Sport Card collecting, tips and history
SPORT CARD HISTORY
In the beginning sports cards started out as promotions from tobacco companies. The first card companies were Play Ball and Goudey. In the 40’s and 50’s Bowman and Topps started to produce cards. At present time, Topps, Panini, and Upper Deck are among the top producers of sport cards. MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, NASCAR, MLS and PGA.
TYPES OF SPORT CARDS
Base cards are the regular card made for the set.
Parallel cards are the same as base cards, but they could have different colors, holofoil and refactor designs.
Rookie cards are the first produced card of a player that has started playing in the major and pro leagues. You can determine a rookie card by a mark that is RC. They are usually the most valuable to collect as they are the first cards ever made of that player or driver.
Insert cards are cards that are made in low volumes. They can be in sets or sub-sets of a complete set.
Numbered cards are cards that have been numbered to exact number of those cards that are made. They can be from as low as 1 of 1, which is the only card made of that card. They can also go up as high as 10,000 cards made or more.
Game-used cards are cards that has pieces of uniform jerseys, bats, helmets, balls, hockey sticks, uniform patches, shoes, sneakers, hockey skates that are made into a card. They can have one or more pieces in the cards. The card manufactures guarantee the authenticity of the item being used in a game or race.
Some game-used cards can have autographs on them. The card manufacturer guarantees the authenticity of the autograph.
Autographed cards are cards that have the player or driver signature on the card. Some may come with the autograph on a sticker that is place onto the card. They can be numbered.
Booklet cards are that open like a book. They can have game-used items, autographs or both. Can also come in one player or driver or multiple players or drivers.
SPORT CARD SETS
A complete set is a set that has every card that was produced for that type card, except for insert cards, they have their own sets. Example: Topps Triple Threads has its own set; Upper Deck NHL ICE has its own set. Panini Torque Racing has its own set.
SPORT CARD CONDITION DEFINITIONS
Pristine - Centering 50/50 all around, corners perfect to the naked eye and Mint under magnification, no print spots, perfect gloss, devoid of any surface flaws.
Gem Mint - Centering 50/50 one way, 55/45 the other. Corners Mint to the naked eye but subtle wear is allowed under magnification, smooth edges, a few extremely minor print spots detectable under intense scrutiny.
Mint Four sharp corners (a tiny speck of wear is allowed), 55/45 or better centering, smooth edges, original color borders and gloss, a handful of specks or one minor spot.
Near Mint / Mint - Must have 60/40 or better centering, relatively smooth edges, original color borders and gloss. One of the following very minor flaws is allowed: corners sharp to the naked eye but slight imperfections under intense scrutiny, a handful of minor print spots, subtle color or focus imperfections.
Near Mint - Centering of 65/35 or better. In addition, one of the following minor flaws is allowed: a slight touch of wear on two or three corners, slightly rough edges, a few noticeable print spots or speckling, color or focus imperfections.
Excellent - Mint - Centering no worse than 70/30. No more than two of the following flaws are allowed: two or three fuzzy corners, slightly rough edges, very minor border discoloration, noticeable print spots, color or focus imperfections.
Excellent - Centering no worse than 75/25 with four fuzzy corners (a touch of notching or a minor ding is allowed). May also have rough edges, minor border discoloration and noticeable print spots, color or focus imperfections.
Very Good - Handled, but not abused. Centering 80/20 or better. Slightly rounded corners with slight layering, slight notching or noticeable chipping on edges, moderate border discoloration, some gloss lost from the surface, very minor scuffing. May have hairline creases.
Good / Fair / Poor - Well-worn or abused. Badly rounded and layered corners, scuffing, no original gloss, major border discoloration, and serious creases.
PROTECTING YOUR SPORT CARDS
SPORT CARD STORAGE BOXES
There are multiple size cardboard boxes, they range from holding 100 cards to 5000 cards, some have multiple dividers inside the box to hold the cards securely.
PLASTIC & ACRYLIC CARD PROTECTORS
Soft clear card sleeves are used to put the card in first and then into a rigid plastic card holder. They help with keeping the card front and back from scratching. They are called penny sleeves.
Plastic rigid holders are called top loaders. They are stronger then penny sleeves and keep the card from bending.
SCREW-DOWN & MAGNETIC HOLDERS
Screw-down holders can come in one screw and 4 screw holders. They are the ultimate protection for your cards. They come in ¼ inch sizes and completely seal the card. Magnetic holders come in one magnet sizes, you do not have to screw them in, just open the top at the magnet.
PLASTIC HOLDER PAGES
Plastic pages come in one size, it will hold 9 cards on one side then 9 cards on the backside. These are great to put into a 3-ring binder.
The biggest selection of card supplies, and protective holders is at www.ultrapro.com
SPORT CARD STORAGE
Keep your cards stored in a dry, and cool environment. You keep them out of direct sunlight as it can fade the cards. Store them in a bedroom closet as that will not have too much humidity and moisture, these can damage the cards as well.
SPORT CARD GRADING & COMPANIES
There are multiple card grading companies. The 2 biggest are Beckett and PSA.
You can go to their websites and get all the information about grading, procedures, and costs. Grading cards is an option for you if are looking to resell a card in some point in time. Graded cards can command a higher price on the market then an ungraded card.
BUYING AND SELLING CARDS
Nowadays with the internet you can buy cards virtually anywhere around the world. There are still local sport card dealers and shops. The National Sport Convention is held every year in a different city. There you can find just about anything sports related, cards, collectibles, game-used memorabilia, autographs.
EBAY is an auction website, you can bid on and buy cards. They have thousands of cards up for bid every day. www.ebay.com
SPORT CARD COMPANIES
They are the only card company that has the exclusive rights to manufacture MLB cards. They are officially licensed by Major League Baseball and the MLBPA – Major League baseball Players Assc.
Has the exclusive rights to the NFL – National Football League and the NFLPA – National Football Players Assc. NBA – National Basketball League and the NBPA – National Basketball Players Assc.They only have rights to manufacture cards for baseball through the MLBPA – Major League Baseball Players Assc. They cannot have any MLB logos or team logos on these cards.
They are the only card company that has the exclusive rights to manufacture NHL cards. They are officially licensed by National Hockey League and the NHLPA -National Hockey Players Assc.
- DENISE LEPAGE