A Whole New Level of Linsanity
Some of you may have caught an article I did highlighting some of the recent eBay sales of Jeremy Lin's rookie cards. At the time, there were several autographed cards selling in the $2,000-4,000 range, an exponential amount above their book values.
Yesterday, the Lin market reached a whole new galactic level of egregiousness as the card shown below garnered a winning bid of $21,580.
That's right. $21,580!
This is a 2010-11 National Treasures Basketball Prime Autographed Patch #17/25 graded 9.5 by BGS. The auction ended yesterday at 12:40 PST, just hours before the New York Knicks took on Lebron James and the Miami Heat. During the marquee match-up, the point guard put up his worst start since the Lin-streak began.
Here's a bit of info on the auction:
The seven-day listing had a starting bid of $12,000 and was viewed a total of 27,689 times. From those page hits, it generated a total of 36 bids from 24 unique bidders. The card was from a seller named Yair Rozmaryn in New York City with a perfect eBay feeback rating of 83. The seller stated that the card was being kept in a safe deposit box until shipping day and that payment for the card would be due within 72 hours of the auction's end.
Throughout the week that the listing was live, it generated a ton of media attention, which the seller was prompt to report with links and information updates on the auction page. In addition to numerous articles from several outlets, Fox Business reporter Stuart Varney interviewed Rozmaryn in-studio just two days before the end date. ESPN broadcaster Michelle Steele also talked with the New York collector about his treasured card.
The card itself is not the most visually spectacular Jeremy Lin card to hit the market. A view of the subgrades shows that the autograph only received a Near Mint grade of 8, due to the poor placement of the autograph cut. As you can see from the picture, the bottom loops of the "J" "Y" and "L" are completely cut off. The patch is a somewhat nondescript yellow swatch from his Golden State jersey. Other Lin cards from the National Treasures set feature more detailed patch pieces of the unique Warriors logo.
What makes this card special, of course, is that it's the 17th card of the 25-card print run. This is Lin's jersey number, which usually commands a premium among player collectors. Also, the card is given a Gem Mint grade of 9.5. According to Beckett Grading Service's population report, this is the only Lin card within the set to receive that grade.
Thoughts From The Peanut Gallery:
Be it jealousy or just a severe allergy to the diminishing returns of Linsanity, my knee initially jerked toward the negative in writing this story. I mean, who really thinks this is a good investment?
But then a still, small voice inside my head said "This isn't an investment business, it's a hobby." There are different strokes for different folks, which is why the sports card market is so diverse and dynamically evolving day by day. From a collector's standpoint, this is a good thing. Otherwise, we'd be relegated to the dark ages of collecting when there were just a couple basic sets to build with limited opportunities to acquire truly unique items of our favorite players.
Furthermore, the coverage that this card received from media outlets outside the hobby is fantastic for the overall health of the sports card industry. Marketing to new demographics and expanding on existing ones helps refresh and renew the hobby. This benefits collectors and vendors while stimulating manufacturers to improve the quality of their products.
Lastly, Yair Rozmaryn seems like a good guy who got a great break and made the most of it. As a community, we should celebrate in other people's well-earned good fortune in the same way that we'd want them to celebrate ours.
I'll count this as a win for the hobby and Rozmaryn. Hopefully the winning bidder will complete the transaction and enjoy the one-of-a-kind addition to his or her collection.
2010-11 prestige bonus shots orange #187 JEREMY LIN rookie BGS 10 9 9.5 10
2010-11 Contenders Patches #141 Jeremy Lin RC Auto BGS 8.5 A10