Finding the greatest of all timeFeb 09, 2023 12:55PM ● By Alisha Copfer
Chris Adams, owner of DC Sports, finds joy in collecting and selling trading cards to the community. Photo by Alisha Copfer
While the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) to one person may be Kobe Bryant and to another, it’s Michael Jordan, when push comes to shove, it’s all about the statistics. Just ask LeBron James, who recently became the top point scorer in the NBA. Some may not agree on one player being better than another, but everyone can agree on numbers. But to Chris Adams, owner of DC Sports Cards and Collectables, it isn’t about the player; it’s about having the cards.
“It doesn’t matter if the card is worth $1 or $10,000; it all makes me happy,” Adams said.
Adams started collecting when he was 8 years old. As with most children, he started collecting to connect more with his father. “We connected over sports; it peels back a lot of layers,” he said. Adams said that he felt like he understood his father better when they watched sports or participated in events like Jr. Jazz. “I owe it all to my pops.”
Sports card trading has been around for a long time. But not many people actually know what the hobby really is. Those who have been involved in the hobby for the past five to 10 years have seen an influx of people join and leave their hobby. However, those who have been involved in the hobby for most of their lives, upwards of 40 to 60 years or more, have a better understanding more and more every day why these cards are so valuable.
There are many ways to get into trading, and not all of them involve sports. More recently, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering and even Garbage Pail Kids have become popular. Each person involved in the hobby learns the value of individual cards and card sets. “If they don’t know the value, I’m here to show them,” said Adams.
Adams said that during COVID, too many collectors lost sight of why they were involved with the hobby. It became the thing to see how much someone could buy and flip; it became all about the money rather than the collecting. “Collectors always seem to enjoy life more,” he said. “It’s nice to see it becoming a hobby again.”
From football to basketball and baseball, sports cards have a long history that spans more than 150 years. Most of the first cards produced featured American baseball players. Some of these cards now sell for millions of dollars. Collectible cards originated in the 19th century when cigarette and candy companies started including them in their packaging in order to drive sales. Now with so many trading card companies, such as Leaf, Panini, Topps and Upper Deck, sports cards are becoming more readily available.
And this hobby has moved worldwide. There are collectors in nearly every country, ranging from England to the Czech Republic and even farther. Each collector has their version of the G.O.A.T. “Swaps were organized in Belgrade, and thousands were coming to the square, including priests and today’s president,” said Dragan Dakić, who lives in Serbia.
“Because I was a really good shooter from the three-point line, my teammates started to call me Reggie. So, I became interested in Reggie Miller and started collecting his cards,” said Radim Hliňák who lives in the Czech Republic.
“I have only continued something that I started as a kid,” another collector, Rajko Pljevaljčić who also lives in Serbia, said. “And the reason why I got into collecting as a kid was because I was a kid. Sure, I do have favorite players, but it isn’t really collecting only them. I’m more into collecting card sets.”
Adams agreed that the hobby “needs more young collectors.” “It all depends on the person,” he said. “Everyone has different avenues they want to follow, and why they choose their favorite player.” Some of these decisions are based on the collections made as kids, while others are made while learning more about each player or sport. “When you’re collecting, you’re studying,” Adams said.
There are several sports card shops around Utah, but one of the closest in Davis County is DC Sports. Beehive Sports Cards is located in Ogden on Riverdale Rd. and Clayton’s Card shop is in Roy. The next closest is Finders Keepers Cards and Collectables in West Valley City.
Adams collects mainly jerseys and other sports memorabilia but always has tons of stuff to entertain any collector. Some of his most popular cards are football players, but Adams also has baseball, basketball and even old NASCAR stuff. DC Sports Cards and Collectables is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shop is located at 400 S. 700 West in West Bountiful.