Sports Cards Hobby Thread


Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Figured this would work best in the Sports Folder. Inspired by Bored's article and Fazzle's last post (any pictures?).

Our Tips, Tricks, and Random Notes
#1: Have Fun! It's a Hobby! Collect what & who you want first regardless of what others think.

What To Buy
#2: Hobby Boxes are the go to products. Retail Mega Boxes/Blasters/Hangers are more affordable but usually far less bang for your buck. Hobby Boxes are for the gamblers hoping to hit the high end cards (and get them graded afterwards). Think of them like a Casino, you're going to lose money on 90% of the boxes you buy and break even at best.
#3: Rookie Card Focus = NBA - Panini Prizm (Silvers are HOT), NFL - National Treasures for Auto/Jerseys & Panini Contenders, NHL = Upper Deck (Young Guns), and MLB = Topps Series 1 & 2/Topps Update and Bowman Chrome for Autos. A lot of these brands also do autos too.
#4: Autos are a gold standard. Rookie Patch Autos aka RPAs are the ideal for collectors. On card autographs are better than sticker autos. NFL = National Treasures, Flawless, or Exquisite. NHL = Upper Deck's The Cup. MLB = Bowman Chrome, Topps Museum Collection. NBA = National Treasures, Panini Flawless, & Panini Immaculate.
#12: Jersey Cards are also known as Patch Cards. Some have 'Dual Material' (e.g. two players or three players), some have a Jumbo patch, some have three or four patches of a single player. Game-Worn tends to be preferred by buyers but starting around 2011-2012 a lot of Patch cards tend to be more Player-Worn or Event-Worn in the case of rookies. Panini tends to be notorious for this.

Where To Buy
#8: Use COMC or StarStock as an alternative to Ebay for selling cards. They do most of the legwork shipping, etc. for you but look at the fees. StarStock is geared more towards specific sets of rookies but you can ship Beckett orders directly to StarStock.
#9: Beckett Marketplace is a great resource for buying singles of specific cards for your collection. Site is not easy to use but can be a gold mine if you have the patience for it. Warning: Pictures can be hard to find so you may be doing a bit of a risky blind buying in some cases. A lot of the sellers are actual cards shops so they are usually more reputable in what you're getting quality wise but not always. Some dealers may require certain thresholds to be met for free shipping such as $30 or $50. Build up your cart over a period of days or weeks to meet that criteria. You'll save a lot of money this way.
#10: Ebay is the place to go if you want to buy graded cards. Having a Paypal account is a necessity with sellers usually requiring payment within 3 days of winning an auction or BIN. Be careful when buying cards in auctions via Probstein or PWCC due to card trimming scandals and shill bidders pushing the prices up. Know what you're bidding on.

Card Sets and Card Particulars
#4: Use htpps:// to look through Card Sets and find Short Print variations aka SP/SSP/SSSP of cards. Know what you're looking for. Sometimes they can sell for far more than a base card, sometimes not. Cardboard Connection is another great site for modern day sports card sets in terms of previewing card designs, checklists, and new inserts that may not have been featured in past sets of a brand.
#5: Serial #'s matter to an extent. Lower/more scarce the better but brand also matters. An NFL National Treasures Jersey /99 will probably sell more than an Absolute Jersey /49.
#6: Parallel cards are usually variations of the base card e.g. a Green Border /299, Orange Border /199, Red Border /99, Purple Border /49, Gold Border /10, and Black Border 1/1. Most are usually serial #'d to help but Hobby Boxes usually show what the pack odds are of pulling each card to help give an idea of scarcity. Retail products are starting to insert their own exclusive parallels e.g. Walmart may have a Camo Parallel while Target has a Pink Parallel.

Grading Cards
#7: Graded cards come from PSA, BGS (Beckett), SGC, and GMA. The 10s are the gold standard but 9s & even 8.5s can be much more affordable from a collection budget perspective. PSA or BGS are the way to go if you want to make the most profit you can wring out on a sale. Turnaround times can be very lengthy, 2-4 Months as of September 2020, and prices can be in the mid-hundreds when submitting cards. SGC and GMA are comparable in grading quality of actual cards but fetch lower prices, usually, unless you're patient and refuse to accept low ball offers. There are groups out there via Facebook or BlowoutCards Forum that will offer bulk submissions where you send them your cards and they will do all of the physical boxing, labels, sending out, etc.
#15: PSA (and BGS I believe) do include POP Reports aka Population Reports of graded cards. This will give you a better idea of how many cards have been submitted for grading, how many got 10s/9s/8s, and the relative scarcity of that card in general. If there are 10,000 Zion Williamson Cards and 8,000 are 10s vs. 4,000 Ja Morants with only 800 being 10s... the Ja Morants are much scarcer and harder to obtain a 10 Grade out of meaning they'll likely fetch a higher premium price.
#18: More companies are now popping up such as HGA (Hybrid Grading) and also CSG Grading with CSG being a spin-off from the very popular CGC best known for their Comic Book Grading.

When To Buy or Sell
#6: Good time to target last year's rookies in the offseason. Spotlight guys who performed well enough but are under the radar a bit. QBs will always fetch a premium even if they struggled.
#11: Early offseason is a prime time to start buying cards and right before the regular season starts is a prime time to sell cards. Hype will always outsell production (99% of the time).

General Beliefs/Guides - Note: Some of This is Changing Market Wise
#13: Focus on hitters in MLB, scorers in NBA & NHL, and QBs in the NFL. Fantasy Sports is changing this a little as RBs/WRs/TEs/Defense is getting some card love but QBs are the safer & higher reward play usually.
#14: Rookie Cards are usually the be all/end all for investors and collectors. This is slightly changing thanks to the craziness over Prizm Silvers but rookie years generally meant lower print runs. This also is slightly changing thanks to modern sets & base card rookies but don't fall for the hype.
#15: Avoid Junk Wax (1987-1993) cards (Rookies from these years are the exception) if possible unless you can get a graded one for cheap. Serial #'d were rare and some Inserts were parallels of the main sets but they usually fetch a high price. If you can get a Junk Wax card in '10' condition and get it graded, go for it but you may need to buy a dozen of the same card to get that level quality. More risk than reward.
#16: Avoid Base Cards unless they are rookies. Ignore the craziness of the market. They will plummet hard, fast immediately if the market starts to tank at all. A rookie card /299 is still worth more than a generic Base Rookie Card from that same set but the latter is easier to buy & submit for grading.
#17: Scarcity is king. The late 2000s (2009-2013) started featuring smaller print runs when the Hobby market was struggling so they could be an underrated area to focus upon. Serial #'d and cards that are tough to get 9s or 10s graded > base cards generally. Vintage is its own beast in this regard, however.

General Notes on Print Runs of Products
Starting around 1981 through 1993 Baseball was approaching 1,000,000+ print runs for its base cards
1987-88 Fleer Basketball had a smaller print run than the '86-'87 year
1988 Fleer Baseball supposedly had a dip in production print run wise
1992 Donruss Baseball "severely curtailed production" presumably to 1987 levels while 1994 Donruss Baseball is believed to have its lowest print run since 1985
1996 Topps Baseball lowest print run (base card wise) since 1965 supposedly
2002 Donruss Diamond Kings estimated 41,000 Hobby Boxes
2007-08 Upper Deck Premier Basketball limited to just 499 Cases and 2007-08 SP Rookie Threads limited to just 599 Cases
2014 Topps Archives Baseball had a smaller print run due to 'slow' 2013 sales
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Integral Poster
Gonna be scanning a bunch of the cards from my TC break tomorrow probably. I could post pictures if people wanted?

I probably won't be buying anything else for a while though cause I'm probably gonna lose a nice chunk of change on that case.

I happen to be lucky in that I've got one of the best LCSs in the country though. If anyone on here knows what The Hobby Box/Cards Infinity is, yeah, I live about 15 minutes from that store.


Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
fazzle said:
Gonna be scanning a bunch of the cards from my TC break tomorrow probably. I could post pictures if people wanted?

I probably won't be buying anything else for a while though cause I'm probably gonna lose a nice chunk of change on that case.

I happen to be lucky in that I've got one of the best LCSs in the country though. If anyone on here knows what The Hobby Box/Cards Infinity is, yeah, I live about 15 minutes from that store.

I'd love to see pictures myself because that's half the fun of box breaking on a board :) I've heard of them (THB/CI) but what exactly are LCSs? Local Card Store?


Integral Poster
I collect & occasionally do some shows. Unfortunately, I'm now living about an hour away from the nearest card store.

I'd like to see some pics too, fazzle.


Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
2012 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hobby - BOX BREAK - Paid $110
Russell Wilson #870/885 - Autograph Jersey Rookie [$175.00]!!!!
Eric Page #91 - Autograph Gold 8/15 [$30.00]
Jermaine Kearse #57 - Autograph [$12.00]
Robert Griffin III #10 - Base [$8.00]
Barry Sanders #94SP5 [$5.00]
Roger Staubach #131 [$5.00]
Russell Wilson #87 - Base [$5.00]
Roger Staubach #94SP19 [$4.00]
Rueben Randle #111 [$4.00]
Case Keenum #CR12 - Canvas Rookie [$4.00]

2011 Panini Prestige Football Retail Pack (4) FREE Listed Notables by Beckett Value
Adrian Clayborn #203 - Rookie [$30.00]
Mike Thomas #94 - Xtra Points Orange [$5.00]







Integral Poster
Yeah that's a sick Wilson patch. That'd basically pay for your break if you were to sell it, and everything else would be free.

(and yeah LCS is Local Card Store/Shop)


Integral Poster
I started collecting around 1987. Usually I'd get baseball cards only if the toy store was out of Garbage Pail Kids packs.

I currently have a binder of every MLB and NFL team. I have 2 Saints binders, 1 binder of Drew Brees, 1 binder of Frank Thomas, and multiple complete sets of various sports. I've reduced my buying as of late and instead have been focusing my money on getting existing cards graded.

I've been participating in group submissions on a card website which allows for multiple people to submit cards through one person's account allowing for bargain basement prices. I'll post some pictures later once I figure out what other people would find cool and not my biased opinion (everything).

Incidentally, I know I'm not too much on the "in" group here but if anyone is interested in getting some cards graded on the cheap I should know something in the next month or so about another submission for around $7/card 45 day service through BGS if anyone is interested.
I was a big card collector in the 90s and have basically all of them still. Bad part is it's when they were overprinting like crazy so they're probably not worth much.


Integral Poster
Fuck it, here is my Drew Brees graded cards as of September. I have another batch due sometime in the next week.











EDITED: added spoiler tags as inspired by Fazzle.

My lone T206:

Graded card display shelf:



Integral Poster
Just got a chance to scan in some of the better/cooler hits from my case, gonna list them along with my estimated value (cause Beckett is pretty worthless nowadays) I'm gonna put it in spoiler tags cause it wound up being a bunch of pictures

First the 1/1 of Travis Leslie. Being that it' know, Travis Leslie and not someone worth a damn, I have no clue on the value of this card. $30-$40 probably? Too bad it wasn't Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving, cause then it'd be around a $3000 card. Also, for those who aren't aware, last season's rookies are still considered rookies in the 2012/13 cards due to them not really getting proper rookie cards last year because of the labor despute.

Metta Green parallel, probably around an $80 card, might go up in value a few bucks if the Lakers take the 8 seed.

Anthony Davis rookie auto, most likely the most expensive card of the break at around $90-$100

Jim Jackson 3 color patch card numbered to 25. Not really worth alot's Jim Jackson. But I like the look of the patch, probably my favorite card of the entire break. Ebay says it's around a $10 card

Kenneth Faried 2 color patch. I just really like patches. $30 card

Patch love continues with one of Jamaal Wilkes. Looks like $5 is the max on this one

Paul Pierce patch. $10-15ish

Dikembe patch, maybe $10

Autos of Dion Waiters and Nikola Vucevic. Neither one worth a whole lot now, but they should go up, especially Vucevic in a few years when he's one of the top 5 bigs in the game.

LeBron jersey, got 3 of them in the break. They appear to be about $10-$14 each

James Harden gold parallel, numbered to 25. Not sure, maybe like $15?

Steve Novak auto to 15. Not really sure on this one either, but it's pretty low numbered so it's cool.

and a Lillard card numbered to 499, cause at this point pretty much anything Lillard is money.

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Cool to see the pics. I really like the Jackson and Pierce patches. That Lillard should keep jumping in price right now. Even his most common cards seem to push around $10 (he was the last base card needed for my Prestige set I was building).


Integral Poster
So...blowoutcards forums had a Masters contest going, where you had to pick the winner and their winning score, and if you got it correct you won a box of 2001 SP Authentic golf (the set with Tiger autographed rookie cards)

I just so happened to randomly pick Adam Scott at 9 under. Hopefully I get something sick of the box!


Integral Poster
Good luck with that. I mostly use blowout cards forums to spam my ebay and COMC listings but other than that I just lurk.


Integral Poster
I have a shit ton of old baseball cards that I'm cleaning out of my parents' storage room before they move. Like, a few thousand, mostly from around 1989 to 1991, Topps, Donruss, and Fleer. Is it worth trying to figure out if some of these are worth anything, or should I just divest myself of them all in bulk?


Boreding Hard
Unless you have an '89 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card and need to pay for a tank of gas with it, don't bother. That's during the era when cards were super over produced so most aren't worth shit.


Integral Poster
Good. I like money, but I wasn't really keen on spending hours on hours flipping through cards for a sport about which I don't care.

Youth N Asia

(Thinking of a new title for this space)
Bored said:
Unless you have an '89 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card and need to pay for a tank of gas with it, don't bother. That's during the era when cards were super over produced so most aren't worth shit.

That's about the only card from that time that holds any value. Being Upper Deck's first year helps it out. 86 to 91 is pretty worthless for baseball cards in general. I used to be big into cards. Finally got priced out in 2003 or so.


Integral Poster
Don't for get the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF error card. I'd like to own one of those eventually.


Integral Poster
Surprisingly (to me) that card, I've found, is cheaper to come by than the various attempts to cover it up.


Integral Poster
speaking of blowout forums and their contests, I immediately thought of Harley when I saw this contest:

Correctly guess the first 12 picks in the NFL draft and win a box of Five Star football (like a $500 box)

Youth N Asia

(Thinking of a new title for this space)
snuffbox said:
Don't forget Fuck Face.

Actually not worth that much.

I busted my 90 Topps factory set just to see if I had the Thomas error without the name on it

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
I just ordered some boxes, I think after the recent talk here.

Wes really looking at the new Panini Marquee Basketball but decided to hold off for the moment.

Grabbed a box of the 2010-11 Donruss basketball I had been eyeballing, with some old filler that was cheap like 1993 Classic Basketball and 1990-91 Fleer basketball for now.


Boreding Hard

First CardBored article is up, it's the same one I posted on the board just with a different introduction. Yesterday I also did end up getting my 25 pack box of old, worthless baseball cards for potential future articles. Here is what was in the box.

1988 Donruss (added a comment to the article on this pack)
1988 Topps Big Series 1
1989 Bowman
1989 Donruss
1990 Donruss
1990 Fleer (three packs)
1990 Score
1990 Pacific Senior Baseball (yes, really)
1990 Topps Big Series 1
1990 Topps Big Series 2
1990 Topps Traded
1990 Upper Deck
1991 Donruss
1991 Fleer
1991 Leaf Series 2
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier
1991 Score
1992 Donruss
1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier
1992 Sky Box Triple-A
1992 Topps (two packs)
1995 Topps Bazooka

Anyone with suggestions on what pack I should open for the next article? I'll definitely be doing one on that pack of Senior Baseball league cards (a short lived baseball league featuring 35 and older players) at some point but not right away.

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Got my Donruss box last night in the mail. The 3 pulls were a Lebron Relic #/399, a Birdman autograph #/25 and a Channing Frye relic #/15.

I ended up finding a Marquee box on sale online for about $20 less a few nights later, so that should be here this week.

I also bought into my first box break on eBay today, getting a few different teams cheap for the Panini Contenders set, which I have been getting autographed in person this year at Suns games. We will see if I get any big hits, as I got the Suns, Wolves, Mavericks, Nuggets, Warriors, Hornets, Pistons and Bucks, which covers some of the better rookies (which are all autographed in that set). All teams together cost $20.59, so if they pull Davis, Faried or even Barnes, it'd be well worth it.


Integral Poster
I don't really like buying into ebay group breaks because:

A) I don't trust mother fuckers on eBay
B) I prefer the gambling element of just getting a random team and having decide which team you get, instead of having to pay more to get a better team.

Good luck with yours though

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Yeah, I figured I would give it a whirl for once, seeing as I got most teams for $2-$3. Probably going to regret it later.

Think I was just in high spirits after being at the local card show today. Most stuff was a ripoff there but I bought a pile for my autographing purposes from a guy selling stuff 10 for $1, as well as a few random ones I thought were decent deals (UD Masterpieces Longoria RC, Jered Weaver UD rookie #/150 for $2 a piece). Mainly dropped money on the paid signing they had for Andre Dawson, getting a card signed.


Integral Poster
The one and only ebay box break I did the team I selected (Saints) had no pulls. In compliance with Ebay policies the seller put all buyers would still be mailed "something" After a month I had not received anything and it was only $6 I was out of. I decided I should still contact the seller anyway. I was still within the 45 day threshold for reporting problems and this gave me two weeks to sort it out.

The seller was very apologetic and sent me 4 cards, 2 rookie autos and 2 low #'d mem cards of my team. So, no real complaints here. I quit while I was ahead though and haven't done anymore.