Are you wondering what the most popular and valuable modern sports cards are? Before I get in to my list, I want to first talk about the hobby itself.
Sports cards are no longer a thing of the past. With an increase in overall sports viewership and with the instant ability to access an ever-growing base of popular athletes, it only makes sense that sports cards would find their rightful place back in the United States. With Fanatics increasing their presence in the hobby, it seems as if trading cards are here to stay.
Being a shop owner over these past 5 years has given me an interesting and unique look at what collectors, investors, and flippers are making popular. Grading companies, eBay, the increase in the use of mobile payment services, and, of course, the rapid growth in social media have only fueled the rise. In all of the recent attention, a few cards have definitely emerged to the top. Popularity and value seem to intertwine in the hobby community and the following list of modern sports cards should help you navigate the modern scene.
Now, before I get to this list, let’s qualify a few things:
- Modern cards are considered to be cards that are not "vintage,” and vintage cards are typically denoted as any card produced before 1980. Conversely, modern cards would be considered everything else until now.
- There are different tiers of value: low, mid, high, and then the astronomical, record-breaking sales. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the low to the mid/high end. These are the cards that are certainly pricey, but they are tangible grails for many collectors.
- This list excludes any entertainment or non-sport trading cards. We also are only allowing each individual player to appear once in order to showcase 25 different popular athletes.