Football vs. Basketball Cards: Which One Should You Invest In?

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The sports card craze has been on the rise in recent years. According to a publisher, the sports trading card market will reach $98.75 billion by 2027, growing by 23.01% annually from 2020 to 2027.

Today, two baseball cards are on top of the card market trade, worth over eight figures. Basketball cards have more placements in the high-priced market, and football and hockey have one.

What are the best football cards to invest in?

You can invest in any sports card, not just football because the market is unpredictable. Collectors’ fancy determines the value of the sports cards, how much they are willing to pay and when they want it.

If you have an old sports card in your possession, this material will help evaluate your asset.

Are Sports Cards a Good InvestmentAre Sports Cards a Good Investment?

Investing in sports cards is risky because no one has a clue if this will increase in value. A card’s value depends on how rare it is and how much collectors are willing to pay.

For something to hold value, there should be a demand. Sports cards have lost their worth with the lack of interest by the younger generation in holding onto sports cards. The kids’ attention was caught by technology; you’ll see them playing esports on their cellphones, tablets, or computer.

Unlike their ’80s predecessors, they are no longer focused on playing basketball, football, or baseball. Kids don’t care how many touchdowns, baskets, or home runs a player makes.

However, interest in sports cards has turned around in past years. Eager investors were willing to double-take and spend millions of dollars through auction sales. Buying sports cards caught up with technology and is now making great strides.

Over the last two years through 2022 there were 20 sports cards sold for over a million dollars each.  Baseball players have six cards on the list with two baseball cards on top of the list, with a total worth of over an eight-digit figure. Basketball athletes wound up with the most significant number of sports cards at 12, and football and ice hockey had one athlete each in the high-priced sports card market.

Fans collect sports cards for the love of the game and admiration of a player, and an increase in value is an unexpected bonus.

Why Do People Invest in Sports CardsWhy Do People Invest in Sports Cards?

In the 80s and earlier, kids collected sports cards as a fun hobby without expecting any benefit.

Today, the younger generation of kids grew up with hefty sums in their pockets to make sports card collection an investment than a hobby. 

In recent years, investors broke their banks to get hold of sports cards worth millions of dollars. A Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for a whopping $12,600,000 on August 28, 2022, and so far, the kingpin in the sports cards trade.

People realize that this hobby turned out to be a sound investment strategy, and for good reasons.

1. Millennials are now card collectors

Kids born in the 80s are getting into the card-collecting game. These guys have rediscovered their passion with more buying power to give existing collectors a run for their money, driving the value of rare cards higher.

2. Appreciates over time 

Now, the card’s worth may be different from what you expected. Give it time, and it may set you up for the lifestyle you want.

A 1910 Jumbo Honus Wagner card was sold for $500,000 in 1995 and was traded for $1,270,000 in 2000. Robert Edward Auction House sold the card for $6,916,891 on August 16, 2021.

In 2016, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 card was sold for $282,000 and was auctioned for $2,880,000 in 2018. On August 28, 2022, the Heritage Auction House traded it for $12,600,000.

3. The internet keeps no secret

With a few clicks of a button, a collector gains as much information as he needs via the internet. Collecting memorabilia was made easy.

The software allows you to track your investments in real-time. You can follow price trends and market movements to keep updated on your assets.

4. Diversifies your portfolio

Spread your eggs across baskets by including a card collection in your investment portfolio. Unlike stocks, trading cards are not affected by economic factors and safeguard your investments when prices fall.

5. Bragging rights

Get to be the top dog in your circle of card-collecting friends. Gain their attention with your sports cards collection, especially with your rare card, which they don’t have.

6. An Inflation Hedge

Sports cards protect you against price fluctuations. When inflation sets in, the money in the bank loses its value while your sports collection appreciates.

7. Nostalgia

Travel down memory lane and rekindle those days when you watched Michael Jordan make his first official NBA score or Steph Curry’s first trey.

Nostalgia may be a reason why old cards are pricey.

8. Easy Storage

Since sports cards are small, you only need a sealed box, a dry place, and a moderate temperature for storage. Storing art or other memorabilia is complicated and expensive.

9. Easy To Sell

Finding the right buyer at the right price is easy, with many auction houses trading all year round. There are websites to sell your cards or list on eBay and wait for a buyer.

10. Supply Is Lower Than Demand

There is a limit to the number of sports cards printed. The number of buyers increases exponentially while the quantity of sports cards is fixed.

Value of Basketball Cards vs. Football CardsValue of Basketball Cards vs. Football Cards

Comparing the value of football cards vs. basketball cards is a bit complicated. Both sports cards don’t have cash flows, and there is a limited supply. The supply portion is fixed, while the demand part moves the needle on the card’s worth.

Today, vintage basketball cards are lording it over other sports cards. 

The sports card industry learned from the overproduction in the mid-90s limiting production in 2015-16, driving artificial scarcity to boost demand.

COVID-19 kept people indoors over the last two years, and they have had no sports to watch. Sports fans were focused on players who finished their careers years back. Michael Jordan’s the Last Dance was released during post-pandemic spiking prices in Jordan cards.

The hunt was on for the most iconic hobby card and placed the trading-card market into overdrive. Once there was an uptick in prices, a trend was established, and people didn’t want to miss out on a craze. They want a piece of the action, pushing prices on any basketball card. 

The 2022 NBA championship by the Golden State Warriors skyrocketed the value of Steph Curry’s National Treasures Stephen Curry Rookie card.

3 Things to Consider When Investing in Sports Cards3 Things to Consider When Investing in Sports Cards

Investing in sports cards is speculative. The law of supply and demand dictates the value.

What sports cards will bang your buck?

1. Important and Popular Players

Owning a card with one of two ticks of these boxes makes it valuable, and two will make it very valuable.

Important players are athletes who cover their position to a T. A football quarterback calls the plays, passes the ball to a receiver, or may run with the ball.

Famous players are those guys who do more than what is expected; that’s why coaches love them and fans adore them. Steph Curry is the point guard of the Golden State Warriors and is the go-to guy when the game is on the line.

A rise in the value of an important player’s card might be temporary, but cards of famous players have a high value that remains based on their performance.

2. Rookie Cards

Players get to be a rookie only once throughout their careers. It’s hard to predict if a player will succeed, and you cannot go back and print more rookie cards if he does. A thriving rookie demands a high price for their card.

If a player makes an impact and becomesfamous, it’s much easier to produce cards and sell them.

Rookie cards are the most important cards of a player.

3. Major Trading Card Producers

Stick to buying cards from major trading card manufacturers like Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, Bowman, Fleer, and Logoman.

Some card makers will produce unlicensed cards showing players without team ID or logos on their uniforms. Major card producers make licensed cards complete with authentic images and club logos.

Licensed cards fetch a higher market price than unlicensed ones.


Father time catches all of us, and sports cards are not spared. Collectors are only interested in damaged cards if the player is popular. Cards in mint condition demand a high price, primarily if graded.

Wise collectors buy non-graded cards in mint condition and have them graded afterward.


A card that is old and limited in production makes it rare and will give you top dollar. Do not invest in cards produced in the 90s; manufacturers overproduced and won’t be worth much.

Card Grade

Grading is the currency of the card trading industry. Cards are graded from 1 to 10 by grading companies such as PSA, BGS (Becket), SGC, and CSG. Cards that are graded ten or near it pulls in the most cash.

Are Football Cards Worth More than Basketball CardsAre Football Cards Worth More than Basketball Cards?

Basketball occupies 12 spots in the high-priced sports card category, but baseball cards lord it over the rest in terms of value, while football and ice hockey have one entry each in the millionaire’s sports cards club. 

Basketball raked in more cash with more entries in the list, and baseball has two of the most expensive cards in the trade market. 

However, it would help if you found out where the wind will blow; collectors are unpredictable. You are still determining what will strike their fancy.

Suppose you have an old card lying in your house, check how things are. The edges, corners, and surface must be in mint condition. The image should be centered properly. Any imperfection will affect the value of the card.

Check out the player on the card. Famous players will fetch a high price, especially if it’s a rookie card. The year and the date are also things to consider.

Additional features such as an autograph or a jersey patch will make it pricey.

Wrapping Things Up: Football vs. Basketball Cards: Which One Should You Invest In?

Trading sports cards is a wise investment but are basketball or football cards worth more? Any sports cards have plenty of room to run in a profitable market.

This year two baseball cards sold for eight figures in total, basketball has ten entries in the high-priced market, and football has one.

The sports card trade market is unpredictable; you need to know what big-time collectors want and when they want it. Educate yourself to collect the right cards and study the market. You might be holding onto a prized possession worth millions of dollars.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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