What Are The Best Sports Card Packs to Buy?

Why are Sports Cards so Expensive?

Are you looking for the best card packs to buy? Of course, but why are sports cards so expensive? As for current values, many investors see trading cards as a safe bet, especially given the growth seen over the past two decades. 

Trading cards are real-world assets, while they’re less volatile than the likes of crypto. The rare autos and serial-numbered parallels always fetch a tidy sum on the resale market.

playing sports card

The History of Sports Card Collecting

This hobby happened by coincidence. To prevent breakage during transportation, tobacco magnate James Buchanan “Buck” Duke began inserting small pieces of cardboard into cigarette packets in the late 1800s.

Each piece of cardboard has advertisements on one side and an image of a famous actor. Many of Duke’s competitors saw the marketing potential in the technique and created similar cards featuring other well-known figures.

Among the new treasure’s young collectors, the most treasured cards were sports icons (particularly baseball stars). Then, in the early 1900s, the introduction of Camel cigarettes by R.J. Reynolds Company led to a dramatic decline in sports card production and, hence, public interest.

Tobacco in Camel cigarettes is expensive, so don’t hunt for premiums or coupons. Likewise, tobacco companies suspended sports card production, afraid that purchasers would regard their tobacco as “lesser.”

To be a passing fancy, trend, or peculiarity in the annals of American popular culture. The hobby was revitalized in the mid-20th century by the chewing gum industry.

With Topps and Bowman signing the top names in baseball and football, sports cards became a part of the corporate fight for customers. When Topps bought Bowman in 1956, they won this battle. As a result, Topps had a near-monopoly on baseball cards from 1956 to 1980 and football cards from 1956 to 1988.

Topps’ baseball card monopoly ended in 1981 when the Fleer Corporation lost an antitrust lawsuit; Topps’ football card monopoly ended in 1988. Therefore, due to Topps’ monopoly, the “Topps Era” is recognized as 1956–1980 for baseball and 1956–1988 for football.

Our Childhood Memories: Kellogg’s Sports Cards

Many of us remember removing the lid of a new cereal box to find a treasure trove of sports cards. The Kellogg Cereal Company realized that kids wanted more than just cereal. They dipped a hand into the crisp universe with glee.

Is he after tasty flakes? No! This vitamin-rich environment has another benefit. His enthusiasm builds when his index finger feels something at the box’s bottom. His thumb joins the quest and confirms yes! The buried treasure is a 3-D sports card.

Many individuals utilized the multi-finger “search-and-rescue” method to acquire the cards that Kellogg’s cereal maker included into boxes of Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, and Raisin Bran from the start. Nearly 40 years later, collectors still like vintage three-dimensional Kellogg’s sports premiums.

The 1971 Kellogg’s baseball and football issues are rare since they are the only 3-D cards produced by the Battle Creek, Michigan manufacturer. However, these issues are more readily available now than 1971 issues due to the availability of complete card sets of modern players. 

Because 3-D cards from 1971 tend to crack and curl more than usual, this fragility drives up the demand for top-shape examples.

Two Scoops of Fun

3D collectibles add depth. So many of us searched for cards in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of us now collect them for nostalgic reasons, and their rarity adds to their value.PSA and SGC grade memorabilia before encasing them in plastic. A PSA 10 (Gem Mint) 1971 Kellogg’s card can cost thousands.

In 2008, non-pro quarterback Gary Cuozzo’s PSA 10 sold for $640, and football legend Dick Butkus’ PSA 10 sold for $1,200. A PSA 8 (Near-Mint) is $8.In 2005, a 1971 Bob Clemente PSA 10 sold for for $1,500. The PSA 8 card costs $75.In a layered plastic enclosure, how do these 3D cards fare? 1 in 1000 Kellogg’s cards fracture in a graded holder.

It is pretty valuable if it lasts 40 years. It won’t shatter again unless pushed hard. So it’s a wise investment. Baseball cards were sold in mom-and-pop establishments. Its current strength stems from a renewed American love for baseball. Cardmakers are unfazed by economic fluctuations.

Product range expansion, distribution expertise, and specialty marketing have positioned them for the 1990s. For example, despite the estimated $500 million secondary markets for vintage baseball cards, children aged 7 to 12 determine whether card makers hit a home run or strikeout.

History has it that youngsters account for 75-90 percent of card purchases. Now, older “kids” collect sports cards to beat inflation.

baseball cards

What are the Best Sports Card Packs to Buy?

  1. 2020–21 Panini Select Basketball: The annual hobby powerhouse and top choice for collectors are the successors to the renowned Topps Chrome cards of the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s not even a close comparison after opening more than ten cartons of each brand. This year’s 2020–21 Select Basketball boxes are out.
  2. 2020–21 Panini Prizm Basketball: Panini Prizm Basketball is still the annual hobby powerhouse, and it’ll be back for another NBA season in 2020–21. Panini Prizm Rookies have kept their value the best year after year, especially the silvers and parallels.
  3. 2020–21 Panini Spectra Basketball: One of the year’s most popular opti-chrome offerings, Spectra returns to deliver popular card sets and parallels! Silver, Celestial, Interstellar, Meta, Gold, Universal Die-Cut, Marble, and Nebula are just a few of the Autographs and Parallels included in each sports card box! 
  4. The famous short-printed supplement, Color Blast, returns to Spectra with 25 of the best current, retiring, and rookie players!

Prominent Sports Card Manufacturing Companies


Topps has grown from humble beginnings in New York in the early twentieth century to become a multibillion-dollar corporate juggernaut.

Upper Deck

When Upper Deck first entered the baseball card market in 1989, it created a frenzy in the pastime like never before.


Panini is a relatively new name on the hobby market for collectors in North America, having been in existence for a few years. But, on the other hand, the Panini tale begins with Donruss, a long-time industry staple.

In the Game

Even a modest business can significantly impact the sports card hobby. For over a decade, In The game has been demonstrating this, combining creativity and innovation with a strong sense of history to create goods that continue to thrill hockey fans.

Press Pass

Press Pass is a newer company than most surviving sports card businesses. Still, it’s managed to carve out a solid niche for itself by attempting new ideas and avoiding competition for significant pro sports licenses.


TRISTAR’s sports card business produces minor League Baseball and Wrestling Cards.

Leaf In 2010

Razor owner Brian Gray resurrected the Leaf brand, which offers a product style strikingly similar to that of the now-defunct baseball manufacturer.


It focuses solely on the football card industry, focusing on pre-season rookies.

How to Buy Sports Cards Directly From a Manufacturer

Many manufacturers claim to sell directly to customers on the internet, although you can also purchase from other sports card distributors. These businesses buy sports cards in bulk and resell them to hobby shops across the country.

Which Sports Boasts With Sports Cards?

Depending on your favorite sport, you are always sure that you will find sports cards for your favorite sport. Take a look at the different sport cards packs we have sampled for you here:

  • 2021 Bowman’s Best Baseball Hobby Box
  • 2021 Bowman Draft Baseball Hobby Box
  • 2021-22 Donruss Soccer Road to Qatar Hobby Box
  • 2021 Leaf Metal Draft Baseball Hobby Box
  • 2021 Panini Contenders Baseball Hobby Box
  • 2020-21 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball Hobby Box
  • 2021 Panini Mosaic Football Hobby Box
  • 2021-22 Panini NBA Hoops Basketball Hobby Box
  • 2021 Panini Playoff Football Hobby Box
  • 2021 Topps Chrome Black Baseball Hobby Box
  • 2021 Topps Heritage High Baseball Hobby Box
  • 2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hobby Box
  • 2021 Topps WWE Fully Loaded Hobby Box
  • What is the World’s Most Expensive Sports Card To Date?
  • Honus Wagner T206 is still the most expensive sports trading card sales to date.

Sports Cards as a Collectible vs. Investing

Collecting lacks monetary value, whereas investing is about value and growth. Do these two things meet in the pastime of collecting cards?

Collectors’ Mindsets

It’s impossible to overlook the worth of a collector’s collection or a single card, but a pure card collector would claim that it doesn’t matter. Instead, they would remark that completing a set with a rare parallel or random card motivates them. 

With the sport’s popularity, a collector may be able to put together a collection featuring players from their hometown or college for a reasonable price. Collectors of celebrities from any sport are willing to pay astronomical sums of money to complete or add to their collections.

All collectors have in common not the question of “how much will this card be worth in six months?” They might be proud of a finished collection in a display or binder since it is complete. It’s a bonus if it will be valuable in the future.

Investors’ Mindset

The card investor opposes the card collector. Collectors buy their favorite cards, but investors buy others’ favorites. They collect trading cards for monetary value. The pure investor forecasts trends in the sport or genre. In recent years, intelligent card speculators who can anticipate the next celebrity or whoever will garner the most media attention have made a fortune.

It used to be that a hobbyist might buy an ungraded card for $10 to $20, get it graded for a few dollars, and sell it for five to six times the cost. This kind of return is uncommon in finance. This lucrative hobby leads to coveted cards fractionalization so that even people on a budget can own a piece of a rare card.

Daily sports fantasy players have become passionate sports trading card speculators. As a result, new investors have created a fast-paced environment where significant swings in card prices can be noticed and exploited. Investors in sports and trading cards, like collectors, use Market Movers, Card Ladder, and Slabstox. No more looking up recent prices in a Beckett guide.

Using sites like checkoutmycards.com, starstock.com, and sellmyslabs.com, investors may effortlessly sell their cards without the hassle of shipping. Day traders make a fortune investing in sports cards, as eBay and other auction sites are continually updated. Can a card investor and a card collector coexist? Absolutely.

High prices have turned many collectors into sports card investors. As a result, it has been difficult for other collectors to hold on to their prized treasures (referred to as grail cards or coffin cards because you expect them to die with these cards).

It would be unthinkable for these collectors to ignore an offer to keep something in their collection if they knew their rare antique cards might be worth millions. Instead, they sell for life-altering sums. In the summer of 2021, a Florida doctor died and left his family a $20 million collection of cards. No 200, 300, or 400-year-old art collection here.

Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and hundreds of other well-loved sports card legends are in demand. They fetched millions at auction. Do you fit? Do you collect cards? The hobby’s purists have been vocal about their hatred of the new money. This curmudgeon asks the latest sports card collector/investor to get off their lawn.

This new wave of hybrid collectors/investors is great for the hobby, as pure collectors know. Young and old collectors are needed. New investors will sneer at old collectors and pure collectors. Why bother if you can’t get the best cards to collect for profit?

There is a place for both, and some would argue that a hybrid approach to card collecting is the best. Consolidate, buy what you want, and profit from market inefficiencies. Then, use your earnings to add to your collection. There are several ways to get into and enjoy this activity. This dichotomy of collecting and investing will continue to attract newcomers.


The Final Say

However expensive the sports cards boxes may appear, you are most likely to find the sports cards of your favorite sport. So whether you want to invest in it or just a card collector, this article provides you with all the information you require on the best cards to collect for whatever case. Good luck with your endeavors!

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