Jun 25th 2010 By Brian Fairbanks
The Topps Trading Card Company knew Washington Nationals
pitcher Stephen Strasburg's rookie card would be a highly coveted item. Even before the first-round draft pick began to strike batters out at a record-setting pace, Topps decided to limit his autographed rookie card to a grand total of one copy
And so it should come as no surprise that the rare red-bordered original was found in a box of trading cards
and immediately put up for sale on eBay, where it quickly garnered more than 200 bids, topped by a confirmed current bid of $999,900
with days still to go.
Adam Martin, owner of Dave and Adam's Card World
, the largest seller of trading cards in the world, told Asylum, "It's the uniqueness of this card and the uniqueness of this player that, combined, created this frenzy. I would've aimed high and said it would sell for $50,000, and here we are at a million."
How rare is it, we wondered, to find a baseball
card worth seven figures? "It's never happened before, with the exception of some truly vintage cards like the Honus Wagner
, which went for $2.8 million," says Martin.
It's even rarer, then, that a very recent rookie card
-- as opposed to, say, a Mickey Mantle -- would go for this much. "We are totally in uncharted territory," admits Martin. "When the unsigned card went for $16,000, we were absolutely amazed it sold for that much. I'm speechless."
Even stranger, too, is the fact that the unsigned, unnumbered Stephen Strasburg rookie card from the same box, without shiny refractor technology, is worth only about $30.
Apparently, the item owner felt the fat cash bids were as suspicious as we did (and everyone else in the world) and the auction has been cancelled. Reports claim the card will be on auction
through more traditional means.