Rogers Hornsby Baseball Cards

Rogers Hornsby (1896-1963) played 23 seasons in MLB from 1915 to 1937 as a great player of the era. From 1925 to 1937 he was also the manager of his respective teams.

He was with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1915-1926, the New York Giants in 1927, the Boston Braves in 1928, the Chicago Cubs and 1929-1932, and back with St. Louis from 1933-1937 (St. Louis changed their name to the Browns in 1934).

Over this multi decade career with several teams, Hornsby formulated an impressive resume. He is one of the best hitters of all time. He finished just shy of 3,000 hits with 2,930. His batting average was .358 with 301 home runs and 1,584 runs batted in.

Hornsby’s accolades include two time NL MVP, two time Triple Crown winner, 11 different batting leadership awards, and he won a World Series in 1926.

Born in Winters, Texas, Hornsby’s family moved to Fort Worth when he was two after the death of his father. His brothers needed to get jobs in the meat packing industry. Hornsby was employed in the industry at age 10, and he was working full time by 15.

He was thrown into baseball quickly. It was a possible future from the difficulties of meat packing, and Hornsby strove to succeed. By the time he was 15, he was a valuable team member on a few semi pro teams.

By 1914, Hornsby was making his way through the minor league teams, and he was recognized as potential major league talent. He was signed by St. Louis in 1915.

His batting talent was recognized immediately. Once, an opposing pitcher complained to an umpire about a pitch being a strike while Hornsby was at bat. The umpire replied, “Son, when you pitch a strike, Mr. Hornsby will let you know.”

In the beginning of his career, Hornsby was moved around to many positions, and he settled on second base in 1920. His hitting was phenomenal, but after leading the Cardinal’s to the World Series victory in 1926, he was traded due to off field behavior.

Hornsby went through more trades, and in 1932, he began to struggle on the field. He played sparingly until he retired from MLB in 1937.

Due to his gambling debts, he left for the Baltimore Orioles who were in the International League as a player-coach in 1938. To pay off his gambling debts, he continued to manage/play/coach with multiple leagues as well as different MLB teams until he died of a heart attack in 1963.

Hornsby was traded, fired, and moved so often because he was notoriously mean and aggressive. Yet, he was one of the most well respected hitters of all time.

Hornsby is often compared to Ty Cobb. Hornsby was only .009 behind Ty Cobb for batting average (.358 vs. .367). Also, Hornsby hit .424 in 1924 which has gone unbeaten since (Nap Lajoie hit .426 in 1901). Finally, also like Ty Cobb, Hornsby was widely disliked.

Hornsby was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1942 on the fifth ballot with 78.1% of the vote. He was also named to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, the MLB All-Century Team, and the MLB All-Time Team.

1917 Boston Store Rogers Hornsby Rookie Card

The 1917 Boston Store set is an important tobacco era set because the set is old, large, and well designed. Its name comes from a department store that proliferated the Midwest.

There are 200 cards in the set, and they measure 2” x 3 ¼”. The set uses the same card fronts as Collins-McCarthy, Standard Biscuit, and Weil Baking. The backs have new advertisements.

In addition to Hornsby, keys to the set include Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Joe Jackson, among several other historical players.

The set is condition sensitive. The paper stock is thin, and it was worn easily.

Hornsby’s card is rare. For reference, PSA has one copy registered. Sales are equally rare. An SGC 80 sold for $17,775 in the spring of 2014.

1917 Collins-McCarthy Rogers Hornsby Rookie Card

This card is nearly identical in every way to the 1917 Boston Store. The backs have different advertisements, but the fronts are the same. The sets have the same size, keys, and condition issues.

There are a limited number of cards available. For reference, PSA has four Hornsby cards graded. They are rarely sold, and the most recent sale found was in May of 2017 for $19,200 for a PSA 3.

1916 W-Unc Big Head Hand Cut

These are fairly odd looking cards. They are almost cartoon-like pictures of some big players of the day. There are 20 cards in the set, and they measure 1 ⅜” x 2 ½”. The cards are known for and named after the big heads. In addition to Hornsby, major keys include Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson.

Given their age, these cards are quite rare. There are only a few cards of each player graded, and they are in difficult conditions. PSA has nine cards of Hornsby registered. The highest grade is a PSA 6.

I found one official sale on record. It was for a PSA 6 for $2,520 in September of 2020.

These cards are highly collectible, but they often are put into a different category. Many do not consider these cards to be the rookie card of Hornsby. This belief is reflected in the price. However, they are worth mentioning as the earliest Hornsby card.

1933 Goudey Rogers Hornsby

This might be the best Hornsby card out there. One of the best parts is that there are far more copies available for collectors to chase. PSA alone has over 600 copies registered.

Also, this is one of the best sets ever created. The popping color schematics, the nice sizes (2 ⅜” x 2 ⅞”) that move away from the tobacco era, the set is large, and there are many historically significant players on the set.

The 1933 Goudey was printed on unusually thick stock, which helped set a new standard and have helped preserve many cards.

A rare Mint copy sold for $33,600 in September of 2017. PSA 8’s have sold for $10,000 for the last few years. If you have a $1,000 budget, expect to drop to a PSA 4 or 5.


There are a few more cards out there worth looking into. The 1921 American Caramel and the 1932 U.S. Caramel’s are great examples. They may not be as valuable as the rookie cards, but there are ten times the number of cards available on the secondary market from these sets, so you might have a better shot at finding them.

Hornsby may have been widely hated and looked down at off the field, but he commanded great respect on the field, especially at bat, as well as one of the fastest players to run the bases (he had 30 inside the park home runs from 1916-1927).

He may not be the lovable All American like Mickey Mantle or Lou Gehrig, but Hornsby was a great hitter, so his cards have some serious value. This article took you through a few great cards.