Stamp expert & buyer with over 40 years of experience.
Sports Memories and Collectible Terms
Maybe you'd like to collect basketball, hockey or baseball items for fun and profit. You may look forward to trading at conventions or debating on online forums. Sports card and memorabilia collectors make up a lively community. You may have a group who meets regularly at the local hobby store for events. Prepare a guest that you bring to your next hobby social event by sharing these terms.
No-grade – According to an official rating system, a no-grade is an unfortunate condition. For example, a valuable basketball card can be ruined by adding color, doing repair or trimming.
Gem Mint – This is highly desirable condition for collectors of trading cards and other items of sport memorabilia. Such a trading card must have razor sharp corners and original gloss.
Notching – Retail store owners may start as childhood fans and then run a small business as a labor of love. Such owners who sell sport memorabilia buy cards without notching. Notching is an imperfection caused to cards by a previous owner. Even signed limited edition cards can lose their value by notching caused by a rubber band.
Birdcage Mask – This catcher’s mask is from 1910. Look for hinged car guards and throat protectors on this vintage gear.
Autographed Hockey Stick – Oftentimes a whole team rather than a single player will sign such a stick.
World War II – Many brands of sports cards produced boxing, baseball and football cards during this time period. Now cards from this era are prized by collectors. Cards in good condition from these years are rare.
The first sports cards were baseball cards, which appeared in the second half of the nineteenth century. Their original purpose was actually to prevent cigarette packs from being crushed. Later, cards became associated with gum and expanded into other sports. Now cards exist for football, hockey and basketball. Collecting and trading cards is an important hobby.
Sports cards are now sold independently as well as being used for promotions. Signed and autographed cards can be of considerable value. Some cards are limited edition and hologram cards have enjoyed a recent popularity. Vintage cards, especially in mint condition, are sought by collectors. They are sold by retail shops and also traded. Major League baseball cards remain popular, with the most valuable being those of players who make it to the Hall of Fame. In some cases, a card from a player's rookie year can be the most prized. Cards are sold in retail shops and online. Sometimes, they are put together into sets, for example, a specific team in a specific year. Hockey and basketball cards are also pretty common.
Other trading cards exist, both sport and other interests. The trading card phenomenon has led to the creation of a number of games based off of the concept and entertainment cards are also collectibles.
Stores that sell cards may also sell other memorabilia. Autographed balls are popular with baseball fans. Signed jerseys can fetch very high prices in some quarters. Also popular are photos, signed and otherwise, and other pieces of sporting equipment. Sports memorabilia are valued not for their practical use, but for the sense of connection they give the owner with a respected player or team.