Sports card collecting making a comeback


Baseball cards have always been around but they really took off in the 1980’s and 90’s. The first set of baseball cards were created in 1886 for Goodwin tobacco. Starting in 2020, sports cards have become as popular as ever, growing the demand and increasing the prices of them. 

Baseball cards have always been the most popular form of trading cards, but through the years other sports cards have gained popularity and have been in competition with baseball cards. In 2020 basketball cards saw a 373% sales increase on eBay, a popular site to buy and sell including sports cards. Since 2020 there have been over 10 basketball cards sold for over a million dollars. In the spring of 2021, the record price paid for a basketball card was broken for the second time in under three months with a sale of a very rare Lebron James card for 5.2 million dollars. The basketball card market has increased more than any other sports cards lately.

Even with the increase in basketball card sales baseball still holds the crown for the most expensive sport card ever with the Honus Wagner T206 card selling for a record at just over 6.6 million dollars. Within the year of 2020, 19 sports cards sold for over a million dollars, which really shows just how much the market for sports cards has exploded in recent years. In just 2016 the same card that is worth 6.6 million dollars was sold for under half the price it is worth today.

With the Covid-19 pandemic and people staying home, new hobbies were created. For many sports fans, sports cards were a cure to boredom. When asked about the reasoning behind the boom in collection, one Boston sports card collector commented, “People were home, cleaning out their attics, or messing around on eBay out of boredom.” Collecting sports cards is for all budgets, different sports cards can vary in price from a couple of dollars to a couple of million dollars. With a wide range of budgets and ages, sports cards are thriving.  

With the connection to the internet today it is much easier to buy, sell, trade, and connect with other collectors. From personal experiences, I have seen a large community of card collectors on Instagram that buy, sell, and trade with each other. I have made countless trades and sales with collectors all around the country with the help of shipping cards through the mail. There is also large communities of card collectors on other platforms all over the internet.

Sports cards have been collected mostly by children but adults have gotten into collecting too for a number of reasons. Collecting cards can be very nostalgic, it can be a hobby to enjoy with your children, and also it can be an investment for some. People of all ages love to collect the stars of the past and present. The love of sports and its players is the reason why collecting sports cards is so popular.

There are sports cards for everyone. For cards of all different players and generations, you are bound to find cards that interest you if you are into sports. Some cards even have an aesthetic appeal to them or bring you closer to the game with cards that include game-worn relics or have a signature touch from a player with an autograph.

Collecting cards of the stars of the past, present, and future from all over the world is what makes sports card collecting so interesting to so many people. Millions of people collect cards all around the world. According to, there were over 4 million cards sold on eBay in 2020 for a 142% increase of sales for all sport cards from the year before. Collecting sports cards is back and better than ever.