A 2017 National Treasures NFL Shield Patrick Mahomes rookie signed card sold for $4.3 million at a private auction, making it the most expensive NFL trading card sale ever. The card was expected to sell for between $300,000 and $400,000.
The card is autographed by both players who were involved in the last play of the game with their signatures placed on opposite sides of the card. It also includes a one-page letter from Pat Mahomes that details his involvement in the game and expresses his gratitude to the fans for their support during his first year in the league.
Card collectors call this type of card "flipped" because of how the signatures are placed on the front and back of the card. Only 10 cards of this type have been produced and they are very rare.
The card is part of an exclusive series called "National Treasures" that features some of the biggest names in sports including Barry Sanders (rare), Jim Brown (very rare), John Elway (extremely rare), Joe Montana (superb), Larry Bird (extreme rarity), Mickey Mantle (unique), Roger Maris (superb), and Willie Mays (uncut).
On Thursday, an autographed Tom Brady rookie card sold for $1.32 million, smashing the previous record for the highest known amount paid for a football card. And, like in last month's Super Bowl, Brady outplayed Patrick Mahomes. The Brady card is #8.
The most valuable card of any player who has ever worn the New England Patriots uniform is a Pete Mitchell auto from 1953. It sold at auction for $3.95 million in November 2018. The card is now part of the collection of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
As you might expect, there are many different types of cards used to make up baseball and football cards. There are action photos, biographies, cutouts, photographs of major league games, and more. Each type has its own value, but all together they can be very expensive. In fact, some cards have sold for over $10,000 even before they were signed by the player.
Baseball cards first came out in 1869. These small portraits were often used by tourists as placecards or souvenirs. In 1872, the first official baseball cards were released by John L. Smith. They included images of Major League Baseball players manufactured by Smith's company, the American Stereoscopic Company.
A autographed Mahomes rookie card sold at auction last month for $861,000, momentarily breaking Brady's record by $459,000. The previous record was also set by Brady: a signed Brady rookie card that sold for $450,000 in February 2019.
Mahomes' first NFL contract was for five years and $125 million with $60 million guaranteed. He was expected to make an impact right away but suffered a knee injury in his first game and missed the rest of 2017. In 2018, he proved himself as one of the best quarterbacks in football and led the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. His stats were very good — 4,952 yards passing, 42 touchdowns vs. 13 interceptions — but he wasn't considered great until recently. After his performance in January, many consider him one of the greatest quarterbacks never to win the Super Bowl.
Brady's next deal will be worth $55 million over three seasons with $27.5 million guaranteed. It includes $12.5 million in cash and another $11.5 million in guarantees based on how many games he plays in 2020 and 2021.
Mahomes and the Chiefs will receive $25 million up front with another $12.5 million available in incentives based on games played.