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Lic Rookie vs Un-Lic Rooke question

If a sport or league does not have any licensed cards and a major card company releases an athlete's card... is that the true rookie?

Many collector's do not respect an athlete's early, unlicensed cards as much as a the first card in a licensed release... but what if there there was no official lic held by any card company at the time? Do those cards demand more respect?

Comments

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,136 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It depends.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • ndleondleo Posts: 4,043 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Depends on what you mean by unlicensed. Leaf doesn’t have a league license but they produce cards that have a license from the player. Im watching to see what the hobby does with the some of the 2022 Leaf NIL cards like Caleb Williams when he gets drafted #1 next year. Some of those will be the earliest cards for a lot of future stars.

    If the product you are referring to are like “Broder” type cards from the 80s and 90s, I would say that the hobby would not recognize them.

    Mike
  • RufussCkingstonRufussCkingston Posts: 1,448 ✭✭✭✭

    Feel like the 1990 Score Eric Lindros cards would be an example...

  • ndleondleo Posts: 4,043 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RufussCkingston said:
    Feel like the 1990 Score Eric Lindros cards would be an example...

    If I could get back the cards I traded for a stack of 1990 Score Lindros RCs that I picked up at the Livonia Elks card show in Michigan. I don’t even know what I did with them. I should have burned them

    Mike
  • CrashingwavesCrashingwaves Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    UFC is the sport I am referring too. There was a not an officially licensed release until 2009 Topps UFC Round 1... but several fighters had cards in 2008 Donruss Americana II Ring Kings (and many had independent, stand-alone promo cards made).

    While I get the Ring Kings were not officially licensed UFC cards, I give them more weight because they were released before any company had the license compared to un-licensed cards released when a company does hold a license.

    Trying to think of another example. Maybe with wrestling?

  • ndleondleo Posts: 4,043 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those cards may not be "rookies" in the strict sense but I think they will be recognized as legit early issue cards.

    Mike
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,136 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The term "true rookie" is rather meaningless. In some cases it matters and in some it doesn't.
    I remember being "talked out" of buying the Cal Ripken Topps Traded card, because at the time, it was not considered a true rookie.
    I don't collect boxing, but it seems some of the old Muhammed Ali "cards" might not have been licensed.
    Kirby Puckett has a minor league card that goes for very good money, but minor league cards (that I have) of Thome and Ivan Rodriguez don't.
    I don't understand your term "respect", but if you have the earliest card of someone who is highly collected, people are going to want it.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • daltexdaltex Posts: 3,461 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Crashingwaves said:
    UFC is the sport I am referring too. There was a not an officially licensed release until 2009 Topps UFC Round 1... but several fighters had cards in 2008 Donruss Americana II Ring Kings (and many had independent, stand-alone promo cards made).

    While I get the Ring Kings were not officially licensed UFC cards, I give them more weight because they were released before any company had the license compared to un-licensed cards released when a company does hold a license.

    Trying to think of another example. Maybe with wrestling?

    Does PSA grade/authenticate the 2008 cards?

  • ndleondleo Posts: 4,043 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    The term "true rookie" is rather meaningless. In some cases it matters and in some it doesn't.
    I remember being "talked out" of buying the Cal Ripken Topps Traded card, because at the time, it was not considered a true rookie.
    I don't collect boxing, but it seems some of the old Muhammed Ali "cards" might not have been licensed.
    Kirby Puckett has a minor league card that goes for very good money, but minor league cards (that I have) of Thome and Ivan Rodriguez don't.
    I don't understand your term "respect", but if you have the earliest card of someone who is highly collected, people are going to want it.

    Also the card market for the combat sports is not as organized as the other sports. I think the fans in that market just look for the cards of the favorite fighters. I collect Manny Pacquiao and I would rather have his 2011 Allen & Ginter Auto than his magazine cut "RC".

    Mike
  • CrashingwavesCrashingwaves Posts: 170 ✭✭✭
    edited August 6, 2023 6:18PM

    @daltex said:

    @Crashingwaves said:
    UFC is the sport I am referring too. There was a not an officially licensed release until 2009 Topps UFC Round 1... but several fighters had cards in 2008 Donruss Americana II Ring Kings (and many had independent, stand-alone promo cards made).

    While I get the Ring Kings were not officially licensed UFC cards, I give them more weight because they were released before any company had the license compared to un-licensed cards released when a company does hold a license.

    Trying to think of another example. Maybe with wrestling?

    Does PSA grade/authenticate the 2008 cards?

    Yes...

  • ReggieClevelandReggieCleveland Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll add, I think certain sports are more conducive to non-licensed cards than others. For instance, baseball has a plethora (a plethora?) of options to choose from every year and have the 1st Bowmans for those that want to dig deep. Don't get me wrong, I still like the Leaf/Panini/Wild Card cards released the year before but they've got too much competition.

    Now, something like UFC (which I collect) really only has a few serious releases each year -- Prizm, Select, and whatever high-end releases Panini puts out (Immaculate, etc.). With such a small pond to choose from I think the unlicensed stuff will be more apt to be accepted into the mainstream of the fighters' collections. Not to mention that there has been so little produced even when licenses were granted. It's the same way with boxing cards.

    Arthur

  • CrashingwavesCrashingwaves Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    @ReggieCleveland said:
    I'll add, I think certain sports are more conducive to non-licensed cards than others. For instance, baseball has a plethora (a plethora?) of options to choose from every year and have the 1st Bowmans for those that want to dig deep. Don't get me wrong, I still like the Leaf/Panini/Wild Card cards released the year before but they've got too much competition.

    Now, something like UFC (which I collect) really only has a few serious releases each year -- Prizm, Select, and whatever high-end releases Panini puts out (Immaculate, etc.). With such a small pond to choose from I think the unlicensed stuff will be more apt to be accepted into the mainstream of the fighters' collections. Not to mention that there has been so little produced even when licenses were granted. It's the same way with boxing cards.

    Arthur

    Good post. Been collecting UFC/MMA items for a while... and when Ring Kings came out, a lot of ppl went after them and Donruss was smart to make the largest print run /500 (for base) with most autos/relics /250 or less (many sp and spp cards)

    Even when Topps acquired the license in 2009, Ring Kings were still sought after. When Panini took over the lic in 2021 and the huge influx of collectors entered the hobby during covid, the new collectors do not have a clue about prior releases or rookie/1st auto cards. So much confusion (and attitude) from the young, new colletors.

    Heard the UFC license is now going back to Topps (Fanatics) and while Panini was a huge disappointment (printed more cards in 2 years than Topps did in 11), not sure what to expect. Hence been focusing on the early sets.

    If anyone has a 2008 Donruss Americana II Ring Kings Frankie Edgar auto #/25... hit me up! Last I need for the set.

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