Like most kids in the 80's, I collected baseball cards. It was actually a lot of fun to open the pack and hope for a winner, even though we really didn't know what was gonna be a winner. They were so mass-produced by the end of the 80's that your only chance of getting a valuable one would be if someone unexpectedly became a massive star. Mostly we were just hoping for rookie cards.
Anyway, my entire collection was stolen from my bedroom when i was kid and the crime was almost certainly committed by one of my neighborhood pals. Most of them were worthless but there were a couple that I recall that ended up being kind of valuable.
Don Mattingly 1984 Topps Rookie Card
I became a fan of Don because of the fact that i got his rookie card. We didn't have cable TV at that point in my life so I never actually saw him play. However, he was an amazing hitter and was considered one of the best at the time. He was the MVP in 1985. He isn't in the Hall of Fame and while I have no idea how that system works it is largely considered to be because he had such a short career due to back problems.
While this card certainly isn't a super-value card, it currently has a value of around $150 in mint condition
Bill Ripkin 1989 Fleer Rookie card
While Bill wasn't anywhere near as good as the other people on this list, his card is certainly the most unusual.
You have to look really close but on the end of his bat it says "Fuck Face" in black marker. In the late 80's this was considered a massively bad mistake on the part of the card manufacturer and they attempted to recall them and produce a new set with the offensive words airbrushed out. This was obviously simply PR because no collector was going to willingly turn in a card that was being recalled because they know it will definitely increase the value of it.
While i can not find a proper assessment of the value of this card, it is listed for sale on Ebay and Amazon between $50 and $300. I'm genuinely surprised it isn't worth more that that.
Pete Rose 1964 Topps All-Star Rookie card
I was not alive in 1964 and i actually acquired this card as a gift when i was very young.
Pete was already a pretty big star at the point that I received it. It was in an air-tight hard plastic container and I was instructed to never remove it from the case. I did not, but some a-hole friend of mine removed it from my room. Perhaps I bragged about it too much. I don't remember. I don't think I ever even told my parents that the cards were missing out of fear that I would be blamed for not looking after it properly.
The loss of this card hurts pretty bad since it can fetch a prize of $9000 currently. However, I almost certainly would have sold it in college at half that price so whatever. Bygones.
The jagoff that stole my cards is a true grade-A snake. Because he was in my house as a guest and was presumably my friend at the time. I have my suspicions about who it was but I am certain they would never owe up to it. It didn't just hurt my feelings, it killed my love for card collecting and I never did so from that day forward. Perhaps that is a good thing because in retrospect it was kind of a waste of money.