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The 19 Hottest Cards From Single Person Sports

univ hero single player
Jason Koeppel/ONE37pm

With all of our recent deep dives into the sports card market, the focus has strictly been on different team sports. For a change of pace, I wanted to go off the beaten path and introduce some of the most collectible cards from individual sports. The best place to find trading cards like these is eBay and many of them are available to bid on right now, so we recommend you hop on these suggestions sooner rather than later.

 

Most of these cards do not come from traditional products like Panini, Upper Deck, Topps or Fleer and you have to search long and hard to get your hands on some of these rare examples, as they do not come up for sale very often. 

 

Here is our list of some of the most popular cards of iconic athletes all across the sports landscape.

Golf

Tiger Woods

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1996 Sports Illustrated for Kids Tiger Woods 

Most Recent Sale PSA 9: $2550

 

The Sports Illustrated For Kids cards came on an uncut perforated sheet inside of the front cover of the magazine with 8 other cards.Tiger’s page featured players such as Curtis Martin and Jerry Stackhouse. 

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2001 Upper Deck Golf #1 Tiger Woods RC

Most Recent Sale BGS 9.5: $200

 

This is the first “official” Tiger Woods card despite debuting years after his Grand Slam Ventures and Sports Illustrated for Kids cards and are relatively affordable. There were many Tiger Woods cards in this set, but #1 is most popular amongst collectors. 

Jack Nicklaus

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1973 Panini Campioni Dello Sport #375 Jack Nicklaus RC

Most Recent Sale PSA 9: $18,750

 

This is actually a sticker and part of a popular set that was only released in Italy. Collectors pay a premium for versions that still have the back intact. 

nicklaus
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1971 Barratt & Co #6 Jack Nicklaus RC

Most Recent Sale PSA 8: $510

 

This is the first Jack Nicklaus card ever made, even though it is not considered to be his official “rookie”, and was issued in Britain.

Tennis

Serena Williams

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2003 Netpro Elite Serena Williams Glossy RC

Most Recent Sale PSA 10: $5750

 

This card was not released with the original Netpro set. It was part of a NetPro Glossy additional release that was limited to 5,000 copies, making it one of the most appealing Serena Williams cards. The non-glossy version is a bit easier to find. 

Venus Williams

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1998 Sports Illustrated For Kids Venus Williams RC

Most Recent Sale BGS 9: $89

 

Sports illustrated for Kids was also the first place you were able to find a Venus Williams card, and this is considered her “rookie” amongst collectors, even though she does have a more official rookie card in the 2003 NetPro set.  

Billie Jean King

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1970-71 Billie Moffitt-King Panini Campioni Dello Sport Sticker

Most Recent Sale: $150

 

This sticker comes from the same Panini Campioni Dello Sport sticker set (although a different year) as the Jack Nicklaus we previously discussed. It was also released only in Italy, and it is not easy to find one for sale. 

Roger Federer

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2003 NetPro Roger Federer #G11 RC

Most Recent Sale PSA 9: $49

 

Federer’s official rookie card came inside of the same 2003 NetPro set as the Serena Williams rookies. Glossy versions were also distributed in the glossy additional release set.

Boxing

Mike Tyson

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1987 A Question of Sport Mike Tyson

Most Recent Sale BGS 9: $700

 

This card was part of a board game that was released in the UK which was based on a popular British sports trivia show. 

tyson
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1986 Panini Supersport Italian Back #153 Mike Tyson RC 

Current Bid PSA 8: $4550

 

This was Tyson’s first ever “card”, which was actually a sticker that was released in Europe. This card is extremely rare, and few ever come up for sale.

Muhammad Ali

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1960 Hemmets Journal Boxing Cassius Clay Muhammad Ali

Most Recent Sale PSA 9: $50101

 

The 1960 Hemmets Journal featured 4 cards of athletes in the 1960 Rome Olympics. These cards were designed to be placed in a binder, but were later hand-cut by collectors. The original card had sprinter Wilma Rudolph on the same card as Clay.

Auto Racing

Dale Earnhardt

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1988 Maxx Charlotte #99 Dale Earnhardt Promo Rookie

Most Recent Sale PSA 10: $675

 

This card was never actually released as Maxx and Earnhardt never were able to strike a deal. However, some copies did show up in the collector’s hands and it is highly sought after. Maxx later officially released limited copies through a redemption card in 1994, and in 1997 Upper Deck released 100 numbered buybacks.

Danica Patrick

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Danica Patrick 2018 Prizm Signature Green Auto

Most Recent Sale PSA 10: $125

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2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Danica Patrick IRL Rookie Card

Most Recent Sale: $57.25

 

Gymnastics

Simone Biles

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2016 Topps Team USA Simone Biles Auto

Most Recent Sale: $74.95

 

Like many others on this list, the first Simone Biles card was in Sports Illustrated for Kids. This 2016 Topps Team USA set is one of the only other places you can find one of her cards.

Skateboarding

Tony Hawk

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1990 Sports Illustrated For Kids #152 Tony Hawk RC

Most Recent Sale PSA 9: $1450

 

Another athlete whose first trading card came inside of Sports Illustrated for Kids, Tony Hawk is almost equally legendary for his skateboarding as his “Tony Hawk Pro Skater” video games. With the recent release of “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2”, the value of this card has been rising.

Swimming

Michael Phelps

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2004 Sports Illustrated For Kids Michael Phelps Auto RC 

Most Recent Sale PSA 10: $699

 

Phelps has actually had an auto card in the 2004 Donruss Football Rookies & Stars set that generated quite a buzz during the Olympics that year. He has since appeared in other sets such as the 2009 Allen & Ginter and the 2012 Topps Olympic set. However, his first card was in SI for Kids, making this his official “rookie” card.

UFC

Ronda Rousey

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2012 Topps UFC Finest Ronda Rousey Auto RC 

Most Recent Sale: $2000

 

This was Ronda’s official “rookie” and the auto is on-card (not on a sticker placed on the card), which was unique to UFC Bloodlines. There is also a stamp on this card signifying that it was her first autograph.

Conor McGregor

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2013 Topps UFC Bloodlines Conor McGregor RC (Flag)

Most Recent Sale PSA 10: $6999

 

McGregor is easily the biggest draw in the history of the UFC and this was his first card. The “flag” version is very difficult to find and are not cheap.