LeBron James Rookie Sets All-Time Sales Price Record of 5.2 Million Dollars

The Rare James Card Ties Mickey Mantle Rookie as Most Expensive Card Ever
  • April 26, 2021

Move over Mickey Mantle; you need to make room for a new KING in the sports card world.  A LeBron James rookie card was sold privately yesterday for a record-breaking sales price.  At 5.2 MILLION dollars, the LeBron rookie you're about to see is tied with only the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie as most expensive card EVER.

For many years, you knew the world's most valuable sports card: The T206 Honus Wagner.  You've seen the sale prices of the Wagner card climb in the public view starting when Hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky, purchased a well-known copy in 1991 for $451,000 (shortly before David Copperfield "ripped" it in half in front of our eyes!). You then tried to win that same card by mailing in contest cards you found in packs of cards at Walmart back in 1995 with their The World's Most Valuable Card Giveaway.  Since those days, you've seen the sale prices soar way up to 3.25 million dollars as recently as 2019.  However, with how HOT the hobby has been in the last year, the price record a T206 Honus Wanger used to own has been surpassed a few times already!  Yesterday, a LeBron James rookie card tied the all-time sale price record of 5.25 MILLION dollars!

2003-2004 Exquisite Rookie Collection

  • Original cost = $500 per pack
  • 78 base cards limited to 225 copies or fewer
  • Gold card inserts numbered to 25 
  • Rainbow cards limited to 1 per player
  • Various autographed and jersey cards, all VERY limited 

One of the autograph and jersey inserts is the Base Rookie Auto Patch set.  Each card in this insert has a piece of the player's jersey and the card is autographed.  Each player's card is printed in quantities of the their jersey number.  THE card from the set is LeBron James' with his card having just 23 copies produced.

PWCC  posted earlier that #7 out of the 23 copies was sold privately for a record-tying 5.2 million dollars!  The sale price is now tied with the iconic 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card which sold for the same amount just three months ago. 


Modern basketball and football cards are catching up to legendary vintage baseball cards like the T206 Honus Wager and 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. In September of 2020, a Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie card sold for 1.85 million dollars which WAS the highest price for a basketball card.  Earlier this month, a Tom Brady rookie card changed hands for 2.25 million dollars.

What do YOU think will be the next card to break the record?  Let us know!  You can post right here on the blog.


Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a T206 Honus Wagner or a LeBron James Exquisite card you're interested in selling, we'd be interested in hearing from you!  Check out collection of cards from all sports we just bought, including rookie cards of Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, and even Hulk Hogan here.

If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace. Check out our buy list blog here

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.

Contact Us ANY TIME.  We also won't try to rip any of your cards in half like David Copperfield...


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