New to collecting sports cards? Here are some key terms that'll help you get oriented to the hobby.
1. Base Card
The standard card in a sports card set, usually featuring a player's image, name, and team logo.
2. Insert Card
A special subset of cards within a set that often feature unique designs, materials, or special effects.
3. Rookie Card
A player's first-year card in a professional sports league, often highly valued due to its significance in a player's career.
4. Parallel Card
A card with the same design as the base card but with variations in color, foil, or other features.
5. Variation Card
Some sets include variation cards that feature subtle or significant differences from the base design, such as different images, poses, or details.
6. Autograph Card
A card that features an athlete's authentic signature, often obtained during signing sessions.
7. Game-Used Memorabilia Card
A card containing a piece of equipment or uniform worn or used by an athlete during a game.
8. Patch Card
A variation of the game-used memorabilia card, featuring a piece of a player's jersey with a logo, number, or other distinguishing element.
9. RPA Card
"RPA" stands for "Rookie Patch Autograph." An RPA card is a type of trading card that features the autograph of a rookie player along with a piece of a game-worn jersey or patch from an official game uniform. RPA cards are highly sought after by collectors due to their combination of a player's signature, a piece of memorabilia, and the significance of being a rookie card.
10. Graded Card
A card that has been professionally assessed for its condition and given a numerical grade.
A collection of cards released by a manufacturer in a specific year, often featuring all the players from a particular sports league.
12. Wax Pack
An older style of card packaging, typically from the 1980s and earlier, featuring wax paper wrapping.
A collection of boxes of cards packaged together for distribution, often containing multiple sets.
14. Short Print (SP)
Cards deliberately produced in lower quantities than others in a set, making them more challenging to find.
15. One of One (1/1)
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Superfractors are often considered the pinnacle of parallel cards due to their scarcity, visual appeal, and collectible value. They have become iconic within the hobby and are highly prized by sports card enthusiasts. They are extremely rare (one of ones) and have unique appearances.
17. Chase Card
A highly sought-after card within a set, often due to its rarity, special features, or player.
A top grading designation, indicating a card is in "Gem Mint" condition, essentially flawless.
19. Hobby Shop
A store specialising (like qscards.com) in selling sports cards, memorabilia, and related collectibles.
20. PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator)
One of the most well-known grading companies for sports cards.
21. BGS (Beckett Grading Services)
Another popular grading company that evaluates and grades sports cards.
22. Population Report
A record of how many cards of a particular player, set, or grade have been graded by a specific grading company.
Many sets or products are printed to demand or are highly-sought after. Pre orders allow a customer to reserve their product / order and guarantee their preferred allocation before release.
TOPPS is a leader in sports and entertainment trading cards, collectibles, and memorabilia.
Panini is a leader in the sports card collecting industry, known for producing a wide range of trading cards, collectibles, and memorabilia.
26. Upper Deck
Upper Deck is a prominent company in the sports and entertainment trading card industry, known for producing high-quality and innovative trading cards, collectibles, and memorabilia.
An individual or group that conducts sports card breaks, where they open packs or boxes of cards on behalf of customers live on youtube and then ship them to the customer.
28. Group Break
A card-breaking session where participants collectively purchase spots or teams in a box or case, with the cards opened and distributed according to predetermined rules.
29. Box Break
The process of opening a sealed box of sports cards, often done in a group setting or online, where participants claim specific teams or players
30. Case Break
A type of group break involving the opening of an entire case of card boxes, often providing a larger variety of cards.
31. Random Team Break
A break where participants buy spots, and the teams are randomly assigned to the spots before the break.
32. Pick Your Team (PYT) Break:
A break where participants purchase specific teams, often at varying prices based on team popularity and potential hits.
33. Pick Your Player (PYTP Break
A break where participants purchase specific player, often at varying prices based on team popularity and potential hits.
34. Draft Break
A type of break where participants draft cards in a predetermined order after the cards have been opened.
35. Break Schedule
The planned dates and times for upcoming breaks, often posted by breakers in advance.
36. Break Recap
A summary of the notable cards pulled during a break, often shared with participants after the break concludes.
37. Break Checklist
A list of all the teams and aligning participants.
38. Break Discord
A chat platform used by breakers and participants to discuss breaks, share information, and interact outside of the live stream.
39. Break Spot
The position or slot purchased by a participant in a group break.
40. Break Fill
The process of participants purchasing enough spots to fill a group break and enable it to take place.
41. Break Rules
The guidelines and terms established by the breaker for how the cards will be distributed, randomization methods, and participant behavior.
42. Hitless Break
In some cases, a breaker like Q will provide participants who didn't receive any significant hits with additional packs or cards.
A term used to refer to a participant's purchased spot in a group break.
44. Spot Price
The cost of purchasing a spot in a group break, which can vary based on factors like the product being opened and the desirability of certain teams.
A valuable or notable card, such as an autograph, memorabilia card, rookie card, or other special cards.