Card Grading Surge: Ohtani and Stroud Shine

The month of February witnessed a bustling activity in the trading card grading realm, with a whopping 1.6 million cards going through authentication processes. This surge, although slightly lower than January’s numbers, marked a substantial 25% increase compared to the same period last year. The division between sports cards and Trading Card Games (TCG), such as Pokemon and Magic The Gathering, unveiled a clear preference with 55.5% of submissions leaning towards sports cards, reaffirming the enduring appeal of this segment.

Among the card grading entities, PSA took the lead by processing 1.24 million cards, with baseball cards commanding the highest volume at over 293,000 graded cards. The spotlight, however, was firmly on two standout athletes – Shohei Ohtani and CJ Stroud. Both players’ cards were prominently featured in the grading charts, reflecting their growing popularity in the collectors’ market. Ohtani’s move to the Dodgers and Stroud’s impressive NFL season were pivotal in driving the submissions, with PSA handling 26,800 and 16,400 cards for Ohtani and Stroud, respectively, during the month.

The grading fervor extended beyond PSA, as SGC and other grading companies also experienced a surge in submissions, particularly from the 2023 sports season, focusing on football and baseball cards. The graded player roster at SGC showcased a mix of legends and emerging stars, with notable names like Michael Jordan, Ohtani, and Stroud garnering significant attention. Additionally, ISA Grading and Beckett Grading managed a substantial influx of submissions, with Beckett highlighting the 2023 Topps NOW Connor Bedard rookie sticker as its most popular issue for grading.

This surge in card grading activity not only emphasizes the dynamic nature of the sports memorabilia market but also underscores the increasing appeal of new talents like Ohtani and Stroud among collectors and investors. The rising interest in both modern and vintage sports cards indicates a promising future for the hobby, reflecting a growing passion for collecting and appreciating sports memorabilia. The evolving landscape of card grading continues to captivate enthusiasts, paving the way for an exciting journey ahead in the world of trading cards.


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