Yogi Berra Baseball Cards

Yogi Berra (1925-2015) was one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. Over 18 seasons with the New York Yankees, he was a 19 time All Star, 10 time World Series champion, and three time AL MVP. He went on to manage and coach, where he earned three more World Series championships.

Outside of his baseball prowess, fans remember Yogi Berra for his “Yogi-isms”. They were clever quips where he intentionally messed up common sayings. These include, “I didn’t really say everything I said”, “Baseball is 90 percent mental; the other half is physical”, “You can observe a lot by watching”, and “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

As one of the greatest catchers ever, Berra had a career batting average of .285, 1,430 runs batted in, and the record for most home runs by a catcher, most consecutive errorless games at 148, and most consecutive chances handled at 950. He was small at 5 ft 7 in, which makes his power hitting and catching more impressive.

Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Berra played every sport he could including softball, soccer, football, and roller hockey. His first organized game of baseball came with the local YMCA. With the birthname of Lawrence Peter Berra, he was given the nickname Yogi because a baseball teammate thought he looked like a Hindu yogi when he sat cross legged while waiting to bat.

Berra spent a year in the minor leagues in 1942 under contract with the Yankees. From 1943-1946, he served in the US Navy for WWII. He was a gunner’s mate in the Normandy invasion of WWII. He was awarded a Purple Heart.

At the end of the 1946 season, Berra was brought up to the Yankees. He started in the outfield until 1949 when he was named the Yankees starting catcher.

With 14 World Series appearances and 10 victories, Berra managed 12 World Series home runs and a record number of games for a catcher in the big show. His MVP awards are also notable because MVP’s are infrequent for a catcher.

After putting his playing days behind him, Berra had immediate success as manager of the Yankees in 1964. However, despite winning the pennant, though losing the World Series, Berra was fired after one season.

He went to the NL New York Mets where he coached and managed for several years (briefly playing in 1965). The Mets won the NL pennant in 1973, which made Berra one of few people to win the pennant in both leagues.

He continued his career with the Yankees as coach from 1975-1983 and then manager from which he was soon fired in 1985. He ended his baseball career with the Houston Astros from 1986-1989. He again joined esteemed company by having led NL and AL teams to different World Series. Through his coaching/managing career, Berra added 7 more World Series appearances and 3 more victories to his resume, totaling 21 appearances and 13 victories over several decades.

Berra was easily inaugurated into the Hall of Fame in 1972, and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 after he passed away.

1948 Bowman Yogi Berra

This card is the official rookie card of Yogi Berra at #6 in the set. The set is the first for Bowman in the baseball card market, and there are 48 cards that measure 2 1/16” x 2 ½”. Other rookie cards on this important set include Ralph Kier, Warren Spahn, and Stan Musial. Since Bowman used sheets of thirty six cards, there are a dozen short prints, but Yogi Berra is not one of them.

The set in general and Berra’s rookie card in particular are well preserved. There are over 1400 cards registered by PSA, but Mint condition cards are scarce.

The one registered Gem Mint card sold for $192,000 in 2017. Mint condition cards would sell for around $20,000, PSA 8’s go for $3,000-$4,000, and to get below $1,000, you would have to go to a PSA 5.

1952 Topps Yogi Berra

The next most important and valuable Yogi Berra card is from the legendary 1952 Topps. The set has 407 cards that measure 2 ⅝” x 3 ¾” which were released in six Series. As the first major set from the most important brand in baseball cards, the 1952 Topps is one of the most sought after sets in the trading card hobby.

Though it is in the middle of his career, this card might be the most important card for Yogi Berra fans, and it is certainly the most valuable Yogi Berra card. Though there are close to 1500 cards registered by PSA, the grading service only has three Mint cards registered as of this writing.

Sales of Mint cards are rare, but they are estimated to go higher than his rookie card. If there were a Gem Mint copy of this card, it would likely sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. PSA 8’s have sold for around $10,000 since 2018. For a card under $1,000, collectors need to look as low as a PSA 5.

1951 Bowman Yogi Berra

The 1951 Bowman is a solid set. Bowman was finding its ground, and it had not begun to lose to Topps yet. There are 324 cards that measure 2 1/16” x 3 ⅛”. Yogi Berra is a valuable addition to the set at the #2 spot, but the keys are the Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle cards.

Though top condition cards are scarcer, there are over 1000 Yogi Berra cards registered by PSA for this set. Mint condition cards have been selling for around $10,000, and a collector can find a sale for below $1,000 for a PSA 7.

1953 Topps Yogi Berra

The 1953 Topps is another important set from the early 50s that Yogi Berra plays a major role in. There are 274 cards that measure 2 ⅝” x 3 ¾” in the second major release of the Topps brand. Yogi Berra is found in the second Series at #104.

PSA has over 1700 Berra cards from this set registered on their site. Except for Mint and Gem Mint grades, there are plenty at each grade. While Mint condition cards are valued at $10,000, a respectable PSA 7 could be bought for several hundred dollars.


If you are looking for Yogi Berra options, there are some great cards out there. Though this article covered some of the best, this article is not exhaustive. Berra shows up on the remaining Bowman sets as excellent options, and he is covered by Topps sets into the 60s, of which some of those cards become very affordable.

Berra might be the greatest catcher of all time. A huge part of his resume are the three MVP’s as catcher, of which one MVP alone is rare. Luckily for collectors, he is on some great sets, like early Bowman’s and the beginning of Topps.