Musial was left out of the 1951 Bowman baseball card set, so he would not appear in another mainstream baseball card until 1952. Because of that, raw and graded copies of this card are in high demand and often very pricey.
3. 1954 Red Heart Stan Musial
There is a misconception out there regarding Stan Musial cards, as some say he did not have any releases between his last Bowman card in 1953 and his first Topps card in 1958. While there were not many cards issued between 1953 and 1958 for Musial, there were a few oddballs that were released, including the 1954 Red Heart Stan Musial.
This set was issued regionally with Red Heart brand dog food. The set contained 33 unnumbered cards and were mail-in cards from packages of pet food. For this set of cards, the bright background colors are the hallmark. Each colored background represents a different series of the cards. The sets came in three different colors, with red being the last series and the most difficult to find, including the Musial card.
2. 1948 Leaf Stan Musial Rookie Card #4
This would be Musial’s other rookie card, which is the 1948 Leaf #4 issue. While most of the early cards for Musial are by Bowman products, collectors should also check out this 1948 Leaf card. The Leaf card is definitely tougher of the two, but odd print lines usually keep the card from achieving top grades. While the 1948 Leaf Musial rookie card is one of the most expensive cards in the set, it still pales in comparison to the short-printed Satchel Paige rookie card.
1. 1948 Bowman Stan Musial Rookie Card #36
While the 1948 Bowman set was small and simple, it does hold a special place for collectors, as it was the first set ever produced just for the sake of offering baseball cards. This set did feature a bunch of great rookie cards, including one of two Stan Musial rookie cards. However, the 1948 Bowman #36 is considered to be the more popular of the two and it also is one of the most expensive baseball cards in the entire set.
The 1948 season was a great season for Musial, as he had his highest single season totals for RBIs (131), home runs (39) and runs scored (135). He ended the season with a .376 batting average, which was the second-highest single season total of his Major League career. If he had hit two more home runs that season, Musial would have passed Ralph Kiner and Johnny Mize to lead the NL with 41 home runs, which would have won Musial the Triple Crown.
As far as the Bowman #36 goes, it shows a young black and white head shot of Musial, as he has a serious and focused look on his face. This is a stark contrast to a lot of Musial’s other cards, which show off his crooked smile.
Musial happened to be a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. He batted .331 over the course of his career, as he set National League records for games played (3,026), at bats (10,972), career hits (3,630), runs batted in (1,951), doubles (725) and runs scored (1,949). At the time, he was also ranked second in NL history for career home runs at 475. He was a seven-time batting champion, was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player three time and was a member of three World Series championship teams.
For now, these are some Stan Musial baseball cards that are definitely worth buying and worth your investment, especially when they are in perfect condition. If you want to make a killing in the baseball card industry, get one of them today. The value of Stan Musial baseball cards should steadily climb throughout the coming years with no major fluctuations up or down on the horizon. With some of these cards being so rare, that investment may pay off sooner rather than later.