Welcome to Sports Card Collecting and Speculation 101! On the heels of GSC’s rollout of their first graded sports card, you may be thinking about jumping into the graded sports card market. Using baseball cards as an exemplar, this multi-part blog will focus on a general introduction of sports cards. As a cautionary side note, DO NOT buy sports cards until the course is completed!
A Syllabus that Enables Success!
When this course is completed, you SHOULD be able to purchase sports cards without losing all the financial gains you may have accumulated with your vast comic book speculation powers! News and Social Media Outlets are buzzing with news of CSG’s first graded rollouts! The Sports Card Collecting 101 is designed to offer practical advice, link to locations where you can expand your knowledge, and introduce you to key sets to look for as you “view” auctions and take notes.
Be Prepared By Listening and Learning First!
Did I mention that you should NOT buy any sports
cards until you complete this course? Multiple media outlets are reporting shattering auction record prices on sports cards and it would be logical to assume that you can make money right away or enhance your sanctuary room by purchasing CGC graded copies of cards from your favorite sport. However; there are ALSO multiple media outlets reporting FBI investigations into fraud within the sports card market. Full disclosure moment: I was engaged in sports card collecting, grading, and divesting UNTIL I read up on the FBI investigation and experience fraudulent copies of iconic baseball cards.
During our “class time,” we will study:
*Indications that a sports card is a counterfeit
*Why you SHOULDN’T buy your youth era cards
*Why you SHOULD buy your grandparent’s youth era cards
*Explore the T-206 set, its massive size, variants, and desire ability
*Figure out those Cracker Jacks!
*Play ball, and “Leaf” through the 1940s
*Imagine the possibilities with Bowman and Early Topps
Did You Notice the First Lesson in This Course?
In case you didn’t, I gave you your first lesson. Avoid the inevitable pull of buying those sports cards from your youth…unless your youth coincides with the 1940s or 1950s. It is about as inevitable as Thanos’ snap that you will want to buy those Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken, or Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards, but they contain, for the most part, no value unless they are graded at the 9.0 tier or higher.
This course will also begin to familiarize yourself with key terms and mindsets to have as you dive into the sports card market. For example, the “centering” of a raw card is vitally important. Most sports cards have a border around the photograph as well as a few center meters of white space above the team name. Sports cards need to be as close to a 50/50 top to bottom and left to right centering. See, you just learned your first “look for” when determining your purchase price for a targeted sports card!
Now, For the Mind-Blowing Mindset Shift!
Mindset shifts are incredibly important when making a sports card purchase. For example, dispel the idea that a 9.0 is as valuable a commodity in the sports card world as it is in the comic world. Let’s use that same Ricky Henderson rookie card as an example of shifting your 9.0 mindset. In comic speculation, Star Wars #1, CGC 9.0 would garner significant interest and sell well. This is not the case with Cal Ripken Jr Rookie Cards. Why? Because there are MILLIONS of Ricky Henderson and Cal Ripken Jr. rookie cards. Where there may be a print run of 350,000 Star Wars comics, there are 3+ MILLION copies of Cal Ripken Jr. rookie cards and there are FAR more copies of 9.5 and 10.0 Ripken Jr. rookie cards.
Yes, you guessed it, we just bridged into the third lesson of our course! The other mindset shift you will need to be successful in sports card collecting or speculating is that there are WAY more 10.0 graded cards out there than there are comic books!
So, are you READY to learn some things about sports cards? Shall we REALLY begin to dig in?