Learning all the different sports card terms can be a tough task when you’re first getting into sports card collecting. A common question newer collectors have is “What does RPA mean when talking about sports cards?” or “What is an RPA Card?”. Luckily, the answer is not that complicated.
RPA Means Rookie Patch Autograph
A Rookie Patch Autograph card (RPA) is a rookie card that is both autographed and contains a patch/piece of jersey from a player’s rookie year. These cards are typically highly sought after, especially for good players. RPA Cards are usually limited /99 or less, making them even more valuable to collect.
How Much Are RPAs Worth And Where Can I Find Them?
Due to the limited nature of these cards, they can actually sell for extremely high amounts. At the time of writing this post (May 2019), a Baker Mayfield RPA just sold this week for $1,400.
The best place to find an RPA for a player you like is on eBay. You could always rip packs or buy into breaks and hope you land an epic hit but chances are you’ll spend more money gambling on packs and breaks than you would just buying a card outright on eBay. Click here to browse RPA auctions for football cards on eBay.
Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that. A “true” RPA will be numbered the same as the base cards in the set, usually just continued where the base stopped. It won’t have letters for it’s checklist indicator on the back, only numbers. It will be vertical in orientation, as there can be horizontal and vertical RPA’s in the same set for the same player, but only the vertical is considered true, and must possess the “RC” logo. (Some horizontal RPA’s do not have it at all).