Here at Sports Fanz, we aren’t fairweather fans. We have our favorite teams, our favorite players, and jerseys, cards, and memorabilia to show our passion for the game. Trading cards have long been a part of the game, and often, kids grow up spending their allowance on a sleeve of cards. There’s no greater feeling than finding a favorite player or that up-and-coming rookie. So let’s talk trading cards. When did they start? What’s the value of a card? And where are they going? Let’s delve a bit into America’s great pastime of collecting player cards from America’s great pastimes.
A Brief History of Trading Cards
Trading cards had a humble beginning in the 1860s. Back then, trading cards weren’t really trading cards, nor were they called trading cards. And they weren’t really intended to be traded (though trading quickly caught on). Initially, baseball figures were featured on “cigarette cards,” or “baseball cards” which were placed in cigarette cartons and candy cartons to stiffen the box. Children took a liking to collecting the cards, which featured prominent baseball players.
Eventually, manufacturers saw an opportunity to produce a profit when children became collectors and traders. True trading cards came into fashion in the 1950s when companies, including Topps, began to sell cards made to trade. These classic cards, like the Mickey Mantle card, have incredible value today. Over the years, more manufacturers began to produce trading cards, and trading cards spread into every sport, including football, basketball, soccer, you name it.
The Value of a Card
Modern collectors place value in high-quality classic cards, rare cards, signed cards, and cards of the best players of the game. Rookie cards are especially valuable for players who’ve made an impact on the game. So, if you have a rare, signed, classic rookie card featuring a prominent player, you’ve got a card that’s worth its weight in gold (maybe even more!). Successful collectors and sellers seek out cards with any and all of the traits listed above. There’s also added value in cards that are in pristine condition, which is why valuable cards are best kept in a hard casing or sleeve. If you get ahold of a valuable card, it’s well worth it to keep the card protected from bends, light exposure, and other wear and tear.
Trading Cards Today and Tomorrow
Nowadays, trading card popularity has swept America, and they’ve captured the hearts of collectors around the world. Trading cards continue to grow in popularity, diversity, and demand. You can now find comic book cards, humor cards (like Garbage Pail Kids cards), and other cards that extend beyond the world of sports.
That said, tradition remains strong in the industry of sports trading cards, and collectible cards continue to gain value. Collectors continue to seek out signed cards, classic cards, and rookie cards, among other memorabilia. There’s a growing nostalgia for old cards, and a new energy for up-and-comers and rookies. As card manufacturers continue to change the cards they produce, limited production cards will continue to gain value over time, as long as they are preserved and the player featured on the card makes an impression. Looking ahead, card values will continue to rise for cards that are unique, because supply is limited. And demand is not.