Baseball and Basketball Lead the Way in Cards Graded by CSG

Posted on 4/7/2022

Other top sports are football, hockey and soccer. Can you guess the most popular athlete from each?

As Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) approaches 1 million sports cards graded, we’re taking a look at which sports are proving the most popular with submitters. Not surprisingly, baseball and basketball lead the way, each taking about a third of the total number graded by CSG. Football is third, with about 21%, while soccer (5%) and hockey (2.5%) round out the top five.

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Do you think you can guess the most popular athlete for each of these five sports among submissions to CSG? Read on to see if you're right!


The athlete: Wayne Gretzky

The card shown here: 1999-00 Upper Deck HoloGrFX Gretzky GrFx #GG11 Wayne Gretzky graded CSG 9

About the athlete: Wayne Gretzky is nicknamed "The Great One," and he truly is. He played 20 seasons in the NHL, leading the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cup victories. He later played for the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. He holds the records for career goals (1,016), career assists (2,223), goals in a season (100), assists in a season (174) and most "hat tricks" (50).

CSG Registry: Gretzky leads the Hockey Player Sets in the CSG Registry with 18. Explore these sets here.


The athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo

The card shown here: 2021 Topps Now UEFA Champions League Cristiano Ronaldo 768 Career Goals graded CSG Gem Mint 10

About the athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo has had a storied career in soccer (called football by much of the world). Currently with Manchester United, he has won 32 trophies, including seven league titles. He was also the first footballer to earn $1 billion in his career.

CSG Registry: Ronaldo leads in soccer cards certified by CSG, but he trails Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. in the Soccer Player Sets in the CSG Registry. Explore these sets here.


The athlete: Tom Brady

The card shown here: 2000 Bowman Chrome #236 Tom Brady graded CSG 8

About the athlete: Tom Brady is becoming synonymous with the acronym GOAT: Greatest Of All-Time. He led the New England Patriots to six Super Bowl victories and then tacked on another one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. He holds NFL records in many categories, including titles (7), wins by a quarterback (278), passing yards (84,520), passing touchdowns (624) and pass completions (7,263).

CSG Registry: Brady and Justin Herbert are tied for the most Football Player Sets in the CSG Registry with 30 apiece. Explore these sets here.


The athlete: Kobe Bryant

The card shown here: 2012-13 Panini Kobe Anthology #149 Kobe Bryant Platinum graded CSG 9

About the athlete: Kobe Bryant won five NBA titles in his 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was an 18-time All-Star and led the league in scoring twice. He was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020, the same year as his death in a helicopter crash, a tragedy that stunned the sports world.

CSG Registry: Bryant may lead the number of basketball cards certified by CSG, but Michael Jordan leads the Basketball Player Sets in the CSG Registry with 92. Explore these sets here.


The athlete: Ken Griffey Jr.

The card shown here: 1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr. graded CSG 9

About the athlete: Ken Griffey Jr. played for 22 years in Major League Baseball, mostly with the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox. A 13-time All Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016 with a record 99.32% of the vote.

CSG Registry: Griffey leads the Baseball Player Sets in the CSG Registry with 48. Explore these sets here.

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