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Trading cards worth $100,000? Sotheby’s has them for you

A multiyear deal with sports technology company Fanatics will see auction house Sotheby’s offer historically significant and valuable trading cards for sale in its first collaborated auction.

Fanatics Inc. knows how to level up its game, and its latest partnership with Sotheby’s, renowned for auctioning some of the rarest and most expensive game memorabilia, exemplifies this perfectly. On the other hand, Sotheby’s has a history of remarkable sales, including six Air Jordans worn by Michael Jordan that fetched $8 million in New York. This multiyear deal between the two companies seems natural.

Trading Cards for auction by Sotheby's and Fanatics
Image courtesy: Getty Images

Going beyond sportswear and accessories though, the first-ever auction between the two houses will feature some of the rarest and most coveted trading cards across all sports, each valued at $100,000 and above. Their auction this September will showcase a prized 1948 Leaf #79 Jackie Robinson card (PSA 8), valued between $275,000-350,000.

Known for its vibrant colors and distinguished design, the 1948 Leaf collection is revered by collectors for its inclusion of Hall of Famers and post-war stars. It stands out as the only true rookie card of the baseball icon, with exceptional condition and rarity, promising high collector appeal.

Another intriguing facet of this collaboration is the announcement of Fanatics Collect, an avant-garde collectibles marketplace, set to debut later this summer. The PWCC, which was purchased by Fanatics last year, will be retired and all services formerly offered by the marketplace, including auctions, marketplace listings, vaulting, and authentication, will be moved to the Fanatics Collect brand.

This platform aspires to adeptly synergize buyers and sellers of trading cards and memorabilia through fixed-priced listings and auctions. In close association with Sotheby’s, Fanatics Collect will exhibit an exquisitely curated assemblage of premier trading cards, available for acquisition through a series of exclusive live and online auctions hosted by Sotheby’s.

Jackie Robinson Leaf Trading Card for auction by Sotheby's and Fanatics

Nick Bell, CEO of Fanatics Collect, said, “This unique partnership is a reflection of the elevated status and cultural impact of the hobby and gives these highly sought-after cards incredible reach and visibility to potential collectors around the world.”

This endeavor constitutes an enthralling augmentation to Sotheby’s sports and modern collectibles division, a category the illustrious auction house formally inaugurated in 2022, which has since garnered numerous world records at auction, particularly for game-worn memorabilia.

About this exciting collaboration, Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Modern Collectables, noted, “Through high end auctions, state-of-the-art exhibitions, and exhilarating events, this collaboration marks a significant milestone within the ever-growing and engaged trading card community. We eagerly anticipate ushering promising collectors into an exciting new era of innovation and accessibility.”

For collectors, this collaboration between Fanatics and Sotheby’s presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire exceptional treasures.