Christmas Cards for Sports Card Collectors

Christmas Cards for Sports Card Collectors

Christmas might not have a huge foothold on sports cards, but that hasn't stopped the manufacturers from playing around with the holiday. Over the years, several Christmas-themed sports cards have been produced. Although few of them have reached iconic status, they're still a fun reminder of the holiday.

We've compiled a list of Christmas-themed sports cards below, offering card details, checklists and images. These cards all feature athletes. It is worth noting that other cards and promos have been made highlighting Santa Claus, such as the classic Pro Set inserts. Pro Line autographs and a factory set made by Topps in 2007 that had both an autograph and a relic. We'll visit St. Nick another time. For now, here's a guide to several Christmas-themed sports cards.

1989 Pacific Steve Largent

As a part of a Steve Largent-themed set, Pacific included a card of the future Hall of Famer and politician as a boy hanging out with Santa Claus. The second card in the set, it carries the caption, "Santa, can you please bring me a football?" Although tracking down singles today may be tough, complete sets can be found for under $10.

1996 Wheels KnightQuest Santa Claus

Numbered to 1499, the five-card set mixes the holidays with NASCAR's top racers. A green retail parallel also exists.

5 cards, #/1499

SC1 Dale Earnhardt
SC2 Bobby Labonte
SC3 Rusty Wallace
SC4 Mark Martin
SC5 Santa Claus

1999 Pacific Prism Football Ornaments

Collectors could always count on Pacific for strange designs. Some worked, some were horrendous, but nobody could say they weren't unique. The 1999 Pacific Prism Football Ornaments kicked off one of the company's more memorable concepts. The cards, which really could be hung from a tree, have a holofoil design. Players are printed on one of several festive die-cut shapes, such as trees, wreaths and stockings. 1999 Pacific Prism Football Ornaments are inserted 1:25 packs. Twenty cards make up the set.

20 cards, 1:25 packs

1 Jake Plummer
2 Jamal Anderson
3 Cade McNown
4 Tim Couch
5 Troy Aikman
6 Deion Sanders
7 Emmitt Smith
8 Terrell Davis
9 Barry Sanders
10 Brett Favre
11 Peyton Manning
12 Mark Brunell
13 Fred Taylor
14 Dan Marino
15 Randy Moss
16 Drew Bledsoe
17 Terrell Owens
18 Jerry Rice
19 Steve Young
20 Jon Kitna

2000 Pacific Baseball Ornaments

Similar to the football set, 2000 Pacific Baseball Ornaments once again have die-cut designs printed on holographic card stock. Inserted 2:25 packs, the cards come ready to hang, complete with string.

20 cards, 2:25 packs

1 Mo Vaughn
2 Chipper Jones
3 Greg Maddux
4 Cal Ripken Jr.
5 Nomar Garciaparra
6 Sammy Sosa
7 Frank Thomas
8 Manny Ramirez
9 Larry Walker
10 Jeff Bagwell
11 Mike Piazza
12 Roger Clemens
13 Derek Jeter
14 Scott Rolen
15 J.D. Drew
16 Mark McGwire
17 Tony Gwynn
18 Ken Griffey Jr.
19 Alex Rodriguez
20 Ivan Rodriguez

2001 Pacific Baseball Ornaments

Other than the slightly larger checklist and tougher odds, the 2001 Pacific Baseball Ornaments are largely indistinguishable from the previous year's set.

24 cards, 2:37 packs

1 Rafael Furcal
2 Chipper Jones
3 Greg Maddux
4 Cal Ripken Jr.
5 Nomar Garciaparra
6 Pedro Martinez
7 Sammy Sosa
8 Frank Thomas
9 Ken Griffey Jr.
10 Manny Ramirez
11 Todd Helton
12 Vladimir Guerrero
13 Mike Piazza
14 Roger Clemens
15 Derek Jeter
16 Pat Burrell
17 Rick Ankiel
18 Mark McGwire
19 Barry Bonds
20 Alex Rodriguez
21 Troy Glaus
22 Tom Glavine
23 Jim Edmonds
24 Ivan Rodriguez

2004 Prime Cuts #BRS-1 Babe Ruth Santa

Limited to 949 serial-numbered copies, the card celebrates the softer side of the legendary slugger. Ruth is pictured on the front wearing a silly but heart-warming Santa suit. The back of the card tells of how Ruth dedicated himself to making others happy, including a short anecdote about how he went to hang out with sick kids in 1947 while he was very ill.

2007-08 Upper Deck Santa Hat Rookies

Variations on the regular rookie cards from 2007-08 Upper Deck Basketball, the 30 Santa Hat Rookies offer quirky studio shots of the season's rookie class wearing a red holiday hat.

30 cards

SH-AA Arron Afflalo
SH-AB Aaron Brooks
SH-AH Al Horford
SH-AL Acie Law
SH-AT Al Thornton
SH-BW Brandan Wright
SH-CB Corey Brewer
SH-CL Carl Landry
SH-DC Daequan Cook
SH-GD Glen Davis
SH-GO Greg Oden
SH-GP Gabe Pruitt
SH-JC Javaris Crittenton
SH-JD Jared Dudley
SH-JG Jeff Green
SH-JN Joakim Noah
SH-JS Jason Smith
SH-JW Julian Wright
SH-KD Kevin Durant
SH-MA Morris Almond
SH-MC Michael Conley
SH-MW Marcus Williams
SH-NF Nick Fazekas
SH-NY Nick Young
SH-RS Rodney Stuckey
SH-SH Spencer Hawes
SH-SW Sean Williams
SH-TU Alando Tucker
SH-TY Thaddeus Young
SH-WC Wilson Chandler

2009 Press Pass Racing Santa Hats

Numbered to 50, these 18 cards see jovial racers posing wearing a Santa hat. Swatches on the cards can often be found in both red and white.

18 cards, #/50

SH1 A.J. Allmendinger
SH2 Greg Biffle
SH3 Clint Bowyer
SH4 Jeff Burton
SH5 Kyle Busch
SH6 Carl Edwards
SH7 Denny Hamlin
SH8 Kevin Harvick
SH9 Jimmie Johnson
SH10 Kasey Kahne
SH11 Bobby Labonte
SH12 Mark Martin
SH13 Regan Smith
SH14 Kyle Petty
SH15 David Ragan
SH16 Elliott Sadler
SH17 Reed Sorenson
SH18 Michael Waltrip

2009-10 Panini Season Update Basketball Christmas Cards

For those looking for less ambiguity on their memorabilia cards, look no further than the 2009-10 Panini Season Update Christmas Cards. The jerseys on the card come directly from a game played on Christmas Day in 2009. Not only do these cards connect from a specific event, but they're a major event at that. The annual Christmas games are some of the biggest of the year.

Each of the 40 cards come in two versions. Basic jersey cards are numbered to 499 while premium swatches are numbered to 25.

40 memorabilia cards (/499) and 40 prime memorabilia cards (/25)

1 Andre Miller
2 Amar'e Stoudemire
3 Anthony Carter
4 Arron Afflalo
5 Brandon Roy
6 Carlos Arroyo
7 Carmelo Anthony
8 Channing Frye
9 Chauncey Billups
10 Daequan Cook
11 Dorell Wright
12 Dwight Howard
13 Dwyane Wade
14 Earl Clark
15 Goran Dragic
16 J.J. Redick
17 J.R. Smith
18 Jameer Nelson
19 Jared Dudley
20 Jason Richardson
21 Jason Williams
22 Jeff Pendergraph
23 Jermaine O'Neal
24 Jerryd Bayless
25 Joel Anthony
26 LaMarcus Aldridge
27 Louis Amundson
28 Marcin Gortat
29 Mario Chalmers
30 Martell Webster
31 Matt Barnes
32 Michael Beasley
33 Mickael Pietrus
34 Quentin Richardson
35 Rashard Lewis
36 Robin Lopez
37 Ryan Anderson
38 Steve Nash
39 Ty Lawson
40 Udonis Haslem

Upper Deck Promo Christmas Cards

Over the years, Upper Deck has produced several special Christmas promo cards distributed to dealers and friends of the company. It began in 1992 with a 10-card Santa Claus set that had a card of Reggie Jackson. In later years, Upper Deck went with popular trends, including several memorabilia cards. The size of these promo cards vary from year-to-year. Some are traditional sports cards, while others are postcard-sized.

Upper Deck Christmas Cards Featuring Athletes:

  • 1992 Reggie Jackson (one card in a ten-card Santa set)
  • 1999 Kevin Garnett Santa Hat Card
  • 1999 Ken Griffey Jr. Santa Hat Card
  • 2000 Kobe Bryant Holiday Suit Card
  • 2001 Tiger Woods Ball Marker
  • 2002 Mark McGwire
  • 2003 LeBron James
  • 2004 New York Yankees - Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter
  • 2005 Sidney Crosby
  • 2007 Babe Ruth

NFL Properties Santa Claus Mail-Away Sets

From 1993 to 1997, NFL Properties and the various card manufacturers teamed to produce a Santa set. While most focused on the jolly man in red, several also featured athletes.

  • 1993 NFL Properties Santa Claus Pinnacle Nate Newton, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
  • 1993 NFL Properties Santa Claus Upper Deck Joe Montana
  • 1994 NFL Properties Santa Claus SkyBox Jim Kelly
  • 1995 NFL Properties Santa Claus Classic Pro Line #SANTA 1 Drew Bledsoe, Emmitt Smith
  • 1995 NFL Properties Santa Claus Pinnacle Dan Marino, Emmitt Smith and Steve Young
  • 1995 NFL Properties Santa Claus Upper Deck Dan Marino
  • 1996 NFL Properties Santa Claus Steve Bono, Jeff Blake
  • 1996 NFL Properties Santa Claus Brett Favre
  • 1996 NFL Properties Santa Claus Drew Bledsoe, Jim Harbaugh
  • 1996 NFL Properties Santa Claus Troy Aikman
  • 1997 NFL Properties Santa Claus Dan Marino, Drew Bledsoe, Kerry Collins
  • 1997 NFL Properties Santa Claus Reggie White
  • 1997 NFL Properties Santa Claus Brett Favre
  • 1997 NFL Properties Santa Claus Troy Aikman

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Ryan Cracknell

E-Mail Author | 
Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. I actually have some of those Pacific Baseball Card Ornaments :-) I was trying to get all of them at one point but then gave up. So if anyone is interested, PM :-)

  2. Most impressive!! Now I have some Tribers to add to my WANT list!

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