1955 Topps Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente was a right fielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates known for a batting prowess matched by his benevolence. He scored 3,000 hits in the course of his career and led the team to a 1971 World Series victory, but he then died in a plane crash the following year while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
In May 2012, a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente No. 164 card -- Clemente's rookie card -- sold for $432,690. The card was part of a lot made available by Dmitri Young (a 13-season Major League veteran himself) that sold through SCP Auctions for more than $2.4 million [source: Sports Collectors Daily].
Professional Sports Authenticator grades card condition on a scale of 1 through 10, with 10 representing mint, perfect condition. This particular Clemente rookie card is the only card to receive a PSA 10 rating out of more than 2,860 submitted to PSA over the years [source: SCP Auctions]. It also illustrates just how much condition correlates with sale price: The same card graded as a PSA 8 is worth only about $6,000, Orlando says [source: Orlando].