This might be the best argument for being thrifty. You never know what you might find.
Justinn Patton’s latest find was not actually discovered inside the Goodwill Outlet & Recycling Center in Kansas City, but the Missouri resident made a deal for the ages.
And the deal had to do with Patrick Mahomes.
Patton, 32, from nearby Independence, stumbled onto some unsigned Mahomes cards that were created for 2017 rookies to sign during the NFLPA’s annual Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles.
Panini America typically gets draftees to sign thousands of cards and get their photographs taken for upcoming sets. In 2017, the company created “Next Day” cards that were signed by 37 players and designated for insertion into special packs distributed as redemptions for collectors buying Panini products during the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention. Not many of the signed Mahomes cards from those packs have emerged. One sold last month for $1,433.
How a box of unsigned Mahomes cards wound up at the Goodwill store isn’t known. However, we do know the cards were eventually purchased there by someone who then traded them for Pokémon cards.
“Two sheets of Pokémon cards,” Patton said.
That’s where the story begins.
“I didn’t think anything about it. I thought, ‘Hmmm, some 1990 cards or some other junk wax.’ But then he showed me a picture of the (Mahomes) card.”
That got Patton’s interest.
The person who owned the Mahomes card, Trever Hayes, had 100 of the Mahomes cards in a box. He was selling them on Facebook Marketplace for $200 apiece and had 35 left, Patton said. Fifty of them had already been sold to a card dealer in Kansas City, who bought them all for $4,000.
Patton had seen Trevor before, since both frequented the Goodwill.
“We just never actually spoke before this situation,” Patton said.
“I made the guy an offer, $2,000 for 20 of them,” Patton said, “and he turned me down.”
Patton countered. “Before I left, I told him, ‘I’ll give you $2,500 for 20 of them. Tomorrow the offer will be less.”
Patton got his deal. Trevor went to his home to pick up the cards. Patton met him at his bank and completed the deal.
“I still didn’t know exactly what I had,” Patton said.
Patton, who scores music for commercials for a living, said he later went to a card shop with the Mahomes card to ask about it.
“The card store owner said, ‘This is so interesting, my buddy just bought 15 of these,’” Patton said. “The guy (Hayes) had sold the remaining 15 cards.”
Patton is not much of a card collector, preferring to look for memorabilia. He has had luck in the past on Craigslist, picking up signed Michael Jordan Upper Deck jerseys and a game-used Penny Hardaway jersey, among others. One memorable find, he said, was a Louisville Slugger bat used by Bo Jackson that most likely was used during the 1989 All-Star Game, when the two-sport star blasted a towering home run to center field off Rick Reuschel to lead off the first inning. Former President Ronald Reagan was in the broadcast booth when Jackson connected, prompting play-by-play announcer Vin Scully to exclaim, “Bo Jackson says hello. He almost hit it out of state.”
Patton said he sent the bat to get authenticated and it was confirmed to be was Jackson’s, but the company could not commit to it being the actual bat Bo used in Anaheim that day.
Patton said he will probably send the Mahomes cards to get graded but will wait to see how the ones the card shop bought turn out.
“I am hoping all of them will not grade less than a 9,” he said.
If the shop cards grade that high, then Patton will send his batch to PSA.
It’s an interesting find. The extra cards were initially given to the players at the Premiere and any unused cards were destined to never be seen again.
“The box (of Mahomes cards) was supposed to be destroyed,” he said.
Was Mahomes the guy who dropped them at the thift shop? Or maybe a friend or family member? We may never know. Panini America officials didn’t respond to our questions.
It does conjure up memories of Sy Berger sinking leftover cases of 1952 Topps cards from a barge in a New York City waterway. Only this time, the Mahomes cards were salvaged.
An autographed version of the card would command a higher premium, and it does. One version already graded 9.5 by BGS and offered on eBay has a starting bid of $3,499.99. So far, no takers, although nine people are watching.
However, the obscurity and novelty of an unsigned card apparently has some appeal.
Patton has listed one unsigned Mahomes card on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $1,499.
Will he get that price?
“I honestly don’t think so,” Patton said. “Especially since (it’s) not graded yet.
“I just posted it so the market knows it exists.”
Now they know.