It’s not unprecedented for sports collectibles to sell for seven-figure prices but 2020 will be known for being the year in which it became a regular occurrence.
At least a dozen sports cards or pieces of sports memorabilia sold for more than $1 million in 2020, a year that saw the card of an active player set the record for the most valuable trading card for the first time and multiple basketball cards reach figures once thought to be improbable at best.
Here’s a look at the items that sold for $1 million or more in 2020, mostly at auction. It’s likely that some additional unpublicized private sales took place and would have joined this list:
- $3.8 million: 2009 Mike Trout Bowman Chrome 1/1 Superfractor via Goldin Auctions (August)
- $3.7 million: T206 Honus Wagner PSA 2 Heritage Auctions private sale (December)
- $3.2 million+: T206 Honus Wagner PSA 2 via Mile High Card Company (October)-same card that sold privately two months later for $3.7 million
- $1.8 million+: 2013-14 National Treasures Giannis Antetokounmpo 1/1 Horizontal Logoman RPA via Goldin Auctions (September)
- $1.8 million+: 2003-04 Exquisite LeBron James Rookie Patch Autograph Parallel 14/23 BGS 9.5 via Goldin Auctions (July)
- $1.8 million: 1986-87 Fleer Unopened Wax Case (12 boxes) via Collect Auctions (August)
- $1.4 million+: 1931 Lou Gehrig Yankees home jersey via Hunt Auctions/Christies (December)
- $1.2 million+1979-80 Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee rookie card via Heritage Auctions (December)
- $1.3 million+: T206 Honus Wagner PSA 1 via Goldin Auctions (October)
- $1.1 million+: T206 Honus Wagner PSA 1 via Mile High Card Co. (September)
- $1.1 million: 2013-14 Panini Prizm Black Mosaic Giannis Antetokounmpo 1/1 via Goldin Auctions (December)
- $1 million+: 2003-04 Exquisite LeBron James RPA #2/99 BGS 9.5 via Goldin Auctions (August)
- $1 million: Robert Kraft’s Patriots Super Bowl LI ring via Fanatics charity auction (May)
- $1 million: 1920s Lou Gehrig bat via Heritage Auctions private sale (April)
Some other notable sales:
- $930,000 Babe Ruth’s 52nd home run bat from 1921 via Heritage Auctions
- $922,500 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Red Refractor #5/5 via Goldin Auctions
- $915,000 1997 Metal Universe PMG Michael Jordan Green via Heritage Auctions
- $900,000 2003-04 LeBron James/Michael Jordan Exquisite Logoman 1/1 via Goldin Auctions
- $894,250: T206 Ty Cobb (Cobb Tobacco Back) from Lucky 7 Find $894,250 via Mile High Card Co.
See the current most watched sports card and memorabilia auctions on eBay here.