Even an economic downturn is unable to stop Angels outfield Mike Trout, who saw a rare rookie card sell for a record price at auction.
Mike Trout is the sort of rare baseball player that comes around once in a generation. While he currently makes over $36 million per season, his value has been calculated as twice that on a near yearly basis since he debuted in 2011.
Apparently that value also extends to his sports memorabilia, specifically baseball cards.
According to Goldin Auctions (h/t Ryan Fagan at The Sporting News), a rare Mike Trout autographed card recently sold for a record-setting amount, $922,500 to be exact. The card was a 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Pick Autograph, graded 9.5 out of 10 by Beckett. The Red Refractor insert was one of just five produced of the card, making it among the rarest inserts in modern cards.
The auction tied the record for the highest realized value of a modern card, previously achieved by LeBron James/Michael Jordan Logoman Card which sold in February. However, the value is still well below the highest priced card off all time, that being the 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 card, which auctioned off in 2016 for a cool $3.12 million.
To see a modern card even approach that is nearly unheard of. Cards in the ’90s and ’00s were watered down by massive market saturation. Companies started to combat this by doing rare inserts, including autographs and relic cards at low, numbered amounts. Trout’s card being just one of five helps its value tremendously, as does it’s grade from Beckett. And that says nothing of the value the player himself adds to it by being the best in the game.
Of course, everything is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, so it will be interesting to see if the other four copies end up on the auction block or if this card re-enters the market in a few years. Whether or not it will retain or gain value will depend on if someone is willing to pay the price and if Mike Trout can keep up his incredible production.