The Topps Mickey Mantle card from 1952 is the Mona Lisa of sports cards. Entrepreneur and actor Rob Gough frowned as he described the map with the baseball legend looking back and batting resting on his shoulder. The card was originally sold in tube gum packs for five cents, but in January, Gough $ 5.2 million paid for it by PWCC, an important market for trading cards.
Despite the rising value, Gough described the deal as “a steal”. The same card sold for $ 2.88 million in April 2018 and Gough was offered $ 8 million for it in the same week he bought it. A 1953 Topps baseball card was also recently spotted amid family photos behind President Biden in the Oval Office – featuring Satchel Paige, the first black pitcher to play in the American League (and only the seventh black Major League player). ). “Historically, sports cards have had better returns than S & P500 businesses, so I knew my Mickey Mantle card was a safe investment,” Gough adds. ‘I think this card will reach prices that are close to the best art; it’s so rare and it’s a piece of american history. ”
Ken Goldin agrees. The founder of the sports collector specialist Goldin auctions name the T206 Honus Wagner baseball card from 1909-11, distributed in cigarette packets. Wagner was one of the first five players to be inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame, but withdrew permission to use his image, and the American Tobacco Company stopped printing the card, reducing its availability.
‘There are 50 of these cards trading, and every time one was sold, it was never less than what the owner paid; this includes the 2008-09 recession, ”says Goldin. In May, Goldin sold a T206 Honus Wagner for $ 3.75 million.
In recent years, market prices have risen, Goldin explains by factors such as an international market – Australia, the United Kingdom, Asia; the media frenzy generated by prices; and the introduction of fractional stock companies that buy cards for six-figure amounts and then sell shares in ownership.
“If you are collecting for pleasure, then buy what you want,” Goldin recommends. ‘If it’s an investment, buy what everyone likes. The player displayed is the most important thing. A rare card in excellent condition, from a player no one cares about, will not sell much. But Michael Jordan, even on a heavily manufactured card like his Fleer newcomer in 1986, in a 5-condition, will still be sold for thousands. ”
Football is the same, he adds. ‘Buy a true legend, like Pelé, Messi, Maradona, Ronaldo. Goldin warns that cards of a new player (a “newcomer”) in any sports risk prize collapse due to injuries and offenses off the field.
In the UK, prices remain lower despite a long history of collectible sports cards, says auctioneer Tim Davidson. Let Victorian cards from independent tobacco companies be those for serious collectors, he adds, referring to a 1898 card made by Robert Sinclair Tobacco in Newcastle and sold for £ 5,500. Mass production in the 20th century has killed their rarity, as has the fact that there could be 10, 20 or even 30 sets of football tickets from companies like Panini, Upper Deck, Merlin and Futera.
Where the market remains feverish, third-party verifiers such as PSA plays an important role in verifying real cards and assessing their condition, from 1 to Gem Mint 10. PSA then seals cards in “stickers” that can clearly tamper. Graders are still getting a buzz when an iconic card shows up, says PSA President Steve Sloan. “What’s also exciting is the revival of interest in some of the modern rookie cards issued to players like LeBron James, Mike Trout and Tom Brady.”
At the beginning of his professional career, NFL legend Brady reached an agreement to sign 1,000 Panini cards for 20 ¢ each. In April, one sold for $ 2.25 million at an online sports auction house Lelands. But the Super Bowl award-winning quarterback looks to the future of sports collections as co-founder of handtekening.io, a platform for non-fungal tokens based on entertainment and sports. As sports collectibles, virtual NFTs represent a revolution; children can not exchange NFTs in the playground. But perhaps a video of Kobe Bryant throwing a basket would be just as collectible – the NBA’s Top Shot was responsible for $ 500 million in NFT transactions in the first quarter of this year.
NFTs would have been pure science fiction for the kids who collected the first annual set of Topps baseball cards 70 years ago. But also the idea that among their packs of 5 ¢ cards were cards that would be worth millions.