While collectible trading cards are most associated with baseball, there is a WNBA basketball card scene that is niche but surprisingly more money than you think (and still not that much).
The inaugural 1997 WNBA cards released by Pinnacle Insider hilariously came in a can. You actually had to use a can opener to open the pack of cards. In each can was either eight or ten cards protected by a clear plastic.
The inaugural set was 82 cards and featured all of the prominent players in the inaugural WNBA season. Hoops legends who were too old to have long WNBA careers like Lynette Woodard and Nancy Lieberman were featured in the set as well as young stars like Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes.
The cans are readily available to purchase on eBay for only around five dollars or so but the inaugural set isn’t worth much value. However, the novelty is fantastic.
Pinnacle Insider making WNBA cards was short-lived, as Fleer, Rittenhouse, and recently Panini are the brands responsible for producing official WNBA sets.
According to the card-collecting site Beckett, here are the top five most valuable WNBA basketball cards.
5) 2004 Ultra WNBA Diana Taurasi RC #91
Diana Taurasi’s rookie card from 2004 is ranked the fifth most valuable WNBA card. I have seen PSA rated 8.5 and 9 cards bids going for $335 and $600 on eBay. Considered the GOAT of the WNBA, like this is her league, is surely deserving of being one of the most valuable WNBA cards. This Fleer card is well done with a classic cursive font and a great shot of Diana. When Taurasi finally hangs up the sneakers this card could become higher on this list.
4) 2001 Fleer WNBA Jackie Stiles RC #194
Injuries to Jackie Stiles ruined what was a promising WNBA career after the college superstar at Southwest Missouri State won Rookie of the Year for the Portland Fire. The card is a relic for the fact that the Portland Fire is no longer in existence. The Stiles Fleer 2001 rookie card is not very common on the internet as I only see one eBay seller who has the card for $10 dollars.
3) 2013 Rittenhouse WNBA Elena Della Donne RC #12
I cannot find this 2013 Rittenhouse Elena Delle Donne rookie card on the internet anywhere. Beckett says that there are only 500 copies of this card. These are the type of card numbers when we talk about WNBA cards. Since. there are such few copies of Delle Donne’s rookie card, there will always be high demand for the card. Delle Donne is one of the legends of the game and the value of this card should only go up by the time she retires.
2) 2001 Fleer WNBA Lauren Jackson RC #196
Love the vintage style of this card part of the same series as the Jackie Stiles 2001 Fleer card. Like the Stiles card, I had a hard time finding this Lauren Jackson card on the internet. It is probably fair to assume there aren’t that many of these made, along with the Stiles card. Beckett says that finding this card is extremely difficult. This card could be worth hundreds of dollars. Jackson is one of the best WNBA players of all-time. She was a 7x WNBA All-Star, 3x WNBA MVP, 2x WNBA Champion, 3x WNBA scoring leader, and 7x All-WNBA First Team amongst other impressive records and awards.
1) 2016 Rittenhouse Breanna Stewart RC #95
There are only 500 copies of Breanna Stewart’s 2016 rookie card. I have seen this card on eBay selling for as much as $5,000 dollars so by far this is the most expensive WNBA basketball card I’ve seen. Stewie is one of the best in the game and is on track to be one of the best players of all-time. Her rookie card is scarce which is why it has positioned itself to be the most valuable WNBA basketball card ever.
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AP Photo/Elaine Thompson