The Most Popular Baseball Hall of Famers in the U.S.
October 24, 2022
As we round third and head for home on another MLB season, baseball fans are getting excited for the World Series. The playoffs have given birth to many baseball legends throughout the years. The long-standing tradition of baseball in the U.S. makes it easy for us as fans to get nostalgic for star players from the sport’s past. Many of us have our favorite players immortalized through memorabilia and other collectibles, like the coveted American baseball card.
Just in time for the World Series, the team at Sell Easy looked at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s most popular baseball players in every state in the U.S. and what some of the most valuable baseball cards are worth today.
To determine the most popular Hall of Fame baseball player in every state, we started by listing every member of baseball’s Hall of Fame. To create a more manageable list to work from, we only included players who were inducted by the BBWA, NLC, or SCNL. We then used Google Trends search interest from 2004 to 2022 to find the player that is searched most often in every state, using that list of 160 players.
Once we had a player for every state, we compared their highest baseball card value, according to Card Hedge, to the highest MLB player salary the year they first played, according to SABR. That gave us an idea of how certain player value has shifted over the years.
The Most Popular Baseball Hall of Famer in Every State
Jackie Robinson was the most searched-for player overall, claiming the title of most popular baseball legend in seven states. Robinson is renowned for breaking the color barrier in 1947 and is widely regarded as one of the most important baseball figures of all time. He was also MLB’s first official rookie of the year and the first baseball player to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp.
The only other baseball icon to win more than one state on our list is Lou Gehrig. Lou Gehrig spent all 17 seasons of his baseball career with the New York Yankees and was known for his ability as a hitter. Gehrig was nicknamed “The Iron Horse” for his incredible strength and speed on the diamond. In 1939, he was diagnosed with ALS on his 36th birthday and died almost two years later from the disease. Following his death in 1941, ALS was commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
New York and New Jersey’s top-searched Hall of Famers are two of the league’s more recent stars, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, respectively. Mariano Rivera spent his entire career with the Yankees before retiring in 2013. He is the only player to ever be unanimously voted as a Hall of Famer and is often considered the greatest reliever of all time, with one of the best entrance songs ever. Derek Jeter spent over 20 years with the Yankees and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020, missing out on being the second player to be unanimously elected by one single vote. Following his illustrious baseball career, “The Captain” would go on to be the CEO and part-owner of the Miami Marlins for four years, becoming the first black CEO in MLB.
New England baseball fans favored their very own Boston Red Sox. The most searched-for player in Massachusetts was David Ortiz who played with the Red Sox for 14 years. He is regarded as one of the league’s best hitters ever, becoming the third player behind Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds to hit 500 home runs and 600 doubles. David Ortiz was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022, his first year on the ballot, with nearly 78% of the vote.
Baseball Hall of Famers: Their Value Then vs. Now
Baseball card collectors have seen certain players skyrocket in value over the years. Many of us who gave up our coveted childhood collections years ago at yard sales are kicking ourselves now for parting with our favorite first editions and star players. For this section, we compared the highest possible valuation from Card Hedge of the 10 most valuable baseball cards in our study to the highest salary in the league the year the players were rookies to get a sense of how their value has changed over the years.
The most valuable baseball card in circulation today is none other than Mickey Mantle, currently valued at $5.2 million, but has recently sold for a record-setting player salaries to continue to rise. While those salaries will outpace card values going forward, if you happen upon a Mickey Mantle or Sandy Koufax rookie card in mint condition, you could get a hefty payday yourself!
Regardless of who your favorite players are or which teams you pull for, baseball is something that brings sports fans closer together every MLB season. For diehard fans who have been collecting cards over the years, it’s always a thrill to witness rookie players become future Hall of Famers. Former collectors who are thinking about parting with your prized collections and memorabilia, be sure to check back to our list first to make sure you’re not missing out on millions!
Parting ways with your baseball card collection can be hard to do, but selling an insurance policy should be easy. At Sell Easy, we make it simple to see if your policy qualifies. Give us a visit today!
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