A rare Michael Jordan rookie card sold with auction house Christie’s for $ 1,008 million, including fees and premiums – a record for the 1986-87 Fleer Jordan that set the sports card industry aflame in the wake of “The Last Dance.”
Fleer’s 2006-07 basketball release (Fleer’s was purchased by Upper Deck in mid-2005) included a 20th anniversary buyback autograph program: 23 numbered 1986-87 Fleer’s Jordan rookies were rereleased, signed by Jordan, into 2006-07 boxes along with certificates of authenticity.
This card, numbered 21 of 23, was graded an overall 8.5 from Beckett Grading Services, with a 9 autograph grade. (Both are out of a maximum of 10.) Of the 23 that were released, only 14 are known and graded, held in private collections. It’s assumed that the remaining nine were never pulled – which explains why an unopened box sold for $ 5,000 on eBay in early April.
Also in the Jordan-specific Christie’s auction, called Six Rings: Legacy of the GOAT, were a number of player-exclusive, game-worn and signed Jordan sneakers. One pair stands out: Game-worn, signed Air Jordan Low XIIIs, which Jordan wore in the first two quarters of Game 5 of the 1998 NBA Finals – his last season as a Bull, as well as his sixth and final title where he won his unprecedented sixth NBA Finals MVP.
The Air Jordan Low XIIIs sold for $ 378,000. Jordan game-worn sneakers have had quite a year; last October, a pair of Nike Air Ships Jordan worn in his rookie season sold for $ 1,472 million, breaking the record for the most expensive game-worn footwear of all time.
Today happens to be the 24th anniversary of Jordan’s championship-clinching shot over the Utah Jazz’s Bryon Russell.