A one-of-a-kind baseball card of a one-of-a-kind player made history late Saturday night.
A 2009 Bowman Chrome SuperFractor card of Anaheim Angels star Mike Trout sold for $3,936,000 in the first Goldin Auctions “Elite” sale, making it the world’s most expensive sports card, Sports Collectors Daily reported.
That tops the $3.12 million paid for a T206 tobacco card of Honus Wagner in 2016. There are only a few dozen known copies of the Wagner card, earning it the nickname of the “Holy Grail” of baseball cards. Known as the “Jumbo Wagner,” the card was deemed a miscut because of its oversized white bottom border, Sports Collectors Daily reported.
The difference with the Trout card is that it was a one-of-one copy, meaning only one was printed by Topps, the trading card manufacturer that markets the Bowman brand.
The record-setting price included a buyer’s fee, which is typically 20%. The gavel-ending price was $3.84 million.
The winner’s identity has not been revealed.
The card received a grade of 9 out of 10 by Beckett Grading Services. Trout’s signature, which was authenticated by the Dallas-based grading service, and by Bowman, received a 10. The card also has the serial number “1/1.” According to the auction bid listing, Beckett gave the card 9.5 for centering, 9 for its corners, 9 for its edges and 9 for its surface.
The card was issued in 2009, the same year Trout was selected by the Angels with the 25th pick of the MLB draft, CBS Sports reported. Trout has been an eight-time All-Star, has won three American League MVP awards and captured seven Silver Slugger awards.
The card last sold for a reported $400,000 in 2018 to Dave Oancea, a sports betting consultant known as “Vegas Dave,” on eBay from a Taiwan-based seller, Forbes reported.
“A lot of people had a lot of negative things to say, that I was crazy, you know,” Oancea told Reuters on Aug. 12. “‘You could have bought a house,’ ‘You could have bought this and that,’ that I’m stupid and it’s a piece of cardboard.”
It turns out that Oancea knows a smart deal when he sees one. He also sold a 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects red refractor card, of which only five were produced, for $922,500 in May, Sports Collectors Daily reported. That card also was consigned through Goldin Auctions, which is based in Runnemede, New Jersey.