Sports cards have been on quite the journey since the late 1800s.

From humble beginnings with baseball cards tucked inside tobacco tins,
to today's flashy 1/1s and autographed patch cards.

Throughout this evolution, a few cards and sets have truly turned heads,
setting new trends and directing the next big thing in card collecting.

These aren't just pieces of cardboard; they're snapshots of sports moments in time, shaping the hobby and leading to the dynamic card culture of today.

Without these game-changing cards, our hobby would be a different ball game.

So, let's dive in!

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Mickey Mantle is one of the most iconic baseball players of all time.

Many of his sports cards, produced during the baby boom era, were affixed to bike spokes by kids, making mint condition cards rare today.

High-grade copies of The Mick's more valuable cards consistently break records at auction.

I've analyzed every Topps card of Mantle from his playing days, dating from 1952 through 1969. 

The analysis of each card follows, examining value, scarcity, and investment potential. 

Also see our guide to the ten best Mickey Mantle cards to invest in, which covers many of Mantle's non-Topps baseball cards. 

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LeBron James is often hailed as one of history's most outstanding basketball players.

He has consistently exceeded expectations since his early days as a high school sensation.

Last season, he clinched the title as the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

As he gears up for his 21st NBA season in 2023-24, he remains an undeniable powerhouse on the court.

LeBron's sports cards rank among the most coveted collectibles for enthusiasts.

Let's delve into the top 10 LeBron James rookie cards, selected based on their popularity, value, and sales volume.

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The NHL 2023-24 season is fast approaching, and now is the time to start buying Upper Deck Young Guns rookie cards.

This list showcases ten potential breakout NHL players for the 2023-2024 season who have a Young Guns rookie card.

I recommend buying these hockey cards in graded PSA 10 examples.

Last season, players like Matthew Tkachuk, Ramus Dahlin, Tage Thompson, Clayton Keller, and others had breakout seasons.

As a result, their Upper Deck Young Guns rookie cards saw an all-time high in value.

Here are my top 10 potential players who could break out in the 2023-24 season, featuring an Upper Deck Young Guns (YG) rookie card.

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The 1986 Fleer Basketball set is one of the most iconic basketball card issues ever.

It was issued at a time when basketball was finally getting its due in terms of fan support. Driven by the continued dominance of the likes of new players such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and, of course, the legend himself, Michael Jordan.

The set was small in number (132 base basketball cards plus 11 stickers) but loaded with big-time rookie cards, including the iconic rookie card of Michael Jordan.

The cards themselves aren't necessarily rare. However, gem-mint (PSA 10) copies are a challenge due to the propensity of easy damage to the red borders of the cards and common centering issues.

In this piece, we will provide a look at the top twenty most valuable cards in the 1986 Fleer Basketball card set. 

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Shohei Ohtani has captivated major league baseball since his 2018 debut.

He has excelled as a hitter AND a pitcher, making him the only active MLB player to achieve such a distinction.

In 2021, Ohtani clinched the AL MVP title, and based on his outstanding 2023 performance, he's poised to claim it once more.

To no surprise, the value of Shohei Ohtani's rookie cards have soared in recent years.

In this piece, we'll delve into the top 10 most sought-after and valuable Shohei Ohtani rookie cards

Not all of these Ohtani rookie cards are not the most expensive, but they are the most popular in the sports card community.

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messi best rookies

Lionel Messi is often hailed as the contemporary GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) among soccer legends. Following a stellar career in the Premier League, Messi transitioned to the US, earning over $50 million a year with Inter Miami. His debut in American soccer has profoundly influenced the sport in the U.S.

Many new fans are now interested in soccer due to the lure of Messi's legend. And he hasn't disappointed with outstanding play in the last couple of weeks. Messi's rookie soccer cards have seen a significant increase in value of late due to his dominant play and impact in the US. Let's look at some of Lionel Messi's best rookie cards.

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I wrote a piece on CSG Card grading in 2021 and there have been some requests for an update, given some of the changes at CSG.

The most significant change happened in 2022, with the launch of a new label and a revamped grading scale.

In my last article, I noted the following about CSG's slabs:

In a simple word--ugly.  This is where I wish they tried to survey the collecting world before pulling the trigger on a slab/flip design.  I have to admit, I don't like the design--it feels too busy and suited for a more modern day card.  

Well, maybe they were listening to me? Because they made a significant change.

Here was the slab before (that I was highly critical of):

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The 1970s featured many baseball stars, Hall of Fame players, rookies, and some players who made a significant impact during the decade. 

Still, today many rookie cards from that era fly under the radar. Rookie cards from this decade, especially high-grade examples, continue to increase in value.

In previous baseball rookie card articles, I have discussed rookie cards of players not yet in the Hall, including Dave Parker, Keith Hernandez, Lou Whitaker, Thurman Munson, and Dwight Evans.

In this piece, I dive deeper into ten rookie cards from the 1970s that still look like excellent buys.

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I've been pretty supportive of SGC over the years, even used their card grading services for a lot of cards in my own personal collection.

However, another recent discovery of a trimmed card in an SGC holder has me somewhat concerned.

Here's the deal: a Blowout Forums user (who else?) discovered that an SGC 6 1936 Goudey World Gum Joe Dimaggio card was trimmed, resubmitted to SGC and ultimately rewarded with a new SGC 8.5 grade. 

Check out the comparison from user CornDog below.

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Vintage basketball rookie cards featuring some of the biggest names in the sport remain highly sought after.

In particular, high-grade cards of these yesteryear stars are gaining popularity on online marketplaces such as eBay.

Interestingly, the rookie cards of many Hall of Fame greats and former stars are still considered undervalued. 

Thus, in this piece, we will examine ten hidden gems that are not only affordable but also have the potential to serve as a good long-term investment.

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Upper Deck first developed Young Guns (YG) hockey cards with their inaugural hockey set in 1990. Young Guns cards have been quite popular with collectors over the years. The cards include the first cards of many star players and future Hall of Famers.

Hockey card collectors expect the release of Series 1 and Series 2 Young Guns each year. It's incredible that thirty-three years later, the Upper Deck Young Guns rookies are still the main staple in the hobby.

Young Guns cards are not 'rare,' given that the cards are part of mainstream Upper Deck sets with large print runs. But, Upper Deck has started to issue more limited variations, including serial numbered and clear-cut copies.

Hobbyists view Upper Deck Young Gun's base rookie cards as a player's key rookie card. Many have already been designated as their future PSA Hall of Fame Rookie Registry card.

Gem-Mint, PSA 10 graded examples of many big-time Young Guns rookie cards are popular and have seen a significant increase in value in the past few years.

This list focuses on the twelve most iconic and valuable hockey Young Guns Rookie cards of all time. We conclude with two lists of Young Gun cards that we think have good long term investment potential.

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The 1949 Bowman Baseball card set is an important one for the hobby and one of the best sets of the 1940s

The set (along with the 1948-49 Leaf Baseball Card set) marked the start of colorized baseball cards.

Also, the set contains the first cards of some of the first black players in baseball, such as Jackie Robinson, Satchell Paige, and Roy Campanella.

It's a small set by most standards (only 240 cards). But, completing the entire set is an expensive endeavor for collectors.

Herein, we outline the ten most valuable cards in the 1949 Bowman set, providing our thoughts on the investment potential of the set.

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ten hof rookies

Many great baseball players are still on the outside looking in when it comes to earning a Hall of Fame nod. Of course, big-time stars like Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson made mistakes in blocking any path to the hall and will never get in.

Today, a player with the right credentials can earn a HOF election via either a committee or ballot vote. Yet, baseball has changed the Hall of Fame process in the last few years.

A player only has ten years to earn election through a ballot vote (down from the previous 15 years). Another change was the committee vote process, where MLB has designated which era of players will be voted on through the committee vote each year.

The upcoming 2023 MLB Hall of Fame vote will be announced on January 24th, with some players on this list up for election.  

Let's look at the rookie cards of ten potential Hall of Famers, whose cards look like an attractive buy right now. We've identified specific PSA grades that look attractive based on affordability. 

Even if they don't get elected this year, their rookie cards are still priced right, especially based on the future chances of getting into the HOF.

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pele rookie cards

When it comes to soccer players, none have had the same level of impact on the game as the late Pelé. 

Here in the US, soccer has only started to gain in popularity over the past decade, and soccer cards of past stars are becoming highly sought after. 

Pelé's greatness in soccer can be equated to the other greats in sport history; think Tom Brady in Football, Michael Jordan in Basketball, or Wayne Gretzky in Hockey

Given his recent passing, Pelé's soccer cards have spiked in value, especially his rarest and most valuable rookie cards. 

In this piece, we take a look at the ten most valuable cards of Pelé, providing guidance to collectors considering an investment in the soccer legend's cards. 

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The 2023 HOF Candidates (1)

The Pro Football Hall of Fame recently announced its finalists for its class of 2023. The finalists included 15 modern candidates, three senior candidates, and one legendary coach.

Rookie cards of these potential hall of famers could increase in value over the next couple of weeks. The final announcement is revealed during the NFL Honors show on February 9th.

Let’s examine and break down one rookie card of each player that could be a good addition to your collection.

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During the 1970s, there was an uptick in the production of baseball cards. Topps, the only licensed baseball card issuer at the time, was at the forefront of this trend. 

Kids were still the target customer, but adults started to become more fascinated with the hobby.

Some of the Topps baseball card sets from the 1970s are among collector favorites. And many big-name Hall Of Fame players had their first issue card released during the decade. 

This post will examine the twenty most valuable Topps baseball rookie cards from the 1970s. Including iconic rookie cards from the likes of George Brett, Mike Schmidt, and Dave Winfield.

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most valuable 70s bask

The 1970s was a seminal decade for basketball, with some of the greatest players in the history of the sport making their debuts.

As such, rookie cards from this era are sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices at auction. 

This post will examine the fifteen most valuable basketball rookie cards from the 1970s. I'll explore values and the investment potential of each card.

If you're a long-time collector or a newcomer to basketball cards, this post will provide insight into some of the best vintage basketball cards from the 1970s.

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Vintage sports cards remain hot, especially rare examples with low PSA graded populations. 

Investing in rarer and more sought-after sports cards can pay off in the short and long term. 

Plenty of vintage sports cards are flying under the radar and remain good values for budget-conscious collectors.

I have researched and examined ten vintage baseball cards to buy that are $1,000 and under.

These cards would be great additions to any collection or as shorter term flips.

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Fred McGriff, aka 'The Crime Dog,' was a feared slugger for six teams during his eighteen-year major league career

McGriff amassed 493 home runs, with an amazing ten seasons of 30 home runs or more. When he retired in 2004, many figured McGriff was a shoo-in for the Hall, but baseball writers denied him in every single year of his eligibility.

Finally, in 2022, McGriff's HOF dream came true, getting a nod from The Veteran's Committee.  Collectors have snapped up McGriff's rookie cards, and prices have increased.

In this piece, we review five of Fred McGriff's rookie and other later-year cards that could be a good buy now for collectors and investors

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