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If you’re new to the hobby or returning since the junk wax era like many of us, there might be some terminology you’re hearing for the first time and you find yourself asking questions like, “What does RPA mean in sports cards?”
The short answer is that it stands for a rookie patch autograph sports card or rookie patch auto for short.
That simply means it’s a rookie card of a player, which consists of an autograph on the card (both sticker autograph or on-card autograph counts) and it also has a patch or relic (ie. piece of jersey, glove, shoe, hat, any apparel really).
The combination of the autograph plus patch usually makes the card very valuable, especially if the featured player on the card is in high demand.
Plus the fact this rookie card has to contain both usually makes it a lower print run, contributing to the scarcity of the card.
Check out the listings below of some super premium RPA sports cards currently listed on eBay.
There are other hobby acronyms that might be new to you. So instead of asking, “What does RPA mean in sports cards?”, you might be asking a similar question with a new acronym. We got some of that covered for you below the eBay listings (plus a post on what POP means).
Other hobby acroynms commonly used
- PSA: Professional Sports Authenticator – a leading grading and authentication company that specializes in sports cards and other collectibles.
- BGS: Beckett Grading Services – a popular grading company that assigns a numerical grade to sports cards based on their condition.
- RC: Rookie Card – the first sports card of a player released during their rookie season, typically considered more valuable than other cards of the same player.
- SP: Short Print – a card that is produced in smaller quantities than other cards in a set, making it more difficult to find.
- SN: Serial Number – a unique number assigned to a sports card, which can affect its rarity and value.
- AU: Autograph – a signature from a sports player on a sports card.
- SGC: Sportscard Guaranty Corporation – a grading and authentication company that specializes in sports cards.
- NT: National Treasures – a product line from Panini that features high-end, premium sports cards with autographs and memorabilia.
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