In the card-collecting world, the two categories of cards are signed and unsigned. But are autographed baseball cards always more valuable than unsigned ones? We answer that question and more in our guide to autographed baseball cards below!

Yes, Autographed Cards Are (Typically) More Valuable

An autograph from a popular baseball player can be incredibly valuable, so it's reasonable that an autographed baseball card will typically have greater value than one that's not signed. But, as we'll discuss later, this is not always the case.

In many cases, an autograph will bump up the value of a card significantly, especially if it's an on-card signature or hand-signed card, rather than a sticker autograph, where the player signs a sheet of stickers that is then peeled and applied to the card. An on-hand autographed card ensures the card was physically handled by the player, which is more appealing to collectors.

How Much Value Does an Autograph Add to a Baseball Card?

We know that autographed baseball cards are more valuable, but how much more valuable are they? As with any collector's item, the value of a card depends on many factors, the most prominent being the player's popularity.

If the player is not very popular or the card is not that rare, its value won't change much due to the autograph. The best way to find out how much value an autograph adds to a baseball card is by looking up how much the player's autograph is worth and then adding it to the card's value.

Factors That Determine the Value of a Signed Card

While an autographed baseball card is often more valuable than those that aren’t autographed, many factors determine a signed card's value. The card's condition is critical, as no one will want to buy an autographed card that's damaged or disintegrating.

The card's rarity is also important, as an autograph by a popular player on a rare card is a surefire way to drive up value. Of course, there are also the market conditions and rarity of the autograph, so if the player has autographed many cards recently or the market's been flooded with autographed cards, its value may dip.

Can an Autograph Reduce the Value of a Baseball Card?

While it's rare, it's possible for an autograph to reduce the value of a baseball card. The most obvious example is if the autograph is fraudulent, as a fake signature immediately makes a card problematic, no matter its condition or rarity.

An autograph can also damage a card's value if the card is exceptionally rare. A card in mint condition can be downgraded due to an autograph, and if the signee's autograph isn't worth the tradeoff, a signed card can be worth less than an unsigned one.

Find Quality Signed and Unsigned Baseball Cards at JRI Cards

If you're in the market for new baseball cards, you can find vintage baseball cards for sale at JRI Cards. Browse our baseball card breaks and many other cards on our site, and order yours today!