Sports News

One-of-a-kind baseball card goes up for auction for $1 million

FILE PHOTO: Aug 8, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) swings and strikes out against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - A modern but unique signed baseball card featuring Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels has been put up for auction - with bidding starting at a cool $1 million.

Vintage baseball cards have long been seen as collectibles, with a record $3.1 million paid for a 1909-11 card four years ago.

In recent years, the cards of modern day players have surged in value as well, based on the individual’s prowess.

Bidding for the 2009 Mike Trout card started at Goldin Auctions at $1 million. As of Tuesday, there were 10 bids, with a current bid of $1.45 million and the auction due to end Aug. 22.

That’s already a tidy profit for ‘Vegas’ Dave Oancea, a sports betting consultant who said he bought the card for $400,000 around two years ago - when Trout was only 27.

“A lot of people had a lot of negative things to say, that I was crazy, you know,” Oancea told Reuters. “‘You could have bought a house’, ‘You could have bought this and that’, that I’m stupid and it’s a piece of cardboard. But it’s ironic now I’m going to make four or five million dollars.”

The value of this particular card lies in its uniqueness - it’s numbered one of one - and the skill of Trout himself, said Oancea.

“He’s just the best player to play. He always leads the league of WAR (Wins Above Replacement) which is huge in baseball statistics,” he said.

“Mike Trout’s the best modern day baseball player that we’ve ever seen. We’ll probably never see another player like this again. And it’s also supply and demand. There’s one in the world and right now the baseball card market is booming.”

Reporting by Rollo Ross; Writing by Rosalba O’Brien; Editing by Richard Chang