What is up with sports trading cards these days?
A little over a week ago, a Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor card sold for a redonkulous $3.9 million at auction.
Last month, a 2003-04 LeBron James Upper Deck rookie Patch Parallel card was purchased for $1.845 million.
And this past Sunday, we’ve got a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan No. 57 rookie card going for a new record of $420,000, crushing the previous record set in May, when Heritage Auctions sold a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan No. 57 PSA Gem Mint 10 for $96,000.
Why was this Michael Jordan No. 57 rookie card worth four times as much as the last one that sold? According to Heritage Auctions, it is because it is “the lone 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan No. 57 graded a Pristine 10 by SGC. The Gold Label card just became the gold standard.”
— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) August 31, 2020
“The Michael Jordan rookie card came to us ungraded, and we knew it was special from the very first moment we saw its condition,” said Chris Ivy, Heritage’s Director of Sports Auctions. “The SGC Pristine 10 Gold Label grade represents the best of the best, and that was reflected by the world-record price.”
Turns out The Last Dance has really ramped up the value of His Airness’ trading cards.
A coveted card has become a golden ticket for some collectors. That was evident throughout the first night (and early morning) of Heritage’s Platinum Night Sports Collectibles event.
A complete 132-card 1986 Fleer Basketball Cards Complete Set, each card graded PSA Gem Mint 10, also sold for $186,000 – far higher than the pre-auction $120,000 estimate. And a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Wax Box with 36 Original Unopened Packs, possibly including the sought-after card, sold for $105,000.
A few weeks ago, it would have been big headlines when a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan No. 57 PSA Gem Mint 10 sold for $111,000 – as one did Sunday morning. But that was before MJ leaped over the $400,000 mark.
17 years since he last played in the NBA and MJ is still the G.O.A.T.