He’s got a torn UCL but that recent dose of bad news was still A-OK with bidders who chased Shohei Ohtani’s most famous American baseball card in an online auction. The 1/1 autographed Superfractor from 2018 Bowman Chrome sold Thursday night for $184,056.
There was no immediate word on the identity of the winning bidder but Beckett Media, which facilitated the sale through Goodwin Auctions, expected interest from collectors in Ohtani’s home country of Japan in addition to North American bidders.
Graded 9.5 by Beckett Grading Services, the card was listed three weeks ago and had settled at over $70,000 until the final 24 hours of bidding. The final bid came in at $153,380 and the 20% buyer’s premium brought the winning bidder’s bill to $184,056.
The 1/1 card was highlighted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and showcased during the Angels pre-game television broadcast on Fox Sports West on Aug. 3. It was on display in the Beckett Media booth during The National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Aug. 1-5.
The 24-year-old Ohtani signed with the Angels over the winter, leaving Japan to take his much heralded pitching and hitting skills to the major leagues. Ohtani’s season got off to an impressive start at the plate and on the mound but was curtailed by an arm injury and eventually a torn UCL in his elbow suffered during a mound appearance. However, he hit two home runs in a game after the injury and while he was unable to continue pitching over the season’s final four weeks, collector interest in the Japanese rookie remains high.
John Muheim of Sacramento, CA pulled the Superfractor earlier this year, ending a lengthy wait for collectors who ripped packs in search of what was expected to be the most valuable baseball card of 2018.
“When I pulled it from the pack it took me a few seconds to realize what I had,” explained Muheim. “I have been a collector for a long time, and pulling this card was amazing.”
Muheim agreed to let Beckett showcase the card at the National. It carries a ‘10’ autograph grade. Subgrades include: Centering 9.5, Corners 9.5, Edges 9 and Surface 10.
After fielding several offers, Muheim opted to go the auction route.
“The 2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani Superfractor Autograph was the most anticipated card of the year,” said Jeromy Murray, Vice President of Beckett Grading Services. “There is no other way to say it, this card is the most valuable sports card issued by manufacturers this year.”