Trading Card Values Should I be into trading cards as a hobby, an investment, or both? Some collect purely for the joy and hobby of it. They collect the entire set, their favorite players, or their favorite teams. Others speculate purely on the monetary value potential of cards and how to most effectively sell their cards. An immediate question asked by many collectors is what their cards are worth.
A hard plastic sleeve used to store a single card to prevent scratches, corner damage and other blemishes. Unreleased Card Cards printed by the manufacturer, but not officially distributed for a variety of reasons. Often leaked to the public, sometimes improperly.
Not to be confused with promo cards. Uncut Sheet Sheets of uncut base, insert, promo, or other cards. Wrapper Sports cards[ edit ] Sports card is a generic term for a trading card with a sports-related subject, as opposed to non-sports trading cards that deal with other topics. Sports cards were among the earliest forms of collectibles.
They typically consist of a picture of a player on one side, with statistics or other information on the reverse. Cards have been produced featuring most major sports, especially those played in North America , including, but not limited to, American football , association football soccer , baseball , basketball , boxing , golf , ice hockey , racing and tennis.
The first set with a sporting theme appeared in , a cricket series by W. Wills of 50 cricketers. The tobacco companies soon realised that sports cards were a great way to obtain brand loyalty. Bell, ; "Footballers" F. Smith, and "Footballers" Percy E. Cadle, Hockey cards also began to appear early in the 20th century.
Cards from this period are commonly known as cigarette cards or tobacco cards , because many were produced by tobacco companies and inserted into cigarette packages, to stiffen cigarette packaging and advertise cigarette brands.
The most expensive card in the hobby is a cigarette card of Honus Wagner in a set called T The story told is that Wagner was against his cards being inserted into something that children would collect. So the production of his cards stopped abruptly. It is assumed that less than of his cards exist in this set.
Since companies typically must pay players for the right to use their images, the vast majority of sports cards feature professional athletes. Amateurs appear only rarely, usually on cards produced or authorized by the institution they compete for, such as a college. Many older sports cards pre command a high price today; this is because they are hard to find, especially in good quality condition.
This happened because many children used to place their cards in bicycle spokes, where the cards were easily damaged. Rookie cards of Hall of Fame sports stars can command thousands of dollars if they have been relatively well-preserved. In the s, sports cards started to get produced in higher numbers, and collectors started to keep their cards in better condition as they became increasingly aware of their potential investment value.
This trend continued well into the s.
This practice caused many of the cards manufactured during this era to stay low in value, due to their high numbers. The proliferation of cards saturated the market, and by the late s, card companies began to produce scarcer versions of cards to keep many collectors interested.
The latest trends in the hobby have been "game used memorabilia" cards, which usually feature a piece of a player's jersey worn in a real professional game; other memorabilia cards include pieces of bats, balls, hats, helmets, and floors. Authenticated autographs are also popular, as are "serially numbered" cards, which are produced in much smaller amounts than regular "base set cards".
Autographs obtained by card manufacturers have become the most collected baseball cards in the hobby's history. This started in in baseball when Upper Deck randomly inserted autographs of Reggie Jackson into boxes.
Both the athlete's and card company's reputations are on the line if they do not personally sign these cards. This has created the most authentic autographs in existence.
CAI's have branched out into autographs of famous actors, musicians, Presidents, and even Albert Einstein. Mostly these autographs are cut from flat items such as postcards, index cards, and plain paper. Then they are pasted onto cards. In , a company called Playoff started obtaining autographs on stickers that are stuck on the cards instead of them actually signing the cards.
There is strong opposition against these types of autographs because the players never even saw the cards that the stickers were affixed to.
In , the long-standing sports card producer Fleer went bankrupt and was bought out by Upper Deck. Not long after that, Donruss lost its MLB baseball license. They featured illustrated images of players on the front of the card, and a tobacco advertisement on the back of the card.
Many other cigarette companies quickly created their own series, beginning with Kinner in Similar smaller sized cards were issued in Spain and Italy beginning in the late s.
Cards have been produced from to present, save and The front of the card typically displays an image of the player with identifying information, including, but not limited to, the player's name and team affiliation. Cards are most often found in the United States but are also common in countries such as Canada , Cuba , and Japan , where baseball is a popular sport and there are professional leagues.
The earliest baseball cards were in the form of trade cards produced in Between the s and s the cards developed into trading cards, becoming their own product. The first basketball cards were produced in , in a series cataloged as "College Athlete Felts B". The complete series included ten different sports, with only cards being associated with basketball.
The cards were issued as a cigarette redemption premium by Egyptiene Cigarettes. The next series of basketball cards were issued in , in two separate series; "T6 College Series", measuring approximately 6" by 8", and "T51 College Series", measuring approximately 2" by 3".
These series included a variety of sports, with only 4 cards being associated with basketball,  one card from the T6 series and three cards from the T51 series. Both series were produced in two variations, one variation reading "College Series", the other, "2nd Series".
The cards were acquired in trade for fifteen Murad cigarette coupons. The offer expired June 30, Briggs Chocolate issued a card set containing multiple sports.
In exchange for a completed set of cards, Briggs offered baseball equipment. Boxing[ edit ] One of the first boxing cards on record in "America's Greatest Boxing Cards", and encyclopedia and check-list of boxing cards, was of John C.
Heenan issued by photographs Charles D. Fredericks in the s. Other companies, including Duke and Sons and the Lorillard Tobacco Company , also issued boxing cards in this period.