Biggest Fish in the Bay – June

(The Biggest Fish in the Bay is a monthly guest column by Kory B.)

2003-04 Upper Deck Glass – Jordan/LeBron Dual Auto Jersey #/10

Final Price $45,000 – Date of sale: June, 19, 2009

What recession? Are you kidding me? 45K? That just boggles one’s mind. For 5 grand more than an ’09 Cadillac CTS you could have had this card. I wish I could say more about the card, but it is just such an outrageous price.

LeBron has been a phenomenal player and all, but he has yet to win anything. I do really like the black Jordan jersey. Those were pretty cool back in the day. You knew the Bulls meant business when they threw on the black jerseys.


2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite – LeBron Gold Auto Patch #/99 BGS 9.5

Final Price $24,223.23 – Date of sale: June 21, 2009

Apparently, LeBron collectors are freaking loaded. Who buys a card like this? Unless LeBron wins an ungodly amount of championships, I can’t really see this card increasing in value much. This is truly an “I want this card” purchase.

LeBron is incredibly skilled, and I think he’s only going to get better, but basketball is still a team game. So, the real question is do you want a little tiny piece of jersey with some scribbling next to it, or do you want this for a fraction of the price?


1952 Topps – Michey Mantle PSA 4.5.

Final Price $12,855.55 – Date of sale: June 30, 2009

Short prints are every one’s favorite! The legend goes that Topps dumped a large number of the last series in the Atlantic. The rumor coupled with Topps’ reduced print run in anticipation of a lower retail order produced a short printed card. So even though the company didn’t produce a short printed card solely for the sake of it being short printed, Topps achieved the same final result.

Overall, I’d say this is the second most well known card in all of collecting next to the T-206 Honus Wagner. I know it’s the first one I circled in my Beckett at a value of $52,000 when I was 5.

Despite the ending price, the seller had the nerve to demand $60 dollars for shipping!


10 thoughts on “Biggest Fish in the Bay – June

  1. Lovely cards but out of my price range. I could never see myself plunk down the money for a box of Exquisite… too much risk and not enough reward unless you pull and MJ or Lebron.

  2. I would be any money that the guy who bought the first card didn’t pay for it. He is not even a registered user anymore…

  3. As Thomas already said, I think the biggest fish was a whopper. A person with no eBay history is not making a 45k purchase and what seller in their right mind would take an offer that size from an unknown?

  4. Seller did not get paid for the Lebron/Jordan.

    Winner had ZERO feedback, and is no longer a registed user.

    Little research is all I’m saying.

  5. The irony of the ’52 Topps high series being much rarer than the earlier series, and considered a short print – is the fact that Mantle’s card #301 was actually double printed in the series.. Mr. Mint came to the conclusion when he found all those CASES of ’52 Topps high series back in the mid-80’s, and found there were twice as many Mantles compared to the other cards.. I wondered why Topps did this, and I think it’s probably cuz the cards were printed in the NYC area, and at the time Mantle was a huge prospect..

    I read the article about it, and the story is that some guy’s father died.. The father delivered Topps baseball cards back in the 50’s, and apparently stashed some cases up in the attic – talk about clairvoyance, lol.. So the son was cleaning out the attic and couldn’t believe it.. He got in touch with Mr. Mint, and he was skeptical about the whole story.. So Mr. Mint gets there, and on the table the guy had already started opening up packs, and had the cards all piled up by number.. There was something like 40 Mantles! So Mr. Mint only brought a certain amount of money, and couldn’t afford everything, so the guy gave him a huge deal on the rest.. Mr. Mint said on the way home, he was wondering if he made a huge mistake, cuz this is when cards were 1st starting to pick up in value.. I think the Mantle’s were only worth a few grand at the time.. The guy that sold them must have felt like he got jipped big-time 10-20 years later when the Mantle was worth 10x as much, lol.

  6. in a time were unemployment is at a all time high, and when consumers are spending less, is it any wonder how in the world anyone would shell out over 25,000 for any collectable. Now if this card went for 45,000 and others are going way over the 30,000 barrier, they are nuts. This hobby has gone the way of the stamp, comics, and benie babies. With all the flash and glitter of the new products, can you really say that a Jordan/Lebron is worth the amount of a gold kilo. I cannot knock the hobby, if you collect for fun than more power to you, but if you are looking for an investment, go someplace else. The amount someone is willing to spend because for example the 52 Mantle has rocketed in the last 25 yrs form 2500.00 to a graded 8 for 25,000 because of demand, those days are over. For $45,000 you need to get priorities straight. This is not 1986 anymore. With more cards flooding the market, with game jerseys being over done, and with autos becoming a dime a dozen, and most look like shit, cards are just not worth it. If I had $45,000 and was a collector, I still would buy something that is going to retain value for the what if, because say you get in a tight spot and have to aquire some money, what do you think is going to sell first a 52 Mantle, or a kilo bar of gold.

  7. Here’s a thought I want to throw out there.

    What are the chances that some of the patches on these cards are not actually of the players on the card? Given what we know of the card manufacturers, their poor quality control, their less than stellar ethics, and the fact that the consumer has no way to verify which jersey the patch actually came from, this would not suprise me at all. After all, a piece of uniform from a high-value player could actually come from just about any jersey (sometimes not even one from the same team), and the consumer would have no way to tell.

    The people who pay ridiculous amounts of money for jersey and autograph cards are betting a lot of money on the the fact that these cards actually are what the manufacturers claim them to be. Same thing with supposed “game-worn” and/or “event-worn” jersey swatches and sticker autographs.

    For all we know that Jordan/LeBron card could actually contain jersey swatches of John Paxson and Anderson Varejao and nobody would be able to tell the difference.

    That’s a lot of money to gamble on the reputations of the card manufacturers…

  8. jl – I agree with you knocking the Jordan/Lebron cards going for such outrageous sums, but I disagree about mentioning the ’52 Mantle in that same argument.. The Mantle card will without a doubt retain (and gain) value for as long as anyone cares about sports cards.. There is only a set number of those, and that’s it – and the demand definitely exceeds the supply.. With the Jordan/Lebron cards, the card companies can continue pumping out autos/relics here, 1 of 1’s there – but the ’52 Mantle is in it’s own league..

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