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National Trading Card Day – February 24, 2023

National Trading Card Day is celebrated every year on February 24. Trading cards are usually made of paperboard or thick paper. A typical trading card may include a picture of a person, place, or a real or fictional thing. The pictures are typically accompanied by a description and texts such as statistics or trivia. Some of the earliest trading cards were related to sports, and most major sports have appeared on cards. Baseball cards have been the most popular of sports cards in America. Some non-sports trading cards may feature cartoon characters, comic book characters, or television characters. Collectors also use the cards to play games such as collectible card games.

History of National Trading Card Day

In the late 19th Century, trade cards were included in cigarette packs to make them sturdy. Known as cigarette cards, they advertised cigarettes and would sometimes contain trivia. The first baseball cards were made in the 1860s for a sporting goods company. The most valuable baseball card ever, the T206 Honus Wagner card, was manufactured by the American Tobacco Company in 1909 and one has been sold for over $3 million.

In 1933, baseball cards were first packaged with gum by the Goudey Gum Company. The Topps Company, Inc. started putting trading cards with bubble gum in 1950 and manufacturing baseball cards in 1951. In 1952, the first baseball cards including statistics and playing records were made, and they were known as the 1952 Topps Baseball set. An especially important card from the set was Mickey Mantle’s rookie card. Topps remained the most popular brand for trading cards for decades, for both sports cards and non-sports cards. Baseball cards were packaged with gum till 1981 and were then sold separately.

The number of sports cards being made increased in the 1980s, and this trend continued well into the ’90s. There are a few factors that determine the value of sports cards and this includes the cards condition, the popularity of the card’s subject, and how rare the card is. During the 1980s, collectors began to really take care of their trading cards once they realized how valuable they could be. In the 2000s, some companies began producing digital cards. Today, one can trade, buy, and sell cards on the internet.

National Trading Card Day timeline

1860s
The First Baseball Cards

Baseball cards are printed around the time when baseball emerges as a sport.

1886
The First Trade Cards

Allen and Ginter become the first company to advertise with trade cards.

1900
Trade Cards Become Popular

Thousands of tobacco card sets are manufactured by 300 different companies.

1995
Computer-Based Trading Cards

Michael A. Pace produces computer-based trading cards using a CD-ROM computer system and floppy discs.

National Trading Card Day FAQs

Are baseball cards worth anything?

Baseball cards, like comic books and other collectibles, are valued for what they are and for the condition they are in. T

What are the most valuable sports trading cards?

The most valuable sports trading cards were produced until 1969. Vintage memorabilia associated with Hall of Fame players is always highly sought after by collectors.

What happened to Topps?

Topps has been synonymous with trading cards, particularly baseball cards, for 70 years. That era will soon be over. Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are ending their licensing agreement with Topps in favor of a deal with Fanatics, the up-and-coming sports collectible brand.

National Trading Card Day Activities

  1. Re-live the good ol’ days

    Take out your old trading card collection. Look through them and determine which ones you want to trade, those you want to sell, and those you want to keep.

  2. Look back at history

    Explore trading cards online at the Card Cyber Museum, the American Baseball Card Museum, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art on National Trading Card Day. Take your friends and relive the days when trading cards were your obsession.

  3. Buy trading cards

    It must have been years, or decades since you last purchased a trading card. Celebrate National Trading Card Day by buying trading cards online or from a collector.

5 Facts About Baseball That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. The games vary in duration

    A baseball game may last up to just over three hours.

  2. Fans are willing to spend cash

    There is an autographed baseball that sold for $191,200 and it remains the most expensive baseball purchase made.

  3. It is America’s “national pastime”

    The game earned the tag when Soviet and Union soldiers played against each other during the civil war.

  4. The Association is founded

    National Association of Baseball Players is set up and it comprised clubs from New York City and neighboring places.

  5. A badly pitched baseball can kill

    In all of baseball history, only one major league player — Ray Chapman, was killed by a pitched ball.

Why We Love National Trading Card Day

  1. It makes us nostalgic

    Trading cards have been a big part of our childhood. National Trading Card Day makes us nostalgic about those carefree days.

  2. Trading cards has cultural value

    Since trading cards have been around for over a century, they have acquired significant cultural value. National Trading Card Day is a testament to the cards’ rich history.

  3. A clash of art and sports

    Since most trading cards feature sports and sports persons, National Trading Card Day also celebrates the seamless coming together of art and sports to create something unique for the collectors. This gives them cultural as well as financial value.

National Trading Card Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 24Friday
2024February 24Saturday
2025February 24Monday
2026February 24Tuesday
2027February 24Wednesday

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