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Michael Jordan-autographed trading card sells for record $2.7 million

Only 23 copies exist of the card, which features Jordan’s signature and a patch from the jersey he wore in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game.

The 1997-98 Upper Deck card signed by Jordan that Goldin Auctions says sold for $2.7 million.
Twitter account @GoldinAuctions screenshot

When it comes to collectibles, few athletes can match Michael Jordan, whose unparalleled run as an NBA superstar and marketing extraordinaire in the 1990s turned his trading cards, game-worn jerseys and other artifacts into big-time chases for wealthy collectors.

On Monday, Jordan’s star power proved strong again as a major auction house completed the most expensive sale ever for one of his cards: $2.7 million for a 1997-98 Upper Deck game-worn jersey card featuring an autograph from the Bulls legend.

That’s the highest price anyone has paid for a Jordan card, breaking the record of $2.1 million set earlier this year by a different version of the same card, which is limited to 23 copies.

The one that sold for $2.7 million over the weekend was serial numbered 6/23 and graded an 8 out of 10 — “near-mint to mint” — by Beckett Grading Services. The autograph was also graded an 8 out of 10.

What makes this Jordan card so special is that it’s the first official Jordan-signed memorabilia card that was made available in a trading card set. In addition to featuring the icon’s autograph in blue ink, the card features a game-worn patch from the jersey Jordan played in during the 1992 NBA All-Star Game.

With many modern cards eschewing on-card autographs and game-worn jerseys in favor of stickers and unworn patches, those kind of details on such a rare, historic card matter to collectors.

Jordan doesn’t have the overall card sale record, though. The most expensive card sale publicly known came earlier this year when a T206 Honus Wagner, arguably the most iconic card in existence, sold for $6.6 million.