Hobby Musings: Bold predictions for 2021

Hobby Musings: Bold predictions for 2021 – With 2020 and its big hobby storylines in the books, it’s time to look ahead to 2021. While there’s no telling what will happen with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there is plenty of reason for optimism after a strong 2020 in the sports card and memorabilia world. I asked a number of people around the hobby to make bold predictions for 2021, and here’s what they had to say.

In 2021, we will continue to see more and more attention and I predict we will see our first $10,000,000 sports card sale. (Thomas Fish, Blowout Cards)

A course correction in values for mid-range vintage. As much as I hate betting against the hobby, supply and demand have been altered too much for prices to continue to rise. COVID brought more demand, as more people rediscovered collecting and drove up online prices, and also some additional supply, as people rediscovered half-forgotten collections; but most cards from the late-’50s through early ’80s actually aren’t all that rare in mid-range condition. As we come out of the pandemic, I see more people finding other ways to spend their time and money. High-end cards and hot new issues will continue to have real value, but I think there will be some softness in the middle. (Rick Klein, ABC News Political Director, and No. 34 in 2016 Allen & Ginter)

I believe we’ll see a record number of public figures partaking in the hobby! From musicians like Steve Aoki who got into the game with Topps this year, to media personalities like Rick Klein and Adam Lefkoe, and even amongst players themselvescard collecting is continuing its rise to cultural prominence once again. And what better timing for that to happen than in 2021, which marks 70 Years of Topps Baseball! (Emily Kless, Topps)

Hobby Musings: Bold predictions for 2021The trading card market will become even stronger. Demand still far exceeds supply. (Sean Bennett, Steel City Collectibles)

I just don’t know when the bubble will burst, or if it will ever? Paying $2-4 million for Mike Trout cards is really something we have never seen. Typically the vintage market (still very strong) leads the charge, but now the new, shiny product is leading the charge and changing the dynamic of how people collect. We are seeing so much money coming in from overseas that I’m not sure this bubble will burst. The thing about graded cards especially, it’s a measuring contest. It’s about who has what and whose is better. It’s always been that way. It’s one of the reasons why the set registries are so powerful. (Steve Grad, Beckett)

As more memorabilia surfaces in the market following surge, expect a bigger role for authentications and grading. Also, how about MLB adds Panini to license deal? (Robert Morris, HOF Relic Auto 1/1 collector)

The easy prediction for 2021 would be that we’ll see a pullback in terms of the market, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen, at least not right away. There will be some corrections on some cards, but it seems like the interest is only increasing in just about every age and demographic. I do think that once COVID-19 is behind us for the most part that people will start spending on things like live events and vacations, which could impact the market as a whole, but it’s really hard to say. Shows opening back up could mean we’ll see a lot of pent-up demand being fulfilled. I think the prices for current boxes will come down a bit from being so far above retail. It just doesn’t seem sustainable on any level and you have money being spent rather indiscriminately by people who are going to find out they overpaid. I hope that’s the case because it’s frustrating to long-time collectors, and no hobby can afford to lose the people who are sort of the heartbeat of it all. (Rich Mueller, Sports Collectors Daily)

I hope to see things like sports card shows and autograph signings return. 2020 really didn’t allow much for those types of things. Also, online-exclusive products purchased directly from the manufacturers will continue to be highly sought after. As for a bold prediction, I’d like to see someone spend $1 million on a new 2021 prospect/rookie card. (Andrew Chrisman, Sports Card Info)

2021 will be one of the biggest years the hobby has ever seen. With the 2021 National being in Chicago, look for a sold out show maxed to capacity. (Lance Fischer, Onyx)


I think by this summer we will see fans back in the stands, and that should be amazing to add to the experience both for fans and athletes. Vaccinations should help make it safer to get outside and enjoy everything we have been missing since March, 2020. (Chris Carlin, Upper Deck)

2021 football sales will surpass 2019-20 basketball sales. This will be the biggest football class ever for skill positions taken in first three rounds, which will lead to huge hobby sales. (Rob Springs, Panini)

That basketball products will be just as hot as last year. (Sara Layton, Layton Sports Cards)

I feel confident that the current surge in sports memorabilia will continue into post-pandemic 2021. I believe that large events such as the National will help fuel that surge by providing the new collectors/investors a venue in which they can be exposed to all elements of the sports memorabilia industry. We look forward to hosting the best National ever in Chicago. (John Broggi, National Sports Collectors Convention)

My bold prediction is not as bold as it is inevitable, the market will slow and adjust. (Kevin Heffner, Historic Autographs)

I believe ’21 will continue to be strong as more games will be played. Incredible depth of MLB rookies, soccer will continue to grow and non-sports has been trending higher and will continue in ’21. (Kevin O’Neil, Topps)

Hobby Musings: Bold predictions for 2021The momentum will carry through 2021, as a great 2020 and 2021 football rookie classes and numerous young future stars in basketball and hockey drive the 2020/21 seasons. It will reach a feverish peak at the 2021 National Convention in Chicago in late July. We could have the best National ever. (Reed Kasaoka, Dave and Adam’s Card World)

The effects of P2020 is what leads to my predictions for 2021. When the P2020 bubble popped, there was a huge increase in eBay returns simply because card values plummeted. Returns like this for other card properties have continued through 2020, and I suspect in 2021 as more people think of cards as an “investment,” buyers can really hedge their bets at least in the short term. If a card drops in price, they have a good chance of returning said card with no consequences. Worst case scenario if they try – they keep the card they bought…so given those consequences, why not?
I mean, it’s now viewed as a safer stock market. It’s like buying a stock today, and if it drops in value by half in two weeks, hell, try and return it and see what happens! I’m certainly not condoning the practice, but if it’s not regulated, it’ll continue. (Paul Lesko, legal analyst and avid hobbyist)

Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Hobby Musings: Bold predictions for 2021
Kelsey Schroyer