A Glossary of Terms for Baseball Collectors & Dealers
One of the most valuable and rare baseball cards, which features Honus Wagner and was printed from 1909 to 1911, is worth $280,000. But collecting isn't just for the elite. About 3 million people collect them in the U.S. and Canada. You can buy, sell and trade baseball cards at hobby shops, flea markets, garage sales, auctions and on the internet. These are some of the most common terms used in the trade.
All-Star Baseball Cards – All-star baseball is a popular board game created in 1941. The cards used in these game have become collectible.
Base Cards – Base cards are the bulk of numbered parts in a set. They show the player’s photo on the front and statistics on the back. Base cards with little collectible value are called “commons.”
Price Guides – Price guides list the appraisal price of cards in mint condition. You can find guides that list more than a million cards from minor and major leagues.
Professional Sports Authenticator – PSA was founded in 1998 to act as a third-party authentication company for collectors and dealers.
Rookie Cards – A rookie card is a player’s first trading card appearance by a major brand. Rookie year cards such as parallels, inserts and sub-sets aren’t technically rookie cards, and hold less value.
Subsets – Subsets are cards within a pack that feature unique design themes celebrating a legend of the game. These differ from a more rare variety, inserts, which also have special designs, but aren’t included as part of a set.
Vintage – The term ‘vintage’ is used informally to describe old baseball cards. For collectible purposes, truly vintage cards are older than 1980.