PSA Glossary

Sports Lingo

Like all collectibles, the sports memorabilia market has its own terms and slang. The following is a brief definition and explanation of the most frequently used sports collecting terms.

Note:This is a work in progress and we would love to hear your comments and suggestions. Send your thoughts to [email protected].

Hall of Famer
A player that is a member of the Hall of Fame. These player’s cards are almost always the most desirable cards in a set.
Hand-cut Cards
These cards usually need to be removed from a panel, box, etc. and were intended to be cut by the consumer. As a general rule, PSA will not grade cards hand-cut from uncut sheets if the cards were distributed in pre-cut form and released to the public as individual cards.
A Wisconsin-based company that produced statues (Hartland statues) in the 1950s and 1960s. The most notable of these are the 18 professional baseball player models, which have become very collectible. Modern day reproductions are also available.
Heisman Trophy
An award given out to the best college football player at the end of each season.
Used to refer to either a baseball batting helmet or a football helmet. Helmets are most commonly used for autograph purposes.
high numbers
A description of the last, or near the last series in a sports card set. Traditionally, manufacturers would produce cards in several series. As the season would wind down, so would public interest and production. This lower print run resulted in more limited supply and later, more valuable cards.
high series
Also known as a high number series or high number, a high series contains cards from the last series distributed for a set in a given year. Many of these older high series cards are of great value, as they were often released after the baseball season, when interest for baseball was waning. Therefore, these cards were often printed or distributed in smaller amounts than those of the preceding series. The most well known high series is from the 1952 Topps set (#311-407), which includes Mickey Mantle’s first Topps card (#311).
hockey card
A card that features a hockey player or team. The first hockey card was also the first card issued for any major sport. It was issued in 1879. Unlike football and basketball cards, hockey cards were widely produced prior to World War II. These vintage cards, as well as modern day issues, are very popular in Canada, while they remain only the fourth most collected sports cards in America.
hockey puck
Hockey pucks are very common item to have signed.
hockey stick
Hockey sticks are commonly used for signatures, especially of entire teams. Game used hockey sticks are also very collectible, and can be of great value.
Short for Hall of Fame
The term used for when a card is encapsulated in plastic by a grading service.
The name of a basketball card manufacturer. Also common objects found in Dennis Rodman’s nose.