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Yasiel Puig's autograph worth $35K?
As part of an ever-evolving enterprise series I truly had no intention of creating last fall, comes another (potentially) fiscally rewarding find in the new age of sports trading cards.
Three months ago I brought you the story of Panini Flawless basketball cards and their $2,000 per pack price tag, a month later Matt McClure of Seattle hit an Upper Deck Michael Jordan with 16 variations of his "Airness’" autograph on the same card and now, from the country that is partially responsible for this polar vortex, comes a Canadian small business owners’ hit of a lifetime at the ripe old age of 35.
Leamington, Ontario - Imagine you placed a winning bid on a piece of art at auction. Now imagine making the tough decision to never touch, take into possession or display that Warhol, Monet or Rembrandt in your house.
It may sound, and probably is, a little melodramatic, but to a certain degree Adam Davidson elected to go that route recently.
Adam, 35, owns a muffler shop in Leamington, about 45 minutes east of Windsor. Back in October, he decided to start collecting sports trading cards again. He purchased some unopened packs of baseball cards from the 1980s and ‘90s off of eBay. In addition to the trip down memory lane, this also resulted in his 4-year-old daughter placing Fleer stickers of Wade Boggs and friends around his house.
Reliving his ripping wax memories with his daughter sparked Adam’s interest in the trading card products on the market today. A quick Google search led him to an online group card breaker, Blowout Cards (they also own a brick and mortar store in Virginia). After participating in a few group and personal box breaks on the website, Adam decided to join a case break of 2013 Super Box Rookies and Phenoms back in mid-December.
At $180 per box, Super Box was well-known in the industry at the time as collectors around the world chased the product’s Holy Grail: a 2013 Yasiel Puig Bowman Chrome Superfractor Auto. Topps-Bowman only produced one of these cards featuring one of the hottest and most lucrative names in the hobby.
After winning the top draft slot in the group case break, Adam felt the Puig was going to be pulled by Blowout’s online breaker Matt.
“When I saw his face, I knew it,” Davidson said. (Watch the moment the Puig hit below)
“I was by myself at the time," Davidson said. "I came out in the shop. I just screamed. I couldn’t believe it. I still really can't believe it.”
Now like most trading card collectors with skeptical significant others, Adam made it a priority to text his wife the good news first.
“I’m gonna catch hell for this when she reads this story, but I texted my brother first. He understands. My wife is giving me crap all the time. When this all goes through, she’ll forgive me a little bit.”
Why will she forgive Adam?
Well, Adam posted his Yasiel Puig superfactor for sale on eBay this afternoon for a price of …
Hundreds of people have viewed the card every hour since it was listed.
“I’m not in it for the money or to make money. But any card – even if it’s my favorite player – I have to do myself a favor and try to sell it. I didn’t think twice about it.”
So, where is this collector’s hit of a lifetime? Is it in a safe at his house, a safety deposit box at the bank or under his mattress?
None of the above
It’s in Chantilly, Va. under the heighten security of Blowout Cards who Adam tabbed to sell it for him on consignment.
His decision to keep the card south of the border was for a variety of reasons, but namely Blowouts' resources to find a buyer were greater than his and concern over cost of insurance and brokerage fees to ship to Canada and pass through customs.
“It would have been nice to hold it in my hand, but not that nice."
However, Adam was quick to point out that Topps-Bowman, Panini, Upper Deck and other trading card companies share a unique bond with the starving artist's paint, brush and canvas.
"To people that don’t collect or just don’t understand the value, it’s just a piece of paper with writing on it.”
To paraphrase the legendary Rod Sterling, beauty and, in this case, intrinsic value is in the eye of the beholder.
---- UPDATE 1/9 -----
Adam sold his Puig Bowman superfractor auto to a buyer in California on Jan. 8. Terms will remain private, but it did not sell for $35,000 (although it was five figures). However, he did tell me via email that with the profits, he and his wife will be taking a vacation to - you guessed it - Las Vegas this March.