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Icons in Sports Cards

Icons in Sports Cards are what have built The Hobby to what it has become today. Michael Jordan has multiple iconic cards, whether it’s his Fleer rookie card or his 1/1 Logoman autograph that just sold for a record $2.928 million dollar sale (for Jordan cards). Tom Brady, whom many consider the greatest Quarterback of all time, has lots of iconic cards from his 2000 rookie season from Playoff Contenders, SP Authentic and more. On the diamond, Mike Trout has his iconic 2011 rookie card that people in The Hobby have been chasing ever since Mike Trout has become the next lock for the Hall of Fame. He also has his 2009 Bowman that people were chasing for his first Bowman superfractor. On the ice, Wayne Gretzky has his 1979 Topps and O-Pee-Chee Rookie Cards that stand as one of the most iconic cards of all time.


Let’s talk about Michael Jordan a little more, I think he is and will always be The Ultimate Icon in sports and in The Hobby. He had tremendous personal and team success in the NBA, and really no one has come close to him in modern team sports. When you add in his iconic imagery with the Jordan Brand and his eventual exclusive with Upper Deck, Michael Jordan stands as the GOAT in collectibles. It almost seems impossible to consider adding a Jordan auto to your collection, because they are limited and that is rare in this day of The Hobby.


Well, why do I talk about this? I’m sure anyone reading this has heard of these cards and may be lucky enough to own 1 or 2. My point is, The Hobby has breakers and collectors chasing after huge prospects or high draft picks but will they ever be icons? I mean some might have good chances. In basketball, Nikola Jokic is already a 3x MVP and is only the 9th player to win MVP three or more times. He has also won an NBA Title. So, he has a chance to be an Icon, but there are also people on that list like Moses Malone and no offense to Moses but I don’t think anybody considers his cards iconic. What about Lebron? Well, obviously he has an amazing resume of personal accolades and is a 4-time NBA Champ. There is a constant debate of Michael vs. Lebron, which is fun for sports talk shows, but he is not on Jordan’s level. 6-0 in the Finals in the 90s makes you the GOAT. However, Lebron’s autos have also been a hard get with his Upper Deck exclusive. Now that deal is up and he is signing autos for Fanatics, so it will be interesting to see how many they put out there. I hope they keep his autograph limited and for special sets only. On the diamond, Mookie Betts is on one of the best rosters in baseball and is having another amazing season. His rookie from 2014 Topps could potentially become an iconic card in the future. Could Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper or Juan Soto, get to the Iconic status in the hobby? The future will tell.


Patrick Mahomes could be the next athlete that can rival Jordan in personal achievements and team success, as the Chiefs already have 3 Super Bowl Championships, but can Mahomes reach Jordan level of icon status in the hobby? That I am not sure of, but it will be interesting to watch. Caleb Williams is the #1 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and is coming to Chicago. The Bears have never had a QB throw for 4,000 or more yards. But, with Caleb’s hype around him, if he is able to do that early in his career and potentially bring the Lombardi Trophy to Chicago, he could have multiple iconic cards. Connor McDavid is in the Stanley Cup Final and I think the Oilers have a great chance to win The Cup. McDavid is the best player in the league and will now be seen by everyone watching the Stanley Cup. If he has a great series, and they win The Cup, his sought after 2015-16 Series 1 Young Guns could be the next iconic card. Icons can be built in trading cards and it will be fun to see who can become an icon in The Hobby.


Should You Riiip?


With The Stanley Cup Final a few days away, let’s round out this article with a fun edition of Should You Riiip? A 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 2 hobby box is up this time! This is a great product that comes in around $290 a box and if you can hit the right card, that being the Connor Bedard Young Gun, you will hit Big! That being said, you are taking a risk trying to pull that Bedard, so I would recommend going after blasters instead of the hobby boxes if you are on a budget. But if that hobby box price is in your range, I would not discourage you to go either way.  It is a fun riiip and the anticipation of trying to get that Bedard is a lot of fun. It is a great product this year and the payoff can be huge. You can check out my riiip at the link below. 



That’s it for this month everybody! Hope you enjoyed and let me know who you think is an icon in The Hobby or what you think of Upper Deck Series 2! Thank you for reading.


Peace out!


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