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Fanatics teams up to offer auctions of ‘most covetable’ sport trading cards


Fanatics is partnering with one of the world’s leading auction houses for art and luxury items.

Fanatics is collaborating with Sotheby’s to auction the rarest and “most covetable” trading cards across sports — with card values of $100,000 and above. (Fanatics is also the owner of Topps, which has manufactured sports trading cards since 1951.)

In line with the partnership, Fanatics will launch a collectibles marketplace, called Fanatics Collection, later this summer. It will connect buyers and sellers of trading cards and memorabilia through fixed-priced listings and auctions. Collectors will be able to browse and instantly purchase from an extensive range of hundreds of thousands of collectibles.

Through the partnership, Fanatics Collect and Sotheby’s will showcase a curated selection of top-of-the-market trading cards, available for purchase through a series of dedicated live and online auctions hosted by Sotheby’s. The venture represents is an addition to Sotheby's sports and modern collectibles department, a category the auction house officially launched in 2022, and has since achieved numerous world records at auction, particularly for game-worn memorabilia.

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“This unique partnership is a reflection of the elevated status and cultural impact of the hobby and gives these highly sought-after cards incredible reach and visibility to potential collectors around the world,” said Fanatics Collect CEO Nick Bell. “We’re truly excited to be able to pair our knowledge in high-end sports cards with Sotheby’s unrivaled expertise in storytelling across exceptional fine art and objects.”

The first live auction will be held this September in New York. It will include a 1948 Leaf #79 Jackie Robinson card (PSA 8), which is estimated to be sold between $275,000 to 350,000. The legendary card is the only true rookie card of the baseball idol and is featured in one of the most iconic sets of the post-war era, according to Fanatics. Known for its vibrant colors and design, as well as a checklist filled to the brim with Hall of Famers and post-war returnees, the 1948 Leaf has long been a favorite of collectors.  

“We are thrilled to partner with Fanatics Collect to pioneer the evolution of the trading card market to new heights," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles. "Through high-end auctions, state-of-the-art exhibitions, and exhilarating events, this collaboration marks a significant milestone within the ever-growing and engaged trading card community. We eagerly anticipate ushering promising collectors into an exciting new era of innovation and accessibility.”

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