PSA Population: Which Sport's Cards May Be the Most Undervalued?

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The sports card market has been booming! eBay recently released their statistics from the first half of 2021, and the numbers were eye-popping. From January 1st to June 30th, over $2 billion in trading card sales and 130 cards were sold per minute on the platform. Tennis had the highest year over year growth at 1,797%, while soccer saw an 852% increase. Football (200%), basketball (148%) and baseball (93%) also saw significant upward trends.

In this article we will discuss the PSA population reports for the following categories: Baseball, Football, Basketball and Soccer and go over the supply of graded cards per category.

The population report shows the total supply of cards broken down by how many of each are graded by score. Supply helps with understanding the basic economics of the sports card market - supply vs. demand. 

After analyzing the supply, I’ll break down the viewership of their largest events (ex: football’s Super Bowl) in order to help understand each sport's mainstream relative popularity.


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Baseball is the sport with the highest number of PSA graded cards. Baseball cards have been around for generations and have evolved many times. PSA has graded baseball cards from as far back as the 1800’s. There have been over 17 million baseball cards graded by PSA. 

This number is massive and blows every other sport out of the water, but it also makes sense. In my personal experience at card shows such as the National and the Dallas Card Show, I see more baseball cards than any other sport. Many still refer to the sports card market as the “baseball card market”.

In the 2020 World Series, the games were watched by an average of 9.8 million people.


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The sport with the second highest volume of PSA graded cards is football. PSA has graded over five million football cards, with the oldest football set being from 1894!

Football is the most popular sport in the United States in terms of viewership. This number is interesting to me because the main market for football (NFL) is mainly in the US, while there isn’t as much relative international demand for football cards. This goes to show how much Americans love their football.

The 2020 Super Bowl received 101 million viewers. This is a staggering number of viewers - 20 times more eyes watching the Big Game than the supply of PSA graded football cards.


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PSA has graded over five million basketball cards, with the oldest basketball set being  from 1948. Unlike baseball and football, basketball cards were not produced until much later. The demand for basketball cards has skyrocketed over the past few years, as the NBA has become increasingly popular. The 2021 NBA finals received an average of 9.9 million viewers.

The basketball market has set multiple records over the past two years. A few notable sales include 2003 LeBron James Exquisite RPA /23 that sold for $5.2 million. Also, the 2018 National Treasures Luka Doncic 1/1 Logoman sold privately for $4.6 million. A 2013 Giannis Antetokumpo Autograph 1/1 Logoman sold for $1.8 million. These sales show how much demand and money are flowing into basketball cards in such a short period of time.


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The soccer market is very interesting, as only 221,000 soccer cards have been graded by PSA. This is astonishingly low considering how popular soccer is across the globe. International demand for soccer is huge. The oldest soccer card graded is from 1896.

Soccer has historically not been talked about as much as the three major sports within the United States, but that is slowly changing. To put this in perspective, over 1.1 billion people watched the 2018 World Cup Final!

With the supply of soccer cards being so relatively low, and the worldwide popularity so high, I think the market has potential to grow rapidly as the hobby grows outside of the States, and as popularity for the sport continues to grow within it.

Which Sports Cards Are the Most Undervalued?

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In conclusion, Baseball has the leading supply within the graded sports card market, by a large margin. Football and Basketball have a large amount of graded cards and have a VERY similar supply. It's my opinion that soccer is the most underrated category on the list.

The demand for soccer is high, with over four billion worldwide soccer fans. The supply of graded soccer cards is low. This creates a unique market with so much room for growth. As more international fans learn about the card market the demand for soccer cards should rise, creating a lot of opportunity for investors and collectors.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new!

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