A month after a fan sold Stephen Curry's game-used mouthpiece for a pretty penny, a sports memorabilia collector is auctioning off a modern yet rare LeBron James rookie card. Experts projected the bids for the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar's item to reach $200,000 in the next 10 days.
James' Valuable Trading Card
The rare LeBron James trading card is presently up for auction at Goldin Auctions. According to the site, the top-tier rookie collectible is the most valuable and coveted card of the 31-year-old NBA Finals MVP.
Upper Deck produced the autographed logoman rookie card as part of its Ultimate Collection series. It contains James' signature in blue ink, over his image in midshot. The left side of the card has an NBA logo, which is a patch of fabric taken from a Jamers-worn jersey.
As of press time, the rare trading card generated five bids in total, with the highest bid sitting at $70,000. The auction site projected the final sale price to fetch up to $200,000 before the bidding closes on Oct. 1.
Modern but Rare
Ken Goldin, sports memorabilia expert and owner of Goldin Auctions, told Cleveland.com that the rare rookie card is the "Holy Grail of modern trading cards." He stated that the one-of-a-kind collectible is even more valuable than an autographed LeBron-worn jersey in the Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Goldin disclosed that the item came from a collector who pulled the card out of a pack in 2003 and kept it for more than 10 years. He added that it is highly unusual for a modern card produced after 2000 to sell so high. He stressed that the bidders for the rare item are usually high-end buyers who want to possess the best collections.
Curry's Game-Used Mouthguard & More
Last month, a fan sold a game-used Stephen Curry mouthpiece for $3,190 at SCP Auctions. According to the site, a consignor found the used mouthpiece under a courtside chair at a Warriors road game in December. The mouthpiece comes with some bite marks, along with Curry's name, number and the Warriors logo.
Auction houses have been selling items from popular athletes in the past years. Per USA Today, some NBA items sold in recent auctions include a game-used Jerry West warm-up jacket for $66,725 and an autographed LeBron James game-worn jersey from last season's Eastern Conference finals for $28,244. An auction house also sold a ticket from the 100-point game of Wilt Chamberlain for $18,192.
Aside from typical sports memorabilia, odd items like Curry's mouthpiece made rounds at auction houses over the years. According to ESPN, an online auction in 2002 sold a piece of gum chewed by Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez for $10,000. A collector also acquired Muhammad Ali's final-fight mouthpiece for $6,700 in 2013.