10 Tips: Do You Have Valuable Sports Cards?
10 Tips: Do You Have Valuable Sports Cards?
For many fans out there, collecting sports cards is a fun and enjoyable hobby that allows them to get closer to their favorite stars and own a piece of them. Whether it is baseball, basketball, hockey, or football, sports card collection is a hobby that isn’t slowing down any time soon as covered over at runrex.com. Another thing to note about sports cards is that they can be quite valuable, and we have seen some sports cards sell for eye-popping amounts of money as revealed over at guttulus.com. Finding out how much your sports cards are valued is, therefore, an important part of your hobby. If you are wondering if you have valuable sports cards, then this article will look to help by highlighting 10 tips that will help you identify valuable sports cards.
One thing you need to first consider before you start valuing your sports cards is their condition. Any other characteristic doesn’t matter as much if your cards are in poor shape. As the gurus over at mtglion.com point out, collectors want to own quality items, which means that cards with poor centering, damaged or rounded corners, creases, and any sort of physical damage will not be worth that much.
- Star players
Cards of the biggest sports stars will always be highly valuable according to runrex.com, as collectors will always be chasing them. These are cards featuring some of the biggest stars of any sport, usually Hall of Famers. Think Michael Jordan, Roberto Clemente, Tom Brady. Such players were the best of their era, if not all-time greats, and their cards will always be highly sought after, with collectors willing to pay highly to acquire them.
- Print year
Another thing that will let you know if you have a valuable sports card is its print year. From discussions over at guttulus.com, usually, the older the sports card, the more likely it will be highly valuable. While there are exceptions to this rule, this is usually generally the case. The logic behind this is that fewer older cards exist as compared to newer ones as many will most likely have been lost or destroyed, and this scarcity drives up their value. Also, modern cards from the 1980s were printed in massive runs which will have driven down their value. Cards that go way back such as vintage cards and pre-war cards will be extremely valuable; basically, pre-1980s cards.
- Graded cards
Closely related to card condition is grading which is another key value factor for sports cards according to mtglion.com. This because collectors will pay more for graded sports cards as compared to “raw” or non-graded cards since with graded cards they can be sure that the cards have been looked over and judged professionally and have been authenticated as well as being confirmed to be in a certain condition. PSA is generally thought to be the leader when it comes to grading cards which is why PSA graded cards are valued higher, with PSA 10 graded cards being at the top of the food chain.
Cards with errors are also valued highly, which is another thing to consider when trying to find out if you have valuable sports cards. However, as pointed out by the gurus over at runrex.com, not all errors will increase a card’s value. Corrected errors will add more value since the manufacturer will catch the error and correct it, but not before some versions of the card containing the error are already in circulation, which will make them fewer and rarer, hence more valuable. For uncorrected errors, the manufacturer doesn’t correct the issue which means that the error itself doesn’t add any value to the card.
- Print variations
Print variations are not exactly errors since they have more to do with there being multiple designs of the same sports card. This means that there will be a normal card, and then a rarer and more expensive variation of the same card. An example, as covered over at guttulus.com, is the 1958 Topps Bobby Richardson baseball cards where the normal card comes with his name written in white letters at the top, while there exists a rarer and more expensive variation showing his name in yellow letters. Collectors will always seek out these rarer, uncommon, and unusual variations hence why you should check to see if you have them.
- Print quantity
The principle of demand and supply plays a pivotal role in this hobby as pointed out by the gurus over at mtglion.com. Therefore, cards that were pulled from production for one reason or another and have low levels of print quantity will usually be more valuable. An example is the T206 Honus Wagner baseball card. While most T206 cards are easily found in the market, the Honus Wagner was pulled by the American Tobacco Company for some reason, with some speculating that he didn’t want to be used to promote tobacco, which resulted in very few of his cards in circulation, driving up their value.
- Autographed and jersey-patch cards
According to runrex.com, autographed and jersey-pathed cards are also extremely valuable which is another thing you should look for. This is because such cards are extremely rare given that the printing companies have to pay players for autographs and, therefore, only print a few of them. Their scarcity and the fact that they either contain the autograph, or jersey-patch of the player, or both makes them very valuable.
- Rookie cards
As pointed out by the experts over at guttulus.com, rookie cards are the foundation of this hobby, which is why their popularity has withstood the test of time. Rookie cards of players who go on to become legends will be extremely valuable, an example being Tom Brady’s or LeBron James’ rookie cards. While it may not always be easy to identify rookie cards since not all of them say “rookie card”, your sports knowledge could help you as in most cases a player’s rookie card will be from his rookie playing season.
- Position in the set sequence
The card’s position in the set sequence is a factor that is underrated when it comes to determining its value. From explanations over at mtglion.com, in years past, card #1, which is the first card printed in a set, was located in the upper left corner of the printing sheet which means that it was exposed to more damage than the others. Back then, kids would also stack their cards in sequence and bind them in rubber bands which means that card #1 was in direct contact with the rubber band and exposed even more to damage. This means that it is difficult to find a card that was in the first positions in the set sequence that is in good condition, which has driven up their value.
These are just some of the things to check out and consider when looking to find out if you have valuable sports cards, with more on this very extensive topic to be found over at the highly-reliable runrex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com.