Sports Collectors

LeBron’s “Jersey Number” Rookie Card Fetches Record $2.46 Million

Multiple new members were added to the hobby’s million dollar club as the booming business for high end sports cards plowed into the last quarter of an eventful year.  Three cards crossed the seven-figure mark in Goldin Auctions’ Elite catalog sale, including a 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite LeBron James (#23/99) that brought a record price of $2.46 million. In addition to the BGS 8.5 grade, the card’s allure came from the serial number that matched the player’s jersey number–a major attraction for some bidders.

The auction of 506 high-end lots generated nearly $35 million In all according to company founder Ken Goldin, an average of about $69,000 per lot. 

Three cards alone sold for $6 million combined:

A 2000 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Tom Brady autograph card graded BGS 8.5/10 sold for $1,537,500 and for the second time in three months, a PSA 8 example of Mickey Mantle’s ever popular 1952 Topps card sold for over $2 million.

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A 2002-03 Upper Deck Logo Mania 1/1 Kobe Bryant autograph card set a record for a non-rookie card of the late Lakers legend when it hammered at $922,500. 

LeBron's "Jersey Number" Rookie Card Fetches Record $2.46 Million

A sealed case of 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball, the home of that James rookie card, sold for $996,3000, a record price for any case of Upper Deck cards sold at auction.

Other modern cards sold included a PSA 7 2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects Red Refractor Autograph Juan Soto (# to 5) that went for $273,060, a record price for any Soto card sold at auction; a PSA 10 2011 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Mike Trout (# to 50) that sold for $211,560; a 2018 Panini Prizm World Cup Prizms Gold Kylian Mbappe (BGS 8.5) that netted $161,130 and a 2020-21 National Treasures Anthony Edwards Rookie Jersey Auto (BGS 9.5/10) that closed at $173,430.

One of the three 1971 Topps Terry Bradshaw rookie cards graded PSA 10 rocketed to a record $430,500. 

A 1980-81 Topps Larry Bird-Magic Johnson PSA 10 fell a bit short of the record price set in August, but still fetched $799,500. 

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A 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card (PSA 10) reached $369,000.

All prices reflect a 23 percent buyer’s premium that’s lowered to 20 percent if winning bidders pay on time and don’t use a credit card.

The second half of the auction was set to close Sunday night.

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