SlabStox Card Market Report: August 2023

mobile slabstox trading card report
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Welcome to the SlabStox Card Market Report: August 2023!

The first month after The National proved a busy one, including a major shake-up in the football card market and increased grading volumes. As always, the hobby never stops moving, and we’re here to cover the changes that occurred in August.

  • TAKE 1: NFLPA terminates Panini… What does it mean?
  • TAKE 2: The Card Community Speaks
  • TAKE 3: Tracking the August Card Market
  • TAKE 4: Top-5 Card Sales of the Month
  • LOOKING AHEAD: Upcoming Shows & Product Releases

Join the ONE37pm CardTalk Pod as @LouisGeneux and @SlabStoxAaron debate takeaways from this Card Market Report to help you in your card-collecting journey. Stay tuned to social media for updates. 

If you want to receive this SlabStox Card Market Report every month, subscribe to SlabStox’s FREE Daily Slab newsletter.


  1. All market data in this report is from Card Ladder. Card Ladder is an independent, third-party partner of SlabStox, providing card collectors and investors insights to make informed, data-driven decisions. Every investment and trading move involves risk. Do your research before making any decision. 
  2. SlabStox does not own any of the specific cards represented in the SX100 Index. SlabStox owns cards of Jude Bellingham, Jonathan Taylor and Jackie Robinson.

5 Takes from the August Sports Card Market

TAKE 1: NFLPA terminates Panini… What does it mean?

The card market was flipped on its head at the start of August when the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) terminated their exclusive agreement with Panini America that ran through 2026. With the termination of the agreement, it means Fanatics has acquired the exclusive rights to produce cards with the NFLPA. Darren Rovell, the sports reporter who broke this story, received a quote from NFLPA spokesman George Atallah: “The decision was made in the best interest of all players and we are not discussing anything beyond that at this time.” Since the announcement, Panini is seeking legal action against the NFLPA for the early termination.

NFLPA term

Panini has held the exclusive rights to produce NFL cards since 2016, and while the termination of this agreement is a big one, the effects will be hard to be seen right away. Panini still has an agreement with the NFL for the licensing of sports cards, so as long as that agreement is in place and Panini has individual deals signed with players, they can produce football cards the same way. If they don’t have an agreement (notably Bryce Young, CJ Stroud and Will Levis under Fanatics exclusive deals), going forward it’s likely they can’t produce any cards of them at all, even non-autograph cards.

Fanatics already had deals in place to take over the full production of NFL cards in 2026, but if the NFL followed suit of the NFLPA and terminated their side of the deal with Panini, they could take over much sooner. There are very little details out there on what comes next, but what it seems is: 

  • Panini is releasing their products that were already in production as planned. 
  • For Fanatics, this likely means they’ll either wait for the NFL to follow suit, or they’ll start finding ways to make cards of the players under the NFLPA, just without NFL logos. That would be less than ideal, as cards with no team logos or names struggle massively in the market.

We won’t be able to understand the full effects of this for a while, so only time will tell.

Many questions are arising about what this does to the market value of Panini cards and sealed boxes that have already been released. It’ll likely do nothing, as those cards have nothing to do with the releases going forward. It’s possible there will be a heightened interest in a select few sealed products that Panini has already released, like the 2020 product line with Burrow, Herbert, Tua and Hurts included. Currently, 2020 Prizm Football Hobby Boxes were $2,150 in early July, and recent auction sales are at $2,000 - $2,250 after the NFLPA terminated the agreement.


For the last few years, Prizm Hobby Boxes have turned into a high dollar product, and it’s become extremely inaccessible for many. Possibly the most exciting news out of all of this is we may be getting Topps Chrome NFL earlier than expected. Topps Chrome boxes have been historically more affordable at release, and that includes both older football sets (to be expected given market changes), but also newer Topps Chrome MLB products.

TAKE 2: The Card Community Speaks

SlabStox posted nearly 70 different pieces of sports card news in August on Instagram, and these three posts were among the most engaged by our audience. We always love seeing what collectors think about the card market and we’re sharing some of their thoughts here:


Cards or game-used memorabilia? That’s a question many collectors have posed over the last two years, and we might have some answers after a recent sale of this Michael Jordan game-used Flu Game wristband that ended at $28,800. It barely outsold one of Michael Jordan’s 2003 Exquisite Patch Auto /100 BGS 9.5. In the end, collectors will buy what they want.

@coachray1987: “If the wristband had his number 23 stitched it would make a huge difference. That has to be the most generic red wristband I’ve ever seen.”

@hypebeaste_figs: “There's several cards with a Jordan patch and auto, there's only one flu game wristband. A true gem.“

@hobby_ghost: “When that Exq set came out, collectors didn’t care about it. Sub set /100. But now that everything dried up, it’s being appreciated.”


When August hits, football cards start to get hot. Each year before the season begins, rookie cards of QBs sell for massive amounts of money. We looked back at two of the most expensive “flop” QB purchases there’ve ever been. With Trey Lance recently dumped by the 49ers, that $132,000 Flawless Shield Auto gives Baker’s $110,400 sale a run for its money.

@goodgainzcardbreaks: “People are still disrespecting Baker, despite him being the most successful Browns QB of the last 30+ years, even with Watson there now.”

@brentdc4l: Who in their right mind would spend that on a QB that has already proven to be an injury risk and not done anything in his 3 years in the NFL?
@sandiegosportscards1: “People always bash these guys who spend this money. But I bet the sellers of these cards were happy that we have people like this in the hobby. Just buy the best cards and hope to hit on one or two. Definitely a risky strategy.”


Wander Franco’s sports card market history should be studied in history books. From big time international signing, to cards selling only behind Mike Trout and Juan Soto, to now nearly everything down 90%+ from peak price. It’s incredible how poorly this turned out for his card collectors. It’s a shame Franco wasted a career that many would love to have.

@backtothecards: “Doesn’t matter if he’s guilty or not at this point. His card prices are forever done. Either completely worthless (if guilty) and barely worth something (if innocent).”

@sacraider26: “Still almost double the price of the same card for Correa”

@smadden10: “Kinda curious as to who even bought this at this current price. If the allegations are true (and of course, he is innocent until proven guilty) this card should be a dumpster shot, not even worth $270.”

TAKE 3: Tracking The Card Market

SX100 PUBLIC index: The SX100 is a community-driven sports card index that aims to represent the everyday card collector. It made its public debut on Card Ladder’s list of indexes in May. The SX100 tracks modern cards of active players. August showed virtually zero change in the SX100, as it decreased 0.26%.

3 Big Winners


Jasson Dominguez 2020 Bowman Chrome 1st Auto PSA 9

  • There’s not many better ways to debut in the MLB than by hitting a home run in your first career at-bat. The 20-year-old prospect that’s been all over the place (market respect wise), is now hitting the previous highs that were there when he was 17. Not many thought it’d be possible to return to stardom, but it indeed has happened (for now).

Jude Bellingham 2020 Topps Chrome Bundesliga Sapphire RC PSA 10

  • 5 goals in 4 La Liga games including three game winners. The Jude Bellingham experiment is going CRAZY at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and his market is absolutely benefiting because of it.

Anthony Edwards 2020 Prizm Silver RC PSA 10

  • Edwards has enjoyed the spotlight at the FIBA World Cup so far for the USA, and so have his card collectors. He’s taking the lead role for Team USA, scoring 35 points in a win against Lithuania, the second most points scored by a USA FIBA player ever.

3 Big Losers


Wander Franco 2019 Bowman Chrome 1st Base Auto BGS 9.5/10

  • Not much more needs to be said, but we had to include him here too. The likelihood of him getting voted out of the SX100 at the Q4 update is extremely high.

Jonathan Taylor 2020 Prizm Silver RC PSA 10

  • After a season full of injuries and demands for a new contract/trade, JT’s cards are falling. He’s one of, if not the, best running backs in the NFL when completely healthy, but he really needs to prove it one more season before making these types of contract demands.

Fernando Tatis Jr 2016 Bowman Chrome 1st Auto BGS 9.5/10

  • Tatis’ cards were crushed after the steroid suspension, but they were back on the rise as he was returning to play earlier this year. Now that he’s been back and performing below previous expectations, his cards are falling again. He has a .789 OPS and 119 OPS+, both numbers far lower than his career averages (.909 and 147).

See all 100 cards in the SX100 on Card Ladder and how they are trending.

Grading Volumes

One way to track how healthy the card market is–check the volume of cards being graded month-over-month by major grading companies. Data for this information is gathered and tracked by Gem Rate. The below graphs represent what was graded in August 2023. Grading volumes are up month-over-month from all companies. This could be due to increased volume with The National.

august grading
august grading2

TAKE 4: Top-5 Card Sales of the Month

In July 0 cards sold over $1M. In August, four of the top five were over $1M.


Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps #311 SGC 9 ($4,500,000)

It’s never a surprise when a 1952 Mantle sells for over $1M, but it’s been a year since we’ve seen one go over $2M. The last time that happened? When the SGC 9.5 sold for $12,600,000 on 8/28/22, the most expensive card to ever sell.

The One Ring Lord of The Rings 2023 Magic The Gathering 1/1 PSA 9 ($2,000,000)

The One Ring chase was something similar to the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket search. People who never even heard of Magic The Gathering were preparing to rip packs of the new Lord of The Rings set in search of the first ever 1/1 stamped MTG card. It was found, graded and sold to Post Malone for $2M.

Joe Doyle 1909-1911 T206 N.Y. NAT’L Error White Border SGC 3.5 ($1,323,000)

Joe Doyle is a name most of us likely have never heard of, but this card did an incredible number due to it being an “error.” It’s the most expensive Joe Doyle card by well over $1M, as the next closest card was a PSA 8 (non-error) that sold for $40,800. According to Robert Edwards Auctions, this error card is “by far the rarest in the T206 set.” It was uncatalogued and completely unknown until the 1970s. To the best of REA’s knowledge, “only ten authentic rare Doyle cards exist.” The error is because Joe Doyle played for the New York Americans, not the New York Nationals. When the printer caught the error, they removed the Nat’l at the bottom of the card.


Babe Ruth 1933 Goudey #144 PSA 8.5 ($1,065,000)

Whenever Babe Ruth’s Goudey in a high grade pops up, the big time vintage collectors come out to play. This is the most expensive PSA 8.5 to ever sell.

Jackie Robinson 1948 Leaf Rookie SIgned #79 PSA Authentic/8 Auto ($588,000)

While it’s not a high grade rookie, it is much, much better to many collectors. A hand signed, Jackie Robinson rookie card is an item most collectors can only dream to see in-person some day, let alone own it.

TAKE 5: Looking Ahead

Sports Card Shows Worth Checking Out

Add your sports card show to the list of upcoming “Card Shows” on Sports Card Portal here

September 17

  • (Sept 17) Sports Card and Non-Sports Show, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

September 22-24

  • (Sept 22-24) Myrtle Beach Sports Cards & Memorabilia Show, Myrtle Beach, SC

September Product Releases

The release dates below are subject to change by the manufacturer. Dates provided by Cardboard Connection.

September 1

September 6

September 13

September 20

September 22

September 27

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