All of his rookie cards have entered the wealthy part of sports card town over the last week, but the National Treasures Jeremy Lin Prime Patch Autograph card, numbered to 25, could prove to be a lot better--and easier--than flipping houses. At least for one guy.
Yair Rozmaryn is a New Yorker and a Knicks fan who gambled $1,000 on one of the cards prior to Lin's 38-point outburst against the Lakers last weekend. It was card #17 of the 25--matching Lin's jersey number, which for some collectors is an (inexplicable) bonus worth paying for. He sent it off to Beckett Grading Services, which gave it a 9.5 (gem mint) blessing. For those who deal in the slabbed rookie card game, it was the equivalent of adding a few thousand square feet and an Olympic size pool to your property, especially after Lin's on court heroics continued.
Rozmaryn promptly put the card on ebay (see it here), where it has already been bid up to more than $14,000 less than 24 hours after being listed. The Buy it Now price is $88,888. He told one media outlet he expected the card would reach at least $30,000 because of interest around the world. Aiding Rozmaryn is that news of his auction hit the mainstream New York media.
His card isn't the only one of its kind up for bid via the auction giant, though. There's this one, with a Best Offer option on a Buy it Now price of $68,888.88.
The numbers are crazy, of course, and the Prime Patch auto isn't Lin's only rookie card. Autographed Lin cards from the same set numbered to 99 and sans patch, have been going for $1,000-$1,300 in the last couple of days.
Still, there has been huge profit-making opportunity for those who bought Lin cards at the very beginning of what we have already come to commonly call Linsanity. Even paying double what the going rate had been has made for handsome profits for those who got them prior to last weekend. The early sellers are kicking themselves while those who took a small risk and committed to Lin as more than just a two or three game hot streak are being rewarded. Like the stock market, timing is everything.
Prior to Wednesday night's game, Panini research tracked ten Lin rookie cards and revealed they have gone up in price over 8,000 percent in a matter of a few weeks, with the National Treasures Lin Prime Patch Auto leading the way. Not bad for a card you could have had for less than $20 a month ago. Lin signed a lot of rookie cards, though, and there are some with higher print runs for under $275 on eBay. Even if he comes back to earth and turns into an ordinary NBA player, his popularity would seem to indicate that's not the worst risk a rookie card collector could take.