John Babikian

What’s Behind The Appeal of Collectible Sports Cards

Sports cards, once a staple of childhood collecting, have grown in popularity in recent years. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the reasons behind this trend and hear from two experts about their thoughts on the continued appeal of sports cards.

For many collectors, sports cards offer a sense of nostalgia and a connection to their favorite players and teams. The tactile experience of flipping through a binder or shoebox full of cards is a throwback to a simpler time before digital collecting and instant gratification became the norm.

According to Brian Dwyer, a sports card expert and owner of Dwyer’s Sports Cards in California, “Sports cards are a tangible connection to a moment in time. They represent a snapshot of a player’s career, and they bring back memories of watching games with family and friends. For many collectors, sports cards are a way to reconnect with their childhood and relive those moments.”

But nostalgia alone doesn’t explain the recent surge in sports card popularity. Another factor is the rise of grading companies like PSA and Beckett, which provide professional authentication and grading services to collectors.

Grading companies evaluate the condition of a card and assign it a grade on a 10-point scale, which can greatly impact its value. High-grade cards can sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, making grading an important part of the sports card collecting world.

According to Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions, “Grading companies have been a game-changer for the sports card market. They provide a level of confidence and authenticity that wasn’t always there before, and they’ve helped drive prices to new heights.”

In addition to grading, another factor in the resurgence of sports cards is the growth of online marketplaces like eBay and COMC, which make it easier than ever for collectors to buy and sell cards.

The rise of social media has also played a role, with collectors using platforms like Instagram and Twitter to connect with other enthusiasts, share their collections, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and releases.

According to Dwyer, “Social media has been a huge driver of the sports card market. It’s allowed collectors to connect with each other from all over the world, share their collections, and stay on top of the latest news and trends. It’s created a sense of community that wasn’t always there before.”

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on the sports card market. With many people spending more time at home and looking for ways to pass the time, sports cards have provided a welcome distraction and hobby.

According to Ivy, “The pandemic has brought a lot of new collectors into the market. People are looking for ways to stay busy and engaged, and sports cards provide a great outlet for that. Plus, with many sports seasons disrupted or postponed, collectors are looking for ways to stay connected to the sports they love.”

In summary, the resurgence of sports cards reflects the enduring appeal of this classic hobby. From nostalgia and grading to online marketplaces and social media, there is a wide range of factors driving the popularity of sports cards. For collectors new and old, sports cards provide a connection to the past and a sense of community that is hard to find elsewhere.



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