The Top 10 Sports Cards That Changed The Hobby

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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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The Top 10 Sports Cards That Changed The Hobby

Ten 2023-24 NHL Breakout Players With A Young Guns Rookie Card

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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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Ten 2023-24 NHL Breakout Players With A Young Guns Rookie Card

The 12 Most Valuable Upper Deck Young Guns Hockey Cards

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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 12 Most Valuable Upper Deck Young Guns Hockey Cards

The Best Places To Sell Your Old Sports Cards For Top Dollar

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Has your old sports card collection been collecting dust in a closet?

If so, it's time to get rid of them and make some extra cash in the process!

Today, there are many options for collectors to sell sports cards online or offline. 

I've had decades of experience buying and selling sports cards, so this guide will help you avoid some of the same mistakes I have made in the past. 

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The Best Places To Sell Your Old Sports Cards For Top Dollar

Fractional Sports Card Investing: A Collector’s Guide

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I’ve always viewed sports cards as an alternative asset. Vintage sports cards are equivalents to your other stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

Some view baseball cards as pieces of cardboard. But once you dig into the supply/demand dynamics, it is clear why sports cards should be considered investments

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been in this first as a collector. I agree that the popularity of breakers and flippers gives rise to a bubble-like, greed-infested hobby

But I also think it’s fine to be both a collector (in it for the love of the hobby) and an investor at the same time.

Yet, with many vintage sports cards out of budget for most collectors, a new stock market-like dynamic has evolved.

Fractional sports card ownership allows a collector to buy a small piece of a high-priced card at whatever amount they desire.

In this piece, we will dive into the details of this burgeoning new market. 

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Fractional Sports Card Investing: A Collector’s Guide

Mario Lemieux Rookie Card Guide, Values & Investment Analysis

mario lemieux rookie card guide

If you were a hockey fan during the 1980s, you were lucky enough to witness some of the best hockey players to ever play the game.

Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and of course, the great Mario Lemieux, three players that often are discussed among the ten best hockey players of all time

In terms of hockey cards, the Mario Lemieux rookie card is one of the most valuable hockey cards in the hobby

Of course, Lemieux's rookie card was released during the Junk era; thus, between his two major rookie cards (1985 Topps and O-Pee-Cee), there's plenty of supply for everyone.

In this piece, I'll examine Lemieux's two key rookie cards, examining the scarcity, current values, and long-term investment potential.

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Mario Lemieux Rookie Card Guide, Values & Investment Analysis

Deal Or No Deal Facebook Groups – Don’t Take The Bait

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‘Deal or No Deal’ groups have become quite popular on Facebook. One of my collector friends sent me his thoughts on the format, which I’ve published here.  Note, if you’re a collector and would like to see your thoughts on our website, shoot me a line at chris@allvintagecards.com

Deal or No Deal Facebook groups annoy me. 

They wouldn’t if I didn’t belong to them, but I am a glutton for punishment.

Simply put, DOND listings are generally sucker bets.

Let me explain why.

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Deal Or No Deal Facebook Groups – Don’t Take The Bait

Topps Dynasty Is Over: Does Fanatics Stand A Chance?

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In what came as a shock to many, MLB and the MLBPA (MLB Players Association) signed a new exclusive deal with sports memorabilia company Fanatics, effectively ending the near 70-year dynasty for Topps.

The immediate reaction from collectors?

Surprise, confusion, and outrage.

Keith Olbermann, not afraid to speak his mind, said the deal orchestrated by the ‘Butcher Of Baseball’ (aka Rob Manfred, head of MLBPA) will lead to ‘ Shit Propagandist Cards’ due to  MLB’s involvement as an equity partner in the deal.

While Topps won’t win any awards for the junk-era designs and overproduction during the ’80s, the brand represents a certain nostalgia for many in the hobby that crosses generations.

And the fear is that Fanatics will flip the industry upside down, leaving the hobby in a state of disarray.

I’ve had a few days to digest this and had a lot of questions from collectors. Here’s a summary of my thoughts and answers to some of the biggest uncertainties regarding the deal.

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Topps Dynasty Is Over: Does Fanatics Stand A Chance?

Top 10 Most Valuable Bobby Orr Cards

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Bobby Orr is one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to witness much of his dominance in the league.

However, as a Bostonian, I’m forever reminded of the legacy of Bobby Orr. 

Orr is not only a Boston sports icon, but one of the most important figures in the history of hockey. 

Orr’s hockey cards have been hot in recent years, as all the GOATs have been bid up by vintage collectors. I still think despite the big increases, Orr’s cards are a great investment.

This is of course dependent on the card and the overall scarcity, so use your best judgment in evaluating any of these cards as an investment for your personal collection.

Let’s take a look at the ten most valuable cards of one Bobby Orr.

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Top 10 Most Valuable Bobby Orr Cards

Can I Still Buy Sports Cards At Target or Walmart?

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While the bulk of my card collecting and writing on All Vintage Cards is focused on older cards, I admittedly have had the urge to buy some modern cards while shopping at Target or Walmart in the past.

However, when I went to Target recently to pick up some household items, I was disappointed to find the shelves that used to hold sports cards galore completely barren.  So I set out to find the truth.  

Can you still buy sports cards at Walmart or Target?

Unfortunately, it’s much harder today to find sports cards at Walmart or Target, as they both have suspended the selling of many sports and trading cards. They still sell some sports cards in-store and online, however, there is a huge variation in availability based on your specific location. 

The surge in modern card pricing and the resultant ‘rise of the flippers’ has led to some not so pretty situations in these stores.  And while there are rare cases where you might find some cards, the odds are quite slim.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for the supply disruptions and if you still might be able to score a find at your local Walmart or Target. 

Do you know of a location that is still selling cards?  Drop a note in the comments below to let us know!

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Can I Still Buy Sports Cards At Target or Walmart?