As we enter our thirty-third year as a Local Card Store in San Antonio, Texas, there are no words to adequately express how blessed and grateful we are to be able do what we love and provide a source of income for me and my family. We are truly blessed with many great customers throughout Texas and beyond.

Sports Cards Plus San Antonio is a family business, partnered by my children and grandchildren. My wife, Norma and I have six (yes, six) children and nine grandchildren, most of which have worked by my side (at one time or another) at the shop or at card shows since 1984.


My dad's (Valerio DiPietro) father (Carmelo DiPietro) immigrated from Sicily, through Ellis Island on May 5, 1905 at the age of 18 to join relatives in Reading Pennsylvania.  Grandpa Carmelo served in the U.S. Army during World War I as an ambulance driver for Army Medics.

After World War 1, Grandpa Carmelo's relatives in Hoboken, New Jersey introduced him to a young Teresa Bongiovanni. They married moved to Reading, Pennsylvania in 1919. The Great Depression made it difficult for Grandpa Carmelo to provide for his family. "The Prohibition" provided grandpa the opportunity to employ his WW1 driving skills for bootleggers and "speakeasies."

Grandpa Carmelo died of tuberculosis in 1925 when my dad was two years old.  There were not many jobs for women at that time and Grandma DiPietro had no education or working skills.  Grandma soon married her deceased husband's former business partner. Her new husband convinced Grandma it would be best to place dad and his year-older brother Filippo in two different orphanages.

Dad said life in "The Home" was good.  Uncle Phil said his life in his orphanage was terrible.

Both Dad and Uncle Phil enlisted in The Army immediately following Pearl Harbor.  Dad was only 17 and had to have written permission from his mother to join The Army.  Both Uncle Phil and my dad fought in The Pacific.  The U.S. Army did not want them to have to shoot at possible Italian relatives.

At the end of WWII, dad was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas where he met my mom, Olivia Fernandez at a USO Dance. My mom was born in Mexico and was brought to the United States during The Great Depression.  My grandparents and my mom (as a young child) worked as migrant workers picking crops from South Texas and up to Chicago as crops needed harvesting.

My parents married in 1947 and moved to a one-bedroom house on the deep westside of San Antonio.  With millions of Army Veterans back in the workforce after WW2, the best job dad could find was as an elevator operator at a down-town San Antonio hotel.

Dad was a smart man.  Soon after taking a Civil Service Exam he was hired-on at Kelly AFB as an Engineering Technician. We then moved to a bigger 2-bedroom house on the deep westside of San Antonio (Popular & 24th Street).  That was where my three siblings and I grew up.

After working at Kelly for just a few years, it became evident dad had Parkinson's Syndrome. By 1960 it was bad enough for dad to apply for disability retirement.

While in high school at the age of 15, I was working 40-hours a week to help out the family and try to save money for college.  I did earn a full scholarship to Texas A&M University where I earn a degree in Industrial Engineering.

I went on to work at Kelly AFB, Wright Patterson AFB and Randolph AFB where I worked as a Lead Analyst for Air Force-wide studies. I enjoyed the work I did over the course of my 36-year Civil Service Career.

Sports card collecting has been my hobby since 1958. Back then, my brother Wally and I would take our red wagon throughout the west side of San Antonio collecting soda bottles along the side of the road to turn in at the corner store for 2-cents a bottle. We used our money for baseball cards. Topps Cards 1-Cent Packs had one card and a stick of gum.  My childhood card collection was over 5,000 baseball cards.  That's a lot of soda bottles.


I met my wife, MSGT Norma DiPietro in 1985 when she worked at HQ AF Recruiting Service at Randolph AFB.  Our blended family of six children have many great memories of working card shows since 1985.  We did card shows nearly every weekend throughout Texas. Post WW2 Baseball Cards was my thing. I specialized in Vintage Baseball Cards at shows.

In 1991, Norma retired from the Air Force and in March 1992, we opened Sports Cards Plus in our current shopping center.  Norma worked the store during the day and I worked the store after working my Civil Service job.

Basketball sales were brisk because of Shaq O'Neal but there were 53 card shops in San Antonio.  Competition was challenging.  $800 was a really good day.  Lucky, I had my day-time job to fall back on.  The 1990's junk-wax era resulted in card values dropping every month.  As more and more collectors fell-out of the hobby, more and more card shops closed.

Things started turning around when Tim Duncan joined the San Antonio Spurs in 1997.  Everyone in San Antonio wanted Tim Duncan Cards.  About this time Jordan was the GOAT and Kobe looked to be the heir apparent.  Basketball sales were picking up.

In 2001, Tiger Woods was the overwhelming draw for Upper Deck's entry into the PGA Golf Card market.  Tiger Woods brought in people who never collected cards before.  And then in 2003 Lebron James brought in new high-end collectors.  Upper Deck responded to this new high-end clientele with a product they called Exquisite.

Baseball had Jeter, Pujols, then Trout, Ohtani and the latest young prospects.  Football started picking up in 2012 with Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson, then came Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and Tua. Today it's Brock Purdy, C.J. Stroud.

The business again picked up in 2018 and jumped up in 2019. COVID-19 closed down our store in March 2020 and we had to pivot to on-line sales for a few months.  People were stuck at home and spent too much time on the internet and listening to internet-influencers. Card prices were going up 100%, 200%, 400% and more as people decided card flipping was easy money. 

People were quitting their jobs and hanging out at Target and Walmart waiting for retail boxes to be delivered.  People could buy and sell a handful of blaster boxes and make more money than they did at their day-time job.

The bubble burst about mid-2022.  While card values were generally down, it was still a good investment for prospectors and most vintage.  Before it was easy money, now you have to play it smart.

While 2023 was Sports Cards Plus' second best year ever, we are working to build on 2023 results.  We are working hard to make sure our customers get the most for their investment and entertainment money. 

In 2023 we were honored to be named Sports Collector's Digest "Card Shop of The Year." In 2024 and beyond, Sports Cards Plus will work hard to provide a fun place for you and your family.  We will work hard to provide you the products you want at the lowest possible price. We owe this to you, our many great customers for making us who we are.




The T206 Honus Wagner may be the ‘holy grail’ for card collectors but there are numerous Wagner cards that are far rarer. Case in point:  the E125 1910 American Caramel die-cuts.  One of only six graded Wagner cards showing the Flying Dutchman in a batting pose is among thousands of cards being offered in the Heritage Auctions Fall Sports Catalog Auction.

Measuring about 7” x 4”, the card was part of a set that included over 40 subjects, not all of which were baseball players.

American Caramel produced a variety of trading cards but in this case, they went a bit off the traditional grid with the die-cut cards that were distributed with the company’s Action Picture caramels.  The cards are so rare, they weren’t really known to most card collectors until the 1960s.

The cards are colorful and came with a stand so they could be displayed as if “in action.” 

The Wagner card offered by Heritage is graded SGC 1 but because of the nature of the product and its fragile nature, it’s rare to find any with high technical grades. Only six Wagner “batting” variations have been examined by SGC and PSA combined.

Players from four teams were part of the set—all eastern franchises, including the New York Giants, Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Wagner’s Pirates, who won the 1909 World Series. Members of the Pirates are referred to as “Champion of the World” on the backs, which also include a team checklist.

Wagner and Tris Speaker have both batting and fielding poses and the batting pose wasn’t known until one was uncovered many years later. 

The backs of some cards in the set indicate they were patented in July 2010 while others say only that a patent had been applied for. The name “P.R. Warren Company” of Lowell, MA is also listed on the back, which likely means they were responsible for production of the cards that would up being distributed by the candy company.

Auction bidding runs through Sept. 29.


Go to Sports Cards Plus TODAY for your chance to Receive a One-of-a- Kind Wembanyam Autograph


Here’s Your Chance to Receive a One-of-a-Kind Wemby Auto

Join Fanatics for The Ultimate Collector Experience by Topps. All eligible collectors who redeem a 2022-23 Bowman U Chrome Victor Wembanyama Green Parallel Auto redemption card on or before September 8, 2023, will have the opportunity to join us in San Antonio, Texas, on September 23, 2023, for a chance to receive the Wemby Inscribed Auto as their redemption card

Event Details

Stay tuned for even more incredible event details – it’s going to be epic! For those that have already redeemed, you’re in! Someone from the Topps team will be in touch with next steps.

Redeem to Secure Your Spot

Congratulations! You pulled a 2022-23 Bowman U Chrome Victor Wembanyama Green Parallel Auto Redemption Card. Now you need to guarantee your spot for The Ultimate Collector Experience by Topps.

Redeem Your Card to Become Eligible:

  1. Scratch off the code on the back of your Redemption Card
  2. Signup for a topps.com account or log into your current topps.com account
  3. Click on the REDEMPTION link on the left-hand side of the screen
  4. Enter the 10-digit code on the back of your card and click SUBMIT
  5. You must redeem your card by September 8, 2023, to be eligible for this event
  6. By submitting your Wemby Redemption Card, you agree to our Redemption Terms & Conditions and The Ultimate Collector Experience by Topps Terms & Conditions

After you’ve submitted your Wemby Redemption Card code, you will be invited to attend the live, in-person Ultimate Collector Experience by Topps, where you will then be eligible to be randomly selected to receive the 2022-23 Bowman U Chrome Victor Wembanyama Green Parallel “1st Card I Ever Signed” Inscribed Auto. If you are unable to join us in person, you will still be eligible to receive the 2022-23 Bowman U Chrome Victor Green Parallel “1st Card I Ever Signed” Inscribed Auto as your redemption by participating virtually.


  • When and where will the event take place?
    • The event will take place on September 23, 2023, in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Will my travel expenses be covered?
    • Airfare (up to $400) and lodging for you and your guest will be covered. Travel preferences will be considered but not guaranteed. You will be solely responsible for the cost of the hotel accommodations if you choose not to accept lodging. If you accept lodging, you will need to provide a valid credit card for (and be responsible for paying) all incidentals at Check-in. Travel accommodations and hotel booking are non-exchangeable and non-transferable.





"The only constant is change."... Ever since I bought my first One-Cent Pack of Topps Baseball Cards in 1957, that "truism" couldn't be truer.  Actually, change started soon after the first sets of sports cards were produced in the mid-eighteen hundreds.

Dare I say, it started with black and white Old Judge Cigarettes, colorful and artistic Goodwin Champions, Allen and Ginter and a few others. Baseball card collecting was taken a notch up with the most famous of all tabacco cards, the T206 which were included in sixteen different brands of cigarettes of the American Tabacco Company.  To target the younger collector, next came Carmel Candy baseball cards (the many different "E series") and Cracker Jack. Next came gum cards Goudey, Playball and others.

Leaf, Bowman and Topps joined in 1948 and 1949.  In 1956 Topps bought Bowman and there was only Topps baseball. In 1959 Fleer came in to produce cards until 1963.  Topps was then the only company to continually produce cards since 1948.

In 1981 Donruss and Fleer geared up to produce cards.  Through 1988 packs of cards could be bought for no more than 50-cents per pack.  

In 1988 Mr. Richard McWilliam approached my table at a card show in Dallas to show me samples of his new baseball card product, Upper Deck.  When he told me his product would retail for one dollar a pack, I replied "The cards look great, but I don't think the card collecting community is ready for dollar packs."  Mr. McWilliams was a good salesman and I am glad I signed up with Upper Deck and committed to ten 20-box cases of 1989 Upper Deck Baseball.

By 1990, everyone was buying and selling sports cards.  There was as many as three card shows (with 50 to 100 tables) in San Antonio every weekend.  

It was easy money.  You could just place binders full of cards on the table, sell boxes and packs of cards and sell up to $3000 a day at a card show. Remember, packs were just 50-cents and only upper deck was a dollar. Of course, we had older packs and boxes.  The 1986 Fleer Basketball with the Michael Jordan's RC was $80 a box.

In 1991 we opened our Brick and Mortar Shop, Sports Cards Plus during the height of the "Junk Wax Era."  We were one of 52 card shops in San Antonio.  There were 18 card shops within three miles of our store.

It was not easy money.  People would drive from shop to shop to try to save a dollar or two.  Most collectors waited for the weekly card shows to get the best deals possible. If I sold $800 in a day, that was a huge day.

In the last 32 years, I've seen card shops open and close mostly because they couldn't compete with the big internet dealers.  The internet also begot a new phenomenon, "Group Breaking" which added to the brick and mortar shop's challenges.  It was a case of adjust, carve out your own niche or fail.

Sports Cards Plus is a family business.  I've been selling cards since 1982 and my sons and daughters joined me at card shows since 1988, then my card shop in 1991. Now, my adult grandchildren have joined our staff in the last few years.  

Our moto is "You get more for your money at Sports Cards Plus." 

--- Our prices are at or below the Big Internet Dealers and we offer "Volume Discounts" for additional savings.  

--- We offer our loyal customers a free table at our monthly "Card Show in The Shop." 

--- We have daily contests where customers can win up to $1000. 

--- We go big on all the manufacturer's promotions.  We gave back $14,400 store credit in the "2022 Topps Chrome MVP Buyback Program."

--- We go to all the major trade shows to search for the next great product and network with the major players in our industry.

--- We have the largest selection in all of Texas.  We don't limit your choices to just the "current products."

--- We are here to share our knowledge.  We want you to be happy with what you purchase.

--- We don't open any product. We want you to get the case hits and for that matter, the best ever hits for every product.

--- Winner of Sports Collector's Digest Mikey Award for 2022 Card Shop of The Year.

Card Shop Of The Year – Sports Cards Plus in San Antonio 

Sports Cards Plus looks forward to the next 32 years.



 Victor Wembanyama is now set to begin his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, after they won the NBA draft lottery and the No. 1 overall pick on Tuesday night.  The 7-foot-3 French 19-year-old is one of the most highly touted prospects in NBA history and will be expected to make an immediate impact on the league.

And he had a message for San Antonio.

“I’m trying to win a ring ASAP,” Wembanyama told ESPN after the lottery results. “So be ready.”

It’s the third time the Spurs have won the lottery, and on both previous occasions they made picks that paid off for decades. They chose David Robinson in 1987, Tim Duncan in 1997, and those selections were a major part of how the Spurs became a team that won five NBA titles under coach Gregg Popovich.

“Our future was already bright,” Spurs managing partner Peter J. Holt said. “Now, it’s going to be through the moon.”

Popovich and the Spurs have had incredible success with international players in the past — most notably, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, who owns the French team that Wembanyama played for last season.

“He’s an incredible young man,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN as part of its draft lottery broadcast. “He clearly appears to be a generational talent.”

Wembanyama finished his regular season with Boulogne-Levallois of France’s top pro league earlier Tuesday, his 22-point effort good enough for him to clinch the league’s scoring title. It was shortly past 2 a.m. Wednesday in Paris when the lottery results were revealed, and Wembanyama was gathered with family and friends for a celebration.

“Can’t really describe it,” Wembanyama said in his interview with ESPN, adding “it’s a really special moment.”

Wembanyama is wrapping up his third professional season in France and has been the consensus top pick for months. He has the height of a center, the shooting touch of a wing and the passing ability of a point guard.

He wasn’t at the lottery because of his game schedule in France. But many of the other top prospects — Scoot Henderson of the G League Ignite, Brandon Miller of Alabama, twin brothers Amen and Ausar Thompson of the Overtime Elite program — were in the room to watch the lottery results get unveiled and get a little better idea of where they may be heading to start their NBA careers.


The 2022-23 Bowman Inception University checklist brings together college prospects from both basketball and football. Like other Inception releases dating back more than a decade, there’s a big focus on autographs. Outside of the base set, all other cards have signatures.

Consisting of 100 cards, the base set isn’t a huge one. When you take into account that it covers multiple sports, the concentration of key names is even more apparent. This is a product that is licensed so players are in uniforms and school logos are used.

Over a dozen parallels are available, all of which are numbered to 99 or less. That said, many of these use the same color for two different versions, likely changing up a pattern on the front as well.

The largest part of the 2022-23 Bowman Inception University checklist is the Base Autographs. At 190 cards, it’s almost double the size of the base set.

Other signature themes include Bowman U Top of the Class Autographs (/100), Primordial Prospects Autographs (/99), Short Print Inception Autographs (/10), and Class of 2023 Die-Cut Autographs (1/1).

Swatches are added to the mix in Inception Autograph Dual Relics (/99), Inception Autograph Jumbo Relics and Inception Autograph Nameplates.

2022-23 Bowman Inception University is the first product to have Victor Wembanyama autographs. Iowa standout Caitlin Clark also has autographs in the product.




In an effort to say thanks to our many customers in the San Antonio area, Texas, the United States and The Entire World, we vow to continue to improve your collecting experience at Sports Cards Plus.  We will provide you with all your favorite products at LOW, Low, low prices and provide you a rewarding experience when you choose to open your purchases in our store.

Our goal is to ensure you agree "You Get More For Your Money at Sports Cards Plus." Throughout 2023, you will find MORE CASH PRIZES, MORE FREE GIVEAWAYS, and MORE SMILES on your faces when you shop at Sports Cards Plus.

Because of you, our many customers, Sports Cards Plus is now in our 31st successful year of providing a family-friendly collecting/shopping experience.  Recently we were honored by Sports Collector's Digest Mikey Awards, named "Card Shop Of The Year" for 2022.  And we will continue to improve in 2023.

As most of you know, we are a family business.  I am joined by my son and adult grandchildren, dedicated to share our sports collecting knowledge with everyone who enters our store.  We want you to be happy with your purchases, so we take the time to help you navigate the complexities of the sports collecting world.

Over the last 31 years, I have done my best to represent you, the collecting community at Manufacturer's Conferences/Summits/Meetings.  I am on good terms with all the manufacturers and several distributors, and have their ear when discussing my customer's issues and wants.

Here is a short list of Sports Cards Plus efforts

--- First Card Shop to host Beckett Raw Card Review in 2010

--- First Card Shop to be named Card Shop of The Month by Beckett

--- First Card Shop to be named Card Shop of The Month by Upper Deck

--- Speaker at several "Sports Card Industry Summits," and "Topps Conferences"

--- Winner of the 2015 Panini NBA $75,000 Hobby Shop Makeover for selling the most NBA packs in the entire United States.

--- Gave customers $12,940.00 store credit in the 2022 Topps Chrome MVP Buyback Program.

--- Home Away From Home for Spurs Nation France.

--- Winner of Sports Collector's Digest Mikey Award for 2022 Card Shop of The Year.

Card Shop Of The Year – Sports Cards Plus in San Antonio 

I have had the pleasure of knowing SCP’s owner Charlie DiPietro for close to two decades.  He is a great family man who does a ton for his collectors.  His card shop was previously recognized by winning a NBA Hobby Shop Makeover promotion.  I had the pleasure of visiting Charlie’s shop before it won this opportunity and it looked great even before the $75,000 improvement prize and appearance by San Antonio’s own David Robinson.

I’m giving Charlie and his staff this recognition, because of being broken in more times than any other shop owner I know of, he continues to make taking care of his collectors his focus.  This year I’ve taken delight in seeing many criminals who have broken into shops finding justice for their acts.  I just hope eventually I get the same joy I seeing those who torment Charlie also get their day in court. 

I’ve seen numerous promotions with on the spot cash prizes for pulling chase cards from participating products.  He recently gave away $2500 to his collectors as part of a New Year’s promotion and his December prizes alone topped $5,000.  It’s great to see shops go out of their way to reward their collectors and he’s seemingly always doing so.

Take a peek at the SCP Facebook page and you can see how much of a priority he make his collectors.