Irate Baseball Fans Burnt Small Fortune in Baseball Cards

Published on May 9th, 2023 3:10 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Value goes up in smoke at the baseball card bonfire that took place in the summer of 1981. It was the summer of 1981, and baseball fans were not happy.

On June 12th, 1981, Major League Baseball players started a strike.

This would be the first time since 1972 when actual games were lost due to a work stoppage, and fans were not pleased.

The strike would end up wiping out 38% of the season before a settlement was reached.


Many fans were not happy, including David Cartier, a 43 year-old baseball card dealer.

Cartier took it upon himself to organize a "baseball card bonfire" to voice his displeasure with Major League Baseball players.

Cartier, who owned Cartier's Fairball Card Co., even placed advertisements in local newspapers.


In total, 20 people showed up, and 64,000 cards were torched in the blaze.

Cartier contributed a total of 25,000 cards to the bonfire, including a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards, which was worth $1,300 at the time.

Depending on the condition of the card, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is now worth as much as $12 million+.

If Cartier could have seen into the future, perhaps he wouldn't have torched the Mantle card.


In the end, thousands of dollars worth of baseball cards went up in flames that summer day.

Who knows what kind of treasures were lost in the two barrels that were used to burn up the cards?

At the very least, we know that one treasure - the 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps card - went up in flames that day.


In total, the strike caused the cancellation of 713 regular season Major League Baseball games, as well as the burning of at least one invaluable baseball card.

Source: - Burned up fans hold baseball card bonfire

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