A signed Tom Brady rookie card in mint condition sold for $250,000 on eBay on Thursday, ESPN reports.
That price tag is the largest ever for a piece of Brady memorabilia and the second largest for a modern day sports card (trailing only the $312,000 price for a LeBron James rookie card in 2016).
Here’s the card someone dropped a quarter of a million dollars on.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 2, 2018
The card was one of only 100 produced back in 2000 and was reportedly in the best condition of any such cards that have been graded. ESPN interviewed the seller, Joe Prizio, who says he bought it for $15,000 three years ago, meaning he turned a 1,567% profit (before the dealer takes his cut, at least). And it sounds as if he’s not done cashing in on TB12.
“I wanted to enjoy Brady cards, but I also wanted to make good investments,” he said. “Brady, in the card world, is now being mentioned in the same breath as Jordan and Mickey Mantle.”
Prizio has all 135 of Brady’s rookie cards, most of them in the best grade. One card he has listed on eBay through Probstein currently has a Buy It Now price of $500,000.
He bought that card and 11 other cards from a dealer for a total of $30,000 in 2011, he said.
The crazy thing about the $250,000 sale (beyond, you know, spending that much money for a piece of paper) is that the card is in many ways short of ideal condition. Rick Probstein, the memorabilia dealer who listed the card, told ESPN that despite its “mint” rating, it had problems with chipping on the sides, its centering, and the autograph. In other words, if the same card came along in slightly better shape, with a slightly cleaner signature, it could fetch far more than what Prizio got for this one.
Tom Brady grades out as an all-time great by many measures, but we can add trading card value to the list. After all, when someone will pay a quarter of a million dollars for a square of cardboard with your picture on it, you must be doing something right.