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The past, present, and future of sports cards


Diego J. Robles/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The past, present, and future of sports cards

A collection of baseball cards.



Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics // Getty Images

19th century: First baseball cards introduced

Baseball lithographed trade card to promote clothiers showing kids dressed nicely, playing and watching baseball.



Transcendental Graphics // Getty Images

Early 20th century: Trading cards boom in popularity

Illustration of baseball player Heinie Manush on a Goudey Gum Company card, 1933.



Transcendental Graphics // Getty Images

Mid-20th century: Topps breaks into baseball cards

Folded poster insert, from Topps Chewing Gum, features baseball cards that highlight members of the 1954 New York Yankees, New York, New York, August 23, 1954.



John Prieto/The Denver Post // Getty Images

Late 20th century: Junk wax era takes hold

Kids at their tables loaded with many cards to trade and sell at a baseball card show.



Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

21st century: Sports card values surge

The famous 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card encased in plastic



Noel Vasquez/GC Images // Getty Images

Present: Celebrity collectors get in on the sports card market

Steve Aoki deejays before a baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.



KENA BETANCUR/AFP // Getty Images

2022 and beyond: What does the future hold for sports cards?

People pass by Bleecker Trading in New York on July 06, 2021 looking at a black and white image of Babe Ruth covering the window.


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