Top 5 Gifts for the Sports Collector on Your List – The WorthPoint Sports Collectibles Holiday Gift Guide

If you have a sports collector on your holiday gift list but don’t know what to get them, we’re here to help. Actually, sports collectors are some of the easiest people to shop for given the wide scope and breadth of items available for purchase. However, it does help to know what specific sport, team or player(s) your gift recipient collects. Even if you aren’t sure, there are still plenty of options any collector would be happy receiving.

Storage Supplies & Display Cases

Every collector, often begrudgingly, knows they need quality storage supplies and display cases. However, they are often the last thing they want to allocate money for from their hobby budget. Afterall, it’s that much less money they can actually spend on their favorite sports collectibles.

Every collector, often begrudgingly, knows they need quality storage supplies and display cases.

There are two primary companies that manufacture supplies for sports collectibles, BCW and Ultra PRO. Both produce a wide array of quality products. These range from individual trading card storage options, storage options and display cases for premium memorabilia items like autographed balls for each sport. These various supplies and display items range in price for $1 or $2 for trading card sleeves, toploaders and magnetic holders to a couple of hundred dollars for super-premium display cases.

Another aspect of sports collecting many hobbyists put off is having their autographed jerseys custom framed. There are specialty online retailers that provide this service and a gift card makes a nice option. In addition, traditional hobby and craft retailers like Michaels, also provide this service.

Complete Sports Card Factory Sets

For the younger collector on your list, you can never go wrong with a traditional factory set of cards from their favorite sport. The Topps Company, who produces Major League Baseball card sets, issues an annual set that has become a gift-giving staple. These can be found at your local hobby shop, online retailers and big box stores like Walmart and Target.

For the younger collector on your list, you can never go wrong with a traditional factory set of cards from their favorite sport.

Panini America produces a similar factory set for National Football League cards under its Donruss brand. Each of the sets come in a nice four-color box perfect for storage and display. The average price for both the football or baseball set is about $40. Currently, no factory set for basketball or hockey is available in the market.

Unopened Sports Card Boxes

A new box of sports cards is always guaranteed to bring a smile to a collector’s face.

Every sports card collector LOVES opening packs of trading cards. These are produced in every sport in both retail and hobby configurations. The primary difference between the two being the type of content included in the product and price point. Retail skus are readily available at big box retailers. Hobby versions, which are typically preferred by hardcore collectors are distributed through hobby shops and specialty online hobby retailers. Regardless of what you choose, a new box of sports cards is always guaranteed to bring a smile to a collector’s face.

Autographed Memorabilia

One of the nicest and most appreciated gifts you can purchase for the sports fan and/or collector on your list is autographed memorabilia.

One of the nicest and most appreciated gifts you can purchase for the sports fan and/or collector on your list is autographed memorabilia. This category of collectibles can range in price from under $50 to several thousand. It is also the one where purchasing items from a well known company is absolutely paramount to avoid forgeries. There are a handful of recommended companies you should limit yourself to when looking for an autographed memorabilia item as a gift.

  • Upper Deck Authenticated
  • Panini Authentic
  • Topps Authentic
  • TRISTAR
  • Steiner Sports

There are of course other companies that offer 3rd party authenticated items, but for simplicity, peace of mind and ease of shopping, we recommend dealing with the companies above. Each offers an impressive inventory of pieces direct to the public and can be found via a simple online search by name.

Books and Magazine Subscriptions

The only thing sports collectors might like more than actually collecting, is reading about collecting. Thankfully, the sports collectibles hobby, like any other niche, has several books and publications that make great gifts. Beckett Media produces publications and price guides for each modern sport and vintage memorabilia. They also publish large annual price guides in book format. FW Media also produces several sports collectibles almanacs.

The only thing sports collectors might like more than actually collecting, is reading about collecting.

There is also a list of books that every sports card collector should have in their library. From documenting the history of the hobby to exploring topics related to autographs or specific sets, there is no shortage of choices of reading material. These books are among our top recommendations:

  • The Card – Collectors Con Men and the True Story of History’s Most Desired Baseball Card
  • Card Sharks – How Upper Deck Turned A Child’s Hobby Into a High Stakes, Billion Dollar Business
  • Mint Condition – How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession
  • The Modern Baseball Card Investor
  • Operation Bullpen – The Inside Story of the Biggest Forgery Scam in American History

Regardless of what gift you choose, remember the age-old adage that it really is the thought that counts. While collectors can be picky, they are also very gracious when it comes to getting anything new for their collection. Happy Holidays!


Rob Bertrand has been an active collector of sports cards and memorabilia for more than 25 years. His involvement in the hobby community is well documented, having been involved with multi-media content development for several sports collectibles websites. Currently the Senior Marketing Manager for Sports & Entertainment at the hobby distributor GTS Distribution, he is also the co-host of the sports collectibles hobby’s only live streaming and nationally broadcast web show, Go GTS Live – The Hobby’s Web Show. He is the author of the highly respected and trafficked blog, Voice of the Collector and you can follow him on Twitter @VOTC. A dealer himself, Rob runs an online business through eBay, and is frequently asked to consign collections.

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