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Autographed Card Sells For A Million Dollars!

Okay, so...maybe that headline of that was a little fib. The card actually sold for $922,500. And of course, we now know that it won’t be long until a card sells for more than the famous Honus Wagner card. It’s amazing to think a card from 2009, which isn’t that long ago, could warrant such a price.

It’s a Mike Trout Red Refractor Autograph, that was graded 9.5 out of 10. The price realized for this rookie card was certainly helped by the fact that it was autographed. And, nobody held it against the owner of the Honus Wagner card that sold for just over $3 million, when it was only graded a 5. A card that old isn’t going to be in mint condition.

In 2018, a Mickey Mantle, 1952 Topps card (graded 9), sold for almost $3 million. 

There are only five of these Red Refractor Autograph made cards of Mike Trout. As of now, none of the other four have popped up. Perhaps one or two are in an unopened pack. If you’re interested in seeking out some unopened packs in search of one -- they are a few for about four thousand on Ebay right now (2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks and Prospects). There is a signed Trout card listed at $299,999, if you have the means.

Trout has won the MVP three times, and he has finished first or second seven times in his eight seasons playing. So nobody is doubting this is a future Hall of Famer that will be in conversations about the GOAT if he keeps up his impressive numbers.

I’ve said this before, but I love speculating. When kids play Little League, and they do team photos, some companies will make fake baseball cards with your kid. They’re adorable. They put some stats on the back, and the photo in the front. Well, if one of these kids becomes a huge baseball star, imagine a person in the family having one of those cards, when there are only a handful ever made, and they’re all owned by family. It’s a card that’s nine years before their “rookie card”. Imagine a Mike Trout baseball card from when he was 10-years-old, with an autograph from a kid who could barely write his name. Of course, it would probably be hard to prove authenticity on the autograph, but...if the seller is someone related, I’m sure they’d still make half a mil from it.

Views: 285

Tags: Bowman, Honus Wagner, Mickey Mantle, Mike Trout, Red Refractor, Topps

Comment by Josh Board on May 22, 2020 at 12:59pm

I totally agree with you, Terrier. But...I guess my point was...I was at a dinner party years ago, and it's rare to meet others that share my love of autographs. And this guy was thrilled with his Eagles signed album that he got at auction (which was fake, but I didn't tell him). Anyway, he had a guitar signed by some people he was a fan of (nobody that famous), and at some point, he made fun of his brother, who collects stamps. He went on and on about how dumb a hobby this was. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't give a crap about stamps. And using your words, "is that all there is? A one inch piece of paper with a picture of a bird on it? -- but, I could see how collecting stamps would be very interesting. There are rare stamps. There's a great story about a Freddie Mercury stamp in England being recalled because...it showed the drummer in the background. And they have a rule/law, that NO LIVING PERSON can be on a stamp, so those are rare. There could be a stamp on an envelope, dated 9/11, and addressed to the World Trade Center that survived the rubble...a Civil War era stamp. But again, to me...I just don't care. Same with comic books. But, a comic book collector could be talking about how great this first issue, 1952 Silver Surfer is, and the mint condition of it, and blah blah blah...and he looks at my Supertramp album and says "It's only signed by two people, and...this signature you can't even read! It's just a scribble with a Sharpie on your record."

Comment by Josh Board on May 22, 2020 at 1:53pm

THIS JUST IN! Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner, just auctioned off one of his Super Bowl rings. It went for over a million bucks. The winner also gets to fly in a private plane with him, and I believe to a game (if games ever start again!!!). No word on if it also includes a massage at a local parlor (too soon?)

Comment by Jim on May 22, 2020 at 9:57pm

If the new owner has this much disposable income, why wouldn't he buy up all the unopened packs available prior to purchasing this?  Worth a shot before paying 900k I would think...

Comment by Josh Board on May 22, 2020 at 10:03pm

That's a great point, Jim. As a basketball lover, I used to collect basketball cards. I probably have the best collection of anyone in California. I once bought 10 unopened packs of Fleer basketball cards from 1963 (Wilt Chamberlain's first card, etc). I've still never opened them, and always wondered....what if someone opened them, and took out the all stars and rookies, and re-sealed/glued the packs back together.

Comment by John Michael on May 24, 2020 at 1:13pm

For the seller it was a great investment, but for the buyer it was a dubious investment. Modern baseball cards are more inflated than the price for jewelry with such a facade inflated “market.” Honestly it reminds me of the late 80s and 90s when Jose Canseco, Daryl Strawberry and others cards were going for $100s of dollars. The fact you can buy iconic graded baseball, football and basketball sets for a fraction of that cost shows “a sucker is born every minute.” There is no way it will retain its value. At the height of Lin-sanity with Jeremy Lin, a signed rookie card of his went for $20k, which now depending where you look goes for starting bid prices of $35-400(buy it now) approx. Sure Mike Trout is great, but there is no way this card can sustain that value based on track record for the past 50years of card collecting (conventions, auctions, etc).

Comment by Josh Board on May 24, 2020 at 5:23pm

Exactly, John.

Comment by Josh Board on May 24, 2020 at 9:50pm

Now, Kobe Bryant's championship ring, which he gave to his mom -- just sold for $209,080. And, that was an investment that worked. The guy that bought them from Mrs. Bryant years ago (Kobe even sued her so the sale wouldn't go thru)...he bought that, and the dads ring of Kobe's, and a handful of other things, for $260,000. Now this ring alone got him $209,000, and he's going to sell the dads ring -- which is probably worth a little more, since his dad played in the NBA as well (I used to watch him when he played for the San Diego Clippers)

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