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Rare Mike Trout rookie card sells for nearly $4 million at auction, an all-time record

Angels star Mike Trout gets ready in the on-deck circle during a game against the San Francisco Giants
Angels star Mike Trout gets ready in the on-deck circle during a game against the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 19.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

A rare Mike Trout-autographed baseball card set a record as the highest-selling sports card of all time Saturday night when an unnamed bidder purchased it during an online auction for $3.936 million.

The 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor rookie card, sold at Goldin Auctions, broke the previous record of $3.12 million for a 1909 Honus Wagner T-206 card, which was sold in 2016.

“Are you serious? Wow,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said, when told of the card’s sale before Sunday’s game in Oakland. “I’m into art. That puts him right up there with, what did the ‘Mona Lisa’ sell for? What does anything by Da Vinci sell for? That’s pretty phenomenal. It’s absolutely astounding.”

The original “Mona Lisa,” painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century, hangs on a wall at the Louvre in Paris, but a 17th century replica of the famous painting was sold in 2019 at the Sotheby’s auction house in Paris for 552,500 euros, or $611,950.

The Trout card was previously purchased in 2018 on eBay for $400,000 by Dave Oancea, a Las Vegas-based sports betting consultant who appears on ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, USA Today and Showtime TV. The current auction began in July with an opening bid of $1 million.

Trout, a three-time American League most valuable player and an eight-time All-Star, was a first-round pick of the Angels out of Millville (N.J.) High School in 2009.

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The picture of Trout in a batting stance on the record-setting card appears to have been taken when the center fielder played in the Arizona rookie league that summer.

Asked if he knew what his rookie card sold for, Maddon said, “Um … it’s still out there. It would have to be my Quad-Cities black and white card as a young catcher [in 1976].

“It’s mixed in there with Carney Lansford, Bobby Clark, John Flannery, Stan Cliburn. There were some future major leaguers on that team, so I was intermingled with some nice stuff back then.”


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