Mark David McGwire, one of the two main subjects of ESPN's documentary 'Long Gone Summer,' played 16 seasons for two Major League Baseball franchises, the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. He was a tremendous MLB player, but since he was a part of the steroid scandal, he has yet to be inducted into Cooperstown's National Baseball Hall of Fame.
A native of Pomona, California, McGwire went to the University of Southern California after deciding to not sign with the Montreal Expos, who drafted him in the eighth round of the 1981 MLB Draft. Then, the Athletics selected him 10th overall in the draft three years later. Although he is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Athletics and Cardinals have inducted him into their respective team Halls of Fame. McGwire's career was filled with success, as he was a 12-time All-Star, five-time single-season MLB home run leader, and three-time Silver Slugger award winner.
McGwire, who has been focusing on his family recently, has been watching his son Max play baseball at a very high level. Max has made the Underclass All-American Games Top Prospect List. The elder McGwire had his last connection to professional baseball in 2018 when he completed his three-year tenure as a bench coach for the San Diego Padres. He was also the hitting coach for the Cardinals from 2010 to 2012 and for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2013 to 2015.
He was a World Series champion in 1989 with the Athletics and in 2011 with the Cardinals. Not only was McGwire an amazing hitting talent, but the first baseman also won a Gold Glove in 1990. McGwire made a lasting impact on the game of baseball, and here are the most valuable Mark McGwire cards sold on eBay over the last 90 days.
2020 Topps Project Mark McGwire 1987 by Efdot #17
Recent sale: $356
Efdot's version of the 1987 McGwire card sold for $356. This is the first card in the BGS population, and it was a grade of 9.5. Efdot makes this card unique with the black and white border for both McGwire and the card. In addition, the special feature of this card is the depiction of McGwire's backswing in the top right.
Among the first 184 Topps Project 2020 cards, the print run was the 18th-lowest with just 1,456 cards released. It is the least printed of any card designed by Efdot, with his Willie Mays card rendition having just 24 more copies. McGwire was the first player released among Efdot's Topps cards.
Eric Friedensohn, who is known as Efdot, opened his art studio in Brooklyn, New York about a decade ago. There, he has showcased tremendous hand-crafted artwork. He is an impressive artist who helps aspiring ones and has produced an intriguing card here.
2017 Topps Diamond Icon Mark McGwire Red Ink Signature - Gold #MMC
Recent sale: $450
This unique PSA 9 autograph card is next on the list. The original list price of the card was $600, but the best offer was accepted at $450. The 2017 Topps Diamond Icon Mark McGwire Red Ink Signature has three variations including the standard version of the card in addition to the purple and red.
1997 Finest Mark McGwire Embossed Refractor #155
Recent sale: $550
This PSA 10 card is one of eight PSA 10 cards and is the first of four Topps Finest cards on this list. Finest, which began in 1993, is very popular in terms of McGwire cards. The 1997 Embossed Refractor marked the first year of embossed refractor usage for Topps Finest.
1995 Finest Mark McGwire Refractor #169
Recent sale: $558
We go back in time two years earlier to the 1995 Finest set. This refractor card is another one of the best-selling McGwire cards and is one of 330 unique refractors. This 1995 set was a groundbreaking one, as it includes a protective film on the front of every card, and the film prevents scratches along with protecting the integrity of the card.
1999 Topps Tek Gold Mark McGwire #7A
Recent sale: $625
This 1999 Topps card is another flashy one, and it depicts McGwire's statuesque backswing. There were a whopping 30 different patterns for these types of cards. This PSA card is just one of 10 McGwire Tek Gold cards and has a 6.0 times condition sensitivity ratio. There are just six cards in the combined PSA and BGS populations, and two of the three PSA cards are 9 grades. The other is a PSA 10.
The Topps Tek set was way ahead of its time, as it had home (A) and away (B) base cards for each of the 45 players in 1999. In addition, there are Gold parallels for every one of the 2,700 unique cards in the set. Topps Tek was only around from 1998 to 2000, and Topps revived it as Topps High Tek in 2014.
The card highlights McGwire's unbelievable record-breaking performance in 1998. McGwire became the home run king with his 70 home runs that year. After matching Roger Maris' 61 home runs with a September 7th home run off Chicago Cubs starter Mike Morgan, McGwire came back the next day and homered again against the Cubs. The second of those solo home runs came off Steve Trachsel, and it was already McGwire's seventh home run of the month. His power led the Cardinals to their fourth straight victory on September 8, and he then helped St. Louis to the team's longest winning streak of the season from September 15 to 22.
1985 Chong Modesto A's Mark McGwire Incorrect Spelling
Recent sale: $674.95
According to Frank Chong, the Athletics' Single-A affiliate, the Modesto A's of the California League, had some player named Mark McGuire. Then, there were several corrections made to the 1985 set. In fact, six corrections were made to the 1985 Chong Modesto A's, a set that originally contained just 28 cards. Chong or one of his assistants must have not been paying attention because some of the other misspellings were the following: "Kelvin" for Kevin Stock, "Rodriquez" for Rich Rodriguez, and "Traverud" for Rick Tronerud.
This PSA 10 card has a condition sensitivity ratio of 6.2 times, as there are just 64 PSA 10 grades in the 390-card PSA population. Meanwhile, just six of the 1985 Chong incorrect spelling McGwire cards have been seen by BGS. The back of the card is very basic, and it includes just one statistic, his average in his first minor league season: .200. In 1984, McGwire played for the Modesto A's. Canseco, who turned 20 years old that summer, was one the team's best hitters, as he launched 15 home runs and produced a .835 OPS in 1984.
2014 Topps Finest Mark McGwire Greats Autograph Atomic Refractor #FGAMM #'d/5
Recent sale: $820
The 2014 Topps Finest Mark McGwire Greats Autograph Atomic Refractors PSA population is just one, and it is a PSA 9. This set was released with six-pack mini-boxes. Hobby boxes, which included two mini-boxes, were available as well. Fans who were lucky enough to get this McGwire autograph are pretty excited to see it land on this list.
2020 Topps Project Mark McGwire 1987 by Keith Shore #28
Recent sale: $1,000
The best-selling McGwire Topps Project 2020 card is the one by Keith Shore, which features McGwire and the fans converted into Shore's famous cartoon-like Mikkeller brewery characters. The fans are made up of Shore's Henry and Sally characters, and McGwire is now a baseball version of Henry. This could be the farthest departure from the Topps Tiffany card, as McGwire looks much different and all the fans in the original card are as blurry as can be.
The third-highest priced card on this list stands at $1,000, and there is one card in the BGS population. The grade is a 9.5. This is an impressive price for this card by Shore, and part of the reason for this is the low print run. The 1,199 copies of Shore's unique spin of this McGwire card were printed, and that number ranks as the sixth-fewest among Topps Project 2020 cards. McGwire was the second player released among Shore's Topps cards.
McGwire, who hit bombs early in his career, did so at an astronomical pace near the end. After his historic 70 home runs in 1998, he had an MLB-leading 65 home runs and 147 runs batted in the following season. Although he had some knee injury problems in 2000 and 2001, he still had a total of 61 home runs in the final 186 games of his professional career. His Cardinals made the postseason in 2001, but they lost to the eventual champion Arizona Diamondbacks in five games in the NLDS.
1987 Topps Tiffany Mark McGwire #366
Recent sale: $1,000
Finally, we have the original: the 1987 Topps Tiffany McGwire card that inspired the 20 different renditions for the 2020 Topps Project. Interestingly, this is the second-highest priced 1987 card on this list. The card has a classic back side, and the list price was $1,500. This BGS 10 card ended up selling for $1,000. The card has a 6.5 times condition sensitive ratio. Of the 436 BGS population cards, there is just one BGS 10 card. Meanwhile, there are 493 PSA 10 cards in the 2,783-card PSA population.
1993 Topps Finest Mark McGwire Refractor #92
Recent sale: $1,200
Although this Topps Finest Refractor card is not a part of the 2020 Topps Project, it is a flashy PSA 10 card of McGwire from 1993. The card sold for $1,200 after having a list price of $1,299. The condition sensitivity ratio for this card is 7.4 times. Of the 232 cards in the PSA population, there are just 34 PSA 10 grades.
1987 Leaf Mark McGwire #46
Recent sale: $2,000
A young-looking McGwire is featured in this card, which is the most expensive one of him in an Athletics jersey on this list. This PSA 10 card has a condition sensitivity ratio of 26.8 times, as just 39 of the 795 PSA population cards have PSA 10 grades. Of the 252 BGS cards, none have BGS 10 grades.
1985 Topps Mark McGwire 1984 USA Baseball Team #401
Recent sale: $10,000
Is this the true Mark McGwire rookie card? The buyer thinks that it is, as the debate continues on if this is McGwire's rookie card. Some hobby purists consider the 1987 one his true rookie card because it was the first of him in an A's uniform.
Mark McGwire's rookie card price for this prized 1985 Topps card makes a large jump from the previous entry on the list. McGwire, a silver medalist, looks excited in this classic BGS 10 card that had the best offer accepted. The list price was $18,900 but this card with the front-facing McGwire sold for $10,000.
In the 1984 Summer Olympics, a 20-year-old McGwire represented the United States as the team's first baseman. The USA team made the championship game, but fell to Japan, 6-3.
McGwire had a historic career, and he will be most remembered for his home run race with Sosa. McGwire and Sosa matched each other with a home run each on September 25, the third-to-last day of the regular season. McGwire then homered four times in his final nine at-bats of 1998 to push his record-breaking season to 70 home runs.
He played more than 1,900 MLB regular season and postseason games. McGwire finished with the 11th-most home runs and seventh-best slugging percentage of all-time. He even had the best range factor at first base in 1998. He warmed our baseball hearts with the home run chase and if he makes the Hall of Fame one day, Mark McGwire cards will be even more valuable than they are now.