Baseball cards were once the most popular memorabilia among fans of the sport because they were handy, affordable, and easy to procure. Collecting and trading baseball cards were a common pastime among baseball enthusiasts and hobbyists back in the 80s.
What is the size of a baseball card? While some can be larger or smaller, most baseball cards measure 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches.
Dimensions of Baseball Cards Through the Years
There is no set standard for baseball card size among card collectors and hobbyists. How big baseball cards are depends on when they were printed and produced. You can find this information in a baseball card size chart published by sports card collectors.
Below is a summary of how baseball card measurements have changed over the last century.
- T206 or tobacco baseball cards: 1 7/16 inches x 2 ⅝ inches
This limited series of vintage baseball cards were produced for the American Tobacco Company between 1909 and 1911.
Also referred to as white-border cards, these baseball keepsakes came with a portrait image of baseball players in front and an advertisement for a tobacco brand at the back.
Chewing tobacco was popular then, so a set of tobacco cards was a great way to promote tobacco products. T206 baseball cards also had an added purpose—they were used to reinforce tobacco packages and make them more rigid.
- Goudey baseball cards: 2 ⅜ inches x 2 ⅞ inches
Baseball trading cards dimensions took a turn in sizing when someone came up with the idea to pack them with gum in the 1930s. Previously, baseball cards were packed with tobacco, and people who were old enough to buy cigarettes generally didn’t care much for the cards.
These larger-sized gum vintage baseball cards were produced by the Boston-based Goudey Gum Company and featured dramatic improvements in card design and color.
The 239-card Goudey collection gave prominence to both portrait and action shots of baseball players in the front. A short player biography can be found on the back, along with details of the advertiser at the bottom.
This particular baseball sports card size was the first ever to be included in bubble gum packages.
- Bowman baseball cards: 2 inches x 2 ½ inches and 2 ⅛ inches x 3 ⅛ inches
The Bowman Gum Company releases a series of collectible baseball cards in different sizes from 1948 to 1955. Bowman baseball cards were initially almost square-shaped before shifting to a rectangular format that is more consistent with modern-day baseball cards.
The most notable feature of Bowman baseball cards was the use of paintings instead of photographs in its 1950 252-card set series. Images included a mix of traditional player portraits and action shots, plus painted renditions of ballpark and stadium backdrops.
- Topps baseball cards: 2 ½ inches x 3 ½ inches
A name that has become synonymous with baseball cards, Topps initially was American Leaf Tobacco until it rebranded itself as a chewing gum company in 1938. Topps was Bowman’s stiffest competitor until it bought off the latter after the 1955 MLB season.
The Topps Company eventually ventured into producing trading cards and other collectibles for the sports and entertainment industries. For a while, it held the monopoly in baseball card production and was the only MLB-licensed baseball card manufacturer at the start of the 21st century.
The popular baseball card maker is widely known for having set the bar high with its innovative card design elements. In addition to images and bios, Topps baseball cards were the first to feature individual player statistics, which weren’t readily available to the public at that time.
Topps continued to produce baseball and other trading cards for over 70 years until Fanatics, Inc. acquired it in early 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
How thick is a baseball card?
The thickness of paper products such as baseball cards is measured in points, with one point equivalent to .001 of an inch or around .00254 cm.
Most baseball cards are around 35 points—that’s about .035 in inches or 889 in mm (which you’ll easily see on the standard ruler).
Better yet, get yourself a Card Thickness Point Gauge tool which comes with a thickness chart if you’re into collecting sports card memorabilia.
You can also download and print one from online card supply stores. Knowing how thick baseball cards are will help when buying the right storage cases.
How much does a baseball card weigh?
The average-sized baseball card weighs around 1 gram. If you’re storing your baseball cards in top loaders to protect them from damage, each top loader weighs around 6 to 7 grams. The total weight of a baseball card inside a top loader will be around 7 to 8 grams each.
Knowing how much baseball cards weigh is vital if you’re selling or buying baseball cards that need to be shipped through a courier.
What are baseball cards made of?
Most baseball cards are made with a thick paper called card stock, but there are also those made from plastic and silk. Among those highly sought out by vintage baseball card collectors are pre-war era baseball cards made of silk and satin. These are aptly called Baseball Silks.
Images of baseball players were either printed or sewn onto the fabric cards, which were packed with tobacco products for marketing purposes. Common baseball silks cost around $20 each, while premiums can fetch several hundred or even thousands of dollars.
What is the most expensive baseball card?
A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card was recently auctioned for a whopping $12.6 million, making it the most expensive sports memorabilia ever. That’s $3 million more than Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey sold three months earlier.
Card collector and Yankee fan Anthony Giordano originally bought it for $50,000 in 1991. He then held on to this Mantle for 31 years before selling it for the record amount in August 2022. The buyer remains anonymous.
Can you make your own baseball cards?
With the advent of digital printing, you definitely can! In fact, there are several online baseball card maker apps and sites that let you design your own baseball cards.
Adobe Photoshop is also another way to go. You just need to select a baseball card size template and set your resolution to 300 pixels per square inch. Then you can add backgrounds, images, and text to create unique baseball cards you won’t find anywhere!
Collecting baseball cards was (and still is) a fun activity for many sports enthusiasts. These popular memorabilia don’t take up too much space compared to other baseball collectibles such as autographed balls, bats, and jerseys.
What is the size of a baseball card? While some can vary in dimensions, you now know that most baseball cards measure 2.5 inches horizontally and 3.5 inches vertically. Surely, you have lots of room to spare in case you plan to collect baseball cards as a hobby!
A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.