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What does ‘Pop 1’ mean – Definition – The Sports Card Glossary

In sports cards, Pop 1 is short for “Population of 1”.

It describes the number of graded examples that exist for that particular card. So, a Pop 1 card is a graded card that is unique in the sense that it’s the only graded card in that particular condition as assessed by that particular grading company.

Here’s a real example:

In the above picture showing pop counts for different Victor Wembanyama cards from 2023-24 Panini Prizm Basketball:

  • The Black 1/1 in PSA 10 is Pop 1
  • The Blue Prizm in PSA 9 is Pop 44
  • The Blue Choice Prizm in PSA 6 is Pop 1

You’ll often see Pop count followed by a phrase that describes how many cards exist in a better grade. For example, for the Victor Wembanyama Blue Choice Prizm PSA 6 example, you would say “Pop 1, 17 higher.”

Rory Hansen

Rory Hansen is a San Diego-based sports card collector and social media influencer. Considered an expert in the process of grading sports cards, he regularly advises other collectors on how to assess, prepare and submit cards for grading. Originally from Canada and now living in the US, Rory collects both hockey cards and baseball cards. His personal collection focuses on Shohei Ohtani, Ichiro Suzuki, Yu Darvish, Pavel Bure, Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Roberto Luongo.