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To Trade Or Not Trade, That Is The Question!

Updated on July 22, 2010

To Trade Or Not Trade, That Is The Question!

 Pro football trading cards have long been a source of entertainment, nostalgia, and culture in the United States.  Millions of people every year collect the cards in hopes of their value some day increasing to exorbitant amounts, as well as to remember all the great times and games they once watched with friends and family.  The first football cards were sold in the 1890’s as promotional tools for tobacco companies, as they were included with a pack of cigarettes.  As the NFL did not exist yet, the first cards, produced by the P.H. Mayo company, were 35 of the top players from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, the college football powerhouses of the era.

 Pro football trading cards resemble those of other sports in that the front includes the player’s action shot, usually resembling a move associated with his position, while the back has his statistics and career highlights.  There are several things that contribute to a card’s value, including a player’s popularity, his overall level of success, and the card’s condition.  If a player wins a Super Bowl, MVP, is selected for a Pro Bowl, or is in his “rookie” season, the card can become much more valuable. 

 Unlike with baseball cards, pro football trading cards are not as popular among NFL fans nor are they collected at as early an age.  Thus, it makes sense that the cards are most often bought, sold, and traded in areas in and around those where pro football teams are located.  Most people are not concerned with building huge, valuable collection of cards, and rather focus more on amassing cards of their favorite teams, especially during years of success.

 Because card printing technology was not as technologically advanced before 1980, cards produced before that year are significantly more valuable than those made after that date.  Since a card’s condition contributes heavily to its value, collectors often use card protectors and binders, ranging from 3 x 3 plastic sheets to single holders for the more rare and valuable cards.  Many people speculate that because pro football trading cards are less popular than baseball’s, and football is much more popular than baseball, they have the potential to become much more valuable in the long run.  However, because pro football cards show players wearing helmets obscuring view of player’s faces, it is more difficult to recognize those who aren’t superstars and thus prevents the cards from becoming incredibly valuable.


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      andy murray 7 years ago

      i am lloking 4 a trade for andrenalyn xl fifa world cup cards