Card Grading Surge: Ohtani and Stroud Shine

The month of February witnessed a remarkable surge in the world of trading card grading, with a whopping 1.6 million cards receiving authentication across four major grading entities. While this figure marked a slight dip from January, it showcased a significant 25% increase compared to the same period last year, affirming the growing interest in this niche market.

Among the authenticated cards, a clear distinction emerged between sports cards and Trading Card Games (TCG), with sports cards commanding a majority share of 55.5%. This preference for sports cards underscored the enduring popularity and allure of collecting cards featuring beloved athletes from various disciplines.

PSA stood out as the primary player in the card grading landscape, processing a staggering 1.24 million cards during the month. Within this volume, baseball cards took the lead, with over 293,000 cards undergoing grading. Two standout athletes, Shohei Ohtani and CJ Stroud, captured the attention of collectors, with their cards ranking among the most submitted for grading. Ohtani, following his transition to the Dodgers, and Stroud, after a breakout NFL season, cemented their positions as rising stars in the card grading realm. Notably, PSA handled 26,800 cards for Ohtani and 16,400 for Stroud, further solidifying their popularity among enthusiasts.

The grading momentum extended beyond PSA, as other notable grading companies like SGC observed a surge in submissions of modern cards from the 2023 sports season, particularly in football and baseball. The graded player roster at SGC encompassed a mix of legends and emerging talents, with Michael Jordan, Ohtani, and Stroud garnering significant appraisal for their cards. Additionally, ISA Grading and Beckett Grading navigated through a substantial influx of submissions, with Beckett notably grading the 2023 Topps NOW Connor Bedard rookie sticker as its most sought-after issue, indicating the diverse range of cards captivating collectors’ interest.

This surge in card grading activity not only reflects the vibrant nature of the sports memorabilia market but also underscores the evolving tastes of collectors and investors. New talents such as Ohtani and Stroud have emerged as pivotal figures in driving the interest in both modern and vintage sports cards, symbolizing a promising future for the hobby. As enthusiasts continue to engage with card grading processes and place value on rare and iconic cards, the card grading surge of February serves as a testament to the enduring appeal of this timeless collectibles market.


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